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Jack D'Or | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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Jack D'OrJack D'Or
1,644 Ratings
Jack D'OrJack D'Or

Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Belgian Saison

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
“Jack D’Or” is a simple table beer, or “Saison Americain” as we’re referring to it. We are not trying to coin a beer style – we’re just having fun. The Jack D’Or (pronounced “Jack Door”), is at the very center of Pretty Things and nearly three years on we’re still pleased as punch that he joined us!

As you know, PRETTY THINGS doesn’t brew “styles” per se. Close, but we re-imagine everything and leave the style numbers in books on the shelves where they belong. What that means is that while other people might be able to put our beers into a category, we have a hard time with it! Our beers are first and foremost creative beasts, not “types” of beer. Jack D’Or is the kind of beer Martha and Dann like to drink before, after and during a great meal. Heck, we’ll drink this sort of beer any time.

On Dann & Martha’s honeymoon in France and Belgium they stashed quite a few cases of Wallonian beer into their trunk. Every night after setting up their tent they’d cook lardons and lentils on a camp stove and enjoy fresh “saison” under the stars.

Inspired by some of our favorites like Saison DuPont, but also DeRanke’s XX Bitter, De Dolle’s Arabier, and local IPAs like Smuttynose, the Jack D’Or starts off with North American Pils, Vienna, Wheat and Malted Oats (among others) and is hopped with a combination of four hops, finishing with Palisade and Nugget. The bitterness is the real backbone of the Jack D’Or. It’s a proper “plant-like” bitterness with all of its jagged edges, beginning deep in the soil, then to the stem of this beer and up into to the very tippity heights. Fermentation-wise we use a blend of four yeast strains to give Jack D’Or its refreshingly dry character. Finally, despite all of the spicy flavours in this beer it contains no actual spices – only malt, oats, rye, sugar, hops and yeast. One more time: there are no spices or citrus in Jack D’Or. Wheat lends acidity at Jack’s edges, then rye and our blended yeast character come into play for a bit of polyphony, displeasing the notion of “balance” and creating the fire in the belly of Jack D’Or!

The creature on the label is Jack D’Or himself, conceived and drawn by Dann. Far away in a small clearing in the woods of New England, ankle deep in the mash tun, he contemplates and conjures himself into a batch of beer. For those of you who are new to this, Jack is a grain of malted barley, but more than that: he is the unifying force behind all of the Pretty Things. Jack D’Or Must Die!

57 IBU

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,644 |  Reviews: 642
Reviews by ackbarleywine:
Photo of ackbarleywine
5/5  rDev +23.8%

More User Reviews:
Photo of dbrauneis
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Note: Bottled March 2015

A: Pours a lightly hazy medium golden yellow in color with moderate to heavy amounts of active visible carbonation streaming from the bottom of the glass and faint straw yellow highlights. The beer has a three finger tall dense foamy off-white head that slowly reduces to a medium sized two finger thick cap in the center of the glass surrounded by a very thick film covering the remainder of the surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Significant amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of citrus/lemon, peppery yeast, and pale + bready malts.

T: Upfront there is a moderate flavor of pale and bready malts. That is followed by moderate flavors of peppery saison yeast and citrus/lemon hops. There is a light to moderate amount of lingering bitterness in the finish.

M: Light to medium bodied with moderate to heavy amounts of carbonation. Moderate to significant amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: Very enjoyable and very easy to drink. Alcohol is well hidden and this beer would pair well with just about any foods. Really worth picking up if you come across it.

 1,133 characters

Photo of oberon
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottled in July 2011.Poured into a large tulip glass a hazed lemony color that becomes almost milky looking when the bottom chunkies and floaties get in there.a little barnyard and alot of lemony/citric hops in the nose,a little crushed wheat as well.Nice flavor complexity with light phenolic spice and toasty wheat mixed with quite a healthy shot of American- style citric hops,alot going on and it's refreshing to boot.A great Easter beer it has kind of a spring feel and flavor to it.

 488 characters

Photo of Dekhar
4.36/5  rDev +7.9%

Photo of TCHopCraver
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tasted with zoso1967 and BuckyFresh on 2-4-11. Thanks zoso for bringing the bottle back from PA.

Jack D'or appears bright golden-orange out of the bottle. It is a very appealing color. Small chunks of yeast are suspended in the body. Jack's head is a pure white and retains well when swirled in my snifter. The lacing is okay, leaving white streaks and dots on the side of my glass.

The smell makes my mind return to the middle of the summer. I pick up freshly cut grass, Granny Smith apple, dewy leaves, pear, clove, spicy pepper, champagne, and white grape juice. This is a very fresh and inviting aroma. The yeast stands out in the bouquet and lends a slightly funky edge. Overall, it is a very dry smell.

The taste is much more subdued than the smell. The flavor is quite earthy, grassy, and is a fair amount less fruity than the aroma. It's a mostly dry taste. Sweet, bright notes of apple and pear do appear briefly at the beginning of the sip, but then the dry spiciness kicks it up a notch. Earthy hops finish off the the taste profile.

Jack feels light to medium bodied in my mouth with quite the dry, spicy kick from the yeast and hop combination. It finishes nicely drying with a fine earthy pucker on the sides of my palate. The carbonation is just about right; if anything, I would say its just a little low.

The is a very drinkable beverage. It is one of the drier Saisons that I have had, but is pretty well balanced and tasty. I think it is a really swell example of the style and it held up well with a little age on it.

 1,546 characters

Photo of Tiernan
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of tbryan5
3.75/5  rDev -7.2%

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. III Issue I:

The first release from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project, a new brewing project from the mind of Dann Paquette, who, after a brewing stint at Daleside Brewery in Yorshire, England, has returned to his roots in Massachusetts. Fans might remember him from the North East Brewing Company, Concorde Brewery/Rapscallion, and The Tap.

Jack D'What? "Jack of Gold," a mythical being of the barley based on John Barleycorn. He adorns the label in a welcoming guardian sort of way--but he's actually summoning. And as you might have guessed, this is a Saison--Belgian/French Farmhouse Ale--but with a twist. Brewed with Pils and Vienna malts, 10-percent malted oats, and Nugget, Palisade and Cascade hops (dry hopped, too). It clocks in at 45 IBU, 6.4-percent alcohol by volume and is inspired by traditional Saisons, hoppy Belgian ales, and American IPAs.

Sounds interesting, but what makes it really interesting is the yeast. Paquette explained that he uses "three yeast strains: one strain is a very traditional Belgian Ale strain, another is a Belgian strain known for its nonfloc characteristics and the third is a champagne yeast to 'dry out' the flavor."

Gorgeous pour. Gold with a touch of cloudiness (unfiltered) and a solid two- to three-finger creamy and fluffy head that clings to the glass. Sweet and floral in the nose with suggestions of lavender, lilac, rocky candy, some pale malts, metallic and a strong yeast presence. Fairly smooth on the palate, but a bit coarse and rustic too, with an even consistency, medium body and tight carbonation that scrubs. Distinct champagne-like bite. Quite hoppy, but not overly bitter. Citric edge; dandelion leaves. Sweetish, but not cloying. Hint of peach followed by Red Delicious apples. Green banana. Elaborate yeast. Spicy, bready. Some pepper. Husky, dry and a bit tannic in the finish with a tasty yeasty linger.

Unique is an understatement. Jack D'Or is a complex, balanced, drinkable and, yes ... interesting as all hell beer. We enjoyed it so much we almost got lost. Overall, a must try that gets a solid "A" in our books, so check out the Pretty Things website for availability.

Paquette already has some new beers in the works, but tells us that "the next is going to be the sort of beer I wanted to make in Yorkshire--an Old Ale/Stingo [slang for strong] type in both bottle and keg. It'll be named after, and dedicated to, the great beer city of Boston, called 'Saint Botolph's Town.'" Um, would it be overkill if we said "interesting" again?

 2,559 characters

Photo of irrevjim
4.19/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of lordofthewiens
3.68/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Batch 9, bottled Oct2009. In a tulip, the beer was a golden color with a thick white whipped cream head that was very sticky. A sweet, spicy aroma. Sweet malt taste, some orange, and lots of peppery spice. I thought this beer was a bit on the unbalanced side, and was too sharp for me.

 285 characters

Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of otoolman221
3.73/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Photo of mverity
2.37/5  rDev -41.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a wineglass like glass. Yellow in color with medium amount of white bubbly head. Head receded fairly quickly with very little lacing. Smell was odd. Lemon, white wine and some vinegar. I began to think 'infection'. Taste was like lemon juice and nail polish. I'd heard from several people that nail polish would be very apparent when you get it, and sure enough, it was. First infected beer that I didn't realize was infected before I opened it. I have seen bacteria floating on the top of a beer before and just didn't open it. This was unfortunate. This was an extra from a trade, so it's not like I spent money on it; but I'd heard good things about this beer and still am for the next time I stumble upon one.

 741 characters

Photo of VernonKell
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Doomcifer
4.05/5  rDev +0.2%

Photo of Dbrulet
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%

Photo of JakerLou
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%

Photo of Beerswag
4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4

Bomber pour
Appearance is ever-slightest hazy yellowish-straw colored, mild pure-white head nice fluffy lacing on the glass. Smell is banana and dried apricots, a little floral hop essence and perfumey. Tastes banana and heavy floral notes, spice level is well balanced with the hops and malt..clean and refreshing bubblegum flavor here, and a slightly crisp citrusy bitey finish, body is light. Overall a very well balanced American Saison, with a good display of yeast and hops.. Should be paired with delicate flavors such as uni, fresh oysters, seafood, scallops.

 567 characters

Photo of Jason
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz brown bomber with a bottled on date sticker.

True golden hue, very clear as the sediment was left in the bottle for this review. Spicy and peppery, malt dust and neutral yeast with a hint of orange zest in the nose. Smooth with a bitty moderate body. Dry malt character takes hold of the palate for the duration with a smidgen of dextrin upfront. Dry yeasty tone meets dusty malt and a mild herbal hop flavor. Bitterness is low which is fine here. Kiss of citric peel but relatively clean and the very dry finish.

Very tasty, not in your face at all but subtlety complex all over which adds to its great drinkablity.

 623 characters

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle purchased from Julio's, Westboro, MA. Sticker on the rear states "First Batch! - Bottled in Nov 08". Pours crystal glowingly clear, lighter/golden amber. The head is near white, loose, then tiny bubble fim and leaving plenty of scattered ribs and bits of lace. Citrus/grapefruit hoppy nose. Pepper, floral hops, more grapefruit and sweet malts in the taste area. Finishes crisply dry and with more pepper and citric hops finishing the deal. Subtly complex and thoroughly enjoyable. Nice Massachusetts take on the ever enjoyable saison/farmhouse ale style. Well done and well worth trying.

 600 characters

Photo of mctizzz
1.75/5  rDev -56.7%

Photo of tigg924
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Yeah--My 500th review

Appearance: orange-yellow in color, cloudy, 1/3 inch beautiful creamy head, medium carbonation

Smell: apple, flowers, alcohol, and spices

Taste: granny smith apple, grapefruit juice, coriander, and alcohol

Mouthfeel: light carbonation, sour-semi bitter mix, light bodied

Drinkability: A very interesting beer for my 500th review here. Very tasty for a saison and not as hard and biting as others I have had. A sipper and one per sitting, but I would like to have this again, especially on tap.

 520 characters

Photo of Mora2000
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to HopHead101 for sending this beer to me.

Batch 10, bottled November 2009. The beer pours a clear, medium-dark yellow with a large white head. The aroma is Belgian yeast with some wheat and citrus notes. The flavor is awesome, with light funk, Belgian yeast, orange and lemons. There is the slightest bit of tartness in there as well. The citrus hops go very well with the rest of the flavor. Medium mouthfeel and medium-high carbonation. This is an intensely drinkable, awesome saison.

 495 characters

Photo of olradetbalder
3.25/5  rDev -19.6%

Photo of goatxpower
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Got a bottle of this in a recent trade

A- golden and cloudy with a thin white head. Would have been better in a tulip

S- Belgian yeast, grass, dried fruit. Very floral.

T- Very "Belgian" off the bat. Spice,Ginger,and tropical fruit, with a bready tail. Noticeable hops, but not very pronounced (not like Dupont, anyway). A little sweeter then I like in a saison. Like Hennepin. But has a huge flavor that makes up for it. This is a great Belgian-style, but I don't know if I'd call it a saison.

M- Not really much to say, this is totally to style for a Belgian. Goes on thin, but the flavor lingers.

D- This is a very drinkable beer. I could drink three bombers of this and call it a session, easy. Were I able to get this on a regular basis, I'd buy it by the case.

 771 characters

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Jack D'Or from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 1,644 ratings