Jack D'Or
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Jack D'OrJack D'Or
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Belgian Saison
4.06 | pDev: 11.08%
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Massachusetts, United States
Retired (no longer brewed)
Jack D'OrJack D'Or
Notes: “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
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Reviews: 642 | Ratings: 1,645 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by mechamifune:
Photo of mechamifune
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an almost clear gold/yellow color. Slight white head dissapates pretty quick. A very clear beer, body looks very light, but at the same time the carbonation and lacing is evident and very pleasant looking. Looks pretty refreshing.

Smell is lemon, grass, and fruity notes presumably from the belgian yeasts. A slight sweetness. No real funk notes to speak of (which is good for me, as i tend to like "cleaner" saisons more).

Taste is in turn with the smell. A slight sweetness, and the belgian yeast notes really come out in a pleasant way. Eventually a slight spicyness comes out in it, but nothing harsh at all. Hops are slightly noticeable and i'd generally in line with the style norm.

Moutfeel is very nice, crisp but retaining a nice smooth finish. A very easy to drink beer that packs a lot of flavor into a relatively light body. One of the most enjoyable saisons i've ever had and one to seek out particularly if you more enjoy clean, less "funky" saisons.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of dbrauneis
4.02/5  rDev -1%
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.

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Photo of rand
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 22 oz bomber to Duvel tulip glass

Batch 26, bottled May 2011

Probably past it's prime, but still holds up pretty well. Not picking up a lot of 'brett' aspects or off-kilter flavors, so I'll have to look for a fresh on and compare notes. Still, pretty damn drinkable. The specs:

The brew is apricot-tan in color, opaque, with little head to speak of, although the beer may be a little too cold.

The nose is citrusy, with notes of lemon pepper and rind. Touches of funk, but it's more floral and grassy than barnyard-y. Might be picking up a touch of oxidation in the bouquet.

Not picking up any stale flavors though, pretty impressive how well this has held up given the relatively low abv. Notes of lemon grass and a caramelly sweetness play off a floral backdrop and oak tones. Surprisingly little funk, as a hint of booze kicks in toward the back of the sip. Finish is long and sweet.

Could use a little more carbonation to break up the sweetness, but again, may have gone past its bottle-conditioned prime and has lost some CO2.

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Photo of rkcrozier
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of orangesol
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of MaineMike
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of phaley87
3/5  rDev -26.1%

Photo of Chris00710
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of jaxon53
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of ms11781
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of leakyfaucet12
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

a- a light looking beer, almost some neon orange to it and some hint of lime green to the edges. I think this is an attractive beer.

s- there are some strong fruits in there like oranges, lemons and other citrus. there is a hint of some hay or horse blanket. very fresh, crisp smelling.

t- Fruity flavor right up front. definately some alcohol in there. They really didnt try to hide it. I can taste some saison funkiness as well. This beer tastes nothing like it smells like.

m- perfect carbonation on this beer. It is a little light but that keeps it true to the style.

o- The beer really is a good one and my first from the pretty things brewery. To me this beer seemed to be missing something. It was good overall but it is missing something that I expect from saisons and I cant put my finger on it.

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Photo of CuttDeez
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I read the review from the Jason and Todd on this one and knew I needed to get my hands on a bottle to see what this one had to offer. Not to long ago I got that chance.
Bomber poured into a chalice.

A - Cloudy golden yellow pour with a beautiful fluffy resiliant head.

S - The yeast comes out in the nose which is common with unfiltered beers. There are also wonderful floral sweet notes that are balanced by a peppery note.

T & M & D - There is a very nice carbinated bite on the front end. It has very nice peppery notes on the toungue and then it opens to hop bitterness. The end brings in light fruit flavors and floral notes. i was blown away by the range of flavors with each sip. I had never had a beer like it. I loved the peppery begining and the wonderful after taste of floral fruit. Once again I really enjoy the natural and very real flavors of the unfiltered or bottle conditioned beer. I am very glad I did not pass up on the opportunity to try this beer.


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Photo of Zimm
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%

Photo of Okisailor
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of mrskunk
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of jeffthecheff
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 6, June 2009. Poured into my stemmed, shaped flute glass. The color is a light gold with a very slight haze on the first pour, and complete haze on the last pour. Good amount of bubbles are streaming up the middle. The head is decent at first but fades way too much for my liking. It's fluffy and airy in texture and therefore leaves only some lace.

The aroma has a good strength as I smelled it upon the pour. When I brought it to my nose, I found it to be yeasty and very Belgian in character. Spice and herbs, like a spice rack, along with a bit of orange peel.

The flavor starts out with sweet orange fruitiness and bright spices, especially ginger. The finish is much different, and is very dry with a slight medicinal character. It's light hopped but noticeably bitter. It leans towards the bright fruity flavors rather than the dry earthy ones, especially on the yeasty last pour, where this beer tasted its best.

The mouthfeel is bubbly and dry in the finish, but in the middle it seems to have some substance. The drinkability is about perfect, and I'm sad to see the end of the glass and my only bottle. It's a bit pricey as usual with this style of beer.

Food pairing notes: I had this with a Japanese Hibachi steak and it was one of the best pairings I've ever had. The beer contrasted the steak nicely but really rode along with the Ginger sauce. It's a great sauce, and along with this beer, it tasted like I was drinking a liquid version of the sauce, but with more flavors.

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Photo of divineaudio
3.99/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bomber courtesy of valdieu2 poured into a tulip glass. bottled august 2012.

a - pours an even goldenrod shade, slightly hazy, with a finger or so of off white head. foam calms quickly to a thin film but leaves a few legs of lacing in the glass.

s - crackers, lemon, faint clove, faint earthiness. smells warm and inviting.

t - wow. starts of with a malt character of toasted bread, then adds subtle spice and fruity notes. clove, pepper, faint cinnamon, lemon, and white grape. the label describes a sharp, herbal bitterness, but i think it's more akin to being hit in the head with a blunt object. the bitterness hangs on the tongue which i feel detracts just a bit from the overall flavor. finishes dry and slightly sweet. high score for sheer complexity despite the slightly odd combination of flavors..

m - lighter side of medium with adequate carbonation. medium co2 profile.

o -not really sure what to think about this. i feel that this beer is like calculus for your taste buds. amazingly complex, but not super drinkable. have to take this one sip at a time just to process what's going on here. i can see why it's so highly rated.

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Photo of kbuzz
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Mikecap
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of IPAIsaac
3.25/5  rDev -20%

Photo of nickfl
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours with a small head of white foam on top of a a hazy, golden body. The head settles quickly and leaves little lace on the glass.

S - Herbal hop aromas and a strong, spicy yeast character. Very musty and a bit peppery.

T - Bready malt up front with some musty yeast character. Notes of coriander, black pepper, and clove in the middle. Lemon and pepper dominate the finish with a touch of musty hop character.

M - Medium-thick body, moderate carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - This is an interesting saison, very spicy, musty and peppery. I generally prefer saisons that lean more towards a fruity character, but the herbal, earthy character works well here and it really brings out the underlying wheat notes that might otherwise get lost in a fruitier example of the style.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the Brattleboro, Vermont Brewer's Festival on May 22, 2010. It has a ver foamy head above the cloudy, pale yellow body. The malts are in the aroma in a limited fashion but it seemed to come across as more "beery" to me. There is a creamy, medium texture with a nice enough wheat and yeasty taste. Also there seems to be a moderate strain of hops in here. But the flavor was also a lot more sour than I like for this style. Kind of dry at the end.

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Photo of Mattias
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.27/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Duvel Tulip glass.

A - Pours a very light orange with a small white head. Decent retention and some lacing.

S - Muted citrus - Oranges and lemons, a slight spice.

T - Citrus, but mild, some funk, belgian yeast flavors.

D - Light body and medium carbonation.

O - Very muted and mild flavors.

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Photo of BaconCheeseburg
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Jack D'Or from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 91 out of 100 with 1645 ratings