Jack D'Or | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

642 Reviews
Jack D'OrJack D'Or

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

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

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

Added by Paquette on 12-01-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 642 | Ratings: 1,641
Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.94/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch two, 22oz bottle. Heavy yeast sediment. More than one would expect in a home brew.

Poured hazy orange wet straw with a good 1" head that settles into a thin covering with little lacing.

The smell is lemony and straw-full with peppercorn notes. Not as spicy or barnyard as other saisons have been.

Tastes awesome. Balanced, bitter like lemon peal in the end with just a little hop bitterness following. Theres a little pepper in the middle but in the front there's just a light wheaty lemon. Very refreshing yet complex.

Mouthfeel is wet to start then drying in the end. Light to medium body with foaming levity that facilitates the latter flavors.

Drinkability is, without question, one of the easiest 5s I've given. See above.

This is one to buy again and again, and share, and promote. I feel like I'm getting in on the ground floor of something with huge potential.

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Photo of ken2cart1
4.83/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into an oversized wine glass, re-suspended yeast as recommended by Dann (the brewer and creator of Pretty Things beer)

A- huge frothy off-white, inch-high head. Beer is an orangey, cloudy, peach color. Absolutely beautiful, never saw such an orange color in a beer.

S- Belgian yeast, some funky bacteria yeast in there too. Peppery, spicy smell.

T- much like it smells but very peppery, mostly in the finish. I do not have much experience with Saisons but it is much more peppery than any saison I have had. WOW, this is a complex beer. It starts with a fruity, spicy, yeasty, little clove taste and a solid sweet pale and caramel malt backbone. Ends with some cloves and a prevalent lingering pepper taste.

M- very smooth and creamy throughout and ends with a nice puckering crisp feel

D- wow this beer is unbelievable, cant stop sipping this, this is a real surprise. From the handful of saisons I have tried, I have not been a big fan of this style but this beer has converted me. Mark my words: PRETTY THINGS BEERS ARE GOING TO BE SOME OF THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER BEERS VERY SOON.

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Photo of jjanega08
4.78/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A= pours a beautiful light copper color. Really looks great in color the head is also a nice suprise rising to three fingers in my glass and has great retention and lacing. The color is almost like apple juice. Awesome retention leaving a great rocky head. I wish I woulda used one of my duvel glasses to see how it would compare.

S= Like a really great saison. Nice yeasty estery notes coming from it. Green apple and pear. HOPS. There is a definite hop presence in it. On the bottle it says American saison so I'm assuming they hopped it up to keep with American style. Some good light malts come through as it smells like permenting beer in a closet a little.

T= Just like the smell... Great yeasty esters hit you up front and on the tip of your tongue they last with nice green apple and pear flavors just sitting there. Then the middle is full of nice hops that also last creating quite the complexity as the tip and middle of your tongue battle for the dominate flavor. Quietly like the Vietcong the bready finish falls down the back of your tongue and slowly falls down your throat. The breadyness is very very present when you exhale through your nose after a sip. Awesome saison flavors.

M= Crisp yet somewhat coating. Great lasting flavors all over you tongue. Nice small bubbles lead to a little creamyness.

D= Awesome beer. After drinking Baby Tree last night I wasn't expecting much from this one but this beer is the quintessential American saison. This is what I want a saison to taste like. Great flavors and smell. Awesome looking beer. Great feel. One of the best saison's I've ever had no doubt seek this beer out.

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Photo of BasementDweller
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

P - 22 oz. bomber poured into a tulip glass.

A - Rich yellow-gold with a thick, pristine white head which displayed excellent lacing.

S - Bright citrus hop note compliments a classic dry saison nose: lemon, pine, light red and green fruits, and a slight herbaceous funk.

T - Front: Dry, light banana, sweet spices (ginger and root herbs). Middle: Wonderfully acidic, light, and effervescent. Back: Rich dried fruit (blackcurrant, starfruit, slight pear) with beautiful hop bitterness -- assertive but not overwhelming. This is what American hops should taste like. Finish: Long, bitter, dry, and excellent.

M - Light to medium bodied, delicate, effervescent.

D - Excellent. Put a bomber away and longed for more.

Overall: Excellent brew. Everything about this beer screams quality. The malt is sticky, but not nearly overbearing. The hops are fresh and delicious, providing a wonderful compliment to the crisp saison tang. A refreshing beverage to say the least, and an amazing first offering from Pretty Things and Dann Paquette. If this beer was white wine, it would easily fetch upwards of $100 a bottle. Yes, it's of that caliber. On a separate note, I want to know where Dann gets his hops; these are unreal.

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Photo of jneiswender
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had a pint glass of this from the bottle.

A-fluffy white head, orange brown body.

S-fruity, sour fruit

T-yeasty front, cloves, some malt.

M-medium body with a nice dry finish.

D-Very nice all around flavor. This beer would be a great beer with foods of all types. I would drink this beer again.

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Photo of Wakajawaka87
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Has this on-tap at the golden rail ale house in Newburgh, NY. I was craving this after work today and picked up a bomber. Delicious saison with a head that would give John Merrick a run for his money. This beer is not only great to drink but it's also a joy to look at. Nice amber color, which looks great in my Hennepin glass. No need to say much more, this beer speaks for itself! Drink this.

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Photo of pat61
4.74/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours hazy gold crowned by a persistent 2” clingy white foam collar with a very fine bead. Has a Saison malty yeasty aroma with earthy European hops on the nose. Starts with a burst of malt followed by light fruit, earthiness and then a long lingering fruit and hop dance. Creamy and smooth with medium light body and medium high carbonation. A very pleasant and refreshing drink.

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Photo of dbossman
4.7/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark golden and bubbly with a huge, fast-foaming head that sits on top of the beer forever; the head itself isn't very dense with the bubbles sitting on top of each other precariously

S: Spicy: cloves and pepper; lots of floral and earthy qualities; there is also a pleasant grainy/wet hay undertone that seems to hold everything together

T: Very spicy--lots of pepper; slight herbal/medicinal funk; this is grainy, earthy, and delicious; so much going on and yet it works so simply; fruity too with pears and apples shining through; but that peppery spice lingers--making this one funky, delicious brew

F: Decent mouth feel--especially the way it sits and slowly slides down the back of the tongue and eventually throat; at first, I thought it seemed a bit thin but because so much of it lingers, after a few sips the thinness is gone

D: One of my favorite saisons ever; spicy, earthy, funky, awesome!

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Photo of sitarist
4.69/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to Prufrock!

Pours a light golden yellow, lots of bubbles rise up to an inch or so of white head...the head falls to an 1/8" cap that leaves small patches of lacing.

Aphrodite's alluring aroma fills the air. I smell fresh ripe red apples, rock candy, spice, something slightly funky / sour-dough, g-spot juice, white pepper, her pheromones pull me in...I cant resist her kiss.

Red apples and the white pepper lead the way, honey and banana linger on my tongue. It is sweet and funky with a slight bitterness. (edit 11-18-10...Spice and pepper lead the way, with red apple, banana, and funk lingering.)

Medium body, the carbonation livens things up, dry with a bit of a bite.

Very enjoyable beer...it is unique...a beer that I could enjoy anytime!

This just might be my favorite beer.

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Photo of BeTheBall
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at TPH last night, although it wasn't on the menu. Incredibly hazy from yeast with a lively full head. Immense lacing down the glass. Smell was of yeast and lots of hops, wonderful. Taste was classic Saison, dry and sharp with depp complex flavors from around the farm. Mouthfeel was also exceptional, completly surrounding the mouth and tongue. Drinkability is high, as this is sooo delicious.

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Photo of stickyv
4.68/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Could have 1000 of these. Almost like a Belgian white but more "humph". Supremely drinkable. Beautiful color and glow. Had on tap at Highland Kitchen in Somerville Massachusetts. I read about this beer when doing research before coming to Boston and just happened to find it at one of the best restaurants and dive bars on a spring day. Really really nice beer.

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Photo of alphagnome
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lightly hazed, hay colored body hosts an incredible amount of carbonation. Crowned by a think, soft white head. Great retention and lacing.

Right away you get a great funk that tickles your nostrils! Very bright herbal notes sprinkled with peppercorn and honey. A bit of a sweetcorn presence and lemon zest. This smells fantastic!

Right away, you're greeted by an earthy herbal hop presence, and dry wheat. A decent amount of spiciness and light fruits break through, providing a roller-coaster ride of tart and dry flavors.

Light and spritzy! Tons of carbonation and a light body make this a very easy to drink beer. The head is silky smooth, giving this one a very unique sipping experience. Clean, dry finish.

This might very well be my new favorite in the genre! Complex and easy to drink, this should be high on you shopping list.

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Photo of aorloski
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance - Light orange, 3 or 4 fingers head, whipped cream looking head, carbonation from the bottom, slight haze, looks amazing.

Smell - Huge spice notes, big malty and bread characteristics, lemon zest, citrus spice, the yeast SHINES a touch of funk and barnyard.

Taste - Incredibly refreshing, i get a slight hop character, probably the belgian yeast that adds to the lemon zest/hop profile. A little funk from the yeast and it is amazing. Very american tasting saison.

Mouthfeel - moderately chewy

Overall - I was very impressed with this, i would love to have a case of this laying around for when i want a nice refreshing beer other than an IPA

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Photo of atowle
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle from Batch Six (June 2009).

Had this beer at Deep Ellum in Allston on the recommendation of my server. Poured a very nice dark, hazy gold. Malty with a subtle fruit aroma and balanced almost perfectly with just the right amount of bitterness, it was very smooth and drinkable. Finishes clean. A wonderful beer, in my opinion, and great label art for all you fellow bottle collectors out there.

I had the Jack D'or first, followed by both the Confounded Mister Sisyphus (an earthy, golden ale that's a little strong on the cherry flavors) and Baby Tree (a brown, malty, complex Quad with strong notes of Plum), both from Pretty Things as well. The Jack D'or was by far my favorite of the three, and I will definitely be looking for it when I next return to the New England area.

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Photo of opwog
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Batch 9, bottled Oct. 2009.

I am not a huge saison drinker, so bare that in mind.

This was one exceptional beer! Initial carbonation was intense and made it hard to even poor a glass for a while. But the patience was well worth it. Initial poors brought a huge frothing head. Settled into clumpy white clouds. Cloudy orange body with specs of sediment. There was a lot of sediment in the bottom that I tried hard not to poor in the initial glasses but these specs still came through. Second round of pours (second half of bottle) I had intentionally swirled the yeast before pouring. The second half pours actually came through with a more reasonable level of carbonation and a very similar appearance and body as the unswirled first pours.

Aroma on all pours was a very pleasant yeast, citrus and grass. Taste was sweet and spicy. Maybe hints of apricot and white pepper. Body was perfect for me, but might be a bit chewy for some saison fans.

Also, at least where I bought this at Zips in Minneapolis, the price was insanely good at $3.99 a bomber. If this is the going rate on this beer everywhere, this would be my pick as best beer deal around. This is top grade beer at a steel! Just wish I could get this at home.

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Photo of Kallessin
4.66/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a golden/orange color, mostly clear with a very slight haze and loads of bubbles flowing upward. Has a huge billowing/rocky white head. Leaves a big dollop of foam after a minute or so with beautiful lacing on the glass.

Has a fragrant floral/earthy hop aroma with plenty of noble hops. Has a some lemon and a subtle spiciness with sweet malt undertones.

Has a brief dry bready malt flavor up front followed by light fruity esters and some spiciness. Then it has a some tart lemon, orange and subdued tangy sourness. There is some sweet maltiness underlying all this. There is also a fair amount of bitterness in this. This is most obvious on the finish.

It's light bodied and highly carbonation, but not sharp - sort of a softness to it. It starts out dry, then light and juicy, then a dry aftertaste. Really pretty refreshing.

This is a great beer. Really light and flavorful, the orange and lemon sourness is fantastic. A really unique flavor. I find this beer pretty complex. It has a dry bready malt, but light fruity sourness all at the same time. The flavors change throughout the experience. I really enjoyed it.

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4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

From growler to oversized wine glass.

A: A two finger semi sudsy off white head is produced from a vigorous pour. Medium length retention, creamy and dense with tightly knit bubbles. A fair amount of lace slathers the glass. The body is cloudy and a medium to light creamcicle color. (Pale amber-orange)

S: Light malts of hay, straw and wheat, delicately toasted. The hop content is just a touch above average, mainly orange and lemon pith, but herbal and floral hints are incorporated as well. Very Belgian-esque, the yeast is heavily earthy with the mildest barnyard funk.

T: As the nose would suggest plus additional flavors of peach and pepper. The gypsy brewer himself states on the website that no spices are used in ANY of his recipes. Impressive then, is the abundent amount of spicy phenols derived from the yeast(s) only. Modestly sweet and moderately bitter. Respectable flavor duration.

M: Medium-light body. Mild sourness and acidity. Carbonation is on the soft side and should be more substantial. The spicy phenols work perfectly with, and lead into the bitter dry finish.

D: Exceptional. And while Jack D'Or may not be the truest representation of the Saison/Farmhouse Ale, it certainly is one of my recent favorites while taking a few stylistic liberties. I have thoroughly enjoyed everything I've sampled from Pretty Things so far.

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Photo of BenjieK
4.65/5  rDev +16%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Amber, huge head, tons of fine lace.

S: Spice, yeasty, hops. Interesting blend.

T: Bready, yeasty, white pepper, nice mix in of hop bitterness. Pretty phenomenol balance.

M: Well carbonated. Crisp. Hits the palate with intensity.

D: Could drink these all day.

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Photo of redleaves
4.64/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a saison, smells like a saison, tastes like an American saison. Hops are a little more forward then I like in a saison. The style is so difficult to nail down though because it varies so much. This on reminds me more of the St. Feuillien as I sip further the hop does start to give way to the barnyard covered in citrus that I do love so much. A very tasty one when I want a little more hops. Got it in Salem for $6.50, great at that price! Too bad I can't get it in Maine. I will have it again. Stoked to try their others beers.

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Photo of DovGibor
4.62/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sept. 2015 bottle poured into a tulip glass. Dark gold in color with slightly orange hue and translucent chill haze. Minimal head.

Bready malt aroma with clear hop notes. Rich flavor. Amazing citrus tartness that stands out from the light malt body. Touch of yeast in the middle, with clear sourness in the finish. Mouthfeel is smooth and bubbly with gentle carbonation on the tongue.

A really good saison that likely pairs well with food.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.6/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a De Glazen Toren tulip.

BOTTLED May 2009
Batch Five

A: Pours a gorgeous, hazy, glowing peach color with a full three fingers of creamy, off-white meringue perched on top. Retention is absolutely fantastic due, in part, to the ample carbonation on display here. The inside of my glass looks like a lace bomb exploded inside of it.

S: I was a little afraid that between the bottling date (5/09) and the tasting date (3/10) that some of the aromatics may have faded. Not so. Big time fruity nose. Pineapple, peach, pear, apple, and clementine. Spice aromas play a big role here as does fresh cut grass, lightly toasted malt, and some honey.

T: Just as above with the spicy qualities playing an even larger role. More white pepper type flavors as well as a flavor that I can only describe as pepper crusted citrus.

M: Initially quite sticky and fruity. That quickly dries out a tad in the middle while gaining a fantastic prickly/spicy/peppery tingle that plays out on every surface in my mouth.

D: What can I say but, wow. I was awed and humbled by this wonderful Saison. 10 months in the bottle and this feels like it's just getting started. Would've loved to try this fresh to compare it to how amazing it is now.

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Photo of break516beatz
4.59/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

A -- Dark golden yellow with a head that dissipated rather quickly

S -- Citrus. Some lemon tones. There's also a floral aroma to it.

T -- Delicious. Again, there is a soft lemon aftertaste to it. Very refreshing. Not too heavy.

M -- Not too carbonated. There is a creamy feel to it.

O -- Very happy with this beer. Would recommend this to anyone.

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Photo of Summerteeth
4.56/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Almost a white wine nose on this one. Spicy taste. Had it at about 40 degrees. Interested in what it would taste like colder. Nice haziness and good hop background. Overall, a great beer.

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Photo of fear025
4.56/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Aroma:Smells slightly fruity, floral, peppery.

Appearance:Pale gold in color. Lots of thick white head (big bubbles). very visible carbonation. Low head retention though.

Taste:The foretaste is peppery and a little bitter. This flavor fades and becomes more earthy through the midtaste, and then surprisingly changes to a sweet fruit-punch like flavor with no hop bitterness in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel:Light body, alcohol is well hidden. Very high carbonation.

Drinkability:I really enjoy the flavor on this one, it's full of delightful complexity. This has to be one of the best Saisons that I've ever had.

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Photo of BetterDarker
4.55/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Bomber poured into tulip glass.

A- Pours a thick white head with good retention and nice lace to it. Looks like sunshine without the yeast, when I poured the rest of the bomber obviously it clouded up a bit. Great looking beer!

S- Smells like the Belgian countryside. (At least how I imagine it.) Spices, pepper some earthiness and a mild citrusy hops presence.

T-Solid spice flavor with some citrus. Very well balanced a solid beer. Even a novice could take one sip and say "Saison". The label states American Saison, but I think Jack would hold up just fine across the pond.

M- Medium, smooth beer with great carbonation.

D- Easy drinking with great flavors that challenge the palate just enough to say "Enjoy!" And yes, I will have many more please.

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Jack D'Or from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,641 ratings.
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