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 fitzy84
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this on tap at Highland Kitchen in Somerville.

The beer had a cloudy gold appearance and a medium sized head that kept its retention throughout the evening. In terms of its aroma, this beer had amazing citrus aromas, predominately lemon and orange peel, mixed well with bready yeast smell. The beer had a good citrus bitterness in terms of its taste. An assortment of citrus flavors, like grapefruit, orange, lemon, and more, are mixed well with more earthy flavors like hops. Pretty good carbonation for this drink giving it a solid crispness, but it is a pretty dry beverage as well. Overall, I enjoyed this drink, especially for its aromas.

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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 aobrehm
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Brilliant clarity, rich golden color. Effervescent bubbles shoot up from the bottom of chalice. Thick white head is creamy and well-retained.
Aroma is dominated by fruity, Belgian yeast character. Pilsner and Vienna/Munich malt aromatics noticeable.
Thoroughly bitter for the saison style with hop bitterness lingering into the finish. Hop character dominates the flavor, despite being largely absent from aroma.
Highly carbonated, light bodied. Finish is dry and slightly astringent.
Taste didn't quite live up to the appearance and aroma with hop bitterness being a little too dominant. A good beer but not necessarily a classic example of saison due to bitterness and American hop character.

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Photo of dbrauneis
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
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 Tone
3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear, gold color. 1/2 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, floral hops, piney hops, strong tart yeast, and slight herbal aroma. Fits the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of strong earthy malt, biscuits, hops, sweet malt, hint of tartness, and a hint of grass. Overall, odd flavor profile, too much earthy malt for my taste, but decent aroma and good appearance.

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.78/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Golden to straw colored with a quarter inch of bright white foam comprised of medium sized bubbles. The aroma is earthy, peppery and I also detect a light grainy note. I taste light malt and earthy, peppery saison yeast. There's a light copper note in the aftertaste. The mouth is moderately carbonated and dry.

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Photo of MissSmisje
4.21/5  rDev +5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: golden, with white lacing
S: yeasty, Hay, funk, orange peel, lemon peel, grass, some clove and a hint of green pepper.
T: similar to nose, sweetness in the mid palate and very dry finish
F: medium body, a little heavier than I'd like.
O: I love this beer. A delicious American saison

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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 Chcshammonde
3.41/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

IMO, good saison but not great. Feels pretty heavy going down, much heavier than others. Thick mouthfeel, acidic finish, yeasty beginning. I wouldn't get this one again but would try other beers from this brewery.

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Photo of billmayo
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

So, I'm at Highland Kitchen in Somervile, Ma and I check out this beer on BA and what do I see? Stickyv gives this beer a great review and I'm in the same place...... I show the waitress the fine review and order one up. It was tasty light and refreshing. I'm usually more of an IPA drinker, but really liked this Saison.

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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 anteatr23
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours translucent and golden with moderate head. Smells grassy and herbal. Taste is peppery and refreshing. Light and carbonated mouth feel with a bitter finish. I don't want to dock points for the beer style, which isn't particularly a huge favorite of mine, but it's a refreshing beer -- easy to drink. Enjoyable.

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Photo of modidia
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Had this 3rd after heady and sip of sunshine. Maybe that was the problem. I found it heavy for a farmhouse ale, good, not great. Probably not drink it.again...

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Photo of ManapuaMan
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first saison I ever had and still a consistent go-to. Golden effervescent body with a fat fluffy head. Aroma and taste of honey, cloves, pepper, banana and ripe pear. Nice, dry mouthfeel with an identical finish. Excellent balance of bitter, tart and sweet with no one component dominating the other.

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Photo of mrfrancis
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy gold with a thin, lingering white mousse.

S: Aromas of lemon, grapefruit, pineapple, herbs, grass, crackers, biscuits, and oaky, lactic yeast funk fill the nose.

T: Notes of lemon, kumquat, grapefruit, pineapple, grass, herbs, crackers, biscuits, minerals, oak, must, and lactic funk wash across the palate. The finish is funky, tart, and dry, with lingering notes of oak, must, lactic yeast, grass, minerals, and lemon.

M: Light-to-medium in body and rather dry. Carbonation is crisp and firm.

O: This is a really nice saison/farmhouse ale. It is not the most complex example of the style out there, but it tastes great and is easy to drink. Highly recommended.

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Photo of arnulfooxblood
2.97/5  rDev -25.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Looks and smells fine, but the taste is just not what I was expecting from a saison. The main flavor that I got was quite vegetal. Maybe I'm missing the boat on this one, but I can't say I really enjoyed it.

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Photo of Beric
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Serving: Bomber into tulip
Served: 1 March 2015

Appearance: Pours a beautiful dandelion yellow with a bubbly white head that subsides to a touch of bubbles around the corners. Looks very inviting.

Smell: Belgian yeast notes- banana, clove, and a slight pepperiness- along with a hint of herbal hoppiness.

Taste: Amazingly balanced brew- excellent assertion of Belgian yeast characteristics along with a medium-light malt backbone and the faint presence of herbal hoppiness. I could drink this one all day if not for the ABV.

Mouthfeel: Medium-light backbone and medium carbonation make this one go down easy.

Overall: A marvelous brew that I would highly recommend. Extremely drinkable.

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Photo of SierraFlight
3.24/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

On tap at Nix's Mate. Poured clear golden, no head. Apricot, walnut, champagne yeast aromas. Spicy and peppery with mild bitter hop finish on the back of the tongue.

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

Beautifully hazy orange-yellow colour, with a nice fluffy head and good retention.

Aromas of orange peel and a very slightly funky yeast with a stronger amount of peppercorn and coriander phenols.

Very smooth, juicy taste, moving through more bitter orange peel with spicy phenols throughout and a drying finish. Very refreshing.

A little heavy and juicy on the mouthfeel, and more noticeably drying ABV for a traditional saison, but dry and very well-balanced. After all it's a "Saison Americaine," and very tasty/refreshing at that.

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Photo of brianmandell
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22 oz bottle dated December 2014; Pours a pale gold with diminishing head and fine lacing.

Aromas are light and pleasant; yeast, herbs, green pepper, pickle and floral hops.

Flavor is light and dry. The saison yeast is quite tame. It's grassy, slightly floral and carries a touch of peppery spice. The herbal smell doesn't quite carry through to the taste but there are some aged hop flavors and a moderate bitterness. There is a subtle mineral quality that comes across as slightly salty. That's where I am getting the pickle. There is some crackery malt in the finish that takes away slightly from the experience.

Mouthfeel is light with fine, active carbonation.

This is a good beer that is refreshing, relatively simple and easy to drink. I enjoyed it but it has some subtle off flavors and lacks refinement and complexity for a saison.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured a lemony gold with lots of free flowing bubbles. Creamy and bumpy white head, but if was gone pretty quick. Funky apple, sweet and sour aroma; spice phenols really dominate from there on out. Very altruistic and light, semi dry feel. Tart and quite peppery. Sweet outweighs sour. General berry, starfruit, banana, honeydew.

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Photo of Gperson
2.75/5  rDev -31.4%

on tap in North Adams. Probably unfair to rate a drinkable, mild beer so low; but I want some kind of funky character to my saison and this didn't get my attention: just went well with a burger.

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Photo of rand
3.73/5  rDev -7%
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 everythingiszen
2.25/5  rDev -43.9%

Smells and tastes more like a heffeweisen than a saison, sweet and too fruity for my tastes. Cloudy and orange like one too. More citrus than anything else, and I prefer more earthy and peppery notes in my saisons.

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Photo of HattedClassic
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a decent bubbly white head. The beer itself is a clear orange with slight yellow notes and is pretty well-filtered. The beer smell has strong hop and malt notes. The hop notes are primarily earth and bitter with a slight hint of citrus. The malts are sweet to balance the hops but a fairly faint in comparison. The smell also has hints of pepper and salt that make the smell smell pretty good. The taste is not as complex as the smell but is still pretty good. The taste has strong hop notes that are earthy and bitter while the malts provide a slight sweetness to dull the hops. The taste also has an ever present tartness that mixes well with the earthiness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with bubbly carbonation but still has a smooth finish. Overall, a very good saison and worth getting again.

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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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