Jack D'Or | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Jack D'OrJack D'Or
Liked This Beer
4.04 w/ 1,641 ratings
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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Ratings: 1,641 |  Reviews: 642
Photo of thestranger99
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of Neffbeer
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of rob133
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of Lawnboy33
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of dennho
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of thebouch01
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%

Photo of JRod1969
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Jspriest
4/5  rDev -1%

Photo of Miamilice
5/5  rDev +23.8%

Photo of bkrueger
2.86/5  rDev -29.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a bomber into a Delirium Tremens tulip. Bottled July 2011.

The artwork on this bottle and the artisanal nature of this beer is apparent. You're not going to find this in the supermarket very often I'd imagine. I specifically picked this out as a new saison to try to see how it stacks up against the regular rotation.

Appearance - This pours a straw gold transparent color with a finger plus of white head that quickly dissipates to leave large bubbles clinging to the walls and edges of the glass. It is much cleaner than I was expecting, however all of the yeast is still at the bottom of the bottle.

Smell - Crisp green freshly cut grass, lemon and other citrus fruits, esters, floral notes with white spice and aromatics of dry crispness. Not a lot of funky action going on at all in the nose.

Taste - The first taste of golden crispness and flavor is reminiscent of a Duvel, but quickly changes to a very earthy and grassy taste as it starts to go down. An almost metallic taste hits with bitterness and bite in the back of the throat. Lots of carbonation. Lots of metal and mineral like tastes that don't mesh with the desired saison taste I was hoping for. Tart green under ripe apples also are present.

Mouthfeel - The feel is crisp, carbonated, light bodied, grassy, and very metallic. Can't say it is going down like I was hoping. As it warms it adds some more texture and the beer offers a little creaminess of flavors in the whole mouth, almost chalky.

Overall - With saisons and wild ales as my beverages of choice I was excited to try this, yet came away a little disappointed. I'll let the other bottle I picked up age a while and see if the metallic tastes were a fluke. It does get better after the first half is finished but doesn't excite the palate like I'm more accustomed to.

 1,815 characters

Photo of TheHoppiest
4.42/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Obtained this in a trade with CheezyBlaster, thanks! Bottle bears a "Bottled Sept 2011" stamp.

Good beer is good beer, no matter how it is packaged. Still, just like a beautiful woman can become more alluring in the right clothes, a tasty beer can be more enticing when packaged with care and accompanied by a story. This is such a beer.

It's not just that this beer is brewed with three grains and three strains of Belgian yeast. It's not just that this beer has a great piece of creative artwork that completely draws your eye when placed with other bottles. It's the story of the lead character, Jack D'Or, which I find compelling. And while it is a short story - Jack is "a mournful grain of malted barley, who unites the ingredients of beer as he stands in his woodland mash tun", you can't help but wonder - how did he get there? Why is he mournful? And, once he unites the ingredients, does he stay to watch them become beer, or does he move on to the next mash tun? One will never know...

Anyways, I poured this from a 22 oz bomber into a tulip glass. Pours a slightly hazy golden yellow, with a two finger sticky white head that leaves a moderate amount of lacing down the sides.

Has a wonderfully funky aroma, with lemon, sage, straw, burnt sugar, and herbal scents. Notes of banana and clove are also in play, but just subtley so.

Starts dry and grassy, with oak leaves, tobacco, and oregano. Hints of lemon, cork, white pepper and mustard seed are all present. Has a dry, bitter finish.

Light to medium bodied, this is tart and drying on the tongue, leaving your mouth dry but not parched.

What a flavorful, tasty beer. Other than Saison DuPont, I don't think I've ever had such a funky, spicy dry farmhouse ale. Very well balanced, the meld of flavors work so nicely together, you can't help but say a silent thank you to Jack. Though he may be mournful, he certainly has made me happier this evening.

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Photo of ADZA
3.53/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-A hazy golden yellow hue which leaves a fast vanishing one finger head and sporadic lacing.

S-Belgian bready malts,spicy pepper,citrus and fragrant floral hops.

T-Pretty much exactly the same as smell with also some ginger and lime with the bready malts being the backbone.

M-Light to medium bodied and very smooth.

O-Nice and easy to drink but was expecting way more cheers.

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Photo of Kinsman
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fills the glass with a nice hazy golden straw color. Head fills in nicely with a dense white crown.

Aroma greets you with a citrusy hop note and a health dose of spicy yeast notes. Good bit of bready malt character.

Bright fruity hops with a nice earthy bitterness. Strong malt backbone with lots of rye and wheat notes. Yeast adds a bit of peppery spice.

Medium body mouthfeel with a nice crisp and dry texture. Overall, Jack D'Or presents you with a true American saison, hoppy but with a nice saison yeast flavorto round it out.

 536 characters

Photo of mikedrinksbeer2
3.95/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes consumed: 9/22/11

Pour very pale yellow with a slight haze and a bright white finger head. The scent is light and slightly citrusy, or is that the lemon on the label confusing me? (The brewers have taken time to note on twitter there is no citrus in the batch). The flavor is pleasant, drying on the finish. There's a slight catch in the back of my throat from this, a touch astringent, almost a small bitterness.

 434 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden to straw yellow color with a white head. In the aroma, dry yeast, spices, and a note of fruitiness. In the taste, dry yeastiness, fruity, and just a note of tartness. A spice bite and medium to lighter bodied mouthfeel, with a dry spice and yeastiness in the aftertaste. Nice representation of style, a nice tartness and spice all the way through.

 367 characters

Photo of Gavage
4.35/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: pours a golden yellow color with a short 1/2" head. No lacing develops.

Smell: lemon, grass, yeast, and some earthiness comes through.

Taste: mild malt profile with lemon zest, grass, pears, golden apples, pepper, yeast, and a hint of tartness. Some funkiness arrives late. Bitterness is mild.

Mouthfeel : medium bodied. Crisp to start, less crisp at the finish. Aftertaste is long lasting as the yeast, spiciness, and funk last on the tongue.

Overall: very enjoyable saison. Easy to quaff and is nicely refreshing. Definitely worth seeking this beer out.

 572 characters

Photo of brotherloco
3.5/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22oz bomber. Bottled July 2011. Served in a tulip.

Pours a straw color with a 2 finger white head. Initially clear and then clouds up with yeast. Tons of lacing left as the head recedes, mild lacing after that. Light cascading bubbles.

Aroma is a little spiky and peppery up front with light funk in the background. Notes of sour fruit and marshmallow. A touch of uric acid.

A lot of the aroma notes are in the flavor, but the balance is different. Initially mild with a sharp spike of bitterness coming on quickly, and then swings sour. Peppery finish with more of that marshmallow from the nose. As more yeast makes it into my glass, subtle orange and lemon citrus notes emerge at the end of the flavor. Real big hit of bitterness in the finish and aftertaste too, not terribly fond of that. If those hops are going to be there I wish they would contribute more flavor along with the bitterness.

Light bodied with medium carbonation. Fairly natural and soft on the palate.

Started out looking great and smelling good, but the flavor let me down a bit, mostly from the aftertaste.

 1,086 characters

Photo of zbellino
4.32/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to my brother CheezyBlaster for getting this down to NOLA. It's nice to have it on tap. For other people in the area, it's on tap (rotational) at The Avenue.

Just a fun brew, that really stands out from the Saison crowd. True to its rural roots, it courses into a glass (I've had this on tap and in bombers) a misty and unfiltered lemon curd yellow gold. On tap it builds a nice marshmallow head that likes to stick around for a bit on the glass, but out of a bomber that head seems to dissipate much quicker and leaves little lacing.

It has the archetypal traditional sour and yeasty smells of the barnyard, as if it were trampled by friendly goats. But inside that is the american floral hops one might expect from an IPA.

The lemongrass notes really lead off on the sides of the tongue. The yeast carries through with the taste of spent grains and AP flour. Lovely. Again, an IPA floral finish balances this out, and creates a truly complex palate.

It has a nice sharp carbonation (a bit better on tap) that lightens the beer up leaving it (dare I say) one of the most drinkable Saisons I've had.

This is an accomplishment. Truly one of the most sessionable Saisons out there, but also one of the most flavorful, and certainly one of the most multifaceted and unexpected. Hearty recommendations.

 1,312 characters

Photo of Yoonisaykul
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Excited to try this. First taste of this brewery, I like saisons and americanized styles.

A- Gold shine to a hazy hay. White fizzy head. Lots of carbonation bubbles going about.

S- Smells a lot like the Saison du B.U.F.F. clone I just racked to secondary (might be the same yeast wlp66 and hops cascade and centennial for me) . Banana, lemon, alcohol.

T- Yum. First taste was pretty ordinary but as you swallow you notice a certain creaminess which,in my opinion, makes this beer. Hop bitterness is grassy, grapefruit rind and I get earhy tones in the after-taste. Clove in here too.

M- Prickly carbonation. Medium to thin bodied. Moderatly dry.

O- As advertised, ''saison américaine'' Seems to taste a lot like it should. Not an incredible beer though. Very good if your in the mood for a saison, even better if your in the mood for a hoppy saison.
I hope to try more from this brewery but don't think I'll buy this one again.

 936 characters

Photo of ahq514
4.08/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22 oz bottle into tulip glass. Bottled about 11 months ago.

Pours a bright golden color. Appears to have a high amount of carbonation. Nice solid head that stays fairly healthy throughout drinking it. Nice sticky lacing.

Aroma is funky, just the way I like it. Very earthy with some vibrant orange and lemon zest. Also spicy, peppery almost. Some floral hops in there too.

Taste is pretty spicy. A pepperiness hit right up front followed by the orange and lemon. Very floral and earthy hops come in with a bit of a bitter kick. Some of that farmhouse funk comes through here with a real refreshing tartness.

Nice medium body and a little bit higher carbonation.

Overall a great saison. Personally would prefer it to be a little less hop forward, but I'll take it none the less. This is my first pretty things beer and I'm looking forward to trying more.

 871 characters

Photo of Thorpe429
3.15/5  rDev -22%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of daysinthewake. Served in a Mikasa tulip. Reviewed from notes.

Pours a clear golden color with a nice white head that falls quickly without leaving much lacing behind. The nose carries a bit of fruit and light grain. Faint spice. The flavor is grainy and too dry. Excessive bitterness for the flavor, as there's not much there to back it up. Mildly tannic and thin. Good carbonation. Decent, but not something I'd go back to. Too much bitterness without any real saison flavor to balance it out.

 514 characters

Photo of KJGAGNE
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid Saison. Of course I am biased because of the local flair. Nice pour, great retention. Smell and taste are not bad. Haved many Saisons and this is still one of my faves. Good take, worth trying. This is definetly not a Bouelevard Saison, but a good brew.

 259 characters

Photo of aorloski
4.67/5  rDev +15.6%
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 Chincino
4.2/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured to be a hazy golden color with about a half-inch of white head.

The aroma was earthy (possibly straw) and spicy at the same time. The flavors well-balanced in this beer.

I'm a fan of beers by Pretty Things and I think this beer is a great Saison and a must try!


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Photo of jdense
3.55/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bottle hand-carried back from Mass. by better half, consumed 10.9.11.

Half finger white head, quick dissipation with not much lacing. Hazy deep gold body, hard to detect any visible carbonation. Huge coriander presence in the nose, not much in the way of fruity esters, some spicy hops in back end. Taste is very, very coriander/peppery, out of balance for style, even after lengthy warming the lemony fruit esters were subsumed by coriander presence, healthy dose of belgian yeast. Mouthfeel about right, on the light side of medium, pretty good effervescence, dry finish. Need to dial the coriander notes back. Not real drinkable, just to frickin' peppery IMHO.

 671 characters

Jack D'Or from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 84.1% out of 100 with 1,641 ratings
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