Jack D'Or | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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 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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4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Robtobfest. Reviewed from notes 10/04/11.

Pours a hazy golden/yellow with thin head and retention. Smell is musty/yeasty barnyard funk, lots of straw and hay. Always something I look for in Saisons. Mouthfeel is thin in a good way, high carbonation keeps it crisp. Taste is full blast of funk and barnyard flavors followed by a crisp, clean, dry finish. It only gets better as it warms where this beer really makes a case for one of the elite American Saisons out there. Definitely one of the finest I've ever had. It's a shame I can't get it where I live because I could drink this again and again. Great beer.

If I could give bonus points for the awesomely goofy brewer-made artwork and description, I would. It added a very cool character to the beer.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle was poured into a Stella glass.

Appearance: The beer poured a one inch head that has reduced to a thin layer. Tiny little bubbles rise from the center of the glass. The beer is also a golden yellow color that is a little foggy. Looks delicious.

Smell: grassy, grainy, some spiciness, citrus, and cloves.

Taste: Somewhat tart, citrusy, and bitter. Tinghe spices I am picking up tend to be cloves and ginger. Maybe a little pepper and biscuit too.

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied, smooth, nicely carbonated, and easy to drink.

Overall: I drink this beer very often whether in a bottle or on tap. Let's say Jack and I are really good friends. One of my favorite saisons out there. Plenty more to have, but this is an easy choice for me.

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Photo of isitsavage
3.59/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a murky yellow into the glass with very little white head that dies down quickly. Little lacing left on the glass while I drank the beer. Really love the smell of this beer and that was the standout here for me. Primarily a funky barnyard sourness along with a little bit of lemony sweetness. Taste was big on hop bitterness with a little bit of the citrus from the smell at the end. I was really looking for a little more of the smell in the taste but felt the hoppiness kind of overtook everything else (granted, I am not a big hop head). Mouthfeel was nice but nothing to write home about, decent prickly carbonation and pretty smooth. My girlfriend found it "a little like a hoppy Allagash White," I kind of agree with her. She put a lemon in her glass. I did not. Overall not all that bad but just not quite what I was looking for here. I think there is more going on with this beer that I just wasn't able to pick up because of the big hoppy bitterness.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Yellowy color, white head, thin, no lacing to speak of. Aroma was like it was wheat, grassy, mild spice aspect to it.

Taste, clean, coriander, refreshing. Very mild sour aspect to the beer, probably just the lemon which seems to be the dominant fruit flavor. A little too much phenolic flava flav going on for my tastes. A little more bitterness than I was looking for, but it evens out mouthfeel wise and you get used to it.

A good saison, nothing groundbreaking, but solid. On tap at Bruery Provisions.

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Photo of mactrail
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Fragrant, heady light golden beer. Quite a slash of hops. Very appealing at first sip but in the end the bitterness is more than the delicate flavors can sustain. Pleasant citrus taste and acidity with an earthy nose. Fresh cut apple and a touch of something like artichoke. Toasted brioche and white grapes. Nice head in the tulip glass but the carbonation fades before two people can share the 22-ouncer. I will still buy whatever these people concoct, though so far this is my least favorite.

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Photo of BedetheVenerable
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: Thanks to Jlindros for this one! Bottled May 2011. Trippy-labeled brown pop top.

Appearance: Pours a hazy straw gold, with a large white cap which fades slowly to a thick ring and thick, patchy film.

Smell: As I'm pouring this into the glass, I get big notes of fresh, citrusy American hops. As the foam settles down a bit and this starts to warm, I get Belgian yeast notes, a big dollop of lemon curd, and some notes reminiscent of Noble hops.

Taste: Nice crisp pils backbone (the website mentions that the grist contains pilsner, Vienna, wheat, oats, rye, and sugar) up front, with yeasty/spicy Belgian notes and a nice kick of lemony goodness. Bitterness is quite firm, and fairly clean-finishing, with more herbal and 'green'/resiny flavors than I was expecting. Their site says that there are 4 varieties used, two of which are Nugget and Palisade. Ends dry, but not in a parched sort of way.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied, nice levels of carbonation.

Overall: Thanks much to Jlindros for this bottle. I'd had this once before in a trade, though there was no date on that bottle, and I was greatly disappointed by it. This, on the other hand, is quite nice. I'm typically not a huge fan of American-style saisons (tons of American hops or high levels of bitterness, for example), preferring the more earthy, funky, and fruity versions. This, however, is pretty tasty. The lemon curd flavors, nice hint of malt, and somewhat herbal, leafy hops meld well together. I have no idea what this costs (as it's not available here), but if it went for around 7-8 dollars I could see myself picking up a few bombers of this for warm weather sipping.

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Photo of eclipse54
3.62/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A 22 ounce bottle I received for winning rowingbrewer's "Guess My Stats" LIF; thanks! Poured into a DFH signature glass.

Pours a vibrant, hazy, pale straw color with a thin layer of bubbly, pure-white head. The head dissipates very quickly, and leaves tiny batches of wet lacing behind. It smells of funky yeast, straw, hay, freshly-cut grass, pepper, and light citrus notes. It tastes very similar, beginning with the straw, grass, and citrus (lemon, orange) notes, moving into a funky, yeast flavor, and finishing with the peppery hops. There seems, however, to be a slightly metallic, medicinal flavor that predominates the finish and leaves an odd taste in the mouth. Mouthfeel is very crisp and finishes cleanly. Overall, a good saison save for the odd flavor towards the end.

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Photo of larryi86
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank you DrewShal9 for this!
22 oz bomber dated July 2011 Batch 28 poured into a snifter

A- Clear yellow with a one finger white head.

S- Light fruits like apple and pear, yeast, earthy spices, very nice smelling Saison.

T- Pepper really is the first big flavor I noticed and there is a lot of it. Along with the pepper I am getting some fruit, yeast, and more earthy spices. Really nice complexity.

M- Smooth, crisp, medium body.

O- This is a very enjoyable Saison and I would definitely seek it out again. The pepper is a little bit over powering, I feel that this could be even better if there was not so much pepper. I can't wait to have more.

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Photo of ratzofftoya
4.54/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A really fantastic beer--my first from this brewer, but certainly not my last. Out of the bottle, it's got a really great yellowish/orangish tint and substantial head. Very attractive and pleasant, with just the right opacity to let you know it's a summertime saison. Not to say that it's a point-for-point exemplar of the style--far from it. No, it seems that Pretty Things prefer to take a rubric and color just enough within the lines to keep it recognizable.

The nose is just splendid. Basil, thyme, citrus, and an Indian summer grassiness that morphs as you drink. Certainly unique, and in my opinion, exceptionally robust. Once you take a drink, you'll notice a bit less bubbles than you expected, but give it a swish and I guaran-dang-tee you'll enjoy how this one excites palate. Give it a chew, why don't you? The taste is fantastic, just as your nose hinted. You've got some earthiness, but mostly a bright citrus taste that's just ready to burst. Can't wait to have more of their brews.

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Photo of CheezyBlaster
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is easily my favorite beer from who are easily my favorite brewers right now. I really want you to try it!

Do you like farmhouse/saisons? This may or may not be for you, as Pretty Things doesn't typically stay within style guidelines. There is an awesome, if slight, champagne edge to this ale.

Hazy golden pour, shorty of a head, looks wonderfully unfiltered.

Thai basil, citrus, slightly grassy in the nose. So sniffy and good!

Lemons, light spicing and light hopping pop across and refresh! Zing!

They label the bombers with bottled stickers. Get one fresh and drink it up before the weather gets too cold!

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

Hazy yellow color like cloudy lemon juice. 1cm bubbly white head with medium retention and very low lacing.

Mild Belgian yeasty funk, grassiness and fruit like peaches, mango and banana on the nose.

Nice wide range of flavor. Notes include slightly peppery, light fruit especially banana, fresh earthiness including a semi bitter grassy note. Fairly tart, bitter aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is light bodied, fresh and crisp. Mild bitter pucker with solid carbonation.

Overall it's a nice fun beer. Alot going on. Light and fresh. Wide range of notes and flavors. Good summer drinkability.

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Photo of CwrwAmByth
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a chimay goblet.

Pours a golden orange colour - slight haziness.

Smells fresh and grassy - hint of spices.

Tastes very saison like, nice balanced fresh hops taste. Zesty and dry.

Overall a very good example of the style, if not a little dear.

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Photo of fo5s
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle served in a saison dupont glass. Bottled July 2011.

A- pours light gold with a medium, healthy head. Limited lacing.

S- Pungent for a saison. Hops are noticeable along with some lemony citrus.

T- full flavored, lemon and a hint of orange. Hops up front with a hop (not pepper) spiciness on the finish.

M- creamy, a bit thick for the style.

O- definitely not your typical saison, but a great American take on it. One of my favorite saisons, and relatively available on the east coast.

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Photo of HuskyinPDX
3.27/5  rDev -18.5%
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 phichifiji00
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from July 2011 bottle into tulip glass:

Appearance: hazy, yellow, with creamy white head (minimal).

Smell: Spicy, peppery, slightly funky.

Taste: Peppery, Ginger light funky, grassy, earthy notes.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, bubbly, slightly creamy.

Overall: A decent saison, but not my favorite by any means.

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Photo of tobelerone
3.28/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Fluffy 1-finger head fades slowly; minimal lacing; cloudy light gold colored beer.

Very yeasty, slightly musty aroma. Bitterness very forward in the tasting, but not really a hop bitterness...yeastiness follows behind..slightly tangy. Vaguely grapefruity/pithy taste.

Fairly dry with medium low carbonation. Quenching.

Overall not as interesting or complex as I'd have hoped. The bitterness really outshines the other subtler flavor aspects of this beer. Didn't really excite me too much. Kind of one-note.

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Photo of KDawg
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours a clear yellow-goldish color with a good foamy head.

Very fresh and aromatic with aromas of citrus, spice tones with some malts and grain tones as well. Medium bodied with a real good feel. This is a really good domestic saison that plays to a more citrusy side

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Photo of abrethanson
4.16/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - golden yellow / orange and thick like the yoke of an egg with a little white hat poured into my tulip glass. Beautiful body.

Smell - yeast, citrus

Taste - like fresh cut hay from the farm. Very dry and earthy with some citrus, bready, and spiciness. Finish was of hoppy bitterness with a funky aftertaste and a hint of alcohol. Farmhouse character opened up a little more throughout the glass

Overall - Definitely fits the farmhouse style. Very drinkable and perfect on a cool summer night.

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Photo of ColForbinBC
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle poured into a tulip; bottled April '11, batch 24

Pours a bright orange with a fluffy white cap. Slow on the retreat with some scattered lacing. A decent amount of visible carbonation.

The aroma is of lemons and tangerines, fresh cut grass, white pepper, and fruity yeast. A bright and fresh aroma that really takes control of the olfactories.

An earthy funkiness comes out a little more on the palate. Lemons and tangerines come in waves while white pepper and a lightly toasted malt background hold down the back end. The finish is spicy, fruity and dry.

Astringent, fresh and dry on the palate. Tangerine fruitiness and grassy hops in the finish. Body is medium at best. As this warms, the body softens a little bit.

This is a classic (if that's even possible) example of an American saison. Hoppy, dry and downright delicious.

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Photo of mocktm
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bomber with a stickered on bottling date of Feb 2011, Batch 22. Pretty sweet artwork on the bottle, done by the brewers themselves apparently, groovy.

Unfiltered golden hue, frothy white head that lingers around amiably. Appealing for sure.

Nose is rather intricate, I've read the term "horse blanket" thrown around in Saison reviews before, but never really understood what that meant, until now. This is musty as hell, with some light fruit and peppery spiciness. Although, no doubt about it, the yeast is the most prominent aroma here.

Yeast prowess is met with some mild hop bitterness and significant graininess. Citric zest and bubblegum undertones with a hint of spice. A little bland to be honest, this is missing that almost sour citrus kick that I really like in my Saisons.

Champagne dry finish, medium bodied with more than ample carbonation. Right on for the style.

A pleasant Saison, but it didn't blow my hair back. I don't think I'll ever be inclined to get it again with more preferable options in the same price range, but def worth a try if you haven't yet.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.45/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to XicanoBeerRun for sharing this one.

Poured from a bottle into a tulip. Pours a cloudy golden color with little to no foam. It looks vibrant, smells every bit as dynamic. A wonderful, pronounced yeasty aroma. There’s a bit of a spicy bite in the taste. A hoppy saison, but dramatically different from the only other hoppy saison I’ve tried. There’s a dry finish to this beer, distinct and bold. Going out on a limb here but I think I catch some coriander as well? Thick mouthfeel. Enjoyed it as it warmed and released more of that wonderful aroma. Bit of an acidic finish towards the end, but not off-putting. I’d definitely pick this one up again.

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Photo of dogfishandi
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle at fridge temp poured into an ommegang chalice. bottled july 2011.

pours out a nice bright golden color, hazy, not that big of a head, eventually becoming patchy. no real lace.

cracker like grains, slightly sweet, bubblegum yeast, lemon citrus.

very smooth, and balanced. just a very slightly sweet grain that melds with a very smooth yeast flavor, no pungent clove, just some sweet bubblegum. slightly tart lemon citrus. finishes with a very nice americaine hop presence, citrus and some pine with decent amount of lingering bitterness.

crisp, bitter, very smooth, lighter bodied. almost like a menthol effect on the palate, a little after the sip. a solid overall mouthfeel.

overall, off the pour and first smell, i wasnt expecting much, but wow, i was a little surprised. now i see why its called a "saison americaine"- a solid saison with a nice hop presense, maybe american hops, not sure. very smooth, and dangerously drinkable. definatly an affordable price tag as well, something worth revisiting.

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Photo of laituegonflable
3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dayglo saffron colour, opaque with lots of haze. Head is white, just a thin film of bubbles really with slight trail of sticky lace. Looks alright.

Smells quite sweet with plenty of grain notes - pearl barley with quinoa and a good dose of white pepper on the back. Sweetness overlying with vanilla and peppermint hints. Intriguing and enjoyable, if ultimately a bit simple.

Taste is a bit odd from the get-go. Pulls you in with lots of flavour on the assault, grainy though and mild with lightly puffed rice giving way to a mostly empty front palate with an underlying citric note. Develops some vinous characters late with a touch of champagne and some mushroomy, savoury hints as well. Not bad, but I just feel there's something lacking. Bit heavier on the 'Americaine' than on the Saison flavours, but let's just say it's lacking 'heart'.

Fairly smooth, good body with a bit of a pull midway but otherwise light and pleasant.

A really drinkable beer where what is lacking in flavour adds up to genuine quaffability. Plus, it's intriguing enough for it not to be a flop.

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

Nice take on a Saison with a stimulating bitterness.

Presentation: 22 oz brown capped bottle. Another whimsical, poppy and note very clear label with a moustached grain taking a bath set in the forest? They draw their own labels and it shows… Back label notes inspiration for the brew, as well as overall feel-good intent of the brewery. Seal tape on the cap notes bottling July 2011. It shows 6.4% Alc. by Vol. Served in a tulip glass.

A - Tremendously hazy golden pour, it is almost creamy, milky… Fair frothy head, moderate retention and surface memory with small lacing. The milky look is actually fairly attractive, if only the foam were a bit stronger...

S - Citric freshness, touch of yeast, sweet hint...

T - The taste follows with the citric notes upfront woven in a nice bitterness, it is not too complex but rather likable, hints of soft fruits and bready malt with faint spiciness.

M - Medium body with medium and adequate carbonation. Nice long bitter finish.

O - Nice flow, lacks a notch in complexity to push it a level up but it is rather recommendable nevertheless. A Pretty Thing indeed.

Notes: Nothing mind-blowing here, and I'm not sure the extreme hype is deserved, but so far all I've tried from Pretty Things feels like solid stimulating quality so what is not to like?

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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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