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 flexabull
4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle courtesy of TheManiacalOne, thanks again!

Pours a bright gold color with a nice fluffy white head.

Aromas are grassy, spicy, with some hard candies, and some various citrus fruits.

Taste is dry and spicy up front. Grassy, bready, with light creamy malts. Finish is very crisp, quite dry, and with some tart lemony hop notes.

Mouthfeel is good, full, and nicely carbonated.

Drinkability is quite good. This is a pretty solid and well put together Saison, drinking the whole bomber should be a pleasure.

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Photo of biegaman
4.47/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

For a beer so attractive and resplendent I can't imagine a more suitable moniker than 'Pretty Things Jack D'or'. 'Golden Jack' - as it sounds in its native tongue - is golden both physically and metaphorically; it has a gorgeous tone, prosperous highlights and glorious clarity. Unfortunately you're not allowed to use the word 'saison' without guaranteeing a big, fluffy mound of head (and lacing!) Still, things look promising.

And indeed they are! The moment I bring the beer near it's as if a mammoth bouquet of flowers and towering fruit basket have been rush delivered to an address registered right under my nose. And I find myself engrossed by suitors: bright hops, effervescent spices, aromatic yeast and the sweet, toasty graininess of barley and wheat.

The beer was bottled June 2010 and has enough flavour to probably last it until June 2013! It has malts of all shapes and sizes - crisp and toasty Vienna, biscuity pils, creamy wheat and silky oats - as well as a combination of vibrant, tangy hops and phenolic, zestful yeast. The beer's impersonation of an orange peel is truly unbelievable; that flavour blends with the prominent fruitiness and acidity of the hops like complementing shoes and belt.

'Saison Americain' is about equal parts Saison and ("Americain") IPA, an ingenious hybrid-style that is now widely referred to as the 'Belgian IPA'. The brewers, however, insist they "don't brew styles per se". Instead, they "re-imagine" beers to ensure they're "first and foremost creative beasts, not 'types' of beer". Amen to that. As Oscar Wilde said: "Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative".

And indeed nothing about this beer is unimaginative. On the contrary, it even stimulates the imagination of the drinker: thoughts of a garden abloom and lavished with extravagant colours, a sumptuous spread outfitted with runny, stinky cheeses, bright weather made temperate by a free breeze that ruffles the long, curling, dark locks of the classical beauty who smiles up at you, her ivory complexion glistening in the sun's reach...

This beer is a picnic in a bottle. It emanates nothing but sun and fun, radiates relaxation and manifests a treasure trunk of sensual pleasantries - it's like a straw was inserted directly into the pleasure center of my brain. Pretty Things has captured all the best features of American and Belgian brewing and forced them to make babies. The children look a little like their mother, a little like their father - and are undeniably pretty.

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Photo of eatabagofbooger
4.29/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Generously included as an extra by brothernova.

Poured from a bottle to a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours cloudy yellow with an ample fluffy white head. Leaves a moderate lacing.

S: Beautiful-grassy funky notes with pineapple and a bit of spice.

T: Quite good, but a bit of a letdown after that wonderful first whiff on the nose. Bready malts and bitter, grassy hops dominate. A hint of funk at first and tiny bit of fruitiness in the finish, but more like grapefruit rind than pineapple. Pleasant from the first sip, and it keeps getting better.

M: Medium thin. Perhaps a bit thicker than I would have expected from a saison, but that's not saying much. Could have used just a touch more carbonation, but just a touch.

D: This would have been a great beer for the dog days of Summer, but it's still a great one for what'll probably be the last warmish day of the year. While nothing about this beer stands out as phenomenal, every aspect of this beer is solid and works together to create a very pleasant brew. If this were available locally, I'd definitely seek it out again.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.88/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into my Duvel tulip... I type that sentence way too often... or maybe not often enough... Anyhow I thought I'd try this praised brew before heading to Boston again so I know whether or not to get more!

A - Clear golden body with a white head resting on top. This beer is clear as can be... Honestly reminds me of a real high quality lager...

S - Light lemony and herbal hop smell. Not especially pungent. Doesn't smell as funky as I would expect for the style either.

T - Follows the body with a bit of lemon, herbal hop, a bit of a noble hop like bite. a few bubble gum notes. Real clean finish. Reminds me a lot of a pils with something a little funky to it.

M - light to medium bodied, high carbonation,

D - Really drinkable. This would have been perfect a few months ago when it was miserably humid and hitting 100 degrees routinely. I don't know what I was really expecting in this beer but this is certainly not it. That being said that isn't really a bad thing. This is a solid beer and would work great as a thirst quencher or paired with a nice meal. A solid beer for sure. I wouldn't mind having more of this but with limited suitcase space it isn't a must have.

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Photo of NightINgale
4.55/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy amber/orange body, with a RICH white head. This was a very foamy beer, so the head took a while to settle down. Great head retention and lacing!

S - It's virtually impossible to imagine a more complex saison smell. Flowers, lemon, apples and white grapes, caramel, grass, yeast, and toasted bread are just some of the aromas I got.

T - Wow, this is beyond being simply complex; there is so much going on, it's even hard to list all the tasting notes one can get. Start out with a good moderate citrus hop bite (with some juicy grapefruit notes), then an apparent sweetness comes through, together with fruity (apples, white grapes, gooseberries, pear) and flowery notes. Some good toffee notes. Some funky yeastiness. Some vanilla-like notes. The finish is a bit dry and slightly bitter. Once the beer warms up, I got a very pronounced peach flavour from it. Absolutely amazing!

M - Medium-bodied. Some lively carbonation. Very soft on the palate overall, this beer coats the mouth very nicely. No real alcohol taste to speak of at first, but as the beer warms up it can be felt just a little bit.

D - Drinks like a charm. Being quite juicy and fruity, this beer begs for you to drink it swig by swig. But do not succumb to its charms, take your time!

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Photo of mjrod2142
3.4/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Batch 17 bottled Aug 2010

22oz. bottle poured into a Perfect Pint glass

The beer poured a slightly cloudy, golden straw color with lots of tiny bubbles forming a white head that dissipated quickly and left no trails.

Orange-y and corriander aroma that was not overpowering.

Classic Belgian style taste without too much spice. There was some hoppy bitterness that I don't recall with others of this style. A bit of a lighter mouthfeel that went down easily and is very drinkable.

I've always said I don't like Belgian style beers, but I enjoy trying different varieties to see what all the hype is about. If you're a big fan of this style, I'd recommend Victory's Golden Monkey over a Jack D'or.

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Photo of The1WineGuy
3.7/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Type: Bomber, batch 14, May 2010

A: Thin, see-through golden orange colour.

S: Honestly, pretty muted and closed. No essence of hops nor malt. More tangy citrus notes than anything.

T: Sour with light classic Saison notes. Malty after.

M: Very thin and runny at first. Does not coat your tongue nor mouth until final finish.

Drink: Low Abv=Pretty easy to drink. A little too gassy/burpy

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.22/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 3. Bottled April 2009. Lightly yeasty lemon rind with effervescent carbonation that is zipping up to a massive crown of parchment colored foam. The head is creamy firm and is starting to lay down small sheets and dollops of suds.

The aroma is wonderful. It's fresh, clean, bright, citrusy, lightly spicy and very lightly earthy. That's pretty much the classic profile for a beer of this style. Here's hoping it delivers on the palate as well.

Jack D'Or is a solid 'Saison Americain' in all respects. Drinking it is easy-peasy, it's tasty solo, and should go great with manner of foods. Mouthfeel is the only area in which 18 months of age *may* have taken a *slight* toll.

The malts taste predominantly pale with a meager earthy toastedness from Vienna. The hops (Palisade, Nugget, two unidentified others) aren't as distinctive as grassy Saaz or citrusy Centennial, but they do a fine job adding elements of both.

Three different yeast strains contribute a gentle clove and tamed white pepper spiciness that finds exactly the right level of intensity. Finally, there's a tart, drying, almost crisp quality that increases drinkability/quenchability even more.

The body/mouthfeel is perfectly fine in terms of size. It seemed, at first, as if the beer was underbubbled. The carbonation hasn't faded, though, and remains lightly and pleasantly tingly on the tongue. A softer creaminess with warming helps as well.

Jack D'Or (Golden Jack) is a delicious saison that can hold its head high in the company of the Belgian farmhouse originals. Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project continues to charm and impress. This, their flagship brew, is an easy recommendation.

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Photo of mmercede
3.71/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle from whole foods poured into a triple karmeliet tulip

Appearance: golden copper, clear, with a light head. not much lacing

smell: pale malt, hops, pepper, coriander, belgian yeast, all very subdued.

taste: hops and spice dominate the palate. a very hoppy beer for a saison. A bit to bitter for the style. And I like hop bombs. characteristics of a pilsner. Actually very similar to prima pils. a great flavor, but rather strange for the style. Definitely not trying to mimic the belgian classics.

Mouthfeel: the mouthfeel was very nice. light, effervescent, and champagne like. the carbonation is strong and almost prickly.

Drinkability: Not particularly expensive and very drinkable. However, If I'm looking for a saison, this wouldn't always scratch my itch.

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Photo of Gambrinus1184
4.09/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22-ounce bottle, batch #16, June 2010.

A: Slightly hazy, golden yellow color with a fine, creamy head of sterling white foam which fizzled to a thin coating with a faint ring of lace. Clarity is muddled by some chilled haze and residual yeast.

S: Quite zesty, clean and citrusy. Hints of lemon, grapefruit, and grassy, herbal hops rush to the nose. A faint, buttery tartness rises from the brew as well.

T: Spot on zesty and tart saison malt flavors with a nice balance of herbal hops and spicy, fruity ale esters. Some bitter, fruity lemon and pineapple flavors linger around mid-palate before washing down bittersweet and peppery. Slightly coating finish is full of acidic sweetness and spices.

M: Relatively clean mouthfeel with a bit of yeasty, wheat chewiness. Still quite crisp and tart, though.

D: A very tasty, flavorful saison with a little extra lift at 6.4% ABV. It's crafted quite nicely and balanced as well as can be, although I feel it is distinctly American from the more aggressive than normal hop acidity in addition to the fruity, bitter ale flavors. A quality representation of an underrated style.

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Photo of zeff80
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, golden orange color with a two-finger, bubbly, egg-shell white head of foam. It had nice retention and left thin rings of lace.

S - It smelled yeasty and funky with a hint of caramel and herbs.

T - It had a nice spicy character with a nice grain flavor. There were sweet caramel flavors with a touch of citrus fruits.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a very dry finish.

D - This is a very, very tasty saison. I'd say it's the best brew I've had from Pretty Things.

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Photo of afksports
4.12/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

June 2010 bottle, Batch 16.

Had at Candle 79 while eating some vegetarian fare.
Reena gives this one the no-beerface stamp of approval, mentioning its floral aroma and the apple start and sour, but oh so smooth finish.

Appearance is its weak point, bearing a hazy amber hue typical of a saison. The smell stands out as subtle but complex, and the taste is just the same. Apple does stand out among other fruits, and pairs with a tartness to give a granny smith vibe. But this isn't cider- nowhere near it.

In the middle bright hop notes keep the palate dancing, and the end fills the mouth, tongue, throat, etc. yet still finishes clean. The flavor suffered when I let the bomber warm up so I'll wait to buy one until I have a drinking partner.

But that shouldn't be hard.

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Photo of nrbw23
3.48/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a hazy light yellowish orange color with a white head. Head has ok retention and leaves some spotty lacing.

S- Smells of citrus, yeasty, spicey, peppery and some funk.

T- Taste is wheat, yeast, citrus before a pretty decent bitterness and just a bit of funk.

M- Fairly light in body and carbonation seemed right on.

D- Pretty easy to drink. Different and enjoyable.

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Photo of Phelps
3.93/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Batch 18, bottled August 2010. Received as part of a very generous BIF box from callmemickey.

Appearance: pours a pale, slightly cloudy dandelion yellow with a frothy one-finger head of off-white that lingers for a good long while before receding to an oily top layer with a super-thick ring that leaves jagged walls of lace.

Smell: coriander, clove, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, pear, pilsner malt. Subtly sweet and nice.

Taste: starts with sweet white grapes, coriander, cinnamon, orange pith, lemon zest, pine, Earl Gray tea. The finish hits with obliterating dryness at first, but the beer becomes noticeable sweeter as it warms, offering a fantastic balance between the dryness and fruity Belgian esters.

Feel: medium, prickly carbonation amidst a soft, smooth, medium body. A bitterness akin to citrus pith grips the tongue after the swallow.

Drink: Jack D'or is a lovely saison. It starts out a little too dry for my tastes, but eventually reaches equilibrium and turns into one of the most drinkable saisons I've had. I find myself taking sip after sip. My first beer from pretty things, and hopefully not my last.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Buckeyeboy picked up this bottle on his recent NE whirlwind trip... Thanks a bunch Jeremy.

Pours a glowing cloudy golden.. big eggshell head.. fantastic retention but little lacing.

Smells very nice.. lemony with white pepper... a bit floral.. only enough pale maltiness to pump up the above aromas.

Flavor begins more malty than expected but quickly transforms into the nice Saison qualities... peppery .. clove ... grassy.. lite lemon zest.. something that I can only explain as pear juice without the sweetness and along the same lines a bit of minor apricot... A TON of stuff going on in this bottle.. pretty damn good.. but the esters seem high and late... a tad too phenolic up front.

Body and carbonation seem about right.. but I really... really.. reallly wanna see this one dialed in and available in Boise. Great beer and very drinkable. Thanks Jeremy.


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Photo of WeisGuy
3.82/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bomber shared by sarro -- thanks, Kyle!

a - pours a hazy bright golden color, two-finger fluffy white head with good retention and lacing, nice-looking beer

s - definitely the best part of this brew, black pepper, lemon and tropical fruit, light banana and spice and yeast really jump out of the glass

t - a bit of a letdown after the impressive aroma, black pepper, lemon and belgian yeast are the dominant flavors, light clove/spice and fruity esters provide a little depth, alcohol is pretty well hidden, not bad, just a little weak and restrained on the palate

m - medium-bodied, moderate to slightly high carbonation, really active on the palate, pretty dry finish, very light alcohol warming

d - pretty drinkable as the alcohol is well hidden at 6.5%, easy on the palate but not incredibly complex or interesting

Decent beer overall and well-worth a try. Points for the great label artwork. Too bad the flavors don't live up to the aroma.

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Photo of Blanco
4.02/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

dark golden cloudy color with a pure white head. smells like belgian spices and slightly floral with a hint of funk. taste is of pleasant spices as well and somewhat grassy. light bodied. This is a tasty brew. nothing tremendously special, but a solid nice tasting brew that would almost be a session brew if it had a slightly lower ABV.

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Photo of BrewCrew2010
4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

May 2010, Batch 14- 22oz Bomber

A: A hazy golden straw yellow hue that sits underneath a bubbly 3-finger offwhite head. After a few sips, the head dissipates a little, but lasts throughout the drink leaving a thick clingy lace. A lot of lively carbonation is visbile as well.

S: A strong aroma of lemon, pepper, clove, fruity esters, yeast, & grass.

T: A light and crisp flavor ot lemon, pepper, toasted malts, spices, sweet banana, & bready yeast. A complex balance makes this very pleasurable and easy to drink.

M: A light body with a full flavor balanced with lively carbonation.

D: Love this beer. I have yet had a saison that "wow" me, but this did it. Wish I could get more of these. Very easy to drink. A shout out thanks to 6DaysBottomOcean for sending this as an extra!

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Photo of hopheadjuice
4.15/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz bomber, Batch 17 bottled Aug 2010.

Jack D'or is a unfiltered golden straw with a bone white 2 finger head leaving spotty lacing.

Prominent Aromas of Lemon pepper and clove. Slight hoppy aroma with some fruity esters.

Taste starts yeasty with a musty earthy feel to it yielding to some spicy lemon pepper zest and grapefruit rind. This beer is slightly bitter leaving a dry lasting aftertaste.

Medium bodied slightly slick with a good amount of carbonation.

Great drinkability and fairly unique, I enjoyed this a lot and my next brew will be a Hedgerow Bitter!

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled June 2010

A: Pours a beautiful golden color with a two finger head that had some serious staying power. Good amount of bubbles releasing to the top.

S: Very nice nose, lemon, yeast, some light malts, Very earthy as well, get a little grass.

T: A nice citrus flavor, lots of lemon. Some doughyness as well and some flowers.

M/D: A smooth drinking beer, very well carbonated. Reallly glad I picked this up and will probably get another.

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Photo of Florida9
4.3/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 17; Aug 2010

A: Yellow gold in color. Pours with a fizzy white head that yields just a thin layer of foam that quickly dissipates to a patchy surface coating. Visibly active carbonation and very light lacing.

S: Toast and earthy hops. Lemon with a bit of orange. And that characteristic Belgian yeastiness.

T: Toast and grains. Black pepper, cloves. Slightly sweet. Grassy hops, mild bitterness, and a subdued yeastiness. Very dry on the finish.

M: Lighter bodied with active carbonation.

D: Very good and it livens up even more as it warms. A very complex and interesting Saison.

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

A- bright gold with a big sticky white head. Lots of lace. The head fades out though.

S- great smell. Great fruity hops. Lots of mango and pineapple. Tons of spicy and earthy yeast. Very lively and complex.

T- almost too hoppy for a saison, but its so good I'll let it slide. Mango and pineapple, a bitter pine finish. Lots more spice.

D- Drinks so nicely.

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Photo of SirSketch
3.83/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Thin, 1/4 inch bright white head covers a golden yellow beer that appears hazy in light.

S - Fresh herbs, especially cilantro, plenty of lemony citrus notes, some yeast aroma and a slight smell of grapefruit juice.

T - Spicy clove and pepper character is prominent in the flavor. Tons of wheat flavors, as well. Touch of banana.

M/D - The finish is a little too sweet for the style, but the aftertaste if pleasant. It is missing the complexity found in Belgian saisons. I'd probably have it again.

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Photo of BigMike
4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bottled August 2010 Batch 18

A: Clear pale yellow with a thin soapy white head.

S: Lots of spicy peppery yeast on the nose. Some lemon and sweet honey also.

T: The taste follows the nose. Peppered lemon and clove pretty much sums it up.

M: Light bodied but a full mouthfeel. Very crisp and clean. Very easy to drink.

Overall: A very verygood Saison. So easy to drink. Pretty Things is a very nice brewery that I'm looking forward to trying more of their beers.

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

Is this the same beer as the fluffy white rabbit, good god it sure tastes the same... The only difference is that this one was a bit more carbonaed, had better head, and is actually a saison... oh, and it had a bit dryer finish...

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