Jack D'Or | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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Jack D'OrJack D'Or
1,640 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.

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 1,640 |  Reviews: 641
Photo of DousedInStout
3.78/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours bright gold, with a fluffy white head that lasts. It has a pleasant, spicy citrus nose with some belgiany esters. The taste is very lemony, some malt sweetness, and nicely balanced by spicy hops. It is light to medium bodied in mouthfeel. The beer finishes smooth and clean, and is very drinkable.

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

Purchased a bottle at Bauer on Newbury St. for $5.99. Bottle has a sticker on the back saying "Bottled in Nov 2008 - First Batch". Poured into a tulip glass. Huge head formed and it just lingered there like a snow cap. Hazy golden orange color. Lots of lacing present. Smell was a bit citrus-like, with some spice and hops also. Taste was excellent. Had a Belgian sugary sweetness to it, but it also had a bit of lemon flavor that lent a nice counterbalance to it. Extremely easy to drink. Since I had this on a cold January night, I'll have to pick up another bottle for a warm evening this summer. A great introduction for this new brewing company i.e. "project".

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

Pours a beautiful, bold and altogether glowing deep golden orange color. Head is about an inch of thick fluffy snow white with some heavy lacing.

Smells sweet with some spicy, yeasty notes. There is a bit of earthy, dirty hoppiness along with some brown sugar and caramel aromas. Very aromatic.

Flavors abound on the first sip. Sweet bready tastes combine with some earthiness. Nothing overpowering and nothing too spicy, just a great easy drinking Saison style. I am loving this stuff.

As far as first releases go, I'd say Dann Paquette has done an incredible job with this beer. I plan on grabbing some more bottles before they are all gone.

Great job Pretty Things!

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Photo of Reagan1984
4.5/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Really nice looking beer.... 2 fingers of foamy head rise above the beer. The beer has perfect clarity and is a bright gold color.... Sparse carbonation rises to the top of the bottle. The head shows decent retention and begins to stick all over the inside of the glass.

Aroma was really wonderful. Lemon zest. Perfume like, slightly earthy..

Wow, this just keeps getting better.... What a great fresh flavor with some nice depth.. Fruity sweetness with some citrus and again a bit of lemon.. In the middle you get a biscuity malt flavor. Very delicate and nice.. Then the hop bitterness comes in and leaves you wanting more... Fresh hop flavors.... As you continue to enjoy the bottle you get a sense of deeper fruits up front.... More complex than it first appears.

Mouth feel is bright, light and fresh. Body is light and delicate.

Insanely drinkable.. I am going to have to get a couple more of these bottles..

Quite a nice debut by Pretty Things.... I look forward to more...

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

I see I'm not the only one to get to Julio's for batch 1.

A: Hazy and golden with some orange highlights. nice white head that lingers, then leaves attractive lacing. high visible carbonation

S: lemon, grains, berry fruits. Has a slight yeasty funk as it warms. pepper

T: very, very light medicinal quality, as it warms. banana, peppery and some hop bitterness.

M: moderate body. crisp with a little tongue coating slickness.

D: very good.

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Photo of kmo1030
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours an attractive deep gold with with good sized white head that does a lot of lacing on it's way down the glass.
the aroma has got an herbal tea like hoppiness, with some grainy malts and hints of citrus. maybe a bit of corriander, but it's subtle. touches of herbal barnyard also, but also subtle. with warmth an almost waxy smell shows up, like melted unscented candle wax.
the taste begins grainy with corriander mingled with light banana. this followed up with citrus rind, and somewhat of a less defined bitterness, it's got a lot of herbal things going on, sort of like the yarrow beer that allagash came out with a year ago, though not quite, just a little bit of similarity. there is some light fruit flavors that weave in and out, mainly peach, and touches of a soft vanilla citrus, and also some starfruit.
jack d'or is medium bodied with active, but delicate carbonation. quite dry though fairly sweet in the middle of the tongue.
the drinkability is good, it's got a lot of complexity, but maintains a subtle profile. very, very nice, i hope to see more of this

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Photo of albern
3.97/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This is the only beer I've seen with a label indicating that the bottle purchased was from the first batch. I wish more breweries would do the same. The beer pours a cloudy slightly orange color with a efforvescent white head that retains and laces well. The nose on the beer very Belgianesque with fruity and floral notes all over the place. There is a champagne like yeasty aroma with plenty of citrus and coriander like spices.

The taste is a bit more tart, more acerbic, and slightly less sweet than I would have anticipated from the nose. That is not to say that the beer is not sweet, because it is. This is a very characteristic Saison beer, with lots of carbonation, champagne like yeasty fizz, lots of apple and rind in the taste. The beer has some orange notes, some spices in the coriander family, and a peppery spice and bite in the finish. This is a refreshing, fizzy beer with a bit of an ABV burn in the mouth to let you know that this isn't a light summer ale.

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Photo of BasementDweller
4.75/5  rDev +17.6%
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 danadeny
4.07/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice orange hazy body and bubbly white head. Smells of fresh hop flowers that you just crushed between your fingers to smell, fresh orange peel, and some citrus zest. Taste: hmmmm a bit bitter from the hops, the bitterness dominates the pallet at first, followed by the smooth sweet malt. Some hints of fruit in the middle followed by a spicy finish. This beer has a lot of flavors battling it out, maybe some age will mellow them out and they will play nicely. Although the more I drink the less I notice the battle of flavors. All in all, a hint more balance would be nice (again, maybe aging). Mouth feel has lots of good carbonation that evaporates the beer on your tongue, but the beer has a dense unfiltered characteristic. That may sound contradictory, but true. As for drinkability the first bottle is great, but it's a big beer, heavy beer, so full of flavor that I would not say it's a session beer. Overall a great beer, as the bottle says this beer is an American saison due to it's much more flavorful characteristics from the Belgian style. If the brewer does a higher alcohol version we might have an imperial saison on our hands. Now start bottling shaherizad!!! (and send it to Baltimore).

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

22oz bottle purchased as a single from Julio's, Westboro, MA. Sticker notes "First Batch! - Bottled in Nov 08".

Poured into a imperial pint glass, formed a 3/4" off-white head over the almost clear golden amber brew. Pillowy head lasts well, streaming tiny bubbles keeping it going, with ample lasting lace. Aroma is doughy with light spice notes. Taste is moderately sweet, citrus in the middle and wisps of spices here and there. Mouthfeel is amazingly smooth, and drinkability is excellent as well. Nice place to start for this project of Dann's.

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Photo of EPICAC
4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a cloudy, amber golden, and is topped by a thick, sudsy, white head. The head fades to a film with soapy bubbles that cling to the sides of the glass. Really, a very appealing looking beer. Upon pouring, fruity notes of bananas are immediately evident. When in the glass the banana and other fruit aromas are present in the background, overpowered by notes of pepper, citrus, and herbal, leafy hops.

Lightly sweet malts upfront mingle with a sweet, banana fruitiness, and some mild yeast flavors. Met by a nice peppery spice, and a significant citric and grassy hop bitterness in the finish. Light-bodied, with prickly carbonation and an appealing dryness give this beer a very refreshing quality.

Refreshing. It's spicy and hoppy, but balanced by a nice sweetness that doesn't overpower. I could have had a few more of these.

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Photo of cactusjuggalo
4.4/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a fantastic brew,i usually dislike saisons but this one really stuck a cord with me.

Got this right from the man himself, dan as a sample to see if i want to carry it at harvest.

Poured a hazy color with a nice fluffly head just about the right ammount of carbination.
Smells like an interesting combination of fruits and spices but its somewhat slight and seems to suit the beer just right.
For the taste the biggest thing that came through was a very tasty hop blast that somewhat dominates the flavor but in a very nice way.This beer is extremely well balanced.
As far as mouth feel the only way i can put it is like this....Very tasty beer.
This is a great brew from a great brewer and a really nice guy. I will have this on my shelves in my store as well as in my home a very solid brew.

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

My first review, after talking about starting for ages. I picked this bottle up at Gordon's Liquors in Waltham MA. Sticker on back says first batch, bottled November 2008. The beer is cloudy with a solid head which settled down nicely. Very smooth, with a little bite at the end. I taste a hint of cloves, lemon, and tangerine. Very drinkable, and will definitely be picking this up again. Looking forward to more offerings from this brewer.

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Photo of IBUnit63
4.13/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled 11/2008 - first batch! Into Duvel tulip...

Pristine honey colored body (OK, a smidge of haze) with sparse carbonation rising to huge, tight 2-finger head that drops to 1.5 with good lacing.

A little soapy, floral hop presence. Slight ginger and nutmeg spice tones. Banana ester is prevalent also. Interesting.

Good old-world Saison yeast electricity with a lot of banana here as well. Grain has slight funk to it (not brett but faint sour hints). A little soap and flora on the hops. Solid.

Carbonation gives this a little bite along with mellow citurs nature. Finish is rather tight but decent. A little heavy on the banana ester/sweetness but the mix with floral hops keeps that in check.

I like this - good mix for a Saison/Belgian IPA. Very clean.

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

Had I known I would be the first to review this puppy I would have taken better notes. I'll do my best though, as I did enjoy this beer.

Hazy body with a mixture of yellow and cream in the color. Small white head that has OK retention and leaves some spotty lacing. I was served in an American pint glass, so it might look different in a tulip. I prefer a pint glass anyway, because I got a full 16oz pour.

Very spicy smell. Coriander comes to mind. Bannnas.

Up front this beer tastes a lot like it is a wheat beer. But not quite. There is a sweet type of twang that is a mix of pale malts (pilsner) and something else. I can't quite put my finger on it. Then it moves into some nice bannana flavors. In the finish there is some spicy characteristics. Coriander and peppercorn come through, somewhat of a barnyard type of flavor. I thought the finish was very enjoyable, the yeast profile here is fairly complex. This was a pretty tasty beer.

Mouthfeel was medium bodied. I didn't notice much about it otherwise.

Extremely drinkable. I flew through my pint of this.

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Jack D'Or from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Beer rating: 4.04 out of 5 with 1,640 ratings