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.

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 642 | Ratings: 1,641
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.

 209 characters

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.

 691 characters

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.

 165 characters

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.

 537 characters

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.

 845 characters

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.

 336 characters

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.

 195 characters

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.

 1,053 characters

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.

 214 characters

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.

 814 characters

Photo of LittleDon
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Interesting. Starts out like a better than average Saison. Bananas. Mellows out as it warms and becomes much more subtle. Cloudy, golden, decent head and lace. Medium carbonation. Dry, with a bit of citrus. Medium body.

 220 characters

Photo of zander4dawin
3.53/5  rDev -12%

Light golden beer, thin head, funky nose. Slight funky barn yard notes with dry hoppy finish and strong black pepper spice notes. Yeasty aftertaste, light-medium body, bisquick biscuity malt profile. Crisp finish.

 214 characters

Photo of Treyliff
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled December 2012, poured into a tulip

A- pours a bright and crystal clear golden color with a small fizzy white head that quickly disappears completely, leaving nothing behind, it actually looks like apple juice

S- lots of fruity aromas upfront with notes of pear, apple juice & lemon zest. Dry hay with some musty notes mix with doughy malt, grains, and peppery aromas. Flowers and honey close out the nose

T- dry and malty up front with fruity notes of apple & lemon kicking in, lemongrass and peppery spice mix with some herbal notes eventually finishing with some musty yeast with more fruit on the linger of an extremely dry finish

M- medium body with high carbonation leaves a prickly foamy mouthfeel that transitions into a bone dry, dry finish leaving most of the flavor on the linger

O- a nice balance of fruit, spice and musty yeast, pretty refreshing brew

 878 characters

Photo of Jmamay22
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

The beer pours out a mildly hazy straw colored yellow with a thick white cap of foam.

The nose consists mostly of hops. Strong spiced hop scent, a touch of lemon and grainy wheat round out the scent. Mildly phenolic, especially for a saison. A light hand of peppercorn.

The taste begins with a stronger pepper and phenolic type flavor. Slightly grainy midway through and finishes with an odd Cheerio cereal type flavor that I could do without. The pleasant lemon that was in the scent is fairly subdued to nonexistent in the taste.

Mouthfeel is very lively, light and spritzy as often expected from saisons. Very drinkable and I would have guessed a lighter abv approaching more of a table saison. Nothing stands out to make this an overly complex or interesting beer. The cereal flavor felt out of place as noted.

 820 characters

Photo of alphagnome
4.67/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Lightly hazed, hay colored body hosts an incredible amount of carbonation. Crowned by a think, soft white head. Great retention and lacing.

Right away you get a great funk that tickles your nostrils! Very bright herbal notes sprinkled with peppercorn and honey. A bit of a sweetcorn presence and lemon zest. This smells fantastic!

Right away, you're greeted by an earthy herbal hop presence, and dry wheat. A decent amount of spiciness and light fruits break through, providing a roller-coaster ride of tart and dry flavors.

Light and spritzy! Tons of carbonation and a light body make this a very easy to drink beer. The head is silky smooth, giving this one a very unique sipping experience. Clean, dry finish.

This might very well be my new favorite in the genre! Complex and easy to drink, this should be high on you shopping list.

 885 characters

Photo of buschbeer
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

1 PT. 6 FL.. OZ. bottle
Served in a tulip glass
Bottled April 2013

A - It is pale yellow in color and hazy. There are small particles of yeast suspended in it. It is topped with a couple inches of white head.

S - It has a nice fresh lemon scent. I also detect a little must.

T - The taste has some lemon and grass flavors. Then some bitterness sets in. At first I thought the bitterness was too much for this beer, but after half a bottle the flavors are meshing well.

M - Medium.

O - This is a refreshing saison. It hits the spot after working in a near 90° day. The bitterness is more than I care for in this style, but it is not overwhelming and compliments the lemon and must, so I won't complain.

 709 characters

Photo of Stevedore
3.31/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

650ml bottle served in a Lawson's snifter 6/15/2014.

A- hazy golden-straw yellow body, half finger white head with minimal retention, no lacing.

S- Pale malt biscuitiness, a bit of saison funk, not a whole lot else. It smells like an inferior Saison DuPont.

F- As in the nose, it tastes like a crappy knockoff version of Saison DuPont. Its actually more bitter than I'd like from a saison of any kind. No tartness, a lot of breadiness.

M- Medium bodied, not thin at all, good carbonation and a bitter earthy finish.

O- Not a fan of this one. I would not recommend going after this; definitely go after CBC or Trillium or even NIght Shift if you have to get a saison from the greater Boston area.

 701 characters

Photo of WheelsPSU
3.81/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This is my first foreray into Pretty Things. I always see them at Beverage Barn so I decided to give this bomber a shot on a nice, warm late spring afternoon.

The bottle says "Saison American" so the pour was quite wxpected. Extremely cloudy, gold hazy color. Looks highly carbonated though.
The nose had a bready malt dominance. There was always a specific yeast aroma followed by lemon.
The taste was all about the spice. It was quit different that the aroma. Spice an more spice. Then a touch of citrus came through. Pretty refreshing.

 539 characters

Photo of MakeMineADoubleJack
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Tasty saison. Poured from a bomber into my 668 Neighbor glass. Nice white, one-finger head; light orange coloring.

Smells sweet and tart: a bit of citrus, a bit of yeasty funk.

Taste is very satisfying. I'd love to be barbecuing with this guy, or sitting on the beach watching the waves.

Definitely worth the $7.50 I paid for it.

 334 characters

Photo of Altrurian
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A light clear yellow in hue, the beer is topped with a sumptuous, short, even head having the consistency and color of stiff, beaten egg whites. Its aroma is negligible. The taste is admirably understated, but that is not to say forgettable. It's a classic, buttered vegetables and lightly blossomy saison, done with refined understatement. The mouthfeel ably complements the flavor--not too smooth, not too prickly. Worthy.

 424 characters

Photo of TheBeerDrinker
3.79/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours out yellow in color and very translucent with a huge two+ finger white head with good retention and some of the best lacing I have saw in a beer.

Smell is a little fruity with some barnyard with a slight tartness.

Taste is different with spices that are very prominent with a little funk and a tiny bit of fruit but nothing like the nose.

Mouthfeel is very thin as I would expect. Really thinner than most of the beers I have had.

Overall this is a nice beer with the barnyard you would expect with a little fruit and quite a bit of spices. The spices are more prominent than any beer I have drank in a while. Quite nice,

 631 characters

Photo of NiceTaps
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bomber in a stemmed tulip glass.

A- Pale yellow color, slight haze. Generous small bubble carbonation. Big white head, lots of sticky lacing.

S- Dry bread, slightly funky yeast, light fruits.

T- Yeast, light fruits, banana and pear. Saison spices.

M- Smooth and lively. Medium body with a good feel. Tart and bitter. Yeast funk.

O- Nicely tempered Saison. The flavor is good, not too strong.

 401 characters

Photo of CrazyDavros
4.27/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours gold with a large white head.
Nose shows herbal and citrus notes, sweet honey and saison yeast. Very inviting.
Very similar flavours; more honey, saison yeast, herbal/spicy hops and some grapefruit/orange peel. An assertive bitterness presents itself in the finish.
Great moderately high carbonation works perfectly.

 322 characters

Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.24/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from 22oz bottle into pretty globe.
Golden color with small head. Spicy grainy malty slightly hoppy aroma. American saison for sure. Fantastic spicy saison flavor...malt, hop, spice from the yeast, really nice. Each is subtle, but each is dominant...its very drinkable. the sharpness of the yeast actually makes this very drinkable and not dull or mundane. What a fantastic brew...cant wait to have another.

 414 characters

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

Bottled December 2013, reviewed 4/25/14
Clear clean golden appearance billowy white head on initial pour
Herbal slightly hoppy a bit bready aroma, slight banana
Taste is flowery citrus not overly sweet immediately balanced out by a pleasant bitterness that maintains itself through the finish and is a prominent feature that's very welcome, and makes me intrigued to acquire a newer bottle. Can sense the wheat, also get some fruity tones. Lemony citrus, banana
Mouthfeel is great, spicy then dry, works well with the bitter
Overall glad to have this one

 554 characters

Jack D'Or from Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
4.01 out of 5 based on 1,641 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.