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.

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Reviews: 642 | Ratings: 1,641
Photo of babaracas
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a clear gold with thin fizzy white head, settles quickly leaving a couple of wispy runs. Smell: herbal, lightly grainy and bready, rindy and unripe banana notes. Taste: semi sweet pale, light stone fruit and pineapple, very herbal finish. Long finish eventually dries out but has a residual soapiness. It's alright. Think I've heard more about this one than is deserved. Dec 2013 bottling.

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Photo of Copernicus
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz. bottle poured with "gusto" into a large wine glass.

A: Proper saison. Fairly clear, toasted gold. Head formed at 1.5 fingers, didn't retain long and left a webby lace upon its demise.

S: Really fabulous nose on this. It's sweet and spicy with fermentation. Bready. Floral and grassy from the hops. Got some notes characteristic of a weizen yeast: banana and clove. Slightly sour with lemon, citrus...also apricot and nectarine. Very complex!

T: Very nice, though underwhelming compared to the wonderful aroma. It starts crisp and clean and then moves into a bready malt almost like sourdough. Some funk but not much. There's a light bitterness on the finish. Dry. Pure and clean. Nothing showy or fancy here. Its simplicity is a refreshing change of pace.

M: Light body. Spritely carbonation. No sense of alcohol. Somehow leaves more to be desired.

O: Worth a try, but not one of the better saisons I've had. It'd almost be better paired with something like a rich, ripened goat cheese as a compliment. It feels incomplete. More of a palate cleanser.

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Photo of farrago
3.63/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

About a half finger of bright white foam for a head, mixed bubble sizes, doesn’t seem like it wants to stick around much, the lacing is sort of wispy and itself only sticks around long enough to be polite. Bright yellow liquid, shiny, vague orange tinting, not many visible bubbles, despite the shine sort of lifeless. The nose produces the expected notes of banana and bubblegum but then it veers into another realm with tar, black earth, tea leaf, farmland funk, more peppery than floral, pulped oranges, not much fruit, mainly white pit fruit, this puts the “farm” in farmhouse. Full-bodied, muscular and not willingly mobile, same sourness from muddy earth, metal, fallen leaves, quinine, dried pine sap. The citrus recedes and the fruit still refuses to step into the breach. Banana, leesy yeasts and flower water try to pretty it up but nothing is shaking off the funk. Which, in the end, is not a bad thing because it gives it a veneer of authenticity. Carbonation is nothing special, enough to give it a swirling effect. Hard not to characterize this as a “food beer” where when paired correctly any perception of lack will be filled by the dish. But not a casual sipper.

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Photo of Ohmmygawd
4.09/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up this beer at a tasting and got a free stemmed "Pretty Things" glass with it.

A- Yellow gold with a nice white head.

S- Citrus and lemon grass with wheat undertones.

T- Lemon grass again with a pilsner quality following. Hints of orange.

M- Carbonated and lingers with a nice bitter feel. Begins with a nice body and finishes light.

O- Perfect dinner beer that can be paired with a lot of light dishes. Fish, pork, chicken and other foods that pair well with citrus.

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Photo of jtierney89
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Slightly hazy bright yellow gold with sticky tight white head.banana clove and spice on the nose, earthy fruity and yeasty.

Taste is much the same, restrained yet bold with very well blended flavors and a very nice backing bitterness for balance. All the perfect flavors, dried fruits, spicy, dry, silky body with prickly yet light carbonation, love it

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Photo of break516beatz
4.59/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 ounce bottle poured into a pint glass

A -- Dark golden yellow with a head that dissipated rather quickly

S -- Citrus. Some lemon tones. There's also a floral aroma to it.

T -- Delicious. Again, there is a soft lemon aftertaste to it. Very refreshing. Not too heavy.

M -- Not too carbonated. There is a creamy feel to it.

O -- Very happy with this beer. Would recommend this to anyone.

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rating of 4.5/5 on 12/1/2013. Reviewed on 4/17/2015.

On-tap @ Rattle N Hum in New York, NY.

Deep gold color and hazy with a ton of lacing on the glass. Big floral and citrus hop aroma. Notes of earth and spice in the flavor. Dry and bitter aftertaste, chalky mouthfeel. Medium bodied with long lasting flavor. A nice, hopped-up, American take on a saison.

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Photo of charlatan
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Special version brewed in association with Adnams for a 'spoons festival with 6.0% abv.

It pours a dark straw to light gold colour with a decent head. The nose is chalk and lemon and much more distinctive than most beers in Wetherspoons (I'm not sure what they do to their beers that makes them all have a very muted and slightly acidic smell, bu tit seems to happen at every pub in the chain).

It seems slightly watery to start, but then a strong banana flavour kicks in. Next a strong but pleasant sense of alcohol takes over amid a good, fairly acrid bitterness, before giving way again to the return of banana.

And this really is top banana: great stuff. Reading what I've written so far I'd expect it to be a sipper, but I went through the second and third half pints fairly quickly....

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at Westmere Beverage in Guilderland, NY.

Pours an effervescent golden yellow, with a 3 inch head, and globs of lacing down the glass.

Smells include orange, lemon, yeast esters, sweet grains, and pear.

Lots of zesty fruity sweetness in this one- green apple, pear, orange and lemon are the stars here, with some very sweet grainy malts in the background, little bit of honey cut by some peppery bitterness.

Very drinkable, crisp, light to medium bodied.

My first beer from these guys, I really liked it.

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Photo of dar482
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in a slightly hazy golden bright yellow.

The aroma has lots of citrusy and fruity hops. Dried preservered lemons, sour apricot. Then there's some Belgian buttery biscuit and yeast.

The flavor follows with tons of lemon, yuzu, then there's some light crackery malt and then a dry finish. It's quite bitter and hoppy on the end with a flavor of lemon rind.

Definitely an American take on the style.

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Photo of Resuin
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a tulip. This was bottled July 2013, so about 4 months ago.

Appearance: Pours a translucent light amber/gold and leaves a finger of white head which fades to a rim around the glass.

Smell: Citrus rinds, mild grassy funk, nice floral scents, mild citrus hops. Pleasant and light aroma.

Taste: Matches the nose pretty well: a light floral quality, citrus rinds, light hops. The funk is milder in the taste than the nose. Pleasant and refreshing.

Mouth-feel: Medium carbonation with a medium, slightly creamy body. Relatively smooth finish.

Overall: A quality, refreshing saison. I'm definitely glad I picked this up at the local store, it's a very nice go-to beer. Well brewed flavors.

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Photo of mverity
2.37/5  rDev -40.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Poured from the bottle into a wineglass like glass. Yellow in color with medium amount of white bubbly head. Head receded fairly quickly with very little lacing. Smell was odd. Lemon, white wine and some vinegar. I began to think 'infection'. Taste was like lemon juice and nail polish. I'd heard from several people that nail polish would be very apparent when you get it, and sure enough, it was. First infected beer that I didn't realize was infected before I opened it. I have seen bacteria floating on the top of a beer before and just didn't open it. This was unfortunate. This was an extra from a trade, so it's not like I spent money on it; but I'd heard good things about this beer and still am for the next time I stumble upon one.

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Photo of Enriquehopnog
4.36/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great company. Just found them around May 2013. I feel in love with their Triple and then their IPA. I tried this Farmhouse Ale as my first ever Farmhouse. I thought it was strong and tasty, just the way I like my beers. You could feel the beer after just one glass. After tasting this I want to try more Farmhouse Ales

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Photo of WunderLlama
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber Bottle poured into glass beer mug

Two finger frothy white cap with great lacings. Hazy, golden yellow liquid with no visible carbonation. Lacings layer the glass as you drink it down.

Hoppy aRoma of citrus and pine.

Hops on the front of the tongue, pine and citrus, bitterness on the sides. Bitterness gently lingers. Light to medium mouthfeel.

Wonderful beer worthy of repeat and even stocking in the fridge.drink and repeat.

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Photo of bmwats
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 650 bottle into a teku.

A: Medium golden hue. Pours a 1 finger, tight, bubbly, head. Settles slowly, leaving plenty of dry residue behind as it does. Sporadic lacing.

S: Yeast, orange, apricot.

T: Yeast is hefty, accentuated with citrus pith, and a distinct hop bite.

M: Crisp body, bitter lingering finish.

D: Sip and enjoy.

Atmosphere, is pretty good. Nice hue, good head (and everybody likes good head), and some sporadic lacing. Nose is yeasty with some fruit components. Yeasty, slightly fruity, and hoppy. Overall, this is a really good quaff.

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Photo of KVNBGRY
3.89/5  rDev -3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottle thanks Mr. Schmitt!

Appearance - Hazy gold. Lingering white, big bubbled head.

Aroma - Malt, dust, citrus

Taste - Apple, malt, and pear?

Mouthfeel - Bitter, dry, high carbonation. Light-med. body.

Overall - Delicious, would like to try this from the source. Keep it up PTB&AP! Distribute to Florida!

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Photo of Immortale25
4.06/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Due South Brewing Co. snifter. Notches on label indicate bottled on MAR 2013.

A- Pours a dark golden color with a 1/2 inch white head that retains well before becoming a thick ring around the edge of the glass and random bubbly splotches of surface foam. Not-so-resilient lacing leaves a thick ring behind.

S- Notes of lemongrass and soily barnyard funk. Also some apple and pear. Slightly effervescent.

T- Taste is much like the nose with the Saison yeast bringing more earth to the table. Very clean and bright in its delivery, the flavors have a subtle fruit quality. A bit rich and slightly sweet. The tiniest trace amounts of wet cardboard tell me I found this bottle just a bit too late.

M- Kind of spritzy with medium carbonation and a lightish body.

O- A very drinkable Saison that displays a lot of finesse.

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Photo of Botulizard
3.09/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

A: Pale yellow with a 2 inch head and lots of lacing. Lives up to its brewery's name. It's indeed a pretty thing.

S: Lots of wheat with some floral notes.

T: Wheat, with lots of bitterness and a sort of hop finish.

M: Thin, light carbonation.

O: Very bitter- I didn't love it. Didn't find it really remarkable, except visually. It's a very good looking beer. Probably wouldn't order again.

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

22oz bottle (bottled July 2011) into a tulip. Pours a hazy pale golden color w/ a 1-finger white head that settles to a thin film.

Aroma is spicy, earthy, floral; a little funky and grassy. Belgian yeast and hops. A bit muted, this one could be past its prime. Still, nothing objectionable and it's certainly true to style.

Taste is that of a pretty straightforward saison with a citrusy twist. Pale malt, earthy saison yeast, some nice floral hops, a vague hint of spice. A nice juicy orange citrus quality. Nice bitter hoppy finish.

Mouthfeel is balanced with moderate carbonation. Semi-dry.

Overall a decent saison but nothing special. It probably doesn't help that this beer is 2 years old (even though I just received it via online retailer last week) so I don't want to judge it too harshly. Just OK to good.

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Photo of jrenihan
3.74/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Space for freshness info on the bottle, but it does not appear to have been marked.

Beer is clear golden and appears to be quite carbonated. A medium to large sized white head. Good retention.

Nose contains lots of yeast and light/citrus fruits. I get green grape, lemon and a touch of banana. A bit of peppery spice. Pretty traditional saison scent, with some extra hopping.

Taste is a balance of fruit and dry yeast. There is a bit of an apple or grape juice flavour, but dry and fairly bitter. The dryness is not very pleasant- I don't get much of the flavourful yeasty funk, just dryness. The bitterness does not work particularly well.

Medium to full bodied, moderate carbonation. Drying.

Overall, not bad, but does not live up to the ratings. I would take any number of well-known and readily available saisons over this one.

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

this didn't floor me like it should have. on tap at grace (the coolest restaurant ever) in downtown Portland. knew the hype, but I didn't know what to expect here. it pours a clearish, but still a little brackish pale straw color, with an inch of lasting white head. very alluring. the nose is not like a saison at all, maybe a little bretty, but im thinking this is more of a lager yeast, crisp and decidedly Czech in nature. it certainly is on the malt front, and the yeast profile matches. nothing farmhouse about this as far as the taste goes. balanced, complex, and delicious, but its like a well hopped lager. traditional. light on the mouth, good carbonation, clean finish. its not living up to the style at all, but the taste is darn good. an oddity to say the least, asks more than it answers, but a jovial beer to slam down in the summer time. first impression from pretty things is a good one overall.

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Photo of asaharyev
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pour: Crystal clear straw colored pour with a nice fluffy, delicate head that fades leaving a bit of lacing.

Aroma: Funk and peppercorns, orange and lemon, as well as some coriander. The funk is most present, with the citrus flavors following.

Taste: Following from the aroma, a hefty funk presence, with a nice citrus flavor, good herbal character, and a strong floral hop finish leaving a lingering bitterness in the aftertaste. As the drink warms up, and you get used to the flavors, the hop character changes a bit, becoming grassier and more apparent up front. A bit of the other spice characteristics also come through, notably cardamom and coriander.

Overall: Nice saison, with good funk character and a nice hop presence. Something I’ve had many times, and will likely have again. A solid beer, and highly recommended.

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Photo of SierraJosh
4.39/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

My first beer from Pretty Things and absolutely enjoyed this farmhouse ale on a hot summer evening. The nose is a little funky yeast with grass and hint of lemon. Poured excellent into the RR-tion glass with nice head retention. Taste was superb belgian yeast, pepper, and herbs all complement each other with light carbonation and a dry, crisp finish. I found myself wanting more after the bomber was empty. Jack D'or will be in my summer saison rotation.

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Photo of Ri0
4.51/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

poured 22oz bottle into Teku. Bottled 1 year ago; August 2012.

A - Pretty light hazy golden apricot with a fluffy bright white 2 finger head. Retention is very nice and there is plenty of lacing.

S - Yeast, grass, and some floral hops and herbs. More citrusy scents and some spice mixed in as well.

T - Damn this is delicious. A nice citrus and flora hoppiness with grass and herbs. Good amount of yeast, wheat, and some spice to finish it off.

M - Light bodied with nice carbonation. Dry and clean with an easy drinking quality. Awesome.

O - One of the best Saisons styles that I have had; Pretty Things nailed this. I got this in a trade and wish it was available in WI. Thank you Nick!

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

All up in it at The Salty Pig in Boston, MA.

Raul is done convinced that all Saisons are striving for the same taste, but what it comes down to is their ability to meet that mark. To Raulsky, all Farmhouses taste the same (in a sense) but what it comes down to is their ability to provide a clean and crisp product. And like Melissa Haro in a two piece, this thang connected like Tom Brady and Randy Moss circa 2007. It obviously had that "Saison taste," but along the way it wasn't too funky or grassy.

Raul digs it well.

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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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