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Jack D'Or | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

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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 almychristopher
4.37/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours a hazy golden color with a smooth white head leaving tons of lace on the sides of the glass. the aroma is mighty tasty, with a bit of malt and a lot of yeastiness. the taste gives a nice citrusy sweetness up front and nice amount of the farmhouse yeastiness, the sweetness gives way to a tart dry finish. the medium body and good carbonation make this a good drinkable beer.

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Photo of WesWes
4.07/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a hazy gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great! It has a fine pale malt scent along with an earthy/fruity yeast aroma. It has a mild hop character that really compliments the esters. The taste is good. It has a very citrousy flavor that screams esters from the yeast. Also, the hops add a solid bitterness as well. It's quite earthy with tons of farmhouse funk. The mouthfeel is good. It is a medium bodied beer with too much carbonation. This is a tastey beer with lots of unique character; a fine farmhouse ale.

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Photo of HopHead84
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks jleblanc! Batch 5, bottled in May of 2009. Poured into a tulip. The beer is hazy light orange with lots of small bubbles traveling up toward the gigantic frothy white head. Retention is great. This is a very nice looking beer.

The nose is floral, spicy, and phenolic, with some herbal notes. Some zesty lemon is present, as well as some orange and coriander. The spiciness is peppery. I get a moderate level of sweetness.

The taste is phenolic, with some tartness. Notes of lemon and orange pith accompany coriander, pepper, and an earthy spiciness. An enjoyable level of sweetness balances the spiciness and tartness. The finish is clean and dry. Bitterness is low and alcohol isn't noticeable.

The beer is light bodied with a high level of carbonation. The mouthfeel is light, crisp, dry, and creamy. An enjoyable and refreshing beer on this warm summer evening.

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Photo of dborginis
3.77/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

April 2009 bottle, batch 3.

Opened the bottle and a noticeable amount of pressure was released. Poured into a pint glass and got huge amount of head (2/3 glass). Bad pour or too much carbonation? I'm not sure I know. Allowed to settle, poured to the top again, and waited for the head to dissipate a little.

Golden color, but very clear. Sweet but minimalistic smell. Some alcohol.

Starts sweets, and clean. Some bready flavor comes in afterward. Finishes slightly bitter, with this bitter aftertaste. Maybe a little more bitter than I would like from a saison, but I guess the "American saison" description covers this. Drinkable, yes, but I'm not sure its my type for this style. I can recognize it is a good beer, just not my taste.

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Photo of steadydose
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked this one up while on vacation in Boston.

Poured into a tulip pint from a 22oz. bomber. Produced a 4 finger offwhite fluffy head that collapsed into about a 2 finger head. Beer was pale golden, with a little amber color, almost looks orange when held up too my light. I'm digging the clarity and look of this beer. Beer shows a little bit of lacing upon consumption.

The aroma was sweet, I got hints of fruit and lemon. The classic belgian saison smell was on display. Would have liked some funkiness, but as the beer warms up, the lemon smell really comes through along with a boiling wort type scent as well, interesting.

The taste was good. Basically a very clean taste, good lingering bitterness on the finish, with a touch of spicyness. I can definetely taste some citrus, lemon zest.

Mouthfeel is good, ample carbonation, dry, a little fizzy at first, but ultimately refreshing and works for this beer.

This beer for me has all day drinkability, another fantastic summer beer. Just a refreshingly clean well hopped saison.

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Photo of callmemickey
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on tap at capones for their saison event

A: Relatively clear yellow-orange body... moderate head with quite a bit of lacing as the head slowly receded.

S: Yeast, pepper, lemon citrus hops, some funk

T: Moderate malt body, hints of grain... lemon bitterness, pepper, funky, yeast... as noted in my bottle review, the american hops are definitely identifiable amongst the flavors

M: Refreshing, crisp bitter finish... reminiscent of a nice american pilsener which is not surprising given the ingredients

D: Perhaps a bit on the safe side as far as saisons go, yeah kind odd saying that with all the hops in it, but the funk/farmhouse flavors just aren't hitting home

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Photo of hopdog
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Capones.

Poured a medium and hazy golden/orange color with a smaller sized white head. Aromas of citrus, spices, floral, and some yeastiness. Tastes of pepperiness, lemon peels, orange creamsicles, and some breadiness.

Notes from and tasted on: 7/30/09.

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Photo of joepais
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Corry for sending this one along
A bottle from Batch five poured into a DFH snifter produced a wonderful couple of fingers of a off white big and frothy head. The body of the brew was a wonderful orange color.

There was some huge amount of hops coming of this brew by way of aroma I guess the lemon on the label should have given it away. It had a great lemon citrus aroma with some light funk.

The flavor followed the nose very well almost like drinking a lemon aid in some ways. It was light and refreshing in my mouth.

A really interesting take on a Saison I finished the bomber extremely easy and would have been ready for more. I was quite impressed with this brew I hope the others from the brewer stack up as nice

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Photo of mikey711
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed a bottle last night while watching my BMC friends and laughing to myself.
A golden amber with plenty of carbonation and some cloudiness. It smelled of funk and candied sugar. Lots of earthiness and lemon tart followed by some caramel notes. A bit of acidity and dryness in the finish. I easily finished the bomber and had room to spare

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Photo of deapokid
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a bottle at The Foodery today:

Poured a hazy orange/deep yellow with a thin head and absolutely no retention. Beer opens on the bubbly side and appears to be quite carbonated, but eventually settles down. It looks really refreshing (due to its orange tint) and not unlike "orange drink" (if you guys remember this from when we were kids).

Aroma boasts notes of citrus fruit with a mild alcohol backbone. I'm catching some hops as well, which is definitely a pleasant surprise and reminiscent of Nugget Nectar.

Taste is maltier than I expected. It has the dryness on the back end of a traditional saison, but boasts more of a hop character than usual. This may be where the "americain" comes into this Belgian farmhouse ale.

A tart lemon taste is present as well, which adds a nice counterpoint to the hops and provides a balance of the flavors. Hints of pepper and mild coriander are also involved, showing off the depth and character of this beer, which seems to have new flavors popping out with each sip.

As for the mouth, the hops scratch the back of the tongue and a certain dryness coats most of the taste buds. As the beer settles, more of the tarty fruit notes come out, which add a certain tingle to back of the throat. A muskiness also adds some interesting elements to the mouthfeel. All in all, It's great to roll this ale around the tongue.

Personally, I would say that the addition of hops has made this beer more drinkable than certain traditional saisons. Although I can definitely put back a few Hennepins, the acidity often causes me to limit my consumption. This enterprising addition has not only made this beer standout, but much easier to consume and enjoy.

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Photo of ken2cart1
4.83/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into an oversized wine glass, re-suspended yeast as recommended by Dann (the brewer and creator of Pretty Things beer)

A- huge frothy off-white, inch-high head. Beer is an orangey, cloudy, peach color. Absolutely beautiful, never saw such an orange color in a beer.

S- Belgian yeast, some funky bacteria yeast in there too. Peppery, spicy smell.

T- much like it smells but very peppery, mostly in the finish. I do not have much experience with Saisons but it is much more peppery than any saison I have had. WOW, this is a complex beer. It starts with a fruity, spicy, yeasty, little clove taste and a solid sweet pale and caramel malt backbone. Ends with some cloves and a prevalent lingering pepper taste.

M- very smooth and creamy throughout and ends with a nice puckering crisp feel

D- wow this beer is unbelievable, cant stop sipping this, this is a real surprise. From the handful of saisons I have tried, I have not been a big fan of this style but this beer has converted me. Mark my words: PRETTY THINGS BEERS ARE GOING TO BE SOME OF THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER BEERS VERY SOON.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
2.38/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

A-? This beer is a yeast infection in your mouth. Bleh.

First off, super-uber bonus points for great bottle art. There appears to be a mustachio'ed onion in a tub of water...in a forest...with a "yes" pin. Right on. Freshness dating includes batch number (mine was batch #2).

Clear, orangey-yellow with a large white head and good retention. It's an opaque, creamsicle looking thing with the yeast in.

Lemon yeast with a Sour Patch kids sugaryness. Mild herbal hop stank.

Gadzooks, this is dry. I can feel it sucking the moisture out of my body. It's like a yeast infection in a bottle. Egads.

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Photo of drgonzo3705
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

First Batch bottled November 2008

A: Light golden orange color with a nice fluffy white head and a bit of sticky lacing.

S: A bit of musty hay/wheat smell. Perfumy and floral. Nicely put together nose.

T: Just like the nose. Perfume and hay notes with a touch of bitterness from the malts.

M: Nice light body witha touch of dryness.

D: Very good. Not offending at all and pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of mirish72
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hadn't even heard about this beer until I saw the lines at the ACBF. I tracked some down and was really impressed. The artwork definitely catches your eye and at least lets you now you're going to try something new.

Pours a hazy orange, that you cannot see through. Amazing coloring, with slight lacing. You can taste the lemon and bananna clove flavors. The beer drinks likes it looks, complex, smooth and delicious. I'm not too familiar with the style, but it compared favorably to few other saison's I have tried like Ommegang.

Looking forward to trying their other offerings. I also love the fact that Dan used to brew beer at the North East Brewing Company, which was my home away from my Allston apartment from 1996-1999 or so.

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Photo of maximum12
2.38/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Thanks to the Cakanator for sending me this bomber is a very nice early summer trade. Buried this one in the yard for a while before getting out the spade this evening to unearth it.

Opaque yellow, dead-looking. Nose is dominated by lemon.

Taste is very lemony, with a strong backdraft of farmish funk at the end. Not in a terribly good way. The funk is DeathValleydry, making me pucker up rather unpleasantly. Some people seem to like horse blanket in their beer - I don't. The spices & lemon fight with the funk, but they don't have much chance. The funk strengthens as the beer warms. Um, not a recommendation. Drink it cold.

If this is a true rep of the style, it's amazing the saison didn't die centuries ago. I've had much better saisons, this one is OK, bordering on actively unpleasant.

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Photo of rye726
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy straw with a nice white head. Nose has banana, spices, peppery yeast and citrus. Flavor is also on the fruity side with an earthy herbal yeast presence. Crisp body is well carbonated. Tasty Saison, great with funky cheese and fresh fruits or a seafood dish.

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

Draft. Pours a cloudy yellow/orange with a thick white head. Aroma of wheat and yeast, very delicious! Flavor is bready with light fruits and spices in the finish. Well balanced. Just an enjoyable beer to drink! Very similar on draft compared to the bottle version.

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Photo of BARFLYB
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

22oz bottle split with oglmcdgl, thanks for the shot at this. Poured into a chimay glass.

A- Jack has a deep orange with some tangerine color mixed in. Some white specs of sediment were seen. A 1/2 inch semi loose white head faded into a scattered cap with minimum lacing. I poured some yeast in as well to cloud it up.

S- This is a sweet smelling saison with fresh orange slices and torn citrus rind. Sweet malt with some earthy farm flavors. A big floral hop presense in this fresh bottle. Some clemintine freshness with big yeast and spices rounding it out.

T- Jack delivers with flavor both sweet and hoppy. The flavor starts sweet with fruit such as apple and pear mixed with some malt. With that a big dose of somewhat bitter earthy hops follows. After that some Belgian yeast with spices such as coriander.

M- The spices and yeast really stay with you, the aftertaste is long & somewhat bitter, I like it. The finish is on the dry side while jack is medium bodied with high carb, perhaps a bit much. One of the fuller bodied american saisons I've had recently, it's a treat.

D- The 6.4% is low and not present in the taste at all so this one is a easy one to tackle. While I could down a whole bottle of this, I would rather share it. The freshness of the bottle really sows the array of flavors in this A great treat during the summer.

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Photo of bum732
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy orange yellow, nice creamy head, decent lacing. Smells of soft pear sweetness, clove spiciness. Tastes much the same, nice spiciness from the hops. Finishes nice and dry, peppery near the end. Nice crisp but creamy mouthfeel.

A good saison, good american interpretation. Much larger hop presence than traditional belgians, but very nice.

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Photo of aerozeppl
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch 4. Love the sticker over the cap. Nice touch.

A: Nice hazy straw color with 3 fingers of head upon the poor. Tons of lacing for a saison. Very nice looking in my Hennepin glass.

S: The aroma is a wonderful musty basement. honestly reminds me of a light version of Hennepon again. That is in no way a bad thing. The aroma is much more funky yeast driven though which is always a plus.

T: Just a really nice example of a saison but with an American twist. The malt is so clean and crisp tasting. Very dry in the finish with the yeast totally dominating the finish.

M: Super refreshing. A nice light body with a ton of taste.

D: I think ACBF was their coming out party and it did make me pick up some of their beer. The brewers are super nice and their beers are really quite good. The artwork is solid and distinctive. They have a ton of potential.

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Photo of jmalex
4.23/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While up in Massachusetts, I was looking for something local, well-regarded, and something I hadn't heard of. This seemed to really fit the bill. Batch 1 - Nov 08.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a Hennepin tulip a brilliant orange gold with a 2-finger-high bright white head with really tight foam. It has incredible staying power settling out at a finger's height.

SMELL: Some mild funkiness gives way to an aroma that is predominantly sweet. Apricot and peach are huge here, but they do manage to get balanced out by a peppery aroma and a perceived alcohol bitterness.

TASTE: Again, the funk is subdued, but it does make its presence known, both from the start and a bit on the finish. The fruitiness is there but also subdued. Sweet, bready, pale malt is what fills the gaps yielding an elegant simplicity. The balance is exceptional, even featuring the slightest hop flavor to round it out. The finish is mostly dry, but the flavor just keeps going. A great beer.

MOUTHFEEL: Light, but sometimes that's not even good enough for a saison. It can always dry out a bit more. The carbonation is average to high which seems about right.

DRINKABILITY: A saison that drinks like a tripel. I guess that isn't too far fetched and is honestly pretty damn good. The flavors are incredible and makes this a beer I'm glad I have a bomber of.

This is an extremely well-made saison and one that I'd consider having again for sure. More than anything though, it makes me want to try all the other Pretty Things brews. Definitely recommended.

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Photo of paco1029384756
4.52/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to MGambleWWS for the bottle.

Pours a golden orange color with one finger of foamy white head.

Scent of spices, lemon zest, citrus, yeast, and some sugars. Great scent, spot on for the style.

Taste of spices, citrus, earth, yeast. A great Saison, one of the best American ones I've ever had.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and crisp with heavy carbonation.

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

22oz. bottle into small pilsner glass on 6/10/09. Thanks to Deuane for sharing.

A - Poured a hazy golden/orange-tinted body with slim off-white head that settled into a thin bubbly ring of retention and deposited spotty lacing around the glass.

S - Earthy and musty dank yeast with plenty of spicy, peppery notes and some floral hops. Clove and citrus rind spring to mind as well.

T - Earthy, spicy yeast dominates the flavor on this Saison and suggests citrus rind, floral hop notes and a hefty dose of pepper and grains of paradise. Finish is quite spicy and earthy.

M - Medium bodied with a syrupy texture and moderate carbonation. Finish is quite bitter and spicy on the palate.

D - Fine Saison with plenty of spicy, peppery goodness and strong yeast presence. I am beginning to like this style more and more lately, and this is a good example of the style.

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Photo of tempest
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Split a bottle at Tap and Table in Emmaus, PA. This was a well-crafte and mighty tasty beer, reminds me a bit of Hennepin for the dry hoppy flavor. This beer had an obvious sweet candy malt undercurrent with light Belgian spice, but this is a delicously hoppy Belgian. Dry and drinkable, just like the style dictates, with herbal, peppery, and citrus hops all over your tongue. Good beer, go find it.

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Photo of StrangeBrewer76
4.94/5  rDev +23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Batch two, 22oz bottle. Heavy yeast sediment. More than one would expect in a home brew.

Poured hazy orange wet straw with a good 1" head that settles into a thin covering with little lacing.

The smell is lemony and straw-full with peppercorn notes. Not as spicy or barnyard as other saisons have been.

Tastes awesome. Balanced, bitter like lemon peal in the end with just a little hop bitterness following. Theres a little pepper in the middle but in the front there's just a light wheaty lemon. Very refreshing yet complex.

Mouthfeel is wet to start then drying in the end. Light to medium body with foaming levity that facilitates the latter flavors.

Drinkability is, without question, one of the easiest 5s I've given. See above.

This is one to buy again and again, and share, and promote. I feel like I'm getting in on the ground floor of something with huge potential.

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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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