Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Jack D'Or | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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 williamherbert
3.14/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Out of a 22 oz bottle...

The appearance is golden nectar yellow. The film of head remains on top. Super cloudy body. Actually looks really really impressive.

The smell is a fizzy champagne-like aroma. Touch of chlorine. Belgian funk spice. Not bad but...

The taste is heavy citrus and a major funk. Ze bitter Germanic hops. More of that chlorine flavor, but sorta fits with the funk I suppose. Still...

The feel is bubbly like champagne. Lots of fizz. Appropriate for style, but a little sharp. It's not stellar, because it's so sharp and so fizzy, but it's drinkable for a saison. Citrus, chlorine and a Belgian funk spice.

 628 characters

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

22oz brown bomber with very cool art work. Beautiful looking beer in the glass. Dark golden yellow with a fluffy white head that lasts. Very few bubbles in this one.

Smell is straw, candy, malt and maybe some apricot? First thing I notice about the taste is the lower CO2, which I always like. The smell flavors continue. A bit light in flavor in the beginning but the middle and end take off like a rocket. In the middle, the hops start to take over and it ends with a wonderful dryness. The body is bigger than I expected. I also pick up some citrus notes at the end that add a whole different dimension.

Although I am drinking this by itself, I can imagine it would be great with food.

 692 characters

Photo of ShogoKawada
4.42/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz Bomber. Liked the label, been looking to try new things. Bottle has nice seal noting this beer was bottled in April 09 and is from Batch 3. Poured into .5L Weizen Glass.

A- Pours pale yellow with a noisy 4 finger head. Thick, tasty foam that lasts for a while and looks nice.

S- Sweet. Floral ester notes. Smell is very inviting. Mild yeastyness and a bit of farmhouse.

T- Now this is what I'm talking about. A bit bitter at first, as you drink it subsides a fruity sweetness comes through. Lemon or apple, as well as bitter berry fruit (although faint) followed with a chalky closer. This beer is pretty fairly hopped.... and I love it. This is a complex, nuanced flavor profile that begs to be analyzed. Would be perfect paired with a sharp cheese and crackers.

M- very nice. Light-bodied and crisp, leaving a good taste in my mouth. Slightly drying/chalky, but works with the flavors well.

D- Very high- goes down incredibly smooth. Most highly rated beers are big and bold. This one isn't, but it's every bit as good. This is a solid, tasty, and well-made beer. It's complexity is well pondered by an open mind while imbibing. Although this is not usually my preferred style of beer, I enjoyed this one very much. These guys are onto something here. I really enjoy this beer.

Batch 5 and Batch 7 hold up to the score, very consistent beer.

Production is getting increased, hooray beer

 1,410 characters

Photo of dublife1
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Duvel Tulip. A very nice large 4 finger head which leaves some very nice lacing. Smell is standard for the style. Lemon, spices and earth tones are light but evident. Taste is lighter and hides some of the earthy tones I really love from most Saisons, but still very good none the less. The mouthfeel is crsp and drinkability is also very good. I like what they are trying to do and plan on trying more beers from Pretty Things. Very solid effort and will definitely buy more of this.

 499 characters

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

Cloudy yellow with a big foamy head.
Citrus nose with some farm yeast and slight clove.
Yeasty character with some lemon and pepper. A fairly dry beer with good carbonation and body. A strong hop presence for the style. Finishes with both malt and hops.
A great example of the style by an up and coming brewery.

 311 characters

Photo of damienblack
4.3/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours that typical Belgian hazy-gold color. Massive straw head lingers for a good bit. Some neat lacing. Very attractive in my Allagash tulip. Smell is, well, intoxicating. Basically, sweet grass. Some half-sweet / half dry malt smell, combined with nice Belgian yeastiness and a heaping helping of fresh-cut lawn. Like at the ballpark for a 1:05 start during the week. Nothing beats it. Sort of underneath that grassy smell is the underlying Belgian mustiness, that awesome old-world vinter's funk smell, right out of 1850's Italy. Even after all the beer is gone, I can still smell it on the top of the spent bottle. Taste, while not a let down, is... let's just say this beer I think turns out to be more than the sum of its parts. It has a definite dryness to it, hints at Belgian sweetness but never quite gets there, instead you get that "I think this is going to be gross until I put it in my mouth" flavoring. Like a Belgian-style abbey single, but not bitter, but awesome. Mouthfeel is great - it's got what I love in a great saison, that feeling after you finish like you've just eaten a wedge of funky cheese. It's super-light and airy on the palate, yet leaves its mark for a while after. Right out of the fridge, it is overly bitter, but once you let it warm, at room temp it is great.

I've met Dann, the Brew-guy, at a tasting, and he and Martha seem like absolutely wonderful folks. Definitely the local brewers you want to support. Jack D'Or is a wonderful summer beer, great for beating the heat, and I will definitely be buying this again.

 1,559 characters

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

Bottle into red win glass, Batch 2/March '09. Thanks to Chris (Cakanator) for the trade!

Pours hazy orange-tinted straw colored, with a 1 1/2 finger fluffy white head that leaves some fantastic lacing.

Nose is really nice - Nicely peppery, zesty orange, some honey sweetness and maybe even a bit of vanilla underneath, with some pungent piny hops coming through alongside all the rest, though certainly not too strong.

Taste starts off dry, some light honey malt and a bit of orange zest, finishing up with a burst of cool, dry, piny hops before fading into the lingering finish with a last hurrah of peppery yeast. Very light lingering piny bitterness on the dry finish with an exhale of (again) light peppery yeast.

Mouthfeel is subtle but nice - soft carbonation lends just enough crispness to work but not enough to distract or even for you to notice the carbonation unless you're thinking about it. Medium bodied, dry.

Good drinkability. Dryness makes it a beer I don't want to just drink bottle after bottle of, but very nice otherwise - tasty and complex.

Overall, a nice, and very interesting, saison. Reminds me of a cross between a saison and a Belgian strong pale in a lot of ways, but no matter what it is, it's a nice beer that I would love to see at a selection of nice restaurants in NYC alongside its brother St Botolph's. Seems like a fantastic food beer.

 1,381 characters

Photo of Bierman9
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ol' "Bro" Artied2 swung by yesterday with a bottle of Jack (and St Botolphs) to sample. Parked ourselves in the 'Zebo with a couple of glasses, put on some classic rock, and got to work.

Batch #3 of Jack poured a cloudy, hazy, deep golden straw color. Scattered carbo was espied within, and the head was off-white, creamy and fine, though thin. Lacing was decent in the glass, too. Aroma was a bit musty, with some light tropical fruit coming through. Body was solid, a middle-of-the-range medium. Feel on the tongue was light and airy.

Jack is dry, with some fruitiness leading off. It is a bit earthy, with some horse-blanket kind of action going on, plus a hint of spiciness. It is a bit bitter at the finish, in a rindy sort of way, and a touch chalky. Overall? I thought it was a nice rendition of the style. Nice job Dann, and thanks Artie!


look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | drink: 4


 923 characters

Photo of weeare138
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a pale gold with a small white head that quickly fades into a mild cap. Scattered bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of earthy notes of wet hay, lemongrass, and herbs.
Taste takes over where the aromas ended with herbal crusted lemons, wheat, honey, and table sugar are found amongst the flavors.
Mouthfeel I'd light medium bodied, spicy, citrusy, and dry. Not bad. It seems to be a good example of the style.

 434 characters

Photo of brewandbbq
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle from the fridge.

Pours hazy, pale gold with a two inch head of white fluff into a tulip. After some reluctant settling, a solid skim coat remained on the surface for the duration of the glass as well as plenty of ripped sheets of lacework.

Aromatics lead off with cut grass, wet hay, peppery hops, and citrus pith. Hints of pineapple, peach, mango, and lemon zest follow through.

Light bodied with a crisp, drying mouthfeel. Quenching and snappy.

Biscuity malt, dried citrus fruits, and earthy hops start the palate. Fresh cut straw, peach skins, pineapple pulp, and an oaky dryness step forward.

Finishes bone dry with lingering tropical fruit, crackery malt, and a peppery zing.

Very tasty and way too quaffable for the upcoming summer. Good stuff.

 770 characters

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

Bottle shared courtesy of glid207. Thanks! Dated November, 2008. Pours a hazy golden with a head that is a thin ring. Fairly light aromas of lemon, coriander, and white pepper. Good flavor with some nice herbal character, lemon, and a very light spiciness. A bit spritzy in the mouth, but acceptable for the style. Pretty pleasant beer, if perhaps a little simple. Still, this is a nice spring beer.

 399 characters

Photo of sholland119
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-Pours a hazy golden apricot with a very fluffy white head and good lacing.

S-A mild spiciness with some banana and clove. A bit of diacetyl but not offputting.

T-Tasty green apple in the front with a yeasty spice. Bitter hops add a peppery note to the finish. Quite nice.

M-Medium bodied with plentiful carbonation.

D-Quite drinkable. A pleasantly balanced saison, like Le Freak but far more mild and drinkable.


 421 characters

Photo of BeerTruth
4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this at Brilbeck's today for $5.99.

22 oz. "taped" bottle poured into a tulip. April 2009, BATCH THREE.

Pours a foggy gold corn hue with a full three finger fluffy white head. Some chunky lacing here and there holds on to the sides of the glass throughout. The aroma consists of spice, banana, and Belgian yeast. A good dose of floral hops and pear. An enjoyable nose, light and fresh. Taste starts off with light fruits; white grapes, green apple, and pear. Midway the dry hops emerge which clearly help identify this beer as an "American" saison. The spices linger in the aftertaste with coriander and dry grass. Soft and pillowy feel in the mouth with a strong sting from the carbonation. I hate to admit it, but I pounded this beer. My first from this brewery/project, but I picked up the Baby Tree as well that I look forward to trying. I'm guessing Kiernan brought these bad boys to the 'Cuse, please get more here!

 927 characters

Photo of Soundscape
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This bottle is dated April 2009 - Batch Three. Pours nicely into a La Chouffe tulip glass with deep golden color. There is a frothy, fragrant head that settles down rather quickly.

First sip - crisp, complex and delicate mix of floral and spices. I'm finding this beer very refreshing and would be inclined to have it again on a hot Summer's day. Smooth mouthfeel with a dry feeling on the back of my tongue. Overall drinkablility is quite good indeed.

The second pouring is as nice looking as the first. The flavors are coming out more as the beer warms with more floral flavor. This is a great Massachusetts beer!

 617 characters

Photo of roan22
4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Bought this bomber at Capone's. Pretty things name is right...their beer labels are beautiful...they defintely are attractive to my eye and made me want to pick up the bottle and look closer at it...then I remembered the name so the purchase was a no brainer.

Overall this beer poured an unfiltered gold orange color, very bright. the foam was thick and lasted the entire way down the glass.

the aroma and taste are typical of a saison...kind of tart citrus, kind of spicy, kind of funky, especially in the nose. I personally prefer more barnyard in my saisons and it fell short in that aspect. However it is a little bitter and more so than most saisons, so the amount of hops in this beer is nice..balances out the juicyness nicely.

overall this was a better than average tasting saison, there is a nice tolerable booze level to it, and I like the fact that another american craft brewer besides Clipper City is brewing one. Cheers.

 940 characters

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

Batch two of this one. I have been wanting to try it and I had earlier had a bottle but sent it on to someone hoping I would be able to score this one again which a I thankfully was able to do so. Served cold and poured into a tall pilsner glass, this one was consumed on 05/07/2009.

The pour was very nice, very cloudy and hazy with a huge billowing head of white coming up and over the top. Really nice carbonation could be seen streaming up toward the top of the glass and a light bit of sediment in the bottom. Light aroma, light spice, bananas and light grain, nothing really over the top here at all and very understated. The taste was a bit bigger, grainy with a light fruit hint to it, but still nothing that is terribly over the top. Good, but not great. Light dry finish with a hint of peach and pear as it rolls out. Smooth, light and even carbonation and a nice easy to drink quality to it.

Overall solid, good, but not great. A nice representation of the style, though I really do not feel the need to seek it out again. Still though no bad.

 1,062 characters

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

Pours a hazy yellow orange with a short white head that vanishes pretty quickly.

Smells of yeast and citrus.

The taste is similar to the smell with a good chunk of funk and saison spiciness. No real sweetness in here but I do notice a sour apple tartness.

Mouthfeel is medium to light and fairly dry.

Very easy drinking

It's nice to have Pretty Things in the Philly area now. I'm looking forward to trying more of their beer

 429 characters

Photo of Jwale73
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Been wanting to try this one for a while. 22oz bottle served in my ST tulip. Bottled March 09 Batch Two indicated on the paper band covering the cap. Poured a hazy golden-orange with a dense, bright white three inch head; excellent retention. Delicate, thin cloud-like patches of lacing coated the sides of the glass as the cap slowly receded. Nose reveals coriander, lemon zest and belgian yeast. Taste is consistent with nose. Some citric acid comes out, as well as some candi sugar - a very nice balance of flavors, but missing some of the characteristic funkiness associated with the style. Mouthfeel falls between light- and medium-bodied with a consistent background effervescence and some astringency detectable around the sides of the cheek. Great farmhouse. Easy drinking, flavorful and all at a 6.4% abv. A bargain to boot at $5.99. Can't wait to try Pretty Things' Quad & Brown.

 889 characters

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

Poured this bottle into a Sam Adams Perfect pint.

Appearance: This beer pours a cloudy/hazy golden color. A standard pour yields at least a 2 finger billowing white head. Holding it up to the light, it is difficult to see through the glass at all.

Smell: There is a mix of spice, lemon, grass, and pepper.

Taste: Complex, wonderful flavors. Nice mix of spices, lemon grass, pepper, and pronounced brewers yeast. Tart aftertaste is definite.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel was dry, and peppery. Decent mouthfeel for this style.

Drinkability: With the complexity of the beer, it went down smooth but even sharing a bottle was enough.

Final Thoughts - I was so happy to try this brew. Definite surpise at a tasting, and I had to get more. Next time I visit the store I would definitely try another.

 793 characters

Photo of gford217
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle shared by glid02 at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy golden with a large fluffy white head that recedes quickly to a small swirl on top and leaves spotty lacing.

The aroma is sweet with Belgian yeast which is balanced out by the peppery spiciness. There are some lemons in the nose as well.

The taste follows the aroma and has a decent sweet yeast base that starts to taste a little like apples after a few sips. As in the aroma, there is a bit of peppery spiciness in the finish accented by a slightly tart lemon presence.

The mouthfeel is light to medium bodied and very refreshing with plenty of carbonation.

This is my first beer from this new project and I'm looking forward to trying more as this is a solid effort.

 730 characters

Photo of twelvsies
4.47/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first beer release from the newish Pretty Things project headed by Dann Paquette. I knew this would be good, and it is. Nice golden color, a bit cloudy, healthy head. This beer is complex and has a lot going on, without being confusing. Several yeast strains contribute to the ripe layers of flavor here. Pale malt, doughy, spicy, pepper and grass, a touch of citrus in the finish. Plenty of American hops for a saison (Americain) yet they don't get in the way, but rather contribute to the floral bouquet this beer is putting forth. Light on the palate but with body, crisp and refreshing. Just right this time of year, but really I would drink a beer this good any time. Look for more winners from this brewing project.

Enjoyed on tap at a recent beer dinner at Vee Vee, had the bottled version a few times which excellent as well.

 838 characters

Photo of glid02
4.1/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this thanks to an LIF from Norica - thanks!

Pours a clear lemon-yellow color with an orange tint and a one-finger slightly off-white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of light citrus, not as much grapefruit but more lemon and orange, with a decent amount of grassiness and lighter amounts of spices.

Tastes good. Pale malts with a grassy twinge kick things off though citrus flavors soon overtake the grassiness. Near the end of the sip light spices come out before a moderately dry ending.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a solid thickness with mild carbonation that makes this beer go down smoothly.

Drinkability is good. I had no problem finishing my glass and could drink the bomber without much of a problem.

Overall this is a very light saison that's perfect for this time of year. Certainly worth a shot.

 862 characters

Photo of hwwty4
4.13/5  rDev +3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to jtrockchalk for this one.

Poured a 22oz bottle into my Tripel Karmeliet tulip. This beer pours a golden honey with a huge, rocky, 3-inch white head that leaves some superb lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma is spicy. White pepper, coriander, apricots, and a bit of mustiness all come together in the nose. The flavor is biscuity up front, toast and yeast, a bit of orange rind, and a subtle mustiness. The mouthfeel isn't as dry as most saisons but it does have a sharp carbonation that allows the flavor to cut across he palate. This is a very good saison especially for a new brewery. I'm glad to have the opportunity to try it.

 652 characters

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

Received in a trade with WkndatBernardus. Thanks Joseph, been wanting to try this one.

Beer pours a somewhat different looking mustard yellow color. Not bad, just a shade different from most saisons. Nice head.

Smell is mainly of earth, but there are some pleasant apple notes as well. Some dry funk - not overpowering, but noticeable.
Taste is very earthy and dry, with very little taste of fruit. Definitely some herbs here, just not sure which. Also, very medicinal tasting, some chalky aspirin-like flavors and body. I don't mean this in a bad way, as this added to the dry body of the beer, but this is the best way to describe it. Finish is pasty as well.

All in all, good stuff. Not in the upper echelon of saisons, but really tasty. I would love to have again.

 772 characters

Photo of goatgoat
3.47/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks tai4ji2x for the opportunity.

Batch 2, bottled March '09. Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy golden lemon yellow. 3 fingers of white bubbly head falls quickly into a thin ring. Moderate lace lines the glass.

Aroma is fruity and musty. Undercurrents of tart and spicy.

Flavor follows the aroma. But with good edge of musty, barnyard flavor. Tartness comes in later, then a slightly harsh bitterness shares the finish.

Nicely light body with good amount of carbonation.

This is a decent saison, but not the revelation others have been. The harshness in the finish is a bit a deal-breaker for me.

 610 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.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!