Jack D'Or | Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project

1,641 Ratings
Jack D'OrJack D'Or

Brewed by:
Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project
Massachusetts, United States

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.50%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
“Jack D’Or” is a simple table beer, or “Saison Americain” as we’re referring to it. We are not trying to coin a beer style – we’re just having fun. The Jack D’Or (pronounced “Jack Door”), is at the very center of Pretty Things and nearly three years on we’re still pleased as punch that he joined us!

As you know, PRETTY THINGS doesn’t brew “styles” per se. Close, but we re-imagine everything and leave the style numbers in books on the shelves where they belong. What that means is that while other people might be able to put our beers into a category, we have a hard time with it! Our beers are first and foremost creative beasts, not “types” of beer. Jack D’Or is the kind of beer Martha and Dann like to drink before, after and during a great meal. Heck, we’ll drink this sort of beer any time.

On Dann & Martha’s honeymoon in France and Belgium they stashed quite a few cases of Wallonian beer into their trunk. Every night after setting up their tent they’d cook lardons and lentils on a camp stove and enjoy fresh “saison” under the stars.

Inspired by some of our favorites like Saison DuPont, but also DeRanke’s XX Bitter, De Dolle’s Arabier, and local IPAs like Smuttynose, the Jack D’Or starts off with North American Pils, Vienna, Wheat and Malted Oats (among others) and is hopped with a combination of four hops, finishing with Palisade and Nugget. The bitterness is the real backbone of the Jack D’Or. It’s a proper “plant-like” bitterness with all of its jagged edges, beginning deep in the soil, then to the stem of this beer and up into to the very tippity heights. Fermentation-wise we use a blend of four yeast strains to give Jack D’Or its refreshingly dry character. Finally, despite all of the spicy flavours in this beer it contains no actual spices – only malt, oats, rye, sugar, hops and yeast. One more time: there are no spices or citrus in Jack D’Or. Wheat lends acidity at Jack’s edges, then rye and our blended yeast character come into play for a bit of polyphony, displeasing the notion of “balance” and creating the fire in the belly of Jack D’Or!

The creature on the label is Jack D’Or himself, conceived and drawn by Dann. Far away in a small clearing in the woods of New England, ankle deep in the mash tun, he contemplates and conjures himself into a batch of beer. For those of you who are new to this, Jack is a grain of malted barley, but more than that: he is the unifying force behind all of the Pretty Things. Jack D’Or Must Die!

57 IBU

Added by Paquette on 12-01-2008

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,641 |  Reviews: 642
Photo of korguy123
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Special thanks to Rutager from the CANBIF for this.
Bottled September 2010 - Batch 19
Bottle into tulip.

A- Slightly hazy golden yellow pour, lively carbonation, huge soapy, snow white head that leaves webs of lacing everywhere it's been.

S- Earth and grass notes, bright lemon with a excellent spicy yeast aroma.

T- Bright grassy taste, touch of lemon and a nice sweet pear presence. Spicy yeast rounds everything out.

M- Light bodied, good carbonation, quick dry finish.

O- Saisons were late bloomers for me, now I jump at every opportunity I can get to try new ones. This is exceptional.

 595 characters

Photo of tenacioustomato
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of Number3red
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of Reaper16
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

2011 bottle served into a tulip glass

Pours an absolutely crystalline golden color. The body is clear on the level of a pilsner. I guess this beer isn't bottle conditioned (a strange occurrence for a saison). 1.5 fingers of loose, small white bubbles make for a nice head. It's a fine looking beer; its clarity makes for beauty.

The aroma is rock-solid for this style of beer. Nothing here is surprising or original, but everything is textbook. Light banana and bubblegum esters meet a heavier dose of PVC pipe phenols. A dash of white pepper draws out some earthy notes from the pils-like malts. There's not much in the way of stonefruit (like in Saison Dupont), but there is a healthy dose of lemon (I wouldn't be surprised if there's some Sorichi Ace in the hop bill). There's a significant hop presence; mostly green and bitter.

The major flavor, even after over one year of age, is the hop bill. This is a hoppy saison on the level of a Boulevard Tank 7, but instead of the bright Amarillo hops of Boulevard's world-class offering, Jack D'Or opts for green and earthy hops. I mean really earthy. The hop bill here tastes like you squeezed some lemon juice into a potted plant; the beer tastes like it was filtered through a Randall filled with lemon and loam. As the beer warms I pick up on a floral note that's real nice, like chewing lightly on some white flower petals.

The mouthfeel is Jack D'Or's greatest strength. It's light, crisp, and dry. Wonderful. Overall, this is a good saison. Not great, but certainly quite good. I appreciate the earthy flavor profile. Now, I sat on this bottle for a year...had I known it was pretty well filtered I might have consumed it fresher. Maybe its better when its hops are at their freshest. If I get the chance to confirm it then I'll revisit this score. As is, it's still a top-notch saison.

 1,847 characters

Photo of Thomas_Picton
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of muskiesman
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of blckout20
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of stoppertb18
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of wdarcy77
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of JxExM
4/5  rDev -0.2%

Photo of denimdemon
4.25/5  rDev +6%

Photo of t420o
3.55/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pretty Things Jack D' Or

Bottles nov 2011
Consumed 2/16/12

A- pour produces a 1-1/2 finger white head. Body is light straw/golden colored and cloudy. Little in the way if lacing or retention. 3.5

S- Belgian yeast, a doughy malt, lemon zest, clove, slight funk, 3.5 

T- same as nose. A good Belgian yeast bill, doughy malt, lemon zest, clove, slightly funky, slightly spicy. Very faint hops. 3.5    

M- good active carbonation. Nice slight viscous mouthfeel. 4

O- a good saison but not in the top class of saisons that I've had. I'd have it again just not at the price of $9 that I paid for the 22. 3.5


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Photo of falloutsnow
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle from Whole Foods in Berkeley, CA
Bottled in November 2011
Poured into a standard pint glass

A pour, including the yeast sediment, produces a cloudy, pale golden-colored body, with a 1.5cm head that is off-white in color. Head retention is fairly poor, with minimal lacing along sides of glass.

Aroma is shaped by brewer's yeast, unbaked bread dough, and very light herbal component (esters from the yeast and perhaps the wheat and rye malts).

Taste begins with some yeast and bread dough flavors, gradually involving a bit of Belgian yeast esters, sweetness from lighter malts, and bitterness mixed with pale lemon flavors (probably from hops). Good, if not particularly complex.

Beer is medium-bodied, with high enough levels of carbonation to lead to an initially crisp mouthfeel, after which the beer foams up on the palate and comes across as somewhat creamy. Finish is semi-dry.

 894 characters

Photo of marcdalke
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of standardcherry
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%

Photo of ng85
4.75/5  rDev +18.5%

Photo of Alieniloquium
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into an Allagash chalice. Reviewed from notes.

Appearance - Hazy golden body with a healthy white head. Great lacing and nice bubbly retention.

Smell - Yeasty and just a touch funky. Estery smells of bananas and some bready malt.

Taste - Yeasty with lots of esters. Strong banana flavor balanced by a slight hop and yeast bitterness.

Mouthfeel - A little too heavy. Good carbonation and easy to drink, despite being quite heavy for a saison.

Overall - Nice, just not the flavors I'm looking for in a saison. The weight detracts as well.

 562 characters

Photo of Maxwell
4.11/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a straw and hazy yellow with a light white and bubbly head that dissipates swiftly briefly leaving a thin oozing lacing on the side. The carbonation seems great, with a constant stream of bubbles from the bottom of the glass.

Smell: Heavy with bready yeasts and slight sweet malt tinges. The barest hint of piney hops can be found in the back of the smell which suggest and interesting taste.

Taste: Light and frothy, it smoothes out into slight breadiness, with an after tingling of hop bitters. Light with slight sweet malts and citrusy hops in the background of the flavor.

Mouthfeel: The initial rush is thicker on the tongue, but it oozes out into a thin and frothy concoction. The after feel is a bit dry on the tongue after the beer goes down and the hops can definitely be felt in the back bite of this beer.

Overall: As a beer this is also a great drinker. I’m not usually a saison fan, but I am definitely a Saison Americaine fan. With a strong a complex flavoring, I would definitely suggest Jack D'Or.

 1,037 characters

Photo of natemort13
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Nov 2011

Pours a hazy straw yellow with a small white head that quickly recedes into a small puddle.

Nose is slightly spicy yeast with a bit of candied sweetness. Lots of bread.

Taste follows the nose. The spicy yeast gives way to the breadiness of the malt. Fumey alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel is tingly and silky. Finishes dry.

Overall this is an excellently balanced but intriguing saison. Love it, truly a treat to drink.

 441 characters

Photo of UnknownKoger
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a Saison Dupont glass. Appearance is golden yellow or straw colored. Decent carbonation but a thin head reduces to a ring around the glass.

Smells great. Some grassy, herbal notes followed by a crisp sweetness.

Taste is pretty complex. You have some mild funk but then there's a little bit of pepper spiciness from the yeast and just a bit of fruity sweetness. Very cool stuff.

Mouthfeel is very pleasant. Easy to drink.

Overall, I've had Jack D'Or before, but I forgot how good it was. I would definitely have this again. Cheers!

 553 characters

Photo of GuidedByBill
5/5  rDev +24.7%

Photo of Hirshi
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%

Photo of BostonHops
4.01/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

bomber served in a SA perfect pint glass.

pours a clear golden yellow tone while yielding over two fingers of foamy white head; strong retention and a lot of lacing. very nice looking beer.

nose is lemony with hints of yeast, maybe a little spice, and a slight hoppy element. not as strong a bouquet as i have experienced within the style. more of the same in the taste except more pronounced: lemon, light spice notes, grain, yeast, some bitterness from the hops. unique take on the style. tasty.

crisp, medium-bodied mouthfeel. drinkability is high, i could definitely see sessioning this even at 6.4% ABV.

original review on: 08-20-2010

 643 characters

Photo of pawpaw
3.5/5  rDev -12.7%

Photo of Rutager
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Batch 19, Sept. 2010.

Appearance. Pours a clear yellow gold with 2 fingers of fluffy white head. Lots of bubbles rising up.

Smell. Funky, sour white wine, fruity belgian yeast, a bit of light grains.

Taste. Bitter grassy hops, some light fruitiness and spicy yeast. A bit of lemon rind and light grains. Pretty dry.

Mouthfeel. Below medium in body with medium carbonation.

Overall. I had this a while back and found the bitter hops to be a bit too much. Hasn't really changed with some age. Still a nice beer, pretty unique.

 529 characters

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