Beer purchasing is one of the few aspects of my life where I will judge a book by its cover. There’s nothing like a nice label or screen printed bottle to make a beer stand out from the crowd and grab my attention as I walk down a beer aisle. Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project out of Brookline, Massachusetts have some of the best labels in the game. Each beer has a very beautiful, and also very unique, label. They don’t always tell you something about the beer itself, but they all tell a story. JACK D’OR was the first Pretty Things beer I came across, so it was the first one I purchased.
Jack D’or is farmhouse ale, or “Saison Americain” as they call it with 57 IBUs and a 6.5% ABV. The bottle I got was bottled in February 2011 and was part of batch 22.
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!
Jack D’or pours a light apricot color with bubbly head. There is no real carbonation or sediment presence, which is odd considering the style.
The nose of this beer is one of spices and farm life. Ginger is the most noticeable, but there is something else lurking in there (maybe anise?). Wheat and hay notes add to the farmhouse feel, with a clove/banana presence adding some sweetness.
A grainy dryness starts off the flavor of this beer; kinda like a pilsner, but with a slight spiciness after it. Floral hops are noticeable in the middle, before giving way to a pepper like heat in the backend. Sadly none of the sweetness from the nose is present in the taste.
Mouthfeel is light and dry. It evaporates quickly and leaves a slight heat on your tongue.
I honestly expected more sweet and spicy from this saison, but like the brewers say their beers don’t fit into categories (it honestly tastes more like a pils or English Pale Ale). Jack D’or isn’t a bad beer, but it wasn’t what I was hoping for.
Overall: 6.5 out of 10
As a SAISON/FARMHOUSE ALE: 4 out of 10
FOR FANS OF: Brasserie Dupont FORET, Victory HELIOS, Three Floyds RABBID RABBIT