Friday, August 6, 2010

401. Pretty Things Jack D’Or Saison Americain

Here’s another special treat I brought back from Brooklyn. We invited Jeff over to try this, because, well, that’s what we do. This is our first beer from Pretty Things, which is described on the label as “Good Time Artisanal Beers brewed in Massachusetts.” They’re based in Cambridge, but describe themselves as a “gypsy brewery.” Harump. I’d being having good times too if I got to travel around and brew at other people’s facilities. And just in case all of you out there were wondering, we’re also available for any such brewing chicanery you should need. All you need to do is ask...

Jack D’Or pours a lightly hazy gold with a thin white head; the nose is lightly acidic and slightly candy malt sweet. Flavors start with faint hints of malt sweetness and graininess that quickly fade into the dry and lightly bitter middle. The finish is minerally and even chalky with a touch of lingering bitterness, but other than that rather clean. Jack D’Or has a dry and minerally mouthfeel; the bright carbonation further dries out the beer on the palate, leaving not much besides the initial touch of sweetness, some bitterness, and the chalky/mineral components. The nose is sweeter than the body; with the addition of the yeast from the bottle, there is a bit of softness and breadiness that is added to the flavor profile and mouthfeel. As well, as the carbonation mellows, a small amount of chewiness emerges, although there is still quite a bit of the chalky and minerally components to close out the beer. A good saison, especially as an American version, although it is not one of the very best. Still, Jack D’Or is drinkable and certainly enjoyable.
Contemplating beer.

From the label: “Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project is a husband & wife venture based in Cambridge, MA. We brew our own beers in other people’s breweries. Our beers are inspired by fun times and happy days. Here’s to that! Cheers from Dann & Martha.”

Bored with beer.

From the Pretty Things website: “‘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. At PRETTY THINGS we don’t brew styles per se. Instead, 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 I like to drink before, after and during a great meal. Heck, we’ll drink this sort of beer any time. On our honeymoon in France and Belgium we stashed quite a few cases of Wallonian beer into our trunk. Every night after setting up our tent we’d cook lardons and lentils on our camp stove and enjoy fresh ‘saison’ under the stars. Inspired by some of our favorites saisons like Saison DuPont, but also DeRanke’s XX Bitter, De Dolle’s Arabier, and local table IPAs like Smuttynose, our 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. Fermentation-wise we use a blend of three 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, sugar, hops and yeast. One more time: there are no spices whatsoever in Jack D’Or! We reserve the right to make this beer better on a batch-to-batch basis, but we promise to keep you up to date with any changes that we make. That said, revealing too much of what we’re doing takes away some of the fun, so we’re not going turn this beer into a set of numbers and raw materials on here either.”

ABV: 6.5%
Bottled: June 2010
Batch 16


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