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Guest Post – Basement Breweries Drinks Jack D’Or

April 4, 2011

I met John at a bar. The Beagle was hosting a cask night. The firkin was pouring Cuvee d’Hiver. It seemed like I was the last person to get to know John. Who is this Basement Breweries chap? Well, he is a Victorian who documents his homebrewing and drinking adventures on his blog, Basement Breweries. He even invited me his homebrewing shindig. Samples of nine brewed by John were on offer. I was impressed by many of them that I actually brought some bottles home to drink. I’m drinking his brown porter, tastes like toasted tootsie rolls.

I bashed a poor love poem of a post on Pretty Things before, but I’ve never featured a single beer from them. Well, he we go with their flagship ale – Jack D’or. Over to you John:

Pretty Things, a brewery from Westport, Massachusetts, is obviously a bit bizarre. From the story of the inspiration for their brewery coming from 15th century carvings in a cathedral in Yorkshire, to their wacky beer names like Confounded Mr. Sisyphus and Fluffy White Rabbits, it’s a little difficult to know how to take these guys. Just looking at the label of one of their beers is all it takes to know Pretty Things is a bit different, as they depict child-like cartoon illustrations that look more like something out of a Roald Dahl book than a label for an alcoholic beverage.

Jack D’Or is no exception to this spirit of uniqueness. The bottle shows Jack himself, a personified cartoon grain of barley sporting an absurdly huge moustache, standing in a wooden mash tun, apparently about to be transformed into beer. This beer is dubbed a “saison americain”, which is presumably a hoppier version of a Belgian farmhouse beer. It pours a straw-like gold with a nearly imperceptible fruity aroma. It is clean and drinkable and has a flavour permeated with spicy hops. There is a light element of Belgian yeast but it is dominated by the hop character of this beer. Its finish is fairly bitter, but I found it to be somewhat harsh and unrefined. My main criticism of this beer is its balance, the malt character is just not sufficient to balance the heavy hops. With its clean flavour and spicy hops this beer reminded me of a Czech pilsner, just hoppier and with a Belgian twist, and although I did enjoy it, for the high price I would recommend instead the Saison De Dottignies from the Brouwerij De Ranke. Simply put, it does this style better, with more subtlety and balance, and is available at Cook St. Village Liquor.

Rating: Good

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From → Beer, Guest Post, Import

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