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Pilgrim's Dole - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pilgrim's DolePilgrim's Dole

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

347 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 347
Hads: 757
Avg: 3.94
pDev: 16.5%
Wants: 67
Gots: 91 | FT: 9
Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Wheatwine |  12.00% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2003

A barleywine-style ale made with 50% wheat malt (a wheatwine) aged in bourbon barrels.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Pilgrim's Dole Alström Bros
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Reviews: 347 | Hads: 757
Photo of K-Dog
4.35/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2013 version, has 2 years of age, smells of bourbon and vanilla. Had one last year with a year of age and thought it's was fantastic and couldn't wait to try with 2 years of age. Still pretty boozy after 2 years and i think it was at its best after one year but still great now after 2 years. A quality beer.

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Photo of BrownAleBollocks
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a beautiful dark garnet with a one finger creamy coffee cream head. Aroma is dark fruit, booze, toffee, and bourbon. Taste is dark caramel, dark fruit, toffee, booze, and bourbon flavor and heat. Mouthfeel is medium and fairly viscous. Overall an interesting take on a wheatwine with the bourbon barrel aging.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours brilliant ruby amber under a thin white foam colar.
S: Fruit, malt and alcohol in the aroma with anise or cardamom
T: Malty, light sweetness, traces of cola, caramel, small pitted fruits, anise with a bourbon feel to the tastes. Hop accent on the finish.
F: Chewy, medium low carbonation, some warming.
O: A big beer to savor.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Comes out of the tap a clear mahogany with a thick, fine-bubbled wheat head that leaves some generous lacing. Malty aroma has a pineapple overtone and a note of horehound. Malty, fruity flavor has pineapple, orange and vanilla notes plus hints of horehound, cloves and caramel. Firm, fizzy texture leaves an enjoyable and flavorful finish. Make a pilgrimage for this one.

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Photo of Jjski
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Not many wheat wines score high on BA. rated as a wheat wine, not as a great beer that competes against RIS, DIPA, or your mama's big fat booty ale.

THIS is an exemplar of the style: buttery, Carmel, tart wheat. Not barleywine for sure a different experience: fluffier lighter and similar ABV. Bourbon butter toffee candy in a glass.

If you don't enjoy viscous sweet beer, it may be considered cloying. Wheat wine advocates rejoice in its gravity and smooth idiosyncratic vicissitudes

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Photo of yannimou
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Very sweet, brown sugar flavors. Unbelievably thick sticky mouth feel, possibly thicker than BCBS. Absolutely wonderful. My only problem is the bourbon. I generally hate BBA beers that are not stouts. Although there was a lot of bourbon here, I though it was pretty
well balanced with the sweetness and body this beer offers.

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Photo of 57md
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Light brown in color. Subtle bourbon nose. Nice body and solid bourbon flavor. Sweet note on the finish. Tastes like a slightly lighter version of a top-tier barrel-aged barleywine.

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Photo of jroberts8811
4.48/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

If you like English Barleywines then this is right up your alley. I was thinking this would be on par with Dragon's Milk but am thrilled at how much better it is. Definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of StoneTSR
4.33/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

APPEARANCE: Pilgrim’s Dole acts a lot like a Barleywine; mahogany, but on the lighter side, in color with hundreds of very slow moving bubbles crawling up the edges of the glass. The head, however, is much more sturdy than most Barleywines, staying intact for a good two minutes and falling to a healthy, 95% coverage of the surface of the beer. The lacing is spectacular, cover over 95% of the back of the glass. Truly a gorgeous beer.

SMELL: There are a lot more sugary malts contributing to the aroma than I would expect in this beer; brown sugar stands out the most, but toffee and caramel are there too. There’s also a touch of banana and vanilla. This almost smells like cake.

TASTE: Brown sugar, vanilla, banana sweetness; this is a decedent indulgence. Caramel and toffee need to be mentioned here as well. There is a little bit of hop bite to balance, but the malt is clearly the star of the show.

MOUTHFEEL: The body is clearly huge, but given the sweetness and intensity of this beer it falls on a much lighter side than it should. “Bright” is a word that comes to mind. And even though Pilgrim’s Dole is decidedly sweet, it’s not overboard. I’d say it’s a consistent 7.5-8.0 on the dry-to-sweet scale.

OVERALL: If it wasn’t for the mouthfeel I would swear this is a Barleywine, but the wheat really lightens the situation up. Given the sweetness and decadence of this beer it is hard to believe how easy it goes down.

As a side note, at Big Beers, Belgians and Barleywines this past month, this was one of the Top 3 beers I had. Spectacular.

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Photo of Ri0
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a chalice.

A - Dirty caramel brown with thin 1 finger tan head. Minimal lacing on glass.

S - Thick malty scents of vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, and overly sweet dark fruit and bread. Reminds me of an old ale.

T - This is mighty tasty with chewy sweet malts of caramel and brown sugar blended with mild vanilla. Very sweet bread and dart fruit give it some depth. The taste has a familiarity of old ale, yet it includes notes of dark fruit. Pretty mellow and not very boozy.

M - Medium bodied with a thicker mouthfeel. Very rich and smooth with good carbonation.

O - This is a very good, yet mellow wheatwine. I don't really notice the bourbon up front and it is only a couple months old. An excellent sipper for the winter months.

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Photo of mfnmbvp
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, 2014 vintage. A new beer to me from New Holland, this one a wheatwine ale aged in bourbon barrels.

Poured into a clear balloon snifter.

A - It pours a thick rubyish caramel hued body. Less than a finger of creamy khaki tan head that thins to a wisp. Some small sticky lacing that slowly cascades back down into the glass. Looks good.

S - The aroma is comprised of mild alcohol fumes, oak wood, caramel, vanilla, and some slight mustiness. Very complex and deliciously layered. The bourbon barrel aging has worked its magic.

T - Taste follows the nose: luscious waves of caramel, toffee, vanilla, oak, wood, mustiness, and mild alcohol fumes.

M - The mouth feel is luscious, smooth, and creamy. Again, the woodsy bourbon barrel aging is wondrous and dominant. Mild alcohol fumes on the end.

Overall, a very nice bourbon barrel aged wheatwine. Highly recommend drinking from New Holland.

New Holland Pilgrim's Dole -----4/5.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2014 Vintage

A - Pours a dark amber with a thin off-white head. Very light soapy lacing.

S - Aromas of caramel, toffee, burnt sugar, and dark fruits.

T - Flavors of vanilla, toffee, caramel, and dark fruit upfront and remain until the finish. The finish is oak and heavy bourbon with a lingering bourbon booziness in the finish.

M - Full bodied with low carbonation. Very smooth mouthfeel with a sticky finish.

O - My first experience with a barrel-aged wheatwine and it was a good one. A very nice winter sipper.

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Photo of superspak
4.3/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into snifter, 2014 vintage bottling. Pours fairly crystal clear deep ruby red color with a small dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin lace cap that lingers. Light spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation retaining the cap. Aromas of caramel, molasses, brown sugar, toast, toffee, raisin, fig, date, vanilla, bourbon, oak, light pepper, and oak/toasted earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark/bready malt and bourbon barrel notes; with great strength. Light amount of booziness in the aromas, but not a bad thing. Taste of huge caramel, brown sugar, molasses, toast, toffee, raisin, fig, date, vanilla, bourbon, oak, light pepper, and oak/toasted earthiness. Light earthy oak/spicy bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of caramel, brown sugar, molasses, toast, toffee, raisin, fig, date, vanilla, bourbon, oak, light pepper, and oak/toasted earthiness on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and moderate dark fruit flavors; with an awesome malt/barrel balance and zero cloying sweetness after the finish. Light-medium carbonation and very full bodied; with a very creamy and fairly slick mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is well hidden with only a small warming present after the finish. Overall this is an outstanding barrel aged wheatwine style! All around awesome complexity, robustness, and balance of dark/bready malt, bourbon barrel, and moderate dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the big ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of bozodogbreath
4.4/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

2014 vintage poured into a Founders snifter.

A: A ruby red wine-like coloring. Dark enough that I cannot see through the glass. 4.5

S: Sweet, bourbon-y smell. Burnt sugar/molasses. Slight spicy note. 4.5

T: Caramel, bourbon, vanilla, complex and delicious. 4.5

M: Soft, full, mild alcohol bite. 4.0

O: A very satisfying brew. I will be spending more time with Pilgrim's Dole this winter than I have in the past.

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Photo of deadonhisfeet
4.31/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a bottle into a small snifter. The pour is deep, dark amber in color, very clear, and practically uncarbonated (common for barrel-aged beers). Very pleasant nose on this one. Lots of bready malt, rich bourbon, sweet vanilla, and toasted oak.

Medium-full body with an intensely sweet flavor. Lots of sugary treacle toffee notes up front and a good solid thump of bourbon at mid-palate. The bourbon intensifies towards the back of the palate and generates considerable alcohol warmth and boozy notes for the finish. It's not at all unpleasant as the booziness is tempered by a soft, gooey feel and sweet vanilla and oaky flavors. You definitely get that 12\%ABV on the finish, but the burn is welcome.

I've had one other bourbon barrel aged wheat wine and this one is noticeably superior to that one. It has many of the same characteristics as Founders Backwoods Bastard, but the bready notes are dialed down and the wheat imparts a softer feel and a faint hint of tartness. The next time I strike out trying to get Backwoods Bastard, I'll pick up this instead and be just fine. One of the beer guys at the bottle shop where I frequent made the comment that if this stuff had a Three Floyds label on the bottle, people would do crazy things to get it. He might be right about that.

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Photo of Immortale25
4.51/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Funky Buddha Brewery snifter. Back label says Vintage 2014.

A- Pours a rubyish dark amber color with a 1/4 inch tan head that retains decently before becoming a thin ring around the edge of the glass and some wispy sheer surface foam. Semi-resilient lacing leaves small specs behind.

S- A lot of vanilla-y wood tones emanating from the glass. Very nice and without hardly any alcohol fume which is impressive.

T- Whoa, that is smooth. The barrel comes right through but only all the good parts, displaying the vanilla and oak in a beautiful context. How is this 12% ABV? The wheat sets the stage for all the other flavors to shine and there's a caramel sweetness intertwined throughout.

M- Creamy and soft with medium-low carbonation and a fullish body. Damn near perfect.

O- This is just amazing. So dangerously drinkable and enticingly delicious. I'm going to be seeking out a lot more Barrel-aged wheatwines after this.

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Photo of WesMantooth
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

$14 for a 4 pack of 12 oz. bottles.

Center poured into a teku glass. Small head disappears quickly. A very dark amber with a wine look to it.

Smells like caramel, toffee, vanilla, and a hint of bourbon.

A lot more bourbon in the taste, but nowhere near overpowering. Also get some vanilla, toffee, caramel, maybe honey. Not too sweet, but I think it does finish a hair hot, tart, and bitter. While it defiantly has english barleywine characteristics, it also drinks a lot like a barrel aged scotch ale a bit with the rich feel and malt. It doesn't scream 12% by any means, but still a sipper.

This is an excellent beer. Will be buying more.

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Photo of Gryphon69
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle 2014

A- Deep Amber in color, very small head that falls to a thin coating. Light lacing that quickly slides down the sides. Lots of very small bubbles up the sides of the glass.

S- Caramel and lots of it, malt, vanilla, honey, light molasses and brown sugars.

T- Malty, lots more bourbon than the nose, caramel sweet, finishs with some light alcohol burn.

M- Medium, slick, slightly fizzy with some alcohol burn.

O- I think its pretty good, not one your gonna slam down unless your a shot person. Looks real good, smells good and tastes good. Solid BA ale imo.

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Photo of jhartley
3.91/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a poco grande style glass. Vintage 2014.

Pours a crisp clear brown with barely a 1/2 fingers worth of head, dissipated quickly.

Smells of sweet malts, some vanilla and bourbon.

Starts out with a sweet barleywine sweetness (still not a fan of that), followed with some alcohol heat and then finished with a ginger like tingle on the tongue and that fills the mouth.

Finishes clean for a bourbon barrel aged beer it's not overly heavy, but that alcohol is definitely there and it's not a beer you can chug down; it's a sipper.

Overall I was surprised at how much I did like this beer, not overwhelmed but definitely not underwhelmed. Not a beer I would search out again in the future, however glad I was able to taste it. If barleywines are your thing, especially barrel aged ones, then you must try this out.

This was a gift from fellow BA jzeilinger, thanks again bro.

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Photo of n2185
3.51/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a clear copper with a finger of light tan head that fades into a thin ring with no lacing.

S: Lots of caramel and vanilla on the nose with honey, oak, and bourbon following through.

T: Caramel, vanilla, burnt sugar, a bit of honey and oak, and a fair amount of bourbon. The finish is sweet and boozy.

M: Medium-thick body with low carbonation, this beer is sticky sweet and slick while avoiding being watery.

O: A solid beer, overall. Not terribly complex and a little too boozy, but still good.

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours a mostly clear medium reddish brown in color with light to moderate amounts of active visible carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass slowly and moderate amounts of dark amber highlights. The beer has a quarter finger tall foamy light tan head that reduces to a mottled thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a medium thick ring at the edges of the glass. Very light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate aromas of toffee and caramel sweetness from the malts and some light hints of vanilla, bourbon, and oak.

T: Upfront there are moderate to strong flavors of sweet dark malts with moderate amounts of toffee and caramel sweetness. There are light amounts of vanilla with moderate amounts of oak and stronger bourbon notes. Hints of alcohol in the finish.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Moderate amounts of alcohol warming in the finish.

O: Might be the first barrel-aged wheatwine that I have tried and it worked really well, somewhat tempering the sweetness of wheatwines and adding to the complexity of the flavors. Enjoyable and definitely a good sipping beer. Alcohol is present but not overpowering.

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Photo of Smokesnotes
4.46/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: nice deep amber color, no head

S: fantastic. Bourbon & vanilla

T: strong vanilla up front. Wheat wine comes through in the middle, slight bitter end. Hides the 12% pretty well.

M: starts heavy then a tingle

O: really good. A surprise to just find on the shelf never hearing of it before. Highly recommend trying it of you like bourbon barrel aged beers. And who doesn't.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.94/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Can't remember who I need to thank for this one, though I think it's bertram...

A. Pours a deep, clear, dark copper color. A half finger of beautiful, consistent, light tan head pops up. Head retention is solid at a quarter finger with decent lacing.

S. Expressive caramel and treacle notes. Stone fruits of cherry and roasted fig. Toffee and subtle notes of chocolate around the edges. Barrel presence is there, but it takes on more of a brandy or sherry note...not a bourbon blast at all. This smells warm and inviting, like a freshly baked caramel tart.

T. Huge malt up front, with chocolate, caramel, and loads of toffee. A subtle nuttiness in the flavor profile also. Fairly substantial brandy/sherry flavors with a soft, buttery backbone. A big, thick malt base...like biting into a husk of pumpernickel. Finish is rather tannic and boozy, with a big dry blast of alcohol on the back end, which I assume is the bourbon barrel.

M. Low carbonation and absolutely packed with the aforementioned flavors, but it falters on the finish, which is too dry, too tannic, too boozy. Doesn't completely ruin the experience, but it certainly detracts from what came before.

O. This is an impressive barrel-aged wheat wine. The malt bill here is complex and hearty, a fantastic showcase of different malt flavors. In fact, everything is really top notch until the finish...this bottle has at least a year on it and the finish is still way too boozy and hot. It fails to stick the landing, but that doesn't diminish the fact that this is a strong wheat wine regardless. Pilgrim's Dole is, however, the rare instance where barrel aging diminished as opposed to improved the beer.

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Photo of KYGunner
4.14/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25


Very clean yet exceptionally striking in its ruby complexion it poured with a stiff khaki head that had nice retention.

The nose is somewhat tempered but after some exploration the aromas begin to become much stronger. The wheat malt graininess is very evident along with chocolate, toffee, vanilla, caramel, oak, sweet bourbon, tea leaf and raisin.

The flavor is full of butterscotch, toffee, Werthers candies, brownie, light chocolate, bourbon, vanilla and the woodsy oakiness of the barrel.

The feel is full, somewhat thick with a bit of alcohol heat.

I actually went into this a bit skeptical but it served very well as an after dinner dessert and an over all great beer.

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Photo of Davepoolesque
4.06/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottled in 2013. Light in body, caramel in color with little to no head. Huge vanilla smell in the front, caramel sweetness, toffee, bourbon and burnt sugar. Basically tasted like a BBA English Barleywine, except maybe a little less sweet. Slightly under carbonated, took a little away from the taste. Really well done wheatwine that I was happy to drink, but would have loved to have had this aged. I think 2 years would do wonders for this beer.

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Pilgrim's Dole from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 347 ratings.