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Pilgrim's Dole | New Holland Brewing Company

very good
357 Reviews
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Pilgrim's DolePilgrim's Dole

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States | website

Style: Wheatwine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 12.00%

Availability: Summer

Notes / Commercial Description:
A barleywine-style ale made with 50% wheat malt (a wheatwine) aged in bourbon barrels.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-19-2003

User Reviews
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Reviews: 357 | Ratings: 798
Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted in a 12 oz pub glass from draft at Milwalky Taco on March 9, 2016. Look is cloudy brownish orange with a thick fluffy off-white head and sticky lacing. Smell is alcohol, toffee, pineapple, dried fruits, floral hops and sweet malt aromas. Taste is toffee, caramel, brown sugar, maple syrup, sweetened pineapple, dark dried fruits and rich toasted malt flavors. Feel is thick and syrupy sweet with a warm and somewhat spicy finish.

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Photo of kalosjakar
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Burgundy red (gorgeous), no head.
Looks exactly like I poured cranberry juice.

Bourbon, vanilla, oak notes.
Definite alcohol burn, malty sweet, bourbon, caramel.
Strongly reminds me of mead.
Boozy as fuck.

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Photo of CoreyC
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2014 Vintage
A- Really nice reddish color, very unique
S- Smell dominated by bourbon
T- Carmely sweet balanced by still strong bourbon finish, and this has been aged a year since purchase
O- Good but still a bit hot. The BB flavor still overpowers the malty sweet flavors. I'll age the other bottle I have for a while longer.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

wheatwine is a style not often executed well, so i was impressed with this one right off the bat just for being so well dialed in. that said, its not a style i tend to gravitate towards, and all the residual sugar usually keeps my intake pretty light, but this one is very good even with the sweetness. deep color, just starting to caramelize with some bronzed edges to it, and a tall lacy white head and visible carbonation. it smells sweet for sure, led by the bourbon barrel. the wheat malt has a nice caramel aroma and flavor to it, like some sort of dessert bread or something. vanilla and honey in there as well, and plenty of high test alcohol in here. the flavor is much like the nose, i really like this deeper richer wheat base. some barley malt for sure too, but i love what this particular wheat is contributing. it brings a lot of texture too, this is nice and full bodied. bourbon sweetness with the oak and vanilla is there, less of the char from the barrel than is sometimes present in big beers like this, and the booze stands out like crazy, even more so when it warms up a little. again, not a style i generally spend too much time with, but this is one of the better examples of it for me in recent memory. not too hoppy either, more about grain and barrel than hops, its always a bit much when they turn into big wheat ipa types. well made, but definitely hot, for the strong ale lover for sure.

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

New Holland Pilgrims Dole.

I honestly have no idea where to even begin with starting this one up. I've never even seen let alone drank a wheatwine. New Holland usually makes some pretty solid beers so I'm hoping this one is a good example of the style. Going in completely blind. Let's do it.

Look - From the twelve ounce bottle poured at a moderate pace into a pint glass. Beer pours a deep, deeeeep amber in coloration with a truly unique sparkle as it exists the confines of the bottle. Head amount comes to about two finger of thick, almost pillow like fluffy white head that sits atop a beautiful shade of red. Carbonation appears to be about moderate with this brew. Must admit it is an attractive beer. Lacing and stick is rather pleasant

Smell - Oak and vanilla galore. This nose really is dominated by oak and vanilla in increments that I have never truly smelled in a beer with the vanilla taking dominance in a 70/30 split over the oak. Also get some ripe cherry and dark fruit like sweetness upon another whiff. The alcohol is barely noticeable.

Taste - This is a big, BIG beer. And I'll say here it is not for newcomers to the world of craft. The vanilla once again leads the charge here along with its oak sidekick to meld things out. Lots of dark, sweet but not cloyingly sweet fruits come through as well and they form a trifecta of brilliance. The alcohol does get a bit hotter as you continue into the glass and as it warms, but this is a twelve percent beer after all. This beer is almost what I WISH Backwoods Bastard would have been. I know I know, two completely different styles but this beer at least lets you taste the flavors without the booze being too dominant.

Feel - The feel on this brew matches up perfectly to everything else. The body is moderate with a very low level of carbonation though it is far from dead. High creamy factor with a pillowy like feel. A bit of alcohol on the swallow and in the throat as the beer has warmed up but it only further adds to the goodness.

Overall - This is a world class beer without a doubt. Just finished the glass and I can already feel it slightly creeping into my bloodstream. Again, this us not for the craft beer newbies, but if you like barrel aged beers with all the fixins that lack the huge alcoholic bite, this one is for you. As always, try it and come to your own conclusion..

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

A-a dark ruby amber color with a thin layer of cream colored head that disappears quickly and leaves a bit of lace around the top

S-caramel malt, dark fruits, vanilla, and a bit of oak and bourbon

T-taste is similar to the smell with lots of caramel, vanilla, dark fruits, and light bourbon and oak

M-medium body, moderate carbonation, some alcohol warming but still pretty smooth considering 12% ABV

Overall a good strong beer, pretty sweet, but I found it enjoyable

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Photo of mlockman
4.42/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Strong whiskey flavors are certainly up-front but well-balanced with the malt, and the mouthfeel is sublime. I would not recommend aging this one unless you like really, really subtle whiskey flavors; the balance is perfect as-is in my opinion.

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Photo of martinpfal
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.25

Sweet and yummy. High gravity series doesn't disappoint. Abv high but not overpowering the flavor. Poured lighter than expected, but then again it was my first step into wheatwine

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Photo of IndianaAndy25
4.36/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This beer is a great vehicle for the barrel aging process. I will not over think this review. I bought a 4 pack and now I am feeling remorse because I did not buy more.

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Photo of ThaJokerWild
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

looks the color of a brown bottle but translucent almost a caramel water tinge half finger heaad minor lacing big legs smells of dates rolled in flour tastes of dark candies almost burnt heavy oak taste with light smokre over-all great brew

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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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Pilgrim's Dole from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 357 ratings.