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Pilgrim's Dole - New Holland Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Pilgrim's DolePilgrim's Dole

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

734 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 734
Reviews: 346
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.36%
Wants: 61
Gots: 84 | FT: 8
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 734 | Reviews: 346
Reviews by shapudding:
Photo of shapudding
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No dating. Deep honeyed dark amber and clear. Thick vanilla mikshakey head in a thin frothy swirling dusty that laid in a thick ring and nice dusting swirl. Lovely pungent aroma, just smells like it will be chewy! Dark caramelly/butterscoth aroma, moving into honey. Bit of pepper and spiceyness coming through. Smooth and fairly creamy, medium moving into heavy, but not too thick. Just feels silky and luscious. It doesn’t taste much like a 10 percenter. Taste of blackened toast, smooth hoppiness-not too bitter and yet they are strong. Cream sherry flavor is very strong after it warms a while. A lot of flavor is left in your mouth after each sip. This is the first time I have ever had a wheatwine that I know of, it is like a mild barleywine, or mild, non biting double IPA. Very good flavor and feel, I really stretched this one out to enjoy it for a while.

More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This poured a gorgeous, deep dark orange in color with no translucency whatsoever. The head came up nicely too, leaving some pits and lacing. This is quite impressive for a 10.0 ABV Wheat Wine.

Smell – Yes, it’s just like an American Barley Wine but with a dominant wheaty nose that reminds me of a pale Belgian. The yeast is very spicy and I’m sure there are some grassy-type of hops in there. The wine is like a sweet white.

Taste – Oh, this tastes much different than it smells. There is a super-charged alcoholic sweetness that seems pumped up with some sort of tarty notes. Galliano is the only thing that I can think of at this point. This is more like a wine cocktail than beer.

Mouthfeel – This is somewhere between medium and full-bodied with a very sharp alcoholic sting. There are strong yellow summertime fruits and lime juice that pucker the lips, the booze that heats up your throat, and a huge malt base that sticks in between your teeth.

Drinkability – Well, I wouldn’t recommend tossing six of these in a beer bong, and if you aren’t familiar with the style this is probably not the best one to try first, but I enjoy strong styles and especially enjoyed this tasty and well done offering from New Holland.

Comments – I pulled this out of what was probably the most diverse box of beers I’ve ever gotten in trade. Thanks to BuckeyeNation for such a generous package and for including this gem from New Holland.

Update – Skyhand popped a 2006 bottle in May at a house party, so I was able to sample this baby once again.

It was grapier than last years with a buttery character. I didn’t get as much booze either, making this a smooth drinker. All in all it’s a good effort at a rather new and difficult style.

Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burnt orange with a nice one finger head leaving sheets of lace behind,big fruity aromas along with some caramel and nut.Deep intense dark fruit hit the taste buds and are unrelenting,very fruity and nutty with a big soapy finish.Wow the compexities are are almost to much for this sipper,very complex and big.A sipping beer to savour my first wheat wine and very intriuged by it a great beer experiance.

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.46/5  rDev +12.6%
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.

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.95/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine March 2007.

Named after the assistance (free bread and ale rations) given to wayfarers on holy pilgrimages in early 14th cen- tury England. We scored a couple of extra cases after our American Beer Fest in June 2006. Loved it then, but we've been dying to try it after some cellaring.

Pours pretty damn thick; mildly syrupy, with thick, fluffy, off-white head and excellent lacing and retention. Wonderful cascading carbonation up front, but once the chaos settles, the bubbles seem to struggle in the murky brown-and-orange depths of this brew. Impressive. Quite alcoholic in the nose. Toffee, overripe pine- apple, floral hops, and charred raisins. Thick, smooth and viscous on the palate. Massive malt body and presence. The syrupy texture seems to glide across the palate with toffee, caramel, brown sugar, golden syrup, hints of candied pineap- ple, and rich, toasty flavors. Boozy and fruity. Rum-soaked raisins. A smack of bit- terness helps to break things up, pricking the palate with an aggressive spiciness and a slightly wheaty twang. Vodka notes. Big, lingering sweetness; toasty toffee notes, with a foundation of alcohol heat and spice in the finish.

If this was life on the dole, we'd be two very happy pilgrims. Enjoy on its own, in a snifter. Serve slightly cool, but allow the beer to warm and unfold.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.4/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled at Rich O's Gravity Head on 3-19-05. Arrives at my table a nice amber orange color with not much head on top at all. Some nice lacing sticks to the side of the glass. A bit of red peeks through as well. There's a nice slight caramelly wheat and a tad bit of sourness in the nose as well. Some light fruit and a bit of roastiness. The nose is a bit too subdued for my liking.

A light, refreshing fruity grain flavor with hints of fresh roasted nuts. Some good caramel tones and some apparent alcohol notes as well. An interesting brew but not really my cup 'o tea.

Mouthfeel is fairly full with a medium body and a nice syrupy creaminess. This is one I can't see myself drinking much of, but it was worth a try. Definetly an intriguing brew.

Photo of blitz134
3.75/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Little light tan head on the pour, reduced to barely a skim almost immediately. This has a nice clear caramel body when held to the light. Very little carbonation bubbles rise to the surface.

Sweet smell, alcohol, candy sugar and a bit of cotton candy. A little sour apple. Has some wheat notes along with a bit of light malting. Alright overall.

The wine aspect is definately here with the notable alcohol, a touch fusel in nature and has a little dry of a finish. Flavors are again a bit of malts and wheat. Raw sugar, caramel and sweet floral notes come through. A bit of dark fruit, raisiny. Overall a good bit going on here, but just a bit hot with the alcohol.

Even though the carbonation is low this one is still crisp and sharp. Nice medium body coats the mouth well and the flavors linger for a bit.

Alcohol brings down the drinkability. It sits a bit heavy on the stomach from it, quite warming though. Good flavor profile, definately worth a shot since this is a style that doesn't get a whole lot of play time.

Photo of nickadams2
3.28/5  rDev -17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A_Pours dark reddish orange with a thick khaki colored head that dissipates into a thin ring. Thick lacing.

S_Tons of sweet caramel malt, dark fruit, and alcohol.

T_Really,really sweet. Tons of caramel malt,figs,raisins, brown sugar and rum. Good but overly sweet.

M_Thick. A little syrupy. Chewy.

D_Too sweet. A bomber was hard to get through.

Photo of Jason
3.98/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Poured hard in a pint glass, a surreal viscous cascading foam emerged out of no where … quite amazing to look at. From there it produced a thin tiny bubbled lace that was comparable to a good pint of Guinness. The deep tawny hue only showed a minimal haze.

Smell: Wafts of alcohol and ripe fruit … suggestions of pineapple and raisins come to mind. Sweet to the nose.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Creamy mouth feel and full bodied. Right off the bat I think of rum raisins, lots of sweetness not the palate but not cloying. A touch of rough spiciness from the wheat but not astringent, nice spicy bite from an alcohol and hop mix. Finishes with a lingering alcoholic spice and some residual sweetness.

Notes: One of the most interesting strong beers I have had to date, tastes of a mellow English Barleywine though with a big wheat accent. Truly a great beer and a must try if you are in to strong ales of any kind.

Photo of merlin48
3.88/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first wheat wine arrived in a 10 oz glass with a small offwhite head sitting atop a brilliantly clear apricot body. Head was gone in seconds, but profuse island chain lace decorated the glass. Aroma was a bit restrained, but featured a whiff of alcohol, mandarin oranges, earthy yeast, wheat grain, coriander, and grassy hops. Mouthfeel was snappy, with a solid medium body, alcohol, and some hops bite. Alcohol is immediately apparent in the taste, but is not intrusive. Lots of fruity orange and apricot, white pepper and a note of coriander, earthy yeast, and a subdued hops presence that is grassy. Finish is dry and mildly bitter. Very different from a barleywine with its more assertive yeast presence and more restrained hop profile. A pleasant change of pace with the different grain bill. Packs a potent punch for a 10 oz serving.

Photo of warriorsoul
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Eyedrinkale for this offering...
Pours a dark ruby, cloudy in appearance w/ a 1/4 finger of bright white head...lacing is quite thin, but tight w/ very little cling.
Aromas remind me more of an Old Ale with rum, raisins, cherries and a small hint of alcohol.
The taste is nice...more like prunes in the taste w/ very little wheat detected. Again, more along the lines of an Old Ale for me, but I have only had a few to date and this is only my third Wheat Wine, so what the hell do I know.
The alcohol is masked well and although it warms me up nicely, it is not harsh at all...quite bitter and dry in the finish.
Mouthfeel feels thick at first, but as I drink it, it apprears to be rather thin for its style.
The carbonation could be a touch less IMO...hurting its drinkability for me.
Otherwise, a real tasty brew from New Holland...would enjoy a couple of these in an evening, but not more than that.

Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass--aged one year

Appearance: copper in color, clear, minimal head, high carbonation

Smell: caramel, toffee, wheat, and alcohol

Taste: big time caramel, pine, sugar, peat, alcohol, and some doughiness

Mouthfeel: very sweet and alcohol jumps out, low carbonation, medium-heavy bodied

Overall: A nice malty and peaty treat that I would get again if it was distributed closer to here. I tend to like New Holland's brews and this one fits right in. A nice and complex brew, up with the best I have had in this style.

Photo of djmitche
3.56/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The deep, clear red belies this beer's strength. Wow. The aroma is of candy. Sweet, yes, maybe like sour worms? I'm a few years past my trick-or-treating days. The taste is not quite as sugary as the nose leads you to expect - which is a relief - but still pretty sweet. It's balanced by a bit of sourness and a good bit of heat. You will not for a moment think this is a low-gravity beer!

Photo of kingcrowing
2.96/5  rDev -25.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber poured into a stemless snifter.

Pours a deep dark ruby, very nice. No head or lacing at all. Nose is very boozy, sweet and malty.

Taste is very sharp and strong with light carbonation. Very sweet and boozy however for a wheatwine it's surprisingly fruity and floral. It's pretty decent.

Photo of Franziskaner
3.48/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown in color with just a faint trace of white foam barely covering any of the top of the beer. Faint aroma of pale wheat is present. Brussels lacing. The body is somewhat thick,but is much less formidible than the Founders Sweet Repute I had just finished. The taste is dark wheat and fades very quickly. This is an easy going Wheatwine if there is such a thing.

Photo of far333
3.82/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first wheat wine. Orangey honey colored with a low yellowish-beige head that sinks quickly, but leaves a wall of foam around the top of the liquid. Aroma is a little grassy, a little hoppy, with some sweetness, and that metallic alcohol tinge. Taste is interesting - initially tangy, followed by tart, followed by a strong alcohol bite that warms the flesh all the way down the throat into the pit of my stomach. These three flavors domintate, and leave little room for other flavors, but some fruits and toffee emerge in the finish, along with a bitterness that doesn't seem to be attributable to hops. Not sure if this is right for the style or not, but it's an enjoyable beer. Thanks to BuckeyeNation for sharing this one.

Photo of Shovelbum
3.94/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 16 oz pint glass, on draft at Ashley’s in Ann Arbor, MI. My first ‘wheat wine’.

Arrives with a thin head over a clear red brown body. Substantial aromas of roasted malt, caramel, and chocolately goodness. Berry-like fruit leads the flavor charge, and mixes with caramelized sugar, biscuits and cotton-candy like sweetness. A bit odd, and perhaps served a bit cold. There is a strange ghostly presence of wheat (I assume) throughout that I have hard time putting my finger on. There is a mild hop bitterness at the finish, but the hops don’t seem to be major players in any other way. The mouthfeel is a bit slick due to the substantial sweetness. Full-bodied with low carbonation.

The flavor is unlike any ale I’ve tasted before, possibly a result of the wheat fermented to these insane levels. It is sweet like a wee heavy with a more candy-like flavor as opposed to caramel, and not necessarily for the better. I’ll save my final verdict until I’ve had it from the bottle.

Photo of glid02
3.97/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle purchsed from CBX in Charleston, SC.

Pours a slightly hazy deep copper color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving light lacing.

Smells of sweet caramel malts with hints of booze-soaked pears and apricots.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Syrupy caramel malt flavors kick things off. Midway through the sip a good deal of medium fruit flavors - pears and apricots as in the aroma with very mild amounts of dried plums. The ending is on the sweet side.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness augmented by the wheat and moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I finished my glass without a problem and could have another.

Overall I don't think this beer did itself any favors by straddling the line between barleywine and wheatwine. Definitely not a bad beer but it's not worth seeking out.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.72/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

(Served in a snifter)

A- This beer has a crystal clear warm brown body with a thick creamy light tan head that sticks to the sides of the glass. There is a nice swirl of tiny bubbles gliding to the surface.

S- This beer has a big full aroma of caramel sweet toasted malt and oak with some smooth toffee notes and coconut hints. The smell makes me want to huff and huff this beer.

T- The rich taste of sweet toasted malt has some darker toasted malt and caramel flavors. There is some nice oaky notes followed by a slight alcohol bite.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a slight chewy texture to it. The finish is a nice alcohol heat that is just enough to clean up the sweetness but not overpowering.

D- This beer is big malty and sweet without being too sweet. The oaky notes are nice and bold without being overpowering against the malt. This is a great sipping beer.

Photo of Brager77
4.57/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from a 12 oz. Bottle into a pint glass.

A - Dark ruby color with a ½ inch, off white color, head. Light carbonation. Light lacing. Nice and clear.

S - Strong caramel smell with strong hints of bourbon. Smells great. Perhaps a bit of molasses in the background.

T - Hints of bourbon comes out more afterwards but tastes great. Lots of caramel and some molasses in the background. Very sweet. Flavors seem to come out even more as the drink warms up. Probably best to be served warmer than a normal beer.

M - A bit thick, but yet, still a very easy drinker with little carbonation. Sticky aftertaste in the mouth. Probably from the molasses.

O - Very easy drinker considering the 11.4% ABV. Overall very impressed and a very good Wheatwine. Would definitely consider aging a bottle or two for a couple years.

Photo of brians52
3/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

this beer was only okay .. .. .

Photo of IntriqKen
3.18/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sugary, sugary sweet.
Aromas of dark brown sugar and very dark malt.
Taste is sugary sweet dark malt, dark brown sugar, and then an aftertaste almost like chocolate chip cookie dough.
Aftertaste becomes more and more doughy as time goes by.
Mouthfeel is sticky sweet but not terribly cloying.
Interesting.
I prefer Star Wheat as a wheat wine...this one is too sweet for me.

Photo of asabreed
4.3/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a Brooklyn snifter.

Appearance: An amber and copper colored body with decent head retention and lacing.

Smell: A rich combination of wheat, raisins, orange marmalade, toffee, and chocolate.

Taste: Huge raisin sweetness at first, with citrus, toffee, and chocolate coming through very nicely along with the sweeter malt flavors from the wheat, with maybe some vanilla and caramel too. Alcohol is pleasantly a bit hot, and there's a good citrus bitterness on the finish that curbs the sweetness rather well.

Mouthfeel: Big and coating, but not cloying, with good levels of carbonation to keep things balanced.

Drinkability: A good value for the price, and I like their take on the style a lot. A sipper you could deal with for hours by yourself.

Photo of Metalmonk
4.37/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served at cellar temperature. Rusty reddish-brown leans toward red...light tan head is on the thin side and halves rather quickly.

Aroma is very barleywine, less honeyed and super-sweet than other wheatwines I've had. Who cares what it's called--it smells fantastic. Dominant candy-like sweetness, big vanilla, huge caramel, maple, peppermint. Gentle alcohol presence flares the nostrils.

The flavor separates what makes this a wheatwine better than the aroma, which was pretty much indistinguishable from a barleywine. It's even sweeter than your average barleywine, with a minty tang, yet has a gentler delivery, in terms of flavor and texture. Big gobs of caramel taffy overload the palate, with some nuts and butter, and the alcohol does as it should, enhancing the flavor with a powerful glow but never getting in the way. All while it playfully offers a candy-like, sweet-toothed sort of sugar buzz which thankfully avoids being cloying or sickly sweet. The mouthfeel is round, buttery and creamy, and also surprisingly buoyant.

Superb balance here on what could easily be too sweet, or too thick, or too boozy. My fifth New Holland beer, and by now I'm thinking they're a sadly underrated brewery. Pilgrim's Dole would provide excellent sustenance for any journeyman, wayfarer or pilgrim. Me, I'm loving sipping it in the warm comforts of home.

Photo of cokes
3.85/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Orange-leaning blurred brass with a compact milky froth.
The nose is, first, clogged with wet bread and little else. Warmth brings honey, peach, plantains, rum, and Jamaica.
The intial sip bring shock, as this is vastly different from almost anything available commercially. The mind scans; has something gone wrong here? Without any firm reference it's difficult to tell. Time and acclimation prove that all is fine.
A big, floppy wheat doughiness leads off and blankets the tongue, and in tow, it brings a prickly sourness suggesting both lemon rinds and granny smith apples. Fruit hues expand as the tartness fades (though it never leaves). Mangoes, oranges, blackened bananas, all drenched in butter and caramelized brown sugar. The end is spiced with clove and pepper, as the dark rum-suggesting alcohol quotient rears back and fires. A minor tannic astringency dots the swallow.
This pushes towards medicinal with it near-full body and limited carbonation.
Heady little bastard too.
It'd be nigh impossible to drink in quantities much larger than the given 12oz.

A liquid knuckleball. I'm not sure what to do with this: curse at it, or respect it?

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Pilgrim's Dole from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 734 ratings.