Pilgrim's Dole - New Holland Brewing Company

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Pilgrim's DolePilgrim's Dole

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very good

747 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 747
Reviews: 348
rAvg: 3.96
pDev: 11.36%
Wants: 63
Gots: 86 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 747 | Reviews: 348
Photo of Pizzawingsbeer
4.8/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

An incredible Bourbon Barrel aged barlerwine. The flavor of bananas and some yeast bread are over powering but the cloying "collapsing mouthfeel "when you are swallowing a huge beer. It is definitely the best barley wine I have ever had. I am going to assume I didn't get the bourbon aged. My keg is yeast and barley and mush and stuff! It is awfully good though.


Photo of russpowell
4.77/5  rDev +20.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review based on notes, got this one from czoch75, Cheers Clint!

Pours caramel with 3+ fingers of tan head. Super lacing & good head retention

S: Cakeyness, Bourbon & dark fruit

T: Toffee, a bit of booze, cakeyness & rum butter up front along with a slight smokeyness. This really mellows out as it warms, smokey toffee & some oakyness. Finishes dry, buttery & cakey

MF: Sticky, medium bodied with slight carbonation

Drinks really easy for the style & ABV. Drinks more like a super smooth barley wine to me, this one is very well done!

Photo of bort11
4.75/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Huge thanks to OneDropSoup. This was sent as an extra in a trade, and this has been high on my wants for some time.

22 oz bottle poured into a Boulevard Smokestack chalice. Small, but tight white head, a few specks of lacing. Color is a warm and toasty chestnut brown, very nice clarity.

Smell is very complex. It starts off sweet with a hint of coconut, and then gradually warms up to a fresh baked loaf of wheat bread. Yeasty and warm. Alcohol is hinted at. Taste is equally complex. High levels of toasted wheat, yeasty spices, it's liquid bread.

Mouthfeel is full bodied, medium smooth carbonation. Wheat wines are so freaking awesome, not enough are brewed.

Blipped "Young Pilgrims" by the Shins

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 granger10
4.61/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This beer poured an orangish copper color with a small head that faded quickly. The lacing was there though. The nose of the beer was simply amazing! Probably the best smelling beer I have ever experienced. Something about it was very comforting, it reminded me of buttered toast with cinnamon and sugar piled on then a hint of alcohol. The taste was very similar to the smell but not quiet as good. Initially very bready it later became sweet then the two flavors mixed. Sweetness is akin to honey and caramel in my opinoin. Hops are low but provide a moderate base. Alcohol is strong and becomes stronger later on in the finish. Body warming sensation hits and I am warmed up on the cold Michigan winter nights. The only problem I have with this is that it is undercarbonated but otherwise this is one of the best beers I have had. I am extremely impressed with New Holland's last two new beers this and the Dragon's Milk.

Photo of Jables
4.59/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a tawny amber with little head.

Aroma: Grab a loaf of fresh cinnamon raisin bread that is slightly doughy, and inhale it deeply, then you have just smelled this beer. Outstanding smell. Pumpkin pie comes into the picture, The smell is so good you almost don't want to drink all of it, you just want to leave some to smell.

Flavor: Tast is like chocolate chip cookie dough minus the chocolate then add spicy sugary flavors with plenty of nutmeg. Makes me think bready, yeasty, and doughnut-ty.

Mouthfeel: Excellent body with a slick, thick, almost syrupy at the finish.

Drinkability: High, this beer begs to tasted over and over again.

Notes: This is one of the most interesting flavored beers I've had that I can honestly say tastes outstanding. This isn't a beer that you say "oh it's interesting, but I wouldn't buy it again." I will buy this till there are none left and since it was such a small release I don't know if I'll get some.

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

Pours a slightly hazy, dark red color. 1/3 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of sweet malt, alcohol, dough, hint of hops, and a hint of citrus. Fits the style of a wheatwine. Mouth feel is slightly smooth and clean, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of alcohol, wood, sweet malt, slight hops, slight yeast, hint of citrus, and wheat. Overall, great appearance, aroma, blend, and body.

Photo of klewis
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber, 2007

A: Pours a clear red color with a small bubbly head that quickly subsides to a frothy ring. Moderate lacing.

S: Big fruity smell with aromas of sweet molasses and a hint of alcohol. Very nice.

T: Quite sweet like a J.W. Lee's barleywine. Predominant flavors of caramel and molasses with a fruity twang. A bit cloying, but very good.

M: Full-bodied, thick, and syrupy with light carbonation. The flavor sticks around for quite a while. A bit of a warming effect.

D: My first wheatwine, and I'm quite impressed. Quite tasty, and at 10%, the alcohol is barely noticable but will keep you nice and toasty. Can't wait to try some more from this style.

Photo of Beerlover
4.55/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

acquired this on my hunt for bourbon county, was recommended by the friendly knowledgable staff at haskells, thanks Tim! I haven't really been a big fan of new Holland before, there beers being too sweet or nothing special, lets see if this can break those low expectations
A: clear amber brown in color with a half inch thick off white head, looks mediumly carbonated .
S: smells sweet but not overly sweet, getting some brown sugar/raisiny with a malty backbone doesn't smell too much like a wheat beer
T: this is awesome!!! definitely going back for a four pack! I wonder how old this is cuz I bet im drinking it at its peak, wow this stuff has some complexity... all the aromas come out in the taste in perfect balance, sweet but not overly by any means and I think this is helped by the booziness, noticeable but far from what I would guess 12% taste more like 8 to 9, and no burn at all. wow again
O.A.: I might have to try the offereings I've had from these guys again just based on this, at least the dragons milk....

Photo of Bombers4Benedict
4.54/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served from bomber into my Surly Darkness Snifter.

A - Deep amber, mahogany color. Head is apparent at first but dissapates quickly. No lacind in my glass whatsoever.

S - Caramel apple, sweet fruit.

T - Malty caramel. Figs, brown sugar, nutty. Doesn't taste as strong as the smell may insinuate. Still very good.

M - Warming sensation of a wine, with the same consistency. It has a carbonation that is muted by the amount of malts present. There is a syrupy feel to it. It feels thicker than it looks or tastes.

D - More of an ale feel than a true barleywine. I think I am down for another round.

Photo of Westsidethreat
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Light amber color with good clarity. Head started off weak but jumped up suddenly and formed a healthy ½ inch sandy colored head.

S: Loads of butterscotch, vanilla, caramel, pudding, dusty hops and little bit of grains. Smells aged.

T: Tastes aged too. Begins with scores of marshmallow, butterscotch, vanilla and pineapple. Its like a traditional barleywine but way smoother and lacking the bitter punch that usually accompanies them. Damn tasty, I must say. Good amount of alcohol rich rich crystal malt pours in next with just a nip of earthy hops. The alcohol is bold and defiant in this one, with no attempt to hide itself. Very smooth with no roasted qualities, the wheat really shining bright with an attractive caramel character. Finishes with long lingering burnt brown sugar, gentle bitterness and intense alcohol vapors cruising into the nasal cavity.

M: Full body and soft…smooth. Just a touch of carbonation.

D: This was way better than I was expecting. I’m really wondering if the bottle I got had some age on it due to the overwhelming butterscotch and caramel flavors. I’m not really sure this beer could get much smoother. Totally recommended.

Photo of aerozeppl
4.52/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to littlebreeze for bringing this.

First off let me say I love wheatwines. Too bad this style is so often overlooked by breweries.

A: Clear hazy honey color with some lacing. That really doesn't capture how good this looked.

S: A nice sweet nose. Some wheat in there as well. A touch of alcohol as well. Not that complex but enjoyable.

T: Candy. The sweetness just really reminded me of a nice piece of candy. The body and the taste really bounce back and forth and intertwine.

M: Not as thick as other wheatwines I have had. This makes it a tad more drinkable though.

D: Probably the most drinkable wheatwine I have ever had. The lack of syrup in the body makes it go down smooth. The alcohol was well hidden behind a ton of sweetness. A very nicely done beer.

Photo of Immortale25
4.51/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Photo of WestMichiganWhaler
4.51/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Great wheatwine! Very sweet, very big. A little bourbon smell, a lot of bourbon taste. Tastes like a barleywine but much lighter, but still at 12%...

Photo of ommegoose
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The last 22 oz. bottle at Evanston First Liquors. I imagine there's some age on it, but no way of knowing. I'm sure whatever it was didn't hurt. It might even be in the sweet spot in the aging process, judging by how well I liked it. Served slightly chilled.

A very clear beer, even at the very end. No sediment to add. A pretty cherry wood color, offering all sorts of red, orange and brown hues when held to the light. Head formation and retention are kind of regular for a 10% beer, meaning not all that much.

Big malty sweet syrupy smell. Dried fruits, such as pineapple, apricot, fig, prune. A caramelly, molasses sweetness rides underneath. A little rummy. Very enticing, but suffers a little from the middling head retention.

Pilgrim's Dole has a surprisingly tropical flavor to it. Coconut, pineapple, and other bright fruity flavors are the highlight. The sour wheat twang at the end helps keep this from being cloying, and it adds a citric kick on the finish. Some digging around reveals darker fruity flavors and some spiciness more in line with an English barleywine maybe. Plum, date, fig, prune, and a little raisin. Hops add a little bitterness and spice. Oaky vanilla, with some earthiness too. Tons going on here.

This is the feel I was looking for. Thick and coating, with low carbonation. Chewy. Alcohol is warming, but not hot. A nice balance between being insidious and being overt.

This is a winner. One of the best beers I've had to date. I need to trace down some more wheatwines. I think it's a must try for fans of big beers, although like most, they catch up with you towards the end of the bomber. Offers something different on just about every sip. Reminds me of a Scotch, namely Glenfarclas 10. Massively complex. I will definitely look for this in the future.

Photo of BeerLover99
4.5/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - hazy orange hue, one finger head, with excellent lacing.

S - sweet malt, citrus background. amazing aroma!

T - big malt flavor, bready semi-sweet upfront, hint of bitter on finish.

M - smooth, med/heavy body, big alcohol warmth

D - big sipper, you must try this beer! I will most DEFINITELY pick this gem up again to enjoy with others.

Photo of deejaydan
4.49/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have one question.. how the heck do they get this to taste and smell like Cinnamon Raisin bread? I was lucky enough to get a small sample while this was young, and it tasted like, well, how grass smells. This beer has aged wonderfully. Pours a deep tan color with an everlasting head. I am getting thirsty just thinking about it. It smells and tastes like cinnamon raisin bread. The only downside is that it is 10% and you don't want more than 2 in a night.

Photo of ngandhi
4.49/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

There are 536 solutions for the world's oldest puzzle, the loculus of Archimedes, and I have no idea what it is -- I feel much the same about this beer. Yes, it's caramelly rich, but wheat-based and so the flavor's entirely different from a barleywine. It's thinner, yet much more flavorful. Truer to its name than a barleywine, this wheatwine-style ale is very vinous -- with the buttery yet drying mouthfeel of a chardonnay and somehow managing to evoke riesling as well. Even some bittersweet chocolate on the finish to round out the caramel up front. Finally, the graininess keeps this most in line with a British-style barleywine.

I normally wouldn't comment on an aftertaste, but Pilgrim's Dole, after you've already begun digesting it, opens up further to a toasted almondine nuttiness reminiscent of amontillado sherry and 20-year-old blanc de blanc vintage champagne.

Tons of diacetyl, common to the New Holland brews, but the most complex diacetyl I've come across. I've never thought it to be a comlex ester, but this develops from butter and cream up front to deliriously buttered popcorn on the finish.

Cognac on the nose, I guess. Maple cognac? What am I talking about? Old ale qualities for sure with a volatile alcohol lurking, in a good way, but with very bad intentions. Christopher Walken in a glass.

This beer has a motive, a moral complexity, and possible issues with its childhood.

Relax, relax.

Photo of jroberts8811
4.48/5  rDev +13.1%
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.

Photo of carlborch
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep reddish-brown. A two-inch head developed. Off-white to heavy cream colored with many larger bubbles. The head persists for a while. The nose is deep, rich, nutty, burnt almond notes. The body is full and rich with lingering warmth. The flavor profile makes me think caramel and hot-spice candies, although it has zero Scovilles, for sure! The flavor profile speaks to richness, complexity and multidimensionality. The head dissipates during consumption but leaves a lovely, intricate Belgian lace. The alcohol is evident, but balanced well against the body. I am warming as I write this and will return to this ale when the cold weather reappears. Serve with a wide variety of foods, particularly stews, braises, and bold etouffees. This is definitely a sipper rather than a session beer. The ale is described as a wheat wine and definitely has "barley-wine" characteristics. The expected wheat characteristics are, however, not evident.

Photo of sulldaddy
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got this bottle from Jables as part of BIF 6.0! Very excited to try it.
I am drinking it after it was in the fridge for about 1 hour. I pour the brew into my snifter.
Brew pours clear orange/amber with definite pink hues. Large tightly packed off white head foams up 1 inch easily.
Aroma is complex. I am getting caramel, some alcohol, maybe a little citrus going on and also a little bit of a blush wine scent. Ver appealing.
As the head fades it leaves a nice sticky ring of foam around my glass and I still have a solid surface layer on the brew.
First sip, wow a syrupy creamy texture, if you can imagine those two together. Very soft tiny carbonation and the body has some gusto fairly thick.
Flavor is very nice. I get sweet caramel up front, followed by a quick hit of wheat twang, a little bit of butterscotch and then some chocolate too. The finish gives a bit of bitterness, grassy hops but very mild, this hop flavor ends up being the sweet caramel that I started with. When I burp I get more wine flavor than I notice anywhere else. This brew really exhibits the gambit of flavors! Very nice mix! I really wish I had more than one of these. QUite a tasty brew.

Thanks Jables!!

Photo of ndekke39
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank this from a 22 oz. bomber. Pours a cloudy reddish-copper with a small, fluffy off-white head. Smells of bread, yeast, caramel, toasted barley, wheat. Tastes of sweet breadiness: yeast, wheat, caramel. Heavy maltiness; rich, bready character. Flavors of spirits, too, like bourbon. Moderate to heavy thickness that complements the heavy bready flavors. A very drinkable beer, like drinking a hsweet bread. The name of Pilgrim's Dole is apt: this is a rich, hardy ale. It's delicious, but it packs a heavy punch.

Photo of mcallister
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Took a trip to Grand Rapids and visited many of brewery this past weekend and this beer on draught may have been my favorite of the weekend.

Golden copper with a small white head that dissipates quickly. Leaves little lacing.

A toffee aroma, with thick caramel malt accents. A candied apple ester with hints of wheatiness and alcohol.

Thick syrupy mouthfeel. Tastes of maple syrup, mollasses, toffee, red apple, caramel, fresh churned butter, butterscotch, and other sweet candies. Awesome beer. Drinkability could of hit 5 if it weren't 10% alcohol.

Photo of marburg
4.47/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Where the hell did this come from? New Holland pulled a real winner out of their asses. I mean, they're good. But this good?

HUGE head. Massive. Dark, clear wheaty sort of color -- almost amber. Lemon pie with wet crust and confectioner's sugar fills my nose to start. Undertones of cinnamon, alcohol, and real Vermont maple syrup. Lemon Pledge. Just damn good to sniff at.

Similar mild lemon hits the tongue...Not really tart, but mildly tart I guess. Definitely lemon though -- really wheaty in that regard (which makes sense when you see that this is a "wheatwine"). Alcohol and warm toast slathered in honey and sprinkled with nutmeg. Sweet and forceful. Quite delicious.

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Pilgrim's Dole from New Holland Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 747 ratings.