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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: 90 | 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
Reviews: 347 | Hads: 757
Photo of jera1350
4.32/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

In a four pack now? Awesome!

Very little head on this one. Dark and mysterious orange brown color.

Smell is very sweet and caramelly with light bourbon and vanilla notes.

Great taste that is very well blended. Toffee, caramel, vanilla and bourbon. The barrel aging on this is fantastic as it's not hot and boozy. Like a well aged barrel aged wheatwine here. Terrific.

Sticky and full with lighter carbonation.

Really enjoy this beer overall. Ready to drink right out of the gate, no aging necessary. Very dangerous for what the abv is. Great beer.

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

22oz bottle from New Holland Brewery (Holland, MI). 12.99. No markings on the bottle but it was sold as a 2009 vintage. Served in a Founders snifter. 

Pours a clearish red orange with one finger pale head. Recedes fairly quickly, leaving a few spots of lacing. 

Smells like an oak aged barleywine. Kinda strange. There's bourbon, bready malt, vanilla, straw, sugar and marshmallow. 

Flavor still much like an barreled barleywine. Bourbon, grass, burnt caramel, wood, lemon peel, leather, spice, tangerine and vanilla. Many layers and surprisingly other than the bourbon notes there's no strong alcohol taste. It really smoothens and opens up as it warms. 

Smooth medium thick feel with mild carbonation. Slightly oily. The 11%+ alcohol finally shows up in the long, dry, bourbony, bittersweet finish. 

A much more traditional barleywine take on a wheatwine. I'm sure 3 years of aging has calmed this one down a good bit. I'll give the other bottle I have another 2-3 to see if the bourbon fades and allows a little more sweetness through. Far from my favorite wheatwine but certainly worth a try. 

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
3.72/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle to Founders tulip.

A - Medium to dark amber colour; translucent. A small layer of cream coloured head formed on the pour and quickly receded to a ring around the glass.

S - A bit hit of bourbon up front with subtle vanilla tones and some woody oak aromas. Some sweet caramel and toffee aromas from the base beer are present in the background.

T - A massive bourbon taste up front with a big rush of warming alcohol. After a few sips the alcohol calms down a little bit but remains present. The middle offers toasted oak, toffee, dark caramel and a hint of vanilla. The bourbon returns in the finish.

M - Medium to full body. Light carbonation.

O - The bourbon barrel aging overpowers the base beer and makes this somewhat one-dimensional.

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Photo of divineaudio
4.07/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass. 2011 batch.

a - pours a transparent copper shade with some streaming bubbles visible. gave me a thin cap of cream colored head that quickly calmed to a film.

s - vanilla, bourbon, dark fruits.

t - rich carmel malt with nice, present vanilla and bourbon flavors. also has some dark fruity notes and a peppery spiciness on the middle of the tongue. finishes on the sugary side with a faint taste of alcohol.

m - medium in body with more carbonation than i would like. coarse co2 profile makes the spiciness found in the taste more pronounced. significant alcohol warming happening here too.

o - quite enjoyable, though a bit of a slow sipper. a nice alternative to the bourbon barrel stouts that are everywhere now. i'd like to get a few more bottles of this and save them for special occasions.

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Photo of CFHMagnet
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had to get rough with this one before it would give me decent head. You may insert your favorite dirty joke here. Even with a heavy pour, I got half a finger of effervescent head that up and left me faster than my fiancee would leave me if the actor who played Michael Scofield (sp?) on Prisonbreak walked in the room. The body is a medium brown with orange and light reddish notes.

Grapes, raisins and dark fruits soften up your nose like the Luftwaffe. The Blitzkrieg begins when you get to the delicious heavy malt, caramel and sweet sugary aromas. A wheat and faint oak backbone ensures that the assault stays supplied on the frontlines.

This guy is very sweet. Dark fruit, brown sugar and caramel all mix with malt in the beginning to create a tumultuous bunch of flavors that are difficult to pick out. These are backed up with what tastes like smoked oak staves with a hint of vanilla, and surprise, more malt. EDIT: When this beer warms up, it is like drinking essence of lumberyard. It is fine cold, but it just got heavy and unpleasant warm.

The body on this is firmly entrenched in the realm of medium-heavy. It flows easily due to the carbonation, isn't sticky or drying, but is definitely a little heavy to be considered refreshing. Not that I write that as a bad thing.

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Photo of samie85
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very deep copper color with two fingers of white, rocky head.

Smells of rich, dark, stonefruit with notes of burnt sugar and vanilla.

Follows the nose with rich, dark stonefruit: plums, dates, and some burnt sugar with caramel malt backing.

Warming mouth and throatfeel with low carbonation and a slick yet almost tannic dryness to it.

This one feels as alcoholic as it is, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, however it is very rich and indulgent. I can only do beers like this one a few times a year.

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

Why I haven't had this sooner being from West Michigan is beyond me.

I went to New Holland 2/18/12 and had a pour of it on tap...but by review will be based on a 2/20 taste of it out of a 2011 bottle I bought later that night.

Pours a rich amber color, reminds me of the colors of fall and harvest.

Smell...definitely has a bourbon smell to it...imagine that with it being aged in Bourbon barrels.

Not much head on it, nice lacing on the glass though.

This beer is absolutely exceptional. 12% wheatwhine aged in bourbon barrels ...balances perfect for the right amount of booziness and goes down real smooth. I purchased some old 2005 bottles from New Holland and also got a couple bombers. I think I will have the 05 sooner than later and will let one bomber cellar for a good while and see what happens with it. Huge thumbs up to this brew.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.53/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served In a Alesmith Horny Devil snifter.

A- nice caramel color with just a thin white head. No lacing.

S- boozy! Dark fruits, sweet malts, vanilla and some bourbon.

T- booze not quite as prevalent as the nose. Sweet caramel, bourbon and some vanilla.

M- medium body and low carbonation. Little thin with abv very noticeable.

O- good wheat wine, but could use some time in the cellar to take some of the heat off. May buy another bottle and let it sit for a year.

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Photo of nmbr0ne
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into snifter from bottle.

Appearance: Reddish brown body. Tiny amount of white head. Barely any lacing.

Smell: Caramel, vanilla, lots of bourbon and alcohol.

Taste: Caramel mostly. Some vanilla from the bourbon I feel. A little nutty.

Mouthfeel: Slight burn from the alcohol. Sweet, with a tiny hint of a bitter finish. Medium bodied. Decent amount of carbonation.

Overall: Good beer. Too much alcohol though. The aroma disguises it a bit I feel, but you can definitely taste it.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.9/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark toffee/copper color with no chill haze, a creamy off white head, and moderately light carbonation.

S - A strong nose mostly of toffee, caramel,mild alcohol, and a touch of vanilla and maple. The nose is candy sweet and thick.

T - Follows the nose with alot of toasted toffee, caramel, and rum raisons. There is some mild bitterness right at the very end but the palette is dominated with a sweet rum raison taste.

M - Thick and heavy, viscous, syrupy, and leaves a coating of sugar on the lips.

O - Big, strong, and boozy. Next time I open a bomber of this I'll share it with a friend, too much for one person, having a hard time finishing it - very malty sweet. As I work my way through the bottle, the alcohol becomes more prevalent.

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Photo of 2378GCGTG
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass at 44 degrees

Appearance: 0.5 inch eggshell white head after a vigorous pour. Nice brown copper color head

Smell: Similar to an american barley wine, caramel and prunes, then a punch of bourbon, pecans, and vanilla

Taste: This is a very interesting beer. Soft and clean (obviously because of the wheat). Tastes or bourbon, heavy vanilla, very light pecans, some butter and caramel.

Mouthfeel: very light and velvety, bourbon and wheat complement each other nicely.

Overall: An interesting beer. Very clean and drinkable, doesn't really hint at the relatively high ABV. I want to age one just to see what happens.

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Photo of JizackFH
3.92/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - This beer pours a slightly hazy mahogany color. A vigorous pour yields almost a finger of light tan head. The head falls pretty fast, leaving behind just a few specs of lace stuck behind.

S - The nose has a good amount of dark fruit right off the bat. There are some aromas of caramel, toffee, butterscotch, and booze.

T - The taste follows the nose pretty well. It starts off with a little bit of wheat and a pretty big dark fruit presence. There are flavors of raisins, figs, dates, and some red apple. There are also some flavors of caramel, toffee, molasses, and a little bit of spiciness. Booze is detectable, which is to be expected at 11.4%. The finish leaves some lingering dark fruit, sweet caramel, and booziness.

M - This has a pretty full body and lower carbonation. It goes down easy and has a syrupy but smooth quality to it. There is a fair amount of sweetness going on in this beer, as well as some boozy warmth.

O - This has pretty good drinkability. It is definitely a sipper, but I certainly enjoyed it. The wheat was less pronounced than I would have liked it to be, but I still thought it was a really nice and interesting beer. I definitely think this beer is worth trying out at least once. I would buy it again though.

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Photo of Alieniloquium
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled 11/5/09. Thanks to MarcatGSB for this bottle!

Appearance - Deep red body with almost no head. No lacing, but some bubbles persist on the top of the beer.

Smell - Bourbon is prominent. Sweet caramel is also prominent. A strong fruity smell comes through, but it seems to be a result of a very strong alcohol presence. Nose-burning alcohol.

Taste - Bourbon and caramel feature the most, but it has a burnt toast flavor at the end. Maybe that's the wheat? It also seems to have bitterness that may come from hops or from the burnt toast character. It's kind of unpleasant, but the other flavors are nice. The booze is still quite prominent.

Mouthfeel - The alcohol is a lot, but otherwise it's pleasant to drink. The dry finish throws me off with so much caramel sweetness, but it keeps it from being syrupy.

Overall - Nice, but simple and occasionally overpowering (as in the burnt flavor in the finish). It's good, but lacks a certain refinement.

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Photo of BB1313
3.79/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

2011 vintage. 12oz bottle poured into a snifter. Pours a shiny transparent copper; very clear and nice color. Not much head, but that's expected with the high gravity. The nose is full of sweet caramel and dark fruits. The bourbon is subtle in the aromas, but noticeable with the flavors. Very rich, with lots of malts. I'm tasting more caramel with more dark fruits. Vanilla and wood, along with a nice nuttiness. Raisins are definitely in the mix. Flavors are sweet, but not overboard. The bourbon is noticeable, but balanced, letting the beer shine; not too hot although there's a slight spice. Mouthfeel is syrupy and spritzy, nice combo and goes down smooth. At 12% abv, this is pretty easy to drink.. dangerously drinkable.

Not mind blowing and it can become one note at sometimes, but it's pretty enjoyable. Nice beer to sip on and becomes even better as it warms up.

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Photo of beesy
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a Stone tulip.

A - pours a very clear, dark orange with a small amout of off white head that dissapates quickly.

S - very boozey, vanilla, sweet malts, barrel

T - lots of barrel character present - vanilla, wood, bourbon. Sweet caramel and wheat malts on the back end. Hops not detected.

M - thick. This is a very thick, full bodied beer

D - low. This is a nice sipping beer for a cool, dreary Ohio winter night. The thickness and full .

I'm glad i picked a bottle of this up. I had eyeballed in it bombers for the last year, unaware it was barrel aged.

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Photo of elNopalero
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first wheatwine. It pours a luscious caramel color with very thin lacing. There’s a very present booziness that runs throughout—the aroma, the taste, and the finish. But when drinking it’s balanced (or or complimented) by a sweetness and a real wheated smoothness. There’s a definite bourbon/barrel-aged spirits note to this as well, but it’s not the dominating presence. In three words: Smooth, sweet, strong.

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

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into New Holland High Gravity Tulip.

Appearance: Pours a very beautiful caramel color with some bubbly white head, dissipating quickly, and leaving a small amount of lacing on the edges.

Nose: Big blast of initial bourbon and sweet caramel. Little bit of wheat comes through with some more beautiful toffee like characters.

Taste: Other than the softened mouth, it's really hard to tell this is a wheatwine, as opposed to barleywine? Lots of caramel, toffee, and sweetness. Nice bourbon notes, and some oak coming through. Really nice balance of malt, oak, booze, and slight bitterness.

Mouth: Rich and creamy, this thing has a really nice mouthfeel. Coats the tongue, has a nice amount of carbonation to go with the sticky mouthfeel. Really nice.

D and O: This beer has left a great impression on me. A really nice beer, that I have passed up time and time again. Won't make that mistake. Very drinkable, great oak and bourbon notes, awesome sweetness.

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Photo of ElGrecoVerde
4.17/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick caramel color and thin off white head.

Crisp fruits, spicy cider, sweet caramel and toffee. Hints of grains and liquor.

Caramel and lots of it. Sweet raisins, biscuit and graham cracker. Nice balance of the spice notes, mainly cinnamon and nutmeg. Oak, alcohol and bourbon flavors subtly come through as it warms. Dark fruit undertones with a grapefruit bitterness. The flavors mesh well.

A bit thick and syrupy, but matches the intense flavors. Good carbonation leaves it feeling a bit lighter.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle poured into a New Holland tulip.
Ko59 (November 5, 2009) printed on the neck, 25°P

A - Pilgrim's Dole is a beautiful copper caramel color with vibrant clarity that remains topped by a bone-colored head briefly. The loose pile leaves minor lacing behind.

S - Smooth, soft phenol alcohol paired with the soft wheat reminds me of sake. Undertones of brown sugar and caramel offer a predominant sweetness that goes unmatched by hops.

T - Reminiscent of a sweet sake, the phenolic and mild solvent nature of the alcohol is immediately evident, even with the age on this bottle. Caramelized malt gives the background good depth and body while the large wheat portion of the grist adds dry earth notes and a smooth feel.

M - Nearing a cloying level of sweetness, Pilgrim's Dole's body is a round, full one that offers some balance in the thinning solvent characteristics of the alcohol as opposed to hops.

O - Mildly hot for it's age, Pilgrim's Dole packs a pinch of sweet sustenance similar to the "liquid bread" nature of doppelbocks. Fruity undertones emerge from the alcohol and yeast to add further depth to the malty wheatwine. Warming and quite tasty, best shared between a few paired with some hard, crystalized cheeses.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle courtesy of Dave Guay. Pours slightly lighter than the color of cider with a soapy skim and a bubbly band around the edges. Nose is sweet and consists of candied light fruit and caramel. Taste consistent with nose with the addition of cotton candy. Mouthfeel is medium-light in body with an even carbonation and a slightly sticky texture. All and all, I don't usually gravitate towards this style, but I really dig this beer. Definitely something I'd like to get more of in the future.

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Photo of mactrail
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Rich and toffee-like with a good does of hops. Warm flavors of malt and hot with alcohol. Reminds of a rum and tonic. Lovely clear coppery amber color with a decent head. It even looks like a tumbler of Scotch after the foam dies down. Spicy flavors. Great nose of caramel malt on a cloud of booze. The wheat gives a distinctive flavor that is more sprightly and less dark than the equivalent barley wine.

Another good sipping beer with a liqueur-like strength of flavor and pleasing intensity.

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Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
3.84/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured into snifter glass.

Appearance: copper brown beer with no head just a ring of white aroung the glass.

Smell: Huge sweet malts. Caramel & honey. Vanilla and figs. Spicy and earthy.

Taste: caramel and vanilla. dark fruits. Tastes fairly oxidixed, but this bottle is probably at least a year old...maybe older. Mild boozey kick, a mild wheat/hay aftertaste with some spiciness and fruityness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: thick and syrupy. full boded beer with low carbonation. Fairly smooth for this big beer.

Overall: Was not sure which style this beer was at first. BA says its a wheatwine and the bottle says a barleywine made with wheat. I would say its a barleywine with some wheat aftertaste. Not too bad. I am new to the wheatwine style and this is only my second beer of this style I have drank.

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Photo of JohnnyChicago
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 22oz bottle; split into two stemless snifters.

A: Pours a deep orange-amber. No head, but decent legs and some lacing.

S: Rich caramel malts and deep, bittering hops. There are hints of orange and pine needles.

T: Meaty caramelized booze with a solid bitter backbone. Wheat is completely absent from both nose and tongue.

D: Actually, its pretty smooth for 11.4% ABV, it does get a bit tiring after a while, however.

Overall: OK, this would be a solid B+ beer if it was a Barleywine, however, if you are using wheat, I want to taste it! There is practically no wheat flavours in this "Wheatwine", so I have to knock off some points. Its a solid beer, it just failed to deliver what was advertised.

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Photo of clint1019
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Brown in color with a toffee colored head that is no more than a thin covering.

S - Rich Malty tones, caramel, toffee, & fruity.

T - Big time caramel malt flavor with a lot of fruity flavors.

M - Full bodied very light carbonation.

O - A very tasty barleywine. Would definitely buy this one again.

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Photo of StlHopHead77
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours out a deep chestnut/crimson with good clarity and a slight and transient,bone-white collar that left minimal stringy lacing.

S-Baked apple,Frosted MiniWheats,booze,toasted wood,caramel and golden raisin.

T-Sweetened cereal grains,blond tobacco,bourbon-like booziness,light smoke,biscuit malt and toffee.

M-Medium bodied with a nice burn,grainy sweetness and good viscosity.

0-Decent wheatwine.Maybe a little hot but good.

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