New Holland Pilgrim's Dole - New Holland Brewing Company
Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
Ratings: 561 | Reviews: 327 | Display Reviews Only:
4.14/5 rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
At first glance it appears dark brown, but once held up to the light it turns out to be a very deep and completely clear red, almost like a garnet. Medium size sticky head that fades to a thin creamy layer which sticks around for a long time, lots of greasy lacing around the glass. Very pretty and somewhat mysterious looking.
Smell is thick with booze, caramel, some bourbon, rich glazed pastry/pie, and an almost banana-like scent. Super sweet nose, really kind of intimidating, maybe a bit too heavy on the sweetness/booze.
The taste is actually more complex and balanced than the super-sweet scent lets on. The booze is quite a bit lower in the actual taste, and the bourbon barrel comes out a lot better. There's more of the caramel, syrup, dessert quality, but it's balanced out with huge, bready malt flavor and lingering bitterness on the finish. The sweetness is still very powerful. In fact when I reviewed Sweet Repute I compared it to this beer, and upon tasting Pilgrim's Dole again I believe it's a bit sweeter than that one. It's RIGHT on the edge of being too sweet, cloying.... but the bitterness and bread taste keep it in check just enough. Very, very precariously balanced.
Palate is super thick, syrupy, coating, all that. I'd expect nothing less from a beer of this nature. As with the taste, it's inching towards the line that separates "big" from "gross" but manages to stop just short. Last time I had this I remembered a lot more alcohol heat which was mildly sickening combined with the sweetness, but tonight it's very low, especially for a 12 percenter. As with other similar beers it seems that letting it warm up calms it significantly. I would imagine it was too cold before. In fact right now, as I drain the glass, I'm finding that the last few sips are actually the best so far. I would recommend serving this at close to room temp as the flavors open up and the palate becomes much more welcoming.
Overall, at $10 a four pack (I feel like this was a pricing mistake by the store I got it from but who knows) this is a steal. It's no Backwoods Bastard, and technically it's not even the same style, but the taste and characteristics are quite similar. If this is more readily available to you, or if you just haven't given it a shot yet, please go for it. It's a huge, sweet, complicated beast for what may as well be a bargain basement price.
Serving type: bottle
01-01-2014 02:52:38 | More by krustster
4.78/5 rDev +21.6%
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.
Serving type: on-tap
12-29-2013 07:51:44 | More by Pizzawingsbeer
3.99/5 rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Had on-tap at Hop Cat... $3 for a tulip during Happy Hour? What a steal. I didn't order this one myself, but had a few sips of it... a few very memorable sips.
Appearance: A ruby sort of color with a surprising little head on it with some patchy lacing. Looks good, but not the beer's greatest attribute.
Smell: Phew! Bourbon and vanilla. Caramel. Wow, that is potent. Dark fruits, perhaps, but the bourbon, vanilla, and caramel are most prominent, for sure.
Taste/feel: Backwoods Bastard, in a sense... but this is a bit more harsh with the alcohol/not quite as smooth. Pretty significant bourbon character with a pretty hot finish. Vanilla, caramel, and dark fruits throughout the sip. This is actually a pretty excellent beer, though it definitely could have used a bit more time in the barrel, yet a bit less of a bourbon character. Needs some mellowing. Not as well crafted as Backwoods in my opinion, but still pretty awesome. Obviously, being different styles, this beer does have a VERY slight tartness to it.. by slight, I mean slight. It's not like the other Wheatwines I've had before for the most part, but then again, those weren't poured into a bourbon barrel.
I don't generally jump up and down about New Holland, but they impressed me quite a lot with this one.
Serving type: on-tap
12-28-2013 00:40:22 | More by Alextricity
New Holland Pilgrim's Dole from New Holland Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 561 ratings.