Pilgrim's Dole | New Holland Brewing Company

very good
386 Reviews
Pilgrim's DolePilgrim's Dole

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

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

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Reviews: 386 | Ratings: 901
Photo of MacMalt
3.88/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Received from @superspak's BIF box. Poured from 12 oz. bottle into pint glass. It pours a pretty ruby color with a finger and a half of foamy, eggshell-colored head and nice lacing. It smells of wheat, caramel, and bourbon. It's quite sweet and quit hot! The taste opens with malty caramel/vanilla with subtle, but noticeable, honey, but the bourbon is dominant. There's a slight hop presence at the finish. This ale features a viscous, almost chewy, mouth feel without a lot of carbonation, but the booze is huge and you notice the 12% ABV from the first sip. Wheatwine is a rather obscure title and I don't have a lot of experience with it. I preferred Smuttynose's version, which features more fruit and a little less heat.

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Photo of BWood
4.03/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Amber clear. Almost bourbon like.

S: mostly bourbon. .

T: much better than it smells. Smooth bourbon with malty ale backdrop. Slight vanilla.

F: smooth at first then a slight bite to the end. Not bad though. Just lets you know the 12% is there.

O: nice brew.

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Photo of DrainBamage
4.53/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a amberish brown color. Highly carbonated and lace of head. Smells like a sweet barleywine on steroids. Goes down relatively smoothly but then about 10 secs later you can feel the burn in your throat, but what do you expect at 12% ABV. Tastes like malty version of barleywine as it should. The alcohol is well hidden in the taste, so you really need to watch yourself. Very drinkable for the amount of alcohol present.

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Photo of hman43
3.85/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Look: It pours brown with very little head.

Smell: It has aromas of rich malt, wheat, nuts, caramel, and plums.

Taste: It has rich malt flavors that has a certain sweetness to it with wheat, caramel, plums, raisins, and alcohol.

Feel: It has a full body to it that is somewhat chewy. There is a sweetness to the aftertaste with a moderate bitterness as well.

Overall, this is a full body, malty rich with balance and bitterness delight with high alcohol content, but without any hotness to it.

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Photo of Suds
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Rich brown in color...translucent and light amber hues...limited head, but a quite pretty beer. The aroma is intense: malt, honey, floral, caramel, and booze. Underlying hop notes. The taste is sweet, lots of malt and warmth. Full in body....thick and luxurious. Bitter and alcoholic in the finish, but not quite sharp. Solid, but not extraordinary.

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Photo of Benish
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: pours a amberish brown color with almost no head. Translucent in the light. No lacings around the glass.

Aroma: bourbon, bourbon, and bourbon. Oh, also some vanilla and caramelized brown sugar. Absolute perfection.

Taste: instantly taste bourbon throughout the entire tasting. It is very sweet thoughout, the vanilla and fresh cherries come through midway after the bourbon. Near the finish is an essence of chocolate covered cherry creme candy. The aftertaste leaves a oaky bourbon finish. Also a little bit of heat from the alcohol.

Mouthfeel: hard to describe, at some points it seem full-bodied but as it warms up, it seems to get a little thin.

Overall: if it wasn't for the label, I wouldn't know if this was a barley wine or a wheat wine. Because it's a wheat wine, I think it lends a bit more sweetness and a thinner body. Overall, I really enjoyed it. Stick to just one though, it carries a punch.

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Photo of yesterdayfaraway
3.36/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

**2013 vintag***

L: pours a clear brown with a film of head.
S: brown sugar sweetness and booze.
T: big booze, and stale beer.
F: booze heat
O: not good. Very surprised

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2015, poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A: The beer is a medium brown color with a short off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains caramelized malts, bourbon, brown sugar, wheat and a touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out bready with flavors of wheat and a hearty malt character that are quickly followed by sweet flavors of brown sugar, bourbon, caramel and some fruit. The hops presence is very mild but complementary and brings a good balance. The after-taste is slightly sweet and slightly bready.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium-to-heavy body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: Tasty, goes down dangerously easy, slightly filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, this is a solid beer to sip on for a long time if you’re in the mood for the style.

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Photo of Sabtos
2.39/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Copper red with a creamy tan ring.

Smell is caramel apple Jolly Rancher and faint wheat.

Whoa...flavor has really expressive bright apple and caramel, with something distinct I can't quite put my finger on, and sweet taffy. It unfortunately becomes Robitussin fairly quickly, in a weird way. Not good.

This is cloying, nearing artificial but I'm not sure what. It's also slick and a little sticky with a moderate body.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.1/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle with a bottling date of 10/31/16. Sampled on December 16, 2016.

It is an attractive looking reddish-amber color with hardly any head. But it has decent clarity.

The aroma has a creamy and barley grain character to it with a low fruity hop profile but no booze for 12% ABV.

Medium body. Smooth.

The flavor expresses the same creamy (Creme Brulee), type taste with a good melted caramel note, vague fruit, and a mild finish. I did not get any alcohol in the taste either. Warming at the end.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.75/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

This thang took a while to open up; but like my Valentine's date after her third glass of "white zin" it arrived. Not a perfect 10, but still not a "catch and release." It reminded me of a basic Barley wine, but then it had this sunlight of wheat, like having
In-N-Out on a cloudy day. It may not have you texting your friends right after with excitement, but it was aite enough.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.32/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Way too much heat on this. 2015 vintage. Aroma was super rich with lot's of sweet dark fruit and bourbon but the flavour was tons of boozy heat with minimal complexity that the aroma showed. Fell short for me.

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Photo of tsmangin
4.48/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage 2014

Aroma - 11/12- Low bready malt. Notes of chocolate, raisin and fig. Medium low alcohol, slightly boozy note. Nicely complex. Hops are undetectable. Some vanilla comes through as it warms

Appearance - 2/3 - Copper colored with amber highlights. Poured very low head that quickly disappeared. Chill haze faded to moderate clarity.

Flavor - 18/20 - Delicious. Moderate bready malts with chocolate, raisin and fig character. Moderate bitterness and noticeable booze but well balanced. Moderate Sweetness. Clean ferment character. Slightly vinous but not oxidised. Alcohol is medium and lingers through the finish along with the sweetness.

Mouthfeel - 4 /5- Full bodied and luscious. Low carbonation. Moderate alcohol warmth. Not as much creamy as it is rich, round and smooth.

Overall - 9/10 - Well done, great beer! I could sip a snifter of this regularly. Well balanced, strong but clean, complex and delicious. Only complaints are minor... CO2 is a little low, head retention was poor and the alcohol is a bit high.

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Photo of justinp444
4.34/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

On draft poured into a snifter it has a thin white ring head with a reddish btown clear body. Smell of bourbon, caramel, molasses, vanilla, spice, and biscuit malt; very clean smelling overall. Taste is sweet bourbon, caramel, burnt sugar, spice, tiny bit nutty, bit of vanilla, lots of malt. Mouthfeel is full, body is moderate to full, with a full crisp carbonation. It had a bit too much carbonation but is definetly one of the cleanest most straight forward barrel aged barleywines I've had.

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Photo of SaxmanRick
4.39/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I much enjoyed this when fresh, but did not rate at that time. Today I am quaffing a 12oz bottle (vintage 2015, approx. 1yr old).

Appearance was nice - white 1/2" head with slight retention...liquid was a orangish yellow. Aroma was multidimensional...light wheat, caramelly sweet malt, even a little ripe plum. Flavor followed aroma. Very drinkable and special. I definitely enjoyed this fresh (tempted not to age some), but happy to give this ale a year in the cellar and would do so again.

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Photo of schoolboy
4.28/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I may not be very qualified to judge this style. I may have had it once before. But this bottle is one I took the care to let sit in my basement for about a year. I think that wait paid dividends because I really like this.

It is a light brown translucent color with a little fizz of fine bubbles. Very pretty in the glass. The aroma is a faint malty smell.

The taste is a wonderful, strong malt taste, but not too sweet. It has a hint of bitter nicely balanced with that tangy sweetness. Truly a unique taste. The aftertaste is a unique bitter tang, very thick on the tongue.

This is a $4 bottle of brew that is certainly worth every penny. I hope I can score more some day.

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Photo of Hopheadjeffery
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
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 -3.5%
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 Stevem68
4.08/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice Amber color. Has an aroma of sweet and boozy with notes of caramel. Flavor is malty with a boozy presence and a caramel sweetness. Has a rich body with low carbonation. Overall I enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of CoreyC
3.96/5  rDev +0.3%
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 -1.8%
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 Raime
4.5/5  rDev +13.9%
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 +1.3%
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 +11.9%
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 +6.8%
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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Pilgrim's Dole from New Holland Brewing Company
3.95 out of 5 based on 901 ratings.
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