Pilgrim's Dole
New Holland Brewing Company

Pilgrim's DolePilgrim's Dole
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American Wheatwine Ale
Ranked #16
Ranked #5,787
4.02 | pDev: 10.95%
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
Pilgrim's DolePilgrim's Dole
Notes: A barleywine-style ale made with 50% wheat malt (a wheatwine) aged in bourbon barrels.
Reviews: 409 | Ratings: 961 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of officerbill
4.15/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Dark reddish brown with a thin tan head.
flavors of dates, raisins, plums, cherries, brown sugar, caramel, molasses.
the aftertaste is almost too sweetly sticky, that's about the only drawback; otherwise this is an outstanding example of a wheatwine

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officerbill from New York, Apr 05, 2020
Photo of TooManyGlasses
4.24/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Single 12 oz bottle purchased at the Knickerbocker in Grand Rapids, Michigan March 2018 - bottled October 30, 2017.
Poured into my New Holland High Gravity Series glass - a dark amber with copper tones - scant khaki head.
Aroma of over ripe orange, pineapple, burnt caramel, and bourbon booziness.
Taste is upfront boozy - caramelized candied orange, dark fruits, oak - a bit of spicy bittersweetness on the swallow.
Sticky sweet mouthfeel - full - boozy, warming alcoholic burn
Really good - reminds me of an amped up Nugget Nectar.

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TooManyGlasses from Alberta (Canada), Jan 20, 2020
Photo of rex_4539
4.65/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

L: Quite clear deep red color, no head, no lacing, no carbonation.

S: Sweet, bourbon, hints of alcohol.

T: Sweet, plum, malty, hoppy, bourbon, alcohol. Delicious!

F: Full bodied, as much flavor as any beer could provide.

O: A world class beer. You will be stunned by the richness of this one.

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rex_4539 from Greece, Oct 06, 2019
Photo of Ozzylizard
3.82/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Found in back of beer reefer – where I bought it and for how much is not recorded. Reviewed 9/15/19.
“BOTTLED 10/15/18 12:51” marked with yellow dots on the neck and shoulder of the bottle. Stored at 42 degrees and served at 54 degrees in a hand-washed and dried Jester King snifter.
Appearance – 3.75.
First pour – Light amber, clear.
Body – Dark brown, opaque. When held to the light, red-amber and translucent.
Head – Large (Maximum 6.2 cm, aggressive center pour), tan, medium density, average duration, diminishing to an irregular three to ten mm crown and a thin rocky cap.
Lacing – Fair. Wide partial ring of tiny bubbles with a couple of holes. Fairly remarkable for the high ABV.
Aroma – 3.5 – Sweet toffee.
Flavor – 4 – Sweet with a distinct caramel/toffee flavor. No alcohol (12% ABV) flavor or aroma, no dimethylsulfide, no diacetyl.
Palate – 3.5 – Medium, approaching syrupy, soft carbonation.
Final impression and summation: 4. Think English barley wine but a bit sweeter. Very decent, on the cusp of good.

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Ozzylizard from Pennsylvania, Sep 15, 2019
Photo of GuyFawkes
2.92/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Bottled 9/11/15; drank 1/24/16 @ the Yarchives.

See-through orange/purple appearance.

A rough pour yielded a small khaki head; nice lace.

Oak, booze heat, plum & caramel notes in the nose.

Medium thick mouthfeel.

Booze heat, candle wax & plum flavors up front; baking soda, caramel & oak notes on the finish.

4 months in, this is a boozy mess.

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GuyFawkes from Illinois, Jul 18, 2019
Photo of Tilley4
4.13/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4


Drinks like a Christmas pudding.... lots of dark fruit and a little booze... really unique and tasty...

Had this tonight and it's the beginning of summer so I'm thinking this would be even better on a cold December evening by the Christmas tree...

I would recommend this to those who like English barleywines...

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Tilley4 from Tennessee, May 28, 2019
Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Dark copper-brown body, mostly transparent but dark, with a light tan head, persistent, with a thick curtain of tight bubbled lacing.

S - Strong booze, sharp spicy wood notes, vanilla and oak, and caramel.

T - Smooth malty booze, vanilla and caramel of bourbon, bright hit of spicy pepper notes, and a mildly bitter finish.

M - Somewhat prickly open, sticky and full weight, minor warmth in the finish.

O - A well integrated big, burly wheatwine with nice barrel notes, with a few years on it. Enjoyable.

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Tsar_Riga from Indiana, Mar 31, 2019
Photo of Davedrinkinbeer
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a 12oz into a snifter. Beer is a ruby red/amber color, or should I say somewhere in between and has a small 1/4" head that quickly dissipates. Smell is sweet-- malty with caramel or candy sugar, it kinda reminded me of a Samichlaus (for those that have tried that rare beer) in smell, a lot of sweetness to hide the high alcohol content.

Taste is candy sugar, malt, and dark fruit which starts out sweet but turns more bitter towards the end of the mouthful. Feel is surprisingly thin for a sweet beer like this, but the mouthful is a little dry and sticky with a slight aftertaste.

This beer is pretty tasty overall. Not nearly as sweet as some of the higher ABV beers, but more balanced than the others. I have only tried a couple of Barleywine beers, and both were much more bitter than this one. So for a high (12%) alcohol content beer the light body makes this very drinkable. Recommended for those that like darker beers but want something not super sweet or very bitter that has plenty of taste.

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Photo of MikeWard
4.29/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottle into a tulip. Bottled 10/5/18, so 3 months old.

Deep reddish brown body, clear when held up to the light. Nice off white head replenished by streams of carbonation up the sides of the tulip.

Only a sweet boiled candy aroma.

Pretty sweet beer, but really nice tasting. Some raisin and dried fruit along with the candy. Gonna be a slow sipper here. Not getting the wheat aspect of this beer, but I'm ok with that.

Mouth full, finish is a sweet slow burn.

Overall, only the second wheatwine I've tried, seem to remember enjoying that one as well. Very similar to a strong English style barleywine.

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MikeWard from Pennsylvania, Jan 13, 2019
Photo of mothmanscott
4.32/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A 2014 vintage, I've had this bottle cellared for several years. The cap comes off without much fanfare, giving a slight pop. Pours a clear deep brown that becomes a coppery ruby color swimming with particulates when held to the light. Pours barely a finger of khaki, foamy, somewhat lasting head that leaves a decent collar ring but only a thin surface cap and hint of lace. Aroma is woody vanilla and bourbon forward with an acetic hint mixed in with molasses, prune, dried fig, dried apples, banana, sweet cherry, melon, orange, pine and earthy herbal notes. The wheat being expressed in many of these fruity aromas. Taste is rich, heavy pumpernickel, burnt brown sugar, burbon, woody vanilla, molasses, dried dark fruits, anise and a hint of soda biscuit; wheat and fruity notes are not as diverse as in the nose: dried apples, banana and hop hints of orange with dank earthy herbal and pine hints. Finishes semi-sweet with an Altbier like maltiness that is fruity and dry, leaning heavily to alcohol spice. Aftertaste is malty, fruity, alcohol spice & bitterness. Mouthfeel borders on being heavy bodied with low-moderate carbonation, a pleasant chewy creaminess, alcohol warmth & spice. Rich and complex!

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Photo of jkblr
4.31/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz bottled 10/5/18 (2 months ago) poured into a NH signature tulip glass at fridge temp 12% ABV. The beer pours dense amber with it's brightness and ruby highlights visible only in bright light. The head is mocha colored and recedes to a thin ring and leaves a little lacing. The aroma is strong sweet wheat malt that mimics rum barrel with toffee and brown sugar. The taste is more sweetness with toffee, coconut, brown sugar and booze (specifically rum). The finish features low bitterness and uses the alcohol to keep things mostly dry. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied and adequately carbonated. Overall, excellent. This is a great style tick and a fantastic sipper in all. Beware if you don't like a little sweetness.

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jkblr from Indiana, Dec 03, 2018
Photo of BlurryVisi0n
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Served in a tulip glass from a 12oz bottle.

Appearance: Cloudy dark amber with a deep mahogany color.meeoum bubbles create a dark orange tinted white head rising just about one finger's length.

Smell: Deep toffee and light whiskey.

Taste: Complex caramel with hint of woody whiskey notes. Taste is pretty addicting, sweet consisting of mellow hops and barley and a hard glass to put down.

Mouth: Sticky body with a medium carbonatkon. Come off a tad dry and could use some tweaking. Literally reminds me of a aged Cabernet.

Overall: If I am every so lucky to see this I will grab it again. This is actually an English barleywine in disguise. Loving every second of it. Salud!

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BlurryVisi0n from New York, Oct 01, 2018
Photo of Eddieeight
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Thin half inch cream colored head. Deep opaque amber color. Highly sweet smelling, sugary and fruity. Taste bears dark fruits like raisins and cherries, toffee and burned caramel. The wheat wine comes through strong which I really like and is much like a barley wine. . Mouthfeel is medium and minimally bubbly. Reminds me of weyerbacher insanity which is one of my favorite beers. This ones a real winner

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Photo of Tripel_Threat
3.84/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle to nonic pint. Dark amber colored ale with a finger and a half of khaki foam. Aroma is sweet and sharp: sticky caramel, toffee, citrus fruits and booze. Flavor is malty caramel, wheat bread notes, citrus, dark fruit (plum, raisin), toffee. Thin feel.

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Photo of BenHoppy
2.14/5  rDev -46.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

This beer is intriguing with its scent of caramelized molasses brown sugar vanilla dark fruit barley wine toffee but the flavors is disgustingly cloying with cheap vodka and cleaning detergent. Some toffee vanilla tobacco notes and caramelized grapes but is over taken by cheap vodka and cleaning detergent. I so wanted to drain pour it but since it's my first take on a wheat wine I felt I had to drink it but it was painful. Not sure if aging it 2 years helped or hurt it. Maybe needed to be aged longer, not sure but this was disgusting and I love barley wines. Are all wheat wines this bad?

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BenHoppy from Michigan, Sep 08, 2018
Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip. Bottled 10/30/17.

Appearance: very rich, deep amber hue with just a little bit of haze and a thin cap of tan foam. The color is great.

Smell: sweet with some nice character of raisin and tobacco. The bourbon barrels come through just a little bit in the form of a mild booziness; I appreciate the restraint here.

Taste: malty with plenty of boozy heat and a moderate bitterness. I think it's quite good, and even balanced, though I wish there were more of that raisiny character from the aroma.

Mouthfeel: rich body with a low level of carbonation but a very good, smooth creaminess.

Overall: this beer isn't overly complex, but it's a delightful sweet treat.

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flagmantho from Washington, May 25, 2018
Photo of BlackBeerPirate
4.1/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste: complex, very caramel, toffee sweet,hints of dark wine and sweet sticky candy and wheat. Sweet malt and dark fruit nose. Dark Mahogany,copper hue, semi clear, very refined foam head, nice lace. medium to full body.

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Photo of Zeeck
4.4/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Look - This is brownish-red in color with orange, almost rust-colored accents. It has a nice, light film of a head that seemed to linger for a bit.

Smell - This smells like a barleywine. It's full of caramel and toffee with additional notes of vanilla, cranberry and plum. It smells very rich and immediately made my mouth water.

Taste - The flavor is delicious. It is loaded with caramel and toffee flavors, but it is not overly sweet at all. It has some nice, tart plum notes and a light tangy bitterness to it. There's also something vibrant and almost citrusy, which I'm guessing comes from the wheat. I get a littlb bit of the wood from the barrel, but I really don't notice the bourbon.

Feel - This is slightly thinner than expected. I was expecting something much more syrupy. It's nonetheless a pretty heavy beer and has just the right amount of light carbonation.

Overall - This is very delicious! It's like a traditional barleywine but with an added tangy twist at the end. I feel like this would age very well, and I may have to give that a try.

Pairs Well With - Brazil Bites. Check them out. These cheesy bread balls from Costco are so addicting!

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Zeeck from Illinois, Apr 15, 2018
Photo of tp1962
5/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Exceptional barley style wheat wine. I will be looking for this again. Great beer to share with friends who appreciate great tasting barleywine style beers

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tp1962 from Illinois, Feb 15, 2018
Photo of LiquidAmber
4/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Fremont small snifter. Pours a dark reddish orange with a thin khaki head that dissipates immediately to tiny patches, slight lacing. Aroma of caramel malt, bourbon, red berries and little vanilla, not much wheat character. Flavor is sweet caramel malt, orange zest, raisins, brown sugar, white fortified wine. Finish brings out more vanilla, bourbon and toffee. Medium bodied with light creaminess and good carbonation despite the quiet pour. Possibly the sweetest wheatwine I've ever had, with the noted suggestions of a light, sweet fortified wine. The aroma was very similar to a bourbon barreled English barleywine with caramel and dark fruit notes, but the taste leans towards lighter fruit and although there is no distinct wheat flavor, the malt is lighter in character. An interesting take on the wheatwine style, perhaps skating on the edge of too sweet for me, and I'm very sweet tolerant in beers. Otherwise lots of diverse flavors and good vanilla and bourbon barrel character. A nice winter evening sipper.

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LiquidAmber from Washington, Jan 21, 2018
Photo of CTHomer
4.26/5  rDev +6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 10/31/16

A: hazy; light mahogany in color; less than a 1 finger off white head that receded to a thin, big bubbled ring; very little lacing;

S: toffee, vanilla, bourbon, dark fruit, alcohol;

T: more dark fruit than anything else; alcohol is noticeable, but not as hot as I expected; vanilla and toffee are there as well; no bitterness;

M: medium to full bodied; moderate carbonation; lightly dry finish;

O: very enjoyable; curious to see how it will age;

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CTHomer from Connecticut, Dec 12, 2017
Photo of Prager62
4.12/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A fridge cellared bottle from 2013 given to me by a generous BA. Poured in a vintage hourglass vessel for the review.

Look- Pours a transparent flat looking ruby red/brown producing a trace amount of light tan foam that quickly disappears. Some tiny carbonation bubbles can be seen.

Smell- Alcohol, toffee, caramel, dark fruit and vanilla.

Taste- Alcohol, toffee, oak, vanilla and dark fruit. A spicy slightly floral finish.

Feel- Thin and quite hot considering the age.

Overall- I remember this being a hot and one dimensional beer when I had it last years ago before I started reviewing. Four years seemed to open up more dark fruit and barrel notes, but it's still quite boozy. I imagine this being a great cellar candidate to age even more. I'd love to try one with ten years on it! Worth a shot if you're into high octane barrel aged beasts or a fan of cellaring.

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Prager62 from Colorado, Aug 19, 2017
Photo of MacMalt
3.88/5  rDev -3.5%
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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MacMalt from New Jersey, Apr 20, 2017
Photo of BWood
4.03/5  rDev +0.2%
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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BWood from California, Mar 01, 2017
Photo of DrainBamage
4.53/5  rDev +12.7%
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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DrainBamage from Michigan, Feb 23, 2017
Pilgrim's Dole from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 961 ratings