Pilgrim's Dole | New Holland Brewing Company

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Pilgrim's DolePilgrim's Dole
Very Good
946 Ratings
Pilgrim's DolePilgrim's Dole

Brewed by:
New Holland Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: American Wheatwine Ale

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.

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 946 |  Reviews: 400
Reviews by Georgiabeer:
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.32/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I liked this beer a good deal, but then I'm a pretty big fan of wheat wines as well. Poured amber with a good head that stuck around for a while. Aromas of toffee and hops with earth and pine notes. The taste is big and rich with more toffee, wet earth, more pine and some citrus, and some soft fruity notes. Big rich mouthfeel makes this a sipper.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance – This poured a gorgeous, deep dark orange in color with no translucency whatsoever. The head came up nicely too, leaving some pits and lacing. This is quite impressive for a 10.0 ABV Wheat Wine.

Smell – Yes, it’s just like an American Barley Wine but with a dominant wheaty nose that reminds me of a pale Belgian. The yeast is very spicy and I’m sure there are some grassy-type of hops in there. The wine is like a sweet white.

Taste – Oh, this tastes much different than it smells. There is a super-charged alcoholic sweetness that seems pumped up with some sort of tarty notes. Galliano is the only thing that I can think of at this point. This is more like a wine cocktail than beer.

Mouthfeel – This is somewhere between medium and full-bodied with a very sharp alcoholic sting. There are strong yellow summertime fruits and lime juice that pucker the lips, the booze that heats up your throat, and a huge malt base that sticks in between your teeth.

Drinkability – Well, I wouldn’t recommend tossing six of these in a beer bong, and if you aren’t familiar with the style this is probably not the best one to try first, but I enjoy strong styles and especially enjoyed this tasty and well done offering from New Holland.

Comments – I pulled this out of what was probably the most diverse box of beers I’ve ever gotten in trade. Thanks to BuckeyeNation for such a generous package and for including this gem from New Holland.

Update – Skyhand popped a 2006 bottle in May at a house party, so I was able to sample this baby once again.

It was grapier than last years with a buttery character. I didn’t get as much booze either, making this a smooth drinker. All in all it’s a good effort at a rather new and difficult style.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.95/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine March 2007.

Named after the assistance (free bread and ale rations) given to wayfarers on holy pilgrimages in early 14th cen- tury England. We scored a couple of extra cases after our American Beer Fest in June 2006. Loved it then, but we've been dying to try it after some cellaring.

Pours pretty damn thick; mildly syrupy, with thick, fluffy, off-white head and excellent lacing and retention. Wonderful cascading carbonation up front, but once the chaos settles, the bubbles seem to struggle in the murky brown-and-orange depths of this brew. Impressive. Quite alcoholic in the nose. Toffee, overripe pine- apple, floral hops, and charred raisins. Thick, smooth and viscous on the palate. Massive malt body and presence. The syrupy texture seems to glide across the palate with toffee, caramel, brown sugar, golden syrup, hints of candied pineap- ple, and rich, toasty flavors. Boozy and fruity. Rum-soaked raisins. A smack of bit- terness helps to break things up, pricking the palate with an aggressive spiciness and a slightly wheaty twang. Vodka notes. Big, lingering sweetness; toasty toffee notes, with a foundation of alcohol heat and spice in the finish.

If this was life on the dole, we'd be two very happy pilgrims. Enjoy on its own, in a snifter. Serve slightly cool, but allow the beer to warm and unfold.

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Photo of Jason
3.98/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Appearance: Poured hard in a pint glass, a surreal viscous cascading foam emerged out of no where … quite amazing to look at. From there it produced a thin tiny bubbled lace that was comparable to a good pint of Guinness. The deep tawny hue only showed a minimal haze.

Smell: Wafts of alcohol and ripe fruit … suggestions of pineapple and raisins come to mind. Sweet to the nose.

Taste & Mouthfeel: Creamy mouth feel and full bodied. Right off the bat I think of rum raisins, lots of sweetness not the palate but not cloying. A touch of rough spiciness from the wheat but not astringent, nice spicy bite from an alcohol and hop mix. Finishes with a lingering alcoholic spice and some residual sweetness.

Notes: One of the most interesting strong beers I have had to date, tastes of a mellow English Barleywine though with a big wheat accent. Truly a great beer and a must try if you are in to strong ales of any kind.

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Photo of RaulMondesi
3.75/5  rDev -6%
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 Barleywine, 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 CTHomer
4.26/5  rDev +6.8%
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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Photo of DrainBamage
4.53/5  rDev +13.5%
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 oberon
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep burnt orange with a nice one finger head leaving sheets of lace behind,big fruity aromas along with some caramel and nut.Deep intense dark fruit hit the taste buds and are unrelenting,very fruity and nutty with a big soapy finish.Wow the compexities are are almost to much for this sipper,very complex and big.A sipping beer to savour my first wheat wine and very intriuged by it a great beer experiance.

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Photo of DanGeo
3.75/5  rDev -6%

Photo of Smokesnotes
4.46/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: nice deep amber color, no head

S: fantastic. Bourbon & vanilla

T: strong vanilla up front. Wheat wine comes through in the middle, slight bitter end. Hides the 12% pretty well.

M: starts heavy then a tingle

O: really good. A surprise to just find on the shelf never hearing of it before. Highly recommend trying it of you like bourbon barrel aged beers. And who doesn't.

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Photo of SanFranJake
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.4/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Sampled at Rich O's Gravity Head on 3-19-05. Arrives at my table a nice amber orange color with not much head on top at all. Some nice lacing sticks to the side of the glass. A bit of red peeks through as well. There's a nice slight caramelly wheat and a tad bit of sourness in the nose as well. Some light fruit and a bit of roastiness. The nose is a bit too subdued for my liking.

A light, refreshing fruity grain flavor with hints of fresh roasted nuts. Some good caramel tones and some apparent alcohol notes as well. An interesting brew but not really my cup 'o tea.

Mouthfeel is fairly full with a medium body and a nice syrupy creaminess. This is one I can't see myself drinking much of, but it was worth a try. Definetly an intriguing brew.

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Photo of blitz134
3.75/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Little light tan head on the pour, reduced to barely a skim almost immediately. This has a nice clear caramel body when held to the light. Very little carbonation bubbles rise to the surface.

Sweet smell, alcohol, candy sugar and a bit of cotton candy. A little sour apple. Has some wheat notes along with a bit of light malting. Alright overall.

The wine aspect is definately here with the notable alcohol, a touch fusel in nature and has a little dry of a finish. Flavors are again a bit of malts and wheat. Raw sugar, caramel and sweet floral notes come through. A bit of dark fruit, raisiny. Overall a good bit going on here, but just a bit hot with the alcohol.

Even though the carbonation is low this one is still crisp and sharp. Nice medium body coats the mouth well and the flavors linger for a bit.

Alcohol brings down the drinkability. It sits a bit heavy on the stomach from it, quite warming though. Good flavor profile, definately worth a shot since this is a style that doesn't get a whole lot of play time.

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Photo of sabitu
4.25/5  rDev +6.5%

Photo of nickadams2
3.28/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A_Pours dark reddish orange with a thick khaki colored head that dissipates into a thin ring. Thick lacing.

S_Tons of sweet caramel malt, dark fruit, and alcohol.

T_Really,really sweet. Tons of caramel malt,figs,raisins, brown sugar and rum. Good but overly sweet.

M_Thick. A little syrupy. Chewy.

D_Too sweet. A bomber was hard to get through.

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Photo of DaftPatrick
4/5  rDev +0.3%

Photo of shapudding
4.03/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

No dating. Deep honeyed dark amber and clear. Thick vanilla mikshakey head in a thin frothy swirling dusty that laid in a thick ring and nice dusting swirl. Lovely pungent aroma, just smells like it will be chewy! Dark caramelly/butterscoth aroma, moving into honey. Bit of pepper and spiceyness coming through. Smooth and fairly creamy, medium moving into heavy, but not too thick. Just feels silky and luscious. It doesn’t taste much like a 10 percenter. Taste of blackened toast, smooth hoppiness-not too bitter and yet they are strong. Cream sherry flavor is very strong after it warms a while. A lot of flavor is left in your mouth after each sip. This is the first time I have ever had a wheatwine that I know of, it is like a mild barleywine, or mild, non biting double IPA. Very good flavor and feel, I really stretched this one out to enjoy it for a while.

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Photo of BuckeyeSlim
3.5/5  rDev -12.3%

Photo of megamass
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of merlin48
3.88/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My first wheat wine arrived in a 10 oz glass with a small offwhite head sitting atop a brilliantly clear apricot body. Head was gone in seconds, but profuse island chain lace decorated the glass. Aroma was a bit restrained, but featured a whiff of alcohol, mandarin oranges, earthy yeast, wheat grain, coriander, and grassy hops. Mouthfeel was snappy, with a solid medium body, alcohol, and some hops bite. Alcohol is immediately apparent in the taste, but is not intrusive. Lots of fruity orange and apricot, white pepper and a note of coriander, earthy yeast, and a subdued hops presence that is grassy. Finish is dry and mildly bitter. Very different from a barleywine with its more assertive yeast presence and more restrained hop profile. A pleasant change of pace with the different grain bill. Packs a potent punch for a 10 oz serving.

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

Thanks to Eyedrinkale for this offering...
Pours a dark ruby, cloudy in appearance w/ a 1/4 finger of bright white head...lacing is quite thin, but tight w/ very little cling.
Aromas remind me more of an Old Ale with rum, raisins, cherries and a small hint of alcohol.
The taste is nice...more like prunes in the taste w/ very little wheat detected. Again, more along the lines of an Old Ale for me, but I have only had a few to date and this is only my third Wheat Wine, so what the hell do I know.
The alcohol is masked well and although it warms me up nicely, it is not harsh at all...quite bitter and dry in the finish.
Mouthfeel feels thick at first, but as I drink it, it apprears to be rather thin for its style.
The carbonation could be a touch less IMO...hurting its drinkability for me.
Otherwise, a real tasty brew from New Holland...would enjoy a couple of these in an evening, but not more than that.

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Photo of tigg924
4/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass--aged one year

Appearance: copper in color, clear, minimal head, high carbonation

Smell: caramel, toffee, wheat, and alcohol

Taste: big time caramel, pine, sugar, peat, alcohol, and some doughiness

Mouthfeel: very sweet and alcohol jumps out, low carbonation, medium-heavy bodied

Overall: A nice malty and peaty treat that I would get again if it was distributed closer to here. I tend to like New Holland's brews and this one fits right in. A nice and complex brew, up with the best I have had in this style.

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Photo of reitzbrewing
4.5/5  rDev +12.8%

Photo of frenchblood21
4.21/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into Hoppin Frog tulip. Today's date is 1/29/2014.

Appearance- Deep amber/very burnt orange when held up to a light. Brown while sitting on my desk. Half a finger of cream colored head that reduces by half and then just stays.

Smell- Fig, bourbon and vanilla in that order. Then I get prunes and sweet caramel in the back. I hope the taste is exactly like the smell.

Taste- Way more bourbon than in the nose. More spice too. I detect clove and orange zest. The bourbon is pleasant and not over-powering.

Mouthfeel- More carbonation than expected. Much hoppier too. Great coating all throughout mouth and throat.

Overall- Great beer! To be honest, I will be going back to the spot I got it and look for more. This is not quite a barrel-aged barleywine and not quite a barrel-aged wee-heavy, but it is amazing.

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Photo of djmitche
3.56/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The deep, clear red belies this beer's strength. Wow. The aroma is of candy. Sweet, yes, maybe like sour worms? I'm a few years past my trick-or-treating days. The taste is not quite as sugary as the nose leads you to expect - which is a relief - but still pretty sweet. It's balanced by a bit of sourness and a good bit of heat. You will not for a moment think this is a low-gravity beer!

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Pilgrim's Dole from New Holland Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.99 out of 5 with 946 ratings