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 CortexBomb
2/5  rDev -49.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours out hazy orange with a light white head, but that dissipates pretty quickly. Nose is faintly wheaty with some hops there and alcohol, but not overly distinct.

The flavour is just...odd and not enjoyable though. It starts off promising with some sweetness, but an odd tart half hop bitter then grabs hold and refuses to let go, and drowns out everything else in the process. This also has some sour tones, and becomes even more intense (if that is even possible) as the beer warms. This went from strange to borderline undrinkable as it got warmer.

Mouth, ok for the style. Drinkability, not good at all. It wasn't something I'd be able to put down easily when it was fresh from the fridge, and now I'm questioning whether or not I can finish it.

Overall, to be avoided at all costs.

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Photo of zdk9
2.24/5  rDev -43.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

When I opened this bottle I was immediatly greated by the smell of...pepperoni pizza?!? Something must be wrong. Later I realized my association might be due to either a garlic scent which smells like Hungry Howies garlic crust, or to the cardboard box which holds said pizza. Anyway, on to the more useful part of the review.

A- Pours a crystal dark ruby. A finger of fluffy and uniformly bubbled head dissapears smoothly and leaves no lacing.

S- So as I mentioned there is definitely something bad w/ my specimen. The aroma is of sucralose (like diet soda) and some medicinal qualities. There is the faintest hint of paler malt in the background, and perhaps some fruity scents, but they aren't making it far past the rest of the smell.

T- The taste brings off a cloying carmel sweetness, but again with the sucralose things. And again the medicinal quality. Fruitiness with perhaps a hint of cherry and bannana. Hard to get any hops flavor.

M- It's sweet, and yet there's some sort of bitterness that hits only the far back reaches of my tongue. If only this blended out. Then there's the alcohol, which is there- not really hidden, but not all that hot either.

D- I was looking forward to a delicious big wheatwine to finish off my long day, which happened to be cold and rainy as well. Unfortunately this one missed the delicious part.

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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 Dogbrick
2.68/5  rDev -32.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Randomly mashing together 2 styles does not a good beer make. Pours a clear amber color with a medium thin and short-lived off-white head. Very little lacing. Light citrus, wheat and caramel in the nose. Harsh and oily character, with bitter hops and citrus on one end and sweet malt and toffee on the other. The finish is kind of musty and bitter. I just did not enjoy this one very much.

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Photo of mentor
2.71/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Bottle provided by deejaydan as part of BIF33. I've been eager to try this one for a while and am really happy for the chance. Thanks a million. Pours a one finger light tan head over a cloudy orange amber liquid. Smells mediciney. Caramel, cherry, sherry.

Tastes oxidized sherry. Alcohol burn, caramel, dry rough aftertaste. Phenolic edge of indistinct flavor. Fruity esters are beneath the alcohol and phenols, but add a vanilla and peach character.

Thick body and moderately carbonated. One was enough.

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Photo of treedoctor5002
2.71/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

I've wanted to try this beer ever since I tried there Dragon's Milk on tap at the brewery last year.

Pours a dark amber color with a nice head that bubble to the surface rather quickly, very nice. Lots of yeast floating around in this puppy.

Smell is mostly malt with hints of orange and spice. Bottle says it's 10% and you can certainly smell it.

The first thing that this beer throws at you is alcohol, and then some more alcohol. It is also quite sour without much else. Was hoping for more complexity here. It's simply overpowering. No hoppiness to speak of to balance out the huge malt bill.

Mouthfeel is thick and heavy on the tongue.

As stated before in this review this beer is overpowering in alcohol. Couldn't even finish one of these. After I let it sit for a while it smelled just like whiskey. Not the beer for me.

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Photo of shbobdb
2.8/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

I do not know hold old this bottle is, but I saw it next to a Black Tulip that was in a 12oz bottle, so at least two years, perhaps more. Since I loved the beer fresh and it is a larger beer, I figured that age would treat this beer well.

As it pours, it looks as vibrant as ever -- burnt gold with a fluffy white head. The smell is . . . musty, something dark and ancient with a powerful blast of alcohol.

Unfortunately the taste is a total and complete letdown. It is boozy and sour with nothing else going on. Literally. It is like a sub-par tripel. Likewise, the mouthfeel feels . . . thin. I remember it being rich and full before, but this is like paper.

Yeah. If you are aging this beer . . . . uhhhh, don't. I trust the store where I bought it to have taken good care of it (even if they took their sweet time selling it), so I think it is just that this beer doesn't age well.

There is no shame in that, fresh this beer is amazing. But drink 'em if you've got 'em boys!

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Photo of Phyl21ca
2.9/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle: Poured a clear deep amber color ale with a small foamy head with some light retention and some light lacing. Aroma of really sweet caramelized malt and light toffee notes. Taste is dominated by overly sweet caramelized malt with some toffee notes. Body is slightly above average with good carbonation and alcohol not too apparent. I always liked the idea of wheat wine but this example is way too sweet for my tastebuds.

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Photo of adamette
2.93/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bomber that I purchased at World Wines & Liquor in Mentor for $6.99 into my DFH pint glass.

A Caramel brown translucent body under a 2 inch very light brown head. Carbonation rises up very slowly from the bottom upon pouring which I found to be kind of cool.

S Smell is of a classic barleywine really. Big sweet malt and alcohol in the front. My nose detects only a hint of grains. Little to no hop smell to me.

T Big malt, little wheat tasted by me and a bigger than I care for alcohol taste. This is more like a classic Barleywine than a "wheatwine" as it is classified except that there is less of a hop profile as compared with some other Barleywines that I have tried, most notably SN Big Foot.

M Big beer with big mouthfeel with high ABV and prominent malt sweetness.

D Not that good. High ABV makes this one a sipper.

Notes: Technically my first Wheatwine but it tastes so much like a Barleywine it seemed to me that this was really just that. It would be great to try some other Wheatwines.

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Photo of kingcrowing
2.96/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

22oz bomber poured into a stemless snifter.

Pours a deep dark ruby, very nice. No head or lacing at all. Nose is very boozy, sweet and malty.

Taste is very sharp and strong with light carbonation. Very sweet and boozy however for a wheatwine it's surprisingly fruity and floral. It's pretty decent.

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Photo of otto251068
2.99/5  rDev -24.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 1 pt 6 fl oz bottle into a Rochefort chalice. No freshness date.

Appearance: Pours a rusty, dark orange reddish color. Very transparent and clean. What very few bubbles there are cling to the glass, but after a few minutes this beer looks to have no carbonation at all. The light brown head is very thin, almost non-existant, and disappears quickly.

Smell: Caramel and toffee, very aromatic and rich. Some sweetness to it with some brown sugar and maple syrup. So far it reminds me a bit of a porter. Very lively. Some grain and mustiness round things out. After it warms some bourbon notes really come out.

Taste: A rich bourbon flavor really comes out strong up front, followed by some pleasant malts. Again, very rich and heavy flavors up front. After those intense flavors there is just a hint of pineapple and citrus. Some roasted flavors and bitterness are left as an aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with very little carbonation. The carbonation level is almost non-existant. The body is fairly thick, and very sticky leaving a lasting aftertaste. The more this beer warms, the longer the roasted/alcohol finish.

Overall: Between the hard hitting liquor flavor, slight citrus, and long lasting bitter aftertaste, this beer has some seriously bold and complex flavors. The 11.4% ABV is definitely present.

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Photo of getkrunkhoe
3.02/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

App- Nice amber/copper color w/ orange hue. head is well gone, with no active bubbles.

A-GRapefruit ,butterScoTCh, thats all that comes to mind.

T-a very boozy fruit, a bit of caramel (Not as much butterscotch, which I expected). Once it warms up, all i Get is "spoiled" tofee.

Mf- Is very disappointing, quite a burning sensation this has.

Dr- It is best to ConsUme this cold or a notch above chillEd.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.05/5  rDev -22.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 22oz. brown bomber bottle and split between myself and BA brothercannon. My first wheat wine. Appears a clear copper brown color with about a finger of light tan head. Smell is sweet and malty. I can tell this is going to be a rich beer. The taste confirms the richness. Sweet caramel and brown sugar, maybe some cotton candy and raisins. This is a full bodied beer with medium carbonation. It took me nearly an hour to get through my 10 or 11 ounce pour and I was not sad when I got to the bottom of my glass. Worth a try...once.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.06/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from a bottle into a tulip glass. Bottled from 2007. Beer is dark brown and really hazy. Forms a thick head of large bubbles that falls away to almost nothing leaving behind a lot of lacing. Carbonation is low (lower than it should be). Bubbles, small to medium, rise slowly through the beer. The resulting head is thin and white made of medium sized bubbles.

Aroma of the beer is primarily alcohol and malt. I'm not getting many esters or fruits as I would expect.

This beer is thick and has a full bodied character to it. There is almost a coconut like character to the flavors. Very sweet but its a little overwhelming. Mouthfeel is ok. There is no aftertaste. Its a really heavy beer and drinkability suffers. There is almost no bitterness and there is a strong malt / grain sweetness to it almost like a barleywine. Actually, it tastes a lot like liquor. Not my favorite wheatwine but I'm glad I tried it.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.1/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to dougofthefuture for sending this in Blind BIF 5. Served in a Cantillon tulip.

Pours a bright mild copper with no head and a few bubbles around the edges. The nose brings a bit of caramel and a light fruitiness. Lots of sweet malt. Mild booze. The flavor is quite sweet as well. Somewhat of a dryness from malt, but not really dry. Hard to express. Maybe a bit of tannin. Boozy. Medium to full body. Pretty heavy feel and low carbonation. Boozy finish. Really don't enjoy the finish much. Almost a bit of bourbon in the nose, but not quite in the flavor. Not bad, but not something I would seek out again.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.1/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Expected this beer to be a little more on the lighter side I guess. The Wheat Wine here seemed to me to be just like a regular Barley Wine to me and my friend who split the bottle. I was thinking that it would be a nice lighter strong beer before the dinner we had but it was heavy and boozie. I haven't been able to see much of a difference between Wheat and Barley Wines. This is good if you want a strong beer that you can sip on for a while.

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Photo of quasimoto
3.1/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

It's a deep copper color with a ruby hue, and a light tan head that laces very nicely.
Aromas of Chocolate, brown sugar, caramel, alcohol, estery nail polish, strawberries, plums, oak, vanilla, & chives. There is a lot going on here.
The taste is Cloyingly sweet, Viscous, The aromas transfer, and turn very bready on the finish, the middle has cherries candies, almost medicinal
The mouth feel is vaguely reminiscent of cough syrup, but watered down. There is no bitterness and even less carbonation. Leaves a sticky coating to the tongue.
Not a very easy beer to drink, But would make a great after dinner drink. Also the cooking possibilities are endless. reduction sauce for French vanilla, pecan, or maple ice cream. Could even be used over pork.

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Photo of firkinhophead
3.12/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

$6.99 for 22-oz bomber from Rick's Wine in Alexandria, VA. Looking forward to comparing this to the only other wheatwine I have had, Terrapin Side Project No. 3.

pours a plain-looking amber with almost no head. Some tight bubbles form around the edges when swirled.

aroma is kind of dank and funky, with an element of over-ripe fruit.

taste is also funky. Not much on the front but some sticky maple mixed with some earthy spice. Toffee and bruised apple is followed by the lingering phenolic taste of medicine. The malts start to assert themselves over that aftertaste after it warms a little, but not with any real complexity. Tastes a bit like some rye bourbon mixed with Diet Coke.

Mouthfeel is heavy and dull at first, but then ends as a tongue-coating astringency.

I am hoping that I got a bad bottle here because this one just isn't very pleasant to me. Nothing like Terrapin's and not something I'd likely pick up again.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.14/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

John Wayne, Nooo! Pours a very hazy straw colored yellow with a definite orange and amber hue throughout. A thick white head needed some time to back down, but once settled left a good retention and lacing through the whole tasting.

The nose is mostly malty with some complexity but the wheat is really lacing. Sure wheatwines are not as distinct but even so, I would want at least some hints of wheat. Mostly a grainy and dexterous aroma with some distinct toasted notes. A light nutty and biscuit like aroma but more of a secondary character. No hop aromas really to speak of. Some noticeable yeast character and a bit of fusel notes. Some chalky notes as well. A definite medicinal aroma is a bit of a deterrent as well.

The taste is better than the nose. The malty sweetness continues through and really is a bit over the top. I think that this has to do with the limited hop notes overall, really lacking in bitterness. The malt has the toasted and a light roast flavor to it as well. Some hints of astringency. Some spicy notes that leaves more of a white pepper note that could be the wheat character but not really distinct. The yeast really comes out and lingers into the finish. Some minor stale notes but for the most part clean. The alcohol/fusel notes are there but not as bad as the nose. Some hints of acetaldehyde but very light.

The body is big and has a slight under attenuated feel to it. This might be more from the sweetness but just leaves a lingering sweetness that is unpleasant. Carbonation is very light which doesn't help either. Overall, I am a bit demanding on wheatwines, but there very distinct issues with the sweetness, hops and yeast issues that could be improved on, but I think would age nicely.

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Photo of mothman
3.15/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into Boulevard Smokestack Glass.

Very little thin white head. No retention or lace. Color is an orange/ruby red. The color reminds me of wine.

Aroma: Grapes, fruits, cherries, some booze, wheat, and a few raisins.

Taste: Initial taste is a big wheat flavor. Some big fruit flavors follow. Cherries, grapes, raisins, all mixed in with wheat. Very boozy.

Mouthfeel: Boozy and crisp. All the booze kind of makes me gag if I have it in my mouth for to long. Full bodied. A lower level of carbonation. Ends with a boozy, fruity aftertaste.

Overall, this beer is a sipper. Very boozy, as I have mentioned a few times already. I am glad I am not drinking this entire bomber by myself.

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Photo of francisweizen
3.16/5  rDev -20%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Weird, just weird! A glowing amber/orange colour with a small whispy head of white foam. The aromas are hard to peg...but they are VERY wheaty, boozy, and medicinal, with a definate fruity melon hint in there as well. The taste is melony, fruity, boozy, and spicy, with a big hint of wheat in the middle and a big hint of booze on the end. The mouthfeel is a bit harsh and acidic and the drinkability is not very good for me. This is my first "wheatwine", and maybe this style of beer just isn't for me...it was a damn interesting and complex brew though, so i'd like to sample some others in this style category!

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Photo of IntriqKen
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sugary, sugary sweet.
Aromas of dark brown sugar and very dark malt.
Taste is sugary sweet dark malt, dark brown sugar, and then an aftertaste almost like chocolate chip cookie dough.
Aftertaste becomes more and more doughy as time goes by.
Mouthfeel is sticky sweet but not terribly cloying.
I prefer Star Wheat as a wheat wine...this one is too sweet for me.

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Photo of JamesS
3.18/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a very nice dark brown color, with a decent head and a bit of lacing. Not much of a scent for such a strong beer, beyond a mildly sweet wheat smell. Very alcoholic taste, even for such a high ABV beer. If it wasn't for the faint wheat (and raisin for some reason) taste, it wouldn't have evne been barely average. A little rough going down, but could be worse. I doubt I'll try again.

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Photo of peabody
3.23/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours out a slightly cloudy amber with very little suds. Lacing around the oversize wine glass.
Smell is toffee and butterscotch with just a hint of yeast. Lots of sugary malts in this one.
Taste is toffee and sugar and alcohol. Whew, this one is strong and sweet. Great drink on a cold night. A little fruityness as the drink warms.
Mouthfeel is sugary sticky that doesn't go away. Thick and rich is this beer.
Drinkability is low here because of all that alcohol but on a Cold night it would be OK to drink a couple of bottles. Put you to sleep.

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Photo of nickadams2
3.28/5  rDev -17%
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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Pilgrim's Dole from New Holland Brewing Company
3.95 out of 5 based on 901 ratings.
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