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Pilgrim's Dole | New Holland Brewing Company

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very good
360 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: 360 | Ratings: 809
Photo of GreenWBush
4.01/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pilgrim's Dole plops out of the bottle a foreboding multilayered ruby to amber spectrum, the top half of the glass darker and gloomier than the lighter second half. A woozy, slowly cascading head gives way to an incredible cling. This beer is a delight to behold.

The nose is full of citrus, a blooming hop-zing intermingled with New Holland's prototypical 'glue-y' yeast. Pine and tropical fruit continue. Papaya and a sea-breeze brininess meet above the distinct fingerprint of alcohol.

The taste is awash in hop-heat and fluttering booziness. Once the temperature approaches cellar temperature, these two harsh aspects give way to a citrusy vegetal sweetness. A cloying gumminess I find in many NH beers floats in and out. Interesting vanilla, oak, and vinous notes continue on the outset and remind me very much of an English barleywine. Complex and interesting to say the least, if not just plain weird. I think age might also be beneficial here.

Mouthfeel might just be the highlight of this beer. Oily, resinous, and a pillowy delight on the tongue. Bitterness and prickliness of hops keep the strong alcohol presence in check.

I think I prefer this to Bell's Wheat Love...tasty if limited in application, though. Not something i'll ever crave or go directly for but good and will rest in my cellar for occasional re-visits.

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Photo of Fugazme
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Gaisgeil!

Hazy copper/ruby in color... thick, slightly syrupy pour. Great
head. Legs and lacing! Two of my favorite things!

Nose is very floral and fruity... sweet honey/lavander/grass/wheat... a touch of chocolate and berry... Toasty as it finishes.

Extremely creamy mouthfeel... exceptional!

Taste is fruity and balanced. Wheat and hops. Sweet caramel. Smokey as it ends.

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Photo of froggyfrog
4.12/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A somewhat hazy liquid. Translucent red color. White foam crown.

Whoa. Lots of malt in the nose. Smell is reminiscent of an English style Barley Wine. Also spicy hops and dried wheat. Pleasant alcohol aroma as well. Also included: dark sugars and matured fruit.

Taste is also very much thick malt at the beginning. The tongue tingles from the 10% ABV and the rich spicy hops as this full bodied creamy ale passes. Then right at the end we are reminded that this is a beer brewed with wheat as it finishes dry with that unmistakable hollow wheat twang.

This is what a well aged Olde School would taste like served through a Randall filled with wheat stalks.

Loads of character in this bottle. Overall a tasty and complex brew. Sticky sweet with spicy hops and a wheat twist. Nicely done.

A solid choice for strong ale fans.

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Photo of Brian700
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a clear amber/brown with very little head.

The aroma is malty with small amounts of spicey hops.

The flavor is of rich malt and is sweet with a nice balance of spicey hops. There is a touch of yeastiness but not much, maybe from the wheat addition.

The mouthfeel is full bodied with medium carbonation.

This is a very drinkable and worth while beer. I like it a lot and highly recommend it.

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Photo of Sudmissle
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I found this beer to be an attempted copy of Bell's Third Coast Old Ale, which is only a short drive away to compare on tap. It was still very good with the following specifics:

Appearance: A medium brown with a reddish accent.

Smell: The best thing was the smell. A very nice carmel smell with notes of brown sugar and quality malts.

Taste: Good carmel barleywine flavor. For the alcohol content, the flavor could have been slightly deeper.

Mouthfeel: Good, but could have been still thicker.

Drinkability: Only limited by the alcohol content, but if you were to visit the brewery, this one is possibly the most memorable elixir they have on tap. Very satisfying.

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Photo of Viggo
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear ruby red, thick 1/2" of off white head, sticky lace all over. Smell is sweet, caramel, wheat, citrus, pine/floral hops, alcohol and coffee. Taste is chocolate, caramel, citrus/orange peel, floral hops, molasses, sweet finish and alcohol warmth. Mouthfeel is full bodied, little bit syrupy, low carbonation and slight alcohol burn. Nice sipper, I thought it was pretty spectacular. Thanks DrJay.

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Photo of BigDaddyWil
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Served from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass. 40 degrees

This is my first wheat wine, and boy was I surprised. Another great beer from New Holland!!!

Appearance: A golden copper color, slightly cloudy with quite a bit of carbonation. Reminded me of apple cider.

Smell: Very fruity citris aroma, with just a hint of wheat.

Taste: Sweet and sour taste a good combination, a hint of wheat and hops. The 10% abv is hidden very well.

Mouthfeel: Mouthfeel is great, medium bodied with just enough carbonation.

Drinkability: I really enjoyed this wheat wine, great flavor. I could drink a few of these in one sitting, depending on how the 10% abv hit me. All in all an enjoyable brew that I would pick up again. Good job New Holland.

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Photo of DrJay
3.51/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear, coppery orange with a short, beige head (even after a hard pour). The foam dissipated to a very thin layer with large bubbles forming a ring around the glass. What was left made some nice lace on the glass. Wheat aroma with a hint of maltiness and plenty of alcohol. Seems like there's a bit of cereal adjunct smell in there as well. Starts off with a little caramel sweetness followed by mild wheat. The flavour falls away by the finish, leaving the alcohol flavour and warmth with just a little nutty sweetness. Low bitterness and a bit grainy as well. Creamy texture with fine carbonation and moderately dry. Not as heavy as expected and the body thins out considerably at the end of a sip. Not bad, and it grew on me by the end, but I'd like to try a few more wheat wines before coming to a conclusion about the style.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.81/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I bought a 4 pack of this stuff probably about 9 months ago and 2 were remaining in the "cellar fridge"

12oz single

appearance: pours a very clean and clear amber, fresh bubbly head begins to form with slight lacing...pretty impressive appearance

smell: sweet ripe fruit...pineapple, mango and other tropical fruit, definite alcohol presence, raisins, very sweet nose

taste: again, very sweet...juicy tropical fruit especially pineapple juice followed by a strong alcohol presence...an almost sour/tart aftertaste, some spicy hops, strong sweet malts

mouthfeel: medium, mild carbonation, smooth and clean

drinkability: above average

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Sunshine-bright tangerine with nary a fleck to disrupt the crystal clear nature of the beer. The pastel orange cap is large, milkshake thick and looks as if it will last for hours... although the beer will be long gone by then. It's also beginning to lay down an impressive amount of thick lace.

The nose isn't at all what I expected. It smells like untoasted pale malt, orange peel, Band-Aid phenols and alcohol. Although the label describes Pilgrim's Dole as a 'barleywine style ale made with wheat', it doesn't remind me of a barleywine at all. A wheat wine? Who knows, I've never smelled a wheat wine before. I have to believe, however, that most of them have better noses than this.

Things are better on the palate, but I'm still far from impressed. The beer drinks like a pale barleywine, but still tastes nothing like one. Maybe wheat doesn't lend itself to such a malt-dominant style since it doesn't impart as much complexity and depth as barley. I'll reserve judgment on the style until I've had a handful of others. Of course, it's always possible this year old bottle hasn't aged as well as it should have.

The flavor is dominanted by a curious sourness that is kept from being a deal breaker by an underlying malty sweetness and the other members of the flavor profile. It tastes orangey to me, and a little peachy as well. The phenols, which I find appealing in some Scotch ales, seem out of place. Not horribly so, but I find myself wishing they would exit, stage left.

After multiple mouthfuls, I still can't decide how well the various flavors fit together. They aren't completely divorced from one another, but neither do they fit into a unified, seamless whole. A grudging agreement to stay together for the sake of the kids? There's nothing wrong with the mouthfeel. It's somewhere between medium and full with an enjoyable tongue-soaking quality.

Pilgrim's Dole is my first foray into the relatively new world of wheat wines. Recent talk has suggested that it was better fresh, so I'll consider picking up a few bottles of the '05 vintage for comparison's sake. If I was a pilgrim looking for my free dole of bread and ale, I'd turn this one down and grab a few dozen nip bottles of Old Foghorn to accompany me on my journey.

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Photo of Frozensoul327
4.08/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh, sweet nectar of life. Special thanks to my bud sopor for the sample of this amazing creation called Wheat Wine. This is my first of the style and will not be the last. Poured out to a medium amber orange color with a short lived head that fizzed down to little more than a thin film on top of the beer. Some notes of lace. Aromas of grain, sweetness (almost bubblegum like), and alcohol. Taste was complex and nearly overwhelming; flavors of grain, malts, sweet maple, earth, hops and spice flashed across the palate keeping things interesting. Slightly bitter aftertaste, with notes of alcohol. This beer really gets your attention. Mouthfeel is really nice, medium to full bodied, yet not syrupy or thick. A good level of drinkability. This is not an everyday brew, but on occasion, this beer is a real treat. Recommended.

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Photo of sopor
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle is about one year old.

Hazy golden amber with tiny lazy bubbles rising slowly to the top. A finger of creamy head dies to a clumpy sticky film & ring. Smells of sweet wheat, like a grain farm, and alcohol.

Vinous and a little dry wheat flavor, hints of green olives and green grapes. Alcohol is present, but not overpowering under the very slight hop flavor. Thick and slick but not overly oily with delicate carbonation.

Tasty and very winey, I will definitely drink this again.

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Photo of bahumutx
4.02/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served from a 12 oz bottle into a snifter. This is also my first try of a wheat ale.

Appearance: A dark amber color with a small head.

Smell: A fruity citrus aroma with a hint of wheat.

Taste: Starts with a sweet taste and then hints of wheat hits the tongue. It ends with a slight hop taste. Alcohol taste is hidden very well.

Mouthfeel: Good mouth feel with the right amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: I could only have one or two of these in a sitting.

This is the first beer I have tried from the New Holland Brewing Company. I look forward to trying all of their other offerings. Keep up the great work New Holland.

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Photo of CortexBomb
2/5  rDev -49.2%
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 AlexJ
3.35/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

My first wheat-wine, and I'm not sure what to think of it. Very clear, bright auburn color with a thin white head and large, cascading bubbles. No lace.

Aroma is definately wheaty, with notes of nuts, floral, cut grass, hay, and tart minerality. Odd.

Flavor starts of mildly sweet with notes of wheat. It quickly overcomes my palate with a tart astringancy, but not unpleasant. Some grain flavors and a touch of hops in the finish.

Body is light to medium, rather thin, and has a slick, wet mouthfeel. Alcohol is VERY well hidden, making it highly drinkable.

Interesting, but not something I'd seek out. I'm very confident that my bottle of Triticus will prompt a much better review!

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Photo of carln26
3.67/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The beer poured into a snifter a hazy copper color with a thin tan head. The head receded quickly and left little lace. The nose is all fruit with hints of apples and pears backed by strong citrus grapefruit. It has just a touch of a brandy character in the finish. The taste has more fruit. The pear is there, along with tangy citrus (orange this time). No brandy character other than mild heat on the finish. The mouth feel is slick, and a little oily. Decent drinakbility. The heat might be a bit of a detraction. This is a nice wheat wine, but not a great one.

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Photo of far333
3.82/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My first wheat wine. Orangey honey colored with a low yellowish-beige head that sinks quickly, but leaves a wall of foam around the top of the liquid. Aroma is a little grassy, a little hoppy, with some sweetness, and that metallic alcohol tinge. Taste is interesting - initially tangy, followed by tart, followed by a strong alcohol bite that warms the flesh all the way down the throat into the pit of my stomach. These three flavors domintate, and leave little room for other flavors, but some fruits and toffee emerge in the finish, along with a bitterness that doesn't seem to be attributable to hops. Not sure if this is right for the style or not, but it's an enjoyable beer. Thanks to BuckeyeNation for sharing this one.

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Photo of meathookjones
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wasn’t sure what to expect with my first wheat wine but it was an interesting experience. Cloudy bronze body with a decent sized light tan head that left scatterings of lace around the glass. Aroma is quite interesting with sweet fruit notes as well as some tartness. Some scents here remind of a Belgians as well as a light bready doughyness. Big fruits are in the flavor with ripe fruit sweetness mixes with a fairly strong tart. Some alcohol is evident. Good amount of bitterness and that Belgian note that was in the nose is in the flavor as well. A decent amount of bitterness as well. All this manages to mix together quite nicely in the end. Solid body and good drinkability round this out. Interesting style that I will most definitely seek out more of in the future as this was quite a treat.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.85/5  rDev -2.3%
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 mntlover
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy light amber color with a cream colored thumb high head that laces well.

Aroma is caramel mixed with fruit a lot of variety of fruit hard to pick out individualy. Light bready malt mixed with light spices underneath.

Taste is sweet caramel mixed with fruit sweet at first then moving to tart. Some wheat malt in taste but caramel wins out easy finish is tart and lightly spiced. Didn't know what to expect with this one but its pretty good.

Mouthfeel is thinner then I thought it would be almost oily going down.

Drinkability is pretty good very light alcohol in the finish as it warms but goes down smooth and easy. My first Wheat Wine would be up for trying more. Want to thank clvand0 for this sample and new style atleast for me.

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Photo of oberon
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
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 beerinator
4.04/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brownish, with reddish tones. Slightly cloudy. The head is off-white and the retention is hard core.

Aroma: Heavy fruit. Apple, pear sweet cherries, a big bowl of fruit cocktail with some caramel sauce dripped over. Oh, and the fruit cocktail with caramel sauce is sandwiched inside some bready pound cake too.

Taste: The mouthfeel is slick but not too thin. The beer has a great deal of fruit and sweetness. Bitterness keeps the sweetness from being overpowering. The bitterness lingers more on the palate as this beer warms. There are definately cherry flavors here in aroma and taste. The alcohol isn't very evident here.

Notes: A bit thinner in the mouthfeel than you would expect. But this beer has great depth of flavor and aroma. The alcohol isn't in your face, and the body makes it scarily drinkable. Even though it's easy going down, I think I would have ranked this one better if it had a little more "umph" in the body.

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Photo of RoyalT
4/5  rDev +1.5%
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 ken3c
3.96/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Very foamy. Intense lacing. Very clear. Orange color.

The aroma is citrus and alcohol. There is a sense of wheat grain.

Taste is like an orange peel sandwich. It's bitter, sweet, and tart. Each taste is quite strong but blends well.

The feel is foamy and bubbly. It also feels quite light for wheat/barley wine.

This is actually quite drinkable. It's not what I expected but I think I could drink this anytime.

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Photo of Wildman
3.88/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I first had this at the brewery before they decided to bottle it. This beer poured a slightly cloudy amber color and formed an off white bubbly head that coated the glass with lace as it subsided. A small amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of malt, hops and brown sugar. The flavor was of malt, with a very sweet brown sugar aspect (though not as sweet as the original house version). It has a medium body, unlike the heavier house version. The finish is slightly tart. The house version was almost too heavy and sugary, but this could use a little more body. What we need is a good compromise. This is a good beer, but needs a little more.

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Pilgrim's Dole from New Holland Brewing Company
3.94 out of 5 based on 809 ratings.
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