11/22/17: New Holland Brewing's Pilgrim's Dole

5:54 PM

Here's my Thanksgiving Eve post! I'm really excited to break into this bottle of New Holland's Pilgrim's Dole (I've never had it before--this is completely blind) but I need to share this first (if you've read the other post on my blog today or follow me on Twitter/Facebook, you've probably already seen me talk about this. I won't stop just yet):

Net Neutrality is a great, great thing. It allows small businesses to compete in markets that would otherwise swallow them whole. It allows breweries to share information with fans from the brewery's website and all of its social media presences. It lets you stream funny cat videos, read wonderful beer blogs, look up homebrew recipes, connect with friends and loved ones, and so much more.

The FCC could ruin all of this. On December 14th the commission is expected to pass new regulation effectively killing Net Neutrality. This would negatively impact EVERYONE (with, of course, the glaring exceptions of ISP executives). Please reach out to your congressmen. Urge them to step in and kill this effort. The FCC's been trying to pass this shit since 2014. We need to get the message across to them that we will not stand for it. Net Neutrality is good for US citizens of all political beliefs and our society would function radically differently if it goes away.

Phew. Okay. Thanks for reading that. Since I have a platform, I needed to use it to talk about this super big, important thing. Onto the beer!

You may remember a few weeks ago when I talked a little about New Holland. Here's a short synopsis of their "Our Story" page: The brewery was founded in Holland, MI by Brett VanderKamp and Jason Spaulding two decades ago. Since then, they've expanded throughout the state, started making liquor, and have continuously brewed Dragon's Milk, their main claim to fame.

Pilgrim's Dole is a New Holland beer that's sure to pack a wallop. According to the brewery's online description of it, this 12% ABV wheatwine (a barleywine made with 50% wheat malt) is sweet and warming. (It's also brewed with spelt, which is hella rad).

Let's get this out of the way--Pilgrim's Dole smells like a barleywine. No surprise there. It's boozy. It's caramelly, malty sweet. It's, well, luxurious. That's an adequate word to use here. I love it, but Purrl? Eh. At three whiffs it's not really her bottle of beer.

It's got a good, mild sweetness on the flavor front. There's somewhat of an earthy quality here that really works with the wheatwine. Immediately upon swigging I get smacked with a punch of alcohol. But, afterwards, there's a sweet caramelness and an earthy vegetabliness lingering on the tip of my tongue. I don't have a turkey dinner with me right now but I'd bet that this would pair damn well with one.

Man, mouthfeel-wise, this beer is silky smooth. It's got that fantastic creaminess that you get from a wheat ale and big-bodied boldness of a barleywine. New Holland really knocked it out of the park with this beer.

Michelle and I have this weird holidays time tradition. I'll get her a drink. I'll pour myself a few fingers of whiskey. We'll turn out all the lights. I'll put a fireplace video on our TV. I'll get Joe Purdy's This American pumping through my speakers. We'll settle down on the futon under a warm blanket and wordlessly enjoy the stillness of the night.

This is, without a doubt, one of my most treasured holiday traditions that Michelle and I have crafted together. It's precious to me. And, I don't know why--maybe it can be blamed on the wheaty booziness of the beer--but Pilgrim's Dole makes me think of those wonderfully restful nights.

Now, recap time. What did we learn? Well, for one, Net Neutrality is a phenomenal thing and we all need to do our part in ensuring the internet remains open and fair. But, we also learned that New Holland's Pilgrim's Dole is one hell of a beer. I'm giving this astounding wheatwine my highest recommendation with a 10/10. Be sure to track some down before tearing into your turkey or tofurkey tomorrow--you'll want it with your dinner!

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