Wheatwine is a style that doesn't get much airtime when people are talking about beer. There really aren't even that many on the market. Unlike straight barleywines, wheatwines are barleywine style beers that are typically made with about half of their grain bill being wheat, which gives a lot of body to the beer and a very distinct flavor. Wheat tends to be a bit sweeter, so this style of beer usually leans toward the English Style Barleywine side of taste and preference. Just like barleywines, wheatwines can be aged to help mellow or blend flavors and alcohol, but proceed with caution when it comes to how long you plan to sit on them. With as sweet as they are, you might be giving the hops a chance to fade even more, which would give you an all out malt bomb.

This two year old Pilgrim's Dole pours a caramel brown color with a beige head. It's clean, but the wheat gives the density a cloudy look.

It smells sweet and the nose favors caramel and butterscotch. There is a bit of mustiness and oak that comes through a bit, and as it warms you start to see some of the alcohol shine through.

The taste is on par with the nose. Toffee and butterscotch are the main players with a bit of old hops, burnt caramel and some alcohol at the end. It's a bit like a syrup. The body is huge because of all the wheat used and the sweetness is really big. The alcohol has toned down a bit, which is nice, but the overall flavor is somewhat one dimensional.

This is the oldest I've ever had Pilgrim's Dole and the last tasting was after aging for a year. I personally prefer within the 6-12 month period. I wouldn't let this go too much beyond that.


Our CELLARED series aims to explore the world of aging beer and sharing the effects of time in the bottle. Bottles have been kept away from light and at temperatures between 44-60 degrees. Individual experiences may vary depending on storage environments.

Posted on May 1, 2015 .