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Dominion Oak Barrel Stout - Old Dominion Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dominion Oak Barrel StoutDominion Oak Barrel Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,322 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,322
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.72%
Wants: 67
Gots: 95 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2001

We use smoked and peated malts to create an intricate malt foundation. Our method of dry hopping with vanilla beans and oak chips pushes the depth of this stout’s flavor spectrum even further.
View: Beers (30) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,322 | Reviews: 661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Brenden
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This dark brown brew develops one finger of creamy medium brown head. The beer itself looks a little bubbly at first but calms down very quickly. Head retention isn't spectacular, but it's pretty good, and some good patching is left behind.
Nice, woody and natural sort of oaky notes come off the nose. it's generally a little soft, but digging out the subtleties isn't too difficult. Vanilla's directly up front and roast is gentle but firm, while coffee grounds come right up to the forefront. It all works together for not a huge smack in the face but plenty of complexity that has to be thoughtfully sought out but isn't taxing.
The flavor has all the coffee, roast, oak and vanilla as the nose, but a ghost of something with a certain tang to it can be caught sneaking in and out. It eases out as it warms, and there's an almost citrusy hint right in the finish that has me thinking hops, though it's very light.
The body is full and smooth but the crispness is held firm by a carbonation that's a little too high for a stout.

Photo of Px2GrafX
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

presentation: 12oz bottle with a picture of a large wooden barrel keg. "fermented with vanilla beans and oak chips" is printed. bottled date: 05/19/05. ABV is displayed at 5.2%.

appearance: pours dark brown, almost black with dark brown edges into a stein mug. head is a tan grey 1 inch with decent lacing and sticking.

smell: chocolate, coffee with a lingering aroma of wood and charred wood. some vanilla aroma, but i don't think i would have noticed if i weren't looking for it.

taste: distinct chocolate and coffee flavor with an antagonist light vanilla finish. the smoked woody flavor is apparent. there is a wine-like aftertaste as the beer warms. i assume this is the bourbon that everyone talks about. i'm not a big fan of bourbon, and have hardly ever drank it, but i don't mind this flavor in this beer. just adds to the complexity.

mouthfeel: smoother as it warms than when still cold. good carbonation. swallows a bit hard for me. i like a smoother swallow in a stout. the viscosity is very nice rolling in your mouth, however.

drinkability: quite drinkable. not as strong as some stouts, and the alcohol doesn't hinder. the first one goes down easy, but i wouldn't be grabbing for this all night.

overall: not my favorite stout, but a great change of pace. super complex with a different flavor taking charge with every sip. definitely pick one up if you're lookin' for a flavored stout.

Photo of Zorro
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 Oz bottle Sampled through the efforts of Boxing Day BIF and Pentathlete. Bottling Date 10/28/05.

Pours a deep brown colored beer with a fast fading tan head.

Smell is sweet with an aroma of chocolate and nuts laced with a bit of coffee. There is a rather sharp scent of acid from the dark roasted malt used. Strong roasted coffee scent here that is very pleasant.

Taste is sweet and smoky at the start. Fairly neutral background flavor that accentuates the chocolate, smoke and coffee. The acid level works well here to brighten the coffee flavors like a medium roasted Kona coffee.

Mouthfeel is OK, but not that good.

Pleasant and tasty stout with a very moderate alcohol level. As close to a session beer as stouts ever really get.

Photo of neobassman
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of this local offering as part of a systematic review of domestic stouts. This one has much to offer. The pour is slightly thick, producing a modest head that dissipated quickly. Color is almost black with essentially no light passing through. Mild carbonation. The smell is complex and aligns well with the taste. Not much bitterness, and not much cooked coffee flavor. Nice maltiness in the heart of the flavor, and some pleasant sweetness, as well. The brewer states that the beer is dry-hopped with fresh vanilla beans and "toasted oak" chips to simulate a bourbon barrel aging. That may be, but I did not get a significant oak or vanilla experience from this brew - they're probably in there somewhere contributing to the overall flavor, but I was surprised these flavors were not prominent since the label touts them front and back.

This beer is not much like Guinness because it lacks the strong burnt coffee and salty components of Guinness, which may be a plus or a minus depending on how much you like the Irish icon. Oak Barrel is a good stout, pleasant and inoffensive. I would enjoy it again, though it does not rank among the leading American stouts in my opinion.

Photo of Aenema
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a deep, dark brown with a thin head and leaves no lacing.
Smell - Roasted malts, vanilla and oak. The oak gives off an impression of bourbon.
Taste - Similar to the nose; chocolaty, roasted malts followed by vanilla and oak.
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, especially for a stout, with moderate to low carbonation and a dry finish.
Drinkability - Relatively easy drinking stout.

Photo of ChrisBowers
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Totally different animal than on nitro-tap. Out of the bottle it pours with a small tan head. Far less creamy and smooth than the draft product. I feel as if it is almost a bit overcarbonated. Vanilla is less pronounced but it is still there. More bittersweet chocolate is present. Maybe a little espresso. Not what I expected after having it on draft many times but still a very enjoyable beer.

Photo of Grundle20
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
The beer drains like motor oil from the bottle both in color and consistancy. There are wispy patches of foam that skate about the surface of the beer but no real sustained head to speak of.

Smell:
The scent is weak but touches of vanilla and bittersweet chocolate can be picked up. I'm not sensing any oak character but I also can't recall the last time I went up and sniffed a tree.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
The beer drinks smooth and slightly thick with a big body of blanketing malts. Bittersweet chocolate can be drawn from the malts and there is again a presence of vanilla. There's more of a woody character here but I find it to taste more like basswood or cherry wood smells. There is a the slightest tinge of bitterness in the ass end of the drink. The finish is rich with chocolate notes which make for a rather flavorful aftertaste.

Drinkability:
It's a stout so I inherently don't want to drink too many of these, but the flavor of this one is particularly delicious. This would be an excellent meal or breakfast beer.

Bottom Line:
One of the more impressive stouts I've had in a while which admittedly isn't many. I don't really get a lot of of the oak character but it's tasty all gimmicks aside.

Photo of CHADMC3
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nearly opaque body with ruby hues with a frothy, tan head that quickly dissolves to leave almost no lacing behind.

Generous aromas of oak and vanilla waft from the glass, followed by sweet malt and woody hops. As the beer warms the vanilla becomes a bit more milk like.

The taste is similar to the aroma. The beer opens again with vanilla and oak, and even a hint of chocolate followed by the woody or earthy hops. As it warms, roasted malt comes forward as well.

Medium to thin in both body and carbonation, fairly smooth with just a faint woody bite at the finish.

This is a good beer. Nice character, and no overwhelming wood notes that similar beers may feature. Offers a nice balance of flavors without abusing the palate. This is just a clean beer.

Photo of Ruds
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 355 ml bottle into a snifter glass to a jet black colour (shades of brown around the edge of the glass when held to the light) and with a smallish tan head.

On the nose roasted malts, a hint of vanilla, a little coffee but not getting any kind of oak or wood hit which I was expecting!

Flavour wise I get roasted malts, vanilla, a little mix of chocolate and coffee, but again no hint of the oak for me. Good flavours though so not a major detraction for me!

Mouthfeel was excellent, creamy smooth and very drinkable, medium in body and limited carbonation.

Overall a good stout, but just not getting the 'oak' that I Was expecting!

Photo of damndirtyape
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle served in a snifter. Bottled on 05/12/14.

Appearance: Completely black with a thin cappuccino-color ring and skin across the top.Islands and strands of persistent lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt and hint of raisins. Maybe a little bit of smoke wood and smoky notes and some chocolate, but they're weak.

Taste: Black coffee, roasted malts, oak with hints of vanilla. Simple but well done. Vanilla blooms in the mouth as the beer warms up; it's a delayed taste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, but not as thick and creamy as you expect in a stout. A bit on the watery side. Light carbonation.

Overall / Drinkability: Overall it's missing some things that I would expect from a stout (smell is mild and the mouthfeel is weak), and yet it's got a quite good flavor profile and appearance. So overall, very good in some aspects and weak in others making it an above average stout in my opinion. Not sure I would want another one in an evening, but I think with food like steak or even dessert a second glass would be welcoming.

Photo of Rickythejeweler
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown-black, half finger khaki head, minimal lacing.

S - Tons of vanilla, followed by subtle/balanced coffee, brown sugar, smoke, and earthiness.

T - Vanilla beans shine through over hints of roasted malt, coffee, black patent malt, and sweet nuttiness.

M - Medium-light body, moderate carbonation.

O - Great beer for only $7.49/6pk, I don't like that they use the word " barrel" when it isn't actually aged in barrels.

Bottled on: 10/31/12

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Arena Bar and Grill. Arrived in a nonic pint glass, this stout appears a deep dark brown color with about two fingers of creamy, lingering tan foam. Not much lacing to speak of here. The aroma and flavor are of rich roasted grains, both milk and bittersweet chocolate, oak chips, vanilla, mildly sour tannins, and a touch of dark fruit. Wonderfully smooth drinking and creamy with medium carbonation. A really nice and flavorful lower alcohol stout.

Photo of kmpitz2
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours jet black with a 3 finger latte colored head that sticks around well after the pour. The nose is just full of different smells. I get less of the chocolate and coffee tones that I am used to in a stout, and more vanilla and bourbon tones. As the beer warms, more of the malty goodness comes through in the form of a mocha aroma. The flavor is fairly good, but a little weaker that I would like. There is mostly coffee and vanilla coming through this one, with hints of the oak staying in the background and more prevalent after swallowing the beer. Still a good offering. The beer falters a bit in the mouthfeel. Its just not thick enough and there is more carbonation that I like to see. This is a highly drinkable stout. Its not overly filling and could easily be a session beer in the cold of winter with a hearty stew or thick soup.

Photo of Omnium
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Dark Brown/Black with one finger of fizzy brown head, no lacing
S - Really nice roasty aroma, you do get some slight hints of a woody character, slight vanilla, and a touch of smoke.
T - Bitter coffee rind, earthy and woody tones as well, a little hop bite, roasted malt.
M - A little too carbonated, would prefer it to be more silky, but still good.
O - This is a classic beer to me, one of the beers that got me into craft, and I still enjoy it to this day. the oak presence is really nice, and not dominating. Very earthy in flavor, but overall an outstanding beer.

Photo of Act25
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Found in Whole Foods sampler. $12.99 for 12.

A: Decent pour, could use more lasting head and more lacing.

S: Roasty malts, oak, vanilla, and chocolate. Plenty of smokey oak.

T: Follows the smell. Starts with creamy roasted malts, chocolate, a little cocoa powder, then smoked flavors, roasted barley, charred oak. It's soft and creamy. Nice balance of bitter, smoke, vanilla, and sweet. Warming. Great night cap.

M: Creamy and smooth, medium body with modest carbonation.

F: Densely packed flavor as in a RIS, without the ABV. Perfect everyday, slightly sweet stout, with good balancing hops, bitter, and smokey finish. Must try.

Photo of Rastacouere
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Almost opaque black hue with a light brown film that lasts. Intense aroma where vanilla comes strong marrying the spongy oak. Chocolate pillows, a few cream cups, a coffee sipper and a toffee eater sitting by a smoky campfire. Well blended and rich flavors to say the least. Palate is a bit less interesting, but still delicate, smooth and satisfying, which is no surprise from Dominion. Medium body and carbonation enhance the high drinkability. Wood flavors complement the big sweet chocolate while the light hoppy acidity takes care of the could-be-overpowering vanilla by leading us into a dry finish. Great stout, cheers Larry!

Photo of bruachan
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

DOBS pours an opaque black with no light shining through whatsoever. the pour i got had no head either. i suspect the bartender was at fault. a coffee roastiness quickly appears, in aroma and tasting. but then the chocolate kicks in. the beer actually tastes like someone has squirted hershey's chocolate syrup in it; reminded me of young's double chocolate stout. i enjoyed this, but my tastebuds would get a warped idea of what beer tastes like if i drank DOBS too much. at only 5.2% however, anyone who was very fond of the beer could put a few down without falling off their bar stool.

Photo of ONUMello
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass
A: Very dark brown with a one-finger head
S: Coffee, cocoa, bourbon, roasted malt
T: Matches the nose note for note, though a bit lighter than I expected
M: Medium-bodied but again a touch thin
O: Solid and worth a try but could be a bit fuller

Photo of Slatetank
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at the Dominion pub in Dulles Airport, served chilled in a pint glass.

The color is deepest walnut brown with a thick dark tan head with fine bead spots of lace cling. The smell is strong with vanilla nd coffee-like roasted malt aroma with woody accent and mild yeasty fruit-like nose with mild nutty nougat in candy with caramel malt essence and the roastiness high in the smell. The feel is very good with smooth vanilla creaminess mild roasted texture and medium body with moderately low sweetness and light woody texture with semi-dry finish and low alcohol influence.

The flavor of malt is dominant with a yeast flavor trailing at first with noticeable vanilla and some sweetness with a mild caramel malt flavor and subtle roasted barley core with more vanilla adding to the base with yeast adding to the complexity as it warms. There is perhaps a little raisin and light spice in the finish with low alcohol flavor. Overall this is a very good stout -pretty well integrated vanilla makes me think it is used to augment the 'oak barrel' as the name implies but smooth flavor and easy to quaff at the 6% strength

Photo of MichaelRabdau
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of alexgash
3.94/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, oily, black at the core, dark brown edges. Small, light khaki head. Definite oak, oak chips, vanilla, roasted malt, sweet chocolate, creme brulee, caramel, and bourbon. Nice, complex aroma. Taste is similar, but a bit muted. Roasted malt bitterness up front. Oaky, peaty, earthy malt sweetness changes to vanilla and chocolate sweetness. Moderate body (a bit light for the style perhaps) with plenty of carbonation. I like.

Photo of Bung
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes .On tap. Black/brown pour, tan head with small amounts sticking to the glass. Barrel dominates the aromas with some roast malt and cocoa. Taste is a good blend of all of these. Vanilla oak blended with some chocolate and roast malt. Finish with a twinge of coffee and vanilla. A little thinner than one would like for a stout. Nothing mindblowing, but very good for a "regular" stout.

Photo of arguemaniac
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a brief tan head that reduces to a thin lace. Roast, vanilla and a nice malt sweetness in the aroma. The palate resembles that of a porter more than a stout, really: while it certainly features a fairly heavy coffee roast character, but lacks that earthy burnt astringency found in many stouts. There is also vanilla, some chocolate and some nice malt sweetness. Strong note of vanilla in the roasty finish.

Not bad, much lighter and smoother than many other stouts, plus the vanilla character as a nice touch.

Recommended…

Photo of mulder1010
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a tulip. thanks to The CPJ for this one

A-- Poured dark cola color and settled black. Decent sized light chocolate colored head did a bit of reverse cascade and settled to just above film. One finger read retention on swirling but also recedes pretty quickly. Just a few carbonation bubbles on the sides of the glass.

S-- Oak, rolled oatmeal, and vanilla. More Oak than vanilla in the smell to me.

T-- Oak, more like lots of oak. Get vanilla bean and oatmeal. More like an oatmeal stout in oak barrels to me.

M-- Medium feel and medium carbonation. Lots of dryness from the oak and it does in a way mask the vanilla bean taste. A little bit of a bitter lemon acidic finish to this as well.

D-- A sipper due the amount of oak in this. Still very drinkable and can have multiple bottles in a sitting. If not in the mood for a monster stout this is a very good alternative. A lot of flavor and character and perfect carbonation for this level of beer. Might need a touch more vanilla but otherwise very good beer.

Photo of tobelerone
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black with a fluffy tan head that settles down slowly to a creamy band. Nicely sticky lacing. Roasty aroma; hints of chocolate and coffee; toffee and subtle vanilla. Mild woodiness.

The vanilla is much more prominent in the flavor; fairly sweet, with toffee, brown sugar, and caramel notes. Some roasty espresso and charred flavors; moderate bitterness. Again the oak note is fairly mild.

This is not an imperial stout and while it has pretty big flavors the body is medium and the carbonation is definitely on the high side. There's just a little bit of stickiness but the overall feel is almost prickly. As I work my way through the glass it seems to get thinner and a bit watery in terms of the intensity of the flavors rather than the other way around. Doesn't really ever open up and winds up not being particularly complex. Still, a tasty brew for vanilla fans and an inexpensive buy to boot.

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,322 ratings.