Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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

685 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 685
Hads: 1,453
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 18.37%
Wants: 77
Gots: 168 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company
Delaware, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Stout | 6.00% 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 (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dominion Oak Barrel Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 685 | Hads: 1,453
Photo of avylover
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From the 12oz bottle, courtesy of TinusTime's efforts at his store. Poured out pretty much straight black, with some slight ruby highlights. A large tan head sits atop my brew. Vanilla in the aroma, along with roasted coffee and floral hops. Incredibly smooth taste. This beer is full of taste, yet nearly floats across the tongue. Vanilla is definitely there, roasted malts, slight fruity overtones, cream, and a decent hop bitterness to finish things off. This is pretty much a vanilla version of the Dominion Stout, which is good in itself. Mouthfeel is perfect, like a light fluff across your mouth. Great brew, well balanced...with nothing overboard, so don't expect it. Just an excellent stout.

 700 characters

Photo of kegerator
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

dark in color, basically black with a nice 1 inch creamy off white/tan head that showed decent retention.
smell was roasty malts with hints of chocolate and caramel.
taste was sweet malt and caramel with hints of bitter chocolate
the mouthfeel was quite silky yet light in body. alomst too light to me.
all in all a very nice stout.

 337 characters

Photo of mattgreger
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured almost black in the glass with a huge, dark tan head that held for quite a while. As it faded a nice solid ring of lacing followed throughout the drink.

The aroma was strong with malts, coffee, vanilla. This brew has a nice rich, roasted smell. It actually smells almost sweet. This is what I have come to expect in a stout. I am so far again, impressed by Dominion.

There is a nice vanilla and coffee flavor a the front of this brew. These two flavors give this brew a nice bitter edge that kind of balance out the sweetness of the brew. It ends with a nice smokey/oak flavor that just makes this brew have even more great flavor.

This brew is more a medium bodied brew, though the the pour and the style would normally make you think otherwise. The sip is nice and smooth, and and a nice suddle carbonation.

This is very drinkable brew. For a stout I was amazed. The flavor is strong, but not overbearing, its a hearty brew, but still goes down easy. I could surely have a few of these in a session and enjoy every drop. The price seems to be pretty good as well. Once again, I am super impressed with Dominion.

 1,136 characters

Photo of JoeNobody
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a grand pilsner this stout is wonderfully dark with a nice light brown head. The vanilla and oak used in the fermenting bring out a tasteful almost caramel flavor. Has similar smell and taste characteristics to root or birch beers.

Drinkability is high. Because of it's dark color it looks thick but is actually very light and goes down very smooth. This makes for a great after dinner or late night dessert. I'm almost tempted to add vanilla ice cream and make a nice Oak Barrel Float.

Bottoms Up!!!

 519 characters

Photo of SSBrennan
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a thick dark tan head, a great looking beer.

Smells of sweet roasted malts, vanilla, and a hint of coffee.

The taste is rich with vanilla and caramel. There is an initial almost smoky flavor of roasted malt with a bracing crispness. The finish is very smooth and rich.

The richness and weight is perfect for me.

Despite it's weight this beer is delicious enough to have a few.

 412 characters

Photo of MikeB20
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P: 12oz bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A: Black as can be with a nearly two finger dark tan head that doesn't hang around very long. Lacing is sparse but it sticks.

S: Dark roasted malt with some vanilla, caramel and wood. Very pleasing.

T: This beer has a lot more going on than the smell would lead you to believe. Lots of roasted malt with an awesome vanilla finish. Some wood or earthy tones and I'm getting some bourbon/whiskey although I thought it might be more pronouced. There seems to be a hint of smokiness in here as well. A bitter finish accented with the vanilla makes me want to take another sip. The vanilla comes through even more as the beer warms, I recommend letting this one sit out for a good 10 or 15 minutes before serving.

M: Smooth with lots of tiny bubbles in the carbonation which adds a refreshing quality to the beer. Not as heavy as some stouts can be but it still has some body. The body, like the vanilla, seems to become more pronounced as the beer warms.

D: A very drinkable and complex stout. Maybe it's the small distribution from Old Dominion but this is a beer that I would expect more people to be talking about, it's among the best stouts I've ever tasted. It's an easy beer to enjoy any time of the year.

 1,255 characters

Photo of Illini5596
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Truly one of Dominion's best beers. A little hard to come by, but can still be found if you look hard enough (lets hope they start shipping out of state soon!). The color is a deep rich dark brown, hinting at the full bodied nature of this beer. The aroma is subtle, and the head unfortunately minimal, but the taste is a work of art. Dominion's Oak Barrel Stout has a truly complex and thick taste, combining the taste of malt with hints of vanilla, coffee and chocolate overlayed with the complexity of oak. A true pleasure to drink, quite possibly one of the best stouts out there. My only complaint is the mouthfeel, as it is a bit thick and tends to linger a bit longer than I prefer. If you ever see this, buy it and treat yourself to a very enjoyable evening.

 766 characters

Photo of DougT
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jet with a full, thick, creamy light brown head. foam clings tot he glass as it dissipates. Leaves a nice layer of bubbles all the way to the bottom.

Smells of vanilla, plumbs, coffee and a bit of yeast.

Could be clouded by having an Expedition Stout, but this seems subtle. Some coffee, bit of chocolate. I get the oak. Not much hops, I don't like too much hops.

Creamy, medium body, very drinkable. Thicker than say an Irish Red, but not as thick as an Imperial or an Expedition. I would say on the light side of a Stout, but that makes it more refreshing.

I like it. I find it more enjoyable than, say, Guinness, but not as rich as Bells Expedition or North Coast Old Rasputin. But by not as rich I imply not as strong. Those are sippers.

This would be a good beer for a harvest party sitting on a hay-bail near a warm fire remembering the glory days and trash talking how Da Bears will cream whoever it is this weekend...

 932 characters

Photo of Jeffreysan
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 edition, 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with an eighth of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Strong aromas of roasted malt, roasted coffee beans, but not much else, but then again, I’m stuffed up, so there’s that…but other reviewers note aromas of vanilla, roasted nuts, some dark chocolate and stone fruit!

Taste: Great! Massive malt bomb up front, with some great notes of freshly baked pumpernickel bread, some subtle coffee flavors, and quite a bit of vanilla and brown sugar-like sweetness. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and very smooth and creamy as there is practically no carbonation to speak of, what-so-ever. With an ABV of 6.1%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: I really, liked this stout. Love the massive malt presence, blended beautifully with vanilla and brown sugar. I’m certainly getting some more of this.

 1,054 characters

Photo of PhillyStyle
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap (at the Ram's Head Tavern @ BWI airport) in a glass that I would characterize as a cross between a pint glass and a stange glass:

A: The beer was a solid black served with a brownish head that was not retained (honestly I think that this was due to the draw than to the beer)

S: Roasted malt, a little vanilla for a touch of sweetness, presumably from the oak.

T: The taste is excellent, top notch. Follows the nose really well, with the main flavor being the malt but combined really well with the vanilla with some hints of coffee or chocolate.

M/D: Low carbonation and it was rich, creamy and smooth, so it was highly drinkable. Overall, if I could find this beer in Atlanta, it would probably become a stable in my fridge. Excellent beer. Highly recommend.

 778 characters

Photo of EmperorBevis
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's black it has a tanned head, it's stout go figure.

The aroma just makes the mouth water
cocoa, caramel, petrol, charcoal YOU NEED TO SMELL THIS TO BELIVE IT!

Taste is deep and well rounded the vanilla is there dark flavours that only come out in the night burn't toast with lots of unsalted butter and a drop of port.

Good solid mouthfeel slightly over carbonated but hey it is easier to take fizz out than put it in .

Truly amazing ale.

 446 characters

Photo of sulldaddy
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My last reviewed beer of a trip to Kclingers. Served in a bottle chilled and sampled in a pint glass.
The beer exhibits an offwhite head that is rather small and fades rather quickly to an edge layer. The color is pitch black with no light getting through the glass.
Aroma is light chocolate and some hints of sweet brown sugar and vanilla. First sip reveals a fairly thick beer with very mild carbonation. Flavro is mostly roasted malt hits mixed with mild sweet vanilla and some biting coffee on the finish. No real hint of alcohol or oak that I can detect. A very tasty beer that I am glad I finally procured. Some piney hop notes actually show up on a burp or two. Nice one!

 680 characters

Photo of Afterburner
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The other day I had this on tap. It was tasty. Today, I had the bottled version. It was bottled on Thursday, and consumed on Sunday. As a reminder, the bottled versions are not the same as the keg version offered at Dominion's brewery. The bottle versions, as well as the keg versions offered in restaurants, are aged with toasted oak chips and vanilla, instead of being aged in old bourbon barrels.

All of the comments I made about the draft version apply here to the bottled version. It's a dark, thick brew, dark brown foam head, and so on.

The primary difference, at least to my taste buds, is that the oak flavor is much more assertive in the bottled version. You get a very woody, oaky flavor mid-palate that wasn't present in the keg version I had at the Vienna Inn. IMHO, that makes the bottled version much more interesting, and therefore superior.

Of course, the kegged version isn't bad, either. I certainly wouldn't pass one up in any case. But if you can find a bottled version, it's worth a try.

Edit Addendum: I let another bottle sit out for a while and assume room temperature, so I could bring out the aromatics. One of these buggers served at 55-65F has a metallic tang to the aroma that isn't noticable when the beer is chilled. And there is a pronounced nutty aftertaste present in the room-temperature beer.

 1,341 characters

Photo of Stimack
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this brew at Mahar’s last evening. This beer poured to a deep black color with a nice chunky tan head that had excellent retention and left lacing through out, a fantastic looking brew! The aromas are of vanilla, with chocolate, oak and roasted highlights. The taste has a number of things going on, a little hop up front followed by an excellent mix of vanilla, cocoa and espresso, simply a fantastic tasting brew! One knock against it, it could be thicker but actually makes it a brew that can be had during any season! I must say that I was unsure of this brew when I got it, but man I glad that I did! This is a brew that I am going to look for in the future! Try this brew, I think you will be happy!

 714 characters

Photo of ujsplace
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic.

Pours a one-finger thick foamy, tan head that disappears into a thin, whispy layer sitting atop a black colored brew with hints of ruby along the very edges. Descent lacing.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and oak.

Tastes initially of milk chocolate, followed by vanilla and there is definitely a woody flavor in there as well.

Incredibly smooth and creamy.

An excellent stout. Pick this one up if you see it...

 443 characters

Photo of FenwaySquid
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Prsentation: 12 oz. borwn bottle, bottling date of 070507 on the label, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a completely opaque deep dark brown color. The head formed small, less than one finger thick, and faded into some lacing.

Aroma: Roasted chocolate malt, coffee, some caramel too, hints of vanilla in the background.

Taste: Roasted and chocolate malts up front, kind of bitter. The beer gets sweeter in the middle, still chocolate, but some vanilla comes through as well. I also got some bourbon and oak. The finish was semi-sweet chocolate with the vanilla lingering in the background, kind of bitter but still sweet at the same time.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, almost silky like an oatmeal stout, medium to full bodied. The carbonation was subdued, which fit nicely.

Overall: An excellent brew, top notch. The ABV's only 5.2%, which would make this a great session beer for a cold winter's night. Highly recommended, if you see this around grab it immediately.

 978 characters

Photo of TinusTime
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep black with just hints of chestnut brown. Nice inch high head that did settle quickly into just a patch of khaki on top. Aromas of Chocolate, butter, vanilla and caramel. Taste was nice very chocolatey. For a moment I thought the bartender had poured me a Rogue Chocolate Stout. Hints of the Bourbon barrell finally seep in at the finish. Drinks smooth as silk with nice light carbonation leaving the tongue feeling clean and not heavy. A very very drinkable stout although I was a bit surprised by the amount of chocolate flavour in the stout.

 556 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Oak Barrel Stout pours a black color, with a small dark tan head. There are chocolate, and vanilla odors, with a hint of coffee. The taste is nice and full. Good blend of chocolate and vanilla, with hints of coffee, on a smokey malty, slightly bitter backbone. The flavors aren't overpowering, and blend nicely. Nice creamy consistency, great taste, easy to drink. Overall a fantastic stout, complex flavors, but put together perfectly.

 436 characters

Photo of Clydesdale
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque dark brown, with faint hints of brown around the edges when held to light. Not a huge head, but some rocky, tan bubbles appear.

S: Toffee and coffee are most evident, with notes of vanilla, whiskey, and caramel.

T: Dark roasted malts are huge up front, with an oaken bitterness. Dark chocolate and espresso follow it with notes of caramel and subtle vanilla. Definitely finishes with a bourbon/whiskey touch. This is very complex, lots of flavors at work here. As it warms, the bourbon flavors become more apparent, along with hints of alcohol.

M: Remarkably smooth and almost creamy, with very tight carbonation.

D: Fairly easy to drink considering the complexity at work. This one has a lot of character, and is one of the more interesting beers I've had in a while.

 795 characters

Photo of shippos
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured with a nice black body and decent looking creamish-tan head.
nice roasted barley aroma that seems smoothed out, not intense. Aah the vanilla is now seeping through, the warmer it gets the more prominent the aroma is.
Ohhhh man is that good, reminds me of stoney's vanilla porter but only this kicks it's ass! nice creamy mouthfeel, followed by a lucious mixture of vanilla and roasted barley that seem to have just melted and mellowed with the wood.
Very nicely done. Hopefully this will become available in upstate NY sometime soon. Big big thanks to OldFrothingSlosh for the bottle.

 595 characters

Photo of tgbljb
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured a deep brown color with off-white head. Smell is of chocolate, caramel, coffee, and toasted malt (very nice mixture). Taste starts off hoppy, but the coffee and toasted malt begin to come through. Fishi is dry, bitter, and truly enjoyable. An excellent Stout.

 266 characters

Photo of BigTomZ
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with a nice head that lingered longer than expected.

Smells roasty with caramel vanilla background. Subtle without being simple.

I was impressed with the taste. Has a nice toasted malt base with notes of vanilla, toffee, and molasses. The oak is underlying but definitely present.

This is a bit thin for a stout, but only a bit. Still plenty of substance to it.

This isn't too strong and the taste doesn't lean too much towards one thing, so I could easily drink 6 of these in an evening.

 505 characters

Photo of biegaman
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The surface is uneasy with bubbles rising at a constant, hence spewing more head onto the beer. As result, its ocher/tapioca toned top appears bubbling like lava. The beer doesn't allow any light to pass through it, even when held up directly unto it. Most density, however, is lifted from its black coloured body by flashes of chestnut and ruby.

The smell is simply delicious. The vanilla is very strong, as if the beans used to flavour it were still floating right under my nose. It brings to mind steamed milk and ice cream. Combined with the roast this also resembles hot chocolate or flavoured coffee. It's too rich and roasty to smell like bourbon, but the oak/vanilla combination is forefront. The oak is present, but smells fresh; the use of oak chips rather than oak barrels is apparent.

Just as it smells like all things vanilla flavoured, so too does it taste. Flavours of chocolate and vanilla ice cream, gourmet flavoured coffees, and specialty hot chocolates. In part also to its texture and sweetness, it may most of all be reminiscent of sweet creamy liqueurs. Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, in particular, comes to mind, but I'd also accept Amaretto or certainly Bailey's and other chocolate liqueurs.

The likeness to bourbon comes out more in the flavour. Again, it is too roasty and bitter to be an outright match, but there certainly is some resemblance. I am a huge fan of bourbon-barrel aged stouts, but I've found with this that the combination of oak chips and vanilla beans, however different, can achieve an end result every bit as good, if not better.

The oak, the vanilla, and the roast malt are all in perfect proportion. The brewers have struck a harmony between the creaminess and the roast, the bitter and the sweet. Dominion's Oak Barrel Stout is a beverage that is all those things at once, and that is something of a marvel. A delicious, delicious flavoured marvel. The brewers have listed this on the label as their "little treasure". Indeed it is, and I owe a big thanks to IDatetheFormula for sending me this gem!

 2,055 characters

Photo of stjarnflikka
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Oliver Twist!

Pours a ver, very dark beer thats almost black with some red edges. There is a finger thick foam that rappidly dissipates and leaves a cobweb of lacing on top, nice!

Smell is fruity, vanilla, grapes and some tones of wine. There is perhaps some chocolate and burned barley or coffee in there aswell.

Taste is smooth, nice and wonderful. Really smooth like velvet and starts with chocolate together with vanilla and a bourboun like taste. Then comes fruits like cherries and grapes, wine hits you and in the end there is a nice sweetness clinging on together with vanilla, a small bitterness and a oaky dry chocolate finish.

This beer is just damn smoot, like velvet and like candy. Really drinkable, really delicious, sadly not my favourite stout-type though ;(

 797 characters

Photo of scottbrew4u
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Served a clear, black liquid with garnet highlights with a tan head that settles nicely to a creamy layer. Great lacing as it goes down.

S: Char, roasted and burnt barley, coffee with cream, faint oak and vanilla. Hops are faint and earthy.

T: Somewhat sweet, clean, roasted and burnt barley is rich but not over bittering. Some coffee with cream flavor, milk chocolate, vanilla, and light oak tannins. All are smooth and well balanced.

M: Full body but not thick, smooth carbonation with a somewhat sweet finish.

D: The drink ability is in the balance of this beer, it goes down more like a porter and has a solid mix of flavors. Very worthy stout!!

 657 characters

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 685 ratings.