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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.
very good

680 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 680
Hads: 1,431
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 18.37%
Wants: 75
Gots: 155 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company visit their website
Delaware, United States

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: 680 | Hads: 1,431
Photo of Slatetank
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
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

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Photo of damndirtyape
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of barczar
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a lingering frothy cappuccino head.

Nutty, toasted malt, coffee grounds, and vanilla form the initial aroma. Roast malt and toasted oak emerge as it warms.

Flavor has a deeply roasted malt backbone throughout, with lightly bitter coffee and notes of char emerging in the finish, accompanied by oak. Hints of dark cherries hit early, adding complexity. Vanilla is fairly subtle, but this has aged a year.

Body is moderate, with modest carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Fairly complex beer, with a nice tart and char balance. It's not overly roasted, and the toasted oak complements well.

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Photo of sommersb
3.96/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Tasted On: 07-03-2014
Freshness: Bottled on 03-25-2014
Packaging: 12 oz. bottle, pry-cap
Glassware: Nonic pint
Purchased: Single from Let's Pour mailorder

A: Big tan head sits on a black, opaque beer. Shows good head retention and lacing.

A: Smells like roasted malts, oak wood, coffee and lightly of vanilla.

T: Flavors include dark bread, toasted grain, coffee and chocolate. Bitterness is light.

M: Light in body with a moderate carbonation, the finish is semi-dry with notes of chocolate and toasted malts.

O: All in all a very good stout that I'd recommend.

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Photo of Geraurd
2.87/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

In high hopes for this beer died as soon as I poured it. The head was almost non-existent, had almost no aroma, and tasted very gland in general. Got better as it warmed up, but not at all the beer that it surely would like to be. I didn't detect even the slightest hint of the vanilla beans that were mentioned, and that was possibly the most interesting part of the description.

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Photo of tbeckett
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap at Dulles Airport. From notes.

A - Black pour with one finger of creamy tan head. Good carbonation coming up. Spotty lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Cola, sugar, sweet dark malt, some chocolate.

T - Roast, chocolate, sweet mostly. Not too much going on.

M - Very smooth, mild carbonation, medium body. Nice.

O/D - Fairly drinkable. Not sure where the smoke or barrel are, but it wasn't too bad. Scored lower because it lacks what it advertises.

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Photo of DanLane
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really like stouts, and this has been one of my favorites for a couple years now. I picked it up at Martin's this time.
A- Can't see through it, and it pours a great looking 1' froth.
S- Nothing crazy here, just a hint of vanilla like the bottle advertises.
T- A great, smooth taste that hits you with that vanilla flavor. It's so smooth but still has that roasted flavor of a stout.
Overall, like I said before it is one of my favorites, and it's always easy to find here in Virginia so I pick it up pretty often.

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Photo of Omnium
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of 64vdub
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I got this as an extra in a trade. I'm not much of a stout drinker, but this one was tasty. Super smooth and easy to drink. There is a wonderful oakiness which I know was intended and just a slight hint of vanilla over the roasted malt body. I am impressed...this beer may have just opened a new door for me.

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Photo of Act25
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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.

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Photo of hops202
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Bottle poured into stone snifter.

Appearence is decent. Smell is lacking. It kills me that they can claim "oak barrel stout" when it is just aged on oak chips - not in actual barrels. Taste follows the nose - almost like a weak stout with a hint of vanilla. This seems way overrated.

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Photo of ThePaintedGrey
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. pint on tap at Pinocchio's in Media, PA.

A: Opaque black with a two-finger creamy tan head. Absolutely no light shining through, even when held up to direct sunlight. Head retention is superb, with some decent khaki lacing left down the glass.

S: Coffee, caramel, hints of vanilla, oak, and bourbon-like booze.

T: Lots of roasted malts upfront provided some smokiness and sweetness; vanilla and caramel with some underlying roasted coffee bitterness and some boozy bourbon. Lots of roasted flavors in the finish. Bourbon character comes through a lot as the beer warms.

M: Full-body, smooth as satin with tons of creaminess and subdued carbonation. Not overly heavy, went well with some appetizers.

O: Definitely one of the better stouts I've had. Lots of rich, complex flavors with smooth drinking qualities. A definite recommendation.

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Photo of oldirtycaffrey
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

What a truly excellent beer. Pours a dark black with a foamy, 1-2" tan head. I can't recall ever having a beer that leaves as much lacing along the glass as this one. The smell is strong with vanilla beans, chocolate, malt, roasted barley -- excellent. The predominant aspect of the taste is definitely the vanilla beans -- a perfect amount of carbonation makes this very easy to drink. Had this with some hamburger sliders w/ onions and pickles and it was a great match. Highly recommend.

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Photo of wl0307
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Coming in a slim 355ml brown bottle, bottling date 07/05/2013, this is a stout dry-hopped with vanilla beans & oak chips.

A: pours an ebony brown colour, coming with a very thin, smooth layer of khaki froth and low level of carbonation.
S: richly vanilla chocolaty, treacle-ish, sweet toasted nutty, even peanutty due to the lively elements of nuts, while the winey acidity and a subtle savoury touch as of black prunes adds to the complexity.
T: quite aromatic, gristy and roasty upfront, the vanilla beans obviously lend extra mineral-ish and rough gristy feel to the flavour, otherwise the black prunes and bitter herbs are two other main flavour elements to be enjoyed; the maltiness feels never heavy on the palate, rather giving way quickly to the hop bitterness and an increasingly dry palate lingering in the end of each sip, always accompanied by a decent touch of acidity.
M&O: softly effervescent, not terribly smooth though, the body comes rather light against the flavour profile which again is not quite robust, either. Interestingly, without specifying the alc. strength on the bottle, my impression is that it goes just around 6.0-6.5%abv. Not bad, but not the most complex I’ve had, either.

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Photo of Nate139
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - creamy light brown head, completely black in color

S - dark malts with hints of chocolate and vanilla

T - strong roasted and vanilla flavors with hints of coffee and chocolate

M - medium-light in body, very smooth

O - Great beer, definitely recommend giving this a try

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Photo of Brenden
3.92/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of TheBrewo
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

We pour a brew of molasses brown into our Great Lakes pints, letting up a shade or two of lighter brown when scrutinized under direct light. It holds a sturdy two finger head of creamy mocha colored bubbles, showing excellent retention. Chunky cheesecloth lacing is left around the glasses. No haze or sediment is appreciated, but carbonation appears to be active. The aroma warms the nostrils with notes of chalky chocolate nibs, roasty chocolate and smoked maltiness, salted black malts, soft peat harshness, nickel, wet oak, moss and lightly grassy hops, fresh vanilla bean, buttery diacetyls, light booziness, dark cherry fruitiness, light plastics, white flour, stale leathers, and lactic and cranberry acidity. Our first impression is that the flavoring is greatly smoky, holding firm darkness through to the end of the sip. As we sip, the taste opens with smoldering charcoal, peat, cedar, oily strawberry fruitiness, biting lactic sourness, fresh vanilla smoothness, hot aluminum, grassy hops, corn flour, white sugar, molasses smacks, lime juiciness, and lavender florals. The middle peaks with cocoa powder and heavy chocolate malts, soy sauce salts, adhesive paper, continued smoked meatiness, medicinal bitters, mild floral hops, bitter oaky woodiness, black cherry juiciness, and iodinated soap. Washing through the finish is your final blend of chocolate and bitter coffee malts, harsh roast and smoke, vanilla bean sweetness, fusel booziness, mineral water, further bittering medicinals, singed oak, and black malty dilution. The aftertaste breathes of tin and aluminum foil, acorns, ancient perfume, musk, oily diacetyls, moss-slick tree trunk, salted butter, milk chocolate, board chalk, pretzel dough, chocolate and white flour graininess, toffee sugars, and charcoal. The body is lightly medium, and the carbonation is the same. Each sip floats light on the lips, with nice slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop, which all brush rather than slam. The mouth is left cooled and wetly coated, with eventual chalky astringency to dry the hard palate. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, the most enjoyable thing about this beer was its robustness of flavor. This remained true, even though they kept the body and the feel so light and easily flowing. While the flavor was there, in its meaty, peaty smokiness, the aroma fell a bit flat. We missed a lot of those heavy, oaky butters that you’ve come to expect in any oaked/barreled beer these days. That said, this guy does its style a bit of justice, as pleasant “single” stouts are becoming scarce. This beer will hit the spot if you’re in the mood for cleanly executed simplicity, but it likely will not become your new favorite. As always, as this is a new brewery to us, we remain excited to see what else Dominion has got in their arsenal.

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Photo of dorianmarley
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance is rich black, with a tan head that fades with nice lacing.

Nose is roasted and sweet, with syrupy vanilla and malt.

Flavor is tart and not very complex. Nicely roasted, but not a lot of flavor. Vanilla is subtle, which is nice.

Mouthfeel is very drinkable with good carbonation. Clean finish.

Overall, this is OK. You would expect more flavor from a barrel stout, but the flavors it does have are nicely placed.

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Photo of Fear4Beer
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

This review is for the Dominion Oak Barrel Stout in a 12oz bottle and served in a tall glass. This beer is a nice dark brown/black... you can't see through it. What I got from this beer was a bunch of oak, vanilla, chocolate, and coffee bean in that order. If you are into those sort of notes, you will probably like this sort of beer. I'm figuring out that this isn't my style of beer. Not a big fan of beers like this. I figured I'd give this a try. Again, you might really like it if you are into these sort of flavors.

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Photo of MikeWard
3.69/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

poured from a 12oz bottle into a standard pint glass. Bottled date was 01/22/13, so about 7 months old.

Poured black with a 1 finger tan head. The head dissipated quite quickly into a thin covering with a collar. Lacing therefore, was minimal.

All I could get from the nose was some coffee. Didn't get the vanilla at all.

Taste was pretty decent. The coffee was faint, but present.

Mouth was a little below medium. Got some of that slightly sour and acrid stout burn around the edge of the tongue. And right at the end in the finish, was the slight taste of vanilla. Finish was also somewhat dry.

All in all, an okay stout. Nothing to write home about, but goes down easy. It's possible I didn't let it warm up enough, since the last third was the most enjoyable. Another one is in the beer fridge, so if it's significantly different, I'll re-review. My first beer from this brewery.

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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...

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Photo of circus_cat
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: Black and viscous looking with a frothy khaki head leaving some nice lacing.

S: Caramel, toffee, espresso, vanilla bean, oak

T: Toffee up front, dark coffee bitterness through the middle. Ends with lots of vanilla and creme broulee on the back end. As it warms I get bourbon woodiness that lingers.

M: Medium bodied, not quite what I was expecting. Very smooth though. I was worried I wasn't going to enjoy this as much since we're in the dog days of summer, but it's actually pretty refreshing for a stout.

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Photo of cxs285psu
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A very dark color with a thin light brown color head. I have had a more frothy head before, so I am wondering if there is carbonation issues or if time in the bottle effected this. Non-the-less, the Aroma is clearly vanilla and chocolate with a light roasted smell. The taste brings out a light oak flavor with the vanilla and chocolate dominating. Very smooth feel. The vanilla is quite an enjoyable change up for a stout. A thoroughly enjoyable beer that I will certainly have again.

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Photo of tectactoe
3.05/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this forever ago (just a tick), finally trying it again for a full review. Thanks to Jeff for the bottle. Like most stouts, deep-brown and black are the only colors to be found throughout the body; it's topped off with a thin tan skin - too weak to be called a "head", even after a fair aggressive pour. Carbonation issues, I wonder? I would expect a much frothier foam than this, especially at only 6.1% ABV.

Although the aroma isn't exactly off-putting or offensive in really any way, it's just kind of bland and mundane. It's carbon copied from the generic, basic "stout" profile and adds only a slight hint of oak. Dry cocoa beans, lightly sweet cream, tons of dry oak, and a touch of vanilla. I'll admit, the slight vanilla addition is nice, but everything is just so underwhelming and weak, that it's kind of hard for me to vibe on this.

A little more java and coffee beanery shows up on the palate, something that is certainly a welcomed accompaniment. Malts provide a light roast and a mild onset of cocoa in the periphery. Oak dryness plagues the background; much to my dismay, the vanilla is even more faint in the flavor than it was in the aroma. Just a dollop and nothing more; I feel it could benefit from a larger vanilla presence.

More roast and dry oak clog the aftertaste; the beer finishes in an uninspiring way and kind of leaves me wanting something more. The carbonation feels surprisingly lively, despite the egregious head formation from the start. Slick, oily and sharp mouth feel, although the body is much too thin for my liking, and especially for the style.

So apparently this beer used smoked and peated malts? I got pretty much no hint of smoke or meatiness here, unless you count the touch of oak throughout, but I'm sure that can be attributed to fermenting with oak chips. Overall, a basic and timid stout; kind of boring and uneventful, and while it's not "bad" by any means, it wasn't really enjoyable or tasty or different enough for me to seek out again.

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Photo of PhilDaBrewer
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This one pours dark, dark, brown with shallow, frothy head that isn't going anywhere. Aroma is vanilla and roasted chocolate - taste to match. Smooth, thick mouth-feel. Overall, a very enjoyable beer that I would seek out again. Don't hesitate to give this one a try.

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Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 680 ratings.