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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

677 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 677
Hads: 1,413
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 18.37%
Wants: 74
Gots: 145 | 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.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 677 | Hads: 1,413
Photo of Rastacouere
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
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!

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Photo of shapudding
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Last time I had this was on tap over in malvern at The Flying Pig after the beer fest at The Desmond! (schweetness!!)

Poured a pitch black with a creamy, milkshakey thick head that quickly left my glass leaving only a smally caramelly foam mainly at the edges. Giving it a bit of a wrily, you can bring back a light covering. You really cant see through this beauty. You can smell the oak in it.

Maybe because I read the label first, but I do smell the bourbon...

Very rich and dark scents... sherry, over-ripe cherries, black coffee... Alot of carbination hits your mouth, yet it is not too "bubbly" feeling, it stays smooth. Tastes of coffee, burnt toast, vanilla. The oak is everpresent. After it warms up, the bourbon really makes it presence known! Almost as though you just did a shot and then took a sip from your pint...

Very nice tasting. One to sit back and think about while drinking. Yummy! Highly enjoyable stout!

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Photo of ngandhi
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wafting mocha nose that meticulously displays all the characters of this beer. The taste is subtle for an oak aged beer -- much less drastic than Fish Tale or Harviestoun. The oak is supportive.

Medium vanilla frappuchino finish yields to latent notes of green olive and pickled onion, almost martini-like, which, for such unusual flavors, are surprisingly well-integrated. This all culminates in a dry roast that closes the palate and encourages another sip.

Domnion Oak Barrel Stout is not as momentous as I may have described it, but the flavors are surely unique. It is simultaneously a subtle mocha porter and a loud, filling milk stout.

While the oak structure adds body -- which ultimately thins -- to cut down the roast, the bourbon or lactic influence accentuates it, lending an overall full and balanced beer that does the most with what it is given.

If there is a fault, it is only in Domnion's interpretation of the stout which, until the finish, lacks the roast that I desire. But it's no surprise that the vanillins from the oak have caused this to happen, themselves perhaps more serving to a porter than a stout. Oak beers are not, unfortunately, a style unto themselves and this beer shows why they ought to be. This is probably a dynamic stout and, were this a porter, the beer might have been overpowered by the wood. It shows a lot of foresight by the brewmaster, whose execution here was world-class.

Relax, relax.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep ruby brown very dark body fit for a stout, forms a creamy textured twof finger sized tan head leaves behind big chunky rings of lacing. Aroma: Through the dark roasted malt qualities of silky smooth dark chocolate and rich robust coffee comes an alluring mix of vanilla and oak chip aging effects definitely becomes more airy as it warms. Taste: Nice layers of cocoa, coffee, and vanilla. Although it all comes together with a nice dose of finishing herbal toned hops and hints of the oak chips that were marinated in this nectar. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied incredibly smooth texture with an even carbonation. Drinkability: Few breweries have pulled off nice oak barrel influenced beers, I hear the original draft offerings Old Dominion used to provide were much better than their new technique of the wood chips, but either way it's damn good and refreshing as all hell.

Still good but this just came back to the Pittsburgh market, with a new label and new brewing location in Delaware. From what I can tell recipe has changed and AB owns the Old Dominion breweing company even though it had been a Virginia staple during my formative beer years. Pours a pitch black with a nice full volcanic eruption mocha tan head forming thick and dwindling slow with fine lace. Nose is a bit dull, but I can detect dark chocolate with hints of sourdough bread and a touch of vanilla oak chip accent. Flavor wise it's creamy dark chocolate, hints of oak chips and vanilla bean flavors. Subdued flavors much less roasted malt than when I first tried this beer in the early 2000s. Their sampler used to be hands down one of the best that came to the Burgh, the Dominion Ale had layers of complexity and the Dominion Lager was the best export style I had ever tasted aka Dortmunder. Topped off with the Oak Barrel and Dominion Pale Ale. A bit thinner than it used to be but at least it's got a some balls with even carbonation going on. Enough about memory lane this beer is promising I hope to see a sampler if the lager is as tastless as it was in VA beach last summer no thanks. Either way you cut it this brewery is no longer at the orginial locatoin where the epic brewfest used to take place each year, sad really. I'm glad this beer is still drinkable, but it's just not the same formula/method they were brewing before. This used to be on Nitro draft int the Burgh and it was epic, I'm sad they haven't continued that tradition.

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Photo of chilidog
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice stout to be had for its ageing and storage are not like others of this style, and it shows. The pour is a dark ruby color that floats a smaller than expected light tan head. Lace was thin if at all. The aroma was complex and threw me off abit with hints of bourbon, oak, toffee and vanilla malt. The taste carried thoughs same qualities along with mild sweet chocolate and hop. With all this going on I found the body abit thin, not chewy. Aids the drinkability. The finish is dry as from bakers chocolate. A nice stout with alot going on, abit thin, but a good one for all year round.

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Photo of aracauna
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark cola-brown black body with an easy-forming light tan head that fades quickly. Smells like a chocolate milkshake with chocolate malt and vanilla. The oak lurks just underneath in the aroma, but comes out more in the flavor. There’s a very slight coffee in the back of the chocolate. Sweet. A little thin.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I finally get to try OLD DO' Oak Barrel Stout in the bottle. I tried this back in me pre-BA days at the Flying Pig. It was quite delicious. Well, the label has a decent bit of info about the popularity of this brew at the brewpub. Born on date 23 April 2004. ABV 5.2%.

OBS pours out of the 12 oz. browner with dark, pitch violet brown color that lets the teeniest bit of light hazing thru. It's practically black with a thin coating of khaki cake head. Bumped up my appearance due to the gorgeous lattice lace patterns in me pint.

Tons of dessert like scents flow freely with every sniff. First, vanilla beans that are used in the brewing come through. Then coffee with sugar and cream aromas. Chocolate cake with icing notes grace the nose.

First swigs are of chocolate latte flavors. Then, the creamy stout flavor stands up. Buttery flavor and feel. Baker's chocolate and Kaluha.

Standard stout feel. Not the thickest knife 'n fork feel, but chewy. Feels almost nitro tapped.

Easy drinkability, especially with a reasonable 5.2% ABV and chewy but swiggable feel. I would have another if you offered!

Last swigs: The nose is top notch. This is liquid dessert. I am surprised that this isn't in the top 50, but it has recently been released. Let's see how this grows in popularity. A few swirls gives rise to the head instantly. This is a wickedly good brew that continues to taste sweet to the end! This is one of my favorite beers I have had in a long time. I read an article in Ale Street News that 7 out 10 local drinkers at the OLD DO' Pub prefered this from the bottle than the draught. Picked it up for $35 a case.

Beer is good. Happy barrel beering.

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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!

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Photo of motleybrew
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On a tour of the OD brewery, I was lucky enough to encounter this big beer on a nitro tap. it is fabulous. Don't fall for imitations that come out of a bottle, there is nothing like this baby on tap and nitro. It is smooth and creamy like a guiness, but a slight bit more seductive on the tongue, a bit less scorched, and a tang more vanilla. Dark as pitch, I didn't even try to see through...a frothy, but contained head which didn't disappear no matter how long i waited. I couldn't stop drinking it...um, and neither could the 6 odd other people with me -- or the sales guy that brought us on the tour.

Bottles (I've had it) just don't do justice to this beer. i could rate it as one of the all time best darks...It is a reason for not attempting a dark homebrew unless I get myself a nitro tap. it is worth the trip...400+ miles from here.

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Photo of Wildman
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured almost black, letting little of the dark ruby red show through. It formed a light tan, medium sized head that left little lace, but followed the glass if moved. An aroma of malt, milk chocolate and coffee. The flavor was of malt, chocolate and coffee. The finish was fairly light for the style and was bitter and astrigent. A good beer that seems hurt some by the finish.

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Photo of Bierguy5
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the bottle pours a black liquid with ruby highlights. Nice tan foamy head that stays around for a while. Nice lace on the glass at the end. Smells roasty, along with vanilla, and slighlty smoky. Tastes very much like the smell, some roasted flavor, along with coffee, a hint of vanilla, and smoke. Nice hop bitterness. This was full-bodied with appropriate carbonation. Overall, I enjoy the bottle more than the nitro-tap. Some of the subtle flavors are present in the bottle, rather than being masked by the nitro. Very nice stout.

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Photo of eby
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a very dark opaque black with brown head. (I'm talking black to the point where my mag-lite couldn't be seen through it except for a tint of ruby) Has decent head retention. Smell is sweet, mostly roast and vanilla. Taste is well-balanced with the vanilla coming to the forefront. Also has a cocoa-ish taste to it. Extremely smooth to drink. I have to say this is one of the few stouts I think I could sit down and just drink gallons of. I drove 2 hours to the store where I picked this up and I must say the trip was not wasted. A must try. One day I hope to try it on tap.

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Photo of yeagerbm
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep black with ruby highlights around the edges. A light brown frothy head sits on top. Smell is sweet, dark roasted grain.
Taste is of roasted malt with a vanilla sweetness and a gentle hop finish. Low to medium bodied, but with a smooth creamy mouthfeel and gentle alcohol warming. This is a very tasty stout. Maybe a little sweet to drink in a session, but thats not really the intention of this great brew.

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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.

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Photo of meathookjones
4.46/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This one pours a nice opaque black in the glass with nice a tan/brown head that has good retention. A perfect picture of a stout. The cocoa and coffee smells stand out the most in the aroma. Hints of vanilla and smokiness come through as well. The taste has a number of things going on with it mainly the roasted malts and chocolate followed by vanilla and espresso. This is a very tasty and ridiculously drinkable stout indeed. The mouthfeel is creamy and a bit thin, but this definatly lends to its drinkability. This is one beer I will keep a sixer of in the beer fridge as often as possible.

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Photo of garthwaite
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This masterpiece pours nearly black with a tan bubbly head that lasts the entire pint. All kinds of subtle scents to pick up - deep earthy cocoa, roasted malt, honey, oak, & of course - vanilla. This stout tastes ridiculously good. Perfect blend of rich & fantastic chocolate malts with millions of complexities from delicate vanilla to roasted oak with hints of bourbon & subtle tobacco in between. This brew is full-bodied with a silky smooth milk-like feel. The finish is earthy with a perfect touch of bourbon. Simply spectacular.

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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!

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Photo of ark57
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It is black with some slight ruby tinges around the edges and a good sized tan head. Vanilla is prominent in the aroma and there is also some woody notes and roasted barley. The taste starts off with roasted, toasted malts and then gives way to some vanilla and oak. The body is smooth but finishes up somewhat dry and lingers with a coffee aftertaste.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: blessed by a full opacity, gifted with a a fresh, soft, smooth, roasted brown head. Good looking glass of stout we've got here.
Aroma: distant whiffs of vanilla, but otherwise the usual suspects are in attendance, some minor espresso tones, whiffs of cocoa.
Taste: bites from hops at first, then the lushness of the mouthfeel takes over, very silky smooth and creamy. Starts off very full at first, but feels thinner further in. Aces in creamy smoothness, though, and a champ at drinkability. This is a very unique approach for a stout (made me, alas, wish I'd been able to try the truly barrel-aged version!). If I were a Virginian, or any one lucky to pick up a 6-er with ease, I'd always have some on hand.

Thanks to Manekineko for getting it out here!

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Photo of francisweizen
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An opaque black colour with an ample head of tan/brown foam. The aromas are all over the place and quite complex. Lactic sweetness, oak, alcohol, cream, vanilla, smoke, and more. The taste is not as complex as the aroma, but it is quite complex in its own right. I taste oak, vanilla, deep roasted malts, subtle earthy hops, and more. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, and the drinkability is very good as well.

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Photo of PhantomVodoo
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown head. Nearly opaque black in the glass.
Aroma of roasty malt and chocolate. Tad smokey with a hint of vanilla.

Taste shows medium to heavily roasted malt. Chocolate with a hint of smoke. Vanilla is much more noticable in the taste than in the aroma. Hop presence seems minimal. Enough roasty bitterness to provide some balance, but still sweet overall.

Mouthfeel is creamy, yet a bit thin, although the body is in line with it's lower ABV.
A little too sweet to be real drinkable for me.
Overall, an interesting, good stout.

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Photo of AtLagerHeads
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Newly distributed in bottles this specialty stout is a satisfying and very drinkable stout. Though a bit thin on feel it is uniquely positioned between a thick bodied Imperial style and the lighter versions that show dark but lack thickness in the body. I found this to be a bit like a Storm King "Lite" with similar hoppy notes and a stronger sense of acohol than most stouts. The smell and taste of vanilla did not register with me. I liked the modest head that formed and the light lacing effect.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a thick and creamy dark coco colored head. Aromas of peat, cream, coffee and roasted malts. Body isn't as thick as I'd expected, nice and solid though. Deep creamy chocolate malt flavor, a coffee bitterness, all cram into a smooth finish. Some layers of lace as the beer disappears. Seems a bit thinner than draft version, but a interesting quality brew.

7 months later, cellared in the closet (bottled March 25, 2004)
Head is sticky as hell leaving lace all over. Smells the same as before. Coffee flavor is more dry then bitter, otherwise super creamy chocolate malt, maybe a hint of whiskey/tobacco.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finally able to be purchased in Richmond, I eagerly snagged a 6-pack of the famed Oak Barrel Stout to see how it compared with wonderful tap version.

Blunt summary: Disappointed.

Poured a very fizzy darkness with only a slight bit of light 'round the edges. The head was short-lived, tan in color, and crackled and fizzed like a pot o' witches' brew. Aromas are tough to detect. I'd expected a more pronounced vanilla aroma, but such was not the case. There is some caramel sweetness, backed up by a smoky/coffee aroma. Flavor is less impressive than the draft version. Don't get me wrong, though. Still a tasty stout, there's a chocolate-coffee front, followed by some earthy bitterness, and ends with a smoky, vanilla-laced goodness. Mouthfeel is very thin for a stout. Not much body to this at all. Way too much carbonation. Drinkable, but nothing that blew me away. Sadly disappointed by this one.

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Photo of tavernjef
3.76/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tarnished dark brown, black in most light overall, finger high, firm, light brown frothy whipped foam cap. Inky broken sheets of lacing stick all over the glass. Aroma is of sweet vanilla, milk chocolate, and suggestions of oaty sweetness too with a light roasty edge of mild coffeeness. Taste is similar in regards to what the smell leads to. Sweet vanilla and milk chocolate front, mild and smooth, low carbonation, finish lends a tame roast and small coffee surge. Smooth and creamy feel thats close to medium body but kinda light and restrained. A first-rate drinker; goes down real quick.
But after having Town Hall's Oak Barrel Stout, this was not nearly up to my expectations. No oak character or boozy qualities any where to be found, and I was looking for that. Comes across as a desent oatmeal stout though and wouldn't pass it up for nothing as it was fine and dandy to drink down. Quite yummy really, nice chocolate tones, just not what I'd call up-to-par with some other oak barrel brewed stouts I've had.
Thanks to ManekiNeko for the many samples!

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Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.