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 Bighuge
1.77/5  rDev -54.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Close to black. Fizzy, airy big brown head. Seems overcarbonated. Is this a sign of bad things to come?? It has been for me in the past with other beers. Aroma is weak and has very little to do with stout or bourbon. Well, the mouthfeel IS overcarbonated and very gaseous. Hard to swallow. The flavor is off. After cutting through all of the CO2, there's a sourness to be found and that's about it. Like watered down lemon juice. This is not good. Don't think I'll finish it.

Thanks for the effort anyway marc77.

 515 characters

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

Pours the deepest brown color you can get with some ruby highlights. Short-lived tan colored head. Dark roasted grains, coffee, cocoa and vanilla, maybe some tobacco and cream soda notes, too. Some vinous and woody characteristics in the aroma, but mostly confectioner-like aromas. Tastes rather thin for a stout. Rich vanilla accents throughout the whole experience, with weak black patent and chocolate malt tastes backed with a little bit of hops (Challenger?). Medium to low carbonation. The flavors do meld nicely, but if I were king of the world, I'd boost the grain bill up a notch and balance out the aggressiveness of the vanilla a little better. I've sampled a nitrogenated version before at a brew festival before and liked a bit better if I recall.

 760 characters

Photo of mattcrill
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must admit, this beer holds a special place in my heart b/c it started getting me interested in craft beers. However, I haven't had it for a while and my tastes have definitely sharpened...

Appearance: beautiful, smooth, and black pour with a great foamy tan head. Looks like liquid dark chocolate in the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt smell first but then a little bit of hops toward the end to round out the smell

Taste: Slightly bitter with hints of coffee, sweet bread, and some oats. A bitter aftertaste with a little hint of vanilla.

Overall: A good but not great beer. Carbonation is a little overpowering but defintely try this interesting twist on the American stout.

 684 characters

Photo of LuckySevens82
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

Pours almost black as night, but under further inspection there are definite ruby tones to the color. The head is somewhat lacking (I was only able to get a 1.5 finger), but the collar is very nice.

Smell is rich roasted malts, chocolate, and vanilla.

Taste is very nice. Up front it is very much a stout: roasted malts, some chocolate, hops and the like. As the beer sits on the palate for some time however, there is a distinct oakiness (as to be expected) and a very refreshing taste of vanilla. Burbon flavors make a short appearance at the end.

This is a very smooth stout, but not exactly something that I was expecting. Personally I would have liked this to be a little sweeter (maybe more of a chocolate/vanilla balance), something akin to a desert beer or a sweet stout.

Overall, I would say that I would definitely have this one again. When next I am in Virginia, I shall seek it out. This is truely unique.

 945 characters

Photo of JISurfer
5/5  rDev +27.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is simply the best Stout I have ever put in my mouth! The head was nice and thick, and lasted the whole drink. The color was a beautiful dark black, just the way I like's 'em. The smell was awesome! It had abunch of things going on at once. First had a smell of butterscotch, then was vanilla, then malty with a tinge of alcohol. The taste was similar, but was more on the butterscotch/vanilla malt taste, with a slight hint of the hops. The drinkability on this one is way over a 5. It's a dark and heavy beer, but at the same time, it's not too filling, so you can put back quite a few of them.

 601 characters

Photo of oelergud
2.95/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pure black in a bottle, light brown head with little retention and little lace.
Chocolate and vanilla very apparent in the nose along with some nice burnt coffee, very pleasant and enticing smell.
Burnt coffee, chocolate and vanilla taste with a decent hoppy after taste.
I was very disappointed when drinking this beer, much much too thin, almost watery thin mouthfeel, really bad when it's supposed to be a stout.
This beer looks and smells great, but thats about it, I dont think I'll buy this one again.

-Oelergud

 524 characters

Photo of 99bottles
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Apperance: Served on-tap this beer is a deep brown with slight hints of red, meaning that it is somewhat lighter in color than say, a Guinness. Unfortuantely, my first came without a head, but my second had a nice 1/2" of fizzy tan that quickly subsided to thin lace.

Smell: Nothing too crazy here. A nice solid roasted malt smell dominates with some light cherry and vanilla scents.

Taste: A very good stout, all in all. This is very smooth and has nice light chocolate and espresso tastes that initally spring foth and then subside to allow an oaky, vanilla, cream soda finish to creep in and linger. You can tell this has been aged in oak, as there is a very wooden taste in the end, but it is in no way overpowering and perhaps even a little understated. The vanilla taste gets to be a bit much after a couple of these, but the nicely rounded character isn't really affected in a way that would deter me from buying this again. Just a nice solid stout.

Mouthfeel: Soft and approachable, this has very low carbonation even for a stout and a somewhat thin body. Very easily drank.

Drinkability: This is good. The beer is immensely drinkable, and the taste is so smooth it's like swallowing a silk hankerchief. The light mouthfeel make this an ideal session stout and the ABV is low enough to put them away easily. If this were as available as Guinness, I'd make the switch for my new fallback stout. AS a beer it's not earth shattering, but it is good.

 1,466 characters

Photo of erica
4.26/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to ManekiNeko for the bonus bottle in francisweizen's package!!

I really liked this beer a lot. It is dark dark with a tan head, looks like a stout should look. It smelled strong to me, with a variety of aromas in there, coffee, chocolate, alcohol, a bit of vanilla too. Tasted great, lots of roasty vanilla-coffee flavour and a bit of a lactic presence, which isn't my favorite taste but it works in the right blend, and this is quite a good blend, so it works. Mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side but with all the flavour it doesn't take too much away. Drinkability is good, but because it smells so alcoholic I think it might get to me after a while. All in all a great beer and one I'd definitely have again!

 722 characters

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!

 632 characters

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!

 941 characters

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.
ng

 1,455 characters

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.

 2,437 characters

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.

 592 characters

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.

 309 characters

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.

 1,679 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 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.

 847 characters

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.

 388 characters

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.

 537 characters

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.

 580 characters

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.

 420 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 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.

 595 characters

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.

 534 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

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