Dominion Oak Barrel Stout - Old Dominion Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dominion Oak Barrel StoutDominion Oak Barrel Stout

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BA SCORE
88
very good

673 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

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Reviews: 673
Hads: 1,398
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 73
Gots: 135 | 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: 673 | Hads: 1,398
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very smooth and oak adds value to taste, however another stout with a variation among many good stouts available. Medium mouthfeel, worthy to drink on its own without food. Toast, coffee, well carbonated, toasty,and vanilla but is it real vanilla? Sweet cocoa aftertaste. Second tasting a couple of weeks alter. (311 characters)

Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.73/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared at drewone’s tasting.

Bottled on 1/27/12.

Pours a clear dark brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, vanilla bean, and slight cocoa. Taste is the same with a woody aftertaste. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with only a slightly crisp and thin bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor stout with some mediocre aromas and flavors and a bad mouthfeel. (505 characters)

Photo of kylehay2004
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: thin head with nice lacing on a clear dark amber/brown body with a red tinge.

S: aroma is very mild with oak, brown sugar, vanilla and milk chocolate.

T: much sweeter than I was expecting and certainly a lot less oak than one would think. This one is pretty watery with some roasted malts, mostly milk chocolate and vanilla.

M: thin body for the style and moderate to high carbonation.

Overall: not very dynamic and pretty watered down. I would like more oak too which actually comes through in the aroma more than the flavor which is odd in my experience. (564 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours dark brown with a light brown head. Nose brings some lift notes of dark fruit and hints of vanilla. A bit of oak. Taste is malty with a light oak touch. Decent feel with some tannins. Pretty good but a bit plain for what it is. (255 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a dark coffee color with a tan head that has moderate retention and leaves a bit of lace

Smell: Caramel, oak, cocoa and a huge dose of vanilla

Taste: Starts with a caramel and oak flavor that is joined, mid-palate by roasty coffee bitterness; after the swallow, the cocoa, vanilla and vague bourbon flavors join in to produce a complex finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied (wish it were a touch thicker) with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Terrific brew with lots of complexity

(I have had this beer several times in the bottle and on tap and never know what to expect - sometimes great and sometimes disappointing. This was a great bottle - bottled 7/19/2006.) (691 characters)

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Lots of vanilla on this stout. It's a great morning beer, not too dark on the roasted malt, not too thick, just right. Short lived tan head just a quarter inch tall. The nose presents smoked malt in small proportion and quite a bit more hops than is common in the style. Vanilla is the predominant flavor, but the malt complexity is awesome and layered. Oak presence is light and sweet, I'm guessing a pretty quick aging process. The body is a bit thin for a stout, and for the richness of flavors. It seems watered down to me, but the flavors are awesome. My first beer from old dominion is a hit. (598 characters)

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

Very nice Stout. Even without the barrel aging, be beer would prove to be a worthy brew. The beer opens with a viscous very dark brown color with basic opaque barriers. Thinly headed with good lacing, the foam endures the session with confidence. Smells richly malty with coffee, chocolate, and smooth vanillas. Flavors are again, very rich and robust with sweet malts, roastiness, vanilla, and a hint of currant but ultimately a cleanly fermented goodness. The beer is super smooth and velvety due to the barrel aging and vanilla silkiness. Finishes medium sweet and medium dry with a clean lingering maltiness. Moderate alcohols keep the beer far away from roughness, fusals, or astringency. A tasty beer for any occation.

Thanks JNN4V! (739 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out as a nice deep black color with a light brown head on top. The head was bubbly looking with a thin retention and a scattered lack on the glass. The smell of the beer is really nice, it's got a big roasted aroma upfront with a sweet natural vanilla aroma in there as well. The taste has a bitter roasted flavor with the sweet vanilla throughout. The mouthfeel of the beer has a carbonation that is a little too sharp for the style. Overall this beer was really good, I would drink this one again for sure. (520 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Darkest mahogany with dusky crimson highlights at the margins, topped by a heavily toasted ecru cap that has more than enough heft to stay at a fat two fingers for quite a while. Meandering tendrils of lace add visual interest.

Vanilla bean notes are especially prominent in the nose and mingle beautifully with roasted barley, chocolate and java. Unfortunately, oak and bourbon aren't nearly as up front (as the name suggests, Oak Barrel Stout was briefly aged in oak casks that had once held bourbon). Here's hoping that those flavors are present to a greater degree on the palate.

The flavor profile consists of coffee and vanilla with semi-sweet chocolate taking a backseat (thankfully, it maintains enough of an attitude to be a backseat driver). I still don't appreciate the oakiness or the bourbon. A longer time in the casks may have helped, but it may also have ruined what is a very tasty beer. The body/mouthfeel is medium for the style and tends to falter just a tad on the finish. Noticeable carbonation is a minor, easily overlooked annoyance.

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout is very good beer. The vanilla makes it stand out from the crowd, even if the other advertised flavors don't really materialize. I could drink a lot of this. (1,250 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Alright I had some high hopes for this one, but it did not really pan out as I had hoped. Pour was uneventful, thick black oil like, with no real head. Decent lacing throughout. Smell was very full, lots of oak, and bourbon aromas, and the vanilla is unmistakable, in fact pretty much over powering. First impression was not pleasant, it was vanilla overload for me, nad what the vanilla didn't kill the oak took care of later. Not enough carbonation left it feeling utterly flat and uneventful. Really had a rough time getting all of this down as the vanilla and oak were just overdone and killing it for me. Overall nah, I am good. I normally like oak aged beers, but this was overdone for sure and just not that pleasant (723 characters)

Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 11/07/09.I have sampled this beer a few times in the past,this is the first bottle I have had to myself.Poured into a bulb glass a deep dark but not opaque cola color with a minimal light mocha colored head atop.Aromas of vanilla/oak and dark coffee stand out most with just a hint of molasses as well.A little thin and prickly in the mouthfeel department but not overly annoying.Flavors are dominated by vanilla and heavy roast up front with a drying earthy,woodiness that comes thru in a long finish.Its a year and a half old but I dont think it matters much,a decent flavorful stout. (597 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My roommate just asked why I was so chipper. A better question would have been, what's not to be chipper about? The sun is shining (at least where I am), it's a beautiful day, delicious food is plentiful, we have our health, the world keeps turning, a wide variety of music is available for our listening enjoyment, and we have friends and family who we love to keep us company!

Also, I'm enjoying an Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout!

Appearance: Dark black body with a ruby undertone (if you look closely) topped with a solid, tan head.

Smell: The vanilla is easily perceptible in the nose, but there's also plenty of roastiness to be found as well. The scent of bourbon is present, but definitely has a lightly sweet-smelling, smokey quality to it.

Taste: "You see, it's all very clear to me now. The whole thing. It's wonderful." An earthy roasted malt flavor balanced with a modest amount of sweetness. Hop flavor is elusive, but provides a slight bitterness. The vanilla, originally so full of promise and potential in the smell isn't really detectable for me in the taste. Same it true for the bourbon. Pity.

Mouthfeel: Medium-thin body with a generous amount of carbonation keeps the beer feeling light in the mouth and altogether smooth. There's a persisting chariness in the finish.

Drinkability: Considerably smooth and pleasantly flavorful. I'd have preferred a substantial body, but overall it's a pretty good beer.

Again, I ask you... what is NOT to be chipper about?! (1,501 characters)

Photo of nickfl
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a moderate head of light tan foam on top of a black body with amber highlights. The foam settles at a moderate pace and leaves nice lace.

S - Carmel, coffee, peat, and some light toasted oak.

T - light malt, come weak coffee and a touch of oak up front. More tepid coffee in the middle and a finish of watery caramel and vanilla.

M - A fairly light body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced but thin finish.

D - Not nearly as good as it sounded. The body is far too thin to carry the oak and vanilla and it just comes across as a mediocre American stout. (574 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

This is one of the first beers I grabbed when I moved out here to Virginia. Memories. It pours a straight black-brown topped by a finger of quickly-dissipating light ecru micro-foam. The nose comprises chocolate syrup, molasses, maple syrup, brown sugar, vanilla, and I think there's a pinch of cinnamon in there as well. The taste consists mostly of roasted malts, cocoa powder, vanilla, and brown sugar. The sweetness is curtailed, but so is the roastiness, for that matter. Everything is a bit dry and subdued. Not much oak character in there either. This all isn't to say that it tastes bad, just not nearly as good as it potentially could. The body is a solid medium, with a lackadaisical carbonation and a stiff, though smooth, feel. Overall, not at all the best oak-influenced stout, but a nice affordable alternative. (860 characters)

Photo of oline73
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on nitro at Max's. Served in a sample glass.

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown with some red when the light hits it. There is a thick tan head with a layer remaining and some lacing.

Smell: Really roasty with some coffee and dark chocolate. Mildly woody with a good level of sweetness.

Taste: Sweeter than the smell. Smooth roast with mild vanilla. The finish reminds me of cocoa with a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: The taste and smell of this beer are quite different. I would like the flavor to be a bit fuller, but still not bad. (614 characters)

Photo of NeroFiddled
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dominion's Oak Barrel Stout delivers the standard stout appearance with some fairly good head retention but only minor lacing. The nose is stout-like as would be expected, and the vanilla and oak do lend a subtle note to it. I also like the fact that it's not a bourbon-barrel stout - not that they're not great, but this is different. And that's where it really shines. The vanilla clearly comes through in the flavor, but it's not overly done, and more woody notes appear in the finish. Very nicely balanced, and interesting. Certainly worth trying. (551 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Acquired via trade from phisig137, so a big "thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color, with a small but foamy tan head that fades very slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: There’s a very strong smoky & malty vanilla smell with hints of caramel & coffee.

T: The taste is creamy and rich with vanilla, roasted coffee & caramelized malt. It’s very sweet and there’s very little trace of any alcohol. The after-taste maintains the smokiness and sweetness.

M: Extremely smooth, heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, finish is a little sticky and syrupy.

D: Very tasty, very easy-to-drink, slightly filling, this is a good beer to sit and relax with. (757 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got this interesting looking beer thanks to both kkipple and Noslenwerd.

A: Pours a nice dark colored thick and semi frothy 1 finger head that fades semi slowly. The beer is basically pitch black with just a hint of light getting through the base.

N: Lots of roasty malts and chocolate. Lots of nice chocolate, dark and bakers, as well as nibs. Some nice roasted malts too, some roasty dark malts, crystal and caramel aromas, a little sweet syrupy aromas too. A little bit of bitterness with roasty dark malts. A touch of oak with all that, as it warms. There is also some smoked malt that gives a little smoke and smoked maple bacon too.

T: Starts with nice creamy roasted malts, some creamy milk chocolate, a little cocoa nibs, bakers chocolate, just lots of chocolate. Then some roasty flavors, roasted barley, charred malts, but not much for roasty bitterness so they did a good job of getting the nice flavors without too much overpowering roasty earthy bitterness. It's pretty soft and creamy. Some smoked malts still there, but lighter than the nose. A little oak seems to come out more as it warms. Some sweetness with caramel. Very drinkable.

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

F: Finishes lighter with more lingering malt and chocolate. Mostly creamy chocolate, cocoa nibs, chocolate milk, etc. A little roasty earthy bitterness. Touch of sweetness lingering still, doesn't dry much. A very nice drinkable stout, I'm surprised at the rating. I think most Americans are jaded by the super heavy RISes and DIPAs, etc. and they seem to overlook the really nice drinkable tasty stouts. (1,620 characters)

Photo of oriolesfan4
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a jet black color, not much had to it. Faint hop aroma to it, with a hint of nuttiness. Taste is full bodied, nice and thick stout, very tasty and smooth. Definitely has a distinctly different taste than other stouts, due to the oak and vanilla infusions. very good beer, low in ABV, tasty, and smooth.. a great session beer and wish they had it up here in CT. (366 characters)

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 (1,138 characters)

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

Tried this while at Washington-Dulles awaiting my flight.

Dark brown to black clear beer with a light head that is a rich light brown.

A light dark roasted chocolate malt aroma, very appealing.

Rich dark chocolate roasted malt taste similar to the aroma but much more, a very full body with a very full taste, that continues through a lightly dry aftertaste. A definite stop for dark or heavy beer drinkers.

Worthy (418 characters)

Photo of RblWthACoz
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark with a darker tannish head. Nose is a touch of wood and not a whole lot else going with it. The first hit of flavor gave cause for concern. But then it ended up being not so bad. However, the flavor profile is a bit acidic and citric in nature that makes it kind of leaning towards an not so loved realm. It isn't bad, but there is just this edge that I personally don't like. And the feel is a bit thin on the liquid. Carbonation is kind of low too. It is nice to drink, but I don't really see how an oak barrel has really done anything for this beer. (568 characters)

Photo of Rifugium
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

My notes say I've had this beer a while ago, but they didn't say where or when, nor did they give details on my session. This review applies to a recent tasting on nitro at Prohibition Taproom, Philly, PA.

Dark brown-black pour, opaque, with a small cap of tan head that receded completely after a few minutes. The recipe boasts peated malts and vanilla bean, but I didn't really get either of these items in the aroma or taste. On the nose, a pretty standard stout, dark roasty malts, some milky sweetness, and a vegetal woody quality. About the same on the palate, dark malts, sweet and roasty, oak, earthy hops in the distance, maybe a vague hint of vanilla somewhere in there. Medium mouthfeel, pretty smooth and fairly drinkable. Not what I'd call a go-to or anything. Might be better if the smoke and/or vanilla actually came out from hiding, but overall it's still a solid stout. (887 characters)

Photo of kojevergas
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up earlier tonight at illicit retail in Los Angeles. 6% ABV according to my bottle's label. I dig the simple yet classy label art. "Oak aged stout fermented with vanilla beans." Just what I'm in the mood for. Per the description, they used oak chips - not an oak barrel. Bottled 01/03/13. 355 ml brown glass bottle with branded standard silver pressure cap served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; it sounds very tasty and the ratings are sky-high currently. I also feel like it's been around long enough that it's hype resistant. I'd never heard of the brewery until I saw this bottle today.

Served chilled, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured initially with standard vigor, but as I poured it became evident no head was pouring so I increased vigor substantially.

A: Pours a half finger khaki colour head. Slight cream. Decent thickness. Okay (~1-2 minute) retention. Body colour is a solid black; not a dark or a jet black. Opaque (both nontransparent and nontranslucent). No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not an impressive appearance for the style, but par for the course.

Sm: Lovely oak - with evocative toasted character. Good vanilla character too - from the vanilla beans not the oak. Dark malt. Maybe some chocolate malt. I'd like more of the oak and less of the vanilla. There's not a lot of subtlety to the aroma, but it comes off balanced even if it is simple. Mild in strength and quite appealing for what it is - an oak/vanilla stout with no bells and whistles.

T/Mf: Nice toasty oak character greets you right on the climax and stays throughout. Too sticky and sugary. It's got a nice rounded vanilla character, but like many vanilla stouts it does border on overly sweet. I'm glad the bottle size is only 12 fl oz; I hate downing a bomber of a vanilla stout - the sweetness is always too much. Simple for an oak barrel stout. Dark malts and chocolate malts comprise the foundation. I don't get much caramel. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Well balanced. I quite fancy it. Not the most subtle, and far from the most complex, but it's nice to have an approachable no-frills oaky stout from time to time. Smooth and wet. Pretty good carbonation. Good thickness. Good body. Nice presence on the palate.

Dr: Very drinkable; it's a lovely little oaky stout. I'd definitely get this again; do they sell it by the sixer in Delware? I'd buy one regularly. A lovely beer for the style and one nobody seems to be talking about. I'd recommend it to friends. I could probably happily down four of these in the same night; it's quite good.

(2,739 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)

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Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 673 ratings.