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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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

675 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 675
Hads: 1,407
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 12.24%
Wants: 73
Gots: 140 | 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 (32) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 675 | Hads: 1,407
Photo of mdfb79
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into my Duvel tulip.

a - Pours a dark brown color with one finger of brown head and light carbonation evident. Looks great.

s - Smells of vanilla, chocolate, cocoa, roasted malts, and a hint of coffee. Very balanced and enjoyable.

t - Tastes of bitter chocolate, coffee, roasted malts, light vanilla, and light alcohol.

m - Medium body that was lighter than I was expecting. Moderate carbonation.

d - A nice stout. I thought it looked and smelle amazing, and had a nice taste too. If it had a more sweet chocolate taste as opposed to the bitterness it would have been perfect. Would try again. (626 characters)

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! (772 characters)

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/31/2012. Pours a fairly pitch black color with a 1 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big caramel, milk chocolate, vanilla, toffee, roasted malt, oak, toast, light coffee, and light smoke. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, oak, smoke, roasted malt, toast, toffee, and light smoked ham. Slight roasty bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, oak, toast, toffee, and smoke on the finish for a bit. Very nice flavor balance and robustness; very pronounced but balanced oak flavor; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. It feels a touch on the thin side, but it’s not detrimental. Alcohol is very well hidden with almost zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice oak aged stout. Nice amount of robust flavors for a 6% beer with a nice balanced smoke complexity; and extremely smooth to drink as expected. A very enjoyable offering. (1,212 characters)

Photo of chinchill
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours very dark brown, opaque in the glass, with a tan head that has limited retention but leaves some lacing on the glass.

Medium-full and smooth body with medium+ carbonation that seems too lively.

The flavor has a very nice vanilla bean component with a very faint oak barrel component and a moderate level of dark roasted malts. The vanilla is more obvious in the nose and but builds in the flavor with repeated sipping, eventually becoming a tiny bit too strong. Lightly sweet sweet-bitter balance. (510 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours almost black with ruby hues along the edges. A thin tan head fizzles down to a thick ring that leaves slight traces of lacing.

The smell is of vanilla, bourbon, chocolate, hints of coffee. Vanilla dominates the nose, but allows for plenty of dark complexities to come through.

The taste is of vanilla and chocolate. Dark malt with coffeeish notes with slight hints of dark fruit. Oak chips give it a dry character. Slight bitterness in the dry finish. On the whole, vanilla dominates in a vanilla coffee sort of way.

It's medium to full bodied. Smooth. Body seems to waiver between that of a heavier porter and a stout - but, that might be a bit nit-picky as it does have a nice texture, regardless.

Flavorful, complex and smooth. This brew is made with seven malts and two hops, then dry-hopped with fresh vanilla beans and toasted oak - sounds good - and it is good! (Why didn't I give it even higher scores? I don't know...maybe because of some "oak-aged" brews I've had that have impressed me a bit more...maybe because the vanilla dominates just a tad to much?) Anyway, it is a wonderful stout that showcases the vanilla and oak and I do recommend it!

Thanks to nacir69 for this one! (1,199 characters)

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

Served on draft at the Old Dominion pub in Hyattsville, MD. Beer is dark, brownish black. Thin head, brown bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Head falls away rather quickly. Can't really comment on the carbonation levels, hard to see in such a dark beer.

Smells like roast, a lot like a porter. Beer is smooth to drink. Sweetish on the front end and finishes with some roast / bitterness from the grains. No hop bitterness or aroma at all. Cookie cutter stout. Not disagreeable. (490 characters)

Photo of dbrauneis
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Cork Cityin Hoboken, NJ

A: Pours an opaque jet black in color. The beer has a two finger tall creamy dark tan head that has great staying power, leaving almost a full finger remaining throughout the drinking of the beer.Significant lacing is observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark roasted malts, caramel sweetness, coffee, and some definite oak woodiness.

T: Starts out a little sweet then the roasted/burnt malt flavors kick in. After that there are many different notes in the flavor - caramel, coffee, vanilla, oak, and milk chocolate. Nice complexity to the flavor.

M: Medium to full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: The beer has a very good flavor and is quite enjoyable. This is a good sipping beer and I am glad that I got the chance to try it. Pretty easy to drink. (820 characters)

Photo of mdaschaf
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black with a chunky, tan, one finger head. Head dissipates to a layer of small bubbles on the top. This beer exhibits some really nice lacing.

S: A lot of roasted malts and chocolate with a hint of coffee in the background as well.

T: Not a lot initially, but then you get hit with the roasted flavor and some bitter chocolate. There is a nice oak flavor on the back end that lasts into the aftertaste.

M/D: Medium bodied with little carbonation. A really drinkable stout, loving the fact that it is 5.2%. This is a beer I am definitely going to be getting again. (604 characters)

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

The beer pours a deep, dark black color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a roasted, black patent, and chocolate malt scent with some vanilla and oak aroma. The taste is great. It has a smooth and creamy black patent and chocoalte malt flavor. It is rich with malts and dry on the finish with a sweet vanilla aftertaste. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a great stout. It has excellent flavor and aroma; a good drinker. (519 characters)

Photo of stakem
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle with a bottling date of 3/17/10 into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Label reads: "Dominion Oak Barrel Stout rasises the bar for American stouts. Our method of dry-hopping with vanilla beans & oak chips broadens our stout's flavor spectrum even further." So for a beer named Oak Barrel Stout, do they age this brew in oak and then add oak chips to further increase the oak character or is the oak chips used just to simulate the properties imparted by oak barrels? Regardless, here goes.

Pours a dark brown color that when held to the light displays some deep ruby colors and suggests a clarity to this brew if it wasn't so dark. The head initially formed with a finger of tanned bubbles that receeds to a very thin cap and sticks in patches of lace about the glass. Aroma includes some favorable scents of dark grain suggesting chocolate and coffee along with the sweet scent of vanilla pushing straight through the back making itself easily noticeable. Further investigation of the nose reveals some hop character and a bit of the woodsy oak notes. The flavor of this brew follows along with what the aroma indicated. Dark roasty grain flavor upfront with a touch of hops. The dark grain flavor includes chocolate and coffee character along with a strong vanilla flavor and a finish that has a noticeable amount of alcohol and an interesting mixture of burnt grain/vanilla sweetness and an oaky/woody dryness that urges you to continue to sip this brew. As it warms, the base grainy flavor seems quite fresh and is enjoyable. The flavor it leaves in the mouth is reminescent of walking through a grain mill. This is a taste I usually only get at the local brewpub, enjoyable to say the least coming from a bottle. Medium to full bodied with a modest level of carbonation. The inclusion of the vanilla bean could be tamed a little more to make it more subtle but all together it works. Pretty decent brew, would have no problem enjoying a few of these. (1,982 characters)

Photo of Huhzubendah
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer is dark brown with a thin beige head. The aroma brings chocolate, roast, milk chocolate or chocolate milk. Really smooth and creamy. Perhaps a touch of oak if any at all. Vanilla and cream soda like flavors. Fairly sweet. A decent beer, but one is plenty. (264 characters)

Photo of GClarkage
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/02/04- Received via trade from BA member meathookjones.

Appearance- Pours a dark brown and black color with a nice creamy white head and decent lacing left in the glass.

Smell- Smells just like a chocolate and vanilla milkshake to me. That's a good thing!

Taste- A bit more roasted than I expected. Still a good combo of hops and deep roasted malt. Dark chocolate and burnt roasted malt flavor mostly. Definite vanilla and oak flavors throughout also.

Mouthfeel- A tad over-carbonated for me, but all the flavors swirling around make it a bit creamy and easy to swallow.

Drinkability- Wish it was a tad sweeter, but other than that it's a pretty good stout. One of the better ones I have had.

Thanks to meathookjones for a very good beer! (759 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

My pour created a finger of thick, foamy, deep-tan head with good retention. Color was a deep, dark brown with cola highlights at the edges. Nose had a bourbon-like vanilla quality. Mouthfeel was medium with a definite oakiness in the mouth. Finish had an interesting admixture of smoke, charcoal, oak and vanilla. While it was interesting, I probably would not want to drink more than a couple at a time. I think that the oak was too prevalent and I would have rather the vanilla come to the forefront. (503 characters)

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

Appearance: very black in color with a 2" light milk cholocate colored head. Nice lacing developed during the session.

Smell: loads of sweet malt and chocolate aromas leap out of the glass and will bring a smile to your face. Hints of vanilla hide in the background.

Taste: the flavor follows the nose as the chocolate and vanilla tones are bold. Some milder coffee and molasses flavors provide a nice supporting role. Mild bitterness rounds it out.

Mouthfeel: medium-heavy in body but not thick and chewy in any way. Smooth throughout. Relatively short aftertaste based on the bold flavor profile.

Drinkability: This is a nice stout that is a bit unique in the flavor profile. With alcohol level at 5% ABV this is a nice session stout for me. (747 characters)

Photo of BARFLYB
3.77/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a small snifter watching some seinfeld.

A- A loud hiss after the pry, the liquid is dark brown coming out of the bottle and extremely dark brown in the glass, not black. No head, barely even a french vanilla cap. No lacing.

S- A big robust kinda roasty stout with some vanilla beans and barely any oak presence. Kinda porterish. Small coffee beans, light hops.

T- Some roast with light coffee and than some malt backing with small oak spurts. Get a small taste of wood as well. Small chocolate, a light hop bitterness in the back. The vanilla is small but has a light presence throughout the quaff.

M&D- kinda silky, kinda smooth, but there is some hops in this fresh bottle making it entirely smooth. Medium bodied, lightly carbed, good taste. I would not mind having a six pack of this lying around from time to time. There are a few flavors here but they are all kinda light making for a easy drink with some character. (943 characters)

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

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A very large light milk cocoa head of about four fingers is produced that seems quite foamy and uniform. This head just doesn't wanna budge or go anywhere. Kind of pock marked and not totally uniform but looks pretty good.

On the nose is some toasty malt, but also some salty jerky quality. It does smell sort of rauchbier like which seems unusual, but it's quite alright.

Taste is kind of basic but solid. Smoke meat and sausage on the finish really big. Rauchbier feel and wetness. In the mouth though there isn't much taste to this beer and it seems to only bring the flavor out on the finish. Some wet feel for body, and a little quick and dry.

Overall though this is kind of surprising this is not what I expected for this style, I was thinking more of big roast and chocolate/coffee/licorice sort of for this style. But it's basically rauchbier light to me and a good one to boot. (938 characters)

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

A. Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Dark blackish in colour with a nice off white head and spotty lacing.

S. Malts and a bit of vanilla.

T. Great roasted taste with the oak barrel adding depth and some sweet not quite smokey notes that have to be the vanilla.

M. A very well rounded one. Full bodied indeed.

D. Very drinkable, excellent for sessions. (368 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a mostly opaque black with some brown showing aroune the edges. No head and no lacing. The smell is mostly lightly scented with vanilla and a touch of grain. The flavor is very smooth and light with some light roastiness and detectable vanilla, but not a lot more going on. Very, very smooth mouthfeel- you could just suck this down like a glass of milk. Not the most interesting stout in the world, but refreshing for the style. (436 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appears a pitch, opaque black with only a dark, caramel toned brown yielding any light at the very bottom of the glass. A small tan head fades into a scattered cap and collar. Spotty lacing is left around the glass but slides back into the brew.
Smell is of dusty cocoa, caramel, vanilla, and oak. Perhaps there is a touch of creaminess as well.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas that leads to a balanced stout that seems sweet and not really roasty like many other stouts.
Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with light oak tannins complimenting the cocoa, caramel, and vanilla flavors that run along the palate but don't linger. Slightly sweet up front with a gentle, tannic, bitter end that is very soft, smooth, mildly slick, and semi-dry. Really nice IMO.
A nice drinking stout. That 5.2 goes down like nothing. (815 characters)

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

12 Oz bottle Sampled through the efforts of Boxing Day BIF and Pentathlete. Bottling Date 10/28/05.

Pours a deep brown colored beer with a fast fading tan head.

Smell is sweet with an aroma of chocolate and nuts laced with a bit of coffee. There is a rather sharp scent of acid from the dark roasted malt used. Strong roasted coffee scent here that is very pleasant.

Taste is sweet and smoky at the start. Fairly neutral background flavor that accentuates the chocolate, smoke and coffee. The acid level works well here to brighten the coffee flavors like a medium roasted Kona coffee.

Mouthfeel is OK, but not that good.

Pleasant and tasty stout with a very moderate alcohol level. As close to a session beer as stouts ever really get. (751 characters)

Photo of John_M
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at the BWI Rams Head.

The beer pours a blackish brown color with surprisingly good head retention and decent lacing. I don't get a lot on the nose, but that's often the case with over chilled beers at the airport. However, I do get some light coffee and chocolate. The beer smells nice enough, what there is. Flavors on the palate replicate the nose, although there is also a hint of licorise and some drying hoppy bitterness on the finish. Mouthfeel is light and fairly watery, though drinkability is pretty decent.

This is a nice, low alcohol, easy to understand stout. While nothing exciting, it's still a pleasant, easy to enjoy stout. My guess is the airport is probably not the best place to enjoy this beer. (724 characters)

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

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

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

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

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

The oak, the vanilla, and the roast malt are all in perfect proportion. The brewers have struck a harmony between the creaminess and the roast, the bitter and the sweet. Dominion's Oak Barrel Stout is a beverage that is all those things at once, and that is something of a marvel. A delicious, delicious flavoured marvel. The brewers have listed this on the label as their "little treasure". Indeed it is, and I owe a big thanks to IDatetheFormula for sending me this gem! (2,055 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a jet black with a dirty tan head. Nose is full of roasted malt, coffee, and a hint of oak. Taste is full of cocoa, roasted malt, and molasses.Mouthfeel was nice and heavy, heavier than the bottle version and more complex. The bottle did not do this brew justice. (270 characters)

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. (1,211 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a dark black opaque body with a thin fizzy head of tan bubbles that doesn't last through the pour.

S- The smell of smoky wet oak and vanilla is a nice compliment to the slightly sweet graham cracker and dark roasted malts.

T- This beer has a nice deep dark malt flavor with some notes of crystal malt and black patent also. This is enhanced by a nice oak flavor with a hint of smoke and faint vanilla notes. The finish has a slight oatmeal tangy to it. As this beer warms there are some notes of fresh coffee in the malt.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with some slipperiness in the texture.

D- This beer has a nice character with a good quality stout that is enhanced by the wood and vanilla. They are not to strong and not to soft. Very nice beer. (832 characters)

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 675 ratings.