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Dominion Oak Barrel Stout - Old Dominion Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dominion Oak Barrel StoutDominion Oak Barrel Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,285 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,285
Reviews: 657
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.98%
Wants: 64
Gots: 76 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,285 | Reviews: 657 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz received as a very thoughtful extra in a recent trade with dsigmon (this brew has been on my wants for at least a year!)... shared with Brenda ... the Lion's share going into my New Belgium snifter. Bottled 1/18/08.

2 finger khaki head drops pretty quickly leaving ribbons of crusty lace.. the brew is black.

Aroma is chocolate .. mild vanilla .. milder oak giving way to medium for the style roasted grains .. slight burnt toast and a sweetness that ties it together with a black bow... a little toffee as it warms.

Body on this one is very smooth.. medium full body with just the right amount of roasted barley out of the gate... a little bit of coffee on the end. Just enough vanilla and toastiness to add some hints of bourbon... the oak adds a nice tannic drying sensation that adds to the complexity in the finish.

Another homerun from dsigmon ... Brock thanks again ... exceptional and very generous extra.

JohnGalt1, Mar 20, 2008
Photo of badbeer
3.53/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black with a beige head that quickly recedes to a a ring around the glass. Smell gives me quite a bit of roast and some cherries. Upon further agitation of the glass, I got a little bit of a malted milk ball aroma; really don't think I picked out vanilla. Taste is a bit roasty at the beginning, but then I get a much more creamy taste that comes through. Again, I don't know that I would have specifically picked out vanilla if I didn't know it was used. Medium carbonation and body is a little less than medium. Thanks to dsigmon for the sample!

badbeer, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of ewpgolf2
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bought this stout off the shelf and slowly cooled to 57*F. bottled stamp date: 5-30-07. Chose a (clean)snifter in anticipation of a heavy aroma to enjoy. It poured dark with 1/4" head. Sat so dark in the glass that you cannot see light through it-at all! Aroma was of smokey burnt wood with a sweet caramel background. I expected more with the taste based upon the prelude. The taste was toasty/nutty with a bitter aftertaste. I couldn't get away from the bitterness throughout the beer and seemed to intensify as it warmed. Mouthfeel was surprisingly smooth and clean for such a dense beer.
Overall, I expected more. The head completely dissapeared 1/2 way through and the flatness prevailed. I didn't sense any of the vanilla in the taste either which I would've liked. I would drink this again but not back to back. I'll pair one bottle with food next time.

ewpgolf2, Mar 15, 2008
Photo of PhageLab
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into the Duvel Tulip.

A - Pitch black, nice thin layer of froth, nice retention, laces quite well.

S - Chocolate, peanut butter, fresh soil, caramel.

T - Dark chocolate malt profile, toasty, notes of burnt cinder, smoke flavor, ash, and nuts. Very bitter. Surprisingly this one tasted better when it was chilled.

M - Full bodied, low carbonation, dry finish. My problem here was the consistency. The body was full, but the finish seemed oddly watery.

D - Pretty good, very tasty and balanced, I could actually do several of these. Impressive, and definitely worth a try.

PhageLab, Feb 28, 2008
Photo of RblWthACoz
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

RblWthACoz, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of claytri
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer poured a rich dark amber with a tan head. The aroma was of coffee and malt. The taste carried this straight over and was ver y rich coffee and malt. The feel was medium and dry. I found this to be a real nice bitter stout, they did a good job with the hops so that the bitterness seemed to be strictly from the coffee malt.

claytri, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of jhammerly
3.63/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received from Imstillthegman in SS07.

Pours almost pitch black except for some reddish around the edges when the light hits. A small thin head of cocoa colored suds quickly dissipates into a thin ring. The aromas of ground coffee and vanilla mix well. Taste of toasted malt and a touch of vanilla with some hop bitterness in the background. Finishes dry. A surprisingly thin body and fairly low ABV for this style. Which also makes this a good session beer.

jhammerly, Jan 21, 2008
Photo of Lupe
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours very dark, almost black, with beautiful garnet hues up the center of the glass when held up to the light. One inch tan head that quickly faded and left no lace.

Very mild aroma of roasted malt, vanilla, oak, and faint smoke.

Roasty and toasty malt flavors - cocoa, coffee, and mild vanilla. Oak shows up but not too big - nice complement to the flavors. Mild sourness towards the end. Nicely balanced flavors that complement each other well.

Medium bodied, a little thinner than expected. Very smooth. Easy drinking stout and just complex enough. Not the best stout out there, but pretty solid. A nice and interesting session stout.

Lupe, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of GPHarris
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

from maltygoodness and the Summer Sipper BIF

a - poured a one finger thick tan head into a goblet that left a nice ring and sheet throughout. the body was dark black.
s - hints of oak and dry hops.
t - spicey, oakey, toasty with a vanilla sweetness throughout.
m - bubbly and medium mouthfeel.
d - good sipper.

GPHarris, Dec 13, 2007
Photo of matty
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours out of the bottle like motor oil.Minimal head and carbonation.Pleasant aroma of burnt oak chips and a wisp of vanilla.Taste is also pleasant with the same oak chips and vanilla.This is something I would buy again but I doubt I could drink more than 3 at one sitting.

matty, Dec 11, 2007
Photo of Traquairlover
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12-oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottled on 10/17/07. I bought a 6-pack and will cellar a couple of them for maybe a year to see if I like them any better, at present this is okay tasting but really pretty average over all given the many other good choices out there.

A = Black and smooth, formed a smallish head with a reddish tint. I swear the head made it look almost like Cherry Coke from a soda fountain, actually rather attractive but not what I was expecting. Head dissipated quickly with no lacing.

S = Smell is almost imperceptible. I had this in my refrigerator so maybe it needs to warm a little, but still . . . I expect some smell. What I do smell is sweet malty with hints of vanilla and oak (not very original given the bottle says it is fermented with vanilla beans and oak chips but honestly there's not much else going on). It is a very light, pretty simple smell.

T = Taste is better than the smell, still a little light, but flavorful. I can pick up traces of the vanilla but it is not overpowering. I like this because I often find the addition of vanilla overpowering but here it simply adds a little to the sweetness without overdoing it. Less oak in the taste than I expected. Good malt flavor, virtually no bitterness.

M = Somewhat thin for a stout, more sting from carbonation than I expected given the lack of any real sustaining head.

D = It's hard for me to rate this too much above average. I did enjoy it, but not sure I will rush out to buy it again. If you were in the mood for a lighter tasting stout, this would serve fine.

Traquairlover, Nov 28, 2007
Photo of msubulldog25
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had two of these in the cellar with differing bottling dates; I picked the elder, dated "091406". My first guess on the trade origins of this bottle was the Commonwealth's Finest, Metalmonk. However, he corrected my error and, hence, I'm left wondering to whom I owe the pleasure...until I unearth an old email that gives todd1 credit; thank you, Todd!

A: Shocked. Yes, I am - to read this one weighs in at a mere 5.2%. A name like 'Oak Barrel Stout' says to me: "I'm massive! Cellar me!". well, 14 months you've sat in that bottle, little stout, waiting for your release - all because I never read the back label noting your low ABV. I apologize. You look tired. Old. I'm a bit disappointed... pours a dark, dark brown, faint garnet trimmings. Virtually no head, just a miniscule scattering of film and a jagged, pencil-thin ring for a head.

S: 'Fermented with vanilla beans & oak chips' says the label...definitely there are elements of both in the aroma; mostly, the sweet and aromatic vanilla. Not much else, but since the vanilla is mouth-watering and subtle woodiness is appealing, too, I rate this a 'good'...

T: Mmmmm...roasted coffee, dark chocolate and a careful vanilla. Oak notes are a little smoky. Mid-mouth sweetness is nice, becoming a lighter milk-chocolate or mocha. Some minor souring (oxidation) in the finish, but I don't mind too much in this flavorful stout. In fact this is one of the richest and most flavor-filled stouts I can recall...

M: Seems a bit thinned, but has a good lingering semisweet chocolate bittering. Carbonation is subtle, mouthfeel is generally creamy.

D: Likable stout with a few weaknesses, most of which (I'm guessing) are due to age. I have another of these to try, however it's just a couple months younger. I like the vanilla and oak and I like the direction this beer is going; it makes for a drinkable stout with a nice, dessert-like twist. Recommended.

msubulldog25, Nov 19, 2007
Photo of kkipple
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On Tap at Magnolias at the Mill in Purcellville, VA. Fresh.

Old Dom Oak Barrel is a transparent deep amber-brown, and came topped with an inch high dense head that is both creamy and clumpy. Appetizing looking, anyway.

Smells quite tasty, with medium roast and cocoa notes and all kinds of interesting things going on (likely from the oak). I'm getting vanilla, tobacco, honey and a light dryness that reminds me of DFH Chicory Stout. This is quite complex and welcome for such a low-alcohol beer, and a nice change from the usual coffee / roasted grain / chocolate nose most stouts sport.

The taste is a little more traditional, with bittersweet chocolate / roasted malt coming through strong and hints of charred wood and a mineral flavor in the back end. Not getting any vanilla, sadly. The sweetness here reminds me oddly of a milk stout, but I'm sure there's no actual lactose here...

Mouthfeel is light and a bit thin. Very drinkable, and possibly the most drinkable oaked beer I've ever come across. I enjoyed it. Get some Old Dominion Oak Stout on a cold night and it'll see ya through.

kkipple, Nov 18, 2007
Photo of dragonglen
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into a stout glass.

A - It poured nice and dark with almost no head and very few rising bubbles, leaving almost zero lacing while consumed.

S - The vanilla really jumps out with some malt. It also smells a little darker than it looks.

T - Surprisingly I can taste the oak a lot more than the vanilla. If I attempt to smell while drinking the vanilla becomes more prevalent, but the oak is definitely the stringer of the tastes.

M - Nice and smooth, better than other stouts I've had recently.

D - I love stouts but this is really nice for a change of pace. The vanilla flavor is nice, but I really enjoyed the oak taste, they really compliment each other well. I could drink this beer all night long.

dragonglen, Nov 17, 2007
Photo of drseamus
2.85/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Classic dark black body. It could have used a little more head. The smell is wicked powerful. There is a ton of vanilla and a light malt presence. IMO the vanilla is too strong. It should complement the aroma, not dominate it. The flavor about half as strong as the aroma but the dominant flavor is sour. There are some dark malt flavors and an acidic aftertaste. The flavor is pretty thin and the mouthfeel is medium light. I was pretty excited about this beer initially but it is a bit of a let down.

drseamus, Nov 09, 2007
Photo of westweasel
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Schneid for this brew!

The smell is roasty and chocolatey, with some wood, and just a hint of vanilla.
The beer is a very dark reddish-brown with a thin tan head. The taste is dominated by roastiness and chocolate, with some coffee, a little vanilla, and an oakey wood flavor. The taste is fairly smooth with a dry finish. The carbonation is very strong, and the bite it offers enhances the dryness.

The mouthfeel is medium with high carbonation.

This beer is very drinkable as is. To me it would be even greater if it were smoother and more full.

westweasel, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of neobassman
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of this local offering as part of a systematic review of domestic stouts. This one has much to offer. The pour is slightly thick, producing a modest head that dissipated quickly. Color is almost black with essentially no light passing through. Mild carbonation. The smell is complex and aligns well with the taste. Not much bitterness, and not much cooked coffee flavor. Nice maltiness in the heart of the flavor, and some pleasant sweetness, as well. The brewer states that the beer is dry-hopped with fresh vanilla beans and "toasted oak" chips to simulate a bourbon barrel aging. That may be, but I did not get a significant oak or vanilla experience from this brew - they're probably in there somewhere contributing to the overall flavor, but I was surprised these flavors were not prominent since the label touts them front and back.

This beer is not much like Guinness because it lacks the strong burnt coffee and salty components of Guinness, which may be a plus or a minus depending on how much you like the Irish icon. Oak Barrel is a good stout, pleasant and inoffensive. I would enjoy it again, though it does not rank among the leading American stouts in my opinion.

neobassman, Nov 08, 2007
Photo of Bitterbill
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This one pours from 12oz bottle(bottled 091907) a near pitch black with some reddish hues and a small tannish head of foam that recedes to a fine broken layer half way through the session but it has some good lacing.

The smell is of caramel malt, vanilla, chocolate, and bourbon. It's nice.

The taste has all sorts of flavours going on. Lots of vanilla and bourbon and wood with helpings of chocolate, roasted malt, a slight citrus bitterness in the background and it finishes witha nice hot cocoa bitter bite but..it's smooth as all hell and it doesn't hurt that it's only 5.2%abv; it makes it sessionable as hell. lol Man, is this son of a gun drinkable and velvety smooth. Great fullish mouthfeel and it's lightly carbonated. I like this one a lot!! Lots of flavour, easy to drink, smooth, this has it all going on. I'd get this one again, no problem.

Bitterbill, Nov 06, 2007
Photo of FenwaySquid
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Prsentation: 12 oz. borwn bottle, bottling date of 070507 on the label, poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours a completely opaque deep dark brown color. The head formed small, less than one finger thick, and faded into some lacing.

Aroma: Roasted chocolate malt, coffee, some caramel too, hints of vanilla in the background.

Taste: Roasted and chocolate malts up front, kind of bitter. The beer gets sweeter in the middle, still chocolate, but some vanilla comes through as well. I also got some bourbon and oak. The finish was semi-sweet chocolate with the vanilla lingering in the background, kind of bitter but still sweet at the same time.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth, almost silky like an oatmeal stout, medium to full bodied. The carbonation was subdued, which fit nicely.

Overall: An excellent brew, top notch. The ABV's only 5.2%, which would make this a great session beer for a cold winter's night. Highly recommended, if you see this around grab it immediately.

FenwaySquid, Oct 11, 2007
Photo of franksnbeans
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours pure black with a couple fingers of quickly fading head. Smells of oaky vanilla, roasted coffee beans and some chocolate. Tastes bigger on coffee then I thought it would. Vanilla and oak make a presence but no bourbon, which I actually like. Finishes a little sweet and bitter like bakers chocolate. Medium in the mouth and outstanding drikability.

franksnbeans, Oct 02, 2007
Photo of BigMart42
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I really, really enjoyed this beer. (yes, deserves both really's)
It poured a dark handsome shade of black. It had a slight malty aroma nothing over powering. It’s a dark beer but not too heavy, and what sets it apart for me is that vanilla mouth feel and after taste. The drinkabilty is through the roof. If this were any higher in abv it could be really dangerous... damn I could use another!

BigMart42, Sep 27, 2007
Photo of JamesS
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very nice beer when you want a stout with a little extra something. It pours with a nice, foamy head. It has a nice dark appearance. It has a wonderful smell, a strong coffee scent with definite hints of vanilla. Goes down nice and has an excellent additional 'oaky' flavor. You can definitely tell the beer has had some contact with bourbon oak barrels. While it's not my favorite, it's definitely a distinct stout with a great taste.

JamesS, Sep 21, 2007
Photo of Gavage
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
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.

Gavage, Sep 12, 2007
Photo of jwc215
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
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!

jwc215, Sep 07, 2007
Photo of ralree
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with a tan head of about 1/2 a finger (disappointing head), smells of coffee with a nice woodsy aftertaste. Tastes like sweetened coffee, alcohol completely undetectable in the flavor. Leaves the mouth feeling dry, clean, and refreshed. Not too thick, but not watery - just about right in texture. Has a distinct bitterness that is strong, but in a very pleasant way - probably offset by the sweetness. Much easier to drink than most stouts, partly because the mouthfeel isn't as coating and the fact that it is not as heavy. Goes down smooth.

ralree, Aug 28, 2007
Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,285 ratings.