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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

1,320 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,320
Reviews: 661
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.72%
Wants: 67
Gots: 95 | 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:
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 (30) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,320 | Reviews: 661 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of neobassman
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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.

Photo of FenwaySquid
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
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.

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.

Photo of BigMart42
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
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!

Photo of JamesS
4.07/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Photo of Gavage
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
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.

Photo of jwc215
4.09/5  rDev +4.1%
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!

Photo of ralree
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a solid black color with a tan head. Aromas of subtle oak and vanilla are in the air. In the taste, chocolate and somewhat like mocha. An aftertaste that is a bit dry and leaves a coffee presence in the mouth. A lighter body than most stouts. A nice flavorful stout, I enjoyed the coffee/mocha/ vanilla flavor for dessert.

Photo of far333
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 22-ounce mug. Dark chestnut colored with a dark beige dimpled head that sinks quickly but leaves a thin cap atop.

Aroma of oak and smoke, plus cocoa and a bit of brown sugar riding beneath.

Flavors of cocoa, molasses, and smokey charred bark. Definitely noticeable oak flavors throughout the gulp. Dark chocolate lingers.

Mouthfeel is tangy and tannic, puckering the cheeks slightly. The oak barreling seems to impart a certain flavor and dry mouthfeel that is just shy of detracting from the experience.

Pretty drinkable, but could be more complex and rely on the oak less.

Photo of jmalex
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Got for take out from Mesquito Grille. I'm glad it caught my eye on the way out.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a shaker pint black and dark. When held to light, brown highlights barely come out. The light tan one-finger head drops very quickly and becomes splotchy bubbles and a good size collar.

SMELL: Not so roasty, but black burnt malts are prominent. Alcohol comes out as does a little bit of oak. Very faint aromas of brown sugar and diacetyl. Smells very porter-like.

TASTE: Similar to the smell, but seems lacking in some way. Porter-like flavors dominate with very vague oak hints. From start to finish, it seems quite empty, especially from a stout.

MOUTHFEEL: Thin for a stout and carbonation is very low. Disappointing.

DRINKABILITY: If you want this as a porter, it's not too bad. It certainly does not drink like a stout. The 5.2% ABV is kind of nice too.

Hmm, I hope I didn't get a bad bottle. I'll look for it again and give it another try.

Photo of SSBrennan
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a thick dark tan head, a great looking beer.

Smells of sweet roasted malts, vanilla, and a hint of coffee.

The taste is rich with vanilla and caramel. There is an initial almost smoky flavor of roasted malt with a bracing crispness. The finish is very smooth and rich.

The richness and weight is perfect for me.

Despite it's weight this beer is delicious enough to have a few.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.12/5  rDev -20.6%
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

Photo of RedHaze
3.72/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From notes:

Pours a very dark brown, that's night quite pitch black, with some red highlights around the edges. The head peaks at about one finger, but falls quickly to a thin ring.

Smell; the oak come through very well in the aroma, and there's a pretty strong presence of vanilla. Some roasted malts come through with a little coffee and some chocolate.

Taste; vanilla and oak are all I could taste at first, and I was a little put off. But once ths warmed up a bit, some nice roasted coffee and chocolate start to creep out, as well as little bit of dark fruits.

Mouthfeel is bit on the thin side for a stout, but the drinkability is pretty darn good.

Photo of crwills
4.57/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I liked this. A lot. One of my favourite stouts in recent memory, in fact.

Pours a perfect pitch black into a pint glass, with a 1/2 inch milk chocolate head and tons of lacing. Aroma is just fantastic. Vanilla, milk chocolate, espresso, little bit of brown sugar, and fresh baked bread. Flavour is sweet but not overpowering, roasted graham cracker, honey, chocolate, some tart fruity hops. Low carbonation. Smooth, creamy mouthfeel, although good have used a bit more body. For an average-ABV stout though, very good.

Since this brewery seems to be affiliated with A-B now (didn't know until I came to review it) maybe I can find it again easily... would love a case of this for the Fall/Winter.

Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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!

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost black colour wit ha big foamy, creamy off-white head that takes some time to dissolve and leaves a good amount of residue on the glass after each sip.

The aroma is sweet. Chocolate abound but a nice amount of vanilla mixed in throughout as well. Some roasted notes also come through here along with some wood-like aromas from the oak. That said, the overall aroma has a bit of faintness to it. It's still nice but I would have liked it to be beefed up a touch.

The flavour hits on the aromas and does the beefing up that the aroma needs. The nice thing is that it doesn't push or aspire to be an Imperial and is happy to toe the line of a regular old stout, and this one does it well. Flavour is a bit more roasted than the aroma led on but also holds the chocolate and vanilla blend just as well as the aroma did. Wood noted from the oak are still present as well. I caught hints of coffee but found this one to be much more chocolate based than coffee-like. Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy, with a bit of heartiness to it as well.

This is just a solid across the board brew. It hits you with good flavour and is a nice easy drinking beer. Having a barrel aged brew that does not smack you in the head with a strong bourbon presence was a nice touch as well, and one I'd like to see more of from other breweries, as it provides for a bit more complexity without being overpowering and still remaining fairly straightforward. Good stuff overall.

Photo of letsgopens
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This stout pours a familiar deep dark brown, nearly black, with a light brown head that leaves minimal lace.

The aroma is nice, generally characteristic of many stouts. This particular brew is heavily malty to the nose with a nice round coffee note.

The flavor is, again, very malty and sweet. Milk chocolate and mild coffee. Judging from the fact that the phrase 'oak barrel' is in the name, I expected a smokey or possibly bourbon taste and aroma. Instead it was more woody/nutty. Pleasant but not terribly flavorful.

Overall, this selection left a bit to be desired. Smooth and a slightly creamy but bit light and mild for my taste in stouts. A solid beer.

Photo of Reed415
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark color almost black, Head died quickly

S - Nutty, Malt, Hint in of Chocalate

T - A Nice Mild Nutty Roasted Malty Flavor, not very acidic. No Oak Flavor

M - Wasn't as Full Bodied as expected, Not much Carbonation

D - Good for a Stout, Very Mild, but flavorful

Photo of aforbes10
3.12/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Gifted to me by shivtim, who liked this so much on tap that he brought me a bottle back from D.C. Pours very dark brown with a thin little head which is more of a thin little ring of bubbles than anything. Kind of unexciting-looking, esp. considering the name. Odor is strongly of chocolate with hints of vanilla and bourbon. Also some toasty notes. The vanilla odor worries me and for the first time i notice that this is aged with vanilla beans. Taste is heavy on the vanilla up front, with a transition to a toasty roated malt and chocolate. Alcohol is present in a slumbering bourbon quality and the vanilla is a beany ice-cream vanilla rather than a a fake "vanilla flavoring" one. Still, like a lot of vanilla-tinged beers, its very freaking distracting and i wish it wasn't there so i could just concentrate on the "bourbon" and "stout" parts of the beer. Also a little watery for the style, but well balanced. Not my favorite beer in the world, but im sure its better on tap. Thanks Paul.

Photo of shivtim
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served up on tap, came cascading. Beautiful. It's deep ruby brown, with a giant foamy tan head that settles into place. The nose is sweet toasted malts and creamy coffee. Taste is smoky malts with hints of earthy fruits and sweet white vanilla frosting on the end. Mouthfeel is good and full. Drinkability is up there. Great brew.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
4.89/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12oz. bottle

Pours a rich black color with creamy mocha head that thins. Nice lacing around the glass.

Aroma is rich and roasty with tones of coffee, cocoa, and vanilla. There is just a touch of oak woven in as well. A real treat for your olfactory senses.

The taste really matches the aroma. Rich, roasted malts upfront that gradually give way to a blend of cocoa, espresso, and vanilla. Hints of oak are present, but are mostly dominated by the other flavors. It finishes quite dry with a lingering mix of roated malts and vanilla. Wonderfully complex and balanced.

Medium-light body, creamy texture. Mild carbonation.

This is one of my favorites, and actually one that I enjoy drinking in the warmer months when my thrist for stouts typically declines. Much more complex and balanced than some of the highly hyped imperial stouts, and certainly sessionable. Seek this one out.

Photo of Tyrawlings
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Nearly opaque black in color with dark brown hues. Dense tan head pours two fingers thick. Good retention. Nice sticky lacing clings to the glass.

S: Roasted malts. Coffee. Chocolate. Caramel. Vanilla. Oak aged bourbon.

T: Roasted dark malts are followed by the tastes of coffee and chocolate. Sweet caramel malts balance things out and are taken over by the soft presence of vanilla, wood and bourbon.

M: Silky smooth and creamy. Minimal carbonation. Warm and slightly dry.

D: Very complex for a smaller stout. Very well balanced and highly drinkable. Recommended.

Photo of bennetj17
3.55/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Dark black colour with minimal light coming through about the edges. Thin tan foam that dissipates quickly. Sweet vanilla nose with chocolate and coffee notes. Smells like a cake or some sort of sweet dessert.

In the taste the vanilla flavor is strong, but other malt notes come out weak and a bit watery. It is sweet and almost tangy with faint roastiness and hints of cocoa. Medium body, somewhat thinner than I prefer my stouts, with healthy carbonation.

I was not a big fan of this beer. The vanilla sweetness up front lingered and dominated the flavor too much. It's a nice attempt at a relatively low ABV beer with alot of taste...

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,320 ratings.