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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

1,338 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,338
Reviews: 664
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.72%
Wants: 68
Gots: 110 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  5.50% 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,338 | Reviews: 664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sinistrsam
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Wow, where the hell have I been? Under a rock evidently.
Picked this out of many brews on tap at Mad Mex in Pittsburgh. Poured a wonderful obsideon with a little light getting through. Thick foamy tean head.
I recenetly posted a rating where I compare an aroma to a chocolate malt. Where heres yet another. Are American microbreweries starting to impliment this taste variety? If they are its been too long coming. Damn this was a good aroma. Chocolate and cream, mild caramel and sweet malts, mild hops, alcohol. Not much coffee.
The taste was much of the same, with a great complexity and balance between sweet and bitter tastes, chocolate and sweet cream. The motufeel was very good as well, a sweetness and creamy smoothness balanced by alcohol and mild bitterness. Wonderful and wonderfully drinkable too. Hats off to Old Dominion.

Photo of MuenchenerKindl
3.86/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Real time review

Pop goes the cap. mhh 2.5 on the pop of the cap. But what do I expect from a stout chilled to 11 deg c.?

I Pour into a standard 16 oz pub glass. Wow, the color is amazing. I slow the pour. Wait stop. Move under the light. Wow, the color is an incredible dark chocolate with Carmel highlights. Umpalumpas eat your heart out, your getting NONE. The head is thick fluffy brown, what a delicious looking beer!

Smell, sinf, snif. Hmm hops, hmm no vanilla &malt. Ok very slight vanilla, hops malt and something.... Oak & bourbon. Well allrighty now. how about a...

Taste, slurp, mmm. Not bad, slurp, mmm, interesting. Mild, smooth, creamy. Swig slurp..hmm. Oaky, bourbon. (Gomez kiss me, I spoke French) Hops are faint great finish. this is a fine creation. I don't know if it will catch on, but any of the crowds down at the Hofbrau over the past, well lets say as many generations as years this brewer is old would have enjoyed several rounds.

The mounthfeel is superb. I think it is the bourbon. light on the carbonation heavy on the creamy feel. Nice almost mouth numbing.

all the above makes this baby sing

Wem Gott will rechte Gunst erweisen,
den schickt er in die weite Welt;
dem will er seine Wunder weisen
in Berg und Tal und Strom und Feld.

oh sorry... As I was saying this beer is +++ with no real - It's drinkable and I like it. MK

Photo of jdmorgan
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This stout had a dark brown color with a very small head that dissipated quickly. It had a medium malt aroma with the slightest hint of vanilla in it. The taste was well-balanced with a medium body (for a stout) and a medium hop bitterness that wasn't too strong but seemed just right. The mouthfeel was medium/thick with medium/low carbonation. I felt that for a stout, this was a very drinkable beer and it went down easy. I would gladly have another and I feel this was an all-around good beer. Highly recommended.

Photo of jslot38
4.29/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pure black body with a tan head which quickly fades away, can be brought back to life with some agitation.

Smell: Traditional stout smell at a near level of perfection - dark oats, coffee grounds, dark chocolate, toffee.

Taste: Dark chocolate, coffee grounds, touch of sweetness (vanilla bean addition is present). All of this is overtaken by a great lingering of bourbon.

Mouthfeel: Low level of carbonation, not as heavy as some other stouts I've had in the past.

Drinkability & Notes: Although the bourbon aftertaste makes you think it have a higher abv level, it doesn't. No more or less drinkable than most stouts I've had. And yet it is a great light stout. The bourbon and vanilla are at a perfect level (not at all overwhelming, but supplement the other stout flavours well). Great smell with some unique linguiring flavours.

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting brew in that it has the complex mix of flavors of a "big" beer... but isn’t. Pours with a syrupy smell of vanilla and a bit of maple. When in the glass, there’s a brown spongy head over a ruby to black body. Taste is of a dry stout, but well mellowed with a trace of smoke and coffee. Vanilla is in just the right proportion to be a "part" of the beer instead of making it a "flavored" beer, if you get my meaning. Very light oakiness helps smooth out the brew, too.

Photo of mmmbeer
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz., bottled on 2/9/06 - fermented with vanilla beans and oak chips. I served this one in a chalice. It pours black with dark brown tinges on the edges and a thin espresso head of medium bubbles, leaving some spots of lace. It smells very roasted, with tobacco juice, chocolate, lots of floral/spicy, almost citric hops, and a big vanilla profile that mixes well into the bouquet. There are flavors of oak and vanilla right away with chocolate, roasted malts, tobacco, charred wood?, and some dark fruit notes. Delicious. It has a medium to thick body that leaves a long finish and drinks very easily. A damn fine stout.

Photo of NolanGTI
3.51/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pretty solid Irish Stout. Pours dark as night with a thin head that dissipated quickly. The nose gives off vanilla, roasted malt, and a hint of coffee. Tasted solid, but not spectacular. Leaves a little to be desired in the mouth, almost slightly undercarbonated even for the style.

Overall a very drinkable Stout with some interesting flavors that make this a worthwhile try.

Photo of phisig137
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black with a one finger head. Disappates quickly into a thin layer of bubbles and a decent amount of lacing.

Smells of dark roasted malts, vanilla, and cocoa

Flavor is great, and well balanced. Very roasty, and has a surprizingly real oak aged flavor, despite not actually being aged in oak barrels. The vanilla and oakiness is strong, but well balanced and not artificial tasting.

Mouthfeel is substantial, silky, and fairly thick. Drinkability is good.

Photo of Crosling
3.22/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color, with a small tan head. Rich malt aroma, with hints of fudge, coffee and chocolate (brownies), light aromatic hops, hints of vanilla and a light hint of oak. Pretty subtle and gentle overall, with a roasted coffee, vanilla bean, chocolate, hops and a light hint of toasted oak. Not as good as I was expecting.

Photo of dogfooddog
3.17/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

at room temperature, pours 25% light tan head...nose woody and malty. after head fades, not much carbonation at all.

taste is very malty, i feel hints of wood character in the taste subtle. on the front and back end I do not find a lot going on with this stout..the nose does improve to a more complex woody malty stout,m but the taste may be missing something. not sure what the issue is.

not sure if this bottle is touched or what, but this is not a complex or exceptional on the taste end.

Photo of dnrobert24
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This is a beer that I could have just sat and smelled and smelled and smelled. It poured a beautiful black chocolate with a thin white, not tan, head. Taking a whiff of the beer was like waking up after camping to the smell of rain-soaked charred oak campfire logs--it was a subdued smokey-oaky scent. It was heavenly. In comparison, the flavor and mouthfeel were thin and a bit of a let-down. I could taste the classic stout malts that resemble the acidic bitterness in coffee, but there was not much more there. Nevertheless, the aroma kept me coming back for more.

Photo of Hughesed
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very creamy and overall a great beer. I had this as part of the Beer of the month a while back and then again at Eulogy in Philadelphia PA. Pours nice and smells great. I have not been able to find any in NJ or PA to pick up a case. The vanilla finish is great.

Photo of doubleipa
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was surprised to see this on the menu at Summits in Sandy Springs. Personally, I really love the oak/bourbon style of stouts. The aroma was very oaky, but not overpowering. Thhis was very easy to drink; very creamy with minimal carbonation. I hope that I can find some of this in a bottle. I could drink a lot of these on a cold winter day.

Photo of jaluria
4.67/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is a good beer in bottled form, but exceptional on-tap.
Appeared an opaque, viscous black color with a soft, tan colored head that didn't remain but left behind some nice lacing. Aromas of wood, alcohol, vanilla, and roasted sugar seemed to come out very nicely. The taste was just an explosion of sweetness with a roasted/smoky character upfront and a honey & vanilla finish. The flavors of this beer on-tap are much more prominent and aggressive than in the bottled verison which is much much more subtle and gentle. The dominating flavors work very well together and generate a lingering sweetness that feels more like root beer or an ice cream float than a stout. I felt my tongue coated after every sip with an almost bready/chewy texture. So rich and so smooth I could have this all day, though eventually the sweetness might rot my teeth.

Photo of orbitalr0x
3.08/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

The Dominion Oak Barrel Stout, fermented with vanilla beans and oak chips, pours from the longneck bottle a nice deep, dark black with a small tan head that falls to a ring around the glass. Aromas of big vanilla upfront alongside a roasty, somewhat lactic chocolate. Some bitter coffee works into the mix and I can get hints of the oak as I inhale as well. However, it all seems to collide on the way to my nose.

First sip brings a dark roasted malt upfront with hints of cocoa and mellow coffee tones. The blast of vanilla flavor isn't far behind and works its way across the length of the palate. I get a bit of sour lactic twang halfway through each sip. Subtle woodiness is there but it's more of an afterthought in the brew. The vanilla gets to be a bit overwhelming for me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a spritzy carbonation. It's a little thinner than I'd like for a stout, but still manages to carry itself well. Unfortunately, this really doesn't stand up against true barrel aged stouts. It's a bit muddled and somewhere along the line the flavors just don't do it for me. Check it out for yourself, as your mileage may vary.

Music: Luomo - Tessio (Moonbootica Radio Edit)

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

La Cave Du Vin in Cleveland had this on tap this week. I tried a small glass.

Looked like a run-of-the-mill stout (dark brown-to-black color, thin beige head, etc). But the flavors were a little more original. The biggest surprise to me was the vanilla bean flavor. I think this could have been improved by being made less thin and watery though.

Not bad, but not great. Just different.

Photo of Zorro
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

Photo of DrJay
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very dark brown with a short, medium tan head. Quickly reduced to a ring and left a bit of spotty lace behind. Lots of malt and chocolate covered cherries in the aroma. Mild roast and vanilla. Same malt character in the flavour, but with chocolate in front. Slightly acidic with muted cherry and weak vanilla. There's a bit of woodiness in the finish. Soft carbonation and silky texture with some lingering dryness. Medium bodied. Solid beer, but I think I was expecting more from the advertised vanilla and oak. Thanks northyorksammy!

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.24/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

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

Thanks to lostbearbrew for this one...
Almost black in color with no light passing thru...a half a finger of tan colored head which disappears within minutes.
No real lacing to speak of.
Pleasant in the nose...vanilla, butterscotch, chocolate and a definite oak/woody character.
Taste is real nice once it hits right around room temperature...more vanilla with a hint of robust coffee, almonds and an overall, well-balanced malt to hop experience.
Mouthfeel is a tad thin, but the carbonation is where I enjoy it and it is easily consumed with a fairly low abv (for me)...would love to try this one on cask, as the oak age flavors are nice but would really shine as a real ale IMO.

Photo of PeatReek
3.05/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

(Sure looked like a nitro pour, not 100% sure).

Appearance: what can you say about a stout? The beer is black, the head is tan and sticks around a while.

Aroma: dominated by oaky sweetness... rum or bourbon? Definitely one or the other.

Taste: again overwhelmed by oak and sugar, now I'm willing to commit to calling it rum. In fact now that it occurred to me, I'm having trouble tasting anything but rum. Sure there's some roast flavor somewhere in there, but it's taking a back seat to the oak flavor for sure.

Mouthfeel: Definitely full-bodied and creamy like a nitro stout should be. tha'ts nice at least.

Overall, it was hard to score this stout because the middle scores imply "average," which this wasn't. But the rummy oak flavor kind of clobbered everything else, and I couldn't really give it many more points on that account.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
4.17/5  rDev +6.1%
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?!

Photo of ggroller
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Dark brown bordering on black liquid. A rocky tannish head.

Coffee, vanilla, and chocolate in the nose.

Vanilla coffee taste. Just sweet enough to get you ready for the next sip.

Mouthfeel is silky.

A delicious brew that I will drink again. It could even be a session brew.

Photo of FirstMan
2.28/5  rDev -42%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I picked up a six pack of this while I was down in Washington D.C. for a trip a few weeks back. I had a couple while I was there, and brought a couple with me to review later on. Honestly I'm not quite sure why I brought it with me, because I'm really not impressed with this beer.

Coloring is black as a stout should be with a less than vigorous head. Sort of wispy and light. While the coloring is right, there's a creamy, smooth visual character that good stouts have - such that you see it's more viscous and thick than normal beers. This does not have that. It appears more watery.

There's something weird with the smell. Possibly this is the oak aging and the vanilla so touted on the bottle, but it sort of smells like the underside of a pier, if you ask me. There's a salt-water sort of funk underlying. Notes of molasses and smoke in there, but the other thing really comes on strong. Almost like too many smells got locked in a room and one of them stabbed the other - a week ago.

Anyway.

The taste is again too much with too many and none of them are all that good. Initially I taste "vanilla" (tm), which is closely followed by a somewhat acrid wood character. That funky smell is there in the taste too, but not as much. I find myself wanting hold my nose when I taste it - that is generally not a good thing. The surprising characteristic, though, is how hollow the taste is. There are big initial notes that pop up and then disappear, leaving very little middle to provide continuity. Lacks balance.

Watery mouthfeel - A stout should have a certain viscous bigness.

I did not like this beer.

Photo of unknownlamer
4.51/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This pours the perfect black with a hint of ruby around the edges. The smell is of burnt grain with a touch of vanilla and oak. The taste is of roasted grain with an oak taste dominating in the middle, and a nice vanilla mixed with a mild burnt taste in the finish.
This is my favorite stout, and is very drinkable and complex. A work of art.

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,338 ratings.