Dominion Oak Barrel Stout - Old Dominion Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dominion Oak Barrel StoutDominion Oak Barrel Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

677 Reviews

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Reviews: 677
Hads: 1,413
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 18.37%
Wants: 75
Gots: 145 | 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: 677 | Hads: 1,413
Photo of Darkmagus82
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The brew pours a deep brown color, nearly pitch black with a billowy one finger cream colored head. The head fades moderately quickly to end up leaving a medium level of lace

Smell- The aroma is biggest of dark roasted malt that is augmented by some aromas of vanilla. Some light chocolate smells as well as a presence of oak mingle along with these with some very light sweet aromas of caramel and a little bit of oak as well.

Taste – The taste begins with flavors of roasted malt and some sweet caramel and vanilla flavors. The sweetness remains throughout the taste with some flavors of chocolate coming more toward the middle. At this same time the oak flavors come to the tongue, becoming more potent as the flavor advances to the end. A little bit of bitter coffee comes to the flavor more toward the end, cutting the sweetness slightly and ending to leave a sweet dark and oaky flavor to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the slightly lighter side for a stout of 6.1 % abv with a carbonation level that is rather average. A thicker body and slightly lesser carbonation may have suited the flavors a bit better, by making for a creamier taste overall.

Overall- A pretty nice drinking stout. Good roasted malt flavors with a nice sweet chocolate and vanilla and some oakiness.

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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.


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Photo of rangerred
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours pitch black with a thick billowy two finger tan head. Outstanding head retention and lacing.

Aroma of vanilla and dark roasted malt. Some hints of cocoa and just a very, very faint touch of peat. I don't get any oak at all. A little bit underwhelming.

This same disappointment carries over into the taste. Vanilla and a touch of coffee up front along with a little caramel and peat. No real oak at all in the taste either which is disappointing considering the name of the beer. Very full mouthfeel and a sticky finish.

Overall, I was expecting quite a bit more out of this. It taste very much like a run of the mill American stout. Really no oak or smoke whatsoever.

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Photo of mick303
3.81/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a tulip glass, colour is a rich dark brown/black. Initially a nice frothy tan head, recedes leaving some minor whispy lacing. 3.5

S- lots of sweet smoky vanilla notes. Roasty caramel maltiness, floral vanilla notes, milk chocolate with sweet caramel undertones. Some oaky smokiness in the back. No detectable bitterness, very sweet and vanilla forward. 4.24

T- very sweet, chocolate, dry silky vanilla pod, dry maltiness. Some zesty citrus, with cherry and lemon, lots of vanilla and some chocolate. Decent complexity and full flavour with some interesting background flavours. Finishes dry and full, chocolate malt and dry oak. 3.75

M- slight carbonation, rather light, with a malty profile. More of a session stout. Some slight bitterness on the tongue and finish, overly vanilla feel. 3.75.

So my take on this is that the vanilla and sweetness has somewhat run away with the show. It is a pretty tasty vanilla stout, but that seems to dominate and obscure further complexity. Some interesting stuff going on behind that, but I feel the potential is left somewhat unfulfilled, an interesting experience nonetheless. 3.5

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Photo of Keyportnick
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this as an eztra

12oz bottle poured into a firestone walker teku glass.

A- pours a tobacco brown and rests a rich black. Pours with a frothy just off white head that sticks around and fades into some lively lacing.

S-Nothing much going on with the nose. A faint touch of vanilla bean and a hair of cold coffee. Like I said pretty dull. Nothing jumps out at you

T- light roasted chocolate malts, rich vanilla.

M- light body, strong carbonation, light finish

O- Decent beer. I felt like it was missing a lot. It claims to be oak barrel aged and then they say they use oak chips. I couldn't find either of those in this beer. The vanilla stands out nicely though. Crisp clean lighter styled stout.

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Photo of letsdrink
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Very excited to give this one a shot. In my eyes, pretty much any stout is worth a shot and this particular beer piqued my interest.

A - Pours a deep brown, almost black color with a decent head, slight lacing.

S - Oak aroma with a touch of sweetness.

T - Oak follows through initially with vanilla to follow, slightly sweet but certainly not overwhelming. Less bitterness than I had expected on the back end.

M - Here is where I believe things head south. For a stout, this beer is certainly on the lighter end. I was hoping for something a little bit bolder and heavier, but was somewhat disappointed. There is average carbonation, which doesn't help or hinder the overall experience in my opinion.

O - Overall I think this beer looks better than it tastes which not optimal in my opinion when being forced to choose one over the other. The aroma helps the overall experience but doesn't follow through to the mouth. I would say it's worth a shot, but I don't think I would go back for a second one with so many great options available.

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Photo of Jade
2.28/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

I'm not even going to go through the usual list. Sorry, but this beer is not worth buying. Stay away. Bourbon barrel beer...this is not. Stout...this is not. Watery charred crap it is. If you think this is world-class or excellent or even good, stick with your Coors Light. Wow! Only redeeming quality is some silkiness. Look at my other stout reviews. This is not one to sit back and enjoy. Almost...a drain pour!

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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.

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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.

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Photo of McNealc31
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The barrel aging is evident in the aroma with strong smells of oak, vanilla, and char. The oak comes through some in the flavor, as well, but it's different than bourbon barrel aged beers. Initially, there is an interesting sweetness, but the charred wood and smoke cut through. A dry, boozey finish provided by the 6% ABV.

It's good, but not quite great. I think for something boasting oak aging, I want more of that flavor.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a wine goblet.
Opaque black in color, with a large head of tan foam.
Aroma-Dark roasted malts, faint vanilla note
Taste-Dark roasted malts, subtle oakey spiciness and vanilla notes. Roasty and flavorfull. A nice all-around stout.

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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.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours an almost impenetrable black with a finger and a half of mocha head. Left no lacing.

S - The scent is pretty much consisted of light roasted malts and some chocolate far off in the distance. The oak comes through right away as well.

T - A bit of roasted malt and sweet dark fruit up front, soon followed by chocolate and oak.

M - Medium slightly creamy body with light carbonation.

O - Overall, This is a tasty, well-priced stout that accomplished it's goal. Perhaps slightly short of sessionable. I'd have again.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Picked this up in Totowa, having never tried this before. I expected this to have more body and booze to it but this turned out to be a relatively easygoing Stout compared to others that I've had in the past. There was a bit more depth in terms of the flavors but the body and carbonation were light and I was surprised at how easily this went down.

Of course, the pour was quite dark, with just a hint of dark garnet around the edges. A bit of cola in the nose with lots of oak and vanilla to the taste. There was a hint of bourbon underneath it too with a deep smokiness that almost made this feel like a Porter. It wasn't sticky like a Scotch Ale and the aftertaste didn't have any Peat in it but the smoothness of a cordial seemed to permeate the mouthfeel of this.

The alcohol was quite low in this for a Stout. I didn't notice at all during my session and even after I polished off the contents of my pint glass, I still couldn't feel or taste it at all. While this wasn't a bad beer, there are so many other American Stouts and Stouts in general that are better than this was. For a beginner, this would be a decent choice. For anyone else, this will probably be a slight disappointment in a field crowded with heavyweights in more than one sense of the word.

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Photo of Mitchster
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brewed with 7 different malts and 2 different hops, combined with vanilla beans and toasted oak chips. 5.2% ABV.

Pours out to a nearly black deep brown with dark mahogany accents, forming a modest cinnamon colored head with orange tints. Retention is good with average lacing. Carbonation is moderate. Aroma is very nice with pungent vanilla, roasted grains, distant fruity hops and subtle woodiness. Mouthfeel is surprisingly fleeting and medium bodied, not as dense as I was expecting. Taste starts with moderate floral hops, followed by vanilla, roasted grains with moderate roasted barley astringency. The vanilla lingers throughout the finish into the aftertaste. Bitterness is mild. Slight woodiness in the aftertaste.

Not really impressed with this one. It's good, but I've certainly had much better stouts. Lightweight for my tastes. Thanks again to Mike for sharing this with me.

Re-review 2/12/13-$11.59/6'er in Brighton. Now 6.1% , brewed with smoked and peated malts, "dry-hopped" with vanilla beans and oak chips and hopped with Willamette & Cascade per the website. Pours out to a clear, apparently filtered dark black, forming a modest dark brown head with average retention and good lacing. moderate carbonation, ~2.5 carbs. The nose is predominately burnt sugar, lots of black patent, a touch of smoke and potent vanilla. No hop character in the nose. The mouthfeel still feels thin to be, medium bodied but thin with a dry finish. Burnt sugar, ash, coal water, vanilla, no real oak flavor, finishing dry with smoke in the aftertaste. No real complexity, with a mild herbal bitterness.

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Photo of JClarson
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark tan head. Black in color with an amber tinge.

S- Smokey oak hits the nose then follows with chocolate and caramel candies.

T- Roasted/chocolate malt follows all the way through. Slight vanilla and oak at the finish.

M- Creamy with a lingering smokey aftertaste.

O- If you see this in the store pick it up and try it you won't be disappointed. The oak and vanilla dry hopping give this beer a unique taste that is not too overwhelming and doesn't take over your palate.

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

My first beer from Old Dominion!

Pours out black with very slight ruby highlights around the edge and only one finger of a light-tan head.

The aroma is roasty notes, chocolate and some earthy/grassy hop notes.

Just like in the aroma, the taste follows suit with the roasty malt notes, some chocolate, a very subtle touch of oak and a lot of grassy/earthy hop notes. It's fairly bitter and has a decently dry finish to it.

The mouthfeel is slightly creamy and the body is on the light side for a Stout.

This is a decent Stout, but nothing that blows me away. It has typical characteristics of a traditional Stout, but not much else going for it. Worth trying and not a bad beer, but nothing great either.

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Photo of cjoc83
2.63/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Bottled 11/15/12 and purchased for $9.99 at Wegmans in Downingtown, PA. Pours more like a light porter or a very dark brown ale into a tulip with an initial 3 finger, fluffy khaki head that doesn't stick around too long but leaves some slight webs of lace. Definitely appears more of a very deep, dark brown than stout black, with amber hues penetrating the edges of the glass when held up to the light.

Very subtle's hard to discern much more than some roasted malts, a little milk chocolate and some vanilla sweetness. No oak in the nose.

Unfortunately, the flavors don't pop too much in the mouth, either. Some roasted malts up front, followed by a little caramel and toffee, finishes with some sweet vanilla. This is drinking more like a brown ale than a stout, and I'm very curious as to why they call this an "oak barrel stout" when there is literally zero oak flavor. The flavors disappear almost as soon as they hit the tongue. Everything is very faint.

As if this wasn't disappointing enough already, the OBS really falls apart in the mouthfeel. Extremely light and watery with too much carbonation, almost soda-like. The only upside here is that this is easy drinking.

Everything about this beer is misleading...why it's called a stout when it drinks like an alcoholic soda; why they call it an "oak barrel" stout at that, when there's barley any stout flavor to begin with, and there certainly ain't any oak in this thing. Half-way through my second one and I don't know what the hell I'm gonna do with the rest of these things. Not bad enough to drain pour, but not something I really wanna drink, either.

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Photo of facundoCNB
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

poured a deep brown/black with 1/4" of tan head which dissipated quickly. smells of vanilla, oak, chocolate, and toasted grains. nutty in flavor with a hint of caramel, a subtle smokiness.. i don't taste any chocolate, coffee or the regular stout flavors. more really just wood flavors and pecans. medium body, low carbonation, watered down for the style. even for just being a stout it feels watered down. this isn't a terrible beer, but it seems like very little aging was done to this in barrels, and it seems like maybe they should've worked on their stout profile before bothering putting it in a barrel.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's black it has a tanned head, it's stout go figure.

The aroma just makes the mouth water
cocoa, caramel, petrol, charcoal YOU NEED TO SMELL THIS TO BELIVE IT!

Taste is deep and well rounded the vanilla is there dark flavours that only come out in the night burn't toast with lots of unsalted butter and a drop of port.

Good solid mouthfeel slightly over carbonated but hey it is easier to take fizz out than put it in .

Truly amazing ale.

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Photo of Rickythejeweler
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Dark brown-black, half finger khaki head, minimal lacing.

S - Tons of vanilla, followed by subtle/balanced coffee, brown sugar, smoke, and earthiness.

T - Vanilla beans shine through over hints of roasted malt, coffee, black patent malt, and sweet nuttiness.

M - Medium-light body, moderate carbonation.

O - Great beer for only $7.49/6pk, I don't like that they use the word " barrel" when it isn't actually aged in barrels.

Bottled on: 10/31/12

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Photo of schoolboy
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I am pretty sure this is just the second Dominion I've sampled. It looks great in the glass with an above average head. It's not quite opaque.

The brew smells only a little of its barrel aging, but the taste is nicely mellowed by this additional dimension. It has a nice well balanced nature - a fair amount of malt and hops flavor and that bit of barrel mellowing.

The aftertaste is mild and not too sweet. A very drinkable stout with character.

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Photo of cozmohollis
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The body is black with some dark reddish-brown color on the sides.
The head is thick and tan in color. And recedes to a creamy look.
The lace is only minor.

Smell: Scent of toffee, caramel, coffee, oak, and vanilla. A very pleasant smell.

Taste: Dark malts upfront that were roasted and crisp with a little bitterness to them.
In the middle was a sweetness that was balanced but complex. Notes of
chocolate, coffee, caramelized toffee, and vanilla that mix together
perfectly. Ends with a light roasted flavor that is smooth.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth and full body. In the middle it has an acidic crisp feeling when
all of the complex flavors mixes.

Overall: I love everything about this stout. My favorite thing is the complex flavors
and how smooth it is. A very interesting brew. One of my favorite stouts.

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Photo of Finn
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma: Earthy, slight vanilla, burnt coffee

Appearance: Deep dark, tiny bit wisp of lace on top

Flavor: Peaty, earthy malt with a little vanilla aftertaste, tobacco, cola, roasty black malt.

Mouthfeel: Almost medium, with fairly strong carbonation cutting through to thin out the feel

Overall: Pretty nice. Unique malt profile mingling with a touch of vanilla is nice. I didnt pick up much noticeable oak. The slightly thin body detracted overall, but a very nice beer.

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Photo of SlothB77
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a tap

A: black with a thin light brown head that lingers, but doesn't get in the way. Pours thinner than expected.

S: roasted chocolate and vanilla, cream, very subtle coffee

T: has a very smooth and creamy taste, very little bitters. Has that creamy sweetness. Tastes light. Very pleasant smoky oak aftertaste that dissipates quickly.

M: medium carbonation, medium-bodied, low acidity. Very little bitters, very smooth and dry. The taste doesn't last in your mouth that long, and that kind of just makes you want to drink more of it.

O: This beer has become a staple with me and my friends. Where I live, it is widely available and probably one of the best beers I know I will be able to find at most places. It seems everyone who I have try this beer loves it.

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Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 677 ratings.