1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

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.
View: Beers (32) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dominion Oak Barrel Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,338 | Reviews: 664 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DaveBlack
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This has been one of my favorite beers since moving to DC about a year ago, and I am just now getting around to do a proper review.

A: Dark brown pour, but looks almost black in the glass with a reddish brown tint at the edges. About 2 fingers of dark tan head that stays around for quite a while and leaves a solid curtain of lacing as it goes.

S: Malts, coffee, and vanilla. A rich roasty smell, and also fairly sweet. Exactly what a stout should smell like.

T: Very much vanilla and coffee, with a nice bitter component that really balances out the sweetness. Despite being called and oak barrel stout there isn't as much oak/smoke flavor as one might expect, but I don't hold that against it at all.

M: Not nearly as heavy as one might expect from the color and style. It is surprisingly medium bodied, not really sticky at all and with a nice amount of carbonation.

D: Very drinkable beer. Not too heavy that you can only drink one or two, but you'll know that you're drinking. I pay about $9.50 for a sixer and it's worth every penny. A go-to beer for me.

If you're looking for a hit-you-over-the-head stout, this isn't for you. The bitterness is balanced with sweetness, the vanilla complements the coffee, and the overall taste does not demolish the palate.

Photo of micromaniac129
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep rich looking brown stout with a dense thick head. Hard to tell as far as carbonation is concerned with the deep brown color.
Very malty in aroma,smelling also sweet with a nice sutle roastiness.
A smooth, rich complex flavor of sweet malt, oak pews and sutle vanilla undertones.
I'm not picking up a lot in way of hops.
Smooth and flavorful
Very drinkable in my opinion.

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours dark brown with a light brown head. Nose brings some lift notes of dark fruit and hints of vanilla. A bit of oak. Taste is malty with a light oak touch. Decent feel with some tannins. Pretty good but a bit plain for what it is.

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

Black with a moderate chocolate head.

Bourbon is the most predominate smell, followed by oak, and vanilla. These three smells overpower a hint of roasted malt.

Oak and vanilla at first, followed by sweetness and the warmth of the alcohol. Tons of flavor. Mouthfeel is thinner than expected compared to the strong aromas and complex flavor. I recommend to those who enjoy oak aged beers. Something different with the vanilla.

Good beer to relax in the evening after a long day. I don't think I would want to drink more than 2 in evening.

Photo of bayinghound
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had this on tap at the Nuclear Free Beer Festival. The aroma and even the taste brought early childhood memories back. There was a store on M St in Georgetown called the Georgetown Coffee and Tea Shop, that is what it reminded me of. I would go in there every Sunday after church and I always loved the smell. It was nice and balanced and finished like a good espresso.

Photo of FeDUBBELFIST
2.21/5  rDev -43.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Bottle to pint glass. Bottled 3/10/10. Five months old when reviewed.

A: Three fingers of a medium brown creamy/frothy head is long lasting. The body is the darkest brown possible if it isn't purely black and no light comes through. Only a spare amount of lacing finds it's way to the glass, which is to the detriment of the rating, especially given the style.

S: Less than impressive amount of malts. Dark chocolate first, coffee second, both medium roasty. No discernible hop or yeast contribution. Light hints of vanilla are only noticeable when the beer warms a bit.

T: There is a fruity component from the middle to the back end of the palate that I don't find particularly complimentary. Almost no trace of any vanilla or wood, the wood having a bigger impact on the mouthfeel. Tangy/sour notes throughout. Not what I'm looking for in an oak-aged, vanilla flavored stout. At all, really.

M: Somewhat similar to a dry stout. Starts out with a full body that thins out considerably as it passes over the tongue. Aggressively carbonated with a very dry, astringent finish.

D: No ABV is indicated on the label. My guess (while drinking) is that the Dominion Oak Barrel Stout lands somewhere in between 4.5-5.5% and Beer Advocate's listing confirms it. Hate to say it, but this beer is not very good.

[EDIT] Recently got to try one of the early vintages of this brew. It was very solid. What's produces nowadays...ehhh...not so much.

Photo of ptykozoon
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours obsidian, nice light brown head, decent lacing.

Smell is ripe fruit; cherries, raisin. Then the vanilla, a light espresso and hints of cocoa.

Taste is rich and colorful, nice amount of chocolate mixed with vanilla.

Mouthfeel is lighter than expected, as I wasn't aware of the 5.2 abv. Very solid for the alcohol content. There is an element of toned down wateriness, however this beer handles it well. Unusual dry and refreshing finish. Sticky guinness-like mouthfeel.

Drinkability is excellent given the alcohol. A standout brew, quite frankly I wish they distributed here.

Photo of Chaney
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My friend had a party this last weekend and got an entire keg of this stuff and left it at my house with plenty of beer left. Needless to say, this has been a great beer week!

A: Nearly pitch black with ever the slightest ruby notes when held up to the light. Nice fluffy carbonation and huge head (but some of that may just be the fact that it is being poured from a keg).

S: Bits of oak, chocolate notes, and tons of vanilla.

T: Nice, medium-bodied, chocolate and vanilla bean taste, with a hint of bitterness on the finish. Not too complex, but satisfying nonetheless.

M: No alcohol detected, the sweetness is more so than Guinness Draught, which I appreciate, and the creamy quality is quite enjoyable.

D: I have a lot of affection for this beer. Back two years ago when Dominion had their brewpub here in Northern Virginia (Ashburn) and before they were bought by Busch, I used to go all the time and order this one. The Oak Barrel Stout they served there on draft is a completely different beer than the bottled version. I once asked why that was and the guy told me that in the draft version, they used coffee beans, whereas the bottle one contains vanilla beans. They did this as a preservative. The coffee bean version on draft was easily an A- brew.

Before my friend finally picked up the keg to send it back, I poured another hit of this stuff into a growler. As a matter of fact, I poured it into my old Old Dominion Brewing Company growler from a very fine Brewpub that is no longer in existence...sad.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Found this beer for 10.99 a sixer at 3 Sons. Cheapest oak aged beer I ever found! Had this as my 3rd beer on a stout tasting night.

A - Pours a pitch black darkness with about an inch of head. Looks pretty rocking in

S - You get some chocolate, slight coffee, you can smell woody goodness, and then some malt. Doesn't smell too bad.

T - Man was I blown over with flavor! Starts off with a semi bittersweet coffee and then flows to oak barrel age wood (done very well to heighten the taste btw!) and then SWACK you get hit with a smooth vanilla bean taste that not only wraps it all up but leaves it with a sweet finish. COULD it get any better?

M - Surprisingly they got all this flavor and not a high ABV. Medium bodied and creamy.

D - Man where have you guys been all my life? I have been kicking around equally as cheap stouts and exposed to some that taste as good for double the price but I have no idea how they can just throw this at you with a 10.99 a sixer price tag! WILL be picking more up and WILL be having a few a sitting. In my opinion I fully agree with the bros "A" rating or greater all the way!

Photo of wisrarebeer
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the original Ashburn brewery. Decided to pick up a few when I heard they were closing.

Bottled: 040809

A: near opaque, deep rosey-black color, thick dense head
S: leather, roasted malt, faint treacle toffee, nice
T: a not in-your-face barrel stout but noticeable barrel aging, held up well for the lower ABV and 1.5 years in the bottle, burnt chocolate/licorice taste with nice hop balance that is not too bitter for its style, a bit thin but not too distracting, decent beer
M: nice, a bit thin
D: drinkable, well-made but doesn't have any outwardly incredible tastes that would have me wanting to drink more than two in one sitting

Photo of jhammel01
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into my standard pint glass. Good head retention as it sticks to the glass. Beer is pitch black, coffee colored head. Fluffy head w/ good lacing.

Milk chocolate nose, smooth smelling...if that makes sense. Roasted malt, Lots of smoke.

Heavy smoke in the beer's taste, definitely one of the smokiest I've ever had. Great heavy mouthfeel, good body. Smoke, Roasted barley, Chocolates. Hoppy backbone and clean finish.

Great beer!

Photo of ujsplace
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic.

Pours a one-finger thick foamy, tan head that disappears into a thin, whispy layer sitting atop a black colored brew with hints of ruby along the very edges. Descent lacing.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and oak.

Tastes initially of milk chocolate, followed by vanilla and there is definitely a woody flavor in there as well.

Incredibly smooth and creamy.

An excellent stout. Pick this one up if you see it...

Photo of jpmclaug
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Foothills flute-ish type glass. Got this as an extra from BigSexy410. Thanks!

A - Black body with a circle of light brown head resting on top

S - Standard dark malt aroma with a hint of sweetness. I think I am picking up on the aroma of the vanilla beans mentioned on the label.

T - Light roasted flavors, hints of vanilla and oak and a bit of a toasty type flavor. I dunno I was expecting something with more flavor so this is a bit of a let down.

M - real smooth creamy body with a light carbonation

D - pretty easy drinking stout. Not nearly as much flavor as I was expecting. While there are notes of vanilla and oak it seems to really just mellow the beer out more. It could certainly use a little more flavor. Still a beer worth trying and I wouldn't have a problem ordering one if I was out somewhere. That being said I don't see myself seeking this one out in the future.

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

A: A rich dark liquid poured fills the glass with a khaki colored cap of foam. Head is quick to recede but remaining microfoam is quite pleasing.

S: Molasses, melted candy bar, soot, caramelized sugar.

T: Some bitterness and weak oxidation come through with heavily burnt sugar, milk chocolate, vanilla and ash. !

M: Carbonation is a tad high body the body seems appropriate.

D: Not the worst stout but nothing I'd trample folk to get.

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

Poured from 12oz bottle into 16oz Samuel Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Appearance: Very dark black with some ruby-ish cola hints coming through on the bottom when the beer is near light. Medium-sized brown head dissipates quickly, leaving a ring of lace and a thin foam on top of the beer.

Smell: Roasted malts and molasses as expected, with a woody hint and notes of vanilla.

Taste: Begins with sweet molasses flavor and a vanilla note, finishing with more vanilla, roasted malt, and a slight woodiness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and very smooth with light carbonation. Finish is a bit sticky, but dries out.

Drinkability: This is a great stout, and probably my favorite stout overall. Definitely worth it, and this is very drinkable and sessionable.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
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.

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

Thanks to pwoody11 for this one, too! Bottled: 5-21-10.

A - Clear, very dark brown, almost black color with a short, long-lasting, tight mocha head. Little bit of legs on this one.

S - Dark bitter chocolate and a very slight coffee and vanilla aroma. Subtle dark fruits (raisins) and caramel.

F/M - Bitter baker's chocolate, coffee, vanilla (noticeable and not over-the-top). Caramel and light oak flavors come through as it warms. Medium-low bitterness. Medium-lite bodied, but creamy and smooth. A little bit too low in the body department, but still good. Medium-low carbonation. Slight warming in the belly, not in the throat.

D - Good drinkability for an oak-aged stout, smooth, clean and quite tasty. And in the case of this beer, the lighter mouthfeel helps it score a little higher in the drinkability department.

Photo of thatguy3579
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black and opaque with rich lingering dark tan head. Looks like a real brew.

S: Smells like sweet roasted coffee.

T: Tasty but perhaps a little conservative. Roasted malty sweetness, some vanilla, and a clear finish. Flavorful, but not intense or exceptional.

M: Rich and creamy, with low carbonation. Rolls around thickly in the mouth.

D: For a dark, tasty stout, this is very drinkable. This, of course, comes at a cost of flavor. A decent, but mild rendition.

Photo of MikeB20
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P: 12oz bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A: Black as can be with a nearly two finger dark tan head that doesn't hang around very long. Lacing is sparse but it sticks.

S: Dark roasted malt with some vanilla, caramel and wood. Very pleasing.

T: This beer has a lot more going on than the smell would lead you to believe. Lots of roasted malt with an awesome vanilla finish. Some wood or earthy tones and I'm getting some bourbon/whiskey although I thought it might be more pronouced. There seems to be a hint of smokiness in here as well. A bitter finish accented with the vanilla makes me want to take another sip. The vanilla comes through even more as the beer warms, I recommend letting this one sit out for a good 10 or 15 minutes before serving.

M: Smooth with lots of tiny bubbles in the carbonation which adds a refreshing quality to the beer. Not as heavy as some stouts can be but it still has some body. The body, like the vanilla, seems to become more pronounced as the beer warms.

D: A very drinkable and complex stout. Maybe it's the small distribution from Old Dominion but this is a beer that I would expect more people to be talking about, it's among the best stouts I've ever tasted. It's an easy beer to enjoy any time of the year.

Photo of streetcommander
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Very good stout. This is actually enjoyable from the bottle unlike Guiness which taste like feces from anywhere but the tap.

Pours dark opaque with a mild head. Disipated quickly and left only mild lacing. Perfectly carbonated. Its a stout that is well balanced enough to get even non beer drinkers to enjoy.

Photo of Cylinsier
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz.

Pours a deep black, let's a bit of brown light in around the edges, but otherwise opaque, slightly off-white head, good thickness but dissipates down to a film.

Smells slightly smoked and of dark sugar malts and toasted bread.

Tastes of the same toasted bread and malts.

Feels moderate, on the thinner side, with understated carbonation throughout.

Good, tasty, but I wish it had more bunch. The taste is great but I want more of it. Still a good stout and worth trying; more affordable than other stouts.

Photo of IronCitySteve
3.61/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Beer is a dark brown, with no light coming through. Looks like a darker version of root beer. Provides a small tan foam head, with zero lacing.

S: The scents become more prevalent as it warms. Mostly rich vanilla, oak, chocolate.

T: A good combination of vanilla and oak up front with some chocolate on the back end. Not too sweet.

M: A little thin. Leaves a creamy oak taste on the palate.

D: Easy to drink, certainly worthy of a taste. A low abv.

Photo of thetomG
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep dark brown pour with some nice tan head that dissipates quickly with very little lacing. Aroma is mild - mostly roasted malts. Flavor is a bit more interesting with some clear notes of vanilla in addition to the roasty flavors.

A bit thinner than I would prefer, but well carbonated and smooth.

I'd drink this one again, but not going out of my way to acquire more.

Photo of Axic10
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap in a 16oz pint glass.

Appearance: Dark almost mud-like color with a thick one inch mocha head.

Smell: Smokey, burnt coffee, roasted malts and deep dark chocolate.

Taste: Pretty much burnt/roasted malt and an woody/oaky aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but almost a little too thin for a stout.

Drinkability: Probably wouldn't search this one out again. It wasn't great, it wasn't bad, it was just ok. At a low abv, I can see it being a sessionable beer, but I personally wouldn't bother.

Photo of zoolzoo
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to nolsenwerd for the chance to try this

A: Dark brown/black, impressive khaki head.

S: Mostly roasted, maybe almost charred malts. A hint of oak and a tiny little sour note.

T: Full of flavor yet somewhat gentle on the palate. Chocolate was the first thing to come to my mind, followed by layers of roasted malt from the nose. The flavor profile of this beer has the overall impression of oak but presents no over powering barrel flavors. Not a hint of alcohol. A well rounded taste that is "good" in all aspects.

M: The heavier side of medium, slightly more carbed than some stouts. I would say feel matches taste wonderfully, high marks here.

D: Drinkability is excellent due low abv, balance, and general awesomeness. This is a stout to always have on hand.

I see some other reviewers are knocking this beer for showing restraint in some aspects. I feel like I should oppose...

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