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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

1,352 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,352
Reviews: 669
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.72%
Wants: 69
Gots: 114 | 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
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Ratings: 1,352 | Reviews: 669
Photo of aaronh
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As an update to my on-tap review - this beer really suffers in the bottle. Aromas are crushed and flat, flavor is simply better than average. Nothing spectacular in the bottle. I was very disappointed when I bought some of this. Drink it on tap - the bottle doesn't do it justice.

Photo of droomyster
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown with a small tan head. Smells are big on the vanilla element, with a strong coffee roastiness. Taste is big on burnt wood and vanilla, with a chocolate truffle bittersweetness that is delectable. Body is too thin for my taste but overall this one tasty beer.

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

Lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours out almost black with a ½" dark tan head that begins to recede immediately. As the foam recedes from the first sip it leaves on the glass a partial ring and some leggy patches of lacing. Soon the foam has receded to a small ring and a thin layer of foam with a few patches here and there. By the end of the beer there is still some patching but sparse lacing.

Smell: The first reaction is that the aroma is only vanilla from the beans and chocolate from the malts. Since I don't find any hints of bourbon here I think the goal is to use just the vanilla, the hints of woodiness from the oak to simulate bourbon barrel aging. There are hints of dark chocolate, molasses and faint coffee from the malts. While the aroma is not strong, it is present and unobtrusive.

Taste: The flavor is full and reasonably complex, with some vanilla and chocolate, some dark roast, but not burnt, malt providing dark chocolate and the flavor of dark roast coffee. Nothing really dominates the flavor on this one except some nice sweet vanilla character to round it out and soften it a bit.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to full-bodied with minimal carbonation. The moderate length dry almost astringent finish seems to come from the oak chips rather than the hops.

Drinkability: While there are other stouts I prefer this is a pleasant enough stout to have again sometime and I certainly could see spending an evening with good friends, good conversation, and a few of these.

Photo of zplug123
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a beer mug:

A: Black as oil, with a strong tan head that disappears into a ring of lacing. No light escapes from one side to the other.

S: Complex roasted characteristic, with dark chocolate tinge and vanilla after note.

T: Malty beer with notable oak tone, even bitterness throughout the taste. Sweet (vanilla?) end

M: Moderate-bodied but smooth, clean aftertaste. Could be mistaken for a porter, as it goes down easy.

D: On a cold autumn day, nothing warms up better than a good stout. Went through two bottles in a night and that was just the right amount.

Photo of mtstatebeer
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle served in a tumbler glass. Pours a completely opaque black with about a finger of frothy light brown head that diminishes to a line around the top of the beer. Aroma is roasted malts, chocolate, a hint of vanilla and wood. Flavor is what makes this one, roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, and bitterness from the oak aging. Mouthfeel is on the higher side of medium, creamy, with a bitter finish that sticks around for a while. Good beer, lots of good flavors, very drinkable.

Photo of drabmuh
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on draft at the Old Dominion pub in Hyattsville, MD. Beer is dark, brownish black. Thin head, brown bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Head falls away rather quickly. Can't really comment on the carbonation levels, hard to see in such a dark beer.

Smells like roast, a lot like a porter. Beer is smooth to drink. Sweetish on the front end and finishes with some roast / bitterness from the grains. No hop bitterness or aroma at all. Cookie cutter stout. Not disagreeable.

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

Deep dark black in color with nice khaki head, fades quickly but good lacing. Smell is of chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar and oak. Faint hints of coffee. Taste is more pronounced with vanilla extract, sweet brown sugar, oak and dark chocolate with coffee hints trailing. Silky smooth with a little aftertaste. Very good stout, but the vanilla begins to take over and can appear to be artificial.

Photo of TheFightfan1
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours an almost opague black some lighted areas of ruby coloring.Thick creamy caramel colored heading.No lacing or legs at all and kind of flat looking.

Smell is heavily in favor of roasted malt followed by bitter sweet chocolate. Slightest of vanilla on the backend.

Taste of oakness hits you all at once at first. Followed by a very smooth dark chocolatey maltiness.Vanilla comes toward the end to add some creaminess and sweetness. Also there is a slight tasting of bitter hoppiness in the end.

Mouth is a little flat no real pop of retention. But it is ridiculously smooth and velvety in texture. Making this a little too smooth for school.

Easily drinkable and for sure a new handy beverage to have around the house.

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

Appearance - Pours a deep, dark brown with a thin head and leaves no lacing.
Smell - Roasted malts, vanilla and oak. The oak gives off an impression of bourbon.
Taste - Similar to the nose; chocolaty, roasted malts followed by vanilla and oak.
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, especially for a stout, with moderate to low carbonation and a dry finish.
Drinkability - Relatively easy drinking stout.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an imperial pint. Thanks to alen for this extra from our recent trade!

A: Pours a very dark cola brown/black with only a hint of lightening at the edges. Capping this is a dark khaki colored head that quickly fell off to a creamy skim with some whisps of skim. No lace.

S: Aromas of fresh vanilla bean, roasted malt, cocoa, dark fruit, and new oak.

T: Vanilla and roasted malt lead the way with some supporting help from cocoa, fresh oak, mild citrus, and some caramel and/or toffee and fudge in the finish.

M: Starts sweet and smooth but gradually takes on a drier, bitter edge as the middle progresses to the finish. Finish is pretty long with a touch of pepper.

D: A nice, sessionable stout that offers a little more to keep things interesting.

Photo of kirchnak
4.48/5  rDev +14%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Had it on tap at Dulles airport in DC at the Old Dominion pub next to gate B14. Pours beautifully with a nice head. Slight sweetness with hints of vanilla and even a little chocolate. It is not overly bitter which makes it very easy to drink. It may be a little to sweet for some, but I am a big fan.

Photo of devilben02
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Truth be told, I want to dislike this beer. Old Dominion used to be a great example of local craft beer culture with the brewery and attached brew pub strangely located in a commercial park and an annual beer festival that was always a fun afternoon on the lawn enjoying a variety of regional and nationally-distributed selections. All of this seemed to change when the brewery was bought out by a bigger fish in the brewing world. The beer fest ended, the brewpub closed, but at least Dominion's core varieties can be found in more markets, right?

All of that being said, this is still a respectable stout. The deep, dark brown color lets you know that some heavily roasted malts are in this selection. The aroma presents this dark malt sweetness with a hint of vanilla. The vanilla flavor is even more pronounced in the taste, seeming almost overly sweet and almost artificial at times. It is lightly carbonated and has an overall smooth mouthfeel. Despite my acknowledged bias, I have to admit that this is a decent stout that would be a nice (albeit unspectacular) addition to any beer-drinking session if only for the interesting balance of bittersweet dark malts and added vanilla and oak flavors.

Photo of Daniellobo
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A pleasant stout with a faint vanilla/oak touch.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle. Revised label design leaning on a more contemporary legibility with a tree, barrel and buck within. Short description of the brew on the bottom part of the label and a perfunctory repetition of the same on the back. Lacks bottling date or freshness, neither shows IBUs or °Plato, or Alc. by Vol. Poured into a jar.

A - Dark brown with a hint of transparency towards the margins. 1/4 inch head that fades leaving thin layer and minimal lacing.

S - Roaster malts with a touch of vanilla. Not very fragrant.

T - Sweet malt with notes of chocolate and coffee. Minimal oak feel.

M - Quite carbonated giving it a light bubbly feel to an otherwise decent smoothness.

D - Not too complicated or sturdy a stout , it goes down well without many complications or memorable notes.

Notes: It is a nice and reliable stout. But neither the oak nor the vanilla beans are present in a very memorable manner. They are there subtly adding a hint to a bit of a thin stout for my linking.

Photo of thekanna
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Nice tar black color with a very thin tan head even after a turbulent pour.

S: Roasted malts, some smokiness, and faint vanilla beans. Gives off the general aroma of old wooden furniture, or an antique barn, full of age and complexity.

T: Good balance of roasted malts, oak, and espresso. There is some cacao powder-like bitterness to round out the end, with just a hint of phenols reminiscent of good scotch.

M: Medium, almost slightly too thin body. Would have liked more heaviness in the mouthfeel to complement the gravity and complexity of the oaky taste.

D: Nice to sip and admire the woody notes.

Photo of montageman
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass.

Bought a 6 pack of this in Outer Banks, NC. Big vanilla/oak aromoa hits the nose right off the bat. This stout doesn't mess around. Coffee, vanilla, brown sugar, & chocolate make appearances in the taste. Quite complex & accessible. Mouthfeel is a touch watery, but other than that - this is a very tasty brew. Recommended.

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

I was able to grab a fresh pint of oak Barrel Stout at Stephanie's In Doylestown, PA around 8/9/2009.

It wasn't the most properly lit bar in PA, but from what I could see when I held this beer up to the light, it was a solid coal black colored beer. There were no highlights along the sides. It was just pure blackness. Sitting on top of this black beer was a creamy 1 1/2 inch mocha colored head of foam. It had great retention that left behind a few mocha blots of lace and a tiny skim of foam.

This beer had a nice roasted and slightly sweet aroma. The one aroma that stood out had to be the bitter dark chocolate. Behind the dark chocolate was some dark roasted malts, a pinch of of roasted coffee, a subtle whiff of bourbon and charred oak, and a drop of sweet vanilla.

The taste was pretty much the same as the aroma. It was roasted and slightly dry with dark roasted malts, dark chocolate, bourbon, charred oak, roasted coffee beans, and just a subtle pinch of sweet vanilla. The two biggest flavors in this beer had to be the dark chocolate and the bourbon. Toward the bottom of the glass, the dark chocolate and bourbon combined their powers to create a sweet alcohol flavor.

This was a medium bodied Stout with a decent level of carbonation and a dry aftertaste of dark chocolate, roasted malts, charred oak, and touch of bourbon.

For some reason, I've always wanted to try this beer and after I've tried this beer on tap, I know why. It was an easy drinking Stout that wasn't all that heavy with bourbon and oak. If I saw this in a bottle shop, I'd probably buy one or two bottles.

Photo of Thur123
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle into pint

The color almost opaque with a hint of ruby where the light gets through. A little bit of brown head with no retension but I may have spoiled that by droping when i was trading it.

The smell contain alot of vanilla bean and some oak. Less roasted malts and that toast smell then many stouts.

glug glug glug

Rich and think. Hits first with the roasted malts and the vanilla bean, which is perfectly balanced. Finishes with the oaky taste which isnt too strong.

Think and kind of still. good rich texture.

This might be my favorite stout now. The addition of vanilla and the oak add something special which I think would improve many stouts.

Photo of Oxymoron
3.59/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Kind of odd to have a lower ABV beer aged in oak but cool. Pours a midnight black color with ruby red hues around the edge of the glass. A bubbly tan head with limited retention but ok lacing. Both not lasting through the full tasting.

The nose is a nice mix between malt and oak. There is a specific roast and black malt aroma that is distinct. Some lactic notes as well with a hint of alcohol but I think that is coming through the wood aged side. A vanilla and bourbon note with a hint of lactic on the back end. Some noticeable esters, sugar plums and figs specifically. Some yeasty notes are a bit off setting but they are minor.

The taste is not as complex as the nose. The malt backs off with some roast and more of a chocolate note than black patent. Some minor astringency but would like more. The lactic comes out more with a acidic blend more than oatmeal. The oak comes out more and really plays center staff. More of a oaky flavor with vanilla notes and limited bourbon notes. The yeast notes really come out as well as a sugary plum note.

The body is more on par with moderate. Finishes a bit dry, would like some more depth at the end. Carbonation is light but that is ok. Overall a great nose but the taste falls off. Would like more complexity that would linger into the finish. The lactic and esters are off setting, but the wood notes are really nice.

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

12oz bottle into nonic. Second review, previous was on-tap at brewery.

Pitch black with a light brown one finger head that slowly settles to a thin even cap. Little spots and strings of lacing coat the glass.

A light smokiness met with a bit of creaminess. Some roasty characteristics are in there as well. Some sweet milk chocolate is in the foreground.

The malts give off a strong burnt flavor, but are met with some contrasting bittersweet chocolate. Some more liquid smoke is in the background. Full bodied. Creamy overtones are there throughout. The bitter malts linger for a little bit after each sip.

I liked this beer but out of the bottle (most likely very fresh), this is a fantastic stout. If the brewpub was still around I would most likely order this every time it was available. It looks like the beers haven't gone downhill after being shifted to a new brewing location. Recommended.

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

Poured from a 2 year old (maybe a bit longer) aged bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: A dark brown color with almost no head. A slight light brown ring at the top of the glass is all I got. No glass lacing.

S: Dark roasted malts with hints of coffee, chocolate and some burnt flavors.

T: Dark roasted malts with flavors of coffee, smoke, a bit of chocolate and some faint wood. A mild sweetness balances but this is not very complex. No hop traces and finish is smooth.

M: Thin for sure, not much carbonation. Creamy though, but not a lot of body.

D: Fairly high. The low complexity and low abv makes them drinkable.

Overall not a great stout as it left me wanting more. After having a Founders Breakfast 2 days ago, this one just doesn't measure up. Sad.

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

On tap at Old Dominion at the Washington DC airport on 7/8/09.

A - Charcoal black body with burgundy highlights and about half a finger of creamy tan head that receded to a wispy film and yielded moderate lacing around the glass.

S - Woody and nutty with subtle smokey notes and some charcoal. Hops are earthy and leafy. Malt also takes on quite a roasty character with coffee and, to a lesser degree, chocolate.

T - Heavy on the roast with a dominant coffee character and also plenty of earthy and oaky notes, as well as a slight licorice presence. Decent amount of bitterness in the backend. Some chocolate flavor comes out in the finish and is accompanied by some oaky astringency.

M - Medium bodied with a watery texture and just a slight oily mouthfeel. Carbonation is soft to moderate on the palate. Finish is dry and somewhat astringent with a mild lingering bitterness.

D - Pretty complex stout with a dominant roasty character, plenty of oak/woody notes, and some other subtle intricacies, resulting in a flavorful brew overall.

Photo of DookDrinkyCrow
4.77/5  rDev +21.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark Amber pour, virtually non-transparent, as a stout should be

Smell: Sweet, Malty, Oak Barrel

Taste: Roasted Malt character, then slowly melts away with a sweet buttery vanilla finish

Mouthfeel: Smooth

Drinkability: Good drinkability, however it can fill you up fast

Photo of Reagan1984
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottles on 03/06/09

Light tan head about a finger and a half forms then quickly fades. Beer is the color of dark rot beer, perhaps even darker.

Aroma is of dark roasted malt, some smoke

Flavor is decidedly of charcoal, some dark roast coffee and then some real wood at the end. Finishes quite dry. Not getting much vanilla, perhaps melding with the wood a little.

Mouth feel & body are too light for the style in my mind and take away from the beer a bit. The charcoal flavor and mouth feel almost come across as powdery in your mouth.

Not among the best stouts I've had and a bit disappointing for an oak aged vanilla stout.

Photo of atsprings
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint-glass an almost opaque black with some ruby highlights when held to light. The aroma is a slight amount of oak and roasted malts. The taste is a nice smooth oaked roasted malts with hints of cocoa and fresh ground coffee. The beer is quite light and smooth with decent carbonation, the lightness making the oakiness all that more noticeable. This is certainly an enjoyable beer.

Photo of hippiekinkster
2.06/5  rDev -47.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I must have a seriously off bottle, because I just can not get into this, and I'm not hard to please. The predominant flavor of this bottle is scorched French Roast coffee. There's little carbonation, the mouthfeel is thin, and there's little nose to speak of.

It simply HAS to be an off bottle, because I can't see my tastes being so contrary to others' experiences, when I agree almost always on other reviews.

F (for FAILED)(note: I'm not prone to grade inflation, as in: "This beer really sucked, it was thin, watery, with no character. A minus)

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Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,352 ratings.