Dismiss Notice
Get 12 monthly issues of BeerAdvocate magazine and save $5 when you select "auto-renew."

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join our email list →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.

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

685 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 685
Hads: 1,452
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 18.37%
Wants: 77
Gots: 168 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company
Delaware, United States | website

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.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dominion Oak Barrel Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 685 | Hads: 1,452
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.

 713 characters

Photo of jmalex
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

 967 characters

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.

 426 characters

Photo of ATPete
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

bottling date of 08-19-08

Pours an opaque dark brown, almost black in color with a monster, loosely knit brown head leaving some soapy sticking on the glass. Monster head? Barrel aged? Oh wait a minute, only oak chips were used... There is a much larger citrusy hop profile in the nose that i had expected, faint notes of caramel malt and roasted chocolate. Light in body, hardly any chew going on, simple roasted chocolate malts and some hints at roasted coffee beans. The carbonation is insane, the way over-the-top carbonation hurts its body and mouth-feel. Subtle notes of vanilla, sweet wet wood and lemony sourness on the finish. This one was a disappointment. Maybe put the beer in a barrel next time?

 722 characters

Photo of ColForbinBC
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

An oily ink black body sits beneath a small, less than one-finger brown cap. The head rose and fell quickly, leaving no lace behind whatsoever. The nose is fairly tame. Mild roast and vanilla beans with some american oak tannins cutting through. Dark fruits and some cocoa powder rounding out the aroma. The flavor profile mimics the nose. Tame, mild roast that never really approaches bold or robust. Vanilla bean sweetness peeks out in the finish, accompanied by dry, toasted oak. On the lighter side of medium, watery in spots. The oak and vanilla beans are the real bright spots here, but this guy just lacks some body.

 658 characters

Photo of MuddyFeet
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Kind of an over-all flat experience for a beer. Poured very black in color. Held it up to the light and could not any flicker to appear through the beer. There was absolutely no head, and I tried to get one with two bottle. The aroma came across as burnt malts. Dark chocolate and smokiness was very present in the flavor. Vanilla too. The mouthfeel is very heavy and filling. Very dense. Drank it with some chocolate fondue and it was a decent complement. While still drinkable, it is not particularly jumping across to me as "GREAT!!!" but still worth giving a shot.

Late addition: Got a great head with the third bottle and it was starting to grow on me too.

 664 characters

Photo of farrago
3.27/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aggressive pour gets you about a finger's worth of brown head, loose, semi-dilute foam gone lickety-split, gauzy sheets of lacing slowly slide down the glass. Onyx black liquid, nary a trace of color to be found. Vanilla certainly there in the nose, fudge-like, milk chocolate, coffee ice cream, minor touch of grains and baking dough, lacks the second tier of scents to display full expressivity. Medium-bodied, comes across as too dry and fluffy to make a direct impression, the carbonation gives it a soft and feathered texture. The dryness highlights the coffee bean to espresso and darkens the chocolate flavors, nuttier and higher overall roast. The vanilla more powdered here but maintains a strong presence. No true calling card offered by the hops. Never fully soaks into the tongue, however, lingers as a whole. Wonder where the beef is here.

 852 characters

Photo of stxSS07
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a tulip.

A- Pours black with a 2 finger, tight, khaki-colored head. Leaves sticky lacing.

S- Pretty faint. Oak notes mixing with some faint roasted/chocolate notes. Maybe some sweetness in there as well.

T- Follows the nose with woodiness up front, roasted notes, and finishes with some sweet sugary vanilla. Fairly straightforward, but tasty.

M- Really thin for a stout with crazy high carbonation. Not very solid here.

O- One of the more dynamic tasting regular "stouts" I've had. The vanilla and oak definitely add another dimension, but this brew is a little weak overall.

 598 characters

Photo of xnicknj
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into snifter - thanks to brees6221

Pours an opaque black with a nice tuft of graham cracker brown head. Fades into thick film with some patchy lacing on the glass.

Somewhat muted in the nose, lighter roasted malts, vanilla and oak with some chocolate sweetness and faint hops.

Some hop bitterness right up front, followed by some roasted dark malts. Bittersweet dark chocolates integrated with rawer vanilla bean flavor and underlying coffee. Oak somewhat smooths out the profile, adding some earthy tones. Finishes with hop bitterness and chocolate.

Fuller medium body, high carbonation, a bit dry and tingly on the tongue, which I usually don't prefer for this style. This drinks okay, the alcohol is a bit lower which was nice, but not really what I'm looking for from an oak aged vanilla bean stout.

 829 characters

Photo of tbeckett
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap at Dulles Airport. From notes.

A - Black pour with one finger of creamy tan head. Good carbonation coming up. Spotty lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Cola, sugar, sweet dark malt, some chocolate.

T - Roast, chocolate, sweet mostly. Not too much going on.

M - Very smooth, mild carbonation, medium body. Nice.

O/D - Fairly drinkable. Not sure where the smoke or barrel are, but it wasn't too bad. Scored lower because it lacks what it advertises.

 474 characters

Photo of RobertColianni
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. poured into Duvel Eley Tulip

A: Jet black with one inch head. Looks like a brown ale under light. Heavy lacing left behind. Atypical khaki head.

S: Fresh hop aroma. Not much more. Seems to be packed with tons of fresh hops.

T: Freshly dry-hopped, little bitterness with a slight vanilla bean tingle. Vanilla beans, once scraped, offer miniature balls of caramelized sour-sugar. That, coupled with what seems to be a dry-hopping, really adds a nice stimulant to the tongue.

M: Very thin with aforementioned tingle.

OVERALL: I like it, but the viscosity isn't textbook. It's too thin for me. Packed with subtle hints of flavors that say "this is our recipe," this is a refreshing spin example of "let's not overdue it." Worth trying, maybe not in for a sixer, though.

NOTE: Live review.

 796 characters

Photo of Axic10
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
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.

 506 characters

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.

 705 characters

Photo of Crosling
3.22/5  rDev -17.9%
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.

 326 characters

Photo of TheHopHeadGirl
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Label says dry hopped with vanilla but all I taste is smokey beer that is as dark as a Guiness. It has a boring label that's cream in color with a brown botlle. If you are into a smokey sharp stout this is a great beer for you. This is smokey whiskey and water.

 261 characters

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
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.

 328 characters

Photo of tjkinate
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to THECPJ for this one.

A: 2+ finger head that displayed decent retention with an appearance somewhere between creamy and soapy. Some lacing was seen atop this black bodied brew.

S: Oak is evident, some vanilla, with hints of dark chocolate malts. Subtle yet pleasant.

T: Subtle like the smell, but less impressive. Oak and vanilla barely make a showing and do little to elevate the tasting.

M: Fairly dry and thin for the variety.

O: Meh.

 452 characters

Photo of dogfooddog
3.17/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

 498 characters

Photo of MbpBugeye
3.16/5  rDev -19.4%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 4

Bottled on 9/07/10

The pour doesnt look too dark. It gathers pretty black though. The head is small but nice while it lasts. A couple rings of lacing are left behind. The smell is nice, but kinda toned down. Its pretty damn woody with a sweet kick of vanilla and brown sugar. The flavor falls kinda flat. Its missing a big velvety richness. Theres just a thin vanilla taste with an oaky finish with a Dr. Pepper flavor somewhere in between. The body is extremely too thin. It really ruins any chances this beer has at being smooth and creamy. The body isnt even enough to give the sharp carbonation something to struggle through. It has a very prickly feeling. A very dry finish is very abrupt. In all this beer is pretty drinkable. I wont have a problem finishing it, especially at this 5.2% ABV. It just leaves me wanting much more.

 836 characters

Photo of ajaxivan
3.14/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

10-5-2010 bottling date poured into pint glass

A: Decent black color but after pouring vigorously no head to speak of.

S: Hints of vanilla and oak. Maybe some dark fruit

T: Im getting a decent amount of vanilla, just enough i would say. Thats about it unfortunately

M: Thin to medium, not smooth at all

D: By no means complex , still not bad if your looking for a easy drinker. Good price point for what you get i think. Not my favorite but wouldnt turn one down if offered, i left wanting a little more.

 509 characters

Photo of SilentSabre
3.14/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Not bad. Poured nearly black with dark red around the very edges. Sandy coloured foamy head faded away in less than 15 seconds. Looked fairly average for the style.
Smell was quite lovely consisting of sweet coffee, English toffee, sawn old wood, and a hint of vanilla. Smells absolutely delicious!
Sadly, I found almost none of this in the flavour. Rather, an average stout with some dry roasted malty notes up front and throughout, nearly bereft of hop bitterness. The taste of a thousand other stouts, basically.
Mouthfeel was surprisingly thin for the style. You could do much worse, but I had such high expectations for this being a stout and having had oak chips and vanilla beans "marinating" in it. I'll definitely drink the other five, but I won't be rushing out to spen another $7,99 on another six.

 814 characters

Photo of BlackJeremiah
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A: Really dark, still-looking, with little bubbling and no capping. A rich brown. Aeration gives a very temporary coffee-colored head.

S: Oak, vanilla, light coffee are all present. Slight roasty aromas linger about without asserting themselves overmuch.

T: Hershey's Dark Chocolate and vanilla extract. Oaky flavors are not as present as I expected. Roastiness reigns around the middle, as much as anything can dominate in this very mild beer. Coffee/espresso visits briefly, then leaves. Interesting flavors, but light, and not in an oak-aged way. Given that it was only oak chips that were used rather than aging in a oak barrel, I wonder if the lightness and mellowness is supposed to convey a faux-aged sensibility.

M: Mild, almost weak or watery. Does not have stout presence at all; feels like flat cola, if anything. Really a disappointment from a local brewery.

D: One of the only stouts I could describe as light and refreshing. You could easily drink this in summer--in fact, better than in winter. Not so much stout, as slightly husky.

 1,106 characters

Photo of mikesgroove
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
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

 723 characters

Photo of aforbes10
3.12/5  rDev -20.4%
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.

 996 characters

Photo of jimbomill
3.1/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

The appearance inspired hope - dark brown to blackish, true to style.
The nose offered hints of vanilla it seemed, pleasing for sure.
Taste was a bit average, almost a let down compared to the appearance and smell. The hint of vanilla and oak did not distinguish itself.
Mouthfeel was akin to the taste - thin. I'd have scored it lower, but there was an upturn in the finish as i noted some taste at the end.
Drinkability for me on this one is tarnished by the thin mouthfeel, I'd not want more than one of these as there isn't enough in it to make it more than a starter effort.

 580 characters

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 685 ratings.