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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.
very good

680 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 680
Hads: 1,430
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 12.5%
Wants: 75
Gots: 154 | 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.
View: Beers (32) | 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: 680 | Hads: 1,430
Photo of tectactoe
3.05/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this forever ago (just a tick), finally trying it again for a full review. Thanks to Jeff for the bottle. Like most stouts, deep-brown and black are the only colors to be found throughout the body; it's topped off with a thin tan skin - too weak to be called a "head", even after a fair aggressive pour. Carbonation issues, I wonder? I would expect a much frothier foam than this, especially at only 6.1% ABV.

Although the aroma isn't exactly off-putting or offensive in really any way, it's just kind of bland and mundane. It's carbon copied from the generic, basic "stout" profile and adds only a slight hint of oak. Dry cocoa beans, lightly sweet cream, tons of dry oak, and a touch of vanilla. I'll admit, the slight vanilla addition is nice, but everything is just so underwhelming and weak, that it's kind of hard for me to vibe on this.

A little more java and coffee beanery shows up on the palate, something that is certainly a welcomed accompaniment. Malts provide a light roast and a mild onset of cocoa in the periphery. Oak dryness plagues the background; much to my dismay, the vanilla is even more faint in the flavor than it was in the aroma. Just a dollop and nothing more; I feel it could benefit from a larger vanilla presence.

More roast and dry oak clog the aftertaste; the beer finishes in an uninspiring way and kind of leaves me wanting something more. The carbonation feels surprisingly lively, despite the egregious head formation from the start. Slick, oily and sharp mouth feel, although the body is much too thin for my liking, and especially for the style.

So apparently this beer used smoked and peated malts? I got pretty much no hint of smoke or meatiness here, unless you count the touch of oak throughout, but I'm sure that can be attributed to fermenting with oak chips. Overall, a basic and timid stout; kind of boring and uneventful, and while it's not "bad" by any means, it wasn't really enjoyable or tasty or different enough for me to seek out again.

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Photo of PeatReek
3.05/5  rDev -22.2%
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.

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Photo of ToAzwethinkweizm
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Date: 24 January 2011
Glass: Sierra Nevada XXX snifter
Type: 12fl oz bottle

Poured aggressively, only a brief 1-finger head, reduces to almost nothing, almost no lacing, caramel head and black in color. Aroma of smoked malt, no oak and vanilla as stated on the bottle....although I haven't gotten to tasting yet. More aroma of chocolate and dark malts. Taste of a little smoke, chocolate, roasted malts, no oak, and only slight vanilla when breathing out while tasting. Even at 5.2% ABV, the alcohol is noticeable....aaand that sucks. I would only recommend this beer as a dark beer option for a get-together or party or something. Otherwise, I would not seek out this beer.

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Photo of Seanibus
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A big Meh on this one.

Pours black with a late developing off white thick head. The aroma is a little malty but thin. The flavor is roasted with cinnamon and oak, with a liquorish burn. The finish is spicy and oaky, but thin. Deep caramel with some cream. The mouthfeel is creamy but tapers off too quickly.

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Photo of toti1972
2.98/5  rDev -24%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3

Dark colour, good smell to chocolate and some vanilla but not very strong, light bodied, light carbonation, and average stout, it's ok but I have tried better ones. Maybe I was expecting something more after reading the reviews, I don't think I'll have it again.

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Photo of oelergud
2.95/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Pure black in a bottle, light brown head with little retention and little lace.
Chocolate and vanilla very apparent in the nose along with some nice burnt coffee, very pleasant and enticing smell.
Burnt coffee, chocolate and vanilla taste with a decent hoppy after taste.
I was very disappointed when drinking this beer, much much too thin, almost watery thin mouthfeel, really bad when it's supposed to be a stout.
This beer looks and smells great, but thats about it, I dont think I'll buy this one again.


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Photo of AgentMunky
2.91/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a BrewDog cervoise glass. Bottled on (what looks like) 5 April 2011.

A: Tight, creamy, off-white/tan head. The beer is incredibly dark, and completely opaque. I feel comfortable calling it black; it's close enough to not make a difference. Head has good retention and leaves behind a tantalising lace.

S: Molasses. Touch of alcohol? Fruity coffee.

T/M: The mouthfeel is thin and quite watery; the taste is equally limp. Sweetish malts that merely hint at barrel ageing and a touch of creaminess that fades quickly are the only good things about this beer. The aftertaste is acceptable, if quite far from dry, with only a slight dark chocolate bitterness. Incredibly disappointing.

O: Not a good stout; at least this bottle wasn't. Barely a mediocre beer. I finished it, but I wouldn't have really cared if it disappeared. Drinkable, but why would you? Mouthfeel and a general weakness of character ruins any chance at more than a passable brew. Absolutely not recommended, though you could do much worse...I won't be having another.

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Photo of drseamus
2.88/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Classic dark black body. It could have used a little more head. The smell is wicked powerful. There is a ton of vanilla and a light malt presence. IMO the vanilla is too strong. It should complement the aroma, not dominate it. The flavor about half as strong as the aroma but the dominant flavor is sour. There are some dark malt flavors and an acidic aftertaste. The flavor is pretty thin and the mouthfeel is medium light. I was pretty excited about this beer initially but it is a bit of a let down.

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Photo of Geraurd
2.87/5  rDev -26.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

In high hopes for this beer died as soon as I poured it. The head was almost non-existent, had almost no aroma, and tasted very gland in general. Got better as it warmed up, but not at all the beer that it surely would like to be. I didn't detect even the slightest hint of the vanilla beans that were mentioned, and that was possibly the most interesting part of the description.

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Photo of Vierenner
2.8/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is very different from all of the other stouts I've tried ... in a not so good way. The flavors are very lively, perhaps because of the soda-like effervescence continuously arising to the top. But those flavors are not well balanced. I feel like this beer was an experiment in brewing and marketing an oak aged beer.

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Photo of biglite351
2.75/5  rDev -29.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A - very dark and appealing. Head stayed for a while.

S - very weak scent. Slight medicinal smell, but very weak.

T - roasted and I can taste the vanilla. The problem is the after taste and a tingle on the sides of the back of the tongue. Neither are a good thing. Off putting.

M - there is a tingle on thesides of the back of the tongue. It is not something that I find appealing.

D - pass.

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Photo of TPSReports
2.73/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A friend of mine served me a bottle of this brew this afternoon. I must say that I was not impressed.

The beer pour from the chilled bottle like cold coffee, with a similiar smell. The tall dark airy head that formed quickly went away.

The aroma was of chocolate and coffee with a hint of alcohol.

The first sip ws mainly coffee with a hint of chocolate -- and a very slight tint of alcohol. All remaining sips followed suit.

Mouthfeel was not impressive. I was expecting a more creamy feeling beer with a slight carbonation. Neither was present, unfortunately. I may as well have had coffee flavored tap water swishing around.

Oh, well. Nothing tasted, nothing tasted.

I would not recommend this beer.

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Photo of khargro2
2.73/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

12 oz bottle purchased at Jungle Jim's Eastgate in Cincinnati, OH.

Dark charred oak is a common theme of this beer in both appearance and taste. The smokiness of the beer greatly outweighed any other flavors. I did not enjoy it as much as most, but still respect what they were trying to do. The smokiness was prominent and the body was lacking.. Tasted like watered down vanilla beans with charred wood accents. Again, apparently I didn't enjoy it as much as others and I would prefer many other stouts.

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Photo of taylor714914
2.73/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

A- A deep dark brown with deep caramel hues. Poured with a good 2 fingers of head which hung around for a bit before dissipating to a thin layer.

S- Oak, lots of oak, and some vanilla.

T- Oak was pretty potent in this brew...a little overpowering. Roasted malts, vanilla, and even some faint espresso lingered in the background along with a hint of bitter chocolate.

M- Thin for the style. I had expected a little more thickness. A bit of carbonation in this brew, but overall I was unimpressed with the mouthfeel.

D- Not very drinkable in my opinion. Too much oak and a thinner than expected mouthfeel makes for a brew which, after one, is more than enough for me.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
2.73/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Bottle shared at drewone’s tasting.

Bottled on 1/27/12.

Pours a clear dark brown with a tan head that settles to an oily film on top of the beer. Small dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of roasted malt, vanilla bean, and slight cocoa. Taste is the same with a woody aftertaste. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with only a slightly crisp and thin bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty poor stout with some mediocre aromas and flavors and a bad mouthfeel.

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
2.71/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Nonic. Bottled on 100908. "Oak aged Stout fermented with vanilla beans."

Thanks to PerzentRizen for sending this bottle my way.

A - Clear on the pour, this one gets black in the glass. A bit effervescent, a toffee tan head pops up and fizzes for a bit before sinking to a ring and thin layer. Low lace on the sides.

S - The aroma starts with musty old dirty carpet and moves into low-presence roasted malts. I don't get oak or vanilla beans in the scent but there is this lingering nose of old garbage can juice that's bad but not as bad as it sounds. Probably too old.

T - The roasted malts are present here but they loose their robust punch from how dry it is and how much carbonation there is. A bit of unsweetened chocolate and a hint of vanilla poke in and out bit overall it's pretty one-dimensional.

M - It's far too carbonated for a stout, especially an oak aged one. It removes from the rich, creamy feel I believe it should have as well as taking away from the flavor. Too distracting. Medium-bodied and very dry in the finish.

D - It's not a terrible beer. I'm also trying to factor age in with this. Bland though and unexciting. It washes down fine. Nothing to write home about either way.

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Photo of siege06nd
2.67/5  rDev -31.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Laughably lame description of this on the bottle. Anyways...

A. Surprise, it pours black. Very black. With a half finger of light brown head. Lacing is pretty good and head is pretty tightly beaded. Looks really good.

S. Not much. Some mild vanilla and the tiniest hint of chocolate.

T. Some thin vanilla and chocolate. Lots of graininess. A weak sweetness is the dominant note. Seriously, Dominion?

M. Pretty highly carbed for style. Pretty flabby overall.

O. Singularly underwhelming in almost every way. This beer is thin, mostly flavorless, and is way too watery for a robust stout aged with vanilla and oak chips. I wasn't expecting much from Dominion, but I've definitely had better. Woof.

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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 nose...it'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 Rhettroactive
2.61/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

From 12oz bottle Bruges hybrid glass on 8/30/11
*From notes

A: Pretty decent color, as it's a bit more of a medium brown then the traditional rich brownish-black. A good pour yields a dissapointing .75 finger head which fades quickly and zero lacing.

S: A metallic rust is present and overwhelms the nostrils. It's not IN YOUR FACE extreme, yet it's all I really detect.

T: Simply too mild for me. It literally takes forever for this damn beer to evolve on the palate. The mid features a touch of vanilla extract and almond paste. Where's the oak here? I get the feeling they've used cheap, shredded wood or low quality beans. To put it bluntly: meh.

M: Thin and sharp. What's the deal - seriously? It's not like you can't make a low ABV stout without decent weight and oomph (reference: Evo's Rise Up! Stout).

O: Dominion's Oak Barrel Stout sounded like a great idea, then never really came together. Leave it to AB/InBev to dumb down what should've been an interesting and approachable low ABV stout.

*Oh, and for the record, moving DOMINION BREWING out of Virginia (the OLD DOMINION state), should require you to change the f-cking name.

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Photo of jojox
2.61/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

a - dark black, not the blackest of black though. Whispy head, beige.

s - Malty stout, not overwhelming. It's cold. Not much vanilla but we'll see. Some coffee.

t - Light, agressive mouthfeel, harsh flavors. Thin, not creamy or chewy. Low FG I think. Dissappointing. No oak flavors, not much of any flavors. If I gulp it I can get past some CO2 to taste a hint of vanilla. Overall, thin.

m - agressive carbonation and thin body = selzer-like afterfeel.

d - I didn't like it enough to reach for another. It's like the second runnings of a beer I want to try.

I don't understand how this can get an A-. I'm wondering if I got a bad bottle somehow, too much CO2, overattenuated? I have a six pack, if I try again and it's different I'll update.

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Photo of Hex92
2.33/5  rDev -40.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 1.5

The bartender said it had a hint of vanilla. It looked like a good beer. Nice color and head. BUT this was an overpowering flavor of vanilla. The tap handle said oak barrel stout, but it should have read vanilla flavored beer. Not good. I guess it would be appealing to women and those who love the vanilla, but when you put a beer to your lips and expect to taste beer and get this...Well lets just say I was not impressed. I wouldn't order this again.

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Photo of FirstMan
2.28/5  rDev -41.8%
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.


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.

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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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2.21/5  rDev -43.6%
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.

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Photo of hippiekinkster
2.06/5  rDev -47.4%
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 680 ratings.