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Dominion Oak Barrel Stout - Old Dominion Brewing Company

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Dominion Oak Barrel StoutDominion Oak Barrel Stout

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BA SCORE
88
very good

1,352 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,352
Reviews: 670
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.72%
Wants: 69
Gots: 113 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,352 | Reviews: 670
Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting brew in that it has the complex mix of flavors of a "big" beer... but isn’t. Pours with a syrupy smell of vanilla and a bit of maple. When in the glass, there’s a brown spongy head over a ruby to black body. Taste is of a dry stout, but well mellowed with a trace of smoke and coffee. Vanilla is in just the right proportion to be a "part" of the beer instead of making it a "flavored" beer, if you get my meaning. Very light oakiness helps smooth out the brew, too.

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of TheBrewo
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

We pour a brew of molasses brown into our Great Lakes pints, letting up a shade or two of lighter brown when scrutinized under direct light. It holds a sturdy two finger head of creamy mocha colored bubbles, showing excellent retention. Chunky cheesecloth lacing is left around the glasses. No haze or sediment is appreciated, but carbonation appears to be active. The aroma warms the nostrils with notes of chalky chocolate nibs, roasty chocolate and smoked maltiness, salted black malts, soft peat harshness, nickel, wet oak, moss and lightly grassy hops, fresh vanilla bean, buttery diacetyls, light booziness, dark cherry fruitiness, light plastics, white flour, stale leathers, and lactic and cranberry acidity. Our first impression is that the flavoring is greatly smoky, holding firm darkness through to the end of the sip. As we sip, the taste opens with smoldering charcoal, peat, cedar, oily strawberry fruitiness, biting lactic sourness, fresh vanilla smoothness, hot aluminum, grassy hops, corn flour, white sugar, molasses smacks, lime juiciness, and lavender florals. The middle peaks with cocoa powder and heavy chocolate malts, soy sauce salts, adhesive paper, continued smoked meatiness, medicinal bitters, mild floral hops, bitter oaky woodiness, black cherry juiciness, and iodinated soap. Washing through the finish is your final blend of chocolate and bitter coffee malts, harsh roast and smoke, vanilla bean sweetness, fusel booziness, mineral water, further bittering medicinals, singed oak, and black malty dilution. The aftertaste breathes of tin and aluminum foil, acorns, ancient perfume, musk, oily diacetyls, moss-slick tree trunk, salted butter, milk chocolate, board chalk, pretzel dough, chocolate and white flour graininess, toffee sugars, and charcoal. The body is lightly medium, and the carbonation is the same. Each sip floats light on the lips, with nice slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop, which all brush rather than slam. The mouth is left cooled and wetly coated, with eventual chalky astringency to dry the hard palate. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, the most enjoyable thing about this beer was its robustness of flavor. This remained true, even though they kept the body and the feel so light and easily flowing. While the flavor was there, in its meaty, peaty smokiness, the aroma fell a bit flat. We missed a lot of those heavy, oaky butters that you’ve come to expect in any oaked/barreled beer these days. That said, this guy does its style a bit of justice, as pleasant “single” stouts are becoming scarce. This beer will hit the spot if you’re in the mood for cleanly executed simplicity, but it likely will not become your new favorite. As always, as this is a new brewery to us, we remain excited to see what else Dominion has got in their arsenal.

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/31/2012. Pours a fairly pitch black color with a 1 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big caramel, milk chocolate, vanilla, toffee, roasted malt, oak, toast, light coffee, and light smoke. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, oak, smoke, roasted malt, toast, toffee, and light smoked ham. Slight roasty bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, oak, toast, toffee, and smoke on the finish for a bit. Very nice flavor balance and robustness; very pronounced but balanced oak flavor; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. It feels a touch on the thin side, but it’s not detrimental. Alcohol is very well hidden with almost zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice oak aged stout. Nice amount of robust flavors for a 6% beer with a nice balanced smoke complexity; and extremely smooth to drink as expected. A very enjoyable offering.

Photo of bonkers
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my SA pint glass. Jet black in color with a 2 finger white head that does not stick around long. Vanilla and oak are the dominat scents. The taste follows the nose, the finish is dry and crisp. The beer is too light in body, otherwise a pretty good stout.

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 guild337
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have had this beer multiple times over the years, especially after moving back to Virginia 3 years ago. But this is the first time since AB (Coastal) bought out Dominion. But I was aware of the purchase, and expected to see that my keg was indeed a AB branded one. None the less, my experience was an overall pleasant one.

A - Deep and dark brown, with a slightly redish brown lovely head (once I got the CO2 pressure correct).

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, and hints of the vanilla bean. A tiny bit of earthiness.

T - A very nicely ballanced stout. It was on-tap in my kegorator for a Halloween party and the diverse crowd really seemed to like it. I enjoyed the subtle coffee and vanilla flavors.

M - A little syrupy and thick, but not unpleasant. And it was great on a crisp evening.

D - Low alchohol and not so overbearing bitterness lend to a somewhat sessionable brew. But I wouldn't recommend overindulging. The sugar content lends to quite the hangover the next day. All in all a great little (formerly) local stout. On-tap that is.

Photo of smithj4
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%

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

My first brew from this brewery.

Poured into a pint glass.

Brew pours a dark coffee color with a tan head that sticks around for only a few sips some minimal lacing.

The brew smells of toffee, caramel, oats, vanilla.

This brew tastes of toasted malts, some hop bitterness caramel and a hint of vanilla. A nice complex yet balanced taste. Dry mouthfeel.

This is a very tasty stout. Very drinkable, I am very pleased with this brew. It has a unique flavor and is very drinkable. Very much case worthy, to be enjoyed throughout the night.

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.91/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost black colour wit ha big foamy, creamy off-white head that takes some time to dissolve and leaves a good amount of residue on the glass after each sip.

The aroma is sweet. Chocolate abound but a nice amount of vanilla mixed in throughout as well. Some roasted notes also come through here along with some wood-like aromas from the oak. That said, the overall aroma has a bit of faintness to it. It's still nice but I would have liked it to be beefed up a touch.

The flavour hits on the aromas and does the beefing up that the aroma needs. The nice thing is that it doesn't push or aspire to be an Imperial and is happy to toe the line of a regular old stout, and this one does it well. Flavour is a bit more roasted than the aroma led on but also holds the chocolate and vanilla blend just as well as the aroma did. Wood noted from the oak are still present as well. I caught hints of coffee but found this one to be much more chocolate based than coffee-like. Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy, with a bit of heartiness to it as well.

This is just a solid across the board brew. It hits you with good flavour and is a nice easy drinking beer. Having a barrel aged brew that does not smack you in the head with a strong bourbon presence was a nice touch as well, and one I'd like to see more of from other breweries, as it provides for a bit more complexity without being overpowering and still remaining fairly straightforward. Good stuff overall.

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

Bottled on 11/07/09.I have sampled this beer a few times in the past,this is the first bottle I have had to myself.Poured into a bulb glass a deep dark but not opaque cola color with a minimal light mocha colored head atop.Aromas of vanilla/oak and dark coffee stand out most with just a hint of molasses as well.A little thin and prickly in the mouthfeel department but not overly annoying.Flavors are dominated by vanilla and heavy roast up front with a drying earthy,woodiness that comes thru in a long finish.Its a year and a half old but I dont think it matters much,a decent flavorful stout.

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

Thanks to lostbearbrew for this one...
Almost black in color with no light passing thru...a half a finger of tan colored head which disappears within minutes.
No real lacing to speak of.
Pleasant in the nose...vanilla, butterscotch, chocolate and a definite oak/woody character.
Taste is real nice once it hits right around room temperature...more vanilla with a hint of robust coffee, almonds and an overall, well-balanced malt to hop experience.
Mouthfeel is a tad thin, but the carbonation is where I enjoy it and it is easily consumed with a fairly low abv (for me)...would love to try this one on cask, as the oak age flavors are nice but would really shine as a real ale IMO.

Photo of far333
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 22-ounce mug. Dark chestnut colored with a dark beige dimpled head that sinks quickly but leaves a thin cap atop.

Aroma of oak and smoke, plus cocoa and a bit of brown sugar riding beneath.

Flavors of cocoa, molasses, and smokey charred bark. Definitely noticeable oak flavors throughout the gulp. Dark chocolate lingers.

Mouthfeel is tangy and tannic, puckering the cheeks slightly. The oak barreling seems to impart a certain flavor and dry mouthfeel that is just shy of detracting from the experience.

Pretty drinkable, but could be more complex and rely on the oak less.

Photo of Brenden
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This dark brown brew develops one finger of creamy medium brown head. The beer itself looks a little bubbly at first but calms down very quickly. Head retention isn't spectacular, but it's pretty good, and some good patching is left behind.
Nice, woody and natural sort of oaky notes come off the nose. it's generally a little soft, but digging out the subtleties isn't too difficult. Vanilla's directly up front and roast is gentle but firm, while coffee grounds come right up to the forefront. It all works together for not a huge smack in the face but plenty of complexity that has to be thoughtfully sought out but isn't taxing.
The flavor has all the coffee, roast, oak and vanilla as the nose, but a ghost of something with a certain tang to it can be caught sneaking in and out. It eases out as it warms, and there's an almost citrusy hint right in the finish that has me thinking hops, though it's very light.
The body is full and smooth but the crispness is held firm by a carbonation that's a little too high for a stout.

Photo of Px2GrafX
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

presentation: 12oz bottle with a picture of a large wooden barrel keg. "fermented with vanilla beans and oak chips" is printed. bottled date: 05/19/05. ABV is displayed at 5.2%.

appearance: pours dark brown, almost black with dark brown edges into a stein mug. head is a tan grey 1 inch with decent lacing and sticking.

smell: chocolate, coffee with a lingering aroma of wood and charred wood. some vanilla aroma, but i don't think i would have noticed if i weren't looking for it.

taste: distinct chocolate and coffee flavor with an antagonist light vanilla finish. the smoked woody flavor is apparent. there is a wine-like aftertaste as the beer warms. i assume this is the bourbon that everyone talks about. i'm not a big fan of bourbon, and have hardly ever drank it, but i don't mind this flavor in this beer. just adds to the complexity.

mouthfeel: smoother as it warms than when still cold. good carbonation. swallows a bit hard for me. i like a smoother swallow in a stout. the viscosity is very nice rolling in your mouth, however.

drinkability: quite drinkable. not as strong as some stouts, and the alcohol doesn't hinder. the first one goes down easy, but i wouldn't be grabbing for this all night.

overall: not my favorite stout, but a great change of pace. super complex with a different flavor taking charge with every sip. definitely pick one up if you're lookin' for a flavored stout.

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

12 Oz bottle Sampled through the efforts of Boxing Day BIF and Pentathlete. Bottling Date 10/28/05.

Pours a deep brown colored beer with a fast fading tan head.

Smell is sweet with an aroma of chocolate and nuts laced with a bit of coffee. There is a rather sharp scent of acid from the dark roasted malt used. Strong roasted coffee scent here that is very pleasant.

Taste is sweet and smoky at the start. Fairly neutral background flavor that accentuates the chocolate, smoke and coffee. The acid level works well here to brighten the coffee flavors like a medium roasted Kona coffee.

Mouthfeel is OK, but not that good.

Pleasant and tasty stout with a very moderate alcohol level. As close to a session beer as stouts ever really get.

Photo of neobassman
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of this local offering as part of a systematic review of domestic stouts. This one has much to offer. The pour is slightly thick, producing a modest head that dissipated quickly. Color is almost black with essentially no light passing through. Mild carbonation. The smell is complex and aligns well with the taste. Not much bitterness, and not much cooked coffee flavor. Nice maltiness in the heart of the flavor, and some pleasant sweetness, as well. The brewer states that the beer is dry-hopped with fresh vanilla beans and "toasted oak" chips to simulate a bourbon barrel aging. That may be, but I did not get a significant oak or vanilla experience from this brew - they're probably in there somewhere contributing to the overall flavor, but I was surprised these flavors were not prominent since the label touts them front and back.

This beer is not much like Guinness because it lacks the strong burnt coffee and salty components of Guinness, which may be a plus or a minus depending on how much you like the Irish icon. Oak Barrel is a good stout, pleasant and inoffensive. I would enjoy it again, though it does not rank among the leading American stouts in my opinion.

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

Totally different animal than on nitro-tap. Out of the bottle it pours with a small tan head. Far less creamy and smooth than the draft product. I feel as if it is almost a bit overcarbonated. Vanilla is less pronounced but it is still there. More bittersweet chocolate is present. Maybe a little espresso. Not what I expected after having it on draft many times but still a very enjoyable beer.

Photo of Grundle20
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance:
The beer drains like motor oil from the bottle both in color and consistancy. There are wispy patches of foam that skate about the surface of the beer but no real sustained head to speak of.

Smell:
The scent is weak but touches of vanilla and bittersweet chocolate can be picked up. I'm not sensing any oak character but I also can't recall the last time I went up and sniffed a tree.

Taste and Mouthfeel:
The beer drinks smooth and slightly thick with a big body of blanketing malts. Bittersweet chocolate can be drawn from the malts and there is again a presence of vanilla. There's more of a woody character here but I find it to taste more like basswood or cherry wood smells. There is a the slightest tinge of bitterness in the ass end of the drink. The finish is rich with chocolate notes which make for a rather flavorful aftertaste.

Drinkability:
It's a stout so I inherently don't want to drink too many of these, but the flavor of this one is particularly delicious. This would be an excellent meal or breakfast beer.

Bottom Line:
One of the more impressive stouts I've had in a while which admittedly isn't many. I don't really get a lot of of the oak character but it's tasty all gimmicks aside.

Photo of CHADMC3
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nearly opaque body with ruby hues with a frothy, tan head that quickly dissolves to leave almost no lacing behind.

Generous aromas of oak and vanilla waft from the glass, followed by sweet malt and woody hops. As the beer warms the vanilla becomes a bit more milk like.

The taste is similar to the aroma. The beer opens again with vanilla and oak, and even a hint of chocolate followed by the woody or earthy hops. As it warms, roasted malt comes forward as well.

Medium to thin in both body and carbonation, fairly smooth with just a faint woody bite at the finish.

This is a good beer. Nice character, and no overwhelming wood notes that similar beers may feature. Offers a nice balance of flavors without abusing the palate. This is just a clean beer.

Photo of Ruds
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 355 ml bottle into a snifter glass to a jet black colour (shades of brown around the edge of the glass when held to the light) and with a smallish tan head.

On the nose roasted malts, a hint of vanilla, a little coffee but not getting any kind of oak or wood hit which I was expecting!

Flavour wise I get roasted malts, vanilla, a little mix of chocolate and coffee, but again no hint of the oak for me. Good flavours though so not a major detraction for me!

Mouthfeel was excellent, creamy smooth and very drinkable, medium in body and limited carbonation.

Overall a good stout, but just not getting the 'oak' that I Was expecting!

Photo of damndirtyape
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

12oz bottle served in a snifter. Bottled on 05/12/14.

Appearance: Completely black with a thin cappuccino-color ring and skin across the top.Islands and strands of persistent lacing.

Smell: Roasted malt and hint of raisins. Maybe a little bit of smoke wood and smoky notes and some chocolate, but they're weak.

Taste: Black coffee, roasted malts, oak with hints of vanilla. Simple but well done. Vanilla blooms in the mouth as the beer warms up; it's a delayed taste.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, but not as thick and creamy as you expect in a stout. A bit on the watery side. Light carbonation.

Overall / Drinkability: Overall it's missing some things that I would expect from a stout (smell is mild and the mouthfeel is weak), and yet it's got a quite good flavor profile and appearance. So overall, very good in some aspects and weak in others making it an above average stout in my opinion. Not sure I would want another one in an evening, but I think with food like steak or even dessert a second glass would be welcoming.

Photo of Rickythejeweler
3.93/5  rDev 0%
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

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap at the Arena Bar and Grill. Arrived in a nonic pint glass, this stout appears a deep dark brown color with about two fingers of creamy, lingering tan foam. Not much lacing to speak of here. The aroma and flavor are of rich roasted grains, both milk and bittersweet chocolate, oak chips, vanilla, mildly sour tannins, and a touch of dark fruit. Wonderfully smooth drinking and creamy with medium carbonation. A really nice and flavorful lower alcohol stout.

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