1. Extreme Beer Fest tickets go on sale Sat, Sep 27 @ Noon EDT.
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout - Old Dominion Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dominion Oak Barrel StoutDominion Oak Barrel Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

1,232 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,232
Reviews: 655
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.98%
Wants: 63
Gots: 68 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
American Stout |  6.10% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dominion Oak Barrel Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,232 | Reviews: 655 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of garymuchow
3.98/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to WVBeergeek for this sample.
Aroma shows a nice mix of roasty malt with just a touch of vanilla (that increases as it warms) and it addds a nice coffee quality (Amaretto).
Poured with virtually no head, instead it showed a fizzy scattered top that left immediately. Dark brown to black.
Interesting mix of full rich flavor qualities, yet somehow thin feeling. Nonetheless, taste is bold, especially initially. The boldness wavers middle to finish, but the taste aspects (rich roast-touch of chocolate) stay throughout. Bitterness increases as it warms which is alright as it blends with the dryness. A touch of vanilla at the end.
Feel is somehow not quite right. Lacks softness and fluffiness from carbonation and as noted above too thin.
I enjoyed the opportunity to sample something different. Low alcohol and thinness make this an almost easy drinking stout.

garymuchow, Dec 11, 2004
Photo of Cfahooligan
4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is quite possibly my favorite stout ever. This is the first beer my father and I shared together as adults. He took me to his favorite watering hole it happend to be Old Dominion brewery.

From draft, its near perfect. It has extreme vanilla on the first nose. Inhaling deeper you get a very woody scent straight from the oak barrels it came from. It's so deep brown its near black. Caramely(maybe not a real word) head. Rich in color as in smell. Taste is like pure heaven. It is a real vanilla stout with bourbon hanging on everytaste bud with out killing the vanilla. The vanilla despite its strength, is not over powering as well. Leaving a very smooth stout. So enjoyable you can have it for breakfast of dessert. This is a beer you must seek while in Virginia. You might not be a stout person but it is something you will remember always. That's how important this stout is to me. I remember when Jason and Todd both privileged to have it on draft, had their first taste. It was like watching a kid try something sweet for the first time in their life. It truly is an amazing beer. It is one of the first beers that made me understand why beer is so great. Between that and Arrogant Bastard.

Cfahooligan, Dec 04, 2004
Photo of GClarkage
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12/02/04- Received via trade from BA member meathookjones.

Appearance- Pours a dark brown and black color with a nice creamy white head and decent lacing left in the glass.

Smell- Smells just like a chocolate and vanilla milkshake to me. That's a good thing!

Taste- A bit more roasted than I expected. Still a good combo of hops and deep roasted malt. Dark chocolate and burnt roasted malt flavor mostly. Definite vanilla and oak flavors throughout also.

Mouthfeel- A tad over-carbonated for me, but all the flavors swirling around make it a bit creamy and easy to swallow.

Drinkability- Wish it was a tad sweeter, but other than that it's a pretty good stout. One of the better ones I have had.

Thanks to meathookjones for a very good beer!

GClarkage, Dec 03, 2004
Photo of farHillsBrewer
4.53/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have enjoyed a couple of these at Growler's Pub in Canton, a new pub opened by John Bates, former bartender at Racers Cafe.
It sits beside Guinness on the nitro tap, and is a special treat worth going donwtown for.
After the cascade of tiny bubbles finishes, you are left with a thick creamy head about an inch think, which is still partially there when the glass is empty. The mouthfeel provided by the nitro charge is as soft as cloud 9. The taste is all malt with pleasing notes of vanilla, oak, and toasty malt. It goes down so easily and the glass is finished before you realize. You are left with a finish of dark malt and some sweetness.
Highly recommended.

farHillsBrewer, Dec 02, 2004
Photo of Globetrotter
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I asked friends in No. Va. to get a six of this for me back in April. Finally got my hands on it in November, so it was already nicely aged. Poured a drak murky burgundy under a purplish beige 1.5 finger head that settles fairly slowly, leaving nice lace rings. There's a good roasty nose with vanilla and chocolate notes. The mouth is quite prickly, yet syrupy thick. We've got marvellously smooth nut and chocolate flavors, with sweet caramel. The ever so slight hops presence breaks through the malt only late in the finish. Slightly dry aftertaste, but the lasting impression is mostly sweet. Recommend this as a very nice nightcap.

Globetrotter, Nov 22, 2004
Photo of ChrisBowers
3.93/5  rDev 0%
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.

ChrisBowers, Nov 21, 2004
Photo of BeerManDan
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

After being poured, the color was a very dark brown, with very little tan foam and no lace. The smell was of roasted malts and a hint of spice. The flavor was dominated by roasted malts with a hint of bourbon on the palate. The finish was dry, but, also had a cream feel in the mouth to make this stout well balanced. As the bottle said, "Our little treasure!". The only set back is that it was a little to bitter.

BeerManDan, Nov 19, 2004
Photo of clvand0
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This was given to me by a fellow BA. Pours a very dark brown color with a very small tan head that doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. The aroma is very strong of vanilla and roasted malts and some alcohol. Very interesting. The flavor is of floral hops and slight vanilla with some coffee and chocolate. The body is slightly more thin than I expected it to be. Slightly oily, but enjoyable.

clvand0, Nov 15, 2004
Photo of Jarod
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer came to me in traditional pint glass, on the warm side; color was pitch black in the center and became more brown/black towards the edges and cocoa brown on the very edge, no light passed through. There was light to barley any carbonation noticeable. The head that was formed was creamy, thick and sticky but fell fairly fast to a light skim and a ring on the edges, the color was a medium cocoa powder brown, with some highlights and dark points across the surface. There was some sticky lace throughout the glass, more prominent in the beginning then towards the end. Typical stout characteristics. The aromas that came from the glass were of caramels, vanilla bean, some cocoa powder oak wood, toffee, some dark malts, a light coffee at times, and bourbon notes throughout, vanilla and bourbon seemed to become alittle more pronounced as it warmed and near the last sip. The tastes were more complex then the aromas. Tastes of roasted malts, and oak were the first flavors that hit my buds along with a slight bitter coffee, then some sweet malts, vanilla bean, caramel, toffee, chocolates, more oak wood, and warming notes of bourbon dominated the rest of the taste, and ended more with a pronounced bourbon flavor and the other flavors seemed step to the rear, especially as it warmed. Aftertaste was on the roasted malt, alcohol side but not real lasting. Body was on the full side especially as it warmed. Decently complex seemed to became more complex as it sat. A good beer and nice and warming. One of the better beers that is being done with oak barrels, barrel aging, etc. I have this beer in 12oz. bottle and look forward to comparing it with the nitro version.

Jarod, Nov 07, 2004
Photo of RBorsato
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown to black with a nice creamy brown head with a lasting ring and spotty lace. Complex cocoa, vanilla, and oak aromas and flovors. Cocoa is big on the nose with a bit more vanilla in the flavor . Medium-full bodied with a smooth roasty and vanilla finish.

I prefer the bottled version better. The draft version at the OD Brewpub has too much bourbon character.

Per Label: "7 different malts and 2 hops. Dry hopped with fresh vanilla beans and toasted oak"

Bottled: 04/08/04
Tasted: 10/28/04

RBorsato, Oct 29, 2004
Photo of NeroFiddled
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dominion's Oak Barrel Stout delivers the standard stout appearance with some fairly good head retention but only minor lacing. The nose is stout-like as would be expected, and the vanilla and oak do lend a subtle note to it. I also like the fact that it's not a bourbon-barrel stout - not that they're not great, but this is different. And that's where it really shines. The vanilla clearly comes through in the flavor, but it's not overly done, and more woody notes appear in the finish. Very nicely balanced, and interesting. Certainly worth trying.

NeroFiddled, Oct 20, 2004
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Darkest mahogany with dusky crimson highlights at the margins, topped by a heavily toasted ecru cap that has more than enough heft to stay at a fat two fingers for quite a while. Meandering tendrils of lace add visual interest.

Vanilla bean notes are especially prominent in the nose and mingle beautifully with roasted barley, chocolate and java. Unfortunately, oak and bourbon aren't nearly as up front (as the name suggests, Oak Barrel Stout was briefly aged in oak casks that had once held bourbon). Here's hoping that those flavors are present to a greater degree on the palate.

The flavor profile consists of coffee and vanilla with semi-sweet chocolate taking a backseat (thankfully, it maintains enough of an attitude to be a backseat driver). I still don't appreciate the oakiness or the bourbon. A longer time in the casks may have helped, but it may also have ruined what is a very tasty beer. The body/mouthfeel is medium for the style and tends to falter just a tad on the finish. Noticeable carbonation is a minor, easily overlooked annoyance.

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout is very good beer. The vanilla makes it stand out from the crowd, even if the other advertised flavors don't really materialize. I could drink a lot of this.

BuckeyeNation, Oct 17, 2004
Photo of jahred
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Many thanks to dmbfrat420beers for this bottle... I've been wanting to learn more about the flavors and tastes of barrel-aged beers, and while this beer technically isn't barrel aged, it's a good place to start.

Pours a beautiful jet black color with a thick, large, dense brown head. The scent is fantastic and immesnly strong - vanilla, dark coffee and maple syrup. Will it taste as good as it smells?

Not quite - the first and immediate flavor is dark, roasted grain, followed by vanilla and coffee flavors. The finish is oaky and woody with a bitter finish that I can only assume comes from the oak chips - it's not quite hoppy, and not quite just dark, bitterly roasted grain. The oak flavor is a bit overpowering, and the rest of the flavor isn't nearly as good as the orama.

Still a very tasty beer, but after 12 ounces, I don't want any more.

jahred, Oct 04, 2004
Photo of freed
4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like weefisheads, I'm a sucker for barrel conditioned stouts.

Poured a very cola brown with very rich brown foam. The completeness of the brown is enchanting.

The aroma is of strong burnt coffee grounds. But good grounds, and in a good way.

Each sip has a strong coffee start that smoothes quickly to a dry sour and creamy finish. The sensation of char - burned wood from the inside of the barrel is very complimentary, and very, very good. There's also a significant vanilla flavor, which helps to smooth the flavor.

I like this beer and want more. soon.

freed, Sep 30, 2004
Photo of abcsofbeer
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First one from Dominion that I have really liked. 12 oz bottle with freshness date of Aug 19, 04.

Pours a dark used oil color, but not as thick as some stouts I have tried. A thick rocky head that is tan in color accentuates the top. Lace is thick and clings to the entire glass in nice patterns.

The aroma is week, imo. Chocolate and coffee like. The taste is mildly coffee-like with chocolate undertones. There is a very distinct metallic aftertaste that I have not noticed in other stouts. I am not sure where this comes from, but would like to compare the bottle to an on tap glass.

Overall, a pretty decent stout.

abcsofbeer, Sep 29, 2004
Photo of assurbanipaul
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark black-brown with a thin tan head. Aroma is sweet and dark, vanilla and molasses, dark European chocolate.

Taste is more of the same: Dark chocolates, sweet vanilla, molasses with a nice roasty malt bitterness. Faint whiskey elements somewhere in the middle. Aftertaste is mild espresso, dry and malty.

Mouthfeel is medium, probably could use more body for the style. Smooth, sweet but not cloying. Would be a perfect dessert beer, maybe over ice cream. Thanks to meathookjones for the sample.

assurbanipaul, Sep 27, 2004
Photo of pezoids
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Jet black in color. Smallish head that hardly left any lacing on the glass. The aroma is really perfect here with sweet roasty and rich notes. Spicy vanilla, earthy, woody and oaky. Bitter vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg and even cookie dough are all detectable in this beer. The taste is rich and roasty, very creamy and mellow, bready and very flavorful. Wonderfully complex that finishes bitter and dark. The body in this one seems just a tad watery, but overall, everything comes together nicely. A very nice and unique stout.

pezoids, Aug 31, 2004
Photo of kmpitz2
3.93/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The beer pours jet black with a 3 finger latte colored head that sticks around well after the pour. The nose is just full of different smells. I get less of the chocolate and coffee tones that I am used to in a stout, and more vanilla and bourbon tones. As the beer warms, more of the malty goodness comes through in the form of a mocha aroma. The flavor is fairly good, but a little weaker that I would like. There is mostly coffee and vanilla coming through this one, with hints of the oak staying in the background and more prevalent after swallowing the beer. Still a good offering. The beer falters a bit in the mouthfeel. Its just not thick enough and there is more carbonation that I like to see. This is a highly drinkable stout. Its not overly filling and could easily be a session beer in the cold of winter with a hearty stew or thick soup.

kmpitz2, Aug 30, 2004
Photo of bruachan
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

DOBS pours an opaque black with no light shining through whatsoever. the pour i got had no head either. i suspect the bartender was at fault. a coffee roastiness quickly appears, in aroma and tasting. but then the chocolate kicks in. the beer actually tastes like someone has squirted hershey's chocolate syrup in it; reminded me of young's double chocolate stout. i enjoyed this, but my tastebuds would get a warped idea of what beer tastes like if i drank DOBS too much. at only 5.2% however, anyone who was very fond of the beer could put a few down without falling off their bar stool.

bruachan, Aug 18, 2004
Photo of bditty187
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Black, every shade of black, in other words it is dark. There was no light penetration at any point. The head color was brunette and about a half finger in height. Head retention was fair; it faded a little too quickly to a fizzy cap that thinned out from there. There wasn’t much subsequent lacing, just a few spots of foam that tried in vein to cling to the glass. Still, this is a very good-looking beer. The first whiff of the nose was all vanilla; I was quite taken aback! It was a little much for me. However, the second sniff allowed for some roasty qualities to penetrate. At the back were a suggestion of wood and some hints of chocolate-milk with espresso. The potency isn’t that great but it is plenty strong enough to get the point across. I like the bouquet, after the first smell it became very well rounded. Lovely actually, inviting. The palate is every bit as pleasant as the nose lead on, and that is all I can ask for. The roasty qualities are the focal point, as expected for a stout. Flavors included coffee beans, fresh espresso with a dash of milk and a side of dark chocolate. Tasty. The vanilla is at home in the middle and lingers to the finish were it is teamed up with a distant note of wood. By the aftertaste the roast has reestablished itself. The astringency works perfectly with a sharp hops bite. This is a very good stout, the layers of flavors is a real treat. I love the fact the abv is just above 5%, I’d be happy to session with this any day. The palate has no flaws but no one striking aspect that really elevates this beer. Don’t misunderstand this statement, as this is a kick-ass stout. Medium/medium-light in body, the carbonation is rather lively which kind of tricks my tongue into thinking this is a bigger beer than it is. I do think a maltier backbone would really help this beer as the mouthfeel, while pleasant, is a bit thin. I found this stout to be very drinkable and very likable. If I ever see this beer again I will by at least a six-pack. This beer is a treat to drink. Thanks meathookjones for the 12-ounces of yummy beer!

bditty187, Aug 18, 2004
Photo of Boilermaker88
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presented in a 12oz. bottle with a "bottled on" date of 3 May 04 on the back of the label. Poured into an imperial pint glass, this stout exhibited a uniform dark brown color topped by a modest beige head that dwindled down rather quickly to a thin collar.
The nose had a hefty vanilla aroma to it, easily outpacing the oak wood notes and the hint of bourbon. Some mild espresso and roasted dark malt notes also crept into the overall picture. The vanilla didn't translate very well to the taste to me, becoming more a supporting player to the woody flavor and slight booziness of the bourbon. A rich dark malt flavor and lingering bitterness provided a solid backdrop for the other flavors to spring forth from. The feel was medium in body, creamy and quite smooth.
All in all, Dominion Oak Barrel Stout was a pleasant brew that was easily quaffable. Thanks to EyeChartBrew for providing me with the gift.

Boilermaker88, Aug 17, 2004
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 ounce brown glass bottle exactly per the BA Avatar. Listed at 5.2% and has a Bottling Date of 10th June 2004.

Appearance: Incredibly dark body, a very, very dark opaque brown that reveals hints of a burgundian nature at the edges of the Glass. Thick creamy tan head forms quickly and looks enticing, but it slowly rescinds to a think broken covering with a strong halo presence. Some light lacing. Fantastic small bubbles rise and fall as the glass is tilted and reveals a solid conditioning in this Stout.

Nose: Lots of vanilla bean in the nose. Set against some roasted malts, and a woody odor in the back. Buttery nose at times, probably thanks to the Vanilla Beans maybe. Some coffee and a hint of bitter dark chocolate.

Taste: Roasted malts, with some toasted wood; the oak lends a dry feel to the slightly bitter middle that contains vanilla, smoked brats, chocolate and some powdered coffee. Very smooth, it drinks incredibly easily thanks to the balanced profile. The finish has a woody pitch ending.

Mouthfeel: A hearty brew that surprises you, it feels much bigger than it actually is, for study this carefully, and this really has a very thin element once swallowed.

Drinkability: A beautifully crafted brew that belies my first prejudiced impression when I saw that it was only 5.2%. In fact it turned it on its head. I imagine that this is just superb on Tap and highly quaffable, it certainly is from the bottle.

Overall: Seven Malts, Two Hops, Dry-Hopped with Vanilla Beans and a Toasted Oak for good measure. All this gives One nice brew.

Thanks to AleOha for the sample, much appreciated.

TheLongBeachBum, Aug 12, 2004
Photo of Bighuge
1.73/5  rDev -56%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Close to black. Fizzy, airy big brown head. Seems overcarbonated. Is this a sign of bad things to come?? It has been for me in the past with other beers. Aroma is weak and has very little to do with stout or bourbon. Well, the mouthfeel IS overcarbonated and very gaseous. Hard to swallow. The flavor is off. After cutting through all of the CO2, there's a sourness to be found and that's about it. Like watered down lemon juice. This is not good. Don't think I'll finish it.

Thanks for the effort anyway marc77.

Bighuge, Aug 11, 2004
Photo of crookedhalo
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours the deepest brown color you can get with some ruby highlights. Short-lived tan colored head. Dark roasted grains, coffee, cocoa and vanilla, maybe some tobacco and cream soda notes, too. Some vinous and woody characteristics in the aroma, but mostly confectioner-like aromas. Tastes rather thin for a stout. Rich vanilla accents throughout the whole experience, with weak black patent and chocolate malt tastes backed with a little bit of hops (Challenger?). Medium to low carbonation. The flavors do meld nicely, but if I were king of the world, I'd boost the grain bill up a notch and balance out the aggressiveness of the vanilla a little better. I've sampled a nitrogenated version before at a brew festival before and liked a bit better if I recall.

crookedhalo, Aug 06, 2004
Photo of mattcrill
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must admit, this beer holds a special place in my heart b/c it started getting me interested in craft beers. However, I haven't had it for a while and my tastes have definitely sharpened...

Appearance: beautiful, smooth, and black pour with a great foamy tan head. Looks like liquid dark chocolate in the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt smell first but then a little bit of hops toward the end to round out the smell

Taste: Slightly bitter with hints of coffee, sweet bread, and some oats. A bitter aftertaste with a little hint of vanilla.

Overall: A good but not great beer. Carbonation is a little overpowering but defintely try this interesting twist on the American stout.

mattcrill, Jul 31, 2004
Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,232 ratings.