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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

1,187 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,187
Reviews: 654
rAvg: 3.93
pDev: 12.98%
Wants: 59
Gots: 59 | 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)
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Ratings: 1,187 | Reviews: 654 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of garthwaite
garthwaite

Virginia

4.78/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This masterpiece pours nearly black with a tan bubbly head that lasts the entire pint. All kinds of subtle scents to pick up - deep earthy cocoa, roasted malt, honey, oak, & of course - vanilla. This stout tastes ridiculously good. Perfect blend of rich & fantastic chocolate malts with millions of complexities from delicate vanilla to roasted oak with hints of bourbon & subtle tobacco in between. This brew is full-bodied with a silky smooth milk-like feel. The finish is earthy with a perfect touch of bourbon. Simply spectacular.

Serving type: on-tap

05-25-2004 17:09:42 | More by garthwaite
Photo of Stimack
Stimack

New York

4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this brew at Mahar’s last evening. This beer poured to a deep black color with a nice chunky tan head that had excellent retention and left lacing through out, a fantastic looking brew! The aromas are of vanilla, with chocolate, oak and roasted highlights. The taste has a number of things going on, a little hop up front followed by an excellent mix of vanilla, cocoa and espresso, simply a fantastic tasting brew! One knock against it, it could be thicker but actually makes it a brew that can be had during any season! I must say that I was unsure of this brew when I got it, but man I glad that I did! This is a brew that I am going to look for in the future! Try this brew, I think you will be happy!

Serving type: bottle

05-22-2004 18:28:24 | More by Stimack
Photo of ark57
ark57

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It is black with some slight ruby tinges around the edges and a good sized tan head. Vanilla is prominent in the aroma and there is also some woody notes and roasted barley. The taste starts off with roasted, toasted malts and then gives way to some vanilla and oak. The body is smooth but finishes up somewhat dry and lingers with a coffee aftertaste.

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2004 18:31:47 | More by ark57
Photo of feloniousmonk
feloniousmonk

Minnesota

4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: blessed by a full opacity, gifted with a a fresh, soft, smooth, roasted brown head. Good looking glass of stout we've got here.
Aroma: distant whiffs of vanilla, but otherwise the usual suspects are in attendance, some minor espresso tones, whiffs of cocoa.
Taste: bites from hops at first, then the lushness of the mouthfeel takes over, very silky smooth and creamy. Starts off very full at first, but feels thinner further in. Aces in creamy smoothness, though, and a champ at drinkability. This is a very unique approach for a stout (made me, alas, wish I'd been able to try the truly barrel-aged version!). If I were a Virginian, or any one lucky to pick up a 6-er with ease, I'd always have some on hand.

Thanks to Manekineko for getting it out here!

Serving type: bottle

05-18-2004 07:33:47 | More by feloniousmonk
Photo of francisweizen
francisweizen

Alaska

4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

An opaque black colour with an ample head of tan/brown foam. The aromas are all over the place and quite complex. Lactic sweetness, oak, alcohol, cream, vanilla, smoke, and more. The taste is not as complex as the aroma, but it is quite complex in its own right. I taste oak, vanilla, deep roasted malts, subtle earthy hops, and more. The mouthfeel is very smooth and creamy, and the drinkability is very good as well.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2004 20:37:41 | More by francisweizen
Photo of PhantomVodoo
PhantomVodoo

Ohio

3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Brown head. Nearly opaque black in the glass.
Aroma of roasty malt and chocolate. Tad smokey with a hint of vanilla.

Taste shows medium to heavily roasted malt. Chocolate with a hint of smoke. Vanilla is much more noticable in the taste than in the aroma. Hop presence seems minimal. Enough roasty bitterness to provide some balance, but still sweet overall.

Mouthfeel is creamy, yet a bit thin, although the body is in line with it's lower ABV.
A little too sweet to be real drinkable for me.
Overall, an interesting, good stout.

Serving type: bottle

05-16-2004 00:43:18 | More by PhantomVodoo
Photo of AtLagerHeads
AtLagerHeads

Ohio

3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Newly distributed in bottles this specialty stout is a satisfying and very drinkable stout. Though a bit thin on feel it is uniquely positioned between a thick bodied Imperial style and the lighter versions that show dark but lack thickness in the body. I found this to be a bit like a Storm King "Lite" with similar hoppy notes and a stronger sense of acohol than most stouts. The smell and taste of vanilla did not register with me. I liked the modest head that formed and the light lacing effect.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2004 11:07:38 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of HappyHourHero
HappyHourHero

Indiana

4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a thick and creamy dark coco colored head. Aromas of peat, cream, coffee and roasted malts. Body isn't as thick as I'd expected, nice and solid though. Deep creamy chocolate malt flavor, a coffee bitterness, all cram into a smooth finish. Some layers of lace as the beer disappears. Seems a bit thinner than draft version, but a interesting quality brew.

7 months later, cellared in the closet (bottled March 25, 2004)
Head is sticky as hell leaving lace all over. Smells the same as before. Coffee flavor is more dry then bitter, otherwise super creamy chocolate malt, maybe a hint of whiskey/tobacco.

Serving type: bottle

05-14-2004 04:59:26 | More by HappyHourHero
Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
OldFrothingSlosh

Pennsylvania

3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Finally able to be purchased in Richmond, I eagerly snagged a 6-pack of the famed Oak Barrel Stout to see how it compared with wonderful tap version.

Blunt summary: Disappointed.

Poured a very fizzy darkness with only a slight bit of light 'round the edges. The head was short-lived, tan in color, and crackled and fizzed like a pot o' witches' brew. Aromas are tough to detect. I'd expected a more pronounced vanilla aroma, but such was not the case. There is some caramel sweetness, backed up by a smoky/coffee aroma. Flavor is less impressive than the draft version. Don't get me wrong, though. Still a tasty stout, there's a chocolate-coffee front, followed by some earthy bitterness, and ends with a smoky, vanilla-laced goodness. Mouthfeel is very thin for a stout. Not much body to this at all. Way too much carbonation. Drinkable, but nothing that blew me away. Sadly disappointed by this one.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2004 02:37:52 | More by OldFrothingSlosh
Photo of tavernjef
tavernjef

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Tarnished dark brown, black in most light overall, finger high, firm, light brown frothy whipped foam cap. Inky broken sheets of lacing stick all over the glass. Aroma is of sweet vanilla, milk chocolate, and suggestions of oaty sweetness too with a light roasty edge of mild coffeeness. Taste is similar in regards to what the smell leads to. Sweet vanilla and milk chocolate front, mild and smooth, low carbonation, finish lends a tame roast and small coffee surge. Smooth and creamy feel thats close to medium body but kinda light and restrained. A first-rate drinker; goes down real quick.
But after having Town Hall's Oak Barrel Stout, this was not nearly up to my expectations. No oak character or boozy qualities any where to be found, and I was looking for that. Comes across as a desent oatmeal stout though and wouldn't pass it up for nothing as it was fine and dandy to drink down. Quite yummy really, nice chocolate tones, just not what I'd call up-to-par with some other oak barrel brewed stouts I've had.
Thanks to ManekiNeko for the many samples!

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2004 02:13:39 | More by tavernjef
Photo of drewbage
drewbage

California

4.72/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 12 fluid ounce bottle with room for a bottling date, but none printed. Bottle presented courtesy of Garthwaite.

Beer pours deep black and dense with a very low tan head that moves into little patches quickly.

Aroma is rich with coffee like oak tones and a strong vanilla that plays into the spiciness of the oak (and it's own natural sources of vanillian)

Flavor is coffee roasted and caramel with a thick rich body that is quickly undercut by the acidity of the roast and the tannins of the oak.

Very nicely balanced brew and rich with an amazing character normally associated with stronger beers.

Serving type: bottle

04-29-2004 07:30:55 | More by drewbage
Photo of MrNuggets
MrNuggets

Oregon

4.68/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown colour, suppose I will call it black. Thick Kaki head tops this beautiful stout. Vanilla scent dominates, yet it is mixed with a woody aroma which does a magnificent job of exciting the taste buds. The oak is the first to step up and attack my tongue. That quickly glides into a fantastic mixture of vanilla and oats. Touch of bitterness leads to a slight vanilla after taste. Silky smooth on the palate. It's sad to think i only have one of these left.
This is a very exciting brew that leaves me wanting more.

Serving type: bottle

04-28-2004 05:58:25 | More by MrNuggets
Photo of lackenhauser
lackenhauser

Maryland

4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep dark ruby color-not quite totally opaque.good sized tan head tha receedes to about 1/8".Roasted aroma-slight hints of vanilla.Big flavor of chocolate.Roasted malts.The vanilla is very slight-almost an after taste.I dont get any oak.There is a slight "whiskey" flavor in the backround.Nice smooth mouthfeel-goes down very easy.A great beer overall-could consume this all night.My only complaint about this and other beers of this type like the Sam Chocolate Bock is I find I am biased to look for what I see on the label in the way of flavors.Well worth seeking out and trying however.

Serving type: bottle

04-26-2004 00:34:37 | More by lackenhauser
Photo of RoyalT
RoyalT

Ohio

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

Appearance – This one poured a ruby dark brown in color with a nice head that showed off a cool-looking orange tan.

Smell – The traditional vanilla from American oak barrels came on big at the taste, although I’m sure it was just added vanilla extract. There was also a light stouty malt note or two, but mostly the malts were buried by the vanilla.

Taste – The vanilla/oak was AWOL at the taste, which was OK because that allowed the other wonderful flavors to come out more. The dark malts and light chocolate were nicely complimented by a fruity sweetness.

Mouthfeel – This Stout was light to medium in the body and very well put together.

Drinkability – This wasn’t bad. It was very different for sure. It is an interesting interpretation of the style and a “must try” for any serious BA.

Comments – A big, huge thanks to skyhand for not only putting together the BA tasting night but also for supplying this gem.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2004 02:50:49 | More by RoyalT
Photo of Jables
Jables

Illinois

4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Manekineko for the hook up on this amazing brew which I would otherwise only salivated over.

Appearance is pitch black with a teeny tiny cocoa head.

Aroma is dominated by bourbon and vanilla with some roasty undertones in the background. It could just be the vanilla but I also smell chocolate as well. So it is a quite dynamic vanilla aroma.

Tastes just awesome. Heavy roasted boldness with vanilla provided strong support and light bourbon notes to give it some zing. Initially it almost seems to have a tartness to it, but the finish is charred, sweet, and oily.

Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy with some slight stinging on the tongue from carbonation.

Overall, quite drinkable and very interesting.

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2004 23:46:15 | More by Jables
Photo of BierManVA
BierManVA

Virginia

4.88/5  rDev +24.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Let's start with the palate...An amazing array of cream, chocolate, coffee, caramel, vanilla and wood. All harmoniusly balanced. This is one tasty stout I can tell you. The nose is likewise balanced and floral. The mouthfeel is smooth and as the bier hits your tongue in different places, an explosion of harmony takes place.

Drinking this, I find myself pausing after every delicious mouthful and thinking that I just don't believe that this bier is so good. The Craftsmen at Old Dominion take real pride in their work and this is proof.

Hands down the best stout I've ever had.

John

Serving type: bottle

04-24-2004 23:00:38 | More by BierManVA
Photo of avylover
avylover

Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From the 12oz bottle, courtesy of TinusTime's efforts at his store. Poured out pretty much straight black, with some slight ruby highlights. A large tan head sits atop my brew. Vanilla in the aroma, along with roasted coffee and floral hops. Incredibly smooth taste. This beer is full of taste, yet nearly floats across the tongue. Vanilla is definitely there, roasted malts, slight fruity overtones, cream, and a decent hop bitterness to finish things off. This is pretty much a vanilla version of the Dominion Stout, which is good in itself. Mouthfeel is perfect, like a light fluff across your mouth. Great brew, well balanced...with nothing overboard, so don't expect it. Just an excellent stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-22-2004 21:03:10 | More by avylover
Photo of resirob
resirob

Pennsylvania

4.33/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got 2 bottles in a case swap with co-workers. I will probably go back for a full case in a couple of weeks.

Deep black with a large dark tan, creamy head that settles to a nice pancake blanketing the top of the brew. Lacing all the way down.

Aromas of nutty, roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and some oaky and floral hop notes.

Taste starts off malty sweet, with shades of vanilla and a little chocolate. The roasty/nutty/oaky character then takes over, with an occasional vanilla appearance now and then. Hop bitterness slides in for a small cameo in a dry finish with lots of lingering tastiness. Very, I say, very nice.

Mouthfeel was quite smooth, but a little thinner than I expected.

Drinkability is excellent. The dry finish and average alcohol content make for an quaffable, but nice to savor, brew.

Serving type: bottle

04-14-2004 18:36:51 | More by resirob
Photo of pheurton
pheurton

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

came out of the tap thick and black, with a tan head that managed to leave the thinnest layer on top of the beer the whole time. deep roasted barley aroma mixed with charred oak and vanilla. soft carbonation makes for a very smooth and sturdy body. very complex flavors of milk chocolate, espresso, and a campfire smokiness are evident...unique to say the least. finishes with a touch of herbal hopiness and lingering burnt flavor.

quite a unique and complex stout, this one impressed me. my first beer from old dominion, i'll be seeking others out for sure.

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2004 17:01:03 | More by pheurton
Photo of nomad
nomad

Kansas

4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank 8 days after its bottling date...

Pours a deep brown with a super slow reverse cascading action, impressive given that its not a nitro beer. From this pretty pour it has a thick frothy head, a full two fingers, and is very slow to fall.

Smells of roasted grains and small notes of oak over a big, full nutty background.. Vanilla scent begins slight, and with a more floral and fruity character than the classic bourbon vanilla smell. Amazingly, as this beers warms the vanilla gains in power and clarity yet then recedes. Settles to a beautiful coffee scent, one of the better coffee scents I've smelled on a beer in some time.

For a normal, 5.2% stout, this beer has a lot of flavor, big flavors to be exact: dark chocolate, barbecue roastiness, dark toasted wheat bread, and an impressive sweet-ish depth. Vanilla bean notes daintily walk through the darkness and disappears before the moderately dry finish. Like its smell, after a few sips a sizable nutty backbone emerges. Thin mouthfeel. Highly drinkable.

So this is NOT the same beer as draught version. The kegs are full of this stout that has been aged in bourbon bottles; the bottles are the brew "dry hopped" with vanilla beans and toasted oak chips. A decent attempt at approximating barrel aging in a quicker and cheaper way, but its clearly not the same. Regardless, this is a fine stout, much better than most normal stouts and surprisingly big and dynamic, tasting to me somewhat like Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout. So its a great beer but I can only imagine how much better is the draught product.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2004 14:12:13 | More by nomad
Photo of Afterburner
Afterburner

Virginia

4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The other day I had this on tap. It was tasty. Today, I had the bottled version. It was bottled on Thursday, and consumed on Sunday. As a reminder, the bottled versions are not the same as the keg version offered at Dominion's brewery. The bottle versions, as well as the keg versions offered in restaurants, are aged with toasted oak chips and vanilla, instead of being aged in old bourbon barrels.

All of the comments I made about the draft version apply here to the bottled version. It's a dark, thick brew, dark brown foam head, and so on.

The primary difference, at least to my taste buds, is that the oak flavor is much more assertive in the bottled version. You get a very woody, oaky flavor mid-palate that wasn't present in the keg version I had at the Vienna Inn. IMHO, that makes the bottled version much more interesting, and therefore superior.

Of course, the kegged version isn't bad, either. I certainly wouldn't pass one up in any case. But if you can find a bottled version, it's worth a try.

Edit Addendum: I let another bottle sit out for a while and assume room temperature, so I could bring out the aromatics. One of these buggers served at 55-65F has a metallic tang to the aroma that isn't noticable when the beer is chilled. And there is a pronounced nutty aftertaste present in the room-temperature beer.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2004 14:32:32 | More by Afterburner
Photo of JimsArcade
JimsArcade

Pennsylvania

4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a growler, Dominion Oak Barrel Stout pours with minimal dark brown foam into a pint glass. The foam is rather coarse and sticks to the sides of the glass. Based on appearance alone, this looks to be a bold brew.

Bourbon (with its characteristic sensation of alcohol) and coffee dominate the nose. Bringing the aroma through to the mouth heightens the alcohol’s presence.

Like the nose, the first sip is almost all bourbon and coffee. Roasted malts come to play as the beer warms. As the beer warms toward the finish, this stout tastes more like a liquor/beer mixture than a pure beer. It’s unusual but pleasing.

This is a very fine beer. While I have difficulty treating it like a pure stout (it tastes more like an imperial stout, and given the aging process it would be better classified as a hybrid), I would recommend it to anyone who wants to try something quite unique.

Serving type: on-tap

03-29-2004 03:29:05 | More by JimsArcade
Photo of Edwin
Edwin

Pennsylvania

4.75/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My new favorite beer. This is an awesome brew and absolutely MUST be tried.

Appearance - Pours out a black body with a delicious loking tan head. Looks aren't everything, so I was, of course, cynical, but it does look beautiful.

Smell - A wonderful mix of nuts, chocolate, grains, and just plain beer goodness.

Taste - Incredible. Nutty, chocolaty, grainy, sweet, but not overly. An explosion of a stout that completely blew me away. I am a stout lover, but this one really broke the mold and shines through.

Mouthfeel - Just like any micro stout...smooth as a baby's ass.

Drinkability - I can say this is one beer that makes me drop anchor. I was trying to order something different every beer and had to keep ordering these. An excellent beer to drink for an evening.

Overall - Get this beer. It's truly a testament to stouts.

Serving type: on-tap

03-10-2004 23:03:50 | More by Edwin
Photo of SheepNutz
SheepNutz

Kentucky

4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a pint glass. It pours a jet black color with two fingers of dark tan foam. There is lots and lots of lace rings left down the sides of the glass. The smell is full of roasted malt, coffee, and a hint of oak. The taste is full of mocha, burnt malt, and molasses. A hint of hops on the finish. The body is a little watery, yet very smooth. The drinkability is fantastic. An awesome stout!

Serving type: on-tap

03-09-2004 15:51:46 | More by SheepNutz
Photo of AndIWantYou
AndIWantYou

Washington

4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Mmmmm. Now this is what a stout is all about. It was dark, malty, slightly hoppy, and pretty filling. The light in Old Dominion's Ashburn, VA, brewpub was fairly dim, but Oak Barrel looked black as night in my glass. I didn't detect the bourbon flavor, just a rich, creamy stout that made my barbecue sandwich quiver in fear, knowing that it didn't have the body and texture to stand up to such a wonderful concoction. Regrettably, since the tab was on my girlfriend's father, I didn't want to order another beer until he did, and he didn't, so I only got one taste of this divine liquid.

Serving type: on-tap

03-08-2004 02:55:45 | More by AndIWantYou
Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,187 ratings.