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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.
BA SCORE
88
very good

685 Reviews
THE BROS
99
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 685
Hads: 1,453
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 18.37%
Wants: 77
Gots: 168 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company
Delaware, United States | website

Style | ABV
American Stout | 6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2001

We use smoked and peated malts to create an intricate malt foundation. Our method of dry hopping with vanilla beans and oak chips pushes the depth of this stout’s flavor spectrum even further.
View: Beers (31) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Dominion Oak Barrel Stout Alström Bros
Reviews: 685 | Hads: 1,453
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 facundoCNB
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

poured a deep brown/black with 1/4" of tan head which dissipated quickly. smells of vanilla, oak, chocolate, and toasted grains. nutty in flavor with a hint of caramel, a subtle smokiness.. i don't taste any chocolate, coffee or the regular stout flavors. more really just wood flavors and pecans. medium body, low carbonation, watered down for the style. even for just being a stout it feels watered down. this isn't a terrible beer, but it seems like very little aging was done to this in barrels, and it seems like maybe they should've worked on their stout profile before bothering putting it in a barrel.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's black it has a tanned head, it's stout go figure.

The aroma just makes the mouth water
cocoa, caramel, petrol, charcoal YOU NEED TO SMELL THIS TO BELIVE IT!

Taste is deep and well rounded the vanilla is there dark flavours that only come out in the night burn't toast with lots of unsalted butter and a drop of port.

Good solid mouthfeel slightly over carbonated but hey it is easier to take fizz out than put it in .

Truly amazing ale.

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Photo of Rickythejeweler
3.93/5  rDev +0.3%
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

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Photo of schoolboy
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I am pretty sure this is just the second Dominion I've sampled. It looks great in the glass with an above average head. It's not quite opaque.

The brew smells only a little of its barrel aging, but the taste is nicely mellowed by this additional dimension. It has a nice well balanced nature - a fair amount of malt and hops flavor and that bit of barrel mellowing.

The aftertaste is mild and not too sweet. A very drinkable stout with character.

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Photo of cozmohollis
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The body is black with some dark reddish-brown color on the sides.
The head is thick and tan in color. And recedes to a creamy look.
The lace is only minor.

Smell: Scent of toffee, caramel, coffee, oak, and vanilla. A very pleasant smell.

Taste: Dark malts upfront that were roasted and crisp with a little bitterness to them.
In the middle was a sweetness that was balanced but complex. Notes of
chocolate, coffee, caramelized toffee, and vanilla that mix together
perfectly. Ends with a light roasted flavor that is smooth.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth and full body. In the middle it has an acidic crisp feeling when
all of the complex flavors mixes.

Overall: I love everything about this stout. My favorite thing is the complex flavors
and how smooth it is. A very interesting brew. One of my favorite stouts.

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Photo of Finn
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Aroma: Earthy, slight vanilla, burnt coffee

Appearance: Deep dark, tiny bit wisp of lace on top

Flavor: Peaty, earthy malt with a little vanilla aftertaste, tobacco, cola, roasty black malt.

Mouthfeel: Almost medium, with fairly strong carbonation cutting through to thin out the feel

Overall: Pretty nice. Unique malt profile mingling with a touch of vanilla is nice. I didnt pick up much noticeable oak. The slightly thin body detracted overall, but a very nice beer.

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Photo of SlothB77
4.41/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass from a tap

A: black with a thin light brown head that lingers, but doesn't get in the way. Pours thinner than expected.

S: roasted chocolate and vanilla, cream, very subtle coffee

T: has a very smooth and creamy taste, very little bitters. Has that creamy sweetness. Tastes light. Very pleasant smoky oak aftertaste that dissipates quickly.

M: medium carbonation, medium-bodied, low acidity. Very little bitters, very smooth and dry. The taste doesn't last in your mouth that long, and that kind of just makes you want to drink more of it.

O: This beer has become a staple with me and my friends. Where I live, it is widely available and probably one of the best beers I know I will be able to find at most places. It seems everyone who I have try this beer loves it.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a very dark brown color with good opacity. The head is quite nice - a two finger khaki color with a fantastic fluffy texture. It's also slow to recede, though I'm a bit let down at the lack of significant lacing.

S: There's quite a lot of dark chocolate and vanilla in the aroma. I can also pick up some roasted and smoked malts, a twinge of dark fruits, and mocha. Oaky notes don't really pop up. Still, a great example of a 'subtle' aroma.

T/M: The front end of flavors are very vanilla heavy, but the sweetness is nullified somewhat by the clean, bone dry finish. This closely resembles an Irish stout in terms of how it drinks. Most of the other flavors pop up as random subtleties - hints of roasted malt, hints of chocolate, hints of smoke - to help augment the primary note of vanilla. This beer generally finishes quick and roasty, with a surge of oak tannins to help give its finishing characteristics. Wow, I'm surprised how much I like it.

O: This is one of those hidden gems I regret not purchasing sooner. Hell, it's available in some GAS STATIONS in VA. A great session stout - think Guinness infused with vanilla, oak tannins, and steroids.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this as an extra from a generous BA. Pours a very dark brown-black color with a medium, tan head that diminishes quickly. Scent is quite oaky. More than expected. Some lovely vanilla aromas with chocolate...milk chocolate to be exact. Some nutty notes as well. Taste is vanilla at first. A GOOD amount of vanilla...which is never a bad thing in my book. Some oak flavors with chocolate and malt. Slightly bitter finish with more sweet vanilla. Mouthfeel is light-medium bodied...especially for a stout. Drinkability is very high. Overall, this beer is very interesting. Quite sessionable for a stout with so much flavor. Lacking in the mouthfeel...but also in the ABV...so it goes hand in hand. Great stout for those wanting one they can drink more and more of without getting drunk, while also having some flavorful nectar to sip on.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured out as a nice deep black color with a light brown head on top. The head was bubbly looking with a thin retention and a scattered lack on the glass. The smell of the beer is really nice, it's got a big roasted aroma upfront with a sweet natural vanilla aroma in there as well. The taste has a bitter roasted flavor with the sweet vanilla throughout. The mouthfeel of the beer has a carbonation that is a little too sharp for the style. Overall this beer was really good, I would drink this one again for sure.

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Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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

12oz. poured into Duvel Eley Tulip

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

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

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

M: Very thin with aforementioned tingle.

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

NOTE: Live review.

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Photo of Infamous7100
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: pours a rich and deep dark brown to black. Opaque. A decent tan head develops with little to no lacing left on the glass. No complaints here.
S: beautiful notes of oak, peat and smoke blend with sweet aromas of vanilla, chocolate and coffee. As it warms, it seems to smell sweeter. It's very complex.
T: complex and balanced. I first notice the roasted malt and coffee notes but the subtle hints of vanilla do well to quell the roastiness from being overbearing. You can definitely pick up some of the oak at the back along with a tad of bitterness from the dry hopping.
M: decent bit of carbonation but the body is a tad thinner and less chewy than expected. It is very smooth and closes with dry and slightly bitter hang.
O: I enjoyed this offering from Old Dominion. The complexities keep it interesting and they provide a unique take on a stout. Love the balanced flavor profile but was hoping for a bit more of a body. Good drinking though.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice looking black colour, with a dark tan coloured head of about a finger. Left a bit of lace and had nice retention. The aroma was very nice. Woody, oaky, with a touch of bourbon, with plenty roasted malts and touches of dark cocoa. The taste was pretty average. Not too much of the oak comes through at all, and it's mainly just a roasty, uninteresting stout. The feel is also average, with a light, somewhat watery feel to it.

Wonderful nose, but the bulk of it is nothing too special.

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Photo of beerthulhu
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

- Bottled 3/13/12. Consumed 11/17/12.

A: Rich chocolate pour has deep merlot highlights. Slight head, medium sandstone tint, weak hold and minimal lacing.

S: Deep rich chocolate aroma, creamy warm chocolate and marshmellow with a hint of vanilla richness. Throw in a bit of fresh coffee and there you go. Nice level of awareness.

T: Flavor was chocolate-coffee with vanilla bean that was rich and deep in tone and flavor. A touch of smoky malt, dry oak and peat with some sweet licorice. Burnt sugar sweetness, sweet dark fruit of cherries and sugary raisins peep through every now and then.

M: Mouthful contained a nice level of carbonation, was thick, luscious and viscose with a smooth texture and clean finish of coffee-dark fruit on the tongue.

O: Overall a nice level of complexity, rich deep stout, sweet dark fruit and chocolate gives this a big beer flavor in a little bottle. Smooth drinking and highly recommended.

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Photo of dmcclurejr
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Glad to see that this is available in Ohio again!
Had a pint on tap at Brews Cafe in Granville, OH.

A: Thin, dark tan head, which settled quickly. Beer is black.

S: Some smoke. Vanilla is present, but doesn't jump out. Hints of coffee and chocolate.

T: Initially, malt sweetness is apparent. Woody, smoky, and roasted malt notes follow. Vanilla flavor is somewhat pronounced. Rich taste considering the ABV. Finish is significantly more dry than it was a few years ago when previously sold in OH or than the case we picked up in VA a couple of years ago.

M: Very smooth. Certainly does not have the heavy or thick mouthfeel of an imperial, but definitely heavier than the common dry stouts.

O: Excellent beer overall. Somewhat complex and satisfying taste. Very nice to have a reasonably complex and rich stout for a reasonable price. I also find it refreshing to have a rich and rewarding stout that isn't overly alcoholic. I would very much like to see more rich stouts in the 5 to 6.5% ABV range. This is probably my favorite American stout. I especially love that it is session friendly. I just wish the finish wasn't quite so dry.

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Photo of DrinkMoreBigBeers
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The date on the back of the bottles label reads 07/31/12

A - Pours out a black beer which you can see light threw on the edges. The mocha head was a nice two finger hieght that was rocky and bubbly as it died off relatively fast. Average lacing on this one.

S - Real light and smooth with a distinct woody vanilla aroma along with some light dark roasted malts. I also pick up some smoke.

T - This one has the right amount of sweetness that seems pretty mild like the smell with a light roast, the barrel and vanilla are intertwined and are quit pleasant on the palate. I also get the smoke and some dark chocolate flavor like on the smell. Nice light and complex.

M - Smooth and slick and it seems slide right down with a light carbonation and a light body which seems to work really well with this brew.

O - Found this one to be really pleasant and easy drinking with a lot of complexities. Like how Dominion has a date on the back of their bottle. Really nice light stout that I could definitely session. Worth a try if you like a light complex stout. Cheers!

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

12oz bottle poured into a snifter

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

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Photo of swthomas55
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A pint on tap at Lizardville.

Aroma has delicious vanilla, along with roasty, coffeeish and cocoa notes. Underneath is clearly a stout.

It pours black, with a decent tan head.

Presents itself as a dry stout, with malt and roast in balance and not sweet. Then the vanilla comes in and rounds it out. The finish is dry and roasty with hints of vanilla.

Overall, I find it quite enjoyable. It is a good dry stout, but rounded and expanded by the oak barrel vanilla.

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Photo of Treyliff
3.53/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- poured into a pink glass, pours a very dark brown, almost opaque. Two funger dark tan creamy head that reduces to a solid skim frothy layer, a bit of lace.

S- smoky roasted malt, milk chocolate, a bit of oak and just a hint of vanilla. Nothing stands out greatly.

T- roasted malts with notes of dark fruit, chocolate and vanilla bean. The oak chips give it a slight smoky bitterness. Finishes dry.

M- medium body, lighter than most stouts. Moderate carbonation and with a bit if foamy mouthfeel, finishes a bit watery.

O- I like the smokiness of this one, but the flavors and aromas are a bit subdued. The mouthfeel is also lighter than a traditional stout, worth trying though.

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Photo of Theheroguy
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Woody flavored and pitch black. I would call this a typical stout which does everything right but it is too good to be labeled "typical". The mouth and nose follow a main trail of malt dark chocolate. Side paths lead to a coffee flavor. Noticeably in the back ground there is a woody flavor? The result of the Oak barrel? I do not know but wouldn't be surprised if it were. The finish is smooth not crisp or dry at all.

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Photo of Beer_Runner
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 08/07/12 (opened 46 days after bottling)

A: A slow pour into a standard pint glass resulted in about two-and-a-half fingers of a very robust and clumpy mocha colored head that slowly dissipated to about a quarter finger and left a good lacing. The brew dark brown and opaque with a cola hue.

S: The aroma is mild and consists of dark roasted malt with a touch of vanilla and a bit of oak.

T: The taste begins with a dark roasted malt and oak blend, and a touch of vanilla also comes through along with a touch of sweetness.

M: The body just barely makes it into the heavy range and it also has a slightly creamy feel. There is also very little carbonation, which is just fine in this style of beer.

O: This is a very oak and vanilla focused beer. It is also a very sweet beer. It is a good solid stout. The vanilla and the sweetness combine to give this beer a cola-like flavor.

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Photo of MDDMD
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown color with a decent tan head and a little lacing

S-dark malt, caramel, coffee, vanilla

T-dark roasted malt, coffee, caramel, vanilla, some bitterness on the finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, smooth

O-a decent stout with nice flavor, good value

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Photo of Rons35
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Had this beer out of a Founders snifter. Pours very dark, with a slight brownish/coffee colored head that settled quickly into a thin band around the glass. The smell of sweet chocolate is faint but noticeable. Also, the smell of oak and a little smoke mixes in nicely. Towards the end of the glass, the smell of the bourbon really stands out.

This beer has a very sweet, but very drinkable taste that leaves you wanting more. This is where the vanilla bean comes into play. Not really noticing any of the bourbon flavor you typically find in a barrel aged stout, but you can taste a hint of the oak. It's a very light drinking beer, I'd prefer if it had a little more thickness, but it is only a 6%er, so I'll let that slide.

Overall this is a very good stout that I was very surprised with. For the price (about $10 per 6), it's tough to beat. It's not an overpowering stout, but it's definitely one that I'll have again and recommend to fellow beer drinkers.

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