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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

1,234 Ratings
THE BROS
99
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,234
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: 1,234 | Reviews: 655 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of DefenCorps
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've had this a few times over the years, and most recently, tonight, on tap at the OD pub in Hyattsville.

Black with dark brown highlights and a dense, brown head with great retention and lacing. The nose is solid. Prominently roasty with a blend of heavily kilned and mildly charred malts, the added vanilla bean character is noticeable and quite enjoyable. Oak isn't particularly noticeable on the nose, which is surprising given that this was aged on chips rather than barrels. Bitter chocolate and coffee appears as this beer warms up. The palate is just as good as the nose with a very enjoyable level of roasted malt lending a blend of coffee, a little char and the base grain itself. Sweetness is low, apart from the moderate vanilla character that appears mid-palate, there's not much by way of sweetness here. Medium-light in body with soft carbonation, this feels pretty smooth on the palate. The finish is long and bitter with plenty of roasted grain and a little char present. Very good, especially at $4/20oz pour. I'll revisit this for sure.

DefenCorps, Nov 13, 2010
Photo of WOLFGANG
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%

WOLFGANG, Jul 11, 2013
Photo of Duff27
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

2010 bottle

Initially head is short lived, leaves collar. Nice alcohol legs.

Oaky nose, some vanilla but mostly smells of a tree!

Pretty complex stout here. Vanilla dominates but doesn't overpower. Some oak, "nuttiness".

Mouthfeel is a little thin, kind of distracting. Lower end of spectrum of carbonation due to age I'm guessing.

Slightly oxidized but tasty none the less. Loved the vanilla aspect of this one, pleasant surprise. Thanks mikeyv35.

Duff27, May 11, 2012
Photo of RoyalT
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.

RoyalT, Apr 25, 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 Durge
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An opaque black-brown brew with a fair light brown cover and good lacing. I can smell a mild citrus licorice idea here. There’s a bit of cocoa/charcoal to make for a pleasant but subdued enticement. The taste buds pick up on tart charcoal and tasteful chocolate with a touch of orange/citrus bite. The body is medium-ish but it is a bit aqueous. I get a slightly resinous malt finish that also suggests some earthy juniper brightness. Carbonation is tiny, spritzy stuff that flows smoothly and makes for a very decent stout that could prove pretty sessionable. Recommended.

Durge, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of tbeckett
3.23/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Had this on tap at Dulles Airport. From notes.

A - Black pour with one finger of creamy tan head. Good carbonation coming up. Spotty lace and a half finger of retention.

S - Cola, sugar, sweet dark malt, some chocolate.

T - Roast, chocolate, sweet mostly. Not too much going on.

M - Very smooth, mild carbonation, medium body. Nice.

O/D - Fairly drinkable. Not sure where the smoke or barrel are, but it wasn't too bad. Scored lower because it lacks what it advertises.

tbeckett, May 19, 2014
Photo of Brenden
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

Brenden, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of francisweizen
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.

francisweizen, May 17, 2004
Photo of Jwale73
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A Valentine's Day treat from my wife, brought back from Virginia Beach. 12oz. bottle served in my DFH snifter. Bottled on 10/09/2008 indicated on the label. Poured one shade shy of black with a loose, khaki-colored head that quickly dissipates into a skim with a band of foam around the edges. Nose indicates vanilla, lactic acid and butterscotch. Taste consistent with nose, but very muted. Mouthfeel is somewhat watery with a light background carbonation and a slight acidity. Not bad, but somewhat lackluster.

Jwale73, Mar 04, 2009
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 IPAchris
4/5  rDev +1.8%

IPAchris, Jan 11, 2014
Photo of ROGUE16
4/5  rDev +1.8%

ROGUE16, Dec 07, 2011
Photo of tectactoe
3.05/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

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

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

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

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

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

tectactoe, Jun 14, 2013
Photo of DmanGTR
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

DmanGTR, Jan 29, 2013
Photo of clayrock81
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a perfect shade of black with a frothy, sleek one-finger head that was tan and then slowly died and left a ring around the glass. A light malt smell of roasted malts and sweet malts like caramel mixed with cocoa and coffee (and yes, oak). Medium-to-full bodied, really, REALLY, sweet and smooth creaminess. The beer is balanced with hints of dryness and although it goes down somewhat silky, it has a moderately dry backbone. Roasted, toffee, caramel, and chocolate malts all make their way in the taste. I could have this anytime.

clayrock81, Dec 16, 2008
Photo of whartontallboy
3.58/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a thin brown head that slowly dissipates.

You can really pick up on the oak barrel and vanilla in the nose, it gives the brew sort of a vanilla/roasted malt/winey smell with a bit of a hop character thrown in for good measure.

The taste is pretty smooth, with a nice balance of sweetness, roasted malt, vanilla, and a earthy flavor. It's a nice flavor, but I feel it's somewhat hamstrung by a very thin mouthfeel that doesn't really let it run as well as it could. It's a little too watery and not quite aggressive enough to really do this one justice. Not bad, but certainly not perfect.

whartontallboy, May 28, 2005
Photo of woosterbill
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle into a Mad Elf tulip.

A: Black body with brown highlights; one-inch, light-brown head. Average retention and some fine lacing. Quite good looking, but nothing special.

S: Understated aromas of roasted malt (more coffee than chocolate) and vanilla.

T: Robust, balanced flavors: coffee, dark chocolate, vanilla, and dry oak on the finish. Quite nice, and remarkably intense for the low ABV.

M: Slightly on the light side of medium-bodied with lots of lively bubbles; a bit frothier than I look for in a stout.

D: A flavorful, balanced stout with around 5%? Yes, please. This is a session beer for the cold months.

Cheers!

woosterbill, Jan 05, 2010
Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: pours a slight mocha head, the beer is a dark chestnut brown in color, light retention

s: smooth earthy dry roasts with notes of bittersweet chocolate and mild coffee, molasses, nice range of barley aromas here, hops moderate and earthy, just a slight oakiness and vanilla

m: carbonation on the low and smooth side of medium, medium, could stand to be a bit thicker

t: dry roasts upfront give some powdered cocoa and charred barley, sweetness very light, dries out even more in the finish with lingering roast and chocolate, just a touch of oak and vanilla, hops earthy and provide a mild bitterness, comes across as a bit watery at times but still nice

d: very

one of a couple singles from Total Wine Fairfax, unlikely I'll buy much more OD after the move out of VA

bottling date of 080808

blackie, Oct 22, 2008
Photo of rfgetz
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark black in color with nice khaki head, fades quickly but good lacing. Smell is of chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar and oak. Faint hints of coffee. Taste is more pronounced with vanilla extract, sweet brown sugar, oak and dark chocolate with coffee hints trailing. Silky smooth with a little aftertaste. Very good stout, but the vanilla begins to take over and can appear to be artificial.

rfgetz, Oct 11, 2009
Photo of TheBeerAlmanac
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%

TheBeerAlmanac, Aug 10, 2013
Photo of ColForbinBC
3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
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.

ColForbinBC, Oct 14, 2012
Photo of mynie
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Aged over a year. Yeah... hear me out, it was so wonderfully smooth and potent fresh I really wondered how it would taste if old man time gave it a little roughness. And let me tell you, I wouldn't have posted the results if they weren't favorable.

Pours thick motor oil black, goddamn near as close to opaque are you're gonna get with a beer that's only 5.2%. Nice head, brown and chocolately.

Smells like a really rough and wonderful chocoalte and vanilla porter. A little hint of fruit age--raisins, mostly--but the oak and the vanilla override everything else, along with rough and tumble roasted porter grains.

Tastes almost as good as it smells. Big vanilla and oak upfront move into a middle of aged fruit and end on a very nice, roasted grain. Nice, all around, and amazingly still potent after all this time.

Call it an odd experiment, but every once in a while something wierd like this actually pays off.

mynie, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of AngusOg
4.25/5  rDev +8.1%

AngusOg, Feb 01, 2013
Photo of EgadBananas
3.45/5  rDev -12.2%
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.

EgadBananas, Nov 23, 2012
Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,234 ratings.