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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.
very good

680 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 680
Hads: 1,429
Avg: 3.92
pDev: 18.37%
Wants: 76
Gots: 154 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company visit their website
Delaware, United States

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 (32) | 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: 680 | Hads: 1,429
Photo of TheLongBeachBum
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of jera1350
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Solid black color with a thin layer of tan foam.

Lots of rich roasted malt with a good amount of oak with a bit of smokiness.

Moderate amount of roasted malt followed immediately with a vanilla bean and oak burst of flavor. Minute kiss of coffee in the finish which is very clean. Flavors working really nicely together. Reminds me greatly of Aphrodisiaque.

Smooth feel with a hint of creaminess.

I would call this one of the top American Stouts that I've had. Very easy drinking with vanilla and oak to make it stand out from the crowd. Glad I had the chance to have this and I would welcome it again at any time.

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Photo of woosterbill
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
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.


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Photo of whartontallboy
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
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.

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Photo of blackie
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
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

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Photo of Holland
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: pours a nice very dark black color with a slight brown on the edges. Good sized head with lacing that stays to cover the glass for a while. Does not look very thick, but it's not a huge stout.

S: vanilla, wood, sweetness, caramel, and some roasted and smokey malt

T: initially dominated by the vanilla and sweetness, it changes to to a little more brown sugar, oak, and some earthy flavor. Smoke flavor comes out when it warms.

M: I want a thicker stout, but this is good in carbonation and has around a medium body.

O: good beer overall, especially with the complexity over time. It changes even more as it warms. For $10 per 6 pack, you can't miss on this.

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Photo of Reagan1984
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottles on 03/06/09

Light tan head about a finger and a half forms then quickly fades. Beer is the color of dark rot beer, perhaps even darker.

Aroma is of dark roasted malt, some smoke

Flavor is decidedly of charcoal, some dark roast coffee and then some real wood at the end. Finishes quite dry. Not getting much vanilla, perhaps melding with the wood a little.

Mouth feel & body are too light for the style in my mind and take away from the beer a bit. The charcoal flavor and mouth feel almost come across as powdery in your mouth.

Not among the best stouts I've had and a bit disappointing for an oak aged vanilla stout.

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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 tpd975
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Pours a nice dark black with a nice tan head. Pretty good retention with some nice spotty lace.

S: Wonderful woody aromas, oak, bourbon, and roasted malt.

T: Nice fresh oak, light bourbon, vanilla, and harsh chocolate malt. Hints of char and some hide beneath.

M: On the thin side for the style, my only real complaint about the beer.

D: Pretty good for what is basically a budweiser beer.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A pleasant stout with a faint vanilla/oak touch.

Presentation: 12 oz bottle. Revised label design leaning on a more contemporary legibility with a tree, barrel and buck within. Short description of the brew on the bottom part of the label and a perfunctory repetition of the same on the back. Lacks bottling date or freshness, neither shows IBUs or °Plato, or Alc. by Vol. Poured into a jar.

A - Dark brown with a hint of transparency towards the margins. 1/4 inch head that fades leaving thin layer and minimal lacing.

S - Roaster malts with a touch of vanilla. Not very fragrant.

T - Sweet malt with notes of chocolate and coffee. Minimal oak feel.

M - Quite carbonated giving it a light bubbly feel to an otherwise decent smoothness.

D - Not too complicated or sturdy a stout , it goes down well without many complications or memorable notes.

Notes: It is a nice and reliable stout. But neither the oak nor the vanilla beans are present in a very memorable manner. They are there subtly adding a hint to a bit of a thin stout for my linking.

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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 alexgash
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark, oily, black at the core, dark brown edges. Small, light khaki head. Definite oak, oak chips, vanilla, roasted malt, sweet chocolate, creme brulee, caramel, and bourbon. Nice, complex aroma. Taste is similar, but a bit muted. Roasted malt bitterness up front. Oaky, peaty, earthy malt sweetness changes to vanilla and chocolate sweetness. Moderate body (a bit light for the style perhaps) with plenty of carbonation. I like.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
1.94/5  rDev -50.5%
look: 3 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Reviewed on 9/20/08. Bottle courtesy of sloth, bottled 6/10/04. Pours black with a minute tan head. Aroma and flavor of Raisinettes and vinegar. I'm not sure if this beer went bad or if it's supposed to taste like this, but either way, yuck! Hopefully I can get a fresher bottle of this to re-rate.
3/3/4/2/9 (2.1/5)

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Photo of argock
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz brown bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date.

A: Deep brown with ruby-violet highlights. Tan head is 1-finger thick with only dots of lace down the glass.

S: Sweet chocolate, coffee, vanilla beans, and lightly woody-nutty aromas are present.

T: Vanilla and coffee are the predominant early flavors with a bit of bittersweet chocolate in the finish. Roasted black malts with minimal acridity are noticeable in the finish as well. Oakiness with a light bourbon flavor is not detected.

M: Thin even for this less demanding style with minimal carbonation and small amount of dryness in the aftertaste which is dominated by both vanilla and cocoa flavors.

D: An above-average stout that blends sweet flavors with an appropriately dry finish that hits the American/sweet stout style pretty well.

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Photo of Brent
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A very nice balance of sweetness with the vanilla bean quite distinctive, but finished with a very slight astringency that kept the beer from being too sweet and added to the drinkability. Mouthfeel was a bit of a letdown- on the thin side and made the beer seem less substantial. A good after dinner beer.

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Photo of prototypic
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to csmiley for the bottle. Very generous of you, dood.

Appearance: It's very dark brown in color. There's no light getting through so far as I can tell. Very close to black in appearance. Carbonation is off the chain. The head is tan and easily four fingers deep. It was very slow to dissipate and left thick sheets of lace on the glass. Ordinarily, I'm a fan of nice big heads, but it's a little annoying here. Took me a few minutes to get the beer into a glass.

Smell: Primarily, it's a nice mix of chocolate and roasted malts. The roasted malts smell a little stronger. It smells a little sweet. Coffee is noted, but is a secondary scent. Overall, it's pretty straight forward. I had pretty high expectations and am a little let down. I'm not picking up any vanilla or oak-like qualities at all. It's above average, but not as good as I had hoped.

Taste: The flavor profile is consistent with the nose in most respects. It does have a nice malty flavor. Roasted malts are clearly the strongest flavor here. Chocolate malts are noted. It has a bit of a bitter chocolate flavor, but isn't very sweet. Roasted coffee is faint and doesn't add a great deal. It's a little too buried. There is a decent wood or oak-like flavor that gives it a slight bump. But, it still hovers just above average. Carbonation is too high and is really distracting. No alcohol is noted. Finishes with a bitter chocolate flavor.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability: It's on the lighter side of medium bodied. Carbonation is too active and really prevents it from being smooth at all. Way too distracting. Drinkability is just above average. It's got an okay flavor, but doesn't really distinguish itself in any way.

I had high hopes for Oak Barrel Stout, but am ultimately disappointed. It's definitely not a bad beer, but it has some glaring flaws. The carbonation is the biggest. The lack of any standout in flavor is the second. Overall, it's above average, but would need some work to reach the next level. It's worth a try, but I wouldn't seek it out again.

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Photo of DrinkSlurm
4.2/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottles 1/23/12. Poured into chalice. Deep brown; almost black. Deep tan thin head. Gone quickly, but this rim remains. Smell is very mild...roasted malts with a hint of vanilla. Taste is of roasted malts and vanilla. A bit of oakey/wood hits the palate with a sweet milky taste. The more it warms up, the more vanilla comes out in the flavor. A bit bitter finish, but works well with the sweet vanilla. Overall, a really great stout, and as a fan of vanilla brews, this is as vanilla as I ever had.

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

On tap at Old Dominion at the Washington DC airport on 7/8/09.

A - Charcoal black body with burgundy highlights and about half a finger of creamy tan head that receded to a wispy film and yielded moderate lacing around the glass.

S - Woody and nutty with subtle smokey notes and some charcoal. Hops are earthy and leafy. Malt also takes on quite a roasty character with coffee and, to a lesser degree, chocolate.

T - Heavy on the roast with a dominant coffee character and also plenty of earthy and oaky notes, as well as a slight licorice presence. Decent amount of bitterness in the backend. Some chocolate flavor comes out in the finish and is accompanied by some oaky astringency.

M - Medium bodied with a watery texture and just a slight oily mouthfeel. Carbonation is soft to moderate on the palate. Finish is dry and somewhat astringent with a mild lingering bitterness.

D - Pretty complex stout with a dominant roasty character, plenty of oak/woody notes, and some other subtle intricacies, resulting in a flavorful brew overall.

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

Very dark, near-black brown color under a solid brown head. Bold, sweet malty aroma...brown sugar, vanilla, chocolate, and cake-batter. Semi-sweet chocolate chip and vanilla flavors. Yummy. Not the most complex stout in the world and actually kind of thin in the middle...but there are some tasty flavors in there. It's kind of confusing. Slightly watery, but flavorful. Medium bodied, goes down easy enough. I'll get it again, but I feel like with a couple tweaks, it could be great.

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Photo of merlin48
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A very nice brew for my first review of the year. Found a sixpack of this at Jungle Jim's International Market in Cincinnati. The Virginia border is just two miles from my house, and it's distressing that I can't find Old Dominion's excellent brews without driving at least three hours. This one pours a deep brown and opaque body, with two fingers of tightknit, tan head. Dramatic sheet and patch lacing is left behind. Excellent looking stout.
Aroma has vanilla, milk chocolate, mild coffee, and notes of oak wood.
Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy, with a medium body and just enough carbonation to mingle the complexity of flavors.
Taste is much like the aroma, with creamy vanilla and chocolate. Some toasted walnuts are noted, and there are coffee notes but little bitterness. I don't pick up any notes of bourbon, and there are only some mild notes of dark fruits such as figs and raisins. Still, this is one of the tastiest American stouts I've sampled. Insanely drinkable at 5.2%. Highly recommended.

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Photo of tgbljb
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

poured a deep brown color with off-white head. Smell is of chocolate, caramel, coffee, and toasted malt (very nice mixture). Taste starts off hoppy, but the coffee and toasted malt begin to come through. Fishi is dry, bitter, and truly enjoyable. An excellent Stout.

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Photo of garymuchow
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had two of these in the cellar with differing bottling dates; I picked the elder, dated "091406". My first guess on the trade origins of this bottle was the Commonwealth's Finest, Metalmonk. However, he corrected my error and, hence, I'm left wondering to whom I owe the pleasure...until I unearth an old email that gives todd1 credit; thank you, Todd!

A: Shocked. Yes, I am - to read this one weighs in at a mere 5.2%. A name like 'Oak Barrel Stout' says to me: "I'm massive! Cellar me!". well, 14 months you've sat in that bottle, little stout, waiting for your release - all because I never read the back label noting your low ABV. I apologize. You look tired. Old. I'm a bit disappointed... pours a dark, dark brown, faint garnet trimmings. Virtually no head, just a miniscule scattering of film and a jagged, pencil-thin ring for a head.

S: 'Fermented with vanilla beans & oak chips' says the label...definitely there are elements of both in the aroma; mostly, the sweet and aromatic vanilla. Not much else, but since the vanilla is mouth-watering and subtle woodiness is appealing, too, I rate this a 'good'...

T: Mmmmm...roasted coffee, dark chocolate and a careful vanilla. Oak notes are a little smoky. Mid-mouth sweetness is nice, becoming a lighter milk-chocolate or mocha. Some minor souring (oxidation) in the finish, but I don't mind too much in this flavorful stout. In fact this is one of the richest and most flavor-filled stouts I can recall...

M: Seems a bit thinned, but has a good lingering semisweet chocolate bittering. Carbonation is subtle, mouthfeel is generally creamy.

D: Likable stout with a few weaknesses, most of which (I'm guessing) are due to age. I have another of these to try, however it's just a couple months younger. I like the vanilla and oak and I like the direction this beer is going; it makes for a drinkable stout with a nice, dessert-like twist. Recommended.

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Photo of PittBeerGirl
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- deep brown/black body with thin dark tan head. In-line for a good stout.

S-dark fruits, malt, and oak. hints of vanilla.

T-very malty with hints of dark fruits, chocolate, coffee, and vanilla and maybe a little oak. Great balance with clean finish.

M- heavy body with medium to high carbonation. a tad watery though.

D- this is a very drinkable stout with a great character

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Photo of KYGunner
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This seemed relatively one dimensional to me as all I got was vanilla bean. It would presumably present some oak or barrel flavor but it simply never landed on my palate.

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Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 680 ratings.