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Dominion Ale - Old Dominion Brewing Company

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Dominion Ale
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137 Reviews

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Reviews: 137
Hads: 200
Avg: 3.7
pDev: 14.05%
Wants: 13
Gots: 6 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
English Pale Ale |  5.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: kbub6f on 09-02-2001

This English style ale is malty with an assertive hop character. The result is a beautiful crystal clear amber color with a medium body.
View: Beers (32) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 137 | Hads: 200
Photo of metter98
3.5/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer is clear amber in color and has a very slight amount of visible carbonation. It poured with a finger high off white head that died down and left a patch of bubbles on the surface and a ring of bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: There are moderately strong aromas of toasted malts in the nose.
T: Similar to the smell, flavors of toasted malts along with some notes of malty sweetness are present in the taste. There is a slight amount of bitterness and hints of spiciness in the finish.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: This beer is easy to drink and quite sessionable. It would probably pair well with food because its flavors are not that strong.

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Photo of brentk56
3.76/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazy amber color with a massive head that leaves a fair bit of lace behind

Smell: Smells very English, with a fruity, toffee character but there is diacetyl detectable on the nose

Taste: Tastes English, too, with toffee forward and an earthy, fruity hop character developing by mid-palate; after the swallow, the diacetyl makes an impact, adding a buttery dimension to the flavor profile

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation and a bit of slickness on the tongue

Drinkability: Pretty good example of an English style, but pales in comparison to the real thing

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.6/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes.

Pours a sligtly hazed golden color with a white head. Nose is lift toffee and some citrus and floral hops. A bit of diacetyl but not too much and it fits in somewhat well. Taste is a bit sweet and a bit bitter. Pretty good balance. Feel is a bit thin but has good carbonation levels and a nice finish. Drinks well and is fairly sessionable.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Unblemished coppery orange with brighter orange juicy edges. A good looking crown of golden ecru foam sits perched atop the beer and looks as though it has enough creamy density to hang around for a spell. Nothing more than dribs and drabs of watery lace keep me from loving the appearance. [Note: a large crusty sheet covers the glass opposite once the beer has fallen with drinking].

The nose is an odd one given the style (this is actually an English Pale Ale, not an American one). I love the aroma of butter toffee, butterscotch, golden brown sugar, etc. so I'm not too disappointed in the nose. I would have thought, given the hop bill (Perle, Willamette, Mt. Hood and East Kent Goldings), that some degree of fruit, spicy hoppiness would be making its way out of the glass.

Not too many pale ales use both caramel and black malt and not too many pale ales are this malt-dominant or this hop-deficient. The thing that keeps me from slamming Dominion Ale mercilessly is that it actually tastes okay if one ignores style completely. In fact, it tastes most like a bastardized Scottish Ale. Or, alternatively, a diacetyl-soaked, underhopped English pale.

The same aromas that were present in the nose have made their way to the palate: butter, toffee, brown sugar, et al. It sounds as though those flavors would make for a sweet beer, but it really isn't that sweet. The hops, while not providing much of any flavor, do contribute a meager amount of bitterness that is especially noticed on the finish.

There isn't anything wrong with the body/mouthfeel. It's 'ale medium' with a mild amount of slickness on the back end. Even though the sound of escaping carbonation was satisfyingly loud on crown cracking, the beer feels a tad underbubbled in the mouth. It's well within my comfort zone though, so no harm, no foul.

I love Old Dominion Beer; only the Oktoberfest failed to impress the hell out me. Well, it now has company because Dominion Ale, while far from a mess, doesn't really know what style it wants to be and is all over the map as a result. My advice is to stick with the outstanding year-rounders (New River Pale Ale, Oak Barrel Stout) and the phenomenal seasonals (Winter Brew, Spring Brew) and give this one a respectful pass.

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Photo of oberon
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice golden color with a thin head that doesnt leave much if any lacing,aroma of biscuity malt and some leafy hop.Nice subtle tasting beer with a firm malt backbone with a piney/leafy flavor predominenty in the finish,as the beer warms I taste a hint of brown sugar as well.Like some others I also get a British ale quality to this one,subtle but not lacking in flavor.Well done by OD.

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Photo of nickfl
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Copper colored body with good clarity. One finger of off-white foam that settles quickly and leaves decent lace.

S - Toasty, bready malt with a hint of caramel. No hop aroma or yeast character.

T - Malty flavor with lots of toast and bread. A clean, lager like profile throughout the middle fades to a grainy finish with some slightly darker toasted notes.

M - Moderately thick, medium carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Drinkable, but quite unremarkable overall. the aroma is very bland and while the malt character is nice, it is also pretty one dimensional. No serious flaws, but nothing to really like either.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.46/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Believe it was Dyan that sent me this one. Thanks.

A: The beer pours a dark amber color with a finger of creamy, tan head.

S: Smells slightly meaty, which is a bit off-putting. Under that, there's toasted bread and toffee. A hint of brown sugar and some floral and grassy hops.

T: A bit better on the palate. Brown sugar, toffee, and toasted bread makes up the bulk of the flavor. A light fruitiness, particularly orange peel. Very light metal notes on the back end.

M: Medium in body with medium carbonation.

O: Not awful, but too many things wrong with this beer.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.9/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Clear, copper body sporting a very thin white head.

Smell: Very basic grainy pale malt aroma and little else. Sheesh.

Taste: Some pale malts with a subtle sweetness and a hint of grain followed by a medium hop bitterness. That's it. So painfully average you can't help but feel a little sorry for it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbontion.

Drinkability: No. This beer shows the depth and charm of a homebrewer's first half-hearted attempt at the style, maybe a lil' less. Even if what you're looking for is a session-type beer, there are many far better choices out there.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.88/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Chicago Bears shaker pint glass.

I love the cheap brews at Whole Foods. This one pours a borderline hazy sunrise amber topped by a finger of creamy ecru foam. The nose comprises buttery biscuits, light caramel, and a splash of fresh flowers. The taste follows closely, with a touch more butter on the biscuits and a twist of orange zest in the background. The body is a light medium, with a light carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a rather nice EPA, an admitted surprise from Dominion. And you can't beat that price (trust me)!

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dominion Ale is English in style, while it's cousin - Dominion Pale Ale - is more American. It's clear copper body is topped by a frothy head of white foam that holds well and leaves some very nice rings of sticky lace. Its fresh and inviting nose displays a generous amount of caramel-laced, biscuity malt accented by lightly floral and grassy hops. The body is medium and its fine carbonation is crisp in the mouth. The flavor reflects exactly what the aroma suggests with a gently caramelish and biscuity malt that's accented by floral, leafy and slightly grassy hops backed by a solid bitterness. It's quite delicately balanced with a bitterness that allows the malt to come through but still restrains it. It never steps out of line, but doesn't back down either; and it finishes dry with a short-lingering note of caramelish malt and floral hop. Surprisingly, on the back label they compare this delicate beauty to some sulphur-ridden, hard-muscled swilll from Britain... and it's certainly not! It's crisp, clean, and vibrant with a beautifully floral hop aroma that's like a summer morning after the rain has fallen. Quite nice!

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Photo of oriolesfan4
3.37/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Part of the Old Dominion sampler pack.

Pours a light golden color, very little head. Faint hoppy aroma. Taste is light to medium bodied, pretty good mouthfeel. Watery taste, a slight smack of hops, some breadiness.. finishes easy and smooth. A whole lot of 'meh' here, boring style, and kind of a boring beer. Definitely drinkable and not bad, but just way too average for my liking.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's hard to switch up to an English style ale after getting bombarded with so many of the American ones I have lately. This one is pretty nice. Somewhat of a spicy and bitter side to it. Smooth though. Carbonation seems to be biting a bit too hard for me. But it isn't out of control or anything. Overall, this one is alright. I'm sure it'd be nice to try on cask.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.05/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Caramel amber hue filtered nicely, big creamy mountainous off white head leaving sporadic chunks of lacing as it slowly dwindles. Aroma: Slight citrus fruit tone with sweet caramel highlights from the malt hop combo. I can only imagine this is what Bass ale originally smelled and tasted like. Wow, give these guys some credit excellent all around English style ale. Taste: Mildly bitter touch of grassy herbal tone with citrus hops as well. Great mix of subtly sweet malts some 2 row, caramel, and other combine to make one excellent malt profile. Mouthfeel: Medium to light body easy going carbonation very nice. Drinkability: Just try this brew, I had a very fresh sample and am thoroughly impressed by the depth of Old Dominion.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, luminous orange color, big, bubbling white head.
Sweet and fruity aroma, and a tiny bit tart, I like it, though, I like it!
Taste: nice, smooth, and nothing...I'm immediately thinking "British ESB", but there's nothing of interest at all going on here.
You can drink them, sure, and there's a nice little taste, but I must emphasize "little" here. Yeah, it goes down easy, and there's nothing to distract you from the darts, mate. My turn? Oi!

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Photo of drabmuh
3.93/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on draft in the Old Dominion Pub in Hyattsville, MD.

Beer is amber / copper in color. Nice white head with small bubbles, carbonation is low. Lots of lacing on glass. Aroma is malty with some citrus hop character.

Beer is mildly bitter. Hop flavor is on the back end, mild mid-palate flavor. Beer is a little thin in body, drinkability high.

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Photo of WesWes
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The beer pours a gold color with a thick frothy white head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a nice pale and light crystal malt scent. It has a buttery toffee aroma with some hops. The taste is decent. It has a crisp pale malt and bitter hop bite. It goes down quick and finishes dry and bitter with a slight residual sweetness. The mouthfeel is decent as well. It is a medium bodied beer with good carbonation. This is a good drinking beer. I wish it was less carbonated and had more maltiness in the flavor. All in all, not a bad brew.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3.75/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a pint glass, this one is fairly fresh.

A- Dominion ale is a slight amber/copper color with some orange hints here and there. A sturdy off white foamy head graces the top while not sticking to the glass for any lace. A nice looking pale ale.

S- This EPA is high on the toasty aroma with some caramel malt and toffee giving off a sweetness. A nice hop aroma from four varieties with some bitter smell.

T- Getting some bread and bisquit flavor overall but its not that bad. Grains are all throughout this EPA. Not much flavor from the hop bill except some grassy tastes and a tad bitter end, but it blends nice with the english malts. Some caramel and toffee with slight butterscotch.

M- A nice crisp blast up front followed by a smooth finish. This EPA is medium bodied with ample carb going for it. Glides down the mouth with not much getting in the way.

D- Sessionable and drinkable but may be tiresome after a few. Maybe a uber fresh bottle or off the tap may brighten my spirits. Either way this one was good for a go. I look forward to more offerings from this brewery.

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Photo of Gavage
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear amber in color with a nice 2" head. Spotty lacing develops.

Smell: the aroma was somewhat soft and weak, as only a hint of caramel and floral hops were detectable.

Taste: the flavor was well-balanced. Caramels, nice bitterness, and soft orange zest make a super drinkable beer.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start. The finish is smooth and lightly crisp with a short caramel aftertaste.

Drinkability: I found this to be extremely flavorful, its a shame the nose was so weak. Nice brew.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.78/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a trade.
Not a bad looking caramel/amber body, but for an English ale I expected it to be a bit richer. Same with the head since not hand pumped. Small, white and some retention.
Smell of slight malt and caramel. Not much else, could use some earthy hops or some more bitterness in the nose.
Taste follows. Is this an ale or a lager? Sweet as a lager. Some bitterness, definitely not an EPA.
Otherwise, not a bad brew. Tastey, just off style. Expected something different.

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Photo of tempest
3.7/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice drinking English pale ale, but I think the yeast character overwhelms the flavor a bit much. There's a big, creamy element to it, almost like a lighter version of the Ringwood yeast (and sans the big D). It makes for a very smooth drink, but the taste, while nice, is a little simple.

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Photo of weeare138
3.48/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appears a hazy light gold with a frothy 3 finger white head and tons of lace.
Smell is of an English style ale...light floral and caramel.
Taste is yeasty, slightly sour mix of sweet malt and light hops.
Mouthfeel is slightly fizzy. The hops stand out over the slightly sweet/sour malt to make a one sided brew.

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Photo of akorsak
3.63/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is a pint served at the Birchmere prior to and during the Wayne Newton show tonight. The ale was served cold in a tumbler.

Appearance: The ale has a nondescript amber red color with a nice thick head that laces well.

Smell: There is a slight bitter hop aroma but mostly just biscuity malt.

Taste: Again, the biscuity malts rule the day. They provide a grainy flavor that is accentuated by a lightly bitter hop body.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is relatively subdued, allowing for brief flourishes of hop bitterness.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, darn near a session beer for a show.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to Due South glass on 7/12/12
*From notes

A: Hazy dark golden. A big pour yields a three finger head. Moderate lacing and retention rims the glass.

S: Quite bready. Not getting a whole lot more then golden, maybe slightly toasted malt.

T: Lots of buttered toast, breakfast cereal and a touch of white smoke. Pleasant and inoffensive.

M: A bit thinner then I'd like. The body is simply too light and can't stand up to even the minimal amount of complexity the flavor profile is packin'.

O: A decent English Pale. If you're feeling compelled to check out Dominion's suds, I recommend their Beach House Pilsner or their Hop Mountain Pale Ale. Though not great, this will do in a pinch when lacking other, more expressive ales and lagers.

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Photo of DrDemento456
3.73/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Got a free 4oz sample at my local beer store. Worth the review.

A - Pours a nice amber yellow with very mild soapy head or lace.

S - Noting spectacular. I did get some hops and the malts did smell fairly sweet.

T - I was actually impressed by the taste since it came off rather sweet with the malts. Their really was no hop profile, mild at best but it seemed drinkable enough.

M - I expected it to be around 5 percent so 4.7 makes some pretty light to medium body beer.

D - I will probably pick up a bottle or two when my beer place gets a better selection for their mix and match for 10 dollar section. A pretty staple ale in the beer world

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Photo of glid02
3.58/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at the Old Dominion location in the Dulles Airport in DC.

Pours a clear amber color with a one-finger white head. The head recedes into a wispy layer on top leaving decent lacing.

Smells of grainy pale malts with hints of toastiness. As the beer warms indistinct medium fruit aromas waft out.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Pale malt flavors with hints of deeper caramel malts kick things off. Midway through the sip it sweetens a bit as good amounts of mild fruit flavors work their way into things. The flavors dry out a bit before a mildly bitter ending. As the beer warms hints of buttery diacetyl makes an appearance.

Mouthfeel is good. It's got a nice thickness with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is OK. I didn't have any problems finishing my glass however I'm not sure about another.

Overall I found this to be a solid beer however it's missing a certain smoothness to make it a very good beer.

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Dominion Ale from Old Dominion Brewing Company
84 out of 100 based on 137 ratings.