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Dominion Ale - Old Dominion Brewing Company

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Dominion Ale
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198 Ratings

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Ratings: 198
Reviews: 137
rAvg: 3.69
pDev: 11.65%
Wants: 13
Gots: 3 | 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.
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Ratings: 198 | Reviews: 137 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of akorsak
3.63/5  rDev -1.6%
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.

Photo of warchez
4.43/5  rDev +20.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ap: Fine looking beer. perfect color, lighter ruby to deep copper, head retention, if improved would make this a perfect presentation.
Ar: Light, but fragrant hop smell. Mild citrus and light malt character
T: Great flavor, well balanced. Enough bitterness to enjoy and make it crisp. The malt is medium flavored, low caramel, but maintains good grainy,malty quality.
MF: mildly sticky on the tongue. Not a crisp clean finish. However, the lingering flavors are almost all hop which is great for the style:
D: Definately a solid utiliy Pale Ale. Good drinker, could pair with almost all your favorite foods.
Overall: This beer nearly has the full package. Great taste, not to strong flavors. Extremely well balanced. Not a bland representation of the style either. Solid.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
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.

Photo of Dogbrick
3.38/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draught at the Foggy Bottom Brewpub in Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (at 9 AM). Pours clear reddish-amber with a compact beige head with good staying power. Thin and quick lacing. The aroma consists of roasted malt and nuts. Medium-bodied with a steady sweetness throughout. Malt, caramel and mild hops flavors are all present. The finish is roasty and sweet with a nutty finish. Not something I would go out of my way for but it was a sight for sore eyes after a bad night/morning of delayed flights and itinerary changes.

Photo of sulldaddy
3.17/5  rDev -14.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I am sampling a bottle I picked up in Maryland. The brew is room temp and is poured into a pint glass. The beer pours a clear bronze with a fizzy off white head foaming up 1.5 cm and fading quickly to some bubble islands.
The aroma is toffee and bready yeast with just a hint of grassy and herbal hops. First sip reveals a lite body with fine fizzy carbonation. The texture is a little thin and watery.
Flavor starts with some sweet malty caramel and mixes with a bit of fruitiness as well. Finally an herbal hop finish follows with a lingering grainy character as well.
The beer is very easy to drink, but is not very interesting or complex, granted it is not unpleasant either. An average drinker IMO.

Photo of FenwaySquid
4.36/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 0z brown bottle, bottling date of 7/21/05 stamped on the label, poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a clear amber color. The head was small and faded quickly. Mildly disappointing, to be honest.

Aroma: Caramel malts and some floral hops. Excellent, no dissapointment there.

Taste: Even better! Caramel malts up front with the hops coming in somewhere in the middle. The beer is very subtle yet complex. The finish is floral hops, I had trouble not drinking all of it quickly.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. The carbonation was in excellent balance.

Overall: I bought this as part of a mixed sixer, and I'm going back for more. I recommend everyone else do the same.

Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.11/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oa. bottle

Pours a clear amber with a creamy white head that thins. Nice lacing on the glass.

Some caramel malt aroma and a dull hop scent. Smells bland.

Caramel malt upfront with a mild hop bite and a bland hop taste.

Creamy texture, good carbonation.

A very average APA. There's nothing especially bad about it, it's just quite bland.

Photo of weeare138
3.48/5  rDev -5.7%
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.

Photo of PeatReek
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

In terms of appearance, this beer was pretty clear with a decent white head. Aroma-wise, it smelled like nice fresh beer but nothing shocking.

But the taste (and to a lesser extent, mouthfeel) is just amazing. This beer is actually very subtle; the amber/copper color is produced by a sublime blend of bready and faintly caramely malts which were perfectly balanced. And very, very full. Each sip of this beer is very complex and satisfying.

Photo of Gavage
4.11/5  rDev +11.4%
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.

Photo of mmmbeer
3.95/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. with no freshness date. Pours amber with lots and lots of carbonation, topped with a 2 finger tan head that leaves some lacing. Smells of caramel, butter, and a good amount of herbal/spicy hops. It has a medium body with lots of caramel malts, nice spicy hop flavor and bitterness, and maybe some viney or wood qualities. A good session ale - flavorful but not too complex. The body could be a bit more full though. Classified here as an American pale, but the label calls it an English and I would agree.

Photo of kmo1030
3.9/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

slightly hazy amber with a white head. malty aroma with some buttery toffee and some earthy hops. the taste mirrors the aroma for the most part with a little caramel. medium bodied with light carbonation. this is an american session beer if there ever was one. it's very well balanced and unobtrusive making it a very drinkable beer. i would like to see a bit more out of it though.

Photo of RonfromJersey
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A clear darkish orange body, topped by two inches of tightly whipped dense white foam. Not awe inspiring but certaily inviting.

Nose is a pleasant mix of earthy hops, with just a bit of a general maltiness hovering around the edges. That's not specific, but it might be accurate.

A nice long malt foundation, not syrupy sweet, but with a nice bit of caramel and a speck of semi sweet chocolate. After a allowing the malt to sink in a bit across the tongue, earthy hops arrive to balance things off and provide a very lightly bitter finish, and a nice hop residual twang in the aftertaste.

Nice clean medium mouthfeel. A beer with could easily while away an afternoon or evening in a pub.

Not reinventing the wheel here, but this is a fine American example of an English Pale Ale. A good accessible flagship kind of beer for a quality brewery.

Photo of cubedbee
3.98/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 3/17/05. Pours a nice amber with a finger of off-white head and a moderate amount of lacing. Aroma is primarily butterscotch with a slight floral hoppiness. Taste is sweet malt and butterscotch upfront giving way to a nice dry grassy hop bitterness. Medium bodied with a good high carbonation level, this is a real easy drinker. The beer compares itself to Bass on the label, and while I can see the similirities, I think this is much better.

Photo of eibeinaka
4.35/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How happy was I, an expat Brit exiled to Northern Virginia, to find that the consistently cheapest beer of any real quality in the area was also guaranteed to please a confirmed bitter drinker like myself. The Goldings hops are particularly crucial in giving in giving the beer the very slight edge of astringency a great bitter has, but this is balanced by enough sweetness in the malt to please anybody's taste.

My father, one who was inclined to scoff at the idea of decent American beer, was thunderstruck by the quality of this beer. He used to use a Goldings/Fuggles hop mixture for his homebrew back in the day, which is probably why it was so much to both our tastes.

I do buy other beers for curiosity's sake but this is an astonishingly good session beer for the price, and I'll miss it like crazy when I leave.

Photo of Rootdog316
3.6/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours a rich gold color to it and has a very malty taste. However, it almost seems like it is a little too carbonated, which is one thing I did not like. Just like it says on the back of the bottle, it tastes very similiar to Bass Ale. Probably one of the better beers to come out of my home state.

Photo of WesWes
3.75/5  rDev +1.6%
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.

Photo of doerickson
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a perfectly clear amber with a fine-bubbled white head that diminishes quickly. Lots of diacteyl in the nose, along with fruity aromas and sweet malt.

Flavor is better than expected; the diacteyl isn't nearly as dominant in the taste as it is in the nose. Toasted and caramel malt flavors are offset by a sort of nondescript hop bitterness that tends towards leafy. Toasted flavors linger slightly into the finish, which is abrupt and dry.

Nothing eye-popping, but you could down a few without thinking twice. A good local choice for me here in central VA.

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at the newly-opened "Glory Days" grill (kid friendly...that's important).

Color is deep copper in color, with orangish-colored highlights at the edges. Thin layer of white head persists and leaves distinct rings of lace on the glass. Aromas are a heady mixture of fruity hops and malty sweetness. Flavor is more of the same. Wonderfully-balanced. The balacing act played by the sweetness from the malts and the dry bitterness from the hops never get out of whack. Up front sweetness tapers to dry bitterness and finishes with a dryness enhanced by the carbonation. On the creamy side of mouthfeel and stellar drinkability. I would love to try this as a casked offering to see how much better it would taste. Splendid as is, I can't believe I haven't tried this offering from Ol' Dom. My summer beer? Giddyup!

Photo of TinusTime
3.83/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice amber with a good white foamy head. Aroma is spicy and floral with a bit of breadiness and sweet malt aroma's. Taste is nice bready caramel malts to start. There is a touch of sweetness there as well. The taste then goes to a more floral, spicey hops. I cant remember what hops they said they used, but they used them well. Mouthfeel is creamy and fairly full. Drinkability is good and it would make a decent session beer. English in style. I believe they said they wanted this to be somewhat of a Bass type ale. Very good stuff. Very overlooked in the Dominion line up. Not one of their sexy offerings, but a well done beer none the less

Photo of pentathlete
4.1/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a mug. Beautifully clear amber with columns of tiny bubbles. White tiny-bubbled head with some lacing, but not sticky. Smell is malt but not toasted, a little biscuity. Taste is sweet and then balanced with a nice mellow hop finish. There is not too much bitter. Mouthfeel is fairly full, slick and creamy combined. The carbonation hits with the hops at the back of the mouth and top of the throat. I've sampled away the glass. This would make an excellent session brew. I am quite pleased with this ale and very surprised.

Photo of Illini5596
3.3/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall this is not Old Domion's best. I'm a huge fan of their other beers, but their Ale leaves something to be desired. It beats the cheaper and more available beers, such as Sam Adams and the like, but can be quite bitter with a sometimes offensive edge. Otherwise fairly creamy, decent head, with a slight vanillia flavor. Not my favorite, but I won't pass it up if it's what is being served. My advice is to find their Lager though.

Photo of Globetrotter
4.37/5  rDev +18.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew has become fairly universal in the Northern Virginia area - almost as easily found as Bud or Miller. Sure tastes a lot better, though! Pours clear copper under a thin and short-lived off-white head with some lace. We've got a good sweet malt and flowery hops nose, while the mouth is very prickly and quite light. This very nice flavor profile opens on the sweet side with a touch of caramel in the malt, but there is a flowery hops bite almost from the beginning. Remarkably balanced from start to finish, with the bite only prevailing well into the aftertaste. This is a great session beer and something I would have always on hand, if I could get it on a regular basis.

Photo of blitheringidiot
3.53/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Label lore: English Pale Ale atyle TwoRow Pale Caramel and Black Malts. From U.S. Hops are Perle, Willamette, and Mt. Hood. English Kent Goldings. Traditional American ale yeast (Chico) in the German Kolsch style. Similar to fresh Bass. Malty with assertive hops character.

12 oz’er pour with a gently hazy orange glow under an antique white tight bubble head, leaving some lace down the glass.

Light aromatic notes of orange citrous and

First Swigs: Juicy, leafy, orange peel and Pez candy lemon rind hints with a malt backing, leaves a short dry finish. Powdery hard candy vamilla ice cream hinted malts and floral hops make for a well balanced Ale.

Soft carbonation, some maple syrup aftertaste clings. 4.75% ABV makes for a quaffable drinker.

Last swigs: A decent twinge above average APA. A bit stuck in the malty mud. Could use some crisper hops to perk up me tongue, but as an English style, it’s nice. A bit of a one trick ony, but a nice ale overall. Almost reminds me of Anchor Steam.

Beer is good. Happy beering.

Photo of jahred
4.2/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light, orangeish brown color with a medium, very white, fairly foamy head. The scent is light - orangey and malty, but not too strong.

The taste? Light caramel malts and pale, toasted dry (almost chalky bread). The aftertaste lingers on quite a bit - a honey-like sweetness, and then a dry, slightly chalky, hoppy bitter finish. This was quite easy to drink. The bottle refers to a similiarity to Bass - I can see that, though this has much more flavor and is incredibly easy to drink.

Got a 6-pack of this in a trade with dmbfrat420beers (many thanks to him!)

Dominion Ale from Old Dominion Brewing Company
83 out of 100 based on 198 ratings.