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Dominion Millennium Ale - Old Dominion Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dominion Millennium AleDominion Millennium Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
90
outstanding

347 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 347
Reviews: 256
rAvg: 4.01
pDev: 11.22%
Wants: 53
Gots: 19 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company visit their website
Delaware, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  10.50% ABV

Availability: Winter

Notes/Commercial Description:
Millennium is brewed in the barley wine style to commemorate our 1000th batch of beer. Its generous hopping & bottle conditioning allow this beer to be cellared and enjoyed for many years.

(Beer added by: merlin48 on 07-06-2005)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 347 | Reviews: 256 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BeerBelcher
2.83/5  rDev -29.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

For a barley-wine, this struck me as being no better than average. There are barley-wines that are potent in their similarity to wine or spirits, with an alcohol astringency and slight sourness...and then there are barley-wines that are tremendously hoppy. And then there's this barley-wine. It's just kind of there. Appearance and mouthfeel are pleasant, but this has to be the least flavorful beer of this style, for good or bad, that I've ever had.

It pours an orange ambrosia color, with so little head that I thought it would be very flat. However, mouthfeel was fairly complex and pleasant. But aroma and flavor were a bit of a let-down, or perhaps just a non-issue. Both were very faint. I detected some malt backbone and a whiff of hops, but this struck me as a beer that had lost its bite since packaging. If you're hanging onto a bottle of this for cellaring, I'd advise you to drink it now. This ber is so mellow, so mild-mannered, so (if I dare say) boring, that I can't imagine letting it mellow some more.

I picked this up during a recent visit to the DC area from Norm's Beer & Wine in Vienna, VA. The bottle informed me that it was packaged on 4 April 007, and the label told me it would lay down for "several years."

BeerBelcher, Sep 13, 2007
Photo of BigJTrucker
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Review from notes. Tasted 7/13/07.

Pours an orange ruby color similar to dark honey. Low head retention. Has a nice citrusy aroma, a faint odor of honey. Very balanced. Nice hoppy flavor with a heavy mal backbone. ABV is very well hidden. Mouthfeel is slightly sticky, nice and smooth. By far one of the most drinkable barleywines i've had. This bottle was only 6 months old. I'd like to see how a year or two would affect the flavors.

BigJTrucker, Aug 31, 2007
Photo of kwakwhore
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel glass, reddish brown, small head which dissipated quickly.
Some sweet malts in the aroma, but very understated for the style.
Flavors in this beer were quite restrained with some really up front alcohol and a late hop bitterness that didn't seem quite right to me. The maltiness associated with this style just wasn't there.
Mouthfeel was on the thin side as well. Drinkability is not a strong point for this beer either. I had this beer a couple of year ago and was much more impressed back then. This feels like a step or two in the wrong direction to me, but I'll age a couple and see if that makes any difference.

kwakwhore, May 21, 2007
Photo of dgfair
3.68/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle, bottled on 04/03/06, poured into delirium tremens snifter/tulip.

A - Viscous ruby red grapefuit color. A thin layer of head that only came out of a high pour, dissipates to some small bubbles very quickly.

S - I can definitely smell the honey that is mentioned on the label...a very sweet honey scent with touch of earthy spice. Also a fresh hop aroma, but a very light, grassy hop. A slight touch of a fruity cran-apple juice smell.

T&M - Sweet honey, with a touch of apple spice, very nice caramel malt, and a bit of estery alcohol. A very nice warming sensation as it goes down. It's thick and full in the mouth with a nice amount of tingly carbonation. The alcohol warms you up quite a bit and is almost overpowering.

D - Defiition of a winter night sipper. It's a cool night here in North Carolina, so I can't complain. The honey is a nice touch, and I would love to see what this would do over time. Sadly, my last one...cheers.

dgfair, May 08, 2007
Photo of mjc410
4.38/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The pour into my La Moneuse glass raises a bubbly one finger light tan head that does its business falling quickly. The lacing is pretty clingy, especially for a beer as hefty as this. Below, the beer has an impressive ruby-gold-copper thing going on, which just looks great. Translucent and glowing when backlit. No sediment, though, despite the bottle's claim.

The nose is sweet like honey, with citrus and strawberries. Very impressive. Not much depth, but what there is is great.

As for the taste, there's a great deal of caramel, and sweet fruitiness like the strawberry from the smell, but also sweet apple. I don't pick up on any citrus, but the hops lend an ending bitterness that is slightly herbal. Very nicely balanced, and it hides the alcohol quite well, especially for how new it is (bottled only a month ago).

The mouth is quite thick, with almost no carbonation. Works well. A fine barleywine, would be great to introduce someone to the style, but compares exceptionally to some of the greats.

mjc410, May 08, 2007
Photo of bjohnson
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a rusty reddish color with a thin one finger white head. Not much retention but the skim on top looks like thin cloudy on a summers day. Very fruity with melons, apricots, sugar, and candy. Slight sweet caramel notes. Sweet and thick all around.

Bitter and dry, but they sneak up on you. Dry in the finish parching the back of the throat. Fruity notes but not as apparent as in the nose. The thick and sugary notes are also no as apparent as in the nose. Spicy hop bitter notes with a slight pine action to them dance on the tongue. Not as big and as bad as the abv suggests. Abv actually is masked quite well. An ok barleywine, but not one that's a need to get.

bjohnson, Apr 25, 2007
Photo of nriech
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep copper, little sediment. Slight head.

Smell: Caramel, pine, alcohol. A bit sweet but winelike. Very nice.

Taste: Nicely balanced. Sweet at first followed by a little bitter and some alcohol in the finish. Low carbonation. Flavors of caramel, raisin, oak. Finish is slightly different adding some hops and sweet plum.

Overall an awesome barley wine.

nriech, Apr 19, 2007
Photo of Shiredave
4.33/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottling date: 02/16/06 - if I'd noticed before opening I would have waited another week. Good info on bottle -Uk Malts, Virginia honey, US and german hops for bittering and EK Goldings for aroma - good mix.

Lovely deep amber color with a bright white head. Foam collapses to an ever present film with a few specks of lace. Slight chill haze shows protiens not all filtered out but very little trub in the bottle for a bottle conditioned beer.

Aroma is all malt - huge, sweet burnt caramel and alcohol and then more toffee and light floral notes. Brandy like blasts of higher alcohols waft in and out. Could be cleaner - any goldings hops are lost in the background, but fine to me for a BW.

Big sweet Mead flavors up front are followed quickly by firm grassy/ herbal notes and sharp bite on the tongue and back of mouth. Alcohol is all but smothered in the balanced barleywine character - as I think it should be. Excellent mix of flavors with no one componant dominating, making large swallows very drinkable. No rough edges here - very tasty.

The body is a bit thin , but thats actually a good thing in my book as that makes this a highly drinkable BIG beer w/out the syrupy heaviness some have and the 11+ % doesnt detract from the flavor and only adds the appropriate warmth on the finish.

A very nice "EastCoast" style BW from a highly underrated Brewery IMHO.
Maybe a year is a good aging point - tho I would like to try older examples.

Shiredave, Feb 10, 2007
Photo of shbobdb
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I guess this goes to show how you can be completely and utterly tricked by a beer!

I reviewed this beer in my head before I read the bottle, or the website. Knowing that I got it in a Fall-ish trade from Muenchenerkindl (thanks man) I assumed it to be what the picture suggested (and what the seasons suggested): a Maerzen.


I shit you not.

I was going to talk about how this brew is a little too thick of a Maerzen and how it has a little too much fruity melanoidin malt as well as the strange presence of some American hops, but very faint and serving to balance out the OUTRAGEOUS SWEETNESS of the brew . . .

But this isn't a maerzen. It is a Barleywine that can pass as a Maerzen.

Think about that one for a second.

This beer is outrageous. Too sweet for a maerzen, to be sure, but it is just on the outside of too sweet and too cloying (and too boozy . . . btw, I placed this beer at about 6-7% in my head. 11.40! No way!) for a Maerzen but perfect for a barleywine.

This beer is honestly just outside of the quaffable range. I challenge anyone with a love of Germanic beer (ey man, it feels more Germanic than British to me, but with an American twist) to *not* finish this beer in 10 minutes. It's a great beer and a great ride.

Damn I wish they distributed here. This beer is a real winner.

shbobdb, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage. Warmly glowing ochre with honey colored trim; a rich, inviting color for what I hope is a rich, inviting ale. The head is the color of orange-infused egg nog and is larger than expected given the ABV. It persists for quite a while, but leaves very little lace behind. No problem, most barleywines aren't lace monsters.

The nose could be more assertive. That said, it fits the style well and leads me to think that I'm going to like the flavor. The star of the show is white rum-soaked oranges... with everything else well out of the spotlight. Okay, so complexity isn't its strong suit either. I like it though.

I feel the same way about the flavor that I feel about the aroma. At least the beer is being consistent. The reason that I don't love Millenium is the same reason that I don't love English barleywines in general: a lack of hops. At least the American versions of the style have flavors that I enjoy (the whole gamut of flavors that come from a wide variety of hops) rather than flavors that don't really thrill me (high-octane pale malt).

Don't get me wrong, this is an enjoyable, warming sipper of a beer; it just doesn't wow me. In fact, it's so simple that it almost reminds me of a huge maibock: all blonde malt, all the time. Try as I might, I can't appreciate the dark Virginia honey that the brewery assures us in there. No doubt the yeasties feasted on whatever was added and turned it into good ol' alcohol. At nearly two years of age I would have expected less of an alcohol presence (hint: hops do a great job in the cover-up department).

There's nothing at all wrong with Millenium's mouthfeel. It's exactly the mouthfeel that I would have expected give the rest of the beer's attributes. Good points include a remarkable silky smoothness with absolutely no rough edges. Bad points... well, there aren't any.

This 2005 Dominion Millenium is one of the most solid, least flashy English barleywines that I've ever had. I've tried not to let my preference for the hoppy, American take on the style get in the way of giving this one a fair shake, and I think I've succeeded. These guys are fantastic brewers. I hope the recent rumors of their impending demise have been greatly exaggerated.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 15, 2007
Photo of kirok1999
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice clear dark golden, slightly rising head that quickly fades to almost nothing. Smells malty as hell, sweet with caramel and toffee.
Tastes very nice, lots of malts that ring of toffee, slight dark fruit, very slight chocolate and smoke.
Rich mouthfeel, slides down the throat like liquid gold.
Very easy to drink, doesn't shout at you, just slips down very easily with no objectionable notes at all. Thanks to WarriorSoul for this sample.

kirok1999, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of DrJay
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 02/16/06.
Clear reddish copper colour topped by a solid cap of whitish foam that slowly subsided. Chunky lacing with decent head retention. Malty aroma - caramel with toffee notes and a bit of grain husk. Floral hops and light alcohol as well. Middling bitterness with plenty of caramel sweetness. Toffee, toasted malt and molasses, along with floral and grassy hops, fill things out. Alcohol flavour and warmth grow into the finish, but aren't overbearing. Full bodied and quite creamy, mid-low carbonation. Some dryness from the alcohol, but the malt keeps this in check. I like this quite a lot. Definitely more English character, they sure didn't scrimp on the malt bill. I'll be looking for more!

DrJay, Jan 04, 2007
Photo of ViveLaChouffe
3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours the color of cherry wood with a thin ivory head. Smells of molasses, dark fruit, vanilla and oak.

Tastes of alcohol up front but not too hot. Caramel flavors, hints of vanilla, plum and other dark fruit. Some significant hops in the finish but the malt shines in this beer. Mouth is rich and full. Finish is an warming alcohol burn. A good candidate for aging but pretty good now. Good winter seasonal.

ViveLaChouffe, Dec 24, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.58/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks a million to froggyfrog for hookin me up with this brew.

Appearance: pour luminous red copper with powerful carbonation despite the small head. The fine carbonation bubbles are rising fervently so that when they reach the top the don’t stop they continue to reach for heaven jumping right through the barrier creating disturbed waters a top this bubbly brew. After a few minutes the force behind these bubbles subsides but is was in the moment an impressive display.

Smell: Sweet candied malts and almost citrus fruity hops that simply bask in their own glory and brandy alcohol.

Taste: Vinous boozy and beautiful, with health servings of vanilla, cinnamon, orange cream, and apple; big caramel, toffee and figs flavors, pineapple, brown sugar, honey alcohol and pine hops. The alcohol while not hidden is also not harsh for 11.40% ABV. It is like a soft brandy or friendly wine in which it is noticeable but contributes to the warming nature, feel, and flavor.

Mouthfeel: Juicy and slick with the flavor components acting on the palate in a manor that keep it lively. The hops nip here while the alcohol pulls there and a beer this is not otherwise heavy becoming fascinating to swirl.

Drinkability: Session this beer and die ;-). However hearty it is, it is also incredibly friendly to drink and each sips ends with a strong desire for more making the beer, IMO, really quite drinkable and overall; exceptional.

Hope this is helpful.
Cheers!

Phatz, Dec 22, 2006
Photo of froggyfrog
4.5/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Twelve-ounce bottle served in a glass goblet.

Blood red and copper with a minimal white head.

Very malty nose, buttery caramel notes with Scotch-like alcohol.

Sweet on the palate, toffee and orange marmalade toast control. Several varieties of hops provide a solid balance for the hefty Maillard-affected malt sugars.

A mighty brew at over 11%, this sipper is super smooth and rides the tongue like a big malty slip-and-slide.

This delightful beer, an exceptional example of its style, is a truly enjoyable drink.

froggyfrog, Dec 02, 2006
Photo of Viggo
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a slightly hazy red/copper, small white head forms, settles to a thin layer, some lace spots on the glass. Smell is sweet, caramel, some butter, bread, alcohol, dark fruits. Taste is toffee and bread, grass, some butter, spicy floral, toffee in the finish, some alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation, some heat going down, nice sipper. Thanks grub!

Viggo, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of IntriqKen
3.33/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Hmmm...love a good barleywine.
Color is perfectly dark amber with a half finger of melting tan head that ends up with a very pretty ring of lacing.
Aromas are the traditional sweet dark amber malts with brown sugar.
Taste is sweet dark amber malt and brown sugar but then sort of loses it in a mix of hops and alcohol.
Aftertaste is sort of hops and alcohol but not real pleasant,
Barleywine? Yes.
English....maybe
drinkable....nope.

IntriqKen, Nov 18, 2006
Photo of grub
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

got this bottle in a trade with Aprilluvsbeer. thanks april!

pours a reddish copper colour with a very fine white head.

aroma is great. rich bready malt. bit of alcohol. some roast. dried fruit. slightly vinous. caramel. bit of honey.

taste is nice. great bready malt. moderate bitterness level. some residual sweetness. caramel. dates and raisins. hint of roastyness. not much alcohol in the flavour, but a little warmth on the way down. still, the 11.4% is hidden fairly well. well balanced.

mouthfeel is good. body is big, but not too big. slightly low carbonation. very fine, well integrated carbonation.

drinkability is pretty good. it's a tasty beer.

grub, Nov 05, 2006
Photo of trep
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Translucent, honey colored body with practically zero head. A bit murky I guess you could say. No carbonation, no yeast. Rich, nutty, sweet, warming, and a lil hops, nothing too over the top though. Malt profile smells pretty good.

Pretty hoppy with a solid malt background. Not as thick as I figured it to be, nor as strong. The hops hide the alcohol quite well, and the malt presence is a-okay. Nicely balanced, I like this beer. Nutty, sweet, fruity malt carry this beer through the mild hoppy finish.

Medium-full body with minimal carbonation. Not as syrupy as I like my barleywines, but this is very warming on a fairly cold evening. Very easy drinking, and to know that its 11.4% is mind-blowing. Alcohol is nowhere to be found, and this was brewed in April of '06. Not sure how strong it was fresh, but at this point in time its great. An incredibly solid beer that surprised the hell out of me.

trep, Oct 25, 2006
Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.75/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - A nearly opaque sienna brew with a small head that lingers for about a minute. No lacing. Carbonation is extremely intense especially since only the very edge of the brew is visible.

S - Mangoes, roses, blue spruce, toffee and caramel. A nice aroma. Abv undetectable.

T - Upfront pine hops and a bit of mango. The aftertaste is a mild pine bitterness. After that wears off there is a toffee character. Abv is undetectable.

M - Harsh from the high carbonation. Thin for a barleywine (which isn't necessarily bad). Not refeshing one way or the other.

D - This is an alright barleywine (I wouldn't call it English personally). I think there are a lot of better ones out there, but this is a certainly far from the worst. I would not mind having this again! I think this might be an instance where an even fresher bottle mind be nice. I am not sure how aging this would affect its characteristics.

Bottling date: 04/09/06

mrasskicktastic, Oct 15, 2006
Photo of barleywinebrewer
4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to aprilluvsbeer for this via trade. This barleywine is a nice example done in the style I enjoy. I would classify it as JW Lees harvest - light. Very enjoyable, very drinkable and deceptively strong. No need to cellar for years in the hopes it will age right. If you are in the area where this is readily available, consider yourself lucky! If you have a chance to get one, go for it.

barleywinebrewer, Oct 12, 2006
Photo of Tinybaum
4.78/5  rDev +19.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I first drank this beer on tap at a local bar. They would only serve you one per visit. I guess that is the power of knowing the bartender. Anyway. . .

To me this brew reminds me a little or maple syrup, sweet and crisp and goes down easy. After this beer sat out for nearly 20-30 minutes it had warmed up from its ice cold pour. The beer was still extremely drinkable for me. Each sip was a delight.

I would like to enjoy this more on a regular basis, but am unable to find this brew in any stores.

Tinybaum, Sep 29, 2006
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.38/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle date: 021606.

Pours with a light polished copper hue topped with a frothy whipped settled vanilla cap leaving some lace in the tulip, topping a few rising bubbles.

Scents of generic hard candy, some butterscotch Wurthers and red apple.

First swigs: Lolipop malt front with a gentle orange fruit flavor. Light in the flavor department overall. Lingering taffy finish.

Last swigs: Not even a year old and this seems to be falling apart.

blitheringidiot, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of Metalmonk
4.43/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled Feb. 11, 2005...so this one is exactly 1.5 years old.

Comparing other barley wines to Bigfoot is too easy to do sometimes, Bigfoot being one of the most readily available barley wines in the U.S. But here the comparison is easy to make, as Millennium reminds very much of Sierra Nevada's concoction in terms of mega-maltiness, aggressive hops and syrupy thickness. And just like Bigoot, I suspect this ain't for everyone...

The pour offers a big fluffy light-tan head and a ruby/caramel/dirty orange color mix. The head diminished slowly while small bits of lace appeared in this over-too-soon experience.

Smells of caramel, honey and pine come out strongly at first, and upon warming you're treated to something resembling sherry or brandy. Fragrant and fresh, it's easy to predict that hops and malt are both here in abundance.

The flavor is thick with pine and balanced with a generous candylike maltiness. The hops aren't super-aggressive in the beginning, but upon warming they creep up like the attractive yet nasty bastard/flower we know and love. The mouthfeel is thick, something you can almost chew right through until the swallow. I'd love to try using this to make homemade syrup and pour it over pancakes. Why not?

Even the alcohol is well-hidden, considering it's at 11.4%. Ultimately this is one very drinkable and easily likeable barley wine. Nothing feels out of balance, and you get everything you could from this style with this fine offering.

Metalmonk, Aug 15, 2006
Photo of macster
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled 2/16/06, so not aged at all. Pours a ruddy dark amber-orange color. Produces a 1/2" thick, dense light tan head which slowly fades to a spotty thin coating. Decent lacing as snifter drains. Aromas seem a bit tame for a BW this big and the alcohol tends to dominate a little too much. However, pleasant notes of dark rum soaked fruits, caramel, brown sugar, plum, port wine and a touch of spice from the hops are noted. Mouthfeel is slick, full and oily with a very subtle carbonation. Taste profile begins with a big, sweet malt blast; lots of roasted malt, raisin, honey, brandy and a touch of molasses. This quickly slides into a crisp moderate spicy/floral hop finish with a slight bitterness. A restrained alcohol presence in the end, but well hidden for such a strong BW. Worth a try, but not a classic.

macster, Aug 14, 2006
Dominion Millennium Ale from Old Dominion Brewing Company
90 out of 100 based on 347 ratings.