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Dominion Oak Barrel Stout | Old Dominion Brewing Company

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very good
698 Reviews
Dominion Oak Barrel StoutDominion Oak Barrel Stout

Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company
Delaware, United States

Style: American Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 08-12-2001

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Reviews: 698 | Ratings: 1,501
Photo of dbl_delta
3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Revisited 03-28-15 after initial review last August.
Bottle dated 02-18-15 (this puppy is fresh) into pint glass. I'd call it a ruby brown - not red, but not brown either. Thick light tan head of coarse bubbles reduces to a thin and long-lasting film.
Taste is, unfortunately, underwhelming. Vanilla and dark malt initially, then...nothing.
It's way too thin for a stout. Too much carbonation. As a result, it's not as smooth as I'd expect.
There are a lot of really good stouts out there. This isn't one of them.

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Photo of Fear4Beer
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3

This review is for the Dominion Oak Barrel Stout in a 12oz bottle and served in a tall glass. This beer is a nice dark brown/black... you can't see through it. What I got from this beer was a bunch of oak, vanilla, chocolate, and coffee bean in that order. If you are into those sort of notes, you will probably like this sort of beer. I'm figuring out that this isn't my style of beer. Not a big fan of beers like this. I figured I'd give this a try. Again, you might really like it if you are into these sort of flavors.

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Photo of Eriktheipaman
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a black with fading khaki head.

The smell is kind of off to me. I'm guessing American hops that give it a slight cheesy smell?

The of taste is so-so. No oak to speak of but the other flavors are decent. A sweet semi vanilla on the front with a bitter roast on the back.

Not a terrible beer but kind of strange for the style and over all not super impressive. Worth the under $2 though.

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Photo of nick76
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

The aroma is almost prototypical for the style. It has coffee, chocolate, burnt malt, and a hint of vanilla. The appearance is dark brown with a larger than average head for a stout. The flavor is like the aroma. The palate is a tad thin but OK. Overall it's a decent stout.

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Photo of jrallen34
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Tasting with AgentZero.

12oz bottle into my Rochefort glass.

A super dark brown pour, light tan head that rises about two fingers, gone quickly. Light lacing...Light aroma, combo of vanilla, coffee, and alcohol...The taste comes out of nowhere, no idea it would be this vanilla from the aroma. Dominated by vanilla on the front, but on the finish its dull bitter coffee and alcohol and wood. The finish is also very chalky, a residual powder feel which is not nice. Very alcoholic for a 5% beer.

Overall, this is a big miss. The first sip is nice vanilla but after that its all downhill. The vanilla disappear and you get a powder feel.

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Photo of mjw2808
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a black with a pretty big tan head that leaves pretty good lacing. The nose is of roasted malt, sweet vanilla, and coffee. The taste is strong of vanilla, with a healthy dose of coffee and some roasted malt. Its a little to sweet for me, and not one of the best stouts ive had, but an alright beer and definitely worth trying. Nice creamy mouthfeel but not extremely drinkable.

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Photo of Pencible
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A lot of people love this beer. To me (and others agreed), it tasted like half Guinness and half whiskey. The Guinness taste is, of course, because it's a stout. And the whiskey flavor is due to the oak barrel. This is great for those who enjoy whiskey, but I simply don't enjoy that flavor. So this beer just isn't for me.

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Photo of bamadog
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Review is from notes taken on 12/23/2009. Poured from the bottle to a snifter and thanks to Mkroadrush for the trade!

Appearance: Pour is black and looks a little viscous; starts with a 1/4 finger dark brown head that fades immediately to a thin ring around the sruface and a faint whisp in the center; hard to see if there is any carbonation as the body is entirely opaque; a few spots and swaths of lacing here and there.

Smell: Sweet vanilla/oakiness combines with a mild chocolatey smell and a nice burnt roasty maltiness, not much unlike espresso.

Taste: Very "thin" and doesn't really match up with what I see and smell in the glass; it does have a firm roastiness and a nice bitterness from the burnt roasty malts and a slight earthy hoppiness; the roastiness is a little reminiscent of espresso as mentioned in the smell and there is an ever-so-slight semi-sweet chocolate flavor as well.

Mouthfeel: Solid carbonation for a stout; body is a just a tad thin, but I find that's not uncommon for anything that spends some time in a barrel; no real coatin or stickiness left behind but I appreciate that carbonation as it keeps an otherwise kind of bland tasting stout lively in the mouth.

Drinkability: Meh. Nothing special - nice smell, but the flavors are weak and I really prefer something much more robust in my stouts.

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Photo of Gushue3
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-pours black with smal head that goes away. no lacing.

S- vanilla off the top, a smokey sweet wood scent in there too. not getting too much

T- much lighter vanilla note than the scent gives. oaky wood taste with a tiny hint of booziness. the flavors work well together. lingering vanilla taste that im not sure if i like a ton.

M-small carbonation bubbles rush around and feels pretty light too.

D- easy to drink.
ill be reaching for something else though

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a mostly opaque black with some brown showing aroune the edges. No head and no lacing. The smell is mostly lightly scented with vanilla and a touch of grain. The flavor is very smooth and light with some light roastiness and detectable vanilla, but not a lot more going on. Very, very smooth mouthfeel- you could just suck this down like a glass of milk. Not the most interesting stout in the world, but refreshing for the style.

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Photo of wisrarebeer
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From the original Ashburn brewery. Decided to pick up a few when I heard they were closing.

Bottled: 040809

A: near opaque, deep rosey-black color, thick dense head
S: leather, roasted malt, faint treacle toffee, nice
T: a not in-your-face barrel stout but noticeable barrel aging, held up well for the lower ABV and 1.5 years in the bottle, burnt chocolate/licorice taste with nice hop balance that is not too bitter for its style, a bit thin but not too distracting, decent beer
M: nice, a bit thin
D: drinkable, well-made but doesn't have any outwardly incredible tastes that would have me wanting to drink more than two in one sitting

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Photo of JohnnyMc
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

My first beer from Old Dominion!

Pours out black with very slight ruby highlights around the edge and only one finger of a light-tan head.

The aroma is roasty notes, chocolate and some earthy/grassy hop notes.

Just like in the aroma, the taste follows suit with the roasty malt notes, some chocolate, a very subtle touch of oak and a lot of grassy/earthy hop notes. It's fairly bitter and has a decently dry finish to it.

The mouthfeel is slightly creamy and the body is on the light side for a Stout.

This is a decent Stout, but nothing that blows me away. It has typical characteristics of a traditional Stout, but not much else going for it. Worth trying and not a bad beer, but nothing great either.

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Photo of jmalex
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Got for take out from Mesquito Grille. I'm glad it caught my eye on the way out.

APPEARANCE: Pours into a shaker pint black and dark. When held to light, brown highlights barely come out. The light tan one-finger head drops very quickly and becomes splotchy bubbles and a good size collar.

SMELL: Not so roasty, but black burnt malts are prominent. Alcohol comes out as does a little bit of oak. Very faint aromas of brown sugar and diacetyl. Smells very porter-like.

TASTE: Similar to the smell, but seems lacking in some way. Porter-like flavors dominate with very vague oak hints. From start to finish, it seems quite empty, especially from a stout.

MOUTHFEEL: Thin for a stout and carbonation is very low. Disappointing.

DRINKABILITY: If you want this as a porter, it's not too bad. It certainly does not drink like a stout. The 5.2% ABV is kind of nice too.

Hmm, I hope I didn't get a bad bottle. I'll look for it again and give it another try.

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Photo of McNealc31
3.3/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The barrel aging is evident in the aroma with strong smells of oak, vanilla, and char. The oak comes through some in the flavor, as well, but it's different than bourbon barrel aged beers. Initially, there is an interesting sweetness, but the charred wood and smoke cut through. A dry, boozey finish provided by the 6% ABV.

It's good, but not quite great. I think for something boasting oak aging, I want more of that flavor.

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Photo of ATPete
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle

bottling date of 08-19-08

Pours an opaque dark brown, almost black in color with a monster, loosely knit brown head leaving some soapy sticking on the glass. Monster head? Barrel aged? Oh wait a minute, only oak chips were used... There is a much larger citrusy hop profile in the nose that i had expected, faint notes of caramel malt and roasted chocolate. Light in body, hardly any chew going on, simple roasted chocolate malts and some hints at roasted coffee beans. The carbonation is insane, the way over-the-top carbonation hurts its body and mouth-feel. Subtle notes of vanilla, sweet wet wood and lemony sourness on the finish. This one was a disappointment. Maybe put the beer in a barrel next time?

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Photo of ColForbinBC
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
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.

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Photo of MuddyFeet
3.28/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Kind of an over-all flat experience for a beer. Poured very black in color. Held it up to the light and could not any flicker to appear through the beer. There was absolutely no head, and I tried to get one with two bottle. The aroma came across as burnt malts. Dark chocolate and smokiness was very present in the flavor. Vanilla too. The mouthfeel is very heavy and filling. Very dense. Drank it with some chocolate fondue and it was a decent complement. While still drinkable, it is not particularly jumping across to me as "GREAT!!!" but still worth giving a shot.

Late addition: Got a great head with the third bottle and it was starting to grow on me too.

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Photo of farrago
3.27/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Aggressive pour gets you about a finger's worth of brown head, loose, semi-dilute foam gone lickety-split, gauzy sheets of lacing slowly slide down the glass. Onyx black liquid, nary a trace of color to be found. Vanilla certainly there in the nose, fudge-like, milk chocolate, coffee ice cream, minor touch of grains and baking dough, lacks the second tier of scents to display full expressivity. Medium-bodied, comes across as too dry and fluffy to make a direct impression, the carbonation gives it a soft and feathered texture. The dryness highlights the coffee bean to espresso and darkens the chocolate flavors, nuttier and higher overall roast. The vanilla more powdered here but maintains a strong presence. No true calling card offered by the hops. Never fully soaks into the tongue, however, lingers as a whole. Wonder where the beef is here.

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Photo of stxSS07
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into a tulip.

A- Pours black with a 2 finger, tight, khaki-colored head. Leaves sticky lacing.

S- Pretty faint. Oak notes mixing with some faint roasted/chocolate notes. Maybe some sweetness in there as well.

T- Follows the nose with woodiness up front, roasted notes, and finishes with some sweet sugary vanilla. Fairly straightforward, but tasty.

M- Really thin for a stout with crazy high carbonation. Not very solid here.

O- One of the more dynamic tasting regular "stouts" I've had. The vanilla and oak definitely add another dimension, but this brew is a little weak overall.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into snifter - thanks to brees6221

Pours an opaque black with a nice tuft of graham cracker brown head. Fades into thick film with some patchy lacing on the glass.

Somewhat muted in the nose, lighter roasted malts, vanilla and oak with some chocolate sweetness and faint hops.

Some hop bitterness right up front, followed by some roasted dark malts. Bittersweet dark chocolates integrated with rawer vanilla bean flavor and underlying coffee. Oak somewhat smooths out the profile, adding some earthy tones. Finishes with hop bitterness and chocolate.

Fuller medium body, high carbonation, a bit dry and tingly on the tongue, which I usually don't prefer for this style. This drinks okay, the alcohol is a bit lower which was nice, but not really what I'm looking for from an oak aged vanilla bean stout.

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Photo of bylerteck
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
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.

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Photo of RobertColianni
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. poured into Duvel Eley Tulip

A: Jet black with one inch head. Looks like a brown ale under light. Heavy lacing left behind. Atypical khaki head.

S: Fresh hop aroma. Not much more. Seems to be packed with tons of fresh hops.

T: Freshly dry-hopped, little bitterness with a slight vanilla bean tingle. Vanilla beans, once scraped, offer miniature balls of caramelized sour-sugar. That, coupled with what seems to be a dry-hopping, really adds a nice stimulant to the tongue.

M: Very thin with aforementioned tingle.

OVERALL: I like it, but the viscosity isn't textbook. It's too thin for me. Packed with subtle hints of flavors that say "this is our recipe," this is a refreshing spin example of "let's not overdue it." Worth trying, maybe not in for a sixer, though.

NOTE: Live review.

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Photo of Axic10
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

On-tap in a 16oz pint glass.

Appearance: Dark almost mud-like color with a thick one inch mocha head.

Smell: Smokey, burnt coffee, roasted malts and deep dark chocolate.

Taste: Pretty much burnt/roasted malt and an woody/oaky aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, but almost a little too thin for a stout.

Drinkability: Probably wouldn't search this one out again. It wasn't great, it wasn't bad, it was just ok. At a low abv, I can see it being a sessionable beer, but I personally wouldn't bother.

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Photo of Keyportnick
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this as an eztra

12oz bottle poured into a firestone walker teku glass.

A- pours a tobacco brown and rests a rich black. Pours with a frothy just off white head that sticks around and fades into some lively lacing.

S-Nothing much going on with the nose. A faint touch of vanilla bean and a hair of cold coffee. Like I said pretty dull. Nothing jumps out at you

T- light roasted chocolate malts, rich vanilla.

M- light body, strong carbonation, light finish

O- Decent beer. I felt like it was missing a lot. It claims to be oak barrel aged and then they say they use oak chips. I couldn't find either of those in this beer. The vanilla stands out nicely though. Crisp clean lighter styled stout.

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Photo of Crosling
3.22/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark brown color, with a small tan head. Rich malt aroma, with hints of fudge, coffee and chocolate (brownies), light aromatic hops, hints of vanilla and a light hint of oak. Pretty subtle and gentle overall, with a roasted coffee, vanilla bean, chocolate, hops and a light hint of toasted oak. Not as good as I was expecting.

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Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,501 ratings.
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