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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 resirob
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got 2 bottles in a case swap with co-workers. I will probably go back for a full case in a couple of weeks.

Deep black with a large dark tan, creamy head that settles to a nice pancake blanketing the top of the brew. Lacing all the way down.

Aromas of nutty, roasted malts, dark chocolate, coffee, vanilla, and some oaky and floral hop notes.

Taste starts off malty sweet, with shades of vanilla and a little chocolate. The roasty/nutty/oaky character then takes over, with an occasional vanilla appearance now and then. Hop bitterness slides in for a small cameo in a dry finish with lots of lingering tastiness. Very, I say, very nice.

Mouthfeel was quite smooth, but a little thinner than I expected.

Drinkability is excellent. The dry finish and average alcohol content make for an quaffable, but nice to savor, brew.

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Photo of pershan
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this on-tap at Frisco Grille in Columbia, MD.

The beer poured an ink-black with a thick, tan head into a pint glass. The aroma was of roasted barley/burnt toast, with a hint of hops. The taste was a big roasted barley and burnt toast combination, slightly astringent, with black patent malt and hop bitterness at the finish. Excellent lacing down the sides of the glass, with low carbonation. I really enjoyed this stout, and most of the other Old Dominion offerings as well.

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Photo of bgildea
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark black color with a nice brown head. Fades quickly with minimal lacing.

S: Nice smell, hints of vanilla and roasted malts.

T: Very good taste. Vanilla hits you first, followed by the oak/earthy taste, and just when you think it's over, the dark roasted malts catch the back of your tongue. Complex, and delicious.

M: Decently chewy. I always expect less, but I was pleasantly surprised. Not an over amount of chew to it.

D: Very drinkable, I picked up a sixer of this, and after the first one, I decieded not to share...

Overall: Overall, a very good dark beer. Nice rich flavor with strong notes of vanilla and roasted malts. If you like a good american stout, then you should definitly try this beer.

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Photo of MurphyMacManus
4.31/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz. brown bottle into tumbler

A: dark brown, near opaque; short-lived coffee-colored head; some lacing, but not much.

S: Vanilla coffee, as in vanilla flavored coffee -- the good kind that actually balances the flavors. Also, some peat smoke in there, very faint.

T: peat-smoked malt, more coffee, mild roasted grain astringency, some grapefruit-like bitterness in the finish. As it warms, the vanilla starts to come through in the middle, as well as a drying note from the oak in the finish. Becomes sweeter as it warms.

M: tight, light carbonation; almost porter-like in mouthfeel.

D: Would make an excellent session stout, though just a bit high on the ABV.

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Photo of StoutHearted
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This drink had me from hello- I loved it from first sip. The oak is very apparant and will kick you in the teeth if you're not used to it. To oak lovers like myself, it feels like home. The reiging image in my head as I drank this beer was of vanilla bean ice cream. Whether this beer made me crave it, or its smell strongly resembled that tasty treat, I couldn't figure out. Either way, this brew was begging to be turned into a beer float.

Not much head when I poured it, what was there quickly turned to caramel lace over a typical dark stout-black brew. No matter, the beer held a strong aroma throughout the drink. At room temperature, it is fantastic. Forget the black forest cake, this beer is dessert in itself.

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Photo of stakem
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown bottle with a bottling date of 3/17/10 into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. Label reads: "Dominion Oak Barrel Stout rasises the bar for American stouts. Our method of dry-hopping with vanilla beans & oak chips broadens our stout's flavor spectrum even further." So for a beer named Oak Barrel Stout, do they age this brew in oak and then add oak chips to further increase the oak character or is the oak chips used just to simulate the properties imparted by oak barrels? Regardless, here goes.

Pours a dark brown color that when held to the light displays some deep ruby colors and suggests a clarity to this brew if it wasn't so dark. The head initially formed with a finger of tanned bubbles that receeds to a very thin cap and sticks in patches of lace about the glass. Aroma includes some favorable scents of dark grain suggesting chocolate and coffee along with the sweet scent of vanilla pushing straight through the back making itself easily noticeable. Further investigation of the nose reveals some hop character and a bit of the woodsy oak notes. The flavor of this brew follows along with what the aroma indicated. Dark roasty grain flavor upfront with a touch of hops. The dark grain flavor includes chocolate and coffee character along with a strong vanilla flavor and a finish that has a noticeable amount of alcohol and an interesting mixture of burnt grain/vanilla sweetness and an oaky/woody dryness that urges you to continue to sip this brew. As it warms, the base grainy flavor seems quite fresh and is enjoyable. The flavor it leaves in the mouth is reminescent of walking through a grain mill. This is a taste I usually only get at the local brewpub, enjoyable to say the least coming from a bottle. Medium to full bodied with a modest level of carbonation. The inclusion of the vanilla bean could be tamed a little more to make it more subtle but all together it works. Pretty decent brew, would have no problem enjoying a few of these.

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Photo of seanpachefddfa
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Apperaance poured a dark black with a thin darktan head. The head did not last very long and not much lace.
smell smells of toasted malts and oak at first. Also getting a faint vanilla coffee and mabey a little dark brown sugar aroma .
Taste very true to the aroma, but the coffee and vanilla come out more in the taste than they do in the smell.
mouthfeel not quite as heavy as i would expect from a stout but still very good. Very smooth.
Drinkability very Drinkable for a stout, Icould drink 4 or 5.

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Photo of freed
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Like weefisheads, I'm a sucker for barrel conditioned stouts.

Poured a very cola brown with very rich brown foam. The completeness of the brown is enchanting.

The aroma is of strong burnt coffee grounds. But good grounds, and in a good way.

Each sip has a strong coffee start that smoothes quickly to a dry sour and creamy finish. The sensation of char - burned wood from the inside of the barrel is very complimentary, and very, very good. There's also a significant vanilla flavor, which helps to smooth the flavor.

I like this beer and want more. soon.

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Photo of BeerFink
4.32/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours very black with a creamy light brown head. The smell is quite strong, although I can't detect much over the vanilla. As the beer warms, the aroma becomes more complex. Toffee and chocolate are there, as well as roasted malt. Up front, the taste is slightly burnt, then quickly transistions to roasted malt. Towards the end, the vanilla comes through, smoothing the taste and adding a unique sweetness. Mouthfeel is smooth and creamy. The finish is bitter chocolately, roasted grains, and a slight smokiness that imparts a dry quality. The bourbon alcohol presence becomes apparent as the beer warms further, but it is well hidden. The taste is quite complex due to the blend of malts used - a very interesting brew. I really want to try this one on-tap.

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Photo of LXIXME
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tried this while at Washington-Dulles awaiting my flight.

Dark brown to black clear beer with a light head that is a rich light brown.

A light dark roasted chocolate malt aroma, very appealing.

Rich dark chocolate roasted malt taste similar to the aroma but much more, a very full body with a very full taste, that continues through a lightly dry aftertaste. A definite stop for dark or heavy beer drinkers.


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Photo of avylover
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

From the 12oz bottle, courtesy of TinusTime's efforts at his store. Poured out pretty much straight black, with some slight ruby highlights. A large tan head sits atop my brew. Vanilla in the aroma, along with roasted coffee and floral hops. Incredibly smooth taste. This beer is full of taste, yet nearly floats across the tongue. Vanilla is definitely there, roasted malts, slight fruity overtones, cream, and a decent hop bitterness to finish things off. This is pretty much a vanilla version of the Dominion Stout, which is good in itself. Mouthfeel is perfect, like a light fluff across your mouth. Great brew, well balanced...with nothing overboard, so don't expect it. Just an excellent stout.

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Photo of kegerator
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

dark in color, basically black with a nice 1 inch creamy off white/tan head that showed decent retention.
smell was roasty malts with hints of chocolate and caramel.
taste was sweet malt and caramel with hints of bitter chocolate
the mouthfeel was quite silky yet light in body. alomst too light to me.
all in all a very nice stout.

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Photo of mattgreger
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This brew poured almost black in the glass with a huge, dark tan head that held for quite a while. As it faded a nice solid ring of lacing followed throughout the drink.

The aroma was strong with malts, coffee, vanilla. This brew has a nice rich, roasted smell. It actually smells almost sweet. This is what I have come to expect in a stout. I am so far again, impressed by Dominion.

There is a nice vanilla and coffee flavor a the front of this brew. These two flavors give this brew a nice bitter edge that kind of balance out the sweetness of the brew. It ends with a nice smokey/oak flavor that just makes this brew have even more great flavor.

This brew is more a medium bodied brew, though the the pour and the style would normally make you think otherwise. The sip is nice and smooth, and and a nice suddle carbonation.

This is very drinkable brew. For a stout I was amazed. The flavor is strong, but not overbearing, its a hearty brew, but still goes down easy. I could surely have a few of these in a session and enjoy every drop. The price seems to be pretty good as well. Once again, I am super impressed with Dominion.

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Photo of JoeNobody
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a grand pilsner this stout is wonderfully dark with a nice light brown head. The vanilla and oak used in the fermenting bring out a tasteful almost caramel flavor. Has similar smell and taste characteristics to root or birch beers.

Drinkability is high. Because of it's dark color it looks thick but is actually very light and goes down very smooth. This makes for a great after dinner or late night dessert. I'm almost tempted to add vanilla ice cream and make a nice Oak Barrel Float.

Bottoms Up!!!

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Photo of SSBrennan
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brown with a thick dark tan head, a great looking beer.

Smells of sweet roasted malts, vanilla, and a hint of coffee.

The taste is rich with vanilla and caramel. There is an initial almost smoky flavor of roasted malt with a bracing crispness. The finish is very smooth and rich.

The richness and weight is perfect for me.

Despite it's weight this beer is delicious enough to have a few.

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Photo of MikeB20
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

P: 12oz bottle into a DFH signature glass.

A: Black as can be with a nearly two finger dark tan head that doesn't hang around very long. Lacing is sparse but it sticks.

S: Dark roasted malt with some vanilla, caramel and wood. Very pleasing.

T: This beer has a lot more going on than the smell would lead you to believe. Lots of roasted malt with an awesome vanilla finish. Some wood or earthy tones and I'm getting some bourbon/whiskey although I thought it might be more pronouced. There seems to be a hint of smokiness in here as well. A bitter finish accented with the vanilla makes me want to take another sip. The vanilla comes through even more as the beer warms, I recommend letting this one sit out for a good 10 or 15 minutes before serving.

M: Smooth with lots of tiny bubbles in the carbonation which adds a refreshing quality to the beer. Not as heavy as some stouts can be but it still has some body. The body, like the vanilla, seems to become more pronounced as the beer warms.

D: A very drinkable and complex stout. Maybe it's the small distribution from Old Dominion but this is a beer that I would expect more people to be talking about, it's among the best stouts I've ever tasted. It's an easy beer to enjoy any time of the year.

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Photo of Illini5596
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Truly one of Dominion's best beers. A little hard to come by, but can still be found if you look hard enough (lets hope they start shipping out of state soon!). The color is a deep rich dark brown, hinting at the full bodied nature of this beer. The aroma is subtle, and the head unfortunately minimal, but the taste is a work of art. Dominion's Oak Barrel Stout has a truly complex and thick taste, combining the taste of malt with hints of vanilla, coffee and chocolate overlayed with the complexity of oak. A true pleasure to drink, quite possibly one of the best stouts out there. My only complaint is the mouthfeel, as it is a bit thick and tends to linger a bit longer than I prefer. If you ever see this, buy it and treat yourself to a very enjoyable evening.

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Photo of DougT
4.34/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jet with a full, thick, creamy light brown head. foam clings tot he glass as it dissipates. Leaves a nice layer of bubbles all the way to the bottom.

Smells of vanilla, plumbs, coffee and a bit of yeast.

Could be clouded by having an Expedition Stout, but this seems subtle. Some coffee, bit of chocolate. I get the oak. Not much hops, I don't like too much hops.

Creamy, medium body, very drinkable. Thicker than say an Irish Red, but not as thick as an Imperial or an Expedition. I would say on the light side of a Stout, but that makes it more refreshing.

I like it. I find it more enjoyable than, say, Guinness, but not as rich as Bells Expedition or North Coast Old Rasputin. But by not as rich I imply not as strong. Those are sippers.

This would be a good beer for a harvest party sitting on a hay-bail near a warm fire remembering the glory days and trash talking how Da Bears will cream whoever it is this weekend...

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2013 edition, 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass

Appearance: Pours a beautiful, completely opaque, pitch-black color with an eighth of a finger of caramel-colored head that quickly dissolved away into a thin lacing of foam that partially covered the top of the beer.

Aroma: Strong aromas of roasted malt, roasted coffee beans, but not much else, but then again, I’m stuffed up, so there’s that…but other reviewers note aromas of vanilla, roasted nuts, some dark chocolate and stone fruit!

Taste: Great! Massive malt bomb up front, with some great notes of freshly baked pumpernickel bread, some subtle coffee flavors, and quite a bit of vanilla and brown sugar-like sweetness. Delicious!

Mouthfeel: Chewy and very smooth and creamy as there is practically no carbonation to speak of, what-so-ever. With an ABV of 6.1%, there is no presence of alcohol on the palate.

Overall: I really, liked this stout. Love the massive malt presence, blended beautifully with vanilla and brown sugar. I’m certainly getting some more of this.

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Photo of PhillyStyle
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served on tap (at the Ram's Head Tavern @ BWI airport) in a glass that I would characterize as a cross between a pint glass and a stange glass:

A: The beer was a solid black served with a brownish head that was not retained (honestly I think that this was due to the draw than to the beer)

S: Roasted malt, a little vanilla for a touch of sweetness, presumably from the oak.

T: The taste is excellent, top notch. Follows the nose really well, with the main flavor being the malt but combined really well with the vanilla with some hints of coffee or chocolate.

M/D: Low carbonation and it was rich, creamy and smooth, so it was highly drinkable. Overall, if I could find this beer in Atlanta, it would probably become a stable in my fridge. Excellent beer. Highly recommend.

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Photo of EmperorBevis
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

It's black it has a tanned head, it's stout go figure.

The aroma just makes the mouth water
cocoa, caramel, petrol, charcoal YOU NEED TO SMELL THIS TO BELIVE IT!

Taste is deep and well rounded the vanilla is there dark flavours that only come out in the night burn't toast with lots of unsalted butter and a drop of port.

Good solid mouthfeel slightly over carbonated but hey it is easier to take fizz out than put it in .

Truly amazing ale.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My last reviewed beer of a trip to Kclingers. Served in a bottle chilled and sampled in a pint glass.
The beer exhibits an offwhite head that is rather small and fades rather quickly to an edge layer. The color is pitch black with no light getting through the glass.
Aroma is light chocolate and some hints of sweet brown sugar and vanilla. First sip reveals a fairly thick beer with very mild carbonation. Flavro is mostly roasted malt hits mixed with mild sweet vanilla and some biting coffee on the finish. No real hint of alcohol or oak that I can detect. A very tasty beer that I am glad I finally procured. Some piney hop notes actually show up on a burp or two. Nice one!

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Photo of Afterburner
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The other day I had this on tap. It was tasty. Today, I had the bottled version. It was bottled on Thursday, and consumed on Sunday. As a reminder, the bottled versions are not the same as the keg version offered at Dominion's brewery. The bottle versions, as well as the keg versions offered in restaurants, are aged with toasted oak chips and vanilla, instead of being aged in old bourbon barrels.

All of the comments I made about the draft version apply here to the bottled version. It's a dark, thick brew, dark brown foam head, and so on.

The primary difference, at least to my taste buds, is that the oak flavor is much more assertive in the bottled version. You get a very woody, oaky flavor mid-palate that wasn't present in the keg version I had at the Vienna Inn. IMHO, that makes the bottled version much more interesting, and therefore superior.

Of course, the kegged version isn't bad, either. I certainly wouldn't pass one up in any case. But if you can find a bottled version, it's worth a try.

Edit Addendum: I let another bottle sit out for a while and assume room temperature, so I could bring out the aromatics. One of these buggers served at 55-65F has a metallic tang to the aroma that isn't noticable when the beer is chilled. And there is a pronounced nutty aftertaste present in the room-temperature beer.

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Photo of Stimack
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this brew at Mahar’s last evening. This beer poured to a deep black color with a nice chunky tan head that had excellent retention and left lacing through out, a fantastic looking brew! The aromas are of vanilla, with chocolate, oak and roasted highlights. The taste has a number of things going on, a little hop up front followed by an excellent mix of vanilla, cocoa and espresso, simply a fantastic tasting brew! One knock against it, it could be thicker but actually makes it a brew that can be had during any season! I must say that I was unsure of this brew when I got it, but man I glad that I did! This is a brew that I am going to look for in the future! Try this brew, I think you will be happy!

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Photo of ujsplace
4.35/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a nonic.

Pours a one-finger thick foamy, tan head that disappears into a thin, whispy layer sitting atop a black colored brew with hints of ruby along the very edges. Descent lacing.

Smells of chocolate, coffee, vanilla and oak.

Tastes initially of milk chocolate, followed by vanilla and there is definitely a woody flavor in there as well.

Incredibly smooth and creamy.

An excellent stout. Pick this one up if you see it...

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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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