Dominion Oak Barrel Stout | Old Dominion Brewing Company

BA SCORE
88
very good
1,524 Ratings
Dominion Oak Barrel StoutDominion Oak Barrel Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company
Delaware, United States
olddominion.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,524
Reviews:
702
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
12.5%
 
 
Wants:
85
Gots:
202
For Trade:
2
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,524 |  Reviews: 702
Photo of barczar
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with a lingering frothy cappuccino head.

Nutty, toasted malt, coffee grounds, and vanilla form the initial aroma. Roast malt and toasted oak emerge as it warms.

Flavor has a deeply roasted malt backbone throughout, with lightly bitter coffee and notes of char emerging in the finish, accompanied by oak. Hints of dark cherries hit early, adding complexity. Vanilla is fairly subtle, but this has aged a year.

Body is moderate, with modest carbonation and light alcohol warmth.

Fairly complex beer, with a nice tart and char balance. It's not overly roasted, and the toasted oak complements well.

 622 characters

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Lots of vanilla on this stout. It's a great morning beer, not too dark on the roasted malt, not too thick, just right. Short lived tan head just a quarter inch tall. The nose presents smoked malt in small proportion and quite a bit more hops than is common in the style. Vanilla is the predominant flavor, but the malt complexity is awesome and layered. Oak presence is light and sweet, I'm guessing a pretty quick aging process. The body is a bit thin for a stout, and for the richness of flavors. It seems watered down to me, but the flavors are awesome. My first beer from old dominion is a hit.

 598 characters

Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Very smooth and oak adds value to taste, however another stout with a variation among many good stouts available. Medium mouthfeel, worthy to drink on its own without food. Toast, coffee, well carbonated, toasty,and vanilla but is it real vanilla? Sweet cocoa aftertaste. Second tasting a couple of weeks alter.

 311 characters

Photo of DrunkMcDermott
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting brew in that it has the complex mix of flavors of a "big" beer... but isn’t. Pours with a syrupy smell of vanilla and a bit of maple. When in the glass, there’s a brown spongy head over a ruby to black body. Taste is of a dry stout, but well mellowed with a trace of smoke and coffee. Vanilla is in just the right proportion to be a "part" of the beer instead of making it a "flavored" beer, if you get my meaning. Very light oakiness helps smooth out the brew, too.

 480 characters

Photo of wethorseblanket
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of Calraven
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of ItsBeer4Me
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Photo of TheBrewo
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

We pour a brew of molasses brown into our Great Lakes pints, letting up a shade or two of lighter brown when scrutinized under direct light. It holds a sturdy two finger head of creamy mocha colored bubbles, showing excellent retention. Chunky cheesecloth lacing is left around the glasses. No haze or sediment is appreciated, but carbonation appears to be active. The aroma warms the nostrils with notes of chalky chocolate nibs, roasty chocolate and smoked maltiness, salted black malts, soft peat harshness, nickel, wet oak, moss and lightly grassy hops, fresh vanilla bean, buttery diacetyls, light booziness, dark cherry fruitiness, light plastics, white flour, stale leathers, and lactic and cranberry acidity. Our first impression is that the flavoring is greatly smoky, holding firm darkness through to the end of the sip. As we sip, the taste opens with smoldering charcoal, peat, cedar, oily strawberry fruitiness, biting lactic sourness, fresh vanilla smoothness, hot aluminum, grassy hops, corn flour, white sugar, molasses smacks, lime juiciness, and lavender florals. The middle peaks with cocoa powder and heavy chocolate malts, soy sauce salts, adhesive paper, continued smoked meatiness, medicinal bitters, mild floral hops, bitter oaky woodiness, black cherry juiciness, and iodinated soap. Washing through the finish is your final blend of chocolate and bitter coffee malts, harsh roast and smoke, vanilla bean sweetness, fusel booziness, mineral water, further bittering medicinals, singed oak, and black malty dilution. The aftertaste breathes of tin and aluminum foil, acorns, ancient perfume, musk, oily diacetyls, moss-slick tree trunk, salted butter, milk chocolate, board chalk, pretzel dough, chocolate and white flour graininess, toffee sugars, and charcoal. The body is lightly medium, and the carbonation is the same. Each sip floats light on the lips, with nice slurp, smack, cream, froth, and pop, which all brush rather than slam. The mouth is left cooled and wetly coated, with eventual chalky astringency to dry the hard palate. The abv is appropriate, and the beer drinks easily.

Overall, the most enjoyable thing about this beer was its robustness of flavor. This remained true, even though they kept the body and the feel so light and easily flowing. While the flavor was there, in its meaty, peaty smokiness, the aroma fell a bit flat. We missed a lot of those heavy, oaky butters that you’ve come to expect in any oaked/barreled beer these days. That said, this guy does its style a bit of justice, as pleasant “single” stouts are becoming scarce. This beer will hit the spot if you’re in the mood for cleanly executed simplicity, but it likely will not become your new favorite. As always, as this is a new brewery to us, we remain excited to see what else Dominion has got in their arsenal.

 2,841 characters

Photo of superspak
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 7/31/2012. Pours a fairly pitch black color with a 1 finger fairly dense khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings to the glass. Aromas of big caramel, milk chocolate, vanilla, toffee, roasted malt, oak, toast, light coffee, and light smoke. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity. Taste of chocolate, caramel, vanilla, oak, smoke, roasted malt, toast, toffee, and light smoked ham. Slight roasty bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of milk chocolate, caramel, roasted malt, oak, toast, toffee, and smoke on the finish for a bit. Very nice flavor balance and robustness; very pronounced but balanced oak flavor; with zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and slightly slick mouthfeel that is nice. It feels a touch on the thin side, but it’s not detrimental. Alcohol is very well hidden with almost zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is a very nice oak aged stout. Nice amount of robust flavors for a 6% beer with a nice balanced smoke complexity; and extremely smooth to drink as expected. A very enjoyable offering.

 1,212 characters

Photo of ptykozoon
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours obsidian, nice light brown head, decent lacing.

Smell is ripe fruit; cherries, raisin. Then the vanilla, a light espresso and hints of cocoa.

Taste is rich and colorful, nice amount of chocolate mixed with vanilla.

Mouthfeel is lighter than expected, as I wasn't aware of the 5.2 abv. Very solid for the alcohol content. There is an element of toned down wateriness, however this beer handles it well. Unusual dry and refreshing finish. Sticky guinness-like mouthfeel.

Drinkability is excellent given the alcohol. A standout brew, quite frankly I wish they distributed here.

 584 characters

Photo of bonkers
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my SA pint glass. Jet black in color with a 2 finger white head that does not stick around long. Vanilla and oak are the dominat scents. The taste follows the nose, the finish is dry and crisp. The beer is too light in body, otherwise a pretty good stout.

 292 characters

Photo of thatguy3579
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Black and opaque with rich lingering dark tan head. Looks like a real brew.

S: Smells like sweet roasted coffee.

T: Tasty but perhaps a little conservative. Roasted malty sweetness, some vanilla, and a clear finish. Flavorful, but not intense or exceptional.

M: Rich and creamy, with low carbonation. Rolls around thickly in the mouth.

D: For a dark, tasty stout, this is very drinkable. This, of course, comes at a cost of flavor. A decent, but mild rendition.

 468 characters

Photo of guild337
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have had this beer multiple times over the years, especially after moving back to Virginia 3 years ago. But this is the first time since AB (Coastal) bought out Dominion. But I was aware of the purchase, and expected to see that my keg was indeed a AB branded one. None the less, my experience was an overall pleasant one.

A - Deep and dark brown, with a slightly redish brown lovely head (once I got the CO2 pressure correct).

S - Coffee, dark chocolate, and hints of the vanilla bean. A tiny bit of earthiness.

T - A very nicely ballanced stout. It was on-tap in my kegorator for a Halloween party and the diverse crowd really seemed to like it. I enjoyed the subtle coffee and vanilla flavors.

M - A little syrupy and thick, but not unpleasant. And it was great on a crisp evening.

D - Low alchohol and not so overbearing bitterness lend to a somewhat sessionable brew. But I wouldn't recommend overindulging. The sugar content lends to quite the hangover the next day. All in all a great little (formerly) local stout. On-tap that is.

 1,046 characters

Photo of Corey_Graven
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of magine
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

My first brew from this brewery.

Poured into a pint glass.

Brew pours a dark coffee color with a tan head that sticks around for only a few sips some minimal lacing.

The brew smells of toffee, caramel, oats, vanilla.

This brew tastes of toasted malts, some hop bitterness caramel and a hint of vanilla. A nice complex yet balanced taste. Dry mouthfeel.

This is a very tasty stout. Very drinkable, I am very pleased with this brew. It has a unique flavor and is very drinkable. Very much case worthy, to be enjoyed throughout the night.

 540 characters

Photo of SixpointJMH
3.91/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an almost black colour wit ha big foamy, creamy off-white head that takes some time to dissolve and leaves a good amount of residue on the glass after each sip.

The aroma is sweet. Chocolate abound but a nice amount of vanilla mixed in throughout as well. Some roasted notes also come through here along with some wood-like aromas from the oak. That said, the overall aroma has a bit of faintness to it. It's still nice but I would have liked it to be beefed up a touch.

The flavour hits on the aromas and does the beefing up that the aroma needs. The nice thing is that it doesn't push or aspire to be an Imperial and is happy to toe the line of a regular old stout, and this one does it well. Flavour is a bit more roasted than the aroma led on but also holds the chocolate and vanilla blend just as well as the aroma did. Wood noted from the oak are still present as well. I caught hints of coffee but found this one to be much more chocolate based than coffee-like. Mouthfeel is full bodied and creamy, with a bit of heartiness to it as well.

This is just a solid across the board brew. It hits you with good flavour and is a nice easy drinking beer. Having a barrel aged brew that does not smack you in the head with a strong bourbon presence was a nice touch as well, and one I'd like to see more of from other breweries, as it provides for a bit more complexity without being overpowering and still remaining fairly straightforward. Good stuff overall.

 1,474 characters

Photo of oberon
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 11/07/09.I have sampled this beer a few times in the past,this is the first bottle I have had to myself.Poured into a bulb glass a deep dark but not opaque cola color with a minimal light mocha colored head atop.Aromas of vanilla/oak and dark coffee stand out most with just a hint of molasses as well.A little thin and prickly in the mouthfeel department but not overly annoying.Flavors are dominated by vanilla and heavy roast up front with a drying earthy,woodiness that comes thru in a long finish.Its a year and a half old but I dont think it matters much,a decent flavorful stout.

 597 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to lostbearbrew for this one...
Almost black in color with no light passing thru...a half a finger of tan colored head which disappears within minutes.
No real lacing to speak of.
Pleasant in the nose...vanilla, butterscotch, chocolate and a definite oak/woody character.
Taste is real nice once it hits right around room temperature...more vanilla with a hint of robust coffee, almonds and an overall, well-balanced malt to hop experience.
Mouthfeel is a tad thin, but the carbonation is where I enjoy it and it is easily consumed with a fairly low abv (for me)...would love to try this one on cask, as the oak age flavors are nice but would really shine as a real ale IMO.

 688 characters

Photo of far333
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a 22-ounce mug. Dark chestnut colored with a dark beige dimpled head that sinks quickly but leaves a thin cap atop.

Aroma of oak and smoke, plus cocoa and a bit of brown sugar riding beneath.

Flavors of cocoa, molasses, and smokey charred bark. Definitely noticeable oak flavors throughout the gulp. Dark chocolate lingers.

Mouthfeel is tangy and tannic, puckering the cheeks slightly. The oak barreling seems to impart a certain flavor and dry mouthfeel that is just shy of detracting from the experience.

Pretty drinkable, but could be more complex and rely on the oak less.

 598 characters

Photo of Brenden
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This dark brown brew develops one finger of creamy medium brown head. The beer itself looks a little bubbly at first but calms down very quickly. Head retention isn't spectacular, but it's pretty good, and some good patching is left behind.
Nice, woody and natural sort of oaky notes come off the nose. it's generally a little soft, but digging out the subtleties isn't too difficult. Vanilla's directly up front and roast is gentle but firm, while coffee grounds come right up to the forefront. It all works together for not a huge smack in the face but plenty of complexity that has to be thoughtfully sought out but isn't taxing.
The flavor has all the coffee, roast, oak and vanilla as the nose, but a ghost of something with a certain tang to it can be caught sneaking in and out. It eases out as it warms, and there's an almost citrusy hint right in the finish that has me thinking hops, though it's very light.
The body is full and smooth but the crispness is held firm by a carbonation that's a little too high for a stout.

 1,031 characters

Photo of Px2GrafX
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

presentation: 12oz bottle with a picture of a large wooden barrel keg. "fermented with vanilla beans and oak chips" is printed. bottled date: 05/19/05. ABV is displayed at 5.2%.

appearance: pours dark brown, almost black with dark brown edges into a stein mug. head is a tan grey 1 inch with decent lacing and sticking.

smell: chocolate, coffee with a lingering aroma of wood and charred wood. some vanilla aroma, but i don't think i would have noticed if i weren't looking for it.

taste: distinct chocolate and coffee flavor with an antagonist light vanilla finish. the smoked woody flavor is apparent. there is a wine-like aftertaste as the beer warms. i assume this is the bourbon that everyone talks about. i'm not a big fan of bourbon, and have hardly ever drank it, but i don't mind this flavor in this beer. just adds to the complexity.

mouthfeel: smoother as it warms than when still cold. good carbonation. swallows a bit hard for me. i like a smoother swallow in a stout. the viscosity is very nice rolling in your mouth, however.

drinkability: quite drinkable. not as strong as some stouts, and the alcohol doesn't hinder. the first one goes down easy, but i wouldn't be grabbing for this all night.

overall: not my favorite stout, but a great change of pace. super complex with a different flavor taking charge with every sip. definitely pick one up if you're lookin' for a flavored stout.

 1,421 characters

Photo of Zorro
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 Oz bottle Sampled through the efforts of Boxing Day BIF and Pentathlete. Bottling Date 10/28/05.

Pours a deep brown colored beer with a fast fading tan head.

Smell is sweet with an aroma of chocolate and nuts laced with a bit of coffee. There is a rather sharp scent of acid from the dark roasted malt used. Strong roasted coffee scent here that is very pleasant.

Taste is sweet and smoky at the start. Fairly neutral background flavor that accentuates the chocolate, smoke and coffee. The acid level works well here to brighten the coffee flavors like a medium roasted Kona coffee.

Mouthfeel is OK, but not that good.

Pleasant and tasty stout with a very moderate alcohol level. As close to a session beer as stouts ever really get.

 751 characters

Photo of neobassman
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I picked up a bottle of this local offering as part of a systematic review of domestic stouts. This one has much to offer. The pour is slightly thick, producing a modest head that dissipated quickly. Color is almost black with essentially no light passing through. Mild carbonation. The smell is complex and aligns well with the taste. Not much bitterness, and not much cooked coffee flavor. Nice maltiness in the heart of the flavor, and some pleasant sweetness, as well. The brewer states that the beer is dry-hopped with fresh vanilla beans and "toasted oak" chips to simulate a bourbon barrel aging. That may be, but I did not get a significant oak or vanilla experience from this brew - they're probably in there somewhere contributing to the overall flavor, but I was surprised these flavors were not prominent since the label touts them front and back.

This beer is not much like Guinness because it lacks the strong burnt coffee and salty components of Guinness, which may be a plus or a minus depending on how much you like the Irish icon. Oak Barrel is a good stout, pleasant and inoffensive. I would enjoy it again, though it does not rank among the leading American stouts in my opinion.

 1,201 characters

Photo of jancona
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

From the bottle - definite vanilla bean flavor with a touch of chocolate sauce. Not getting the oak, but still a nice stout. Would definitely get again.

 152 characters

Photo of Aenema
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance - Pours a deep, dark brown with a thin head and leaves no lacing.
Smell - Roasted malts, vanilla and oak. The oak gives off an impression of bourbon.
Taste - Similar to the nose; chocolaty, roasted malts followed by vanilla and oak.
Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, especially for a stout, with moderate to low carbonation and a dry finish.
Drinkability - Relatively easy drinking stout.

 392 characters

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,524 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.

    Learn More
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.

    Learn More
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.

    Learn More