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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 flexabull
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice black color, head is very small and fleeting.

Beer smells a bit of caramel, but mostly of deep dark roasted malts.

Flavors are good, but the balance is a bit funky. Tastes seems to shift from vanilla, oak, bitter chocolate, and dark roasted malt. Like I said, this tastes good, but it seems like all the flavors are scattered about with no harmony or balance.

Mouthfeel is a tad above average, but is a bit weak up front.

This is a drinkable brew, and I certainly enjoyed it. But to me... it tastes like it needs some refining.

Thanks for the chance MuenchenerKindl.

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Photo of changeup45
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10/8/2004. Black color with a relatively thick tan head and a little staying power for lacing. Strong coffee and malty aroma. Coffee flavor with roasted malts and a definite woody oak taste. Nicely balanced and a well-rounded stout. Definitely easy drinking too for the style. Solid.

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Photo of joe1510
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz Bottle

This is another in a long line of great beer I've received from BitterBill over the last year or so, thanks Bill! Dominion's Oak Barrel Stout fills my snifter dark as night black with zero light glinting through when backlit. It took some aggressive pouring to produce a small short lived beige head. The head fell to a skimming and moderate ring around the glass leaving little thin lace lines down the glass.

The aroma faded with the head but a little swirl brings it all rushing back. Roasty, nearly to the point of being charred, malts start things off and dominate throughout. Pronounced alcohol fumes seem to bring the under ripe blackberry more to the front. Vanilla beans add a touch of sweetness on the backend but I can't seem to find much from the oak chips. I'm on the fence here, the alcohol seems a little too big but the other aromas pull me right in. I'll give it the benefit of the doubt.

The flavor is actually a lot different then the nose suggested. The maltiness is still roasty but doesn't quite toe that line of being charred. The under ripe blackberry is there but very faint, as is the entire flavor profile. Alcohol isn't as noticeable as the nose suggested but there is a slight metallic feel to the overall flavor. A little coffee flashes through on the finish along with high cocoa content dark chocolate. The flavor just seems to be much too subtle for what this beer is.

The body is on the lighter side of medium and little too light for my liking. There is some slickness and the carbonation seems to be dialed in good but the body is just too light for the style.

The lighter body keeps this beer flowing at a pretty quick pace but one bottle is enough for me in a sitting. This beer just isn't good enough to justify opening up another.

My review may have sounded a little harsh but this is a solid beer. I just expected a little more. I would have loved to see more of the vanilla and any oak. I did enjoy the glass though. Thanks again Bill!

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Photo of IronCitySteve
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Beer is a dark brown, with no light coming through. Looks like a darker version of root beer. Provides a small tan foam head, with zero lacing.

S: The scents become more prevalent as it warms. Mostly rich vanilla, oak, chocolate.

T: A good combination of vanilla and oak up front with some chocolate on the back end. Not too sweet.

M: A little thin. Leaves a creamy oak taste on the palate.

D: Easy to drink, certainly worthy of a taste. A low abv.

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Photo of scoobybrew
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - deep, dark, nearly opaque black color with slight ruby highlights, thick tan head with good retention and nice lacing

S - rich, roasted chocolate-like malts with a hint of smoke, some vanilla (from the oak barrel?)

T - roasted grain with some burnt and smoky flavors associated, moderate hop bitterness on the finish; some herbal-like hop flavors; fairly clean yeast character

M - medium-full body with moderately high carbonation, some roast astringency on finish

O - Well, this isn't a bad American stout, but there's not really much barrel flavor here despite the name. There is some oak-like vanilla, but it's pretty subtle. The brewing is fair enough, but just doesn't deliver the barrel expectations very well.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 4

A - Deep brown with a red tint. Small head that doesn't linger long. Small flecks of lacing cling to the glass.

S - Smells like oak and vanilla coffee, maybe a touch of chocolate. The aroma has an unplaceable earthiness to it. Overall the smell is very strong.

T - My first thoughts are of root beer. It isn't sweet, but it has a bit of a birch flavor, along with some vanilla, chicory and coffee. Good.

M - Carbonation is too high. Medium bodied with a bit of a gummy feel in the aftertaste. A bit drying at that. Worst part of the beer.

D - Even though the mouthfeel is pretty awful, somehow this beer remains drinkable. As long as you are drinking it, the gumminess doesn't bother you or the slightly drying aspect. The flavor itself is complex and devoid of sweetness. I really enjoyed this one. I might have it again.

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Photo of jayhawk73
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown, close to black w/ a one finger chocolate head. Decent lacing on my snifter. Nose is that of vanilla, coffee, barley, chocolate- with the vanilla and coffee really coming out front. Very smooth though- not bitter. Taste is a little on the thin side for me. It just lacks that oomph that the best stouts have. It's tasty, just not quite put together how I'd like. Feel is the same- too thin for the style, and a little on the fizzy side. This is probably the weak point of this beer. Overall, a good beer, but not something I'll probably seek out again. Still, it's worth trying if you've never had it. Cheers.

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Photo of damienblack
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to BDLbrewster for the bottle in trade.

Pours a pretty thin dark brown. Thin head quickly roils up to about a half inch, and quickly receeds. No cool lacing or anything like that. Smells like burnt bourbon, like a huge bourbon aged IS. It doesn't taste it at all, though. Faint oaking comes through, but it isn't overly roasty, and just a bit sweet. A bit of vanilla, maybe some coffee. A little light on flavor, and very light overall. That is the biggest flaw. It lacks gravitas, and it needs a lot more carbonation. It feels dead, like the lunar surface. Needs more carbonation to liven things up, right now it tastes almost flat. Very drinkable, though. This beer is a bit underwhelming, but it was worth the try.

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Photo of MSchae1017
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer was tasted in a pint glass from the 12oz bottle.

This beer pours a dark black with hints of red lace with a smallish tan head that disspates to just some whisps of foam with a decent amount of lacing down the side of the glass. The smell is roasted malts with hints of vanilla and wood. The taste is up front with the roasted and black malts. Again the vanilla and wood make a lingering presence here. The mouthfeel is rather thin but not bad on carbonation. Overall a good stout, but not one I was so thrilled with I'd like to get over and over again.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up earlier tonight at illicit retail in Los Angeles. 6% ABV according to my bottle's label. I dig the simple yet classy label art. "Oak aged stout fermented with vanilla beans." Just what I'm in the mood for. Per the description, they used oak chips - not an oak barrel. Bottled 01/03/13. 355 ml brown glass bottle with branded standard silver pressure cap served into a Mitchells of Lancaster flared stem-tulip in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are high; it sounds very tasty and the ratings are sky-high currently. I also feel like it's been around long enough that it's hype resistant. I'd never heard of the brewery until I saw this bottle today.

Served chilled, and allowed to warm over the course of consumption. Side-poured initially with standard vigor, but as I poured it became evident no head was pouring so I increased vigor substantially.

A: Pours a half finger khaki colour head. Slight cream. Decent thickness. Okay (~1-2 minute) retention. Body colour is a solid black; not a dark or a jet black. Opaque (both nontransparent and nontranslucent). No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show. Not an impressive appearance for the style, but par for the course.

Sm: Lovely oak - with evocative toasted character. Good vanilla character too - from the vanilla beans not the oak. Dark malt. Maybe some chocolate malt. I'd like more of the oak and less of the vanilla. There's not a lot of subtlety to the aroma, but it comes off balanced even if it is simple. Mild in strength and quite appealing for what it is - an oak/vanilla stout with no bells and whistles.

T/Mf: Nice toasty oak character greets you right on the climax and stays throughout. Too sticky and sugary. It's got a nice rounded vanilla character, but like many vanilla stouts it does border on overly sweet. I'm glad the bottle size is only 12 fl oz; I hate downing a bomber of a vanilla stout - the sweetness is always too much. Simple for an oak barrel stout. Dark malts and chocolate malts comprise the foundation. I don't get much caramel. No yeast character or alcohol comes through. Well balanced. I quite fancy it. Not the most subtle, and far from the most complex, but it's nice to have an approachable no-frills oaky stout from time to time. Smooth and wet. Pretty good carbonation. Good thickness. Good body. Nice presence on the palate.

Dr: Very drinkable; it's a lovely little oaky stout. I'd definitely get this again; do they sell it by the sixer in Delware? I'd buy one regularly. A lovely beer for the style and one nobody seems to be talking about. I'd recommend it to friends. I could probably happily down four of these in the same night; it's quite good.


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Photo of Oxymoron
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Kind of odd to have a lower ABV beer aged in oak but cool. Pours a midnight black color with ruby red hues around the edge of the glass. A bubbly tan head with limited retention but ok lacing. Both not lasting through the full tasting.

The nose is a nice mix between malt and oak. There is a specific roast and black malt aroma that is distinct. Some lactic notes as well with a hint of alcohol but I think that is coming through the wood aged side. A vanilla and bourbon note with a hint of lactic on the back end. Some noticeable esters, sugar plums and figs specifically. Some yeasty notes are a bit off setting but they are minor.

The taste is not as complex as the nose. The malt backs off with some roast and more of a chocolate note than black patent. Some minor astringency but would like more. The lactic comes out more with a acidic blend more than oatmeal. The oak comes out more and really plays center staff. More of a oaky flavor with vanilla notes and limited bourbon notes. The yeast notes really come out as well as a sugary plum note.

The body is more on par with moderate. Finishes a bit dry, would like some more depth at the end. Carbonation is light but that is ok. Overall a great nose but the taste falls off. Would like more complexity that would linger into the finish. The lactic and esters are off setting, but the wood notes are really nice.

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Photo of nickfl
3.59/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Pours with a moderate head of light tan foam on top of a black body with amber highlights. The foam settles at a moderate pace and leaves nice lace.

S - Carmel, coffee, peat, and some light toasted oak.

T - light malt, come weak coffee and a touch of oak up front. More tepid coffee in the middle and a finish of watery caramel and vanilla.

M - A fairly light body, moderate carbonation, and a balanced but thin finish.

D - Not nearly as good as it sounded. The body is far too thin to carry the oak and vanilla and it just comes across as a mediocre American stout.

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Photo of jpmclaug
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the bottle into my Foothills flute-ish type glass. Got this as an extra from BigSexy410. Thanks!

A - Black body with a circle of light brown head resting on top

S - Standard dark malt aroma with a hint of sweetness. I think I am picking up on the aroma of the vanilla beans mentioned on the label.

T - Light roasted flavors, hints of vanilla and oak and a bit of a toasty type flavor. I dunno I was expecting something with more flavor so this is a bit of a let down.

M - real smooth creamy body with a light carbonation

D - pretty easy drinking stout. Not nearly as much flavor as I was expecting. While there are notes of vanilla and oak it seems to really just mellow the beer out more. It could certainly use a little more flavor. Still a beer worth trying and I wouldn't have a problem ordering one if I was out somewhere. That being said I don't see myself seeking this one out in the future.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Black pour going towards deep auburn toward the edge. Head was barely perceptible at 1/6", tan. Aroma was pretty tame, didn't get any of the smoke/peat that was described, much less any amount of vanilla or oak. Not bad, just not putting out much smells.

Taste finally revealed some of that stuff, a very small amount of vanilla and oak. I appreciated the easy going nature and not over the top abv that necessitates Chicago pouring a barrel aged stout for a million people. Some earth and leather notes into it, mild chocolate. Everything is in a restrained way. Still think it could bring around a little more to jump into another level.

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Photo of whartontallboy
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours dark brown with a thin brown head that slowly dissipates.

You can really pick up on the oak barrel and vanilla in the nose, it gives the brew sort of a vanilla/roasted malt/winey smell with a bit of a hop character thrown in for good measure.

The taste is pretty smooth, with a nice balance of sweetness, roasted malt, vanilla, and a earthy flavor. It's a nice flavor, but I feel it's somewhat hamstrung by a very thin mouthfeel that doesn't really let it run as well as it could. It's a little too watery and not quite aggressive enough to really do this one justice. Not bad, but certainly not perfect.

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Photo of cro250klr
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - Nice coffee black look with a soft tan head.

S - Coffee, chocolate, vanilla. Not the strongest aromas that I've ever experienced.

T - Again, the coffee, chocholate and vanilla stand out. I was a bit let down by the lack of oakiness. It is there, but not as strong as I was anticipating.

M - Soft and smooth. Lightly carbonated.

D - I can do a bunch of these. The flavors meld together well and one doesn't overpower the other. The lighter ABV allows you to have a few. Could use a bit more oak flavor but I'd still go for this one again.

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Photo of wvsabbath
3.57/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Dark brown/black,, not much head, some lacing.

Smell - Mild oak, malts, sugars, cinnamin. Coffee, chocolate and some spices.

Taste - Mild stout, vanilla, oak and coffee bitterness. Rather bland and incredibly mild for a oaked stout. Oak flavors are present but not very strong. I got malts and coffee as main flavor.

MOuthfeel - Not much on mouth or tounge other then some bitterness. Aftertaste is thin and quickly gone.

Overall - A average beer at best. To mild and bland for my liking. Too easy to drink for what style it is. Maybe a good starter for a stout drinker but Not worthy after you've had a kbs or old rasputin.

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Photo of SometimesIfart
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Pours an almost impenetrable black with a finger and a half of mocha head. Left no lacing.

S - The scent is pretty much consisted of light roasted malts and some chocolate far off in the distance. The oak comes through right away as well.

T - A bit of roasted malt and sweet dark fruit up front, soon followed by chocolate and oak.

M - Medium slightly creamy body with light carbonation.

O - Overall, This is a tasty, well-priced stout that accomplished it's goal. Perhaps slightly short of sessionable. I'd have again.

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Photo of RblWthACoz
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark with a darker tannish head. Nose is a touch of wood and not a whole lot else going with it. The first hit of flavor gave cause for concern. But then it ended up being not so bad. However, the flavor profile is a bit acidic and citric in nature that makes it kind of leaning towards an not so loved realm. It isn't bad, but there is just this edge that I personally don't like. And the feel is a bit thin on the liquid. Carbonation is kind of low too. It is nice to drink, but I don't really see how an oak barrel has really done anything for this beer.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.56/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I must admit, this beer holds a special place in my heart b/c it started getting me interested in craft beers. However, I haven't had it for a while and my tastes have definitely sharpened...

Appearance: beautiful, smooth, and black pour with a great foamy tan head. Looks like liquid dark chocolate in the glass.

Smell: Sweet malt smell first but then a little bit of hops toward the end to round out the smell

Taste: Slightly bitter with hints of coffee, sweet bread, and some oats. A bitter aftertaste with a little hint of vanilla.

Overall: A good but not great beer. Carbonation is a little overpowering but defintely try this interesting twist on the American stout.

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Photo of Lazerlobe
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: A rich dark liquid poured fills the glass with a khaki colored cap of foam. Head is quick to recede but remaining microfoam is quite pleasing.

S: Molasses, melted candy bar, soot, caramelized sugar.

T: Some bitterness and weak oxidation come through with heavily burnt sugar, milk chocolate, vanilla and ash. !

M: Carbonation is a tad high body the body seems appropriate.

D: Not the worst stout but nothing I'd trample folk to get.

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Photo of Yesac
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - solid black, thin tan head

S - mild oak & bourbon

T - Very smooth and thin. Moderate bite from the oak.. roasted malt.. vanilla bean bourbon.Tart finish.

M/D - Silky smooth. Thin on the palate. Little to no carbonation. The thinness makes this brew easy to drink but constrains complexity.

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Photo of Saunapoika
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First impression was one of suprise. With a name like Oak Barrel Stout, I was assuming a deep filling, hearty, dark brew.

Appearance is a slightly opaque black.

Aroma starts off with hints of vanilla and then is overpowering with the smell of bourbon. While quaffing this brew, I imagined a Guiness with a shot of Jim Beam poured in.

Carbonation was perfect but no head retention or lacing throughout my experience.

Overall, this is an enjoyable brew. I however, was expecting a bit more of a filling beer. Not to say it wasn't good but not quite what I was expecting.

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Photo of JunkYardJake
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into tulip.
Pours a near black color with a small tan film on top. Very little lacing. Smell is very subdued. Some roasted malts and a little chocolate and coffee. Chocolate malt, although mild, is the most dominate flavor in the palate, followed by lactose sweetness and a kiss of oak from the oak chips that were added. The oak character is nice because it is subtle and doesn't hide the other flavors like some stouts that are actually aged in barrels. The thing is, there isn't alot of other flavors. The vanilla beans get lost completely and there is no prominent hop flavors. Also, the roasted malt and coffee in the nose, doesn't really show up. Yet, the chocolate and oak are enough to make it work. Medium bodied with low carbonation. The mouthfeel is silky smooth and rolls around nicely. Overall, an approachable and enjoyable stout that, due to it's mild flavor profle, is quite drinkable.

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Photo of Beer_Runner
3.55/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled on 08/07/12 (opened 46 days after bottling)

A: A slow pour into a standard pint glass resulted in about two-and-a-half fingers of a very robust and clumpy mocha colored head that slowly dissipated to about a quarter finger and left a good lacing. The brew dark brown and opaque with a cola hue.

S: The aroma is mild and consists of dark roasted malt with a touch of vanilla and a bit of oak.

T: The taste begins with a dark roasted malt and oak blend, and a touch of vanilla also comes through along with a touch of sweetness.

M: The body just barely makes it into the heavy range and it also has a slightly creamy feel. There is also very little carbonation, which is just fine in this style of beer.

O: This is a very oak and vanilla focused beer. It is also a very sweet beer. It is a good solid stout. The vanilla and the sweetness combine to give this beer a cola-like flavor.

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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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