Dominion Oak Barrel Stout | Old Dominion Brewing Company

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Dominion Oak Barrel StoutDominion Oak Barrel Stout
Very Good
1,543 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 1,543 |  Reviews: 703
Photo of TLove
3.8/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle to pilsner glass.

A silky, black color with a dark, creamy head. Sweet, bready combination of oaky, brown malts with some molasses and vanilla bean.

The oaky taste is a great balance to the body and although this isnt smoky or complex like many stouts in its realm, it is quite clean and smooth.

Very laid-back, unassuming stout, but overall, pretty enjoyable.

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Photo of JRed
3.48/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours black in the body with cinnamon head on top. Vanilla extract, vanilla beans, cream, some faint wheat characteristics in the nose. Taste of vanilla extract and cereal. Smooth, light body, slight sourness in the aftertaste. Enjoyable but not the greatest representation of the style. More like a little brother to the big American stouts that I love.

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Photo of GeezLynn
3.5/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, almost black with a huge, frothy tan head.

S: Bready combination of dark malts and plenty of hops. Also bit of woody character with little chocolate and the vanilla.

T: Mainly dark roasted malts. Oak seems to mute much of the flavors. Finish is slightly bitter with a very abrupt and dry ending. Vanilla? Not much here.

M: Light to medium bodied with a moderate level of carbonation. Fairly sticky.

Overall, tasty, but I really didn't get as much of the advertised oak chips and vanilla as expected. Still a mildly flavorful, easygoing stout.

Revisited this beer thanks to a generous throw in. Had to move this down from a 3.7 to a 3.5. Can't really pick up much oak other than the smoothing effect and a touch of vanilla. Extremely bland and lacking any character. Well brewed, with no off flavors, but completely undistinguished. Less flavor than a good dunkel or schwartz. Not bad, but definitely a training wheels stout.

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Photo of Jettanbass9
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

picked up a six of this on a whim... glad i did.

a - chestnut brown under obsidian black with a rocky head that dissipates into a thin lacing. with a few swirls, the head bounces back and dissipates back into the thin lacing. could be from the oils in the vanilla. quality.

s - medium to light roast dominates then fades to a resinous oak and mellow vanilla. aroma reminds me of lightly roasted coffee beans, vanilla sugar and fresh cut wood. none of which dominates and allows for a well balanced aroma. beings that this is a stout, i would hope for a bit more roast in the aroma... note that there is sufficient roast but on the lower end of the style.

t - the aromas come alive the in flavor as lightly roasted coffee mingles a slight sweetness of vanilla and confectioners sugar with a hearty helping of resinous oak. each flavor evokes balance and makes for a perfect seasonal brew.

m - a bit on the dry side with very mild carbonation. this beer could benefit from the presence of more dextrins but isn't far off from where it is. there is no astringency and no harsh or overbearing flavors.

d - this is a great craft beer to keep around for the holidays. this beer emits balance but progressive craft flavors in a well crafted way. this is an extremely drinkable brew for craft aficionados and newbees alike. highly recommended.

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Photo of StarlightSeraph
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Pours dark brown and thick, with one finger of light brown head that subsided fairly quickly. Decent lacing.

Smell: Milk chocolate and some bitter chocolate, mixed with notes of oak. Almost smells like some burnt malt is in there too.

Taste: Sweeter than I expected, but not too sweet. Sweet chocolate and roasted malts are balanced by the bitterness and strength of the oak. Vanilla is strong in the background, and balances everything out nicely. The aftertaste is overall minimal, but some vanilla lingers for quite some time.

Mouthfeel: Thinner than I expected, and a little overcarbonated.

Drinkability: I was impressed by this beer. It managed to combine oak, chocolate, and vanilla in a near perfectly balanced drink. For something that's fairly low on alcohol, this is a fairly full-flavored beer. I would definitely seek this one out again.

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Photo of thain709
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a deep, deep, brown with very little light coming through...this is borderline black...a two finger brown head formed and settled into a nice ring...some lacing

S - The roasted malts stand out but they aren't too heavy...some chocolate and coffee aromas...and a touch of alcohol...not much oak

T - The flavors in this beer work really well starts off with a nice roasted malt flavor...the chocolate roasted malts are the star and they stick around on the palate for a long time...the vanilla beans mix well in the middle to provide a touch of sweetness...the oak really doesn't shine which is a good thing and a bad thing...the hops are very, very subtle at the end

M - Light bodied...would have liked more creaminess but it was rather smooth going down

D - This was my first oak aged stout and I was really happy with it...the oak didn't stand out too much...I loved the chocolate malts and vanilla beans...I like that it was oak aged and not around 10%...being lighter in body helps with the drinkability as well

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Photo of ckeegan04
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Near solid black with the faintest ruby highlights when held uo to light, Creamy light brown head, about 1/2 inch thick. Slowly fades to a thin cap and leavbes solid sheets behind on the glass.

S - Big vanilla aroma that is far too artificial smelling. Tastes like vanilla shots added to coffee and sodas. As it warms a touch more roastiness comes through as it warms. The vanilla really is just too overwhelming.

T - Roasted malts with lots of vanilla. Vanilla is not near as strong in the taste as it was in the nose and actually provides a nice complimentary taste to the roasted malts.

M/D - Medium bodied and very creamy feel. Easy drinking and very pleasant. Roastiness leaves a light bitterness behind.

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Photo of mklinger
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pour into a shaker pint glass. Two full fingers of head formed after a moderately vigorous pour. The head was a nice mocha, creamy and thick though it dissipated fairly quickly to a slim layer within a minute. The beer was deep dark brown, the barest smidge of light showed through. Nice looking stout though the head could retain better.

Aroma was quite mild, a little cocoa and roast, not much of the oak in the scent. Not much hops in the aroma either. The rich malt is quite nice, though.

Flavor is pleasant. The roast and oak both create a nice dry taste. This is an easy to drink stout with nice roast & oak flavors, a bit of dark plum-y fruits and just enough hop bitterness to provide some balance. This isn't one of those assertive American stouts. It drinks more like a British or Irish stout with the additional complexity of the oak. The only flaw, given this style, is that the mouthfeel is a tad thin for me. A bit more dextrinous character would be nice. Otherwise, very nice & easy to drink.

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Photo of thartman
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle. The label is different from the one pictured, but I'm sure its the same brew. Deep, dark brown, almost black in color with a thin, tight head.

Nice aroma of vanilla, caramel, with hints of milk chocolate, and hazelnut.

Complex flavors, much hints of vanilla, milky chocolate kind of like a 3 musketeers bar, toasted malts, and a little caramel. The oak really comes through on the finish, mixed with sweet vanilla and a very slight hint of bourbon.

Smooth and creamy on the palate, medium to full bodied, with minimum carbonation. Slightly dry on the finish from the oak.

Easy drinker, nice stout with a twist, not too heavy. This is definitely worth seeking out.

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Photo of akorsak
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to CrellMoset for this one.

A: The stout is a robust brown color, dark enough to pass for black under most circumstances. A finger or so of off-white head really didn't make much of itself.

S: Caramel and vanilla really stand out in the nose, a sugary sweet blend of syrups that overtakes the stout aspect. A decent punch that reminds me of some of Southern Tier's wilder concoctions.

T: The roasted goodness of a stout is quick to jump out, roasted with a lactic twist. Vanilla beans, an excess of them, seemingly float in the stout like espresso beans in sambuca. A decent chocolate roast body supports the vanilla. Oak, present but not overpowering, leads to a nice finish. A mild sourness, lactic in nature, interacts nicely with the vanilla and oak at the end of each sip.

M: Not a bourbon bomb, this beer chooses to go the subtle route. The vanilla is full-bodied, sweet and sturdy, a nice compliment to the stout's roasted body. A subtle beer that rocks the tastebuds hard.

D: A mild stout, oak aged, and under 5.5%? Hard to believe. This one isn't a barrel aged behemoth, rather it is a complex stout that packs a lot of punch into a small package.

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Photo of advill88
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer is black as night, with a one and a half finger tan head.

S - Nutty oaky aroma, with hints of coffee and chocolate

T - Starts off slightly sour with a touch of hops, but then a nice strong maltiness kicks in with hints of bourbon and chocolate, and a smooth vanilla finish and a bit of sweetness.

M - Fairly heavy bodied with strong carbonation and a nice creamy texture

D - This is one of the few stouts I could probably drink all night because of its incredible rich and smooth taste. One of the better stouts I've had - highly recommended.

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Photo of BeerisfoodLLC
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From a 12oz bottle into a pint glass:

A - Dark as night, black as pitch, darker than the evilest witch....ok maybe thats an exaggeration. Rich thick head, laces nicely.

S - Sweet malty smells. Chocolate, coffee scents...

T - Smooth sweet malts tastes of coffee with hints of chocolate and other complex malts. Oak & bourbon hints are also evident.

M - Heavy bodied and very smooth.

D - Very smooth and enjoyable. Very drinkable.

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Photo of erosier
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

L: Pours a nice dark brown/black color with a medium sized and medium bodied tan colored head that laces the glass nicely on the way down.
S: Smells of deep roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, and then a nice oak barrel aroma with hints of vanilla and coffee.
T: Tastes like the nose, deep roasted malts, caramel, chocolate, coffee, hints of vanilla and bourbon in the oak flavor. The oak is a pretty big part of the flavor.
M: Very smooth, warming, perfect amount of carbonation.
D: Very drinkable considering the oak and bourbon are the prevalent flavors and the low abv for a barrel aged stout.

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Photo of guild337
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

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Photo of philbe311
3.67/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 10/24/09 - Retrieved via Google Cache after system crash.

A - Slight dark brown creamy yet fizzy head doesn't last long and give way to an uneven splotchy lacing...

S - Overall, the aroma is quite subdued... Coffee... Vanilla... Roasted malt... Chocolate... Some very minor wood notes... Very pleasant, but quite passive...

T - Bitter roasted malts... Coffee... Vanilla... A touch of licorice... The oak character rises towards the end and remains as part of the aftertaste...

M - Medium bodied with a lot of fizzy carbonation... The taste doesn't fill the mouth... Clean... Chalky and somewhat dry...

D - Respectable... Not great... Not bad... A very pedestrian stout... The low ABV of 5.2% and the attractive sticker price are positives, but not enough to make this anything other than a marginal stout... Overall this suffers from a lack a assertiveness and complexity...

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Photo of coldmeat23
3.87/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

GLASS: Sam Adams Perfect Pint
TEMP: Cellared @ approx 50 degrees

This pours a deep, dark, brown color. A thin, foamy, head of brown, sits on top. Retention is okay and the lacing is nothing special.

Big oakiness is leveled out by a nice touch of vanilla sweetness. Good notes of dark roasted coffees. A mild touch of dark chocolates. Light earthiness (due to the hops content?).

Big notes of roasted malts and oak char. Vanilla presence is smoothing but not really that sweet. Notes of dark coffee and bittersweet chocolates. The finish is quite dry.

Full-bodied with a good, medium level of carbonation. Fairly smooth with a nice touch of creaminess.

It's a touch too roasty and charred for my tastes. I also think that the body could use a touch more 'oomph'. Still, it's drinkable, despite my minor, personal, quibbles.

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Photo of aaronh
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

As an update to my on-tap review - this beer really suffers in the bottle. Aromas are crushed and flat, flavor is simply better than average. Nothing spectacular in the bottle. I was very disappointed when I bought some of this. Drink it on tap - the bottle doesn't do it justice.

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Photo of droomyster
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown with a small tan head. Smells are big on the vanilla element, with a strong coffee roastiness. Taste is big on burnt wood and vanilla, with a chocolate truffle bittersweetness that is delectable. Body is too thin for my taste but overall this one tasty beer.

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Photo of drtth
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lightly chilled and poured into a Duvel glass. A glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer pours out almost black with a ½" dark tan head that begins to recede immediately. As the foam recedes from the first sip it leaves on the glass a partial ring and some leggy patches of lacing. Soon the foam has receded to a small ring and a thin layer of foam with a few patches here and there. By the end of the beer there is still some patching but sparse lacing.

Smell: The first reaction is that the aroma is only vanilla from the beans and chocolate from the malts. Since I don't find any hints of bourbon here I think the goal is to use just the vanilla, the hints of woodiness from the oak to simulate bourbon barrel aging. There are hints of dark chocolate, molasses and faint coffee from the malts. While the aroma is not strong, it is present and unobtrusive.

Taste: The flavor is full and reasonably complex, with some vanilla and chocolate, some dark roast, but not burnt, malt providing dark chocolate and the flavor of dark roast coffee. Nothing really dominates the flavor on this one except some nice sweet vanilla character to round it out and soften it a bit.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium to full-bodied with minimal carbonation. The moderate length dry almost astringent finish seems to come from the oak chips rather than the hops.

Drinkability: While there are other stouts I prefer this is a pleasant enough stout to have again sometime and I certainly could see spending an evening with good friends, good conversation, and a few of these.

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Photo of zplug123
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a beer mug:

A: Black as oil, with a strong tan head that disappears into a ring of lacing. No light escapes from one side to the other.

S: Complex roasted characteristic, with dark chocolate tinge and vanilla after note.

T: Malty beer with notable oak tone, even bitterness throughout the taste. Sweet (vanilla?) end

M: Moderate-bodied but smooth, clean aftertaste. Could be mistaken for a porter, as it goes down easy.

D: On a cold autumn day, nothing warms up better than a good stout. Went through two bottles in a night and that was just the right amount.

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Photo of mtstatebeer
3.71/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle served in a tumbler glass. Pours a completely opaque black with about a finger of frothy light brown head that diminishes to a line around the top of the beer. Aroma is roasted malts, chocolate, a hint of vanilla and wood. Flavor is what makes this one, roasted malts, vanilla, chocolate, and bitterness from the oak aging. Mouthfeel is on the higher side of medium, creamy, with a bitter finish that sticks around for a while. Good beer, lots of good flavors, very drinkable.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served on draft at the Old Dominion pub in Hyattsville, MD. Beer is dark, brownish black. Thin head, brown bubbles that leaves some lacing on the glass. Head falls away rather quickly. Can't really comment on the carbonation levels, hard to see in such a dark beer.

Smells like roast, a lot like a porter. Beer is smooth to drink. Sweetish on the front end and finishes with some roast / bitterness from the grains. No hop bitterness or aroma at all. Cookie cutter stout. Not disagreeable.

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Photo of rfgetz
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep dark black in color with nice khaki head, fades quickly but good lacing. Smell is of chocolate, vanilla, brown sugar and oak. Faint hints of coffee. Taste is more pronounced with vanilla extract, sweet brown sugar, oak and dark chocolate with coffee hints trailing. Silky smooth with a little aftertaste. Very good stout, but the vanilla begins to take over and can appear to be artificial.

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Photo of TheFightfan1
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

pours an almost opague black some lighted areas of ruby coloring.Thick creamy caramel colored heading.No lacing or legs at all and kind of flat looking.

Smell is heavily in favor of roasted malt followed by bitter sweet chocolate. Slightest of vanilla on the backend.

Taste of oakness hits you all at once at first. Followed by a very smooth dark chocolatey maltiness.Vanilla comes toward the end to add some creaminess and sweetness. Also there is a slight tasting of bitter hoppiness in the end.

Mouth is a little flat no real pop of retention. But it is ridiculously smooth and velvety in texture. Making this a little too smooth for school.

Easily drinkable and for sure a new handy beverage to have around the house.

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Photo of Aenema
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.93 out of 5 with 1,543 ratings