Dominion Oak Barrel Stout | Old Dominion Brewing Company

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BA SCORE
88
very good
698 Reviews
Dominion Oak Barrel StoutDominion Oak Barrel Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company
Delaware, United States | website

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
Reviews:
698
Ratings:
1,498
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
18.37%
 
 
Wants:
81
Gots:
184
For Trade:
2
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Reviews: 698 | Ratings: 1,498
Photo of FirstMan
2.28/5  rDev -41.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I picked up a six pack of this while I was down in Washington D.C. for a trip a few weeks back. I had a couple while I was there, and brought a couple with me to review later on. Honestly I'm not quite sure why I brought it with me, because I'm really not impressed with this beer.

Coloring is black as a stout should be with a less than vigorous head. Sort of wispy and light. While the coloring is right, there's a creamy, smooth visual character that good stouts have - such that you see it's more viscous and thick than normal beers. This does not have that. It appears more watery.

There's something weird with the smell. Possibly this is the oak aging and the vanilla so touted on the bottle, but it sort of smells like the underside of a pier, if you ask me. There's a salt-water sort of funk underlying. Notes of molasses and smoke in there, but the other thing really comes on strong. Almost like too many smells got locked in a room and one of them stabbed the other - a week ago.

Anyway.

The taste is again too much with too many and none of them are all that good. Initially I taste "vanilla" (tm), which is closely followed by a somewhat acrid wood character. That funky smell is there in the taste too, but not as much. I find myself wanting hold my nose when I taste it - that is generally not a good thing. The surprising characteristic, though, is how hollow the taste is. There are big initial notes that pop up and then disappear, leaving very little middle to provide continuity. Lacks balance.

Watery mouthfeel - A stout should have a certain viscous bigness.

I did not like this beer.

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

Got this as an eztra

12oz bottle poured into a firestone walker teku glass.

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

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

T- light roasted chocolate malts, rich vanilla.

M- light body, strong carbonation, light finish

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

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Photo of JimsArcade
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From a growler, Dominion Oak Barrel Stout pours with minimal dark brown foam into a pint glass. The foam is rather coarse and sticks to the sides of the glass. Based on appearance alone, this looks to be a bold brew.

Bourbon (with its characteristic sensation of alcohol) and coffee dominate the nose. Bringing the aroma through to the mouth heightens the alcohol’s presence.

Like the nose, the first sip is almost all bourbon and coffee. Roasted malts come to play as the beer warms. As the beer warms toward the finish, this stout tastes more like a liquor/beer mixture than a pure beer. It’s unusual but pleasing.

This is a very fine beer. While I have difficulty treating it like a pure stout (it tastes more like an imperial stout, and given the aging process it would be better classified as a hybrid), I would recommend it to anyone who wants to try something quite unique.

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Photo of TPSReports
2.73/5  rDev -30.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

A friend of mine served me a bottle of this brew this afternoon. I must say that I was not impressed.

The beer pour from the chilled bottle like cold coffee, with a similiar smell. The tall dark airy head that formed quickly went away.

The aroma was of chocolate and coffee with a hint of alcohol.

The first sip ws mainly coffee with a hint of chocolate -- and a very slight tint of alcohol. All remaining sips followed suit.

Mouthfeel was not impressive. I was expecting a more creamy feeling beer with a slight carbonation. Neither was present, unfortunately. I may as well have had coffee flavored tap water swishing around.

Oh, well. Nothing tasted, nothing tasted.

I would not recommend this beer.

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Photo of jojox
2.61/5  rDev -33.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

a - dark black, not the blackest of black though. Whispy head, beige.

s - Malty stout, not overwhelming. It's cold. Not much vanilla but we'll see. Some coffee.

t - Light, agressive mouthfeel, harsh flavors. Thin, not creamy or chewy. Low FG I think. Dissappointing. No oak flavors, not much of any flavors. If I gulp it I can get past some CO2 to taste a hint of vanilla. Overall, thin.

m - agressive carbonation and thin body = selzer-like afterfeel.

d - I didn't like it enough to reach for another. It's like the second runnings of a beer I want to try.

I don't understand how this can get an A-. I'm wondering if I got a bad bottle somehow, too much CO2, overattenuated? I have a six pack, if I try again and it's different I'll update.

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Photo of hangh
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a very very dark color that is very inviting. One finger very thick off white head that clings finely to the glass.

S- You can smell the vanilla immediately from the glass. Underneath there is a finer burnt smell with some chocolate.

T- The initial taste is one of the burnt charcoaly flavor and that is subdued by the vanilla at the end of the taste. Very good and pleasant taste. Goes well with food and alone.

MF- Very smooth beer, easy to drink,the malts float out of the taste. Little carbonation with a pleasant aftertaste of vanilla

D- Easy to drink for a stout. It is much better to drink slowly and enjoy. I would only drink 2 at the very most at once.

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Photo of unknownlamer
4.51/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This pours the perfect black with a hint of ruby around the edges. The smell is of burnt grain with a touch of vanilla and oak. The taste is of roasted grain with an oak taste dominating in the middle, and a nice vanilla mixed with a mild burnt taste in the finish.
This is my favorite stout, and is very drinkable and complex. A work of art.

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Photo of kevinglin
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thin, tan head, very dark brown with some ruby highlights at the bottom of the glass.

Aroma of roastiness and some hints of sweet chocolate - no hops. Taste is quite enjoyable - I think that is where I'm getting a bit of the oak character, the roastiness is obviously present with perhaps some toastiness, and a bit more sweetness than I expected - a pleasant surprise. A hint of hops balances the brew pretty well, but this is a malt-dominated ale.

Nice, creamy mouthfeel, full-bodied, but not overly heavy.

Overall - very drinkable, especially for stout lovers. Not extreme, not super hoppy, not over-the-top, but an enjoyable brew - I'd have another if made available again.

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

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

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Photo of NolanGTI
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A pretty solid Irish Stout. Pours dark as night with a thin head that dissipated quickly. The nose gives off vanilla, roasted malt, and a hint of coffee. Tasted solid, but not spectacular. Leaves a little to be desired in the mouth, almost slightly undercarbonated even for the style.

Overall a very drinkable Stout with some interesting flavors that make this a worthwhile try.

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Photo of Cadyfatcat
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Looks like a stout, very dark brown with brown characteristic stout head.

A little lactic on the nose, with some cocoa, roasty malts, and vanilla

Roasted almond and macadamia nut with a deep chalky chocolate flavor. Many different levels of dark and bitter chocolate flavors in this one. Oak flavor comes through and adds to the extremely rich and creamy texture of this beer. Curious notes of vanilla in the background. This beer is truly a masterpiece. Humbling. This beer retains a softness to it and has no flavors that would prevent me from drinking it often and in succession. It also shows how a big ABV is not needed to make an exceptional beer. The subtleties in this beer are exceptional and perhaps may not be detectable with more alcohol.

One for the ages, I am blown away.

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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 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.

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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.

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Photo of BlackJeremiah
3.13/5  rDev -20.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a snifter.

A: Really dark, still-looking, with little bubbling and no capping. A rich brown. Aeration gives a very temporary coffee-colored head.

S: Oak, vanilla, light coffee are all present. Slight roasty aromas linger about without asserting themselves overmuch.

T: Hershey's Dark Chocolate and vanilla extract. Oaky flavors are not as present as I expected. Roastiness reigns around the middle, as much as anything can dominate in this very mild beer. Coffee/espresso visits briefly, then leaves. Interesting flavors, but light, and not in an oak-aged way. Given that it was only oak chips that were used rather than aging in a oak barrel, I wonder if the lightness and mellowness is supposed to convey a faux-aged sensibility.

M: Mild, almost weak or watery. Does not have stout presence at all; feels like flat cola, if anything. Really a disappointment from a local brewery.

D: One of the only stouts I could describe as light and refreshing. You could easily drink this in summer--in fact, better than in winter. Not so much stout, as slightly husky.

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Photo of Packforever1976
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served chilled in my british pint.

A: Pours a very dark brown, almost black. A very small, light tan head forms and recedes rather quickly. No lacing.

S: Very nice vanilla notes up front. Vanilla melds well with some roasted malts, some coffee and dark chocolate. I'm not really picking up much bourbon or oak, maybe just a hint. Still, very pleasant.

T: Dark roasted coffee with vanilla come to the forefront. Some dark chocolate in the back.

M: A little on the thin side for me. I like stouts thicker and creamier, this one seemed to have something missing. Carbonation is ok.

D: Very drinkable. I could put a couple 2-3 of these away pretty easily. Not the best stout I've ever had, and not the worst. Not too shabby.

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Photo of Reed415
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Very dark color almost black, Head died quickly

S - Nutty, Malt, Hint in of Chocalate

T - A Nice Mild Nutty Roasted Malty Flavor, not very acidic. No Oak Flavor

M - Wasn't as Full Bodied as expected, Not much Carbonation

D - Good for a Stout, Very Mild, but flavorful

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Photo of thethrone
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours very dark brown with 2 finger bubbly light-khaki head. Some thin lacing down the

S - Sweet toffee aroma; oak, caramel, vanilla. Following right behind is a strong coffee aroma, and roasted malts..

T - Coffee and dark malt up front, with a hint of oak and vanilla.

M - Surprisingly smooth and creamy. A bit too much carbonation comes through, which detracts form the aforementioned creaminess. Finishes pretty clean, with only a slight lingering aftertaste from the hops and oak.

D - A very good stout; tastes like it'd pair well with a good steak. I can definately see myself drinking a couple in a session.

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Photo of mjsheehan08
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark black, with a pretty dismal head. Not to much lacing on the glass. 

Smells sweet, hints of vanilla, coffee and roasted malt. The barrel is really present in the nose, bourbon is there, wood isn't as much. 

Taste follows the nose, and the beginning is sweet from the vanilla, the middle hits with a soft touch of the coffee and malt. The finish has a strong feel on bourbon, with a very slight alcohol heat on the way down. 

Mouthfeel is mild, minimum carbonation. Very slick and creamy. 

I could probably drink a bunch of these. 

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Photo of ajaxivan
3.14/5  rDev -19.9%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

10-5-2010 bottling date poured into pint glass

A: Decent black color but after pouring vigorously no head to speak of.

S: Hints of vanilla and oak. Maybe some dark fruit

T: Im getting a decent amount of vanilla, just enough i would say. Thats about it unfortunately

M: Thin to medium, not smooth at all

D: By no means complex , still not bad if your looking for a easy drinker. Good price point for what you get i think. Not my favorite but wouldnt turn one down if offered, i left wanting a little more.

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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 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 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 rotsaruch
4.92/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A growler obtained 11/27/02. A big creamy head floating on this beautiful black as the nite without any stars in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean (I remember of nites like that from days in the Navy) brew. The aroma is something that it is hard to describe. It has this fragrance of vanilla and bourbon. The smoothness and balance of this brew is remarkable. There is sweet softness of the malt embracing the palate and the slight presence of hops at the finish. It has to be one of the most distinctive, drinkable stouts that I have ever had.

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Dominion Oak Barrel Stout from Old Dominion Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,498 ratings.
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