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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 MBPChead
3.79/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one just a few hours ago with family and I have had it once before on tap. It was better on tap but it was still good from the bottle.

Poured from a bottle into a glass coffee mug(not exactly a beer glass but it worked and was close enough that it didn't really matter too much.

Appearance: Almost solid black in the main body but DARK Ruby Red at the bottom of the glass, with a coffee colored head.

Aroma: Not a very strong smell, but what I did get was the fragrance of roasted vanilla and oak and possibly some hints of coffee.

Taste: Very robust and rich in flavor overall, as the smell suggests it encompasses the flavor of Vanilla, Oak, Dark Chocolate, Coffee, hints of black licorice, and possibly even dry red wine qualities.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth in texture with just a tad bit of silkiness and low carbonation, quite good overall.

Drinkability: I would personally only have one or two of these at a time because of the robustness, but at the same it swallows easily and its perfect for a cool autumn or cold winter day.

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Photo of TheHopHeadGirl
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Label says dry hopped with vanilla but all I taste is smokey beer that is as dark as a Guiness. It has a boring label that's cream in color with a brown botlle. If you are into a smokey sharp stout this is a great beer for you. This is smokey whiskey and water.

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

Glad to see that this is available in Ohio again!
Had a pint on tap at Brews Cafe in Granville, OH.

A: Thin, dark tan head, which settled quickly. Beer is black.

S: Some smoke. Vanilla is present, but doesn't jump out. Hints of coffee and chocolate.

T: Initially, malt sweetness is apparent. Woody, smoky, and roasted malt notes follow. Vanilla flavor is somewhat pronounced. Rich taste considering the ABV. Finish is significantly more dry than it was a few years ago when previously sold in OH or than the case we picked up in VA a couple of years ago.

M: Very smooth. Certainly does not have the heavy or thick mouthfeel of an imperial, but definitely heavier than the common dry stouts.

O: Excellent beer overall. Somewhat complex and satisfying taste. Very nice to have a reasonably complex and rich stout for a reasonable price. I also find it refreshing to have a rich and rewarding stout that isn't overly alcoholic. I would very much like to see more rich stouts in the 5 to 6.5% ABV range. This is probably my favorite American stout. I especially love that it is session friendly. I just wish the finish wasn't quite so dry.

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Photo of zplug123
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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 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 raven3131
3.54/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark coffee... creamy long laced head... Overwhelming french vanilla nose. It was almost tough to find anything else floating around in there because the vanilla was so overpowering.

First sip was coffee, chocolate and malt balls! A nice tongue coater, and more oak and vanilla come out as you get closer to the bottom of the glass.

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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.

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Photo of RollingRocker
4.21/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

i've never tried this until now i was out looking for old dominion's oatmeal stout (then i found out they were bought out by Anheuser-Busch and was discontinued and this was suggested) dark appearance and average smell. but the taste is excellent a nice roasted coffee taste with a light chocolaty finish (i love it) almost creamy mouthfeel but not too heavy. i really love this stout. i could drink this on a regular basis.


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Photo of BigTomZ
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured black with a nice head that lingered longer than expected.

Smells roasty with caramel vanilla background. Subtle without being simple.

I was impressed with the taste. Has a nice toasted malt base with notes of vanilla, toffee, and molasses. The oak is underlying but definitely present.

This is a bit thin for a stout, but only a bit. Still plenty of substance to it.

This isn't too strong and the taste doesn't lean too much towards one thing, so I could easily drink 6 of these in an evening.

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Photo of dwpiercetx
4.92/5  rDev +25.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Got lucky enough to get stuck at BWI airport in Baltimore and went to Ram's Head. Tried the Copperhead first and liked it. Next I tried this wonderful stout. Extremely smooth and very flavorful. Of course the malts were just right. Each drink left that leveled effect that the commercials are telling about. I hope to get stuck at BWI again soon.

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Photo of mday
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

A :: Pours a thick black with a one finger creamy tan head. It reduced to nothing within minutes.
S :: Oak, dark malt, chocolate
T :: A little woodiness from the oak with the chocolate and malt showing through the most. This leaves a long lasting bitterness in your mouth.
M :: Thinner than I expected for this stout. Medium-heavy carbonation
D :: The flavors are balanced and I could definitely enjoy a few of these. Again, a little thinner than I would like, but still good overall.

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

12oz bottle poured into a stout glass.

A - It poured nice and dark with almost no head and very few rising bubbles, leaving almost zero lacing while consumed.

S - The vanilla really jumps out with some malt. It also smells a little darker than it looks.

T - Surprisingly I can taste the oak a lot more than the vanilla. If I attempt to smell while drinking the vanilla becomes more prevalent, but the oak is definitely the stringer of the tastes.

M - Nice and smooth, better than other stouts I've had recently.

D - I love stouts but this is really nice for a change of pace. The vanilla flavor is nice, but I really enjoyed the oak taste, they really compliment each other well. I could drink this beer all night long.

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Photo of cozmohollis
4.57/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The body is black with some dark reddish-brown color on the sides.
The head is thick and tan in color. And recedes to a creamy look.
The lace is only minor.

Smell: Scent of toffee, caramel, coffee, oak, and vanilla. A very pleasant smell.

Taste: Dark malts upfront that were roasted and crisp with a little bitterness to them.
In the middle was a sweetness that was balanced but complex. Notes of
chocolate, coffee, caramelized toffee, and vanilla that mix together
perfectly. Ends with a light roasted flavor that is smooth.

Mouthfeel: Silky smooth and full body. In the middle it has an acidic crisp feeling when
all of the complex flavors mixes.

Overall: I love everything about this stout. My favorite thing is the complex flavors
and how smooth it is. A very interesting brew. One of my favorite stouts.

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Photo of wisebier
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ive had this on tap several times

L: very dark, looks black, brown tints in light; tan creamy head, wish it lasts longer

S: malts; roasted toasty ,smoke; oak; some vanilla; smells great

T: sweet on the start with roasted toasty malts bitterness coming in and balancing it; hints of oak (not overpowering but id like more oak, Smoke hickory flavors, some hop flavor at the end, but not a lot to me; good oak stout overall, that's doesn't feel too heavy.

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Photo of jrbuch
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A - Jet black. Completely opaque. Small brown head from a rough pour, otherwise no head.

S - The vanilla really comes through on the smell. Can smell the sweat malts.

T - Lots of character, vanilla, spicy wood, very sweet.

M - A very light mouthfeel for a stout. I was hoping for it to be a little heavier.

D - Could drink a few of these very quickly. Great for winter.

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Photo of BlastTyrant
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with a somewhat thin tan head. Aroma of vanilla, oak, and bourbon. Flavor is roasty and sweet, with a dry nutty finish. A bit of sour acidity creeps in and balances nicely with the other flavors. A nice chocolate and spruce bitterness mix in the finish as well. Complex flavor, but not over the top in any respect. Just a nice, well crafted stout.

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Photo of motleybrew
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On a tour of the OD brewery, I was lucky enough to encounter this big beer on a nitro tap. it is fabulous. Don't fall for imitations that come out of a bottle, there is nothing like this baby on tap and nitro. It is smooth and creamy like a guiness, but a slight bit more seductive on the tongue, a bit less scorched, and a tang more vanilla. Dark as pitch, I didn't even try to see through...a frothy, but contained head which didn't disappear no matter how long i waited. I couldn't stop drinking it...um, and neither could the 6 odd other people with me -- or the sales guy that brought us on the tour.

Bottles (I've had it) just don't do justice to this beer. i could rate it as one of the all time best darks...It is a reason for not attempting a dark homebrew unless I get myself a nitro tap. it is worth the trip...400+ miles from here.

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Photo of DookDrinkyCrow
4.77/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark Amber pour, virtually non-transparent, as a stout should be

Smell: Sweet, Malty, Oak Barrel

Taste: Roasted Malt character, then slowly melts away with a sweet buttery vanilla finish

Mouthfeel: Smooth

Drinkability: Good drinkability, however it can fill you up fast

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Photo of ewpgolf2
3.4/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bought this stout off the shelf and slowly cooled to 57*F. bottled stamp date: 5-30-07. Chose a (clean)snifter in anticipation of a heavy aroma to enjoy. It poured dark with 1/4" head. Sat so dark in the glass that you cannot see light through it-at all! Aroma was of smokey burnt wood with a sweet caramel background. I expected more with the taste based upon the prelude. The taste was toasty/nutty with a bitter aftertaste. I couldn't get away from the bitterness throughout the beer and seemed to intensify as it warmed. Mouthfeel was surprisingly smooth and clean for such a dense beer.
Overall, I expected more. The head completely dissapeared 1/2 way through and the flatness prevailed. I didn't sense any of the vanilla in the taste either which I would've liked. I would drink this again but not back to back. I'll pair one bottle with food next time.

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Photo of DanLane
4.11/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

I really like stouts, and this has been one of my favorites for a couple years now. I picked it up at Martin's this time.
A- Can't see through it, and it pours a great looking 1' froth.
S- Nothing crazy here, just a hint of vanilla like the bottle advertises.
T- A great, smooth taste that hits you with that vanilla flavor. It's so smooth but still has that roasted flavor of a stout.
Overall, like I said before it is one of my favorites, and it's always easy to find here in Virginia so I pick it up pretty often.

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Photo of Owlish1
4.78/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pours a rich dark brown, almost black with a hint of russet highlights. The half-inch head faded quickly but left a heavy lacing. The aroma is a lovely sweet smokiness with notes of coffee and charred oak. The taste is smooth, smooth, smooth! Coffee, smoky malts, a hint of dark chocolate. There is a hint of bitterness in the finish but it doesn't linger. Medium carbonation doesn't interfere with the flavor. What else can I say? It's delightful.

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Photo of jduffy21
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this from a bottle poured in to a Samuel Adams glass. This stout was black as night with a beautiful tan head that reduces to a nice thin lace on top. This has smell of a robust coffee. The first sip is of coffee with a hints of vanilla at the end. Overall this is a really flavorful stout. This stout is smooth drinking, definitely on of my favorites. Very tasty!

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

Black with a moderate chocolate head.

Bourbon is the most predominate smell, followed by oak, and vanilla. These three smells overpower a hint of roasted malt.

Oak and vanilla at first, followed by sweetness and the warmth of the alcohol. Tons of flavor. Mouthfeel is thinner than expected compared to the strong aromas and complex flavor. I recommend to those who enjoy oak aged beers. Something different with the vanilla.

Good beer to relax in the evening after a long day. I don't think I would want to drink more than 2 in evening.

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Photo of Crockettr
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 1.75 | overall: 4.5

definitely has a burnt oak smell, but I detect almost a cascade dry hop with vanilla finish. very interesting.
mine appears to be pushed with co2, would be better if pushed with nitrogen to smooth it out.
I liked it, just didn't like the help cleaning thefloors while I was trying to taste.

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Photo of Chip_and_ales_1
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ordered this in a hotel bar. Light head,a little lace around the meniscus. Aroma was a mild chocolate, not too strong but pleasing. Dark black color, but clear if you view the edges. Not bubbly like a nitro stout. Nice mildly smoky overtones, a hint of vanilla (but not too much!). Not hoppy, and it shouldn't be! Crisp mouth feel. A really clean stout!

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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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