Dominion Ale | Old Dominion Brewing Company

137 Reviews

Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company
Delaware, United States

Style: English Pale Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
This English style ale is malty with an assertive hop character. The result is a beautiful crystal clear amber color with a medium body.

Added by kbub6f on 09-02-2001

For Trade:
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Reviews: 137 | Ratings: 200
Photo of StevieW
4.7/5  rDev +27%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear golden copper color. Rich creamy beige head. Small hop bubbles break through. Smell is perfectly hop influenced. Not sure of the variety. Taste is rich and balanced. Definite sweet carmel malt undertone. Bready subtle, biscuit flavor. Very good. Nice crisp dry hopped finish. Creamy medium bodied, but very easy to drink. A new favorite. I paired it with a hearty roasted pork loin dinner, vegetables, and sweet potato. Finding this on tap, would be a real treat.
Cheers to Murph for the trade.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.55/5  rDev +23%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz bottle into Guinness tulip pint glass

Appearance: Pouts a lovely clear amber color with a small head that dissipates very very quickly- at least I didn't have long to wait for my first sip!

Smell: All hops, really. A nutty smell with a touch of pine.

Taste: Nutty and somewhat bitter, with a buttery, toasty finish. Some sips later on had a hint of sweetness that is very pleasant. This is close to what my "perfect ale" would taste like.

Mouthfeel: Thin, with a good carbonation. Solid balance between the thickness of the beer and carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Most ales that are this hoppy may be good, but aren't necessarily refreshing. This beer is complex and refreshing. Whereas lagers are generally the "refresher beer" I could use this in that capacity as well. It is good for any situation and is one of my new favorites. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Offa
4.52/5  rDev +22.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

This is wonderful - a beautiful, solid, delicious, very English-tasting ale.

Copper-light amber, faintly hazy, it has a huge, pale tan head, steadily shrinking to a permanent, thiin foamy top and a hint of lace.

The aroma is earth, leafy, with caramel, fruit (fresh and caramelized), toast and some yeast. Overall, very English and very nice.

The taste is similar - a lot of leafiness, a little earthy, with a lot of fruit, caramelized toast and fruit, some citrus hints, and a faint mineral quality. Its strong maltiness is a little sweet, with the hops-spicey,leafy, a touch herbal, and a little citrusy - balancing it nicely to just dominate the finish and leave a nice clean, lingering, bittersweet aftertaste. The bitterness has a leafy and faintly raisiny spiciness. It is exceedingly drinkable, nicely complex, balanced, and interesting.

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Photo of warchez
4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Ap: Fine looking beer. perfect color, lighter ruby to deep copper, head retention, if improved would make this a perfect presentation.
Ar: Light, but fragrant hop smell. Mild citrus and light malt character
T: Great flavor, well balanced. Enough bitterness to enjoy and make it crisp. The malt is medium flavored, low caramel, but maintains good grainy,malty quality.
MF: mildly sticky on the tongue. Not a crisp clean finish. However, the lingering flavors are almost all hop which is great for the style:
D: Definately a solid utiliy Pale Ale. Good drinker, could pair with almost all your favorite foods.
Overall: This beer nearly has the full package. Great taste, not to strong flavors. Extremely well balanced. Not a bland representation of the style either. Solid.

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Photo of Riggo
4.43/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

An excellent English style pale ale from Old Dominion Brewing Co. in Ashburn, Virginia, right around the corner from me. Incidentally, I must thank my right honorable BA friend Jward who, on a recent visit from Worcester, Massachusetts, awoke me from my slumber regarding this fine ale. I had had this beer back in the summer when I moved here from New York but I hadn't really come back to it and appreciated it until he had a pint at the Galaxy Hut in Arlington. I've now seen the err of my ways.

This ale pours a beautiful golden amber color with a creamy and inviting off-white head which leaves a nice lacing on my glass. In the nose, notes of yeast, caramel malt, and piney hops. The taste is a wonderful balancing act of complexity and smooth quaffability. On palate entry, that wonderful creamy head dances on the tongue with an almost pilsner-like quality of biscuity, bready hops (perhaps attributable to an "American ale yeast in the German Kolsch style" according to the label), quickly followed by deeper notes of spicy hops, caramel malt, butterscotch, toffee, and earthy, nearly scotch-like (peat?) qualities. Crucially, though, this complexity comes together balanced and smooth with a creamy mouthfeel and nice body.

A gorgeous, comforting, and supremely quaffable ale and one of America's finest English-style pale ales.

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Photo of Todd
4.42/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12oz brown bottle. Bottling date stamped on the side.

Appearance: Crystal clear copper coloured thick looking brew with a very healthy white cream head that has great sticking and staying power.

Smell: Wonderful fruity, caramel malt and strong and complex hop aroma.

Taste: Full-bodied, very smooth and very creamy. Big dose of rich malt sweetness that contains biscuit, dry grain, light caramel, toasted malt, honey and touch of earth in the flavour. Goes crisp then smacks down the palate with a spicy/herbal-like floral hop bite ... and a gentle sting (boosted by the carbonation). Malt and hops are in balance. Ends with more biscuit flavours, some dryness and some grain tannins.

Notes: Ga'damn! A superb ale! You'll burp hops. English in style, but using German K├Âlsh fermentation and maturation methods. Its actual style is not listed anywhere, but I'd have to guess that this is close to an English Pale Ale. One of my new favourites. 4.7%abv.

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Photo of Globetrotter
4.37/5  rDev +18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This brew has become fairly universal in the Northern Virginia area - almost as easily found as Bud or Miller. Sure tastes a lot better, though! Pours clear copper under a thin and short-lived off-white head with some lace. We've got a good sweet malt and flowery hops nose, while the mouth is very prickly and quite light. This very nice flavor profile opens on the sweet side with a touch of caramel in the malt, but there is a flowery hops bite almost from the beginning. Remarkably balanced from start to finish, with the bite only prevailing well into the aftertaste. This is a great session beer and something I would have always on hand, if I could get it on a regular basis.

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Photo of FenwaySquid
4.36/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 12 0z brown bottle, bottling date of 7/21/05 stamped on the label, poured into a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Poured a clear amber color. The head was small and faded quickly. Mildly disappointing, to be honest.

Aroma: Caramel malts and some floral hops. Excellent, no dissapointment there.

Taste: Even better! Caramel malts up front with the hops coming in somewhere in the middle. The beer is very subtle yet complex. The finish is floral hops, I had trouble not drinking all of it quickly.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. The carbonation was in excellent balance.

Overall: I bought this as part of a mixed sixer, and I'm going back for more. I recommend everyone else do the same.

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Photo of eibeinaka
4.35/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

How happy was I, an expat Brit exiled to Northern Virginia, to find that the consistently cheapest beer of any real quality in the area was also guaranteed to please a confirmed bitter drinker like myself. The Goldings hops are particularly crucial in giving in giving the beer the very slight edge of astringency a great bitter has, but this is balanced by enough sweetness in the malt to please anybody's taste.

My father, one who was inclined to scoff at the idea of decent American beer, was thunderstruck by the quality of this beer. He used to use a Goldings/Fuggles hop mixture for his homebrew back in the day, which is probably why it was so much to both our tastes.

I do buy other beers for curiosity's sake but this is an astonishingly good session beer for the price, and I'll miss it like crazy when I leave.

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Photo of tugdriver7
4.33/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good stuff. Looked like a nitro-pour English in the glass. Gorgeous foamy head that sat 3 inches high and didn't really detract from the carbonation. Light fruity hops and malt in the nose. Taste was first sweet caramel malt, fruity hops (more than expected--in a good way), and a nice touch of bitterness in the aftertaste. Amazing. And very easy drinking.

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Photo of Murph
4.28/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a deep golden color with a creamy white head that refuses to die. Nice subtler hops tones and a smooth malt in the nose. Great english type hop content that seems to be almost perfectly balanced by the smooth malts in this brew. Extremely smooth on the tongue and exceptionally drinkable. Damn, I can't believe I have been living here for four years and just discovered this great brew. This is definitely going to become a regular in my fridge.

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Photo of Clydesdale
4.27/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice clear copper color, with a creamy white head.

S: Very fruity, suggesting pear, with hints of hops and caramel.

T: Rich malt flavor, with a big load of fruity sweetness. Honey is prevalent, with hints of caramel, and a slightly earthy note. The hops show up noticeably and are spicy and somewhat herbal. Slight bitterness and more fruit flavors at the finish offer a really nice balance.

M: Quite full, but very smooth and creamy. Carbonation is relatively subdued, but gives a nice tickle at the finish.

D: I'm really surprised at how damn tasty this one is. The flavor is impressively complex, with really nice fruit flavors balanced near-perfectly by the ever-present hops. This is really good.

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Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at the newly-opened "Glory Days" grill (kid friendly...that's important).

Color is deep copper in color, with orangish-colored highlights at the edges. Thin layer of white head persists and leaves distinct rings of lace on the glass. Aromas are a heady mixture of fruity hops and malty sweetness. Flavor is more of the same. Wonderfully-balanced. The balacing act played by the sweetness from the malts and the dry bitterness from the hops never get out of whack. Up front sweetness tapers to dry bitterness and finishes with a dryness enhanced by the carbonation. On the creamy side of mouthfeel and stellar drinkability. I would love to try this as a casked offering to see how much better it would taste. Splendid as is, I can't believe I haven't tried this offering from Ol' Dom. My summer beer? Giddyup!

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Photo of PeatReek
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

In terms of appearance, this beer was pretty clear with a decent white head. Aroma-wise, it smelled like nice fresh beer but nothing shocking.

But the taste (and to a lesser extent, mouthfeel) is just amazing. This beer is actually very subtle; the amber/copper color is produced by a sublime blend of bready and faintly caramely malts which were perfectly balanced. And very, very full. Each sip of this beer is very complex and satisfying.

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Photo of marc77
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Clear copper in hue. The well retained head slowly settles into a tight, lace leaving layer. Soft, floral noble hops, light caramel sweetness, and smooth, lightly toasted, biscuit like grain in aroma. Crisp, pronounced hop bitterness upfront cuts through the restrained caramel and biscuit malt presence. Hop flavor is slightly earthy and herbal. Medium bodied, w/ a well calculated attenuation that leaves a moderately dextrinous mouthfeel conducive to excellent drinkability. Finishes, dry, bready, w/ lingering hop bitterness. Dominion Ale is a refreshing, flavorful session pale-- tipped towards hop flavor and bitterness in overall character, but the mellow, pleasantly grainy malt profile provides an excellent foundation. Superbly drinkable.

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Photo of jahred
4.2/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a light, orangeish brown color with a medium, very white, fairly foamy head. The scent is light - orangey and malty, but not too strong.

The taste? Light caramel malts and pale, toasted dry (almost chalky bread). The aftertaste lingers on quite a bit - a honey-like sweetness, and then a dry, slightly chalky, hoppy bitter finish. This was quite easy to drink. The bottle refers to a similiarity to Bass - I can see that, though this has much more flavor and is incredibly easy to drink.

Got a 6-pack of this in a trade with dmbfrat420beers (many thanks to him!)

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Photo of mempath
4.18/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours a bright apricot with my favorite flapjack batter head that laces thick like paper thin sour dough bread dabbed around the glass. beautiful to behold. good nose with some metallic (copper?) maltiness and hops. subtle. but earthy.

the taste...yes, yes, very english. and british...massive malt onlslaught, but the hops really balance it out, making this a respectable, top tier 'go-to' everyday sessionable brew. smooth but crisp mouthfeel are spot on. jolly good. tally ho.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.13/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dominion Ale is English in style, while it's cousin - Dominion Pale Ale - is more American. It's clear copper body is topped by a frothy head of white foam that holds well and leaves some very nice rings of sticky lace. Its fresh and inviting nose displays a generous amount of caramel-laced, biscuity malt accented by lightly floral and grassy hops. The body is medium and its fine carbonation is crisp in the mouth. The flavor reflects exactly what the aroma suggests with a gently caramelish and biscuity malt that's accented by floral, leafy and slightly grassy hops backed by a solid bitterness. It's quite delicately balanced with a bitterness that allows the malt to come through but still restrains it. It never steps out of line, but doesn't back down either; and it finishes dry with a short-lingering note of caramelish malt and floral hop. Surprisingly, on the back label they compare this delicate beauty to some sulphur-ridden, hard-muscled swilll from Britain... and it's certainly not! It's crisp, clean, and vibrant with a beautifully floral hop aroma that's like a summer morning after the rain has fallen. Quite nice!

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Photo of Gavage
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: clear amber in color with a nice 2" head. Spotty lacing develops.

Smell: the aroma was somewhat soft and weak, as only a hint of caramel and floral hops were detectable.

Taste: the flavor was well-balanced. Caramels, nice bitterness, and soft orange zest make a super drinkable beer.

Mouthfeel: crisp at the start. The finish is smooth and lightly crisp with a short caramel aftertaste.

Drinkability: I found this to be extremely flavorful, its a shame the nose was so weak. Nice brew.

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Photo of wahhmaster
4.11/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a Corned Beef & Co. shaker pint.

Appearance: Pours a pale amber color. Has a large, foamy, white head that dissipates slowly and leaves decent lacing. Really looks quite nice.

Smell: Has a light malty smell to it with hints of caramel and some faint citrus notes.

Taste: Starts off mildly bitter with fruity and slightly earthy hops. Develops a biscuity, malty flavor with hints of fruit and caramel. Finishes exceedingly dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a dry, perfectly carbonated finish. Perfect for the style.

Drinkability: An exceptional pale ale. Dominion is consistently one of my favorite nearby breweries and this beer illustrates why.

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Photo of BeerSox
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into nonic.

Copper-amber hue with a one finger khaki head that slowly settles to a thin cap, with a good amount of lacing left behind.

Light biscuity hops, which is are slighty toasty and give off a little burnt caramel. Some light herbal hops are in the background.

The flavor matches the aroma pretty well. The grains are well toasted with a good amount of caramel and a little brown sugar. Full bodied.

A very well balanced Ale. Very enjoyable and sessionable. Recommended.

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Photo of ghostmech007
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz brown bottle poured into a Pilsner. 4.7%ABV. With date on side.

Clear light brown and thickly creamy head that gives the glass a huge bear hug. Stayed troughout my whole glass.

Awesome fruits punch the nose, with caramel notes and lots of different hops.

Full body right away. Smooth and creamy and the malts hit with the caramel and malty notes. Earthy flavors too, maybe honey or syrup. The carbonation really keeps this one together leading you through the flavors. Everytime it goes crisp a new flavor is unlocked. Spices and hops really bite but are balanced with the rest of the flavors. Ends with a great grain notes, there not burnt or dry. Great taste.

A great brew from a great brewery. I hope they invent more great ones like this.

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Photo of philipt
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wow..this is a really good beer. Not to mention cheap for the qualtiy.

Pours amber-red in color with an average sized cream head. The aroma is quite balanced between malt and hops. There is a particularly nice hop/fresh pine smell. Again, the taste is awesome. I didn't expect this good of a beer. Very pale ale-like or IPA-ish, but more malt and a heavy hop character. Just an all round good session ale.

Vriginian beer at it's finest.

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Photo of pentathlete
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a mug. Beautifully clear amber with columns of tiny bubbles. White tiny-bubbled head with some lacing, but not sticky. Smell is malt but not toasted, a little biscuity. Taste is sweet and then balanced with a nice mellow hop finish. There is not too much bitter. Mouthfeel is fairly full, slick and creamy combined. The carbonation hits with the hops at the back of the mouth and top of the throat. I've sampled away the glass. This would make an excellent session brew. I am quite pleased with this ale and very surprised.

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Photo of CharlesRiver
4.1/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I owe a big thank you to Murph for this one and the trade. Dark golden in color with a small head that didn't seem to last. The smell is typical pale ale. The taste is light, smooth, malty with a nice touch of hops. Very bright in the mouth as it opens up in the end. The end is also where the hops come in to play. One of the more complex pale ales that I have had. Much more flavor is coming through as the temperature of the beer rises.

On a side note, the Dominion bottles seem to be a different shape then most long necks. The neck looks a bit longer.

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Dominion Ale from Old Dominion Brewing Company
3.7 out of 5 based on 200 ratings.
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