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

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Reviews: 137 | Ratings: 200
2.42/5  rDev -34.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz to stange. Bottled 7/20/11. Sampled 11/13/11.

A: Three finger foamy/fluffy head - light khaki colored. Decent retention, with dimples forming on the cap and depositing sea foam lace as it recedes. The body is orange-amber with respectable clarity.

S: Leans toward malt dominant - toffee and caramel. Lightly toasted. Grassy hops. Neutral yeast.

T: Lackluster interpretation of an English Ale.

M: Medium body with a semi-thick creamy texture. Aptly carbonated.

O: This beer is a prime example of why many beer drinking Americans have a hard time appreciating English ales...More often than not, U.S. brewers do not represent the style well.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
2.78/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a trade.
Not a bad looking caramel/amber body, but for an English ale I expected it to be a bit richer. Same with the head since not hand pumped. Small, white and some retention.
Smell of slight malt and caramel. Not much else, could use some earthy hops or some more bitterness in the nose.
Taste follows. Is this an ale or a lager? Sweet as a lager. Some bitterness, definitely not an EPA.
Otherwise, not a bad brew. Tastey, just off style. Expected something different.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.9/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Appearance: Clear, copper body sporting a very thin white head.

Smell: Very basic grainy pale malt aroma and little else. Sheesh.

Taste: Some pale malts with a subtle sweetness and a hint of grain followed by a medium hop bitterness. That's it. So painfully average you can't help but feel a little sorry for it.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbontion.

Drinkability: No. This beer shows the depth and charm of a homebrewer's first half-hearted attempt at the style, maybe a lil' less. Even if what you're looking for is a session-type beer, there are many far better choices out there.

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Photo of afksports
3/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Old Dominion Ale is the ultimate "meh" beer for me honestly. Pale ales whether English or American are just "meh". This is true to style so that's what it gets.

Amber body, minimal head, lacing that disappears mid-pint. Smells toasty, malted, sugar, and light bitter pine hops. Tastes that way too with the malts taking over in the middle an yielding to piney bitter by the end. This beer ia a drinker, not much else. A low alcohol volume matches the style and ensures that this one can stick around.

But it won't stand out.

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Photo of thatguy3579
3.02/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Fairly murky light orange. Rich brown head, dissipates quickly. Some debris floating inside which makes my nervous. What are these clumps floating inside?

S: Not much scent. Some light maltiness.

T: Flavor is thin but interesting. Brown sugar and oranges. Some lingering bitterness. Frankly, I could use a little more in all dimensions.

M: Fairly thin bodied, and average carbonation.

D: Not a bad beer choice if you are looking to have a few. Personally I would prefer a more interesting beer.

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Photo of AltBock
3.03/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle with just a nice and simple blue panel label with the Old Dominion symbol of a 6 point buck twisting his neck at an angle I didn't think was possible for a deer to do. This buck is looking over his neck of the woods for possible females, other bucks looking for a fight, and hunters. To the right of symbol is a clearly marked bottling date. Mine was bottled on August 9th, 2006. They have a rectangular back label that lists every ingredient, what medal it won back in the day, ABV%, and their web address. It was capped with a blue twist off cap. Poured into a Bell's Brewery American pint glass.

The beer poured a light murky brown color, but when held into the light, the beer is actually more of a orange/amber color. It had a thin head of small white bubbles that dissipated away after about a minute. It did however leave small trace of white bubbly lace and rings around the glass. It had a nice aroma of toasted black malts, hint a caramel here and there, dried grapefruit, and ended with a mildly spicy aroma of Pacific Northwest hops. Not much going on in the taste, but what was there was decent. The taste was that of toasted malts, dab of caramel, citrus fruits, and ended with a refreshing bitter taste. The variety of hops that Old Dominion used (it's on the back label), just came together to form that nice final taste of refreshing bitter hops. The mouthfeel was creamy, high on carbonation, and with an aftertaste of dry toasted hops. It was just a slightly above average Pale Ale that I guess I wouldn't mind drinking again. It's worth a shot if you can find a single or two of it.

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Photo of eballard
3.08/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer pours a mellow brown. It has a medium head that settled into a nice lacing. The smell is musk and malt with hints of caramel. The taste is strong with caramel and sweet malt. Surprisingly good taste for what I was expecting. The feel is smooth and refreshing. I wasn’t sure about this beer from the smell but the taste is very refreshing. It’s a little sweet over all but it’s a nice English ale.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.1/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Hazy, luminous orange color, big, bubbling white head.
Sweet and fruity aroma, and a tiny bit tart, I like it, though, I like it!
Taste: nice, smooth, and nothing...I'm immediately thinking "British ESB", but there's nothing of interest at all going on here.
You can drink them, sure, and there's a nice little taste, but I must emphasize "little" here. Yeah, it goes down easy, and there's nothing to distract you from the darts, mate. My turn? Oi!

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Photo of MaltyGoodness
3.11/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oa. bottle

Pours a clear amber with a creamy white head that thins. Nice lacing on the glass.

Some caramel malt aroma and a dull hop scent. Smells bland.

Caramel malt upfront with a mild hop bite and a bland hop taste.

Creamy texture, good carbonation.

A very average APA. There's nothing especially bad about it, it's just quite bland.

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Photo of ZimZamZoom
3.13/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a 12 oz. twisty into a tulip glass. Bought at a grocery store in 2/2007. Bottling date on bottle is 6/2006.

Amber in color with a little white head that does not stick around. Minimal lacing.

The aroma is thick and bready. Not much hops present there at all. A slight bitterness in the end.

The taste is malty with a mildly spicy and bitter hop finish. There is really no complexity to this ale at all.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin and heavily carbonated. I would drink a couple of these if hanging with friends but I probably would not seek it out in the future.

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Photo of soupyman10
3.17/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice copper color with a smallish white head that issolves to a fine film and leaves just a touch of lacing. Doesn't look bad, but nothing particularly special about it either. Nose is nice. Sweet toffee malt - in that good English pale fashion. A nice mix of fruit, maybe raisins, as well. Flavor's similar, although not quite as strong as the nose. Grainy malt, light caramel. Body's okay, but this beer is too carbonated, and it masks the flavor. Overall, it's not bad, but it's not particularly great either. I could definitely throw back a few though, in support of a local brewer.

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Photo of sulldaddy
3.17/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I am sampling a bottle I picked up in Maryland. The brew is room temp and is poured into a pint glass. The beer pours a clear bronze with a fizzy off white head foaming up 1.5 cm and fading quickly to some bubble islands.
The aroma is toffee and bready yeast with just a hint of grassy and herbal hops. First sip reveals a lite body with fine fizzy carbonation. The texture is a little thin and watery.
Flavor starts with some sweet malty caramel and mixes with a bit of fruitiness as well. Finally an herbal hop finish follows with a lingering grainy character as well.
The beer is very easy to drink, but is not very interesting or complex, granted it is not unpleasant either. An average drinker IMO.

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Photo of biteme398
3.21/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A fairly dark color, some shades of orange in it, not too pale though. A good head that fades to a thin film. Smell is slightly acidic with hints of a pilsner actually. Like the bottle proclaims, the body is medium, not too chewy but just slightly watery. There is a good balance between the malt and hops. Definitely milder than many pale ales that border on IPA territory. Decent for a hot day or just to relax with. Not outstanding but cromulent nevertheless.

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Photo of YankChef
3.22/5  rDev -13%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into an american pint glass

Appearance: Medium amber with relatively high clarity even though it is a darker beer. Clingy white head that sticks to the top pretty well.

Aroma: Muggy aroma that is very, very faint almost like an old basement.

Taste: Slightly sweet, nutty flavors upfront, there is even a little bit of fruit going on in here that is kind of like apricot or peach. The beer finishes with a bit of a hop bite that is quick and soapy.

Overall: Not a bad beer, I would take it over bass. Good for a session for the low abv and its very drinkable, nothing to be savored at all. Step above the big boys I would say.

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Photo of Hojaminbag
3.22/5  rDev -13%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Copper colored body with some carbonation bubbles pooping up. Small white head that disappears almost instantly, leaving no lacing.

Just a little bit of a biscuitly and caramel in the aroma. Very mild smelling beer.

Lots of caramel and biscuity malt. A little bit of earthy hops. Finishes dry and a little bitter. Fairly creamy and medium bodied.

Average drinkability.

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Photo of bjohnson
3.23/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours an amber color with a one finger off white head. Fluffy retention with sticky lacing. A tad buttery right from the start. Biscuit malts with a nice toasted grain background. Grassy and spicy hop aromas with a light floral presence.

Light and grassy with a bit of fruit hop flavors. Toasted grain and biscuit malts fend off the hops fairly well and play the leading role for the flavor profile makeup. Very slight caramel sweetness. Dryer finish with a bitter finish. Medium body brought on by the malt backbone and the sugars that weren't fully fermented out. Ok, but nothing that wowed me. It's a good session brew, but nothing more than that. There are others from OD I would pick before this one again.

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Photo of far333
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Straw yellow color with an off-white head of tight foam that settles quickly.

Aroma of light sweet malt and buttery corn, but not much else.

Non complex flavor of light malt, biscuits and corn. Some grassy notes. Low to zero hop profile. Finishes a little peppery, a bit of lemon. I'm searching for other flavors.

Even mouthfeel, not too full, not too tingly.

Drinkable because it goes down easy and it's not offensive, but not complex at all, underwhelming, and not too inviting.

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Photo of nickthetick
3.25/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A: pours a clear orange-ish into a pilsner glass with a finger and a half of light khaki head that leaves moderate lacing.

S: beautiful dark and ripe oranges and a nice sweet caramel malt.

T: sweet oranges and nice caramel with a bit of pine hoppiness.

MF: sweet, thick, little carbonation.

O: ok, not great and defiantly not my favorite. A little too thick and too sweet.

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Photo of JamesS
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured a nice mid-copper color with a bit of head, but no real lacing to speak of. Nice scent, but very weak; some mild bitter/hop characteristics, English from what I could tell. Nice taste, very simple and understated, but well balanced with a nice slight hop bite on the palate. Goes down well.

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Photo of Pencible
3.28/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I was expecting a little more from Dominion's title brand of ale, but instead it was rather boring. There was nothing wrong with it, really. It just didn't have much to it. Average appearance, average smell, average taste, average mouthfeel. It was easily drinkable, but what's the point?

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Photo of Illini5596
3.3/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall this is not Old Domion's best. I'm a huge fan of their other beers, but their Ale leaves something to be desired. It beats the cheaper and more available beers, such as Sam Adams and the like, but can be quite bitter with a sometimes offensive edge. Otherwise fairly creamy, decent head, with a slight vanillia flavor. Not my favorite, but I won't pass it up if it's what is being served. My advice is to find their Lager though.

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Photo of nickfl
3.31/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Copper colored body with good clarity. One finger of off-white foam that settles quickly and leaves decent lace.

S - Toasty, bready malt with a hint of caramel. No hop aroma or yeast character.

T - Malty flavor with lots of toast and bread. A clean, lager like profile throughout the middle fades to a grainy finish with some slightly darker toasted notes.

M - Moderately thick, medium carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - Drinkable, but quite unremarkable overall. the aroma is very bland and while the malt character is nice, it is also pretty one dimensional. No serious flaws, but nothing to really like either.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.33/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From 12oz bottle to Due South glass on 7/12/12
*From notes

A: Hazy dark golden. A big pour yields a three finger head. Moderate lacing and retention rims the glass.

S: Quite bready. Not getting a whole lot more then golden, maybe slightly toasted malt.

T: Lots of buttered toast, breakfast cereal and a touch of white smoke. Pleasant and inoffensive.

M: A bit thinner then I'd like. The body is simply too light and can't stand up to even the minimal amount of complexity the flavor profile is packin'.

O: A decent English Pale. If you're feeling compelled to check out Dominion's suds, I recommend their Beach House Pilsner or their Hop Mountain Pale Ale. Though not great, this will do in a pinch when lacking other, more expressive ales and lagers.

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Photo of pinotboy007
3.35/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Brownish gold color wth a modest, khaki-colored cap and a touch of lacing.

S - Hops, raisins, malt.

T - Nice, with a bit of mocha, tasty hops, raisins, and touch of leather, too.

M - Carbonation is present but not overdone; a touch of creaminess that provides balance.

D - This was a good after work pint of ale that I recommend.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
3.36/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a mug at 45 degrees; part of the summer seasonal case.

A - An interesting amber-golden color with a 2-inch foamy head. More on the deeper amber color than actually seemed to get darker the more I poured in.

S - Unfortunately, after the impressive color, the aroma was less than I had hoped. Smells of grassy/wheat hops, but little else to back it up. No real citrus or floral backdrop.

T - Malt is the predominant flavor upon the first sip...there's no real hop action until it's already settled and the aftertaste of grassy goodness pops back up. While the initial sweet kick was a nice touch, it's lack of complexity was disappointing...I'd expect a little something from a brewery that nailed the APA with the New River Pale Ale.

M - Medium-bodied that goes down very smooth...finishes clean and more on the light side.

D - In regards to how easy this beer is to consume, it would do the trick on most seasonal occasions (I'd see myself drinking one on the hottest day or the coolest), but I guess I was disappointed after New River. It wouldn't be my first choice, but it is enjoyable nonetheless.

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