Dominion Millennium Ale | Old Dominion Brewing Company

259 Reviews
Dominion Millennium AleDominion Millennium Ale

Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company
Delaware, United States

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 10.50%

Availability: Winter

Notes / Commercial Description:
Millennium is brewed in the barley wine style to commemorate our 1000th batch of beer. Its generous hopping & bottle conditioning allow this beer to be cellared and enjoyed for many years.

Added by Todd on 08-11-2001

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Reviews: 259 | Ratings: 360
Photo of Sammy
3.97/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pleasant aroma of infused hops, alcohol was hidden from being prominent, but warmed and then jackhammered me at the end. Very nice mouthfeel, a good representation of the style. Bottle brewed February 19, 2004 and was mellowed.
A very nice barleywine courtesy I think of Dr. Jay.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This poured out as a golden orange color with a soapy white head on top. The retention is pretty good as well as the lacing. The smell of the beer had a good amount of floral and citrusy hops with some mild malt sweetness on the nose. The taste had a powerful bitterness and sweetness blended together. The mouthfeel had a medium body, it also has a solid amount of carbonation as well. Overall this beer to be seemed more like an American Barley Wine than an English one. It's a very nice beer though and I could see myself drinking this one again.

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Photo of brentk56
3.92/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Brewed Feb 11 2005; tasted in 2009

Appearance: Hardly any head left with the age on this one, but the liquid is a murky amber color

Smell: Rich toffee, golden raisin and overripe stone fruit

Taste: Big toffee flavor up front, with a developing stone fruit and raisin character appearing by mid-palate, along with a hint of earthy hop; after the swallow, the sweeter flavors dominate into the finish

Mouthfeel: Full bodied and syrupy with very low carbonation

Drinkability: Although this bottle spent a little too long in my cellar, it still retains a nice flavor profile for an English IPA; without the carbonation, it has become a bit too syrupy

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Photo of largadeer
4.34/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1998 vintage shared by mfielden. Thanks, Mark.

Murky and turbid sewer water brown, this doesn't look great by any stretch, though it's surprisingly well carbonated for a 12 year old beer.

The aroma, on the other hand, is great. Sherry and brown sugar with undertones of dates, earth, leather. This has oxidized very gracefully.

The palate mirrors the nose, opening with mellow sherry-like oxidation and brown sugar. Dark fruit flavors lend complexity, bringing to mind figs or dates. Surprisingly, it's still mildly hoppy, just enough to balance the malt with a touch of bitterness. The finish is leathery, earthy, semi-dry and very mellow. This is quite good, it reminds me a fair bit of aged JW Lees' Harvest Ale. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a reddish/orange color ale with a small off-white foamy head with good retention. Aroma of honey, strong malt and bitter hops. Taste is sweet caramel with a full body and a creamy texture. Lots of bitter hops can feel at the end with a warming feeling. Very good barleywine but maybe a tad too sweet for my liking.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes.

Pours brownish with perhaps a bit of a reddish tint. Off white head that has decent lasting power. Nose is a bit of sweet malt, caramel, dark fruits, cherries, and a few hop notes. Taste adds a bit of booze and is slightly sweetened. Decent feel and carbonation. This is pretty good right now, though I've got another bottle and hope it ages fairly well.

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Photo of DrBier
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From the cellar, bottled 01/31/08. Ages really well. Lacking some carbonation but great smell, outstanding flavor and mouthfeel. Worthy of cellar space.

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Photo of jlindros
3.99/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Different version, label and abv than the original, this one clocks in at 10.5%, and received thanks to beandip.

Eh, screw cap for a barleywine... however it pours a nice 2 finger rich thick head that fades very slowly, pretty much doesn't fade. The beer is a slightly clear semi hazy rosy maroon red color with a nice raspberry like color.

The nose brings lots of malts, a nice barleywine like nose. A nice malty nose, some rich malts, a little bready malt, hint of biscuit. Also got some fruits, berry fruits, juicy, and its got some syrupy aromas too, almost like a raspberry syrup you would get from IHOP. It has some light U.K. style bitter hops. It has plenty of English Barleywine malt aromas all over it. Some light roast and toffee, and a little honey.

Taste comes on very sweet to start. Wow is it sweet, almost like it was contract brewed by Southern Tier. There are some nice malts, a little toasty, little roasty, toffee, crystal, caramel, chewy malts, and a little bready. Plenty of English Barleywine like malt flavors. some light hops, U.K. style bitter ESB like hops with a slight herbal flavor. It also has that specific hop flavor that comes in many English ESBs that I'm not a huge fan of. There is some syrupy flavors, honey, a slight maple, molasses, and a toffee butter and even butterscotch brittle flavor. Some light warming and tingly booze, but drinks like 7-8% not 10+%. It finishes with a nice lingering toasty malt flavor, lots more toffee and butterscotch brittle, honey. The sweetness is mostly gone too, so it dries pretty well. Also the bitter hop flavor that I don't like as much lingers a while. If it wasn't for that specific hop I would love the taste a lot more.

The mouth is slightly heavier bodied with some syrupy feels, and decent carbonation.

Drinkability isn't bad, drinks well for 10% abv, and dries well for how sweet it started, but leaves a sticky resin all over the mouth, and the weird hop flavor that I'm not a huge fan of lingers for a long time.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A bottle from 3/05 2002 tasted side by side with a bottle from FEB 19, 2004. The '02 was a standard long neck bottle; the '04 was a screw cap bottle and harbored some dried beer and slight mold underneath the crimp of the cap (not a problem... maybe it just didn't get rinsed prior to labeling).

Carefully poured to leave the yeast behind, both deliver a similar, very dark amber body with an orange cast and reddish highlights; but the 2004 is quite hazy whereas the '02 is crystal clear - and the '02 is just a touch darker. The head retention is limited, although higher alcohol contents will tend to do that, and it's creamy yellowed-ivory head drops shortly to an average collar. It leaves some thin, minor lacing about the glass at the outset, but other than that it's lacking.

The fresh bottle is more hoppy with grassy, floral, and piney hops; whereas the nose on the 2002 is fairly restrained.

The 2002 is much softer in the mouth, but it's only due to carbonation... the bodies remain the same, medium bordering on full and dextrinous. That's not surprising though, as cellared beers often lose a bit of carbonation.

The flavor offers a well-balanced combination of caramelish and lightly toasty and bready malt accented by a smear of yeasty fruitiness and offset by grassy and piney hop, a bit of spicy alcohol, and a bold bitterness. The 2002 is far more rounded and drinkable; but neither vintage is particularly complex. It's finishes pretty much the same, lingering, with some alcohol that hinders its drinkability.

Overall, this is a pretty basic barleywine that seems to have a bit too much alcohol for its limited girth; and I'm not sure that the use of honey helps it in any way (in fact, I think it hurts it!). Still, it's a decent sipper.

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

Acquired via trade from dsigmon courtesy of the Ugly Ducking BIF, so a big "Thank You" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a cloudy amber color, with a thin off-white head that fades very quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of honey, caramelized malts, a little alcohol, some pale hops and some citrus.

T: The taste starts out malty with sweet flavors of caramel, citrus and honey that quickly followed by a big alcohol sting. Then there's a strong hops presence for the style that balances things out a bit. The after-taste is slightly sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

D: Tasty, goes down dangerously easily, not too filling, very strong kick, good representation of style, this is a good high ABV beer to drink for a while, but it's not the first one I'd pick.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

11 ounce goblet - $4.25 at Taco Mac in Buford, Georgia.

Appearance: Arrived at Table Fifty-Three a clear, dark amber body with a thin, fine, egg shell-colored head.

Smell: Sweet-smelling, fruit-scented nose of malts (brown sugar, then dark caramel, then Grade B maple syrup) and fresh-made chutney with an overall earthiness to it and marked by whiffs of alcohol.

Taste: Sweet tastes brown sugar and dark caramel with just a touch of chewy breadiness to the overall maltiness. Fruity mixture of ripe cherry, apple, and discarded plumskins which, along with the booze contained within, gives these tastes a slight liqueur feel to them. Sure, I'm willing to cheerfully accept a certain amount of alcohol, but the level of heat its imparting is rather unbecoming. Hint of cinnamon with a wry, knowing wink and the "shhh" finger. Earthy, woody hop character with maybe a light vague touch of citrus. Moderate hop bitterness. Then, it's back to the fruits swirled in brown sugar and maple syrup. Finishes fruity, bittersweet, and with more than a noticeable hint of alcoholic heat.

Mouthfeel: Medium-full body. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: At this stage, it's still a bit coarse and unrefined, but it's basically good. Though it does make me more than wistful for a bottle of J.W. Lee's Harvest Ale or, hell, one of my older bottles of Oak Barrel-Aged Millennium. I'm just sayin'!

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2005 vintage. Warmly glowing ochre with honey colored trim; a rich, inviting color for what I hope is a rich, inviting ale. The head is the color of orange-infused egg nog and is larger than expected given the ABV. It persists for quite a while, but leaves very little lace behind. No problem, most barleywines aren't lace monsters.

The nose could be more assertive. That said, it fits the style well and leads me to think that I'm going to like the flavor. The star of the show is white rum-soaked oranges... with everything else well out of the spotlight. Okay, so complexity isn't its strong suit either. I like it though.

I feel the same way about the flavor that I feel about the aroma. At least the beer is being consistent. The reason that I don't love Millenium is the same reason that I don't love English barleywines in general: a lack of hops. At least the American versions of the style have flavors that I enjoy (the whole gamut of flavors that come from a wide variety of hops) rather than flavors that don't really thrill me (high-octane pale malt).

Don't get me wrong, this is an enjoyable, warming sipper of a beer; it just doesn't wow me. In fact, it's so simple that it almost reminds me of a huge maibock: all blonde malt, all the time. Try as I might, I can't appreciate the dark Virginia honey that the brewery assures us in there. No doubt the yeasties feasted on whatever was added and turned it into good ol' alcohol. At nearly two years of age I would have expected less of an alcohol presence (hint: hops do a great job in the cover-up department).

There's nothing at all wrong with Millenium's mouthfeel. It's exactly the mouthfeel that I would have expected give the rest of the beer's attributes. Good points include a remarkable silky smoothness with absolutely no rough edges. Bad points... well, there aren't any.

This 2005 Dominion Millenium is one of the most solid, least flashy English barleywines that I've ever had. I've tried not to let my preference for the hoppy, American take on the style get in the way of giving this one a fair shake, and I think I've succeeded. These guys are fantastic brewers. I hope the recent rumors of their impending demise have been greatly exaggerated.

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.05/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from notes

A: Pours an unimpressive brown color with a light tan colored head. Rather foamy with decent retention and very little lacing. A good bit of carbonation bubble release from the bottom.

S: Extremely bready, with figs and raisins. There is a slightly buttery aroma as well and some oranges.

T: Very sweet with a ton of caramel and toffee. There is some brown sugar and actually a good bit of pineapple, which surprised me.

M: Full bodied, filling and thick. Low carbonation, but fits well.

O: A pretty good English Barleywine. I find myself going back and forth between preferring English and American. A slow sipper, where one bottle is enough.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.08/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

rich caramel in color with a light, off white head on top that comes to about a half an inch in this glass, but has incredible staying power. Caps the top just about right before it settles down into a subtle, yet defined broken crown that clings to the sides of the glass throughout the rest of the session. Classic look here.

Aroma is light, hints of vanilla, light leather and bourbon are the most pronounced. Really rich smelling and the alcohol is coming through clearly. Evidence of the barrel dominates everything, this is a good thing and even an hour into this bottle, that sweet vanilla aroma is mixing with an almost toffee like touch and a hint of plum. Smooth, rich flavor washes across the tongue, with a splash the bourbon comes right up and grabs me, leather, tobacco and dark almost spicy like notes wrapping around the tongue. Splash of alcohol and a flash of a buttery finish and its gone

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.23/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Served in a Dogfish Head snifter.

Pours a dark and murky ruby brown with a half-finger of bubbly ecru head that leaves highly transitory lacing. The honey comes through in the nose, along with some figs, some apricots, a bit of brown sugar and molasses, and a fairly healthy dose of alcohol. The sweet notes from the nose do come through on the tongue, but they are overpowered by a bland wheatiness and an overtly heavy dose of alcohol. The balance is far too asymmetrical in favor of the latter. A heavy body that thickly coats the tongue, while appropriate and usually nice for barleywines, does not help the drinkability in this case, as it enhances the negatives of the taste. Overall, a downer, but not quite a failure.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.03/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. Bottle says 10.5% ABV.

a - Pours a dark amber color with 2 inches of an off white colored head. Little retention and moderate carbonation evident.

s - Smells very sweet. Some fruit, sweet malts,and honey. Bit of booze on the end of it.

t - Very boozy. Alcohol is the first thing that jumped out at me, and overpowered the entire taste. Hints of some malts, sweeter fruits, and honey.

m - Full body with moderate carbonation. A sipper for sure.

d - Overall I thought this barleywine was ok but nothing great. I thought the alcohol just dominated the taste which was unappealing to me; I tend to like barleywines that are smoother/hide their high ABV well. I'd be interested to cellar this and revisit it further on up the road.

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Photo of stakem
4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Vintage 2002 care of BA Smoked, thanks Dan!

Pours a gazed copper color with ruby through the body with more of an orange and yellow look through the edges. A creamy tan cap sits atop the brew with fair retaining power. Spotty webbing of lace sticks to the glass. A finger of froth revives to the surface with a light swirl.

The smell of this brew is fruity alcohol esters with a toasty amount of caramel malt sweetness. Some herbal hops are still present after 9 years. A sweetness somewhat like close honey is faintly noted across the back as it warms up mixed with a mild inclusion of orange rinds and pulp.

The taste is herbal and hoppy, minorly bitter contrasting the caramel malt sweetness. There is a toasty quality about the grain that is somewhat nutty in flavor. There is a light amount of oxidation imparting some cardboard character. The herbal hops and carmel sweetness is equally matched by a honey dryness to the finish. The oxidative touch extends into the finish and comes out more as the brew warms.

This is a medium bodied brew with a light amount of carbonation. The 11% is integrated very well even while the brew gets above ideal temperature. For being 9 years old, this brew has held up quite well. Worth a try if you get the chance. Thanks again Dan!

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 bottled version on 02/01/08 to be exact, the label says 100 IBUs, after a nice heavy pour it forms a thicket of orange tinted cream head with even lacing aspread across the pints glass with each sip of this pale amber hazed barleywine. BTW, new label and AB influence adds to my anticipation of this sample. I have to say it smells incredible with loads of fresh hop notes bursting out in a perfume and floral like presence to my seneses. Also that honey addition the label mentions with the "Premium Ale" that's so AB. Layers of malt sweetness and mild oak barrel charred qualities make me happy. Again caramel and butterscotch notes rise to the occasion carrying out a very big barleywine. Bitterness hits hard the IBUs are definitely kicking with pine, floral, and mild citrus notes. Bitterness is raw and raucous with some balance to it, this is one of the hoppier beers in recent memory. Mouthfeel is thick and syurp like in texture big streaks of hop oils cross my palate carbonation is sturdy. Overall drinkability is of mixed emotions still abrasively hoppy yet I remember there to be so much more finesse when I tried this beer in the past on tap and in bottles.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.28/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a snifter glass. Vintage 2012 bottled January 20th 2012.

A real crystal clear amber ruby red orange body hits, just super clear, with a head that is creamy tan and off white in color. Lots of staying power on this head that just slowly settles into a large puck, and then takes a nice collar. I am just in awe of this body color it looks like a jewel.

What a fantastic nose on this beer. Giant powdered litteraly cinnamon powdered toast in a glass. Nice airy malty toasted feeling, sweetness perhaps from honey (although not so much a honey sense on the nose). Absolutely smells fantastic.

Hop front forwardness takes over the expected sweetness to come. Sharp dry hop angle on the finish and mid palate, then the rolling toasty bread comes out. Dry sweetness, but also a little sharp on the booze heat, but luckily doesn't translate on the palate. Hop angle begins to dominate considerably.

Overall a real very impressive barleywine, probably made for the hop heads, but I can't get over this nose and appearance.

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Photo of jwc215
4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark ruby with a head that has decent staying power, especially for style/abv. Some trailing lace sticks.

The smell is of rich toffee-like maltiness with a hint of tart fruitiness and a touch of honey.

The taste is of rich, sweet toffee/caramel-like maltiness balanced by tart fruitiness and an earthy hop spicing. Just a hint of honey adds to the complex taste. Alcohol is well-hidden.

It is full-bodied and very smooth. Drinks "too" easily for its alcohol level and richness. This is a well-balanced, well-made, enjoyable barleywine!

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.32/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Color is a bright ruby red, underneath a solid creamy head. Aroma is thick, pungent, oozing honeyish sweetness, and offering up a multitude of associations: molasses, rum, brandy, fruits, and candy. Taste is huge and fierce with hops, but never too much, it feels juuuust right. Malt comes to the the fore now, and the feeling is toasty and warm. A welcome and lasting finish.
Somewhat mild, I felt, in some mysterious way, than other, bolder barleywines, but very true to form and very enjoyable.
So why didn't it feel like 11.4%? Thanks to Marc77 for sending it along!

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Photo of Gavage
3.64/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: pours a hazy orange color with a wispy head that breaks apart immediately.

Smell: fruit sweetness and floral aromas are easy to detect.

Taste: big caramel malt base with a very sweet fruit and honey. There is a bit of an earthy tone here in the background, and bitterness is up front but doesn't cut the sweetness as well as it could. Alcohol warming is very evident.

Mouthfeel: lightly crisp at the start but moves to a smooth long-lasting finish. Medium-heavy in body.

Drinkability: decent for the style, but I found this a bit too sweet.

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Photo of WesWes
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is great. It has a rich and complex malt scent that boasts of crystal, pale, roasted, and bisquit malts. It has a nice toasted bread aroma; very nice. The taste is good. It has a smooth, malty flavor that goes down easy and finishes warm and toastey with a slightly dry feel. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a damn fine barleywine. I like the breadlike toastiness. The last few barleywines I had were average, but this was a pleasant surprise.

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

Dominion Millennium Ale

Appearance: Copper color, small head forms. Good clarity, lazy carbonated bubbles drunkenly rise to the top.

Smell: Fruity, ale yeast, smells potent and on the sweeter side.

Taste: Creamy malt, vanilla, and a good amount of alcohol. Sweetish, but not cloying. Would be nice to age.

Mouthfeel: Syrupy with low carbonation. Some alcohol warmth.

Overall: A barleywine of moderate strength. Not as complex as some, but gets the message accross.

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Photo of biegaman
3.88/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Millennium Ale is the same tone of orange as the inside of a sweet potato. The beer is beyond murky; inspection to the light showcases a warmer, but always dreary, complexion. Tiny, very glinty bubbles appear like microscopic chars of glass shattering in slow-motion. They sparkle just like diamonds and this twinkling adds some much needed, highly aesthetic and easily distracting decor to the otherwise somber appearance.

This beer has some pretty impressive specs: it contains twice as much honey as malt and over 3lbs of hops per barrel with an additional half pound more of whole-leaf hops used to dry-hop. Evidence of these elements is had in the aroma, an experiment in juxtaposition, where the silky sweet nectar of honey fuses with the resinous and bitter pungency of the hops. Both scents share a distinctively floral and earthy tinge; they work well together.

If the beer really does contain twice as much honey as malt (which, quite frankly, seems a stretch) then what I'm drinking should taste an awful lot like honey, no? Perhaps even twice as much like honey than beer? Well, it's not exactly that ratio but it does taste like honey - the sweet, flowery, nectar-like flavour is mild but unmistakable. It seems an awfully good honey, with a smack of citrus, it is almost certainly wild.

The other part of the flavour, the minority of it although not by much, is an equally sweet malt bill that has been boiled to well beyond the point of caramelization. Remnants of the hops can also be found; traces of earthy, floral greens are never too far away. Although its alcohol doesn't really show and the beer drinks mighty fine as is, I think an extra dosage of malt could have been spared for a thicker, more full mouthfeel.

The bottling date on this 2008 vintage has already passed its year-and-a-half anniversary but the beer seems to have held up. (Fun fact: Honey never goes bad!) Still, it's not something I'd recommend for long term storage. Flavours are delicate and there doesn't seem to be enough malt or hops to make me confident in its chances for long haul survival. Its total lack of carbonation is more persuasion to be happy for cracking it open tonight.

Many believe honey is a natural health remedy - well this is certainly good for what ale's ya! (hearty har har) But seriously, the floral, earthy character of honey is an ideal accompaniment to similar qualities in the hops as well as the syrupy sweetness of the malts. The folks at Dominion brewed a nice little beer to celebrate their 1000th batch - it's a good thing they had the good sense to keep brewing it.

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Dominion Millennium Ale from Old Dominion Brewing Company
4.01 out of 5 based on 360 ratings.
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