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Dominion Millennium Ale | Old Dominion Brewing Company

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Dominion Millennium AleDominion Millennium Ale
367 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 367 |  Reviews: 262
Photo of Chaney
3.95/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've never considered this to be a fantastic brewery, but it is still a very good one. I truly miss it being in my local area.

I guess they have now lowered the ABV from 11.4% to 10.5%.

A: Crystal clear, slightly darker than amber color, with a fairly sizable 1.5 finger, off-white (reddish tinted?) head that stayed spotty and bubbly throughout the session.

S: It almost smelled like a fruity Jolly Rancher with honey. Sweet, sugary, and malty.

T: Rich, intensely sweet, and with a decent malt backbone buried beneath booze. I got most of the honey taste on the aftertaste.

M: Sugary, but not in an unpleasant way. The carbonation was low, yet appropriate. The shaving cream-like lacing was pretty insane.

D: Once I warmed up to the overwhelming sugar content, this actually became very drinkable to me. I'll say it again... I miss having the Old Dominion Brewery and Alehouse in my area!

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Photo of droomyster
4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark copper with one finger of sticky tan head with good retention. Aromas are too obviously alcoholic, with sweet toffee-like malts and faintly floral hops (not nearly hoppy enough!) failing to enter the foreground. The taste, however, is right on the money. This beer is extremely rich, complex, and about as full-bodied and heavy (yet smooth) as they come. Chewy flavors of toffee and caramel dominate the front and mid-palates, and are quite well-balanced by orange citrusy hops. The finish is somewhat medicinal, with intense brown-sugar and cherry flavors that first shock and then haunt the palate for nearly a minute afterward. Overall, I love it.

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Photo of Dreadnaught33
3.05/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

2009 vintage.

The beer has a reddish copper color with some lacing/legs that fall and no head.

The smell has some standard barleywine elements to it with a alcohol edge and aged cellar smells, dried fruit, candied dark fruit, prune, clean water and some cherry...though the alcohol heat is a little overwhelming in all of this.

The taste is weird compared to the smell. I don't get a lot of the dark notes at all but fruity sweet or even like tutti fruity fake tastes, apples, prune, and others in there with the smell characteristics hidden behind the alcohol tastes.

The mouth has some carbo and smoothness but the heat really takes this category down for me.

Did I get a bad bottle? I am puzzled reading others reviews.

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Photo of prototypic
4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Huge thanks to csmiley for this treat!

Bottled on April 3, 2006

Dominion Millennium pours a dark copper color. It's quite hazy, and has strong crimson highlights when held to light. The down side is that there isn't a head. Just a few light bubbles rise to the top, but disappear with haste. Lacing was extremely faint and light. Eh. The color's nice.

The nose is quite good. Caramel and brown sugar notes are very prominent. The malt base is undoubtedly substantial. It has a blend of fruit scents that's quite nice. I'm getting a little apple, pear, and perhaps even a bit of orange. There's a light twist of dark fruit that's a nice touch. There are some light herbal scents on the tail, mostly tobacco and leather. Alcohol is blended extremely well. Barely noticeable.

The flavor is good. I'm actually waffling on the score. It kicks off with a nice mix of caramel and toffee. A little brown sugar is noted, but it's somewhat subtle. The diverse array of fruit flavors is nothing short of very impressive. It's a wonderful mix of orange, apple, pear, with a little punch of raisin and plum. As was expected, there's nothing going on in the hop department. Leather and tobacco add quality depth and complement the other flavors extremely well. Alcohol is noted, but is surprisingly tame for 11%+ abv. Finishes with sweet caramel and a tangy dark fruit flavor. I've made up my mind...this is excellent!

Millennium has a medium body that's thinner than expected. The light, soft bubbles almost give it a smooth feel, but it needs more body. Drinkability is good for such a big beer. It's damn tasty, and goes down easy. Yeah, it's strong, but is very seductive.

Dominion Millennium Ale is an impressive English Barleywine. This bottle is approaching five years old and is very refined. I haven't had it fresh so I can't say from experience. But, the flavors are very well integrated, in addition to the alcohol. I'm still not sure I buy that this is 11%+. It's not perfect. More body would really be a good thing, as well as a bump in aromatics. Oh yeah...no head at all??? Nevertheless, this is one tasty English Barleywine. Find a bottle. Thanks a ton, Chris!

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Photo of juhl31
3.85/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

-crimson brown in color and very clear. almond colored head that stays thin around the edge and some of the middle

-dark caramel. a bit of heat sting. some dark fruits in there if i try pretty hard to get em in my nostril

-still kinda hoppy for almost a year old...especially considering it's supposed to be an english barleywine. there is some fruit. maybe some plum and fig. the aftertaste reminds me a sushi a lot...some soy sauce and sushi rice with rice wine vinegar has a comparable aftertaste. although, sushi does always make me think good thoughts. there is also some breadiness as well

-somewhat sticky, but yet pretty thin at the same time considering. still some heat to it

-this is a good beer and glad to try it. it is nothing i will have to go tell my fellow BA's about or anything though

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Photo of magine
3.6/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a snifter glass.

Pours a dirty, cloudy red tinted brown. Has a light tan head. Head settles to a patchy island of lace. Leaves a nice coating of lace around the glass as well. Good looking brew.

Brew smells sweet and malty, dark fruits; cherries, honey. Can pick of the barley as well as some hop presence. Overall a good smelling brew.

Brew is crisp and bitter, bubbly and peppers the tongue. Can taste the sweetness at first. Pick up the barley, caramel, honey and the dark fruits in the middle. Dark bitter fruits along with the warming effect from the alcohol are the more dominant flavors and feel that come through. Has some prickly hops int there as well, more earthy then anything else. Brew finishes slightly dry, and the bitterness sticks around. Not as malty or as big full flavored as I would imagined it being. A bit of a disappointment considering the high scores on beeradvocate. Slightly above average taste for a barleywine.

This is a decent barleywine, not one to seek out with so many other top shelf brews to pick from. the redeeming quality with this brew is the warming effect, and of course the alcohol that creates the warmth.

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Photo of DoubleSimcoe
3.65/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Dominion Millenium Barleywine on tap at mighty Max's in B'more, served in their customary thick goblet. 2008 version.

Appearance: Dark amber color, a little hazy and orange-y like an Imperial IPA. No head, no lacing, no retention, little carbonation.

Smell: Citrus upfront, then sweetness. Some dark fruits pureed with "younger" fruits like sour apple.

Taste: This is a 2008 beer, but I don't get any aged flavor or oak or anything extraordinary. Bread and yeast are very present, as it the booze when the beer warms up. Nice hoppiness on the back of the mouth. Sweetness all around.

Mouthfeel: Thin, a tad watery, no carbonation. Some oxidation and dryness as it goes down.

Drinkability: High for a beer listed at the bar as 12%, but just not very interesting. Alcohol is well hidden, balance is pretty good. But again, I didn't care to drink this and would probably not have it again. It was just serviceable, but unremarkable.

I would expect a 2008 English Barleywine to be much more attractive than this.

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Photo of AgentMunky
4.03/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into an Augustijn goblet.

A: Dark, dark red; ruby in the light. A thick, good-looking head. Insanely heavy lacing.

S: A deep nose. Significant malts briefly hide the other scents -- pungent hops, sour beeriness, and herbs. Good smell.

T: Chewy. A nicely-balanced hoppy body with a curiously absent aftertaste. The maintaste is thick, herbally bitter, round, balanced and smooth (aside from clinging soapy hops). Hints of honey. Nice.

M: Good, oddly (but pleasantly) creamy, and solid.

D: The 10.5% (which is what my bottle reads) is no surprise, and the beer is supremely sippable. As barleywines go, very good! Recommended.

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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 maximum12
3.98/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to beandip for shipping me two bottles of this ale; tonight I dine on the survivor. My wife says she really enjoyed the first one. My first sip of Old Dominion.

Pours a clear, fruity, filtered form of red with plenty of high-octane carbonation. Oddly, the smell out of the bottle is very enticing, but once I settle down at the table, all that's left is a bit of malt sweetness & echo of ruddy fall fruits. Hmmm.

Millennium Ale brings the .357 full of caramel to the drive-by, whack! More caramel than a bucket full of scattered Halloween candy, which brings in the subsequent dark fruits...this tastes like a caramel apple bobbed out of a tub of gin alcohol. Alcohol, malts, combine for the next layer of punch, & even further down, there's a shot of mild hop bitterness to round things out. Despite the heavily advertised alcohol presence, scarily drinkable. I've already sucked down too much writing this review.

My wife was correct, as usual, this is a very good brew, tight-roping along near excellent. Hands-down the most drinkable straight-up English Barleywine I've ever. Downright dangerous. And now I'm really looking forward to the single bottle of the oaked version I just rec'd.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.51/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Bottled 02/11/09. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a Blue Point snifter.

A: Viscous pour yields a .5 finger coarse white head with poor retention that dissipates into a thin white ring around the edge of the glass. Beer is a light, cloudy, muddy brown. Lacing is very spotty and with little stick.

S: Nose is rich, brown sugar, astringent, resiny hop bitterness, and plums. Very aromatic and deep. Appetizing and extremely sweet with just a touch of booze on a deep inhale.

T: Opens sweet booze and thick, brown sugar. Resiny hops line the borders and add just the slightest bitterness. Sappy towards the end. Finish is sweet caramel and sugar in the raw with a touch of heat. Aftertaste is resin bitterness.

M: Medium bodied and moderately carbonated. Rough and a bit grainy but smoothes out tremendously as it warms. Soft and silky going down with an accented finish and a sticky, oily aftertaste. A bit hot.

D: A slightly better than average representation of the style. Moderate complexity with a feel I can really appreciate even though it does seem a bit thin. Still, worth a try if it crosses your path!

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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 vandemonian
3.96/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer pours with an intense red colour and holds its head extremely well. It smells strongly of hops and taosty malts. This beer tastes strongly of honey and concentrated sweet hops and an aftertaste of bitter hops and the alcohol. This beer is thick and carbonated in the mouth: very nice.

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

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into an Augustijn goblet.

A: Rich cloudy amber with a faint splash of red. A very slight off-white head that almost immediately dissipates.

S: Caramel and honey. Dark fruits like raisins. A hint of hops.

T: Malty sweetness coats my mouth followed by a pleasant amount of honey. After that come along the hops to finish things off with enough bitterness to balance the sweetness. Alcohol is also noticeable. Also present is a little pepper and caramel/toffee and some fruits. Slightly bitter aftertaste.

M: Carbonation. Oily palate after one swallows.

D: Carbonation adds to the drinkability.

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

From BeerAdvocate Magazine Volume II, Issue VI:

This was brewed in celebration of their 1,000th batch of beer and through its popularity, Millennium Ale is still brewed every year. Pretty hefty at 11-percent ABV with 100 IBUs to back the malt up and a touch of honey to boot. Tight and creamy off-white lacing forms from the semi-viscous amber liquid. The nose boasts an alcohol of a fresh sherry with clean creamy malt and fruity esters. Also in the aroma is a kiss of honey and a thin but noticeable layer of woody hop oil. Lush, creamy full body, smooth carbonation rolls slowly over the tongue and makes this beer easy to drink. Maltiness is very complex with suggestions of a loaf Portuguese sweet bread, rich caramel and honey-covered toasted biscuits. Hoppiness drops an earthy, woody, mild herbal and sufficiently bitter flavor, alcohol comes across clean with a slight peppery flavor. Both hops and alcohol pleasantly balance out the malt. Finishes semisweet though a linger from the hop sticks around for a while.

A killer brew we have here, no need to cellar as it's perfect to drink right now. Balanced and a bit too drinkable for its size. This one gets very high regards from us, it's worth seeking out and stocking up if you can find it.

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Photo of levifunk
3.35/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

got this as an extra a while back. label says "Dominion Millennium Ale" "ale brewed with honey", but looks nothing like the label shown. Also, it states ABV is 10.5%

a - pours mahogany brown with tan head.

s - smell is very nice. sweet caramel, raisins, malts. no hops found.

t - brown sugar, some malts, but a lot of alcohol. some hops flavor and a dull bitterness on the finish.

m - medium body. mild carbonation

overall - not that impressive. it smells great, but in the end fails to deliver.

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

Pours copper with a slight head. Smells tannic and clean with some fruitiness as well. Tastes like iced black tea- tannic, a little smokey and oaky with just a touch of fruit. Austere but quite tasty and unusual. Chewy and smokey in the mouth. Not fantastic, but good enough to have now and again.

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Photo of mattcrill
3.8/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Dark fruity esters, raisins, plums, rich dark fruit character. Warming alcohol notes on the nose.

Appearance: Slightly hazy deep amber/copper pour with a thick, tan batter-like cap.

Flavor: More dark fruity esters, raisins, plums, and candied dates persist. An earthy hop bitterness balances this beer out. A big fusel-like alcohol punch in the finish. Finish is dry and crisp.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a prickly alcohol burn.

Overall impression: Needs aged. A big English Barleywine. Nicely done!

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Photo of DefenCorps
3.7/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottled in April of 2006, this barleywine is now about 4 years old. IIRC, I picked it up at Norm's in VA.

Clear ruby red with a dense off-white head with decent retention and a little lacing, this beer appears to be quite high in carbonation. What that helps achieve is bringing the great nose right up front. Quite fabulous with plenty of fruity oxidation with raisins and dates, there's also a richly layered combination of toffee, a little bright butterscotch and a mellow nutty character. Some vanilla is present as well. There's also some bright honey notes, this is surprisingly floral.

The palate however, disappoints. It feels like it isn't particularly well-knit. While there's a moderate sweetness with a blend of toffee, maple and honey with plenty of caramel, it doesn't harmoniously incorporate the fruit character. There's also a surprisingly assertive hop character with an earthy bitterness that lingers in a way that works well with the sweetness. The mid-palate could definitely use a little bit more. The alcohol is exceptionally well hidden, I wouldn't guess that this is 11+%. Medium-full in body with a soft, creamy carbonation, this beer has an enjoyable finish. Solid stuff.

**Edit 01 March 2013**
From Norms. Bottled 01 Feb 2008, this is 5 years old.

The nose is still surprisingly brash and hoppy, with toffee, earth, a little minty alcohol. Surprisingly thin, but quite nice despite the fact. The palate opens with a punchy bitterness, a mildly butterscotch-like oxidation, toffee, a mild floral flavor as well, a little rose-like. Bitter on the finish, thankfully without any oxidized hop character. Initially over-carbed, once this has a chance to settle down, it improves hugely. Very, very solid.

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Photo of kingcrowing
3.44/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a DFH signature glass. 04/04/2007 date.

Pours a cloudy ruddy brown with a very thin white rim of bubbles, looks somewhat flat. Nose is malty and sweet, not much booze given the high abv. There's some nuttiness here.

Hmm, not totally sure what to think on the taste here, the carbonation is light, it's actually pretty good for the style a bit sharp but not over the top. There is certainly some booze on the finish with a bit of a graininess to it as well. Fairly drinkable for the abv as well.

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Photo of portia99
3.91/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle (bottled on 2/2/10) poured into a Dogfish Head signature glass.

A - Pours a brownish amber color with a slight haze and about a half finger of creamy tan foam on top. Head doesn't have much volume, but what it has is tenacious in staying power....doesn't go anywhere, even after a few minutes. Pretty impressive for a 10.5% beer.

S - Alcohol and a fresh "green" hop aroma - grassy and a bit floral. Some light caramel in the background...but that's about it. Fairly one dimensional and subtle. Expected a bit more malt out of an English barleywine.

T - Hoppy bitterness and alcohol in the flavor up front. Some fruity, herbal and a bit of spicy hop flavors, but the alcohol really sits on top of everything in the flavor profile. Some caramel and toffee maltiness is noticeable but subtle.

M - Pretty full bodied with medium carbonation that is creamy in feel on the tongue and ending with a slight fizziness. Every sip gets a big hit of alcohol on the inhale and leaves a nice warmth on the back of the throat.

D - Pretty high in alcohol at 10.5%...a bit of warmth is noticeable and quite full bodied...all add up to being a sipper. But a pretty good sipper. This is definitely young at only 2 months since bottling...pretty good now, but I think this will only get better with a little bit of aging. Hops could settle down a bit and hopefully some age wil bring out more of the malt in aroma and flavor and cut back the alcohol heat a little bit in the process. Good now, if you have more than one bottle definitely let some of these sit around a little while and collect some dust.

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

2010 vintage - well rounded for such a fresh barleywine. Caramel sweetness up front, with a boozy punch in the middle - the alcohol needs a bit more time to mellow out it seems. Sweetness fades toward the end, with a firm bittering and a touch of astringency. Should improve with a year under its belt.

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Photo of goldbot
3.53/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

2010 vintage. Review from notes on 3/25/2010.

Reddish brown in color with medium, off-white head. Clear brew with a bit of carbonation bubbling away. Some lacing left on the glass.

Sweet malty aroma with cherry fruitiness and a fresh, piney hop presence. Flavor has lots of bready and caramel malts with a slight raisin flavor. Bitter throughout without much hop flavor. Strong, slightly solvent-like alcohol in the end.

Medium body, somewhat astringent, medium carbonation. A decent barleywine, but it just doesn't compare to some of the better offerings available around here. Not a whole lot of complexity, but still a balanced and well-rounded beer.

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Photo of MetalHopHead6
4.18/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The 2010 Dominion Millennium Ale is gorgeous, with a honey-dominated bitterness, and funk.

It poured deep cloudy copper, with beautiful red highlights, and a two-finger tan head that left a nice wall of lace on the glass. The smell of sweet honey and earthy hops exploded during the pour and the taste has a great balance of honey and funky earth. The feel was heavy and aggressively bitter and, along with the high ABV, made this an ale meant to be sipped.

Millennium Ale is a delicious ale that has a perfect amount of funk and sweet. After drinking this ale, there is no doubt that the senses have had an experience.

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Dominion Millennium Ale from Old Dominion Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.01 out of 5 with 367 ratings
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