Dominion Millennium Ale | Old Dominion Brewing Company

very good
258 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: 258 | Ratings: 357
Photo of maximum12
3.98/5  rDev -0.5%
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 -12.3%
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 -0.2%
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%
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 +4.3%
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 +8.5%
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 +5%
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 -16.3%
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%
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%
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 -7.5%
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%
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 -2.3%
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%
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 -11.8%
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 +4.5%
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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Photo of ButlerBeerworks
3.47/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

10.5% alcohol - hoping for a bit more bang. Overall I like dominion beers, but this was not my favorite. It tasted better as time went on - temperature may have been a factor. The feel was a bit thick. Sopranos is some good beer tasting programming, and due to the nature of the beer it was a good choice.

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Photo of mdfb79
3.03/5  rDev -24.3%
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 matty
3.73/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cloudy amber colored beer with a slowly fading head.Aroma is hops and fruits.Taste is honey,dark fruits,hops and alcohol.The abv on my bottle says 10.5 and the label is different but from what I read this is probably the same thing.This is not a beer meant for party games.I would recommend and purchase again.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.23/5  rDev -19.3%
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 hoppymcgee
4.22/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Poured from a 12oz. bottle dated 04/06/2007 into a tulip glass.

A: Pours stark flat (well, a little bubbles/fizz) and a candied dark amber color.

S: White raisins, malts, and oaky booze. The fruity esters seem to come through as well.

T: Toffee, caramel, and maltiness. A little buttery and a little boozy too. Finishes dry and bitter.

M: Even though the carbonation is not apparent in the head formation (or lack thereof), it held up well in the beer. This can be sipped or gulped the same with a light to medium body.

D: The best feature of this beer. For 11.4% ABV, this beer is quite quaffable.

Overall, this beer held up very well and was pleasing to drink after a long work week. Beers like these give me hope that the rest of the stuff in my cellar will hold up.

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Photo of ATPete
3.87/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle, bottled in 2002

(reviewed from notes taken in 1/10)

Pours a honey orange color with a small off white head that leaves good stickage on the glass. A very sweet nose, caramel, sweet potato, rich dark fruits and a leafy, minty aroma. Tame carbonation to be expected from something nearly 8 years old, very full in body, malt forward with zero alcohol heat, very glad to have tried an offering this old, this has stood up to the time wonderfully.

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Photo of Daniellobo
3.88/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A good barleywine, a bit mono-chord but nicely balanced.

Presentation: 12 oz screw cap brown bottle. Front label offers a subdued label with light cream and brown colors presided by a emblem with the horns of Dominion crowned by beer ingredients. Back label offers a short paragraph noting history, general style and characteristics, and cellaring recommendation. Notes bottling date (02/02/10). Shows Alc. by Vol. (10.5%) Served on a snifter.

A - Deep amber to amber brown pour with a 1/4" head, fair retention and surface memory with a couple of strokes of lacing.

S - Gentle nose with a predominant caramel sweetness, a faint fruity touch in the back and a boozy whiff.

T - Nice malty sweetness There is a soft hoppy coating, a bit shy with fruity tones. It also has nice sweetness, with a soft touch but the honey is not evident. A boozy note is present and more so as the brew warms up but does not overwhelm the profile.

M - Medium to full body with fair carbonation, nice tingly finish. Smooth and a bit of a boozy finish.

D - It's a nice sipper. Not outstanding but feels reliable.

Notes: Hmmm, drank barely 14 days after bottling... Hops are already fairly well integrated, in fact a bit too shy. If anything I guess that the boozy edge may subside with aging and meld nicely. The move of the brewery to Delaware as part of a macro takeover still bothers me when I reach out to these brews, in particular as they brag about their small guy origing. And the hype for the small amount of cases distributed to the region seems but a trite marketing ploy... Luckily it is a fair barleywine.

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Photo of oceanman
3.77/5  rDev -5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4/6/07, reviewed 1/25/10

Pours a deep, dark orange with zero head. On the nose, an enticing interaction of doughy, sweet, malty notes with fruit (raisin, pear, fig). Caramel aromas, and sweetness already apparent.

Taste has dulled significantly, and leaves a faint metallic finish. Slightly oxidized (age, a low fill level, and twist-off cap mostly likely all contributed). Retains typical flavors of an English barleywine, though somewhat muted, and lacking the complexity one would expect from cellaring. Alcohol is subdued for the stated 11.4% - only the thickness of the mouthfeel reveals the strength of the beer. Very thick, though; the beer labors across the tongue. Alcohol burn does rise a bit as beer warms to room temperature.

Disappointing - seems past its prime less than three years in. For a barleywine of 11.4% abv, this should have held up better. Drink within two years.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.42/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got a couple of these and the Oaked version a while back from Vintage Cellars in Blackburg... I can't believe I've held on to this one for so long... Sharing this one a bit with Brenda... mine is poured into my my Delirium goblet and working while listening to Son Volt.

Nice enough 1" head.. descent lacing and a good cap.. the brew is a light copper.

Aroma is nice.. very full caramel and lesser toasted malt notes.. a small bit of applesauce.. Brenda says Rainier cherries but I don't get it...

Flavor is very pleasing.. just a well made Barleywine.. enough spicy hoppiness to move the malts forward and in the same front..that said, there is a bit of spicy alcohol doing the same. more toasty malts than the nose.. overall, this seems a bit "simple", but I am really liking it.. I enjoy the fact that this seems so easy drinking for such a big ABV beer.. the alcohol is fairly hidden.. the flavors are very well melded and plush.

Nice brew that I've had quite a few times over the years from my great friends in PA and VA.. This is actually the first time that I've settled down and just contemplated the merits..


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Dominion Millennium Ale from Old Dominion Brewing Company
4 out of 5 based on 357 ratings.
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