Dominion Winter Brew 2006 | Old Dominion Brewing Company

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Dominion Winter Brew 2006Dominion Winter Brew 2006
28 Ratings
Dominion Winter Brew 2006Dominion Winter Brew 2006

Brewed by:
Old Dominion Brewing Company
Delaware, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.30%

Availability: Limited (brewed once)

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by hopsaplenty on 11-22-2006

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

Bros Score:
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 28 |  Reviews: 26
Reviews by hopsaplenty:
Photo of hopsaplenty
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. brown bottle, bottled on 110906.

Glowing copper. Tall, crackling head of airy medium and large sand dusted eggshell bubbles. Chunky, quick firing carbonation mingles with small, slow laggards. The head drops to a scattering of fine foam and left spotty deposits of lace. Delicate aromas of spicy, peppery hops, toasty, nutty malts, a dash of vanilla sweetness. A peppery hop note begins on top of a nutty malt body that has almond skin and walnut husk tones. The hop spice fades into an initially prickly vanilla glazed alcohol flavor that is a tad on the raw side. The medium body is at times smooth and other times takes on a fine grit sandpaper feel. The hops come back up in the finish and linger briefly before the alcohol wins. The vanilla is subdued throughout, and never seems to take on more than a gentle wash characteristic, remaining suggestive rather than pronounced. As this warms, the nutty malt becomes a bit more prominent while the hops regain strength in the finish. This one grew on me and I’ll be glad to enjoy the rest of the six pack.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of NeroFiddled
3.97/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Old Dominion's Winter Brew for 2006 pours a slightly hazy orangeish-copper with glowing golden highlights at the base of the glass. Tiny bubbles can be seen steadily rising to take their place beneath the short head of creamy white. The head retention is limited, and it drops shortly to just a thin collar.

Vanilla is predominant in the nose, backed by a sweetish, caramel-accented maltiness.

The flavor is full and rich, and the vanilla initially receeds within it a bit, surrounded by a lush maltiness that's just slightly caramelish and gently toasty, and a touch of yeasty fruitiness (apples, pear). The vanilla returns at the swallow, and lingers amidst a wash of drying alcohol and peppery spice (which seems to be from the yeast and not the alcohol). Dry and spicy, yet softened by notes of vanilla... pretty nice aftertaste.

It's medium-full bodied and gently effervescent on the tongue before warming to become more pillowy.

Nicely done. The vanilla is strong, but not overpowering, and as you progress through the glass and adapt to it, it becomes quite luxurious. A nice winter tipple.

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Photo of cliff1066
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of russpowell
3.89/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottled on 010307

Picked this up in alexandria, VA while on vacation/family business

Pours amber/caramel with 1/2" of sand colored head. A little lacing & no head retention

S: A little caramel & some earthyness

T: Caramel & breadyness up front. Warming booze & a hint of coccoa follow as this warms. Some oaky dryness & jammy notes also there. Finishes with a hint of maple syrup, dryness & a hint of vanilla

MF: Medium bodied & slick with low carbonation

Drank easy enough, don't really pick up up any yeasty/fruitty character like I'd expect from this style. Still one of the better beers I tried back east on this trip

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Photo of plaid75
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a medium copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured a soft husky grain with an aromatic unidentified spiciness.

The taste was upfront sweet vanilla with a hint of lemon zest and earthy hop. Good soft malt flavors as well. Finished a bit medicinal however.

The mouthfeel was creamy with a slight warming alcohol.

Overall a unique beer for sure. Not your typical winter warmer. In the end it was tasty. Thanks to Aprilluvsbeer.

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Photo of weeare138
3.54/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to doppel07 for this...
Appears a caramel toned amber with a small white head that quickly fades out into a tiny collar. Sporadic streams of CO2 bubbles quickly rise to the top.
Smell is of vanilla, cloyingly sweet caramel, sugar wafers, and fruity esters highlighted by pears.
Taste is of the mentioned aromas with a sweetness up front, along with some lemongrass, and overly sugary caramel that seems a bit too much.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied and extrememly sweet up front. It drifts into a dead spot in the middle of the tongue before dying out and leaving you with nothing more than a sweet sugary residual on the tip of your tongue.

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Photo of arguemaniac
4.25/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This crisp brew pours an orange amber color with a frothy but moderate head with good retention. Sweetness dominates the delicate aroma. The palate features a tasty grain sweetness, some definite caramel, a bright hop bite, a nice touch of “holiday” spice and a variety of other, more subtle flavors. It’s nicely complex and all the flavors are very well balanced. Even the 7.3% ABV is well hidden by the myriad of flavors, creating a dangerously drinkable brew.

Another solid beer from Dominion. Fairly rich but still very drinkable, but be sure to watch how many of these you drink and how fast you drink them, the ABV is almost too well hidden. Also, makes a great beer for holiday occasions. Recommended.

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Photo of mjc410
2.65/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I picked this up from Wegman's, for 2 reasons: $6-7 sixer, and brewed with vanilla. The Oak Barrel Stout by Dominion showed me just how great vanilla can be in beer.

The pour into my Sam Smith glass raises a modest one finger off-white creamy head that slowly recedes. The lacing is slippery. The body is a clear copper-amber. The nose definitely has a creamy vanilla tone, very reminiscent of their stout. Otherwise, there are some over-toasted malts and caramel aromas. The taste follows the nose, but with the malts overshadowing the vanilla taste. The malt seems to be either poor quality, or simply a type that I don't like, since I've noticed this characteristic in a lot of beers that haven't sat too well with me. Still, the flavor manages to be warm, if lackluster. The mouth is very heavy, but the carbonation has a very sharp yet fine characteristic that doesn't feel very nice. Overall, I don't feel too bad about this sixer since it was cheap, but I won't be coming back to it unless they significantly reformulate each year.

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Photo of villainchiwwin
3.79/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

poured a copper-amber color with a head that fell to a persistent layer.

nutty hazelnut smell with malt and faint sweet scent of vanilla.

syrupy initial taste and texture, has a malty backbone to it and some hazelnut too. taste then shifts to some spicy hops and mild alcohol bite that offer an interesting retort to the sweet-ish start - then some really interesting musty (but not unappealing - like fond nostalgia of a proper cellar) notes come thru with very subtle vanilla that does not smack of fake adjuncts. nice fading finish, too.

spicy mouthfeel with crisp, appropriate carbonation. graininess in the finish.

i dig it. interesting selection for a special winter brew. i also like the choice of style.

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Photo of RBorsato
4/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bronze-ish amber with a decent tan head, very light carbonation, and some lace. Nice vanilla bean aroma with a touch of spicy malts. Prominent vanilla bean flavors to the extent that not much else is noticeable but it's not really overdone either. Medium-light bodied and smooth with a vanilla finish.

Per Label: "Brewed with Vanilla Beans" & "23 IBU"

Per OD website: French-style Christmas Ale (Biere de Noel).

Bottled: 12/13/06
Tasted: 02/ /07

($5.99 / 6-pack)

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Photo of Atlas1
3.43/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Interesting to note, the bottling date on the label says that this was bottled on 01/03/07. But that wouldn't make it a 2007 Winter Brew, would it? No, I didn't think so....

Poured from the bottle into a standard pint glass. It appears a nice clear copper color. Not much range in color. It does leave a nice creamy one-finger head after the pour though, which settles down into a thin white sheet, resting on the top of the beer. The aroma is interesting. I detect some malted vanilla notes here, along with other faint spices. It's almost a musty closet smell here, but I don't mean that in a bad way. It's just an interesting muted odor that I can't quite place. The taste accentuates the vanilla bean once again, but not too much. Candied dates, along with some banana pudding, are also present. An interesting black cherry sensation finishes it off. A pleasing, sturdy mouthfeel. All in all, this is a tasty brew. Not a great beer, as far as winter ales go, but a uniquely pleasant alternative. I'm not sure where this ranks as far as biere de gardes go, but it's a style I could really get into.

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Photo of flexabull
2.4/5  rDev -34.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a bright orange color, not much of a head at all, some carbonation is visible... looks like cider instead of beer.

Aromas are odd. Smells like malt liquor to me. A bit sweet.

Taste is way too sweet. This tastes more like a soda than a beer. A lot of vanilla, and not much else.

Mouthfeel is decent, but at this point I don't really care.

I would certainly pass this one up at a store. I am sure some people will really like it, but it just tastes too much like a vanilla soda than a beer with vanilla flavors. It's not quite a pour out though... thought it's close.

Maybe this just isn't a style that I like.

Thanks for the chance Aprilluvsbeer.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.05/5  rDev +11%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottled on 11-15-06

Pours a nice orange-copper color with a thin white head that quickly fades to a ring.

Sweet, fruity vanilla with some spices and biscuity malts. Gets better as it warms up.

The flavor is a bit yeasty, but vanilla is found from beginning to end. Some spicy hops and alcohol come through near the finish. A bit nutty, also. The vanilla is not overbearing at all.

Nice creamy, medium body with just the right amount of carbonation for the style. Another nice job done by Old Dominion.

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Photo of Suds
3.64/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a translucent amber color, with a slight haze and a frothy white head. The first notable sensation is a prominent vanilla aroma. It’s not only dominant in the smell, but it seeks you out and lingers long after you’ve put the glass down. Although the vanilla is strong and prominent, it doesn’t exclude other smells: a light fruitiness and some lightly roasted malt backing are also detectable. For the taste, this beer his moderately sweet, with a focus on the malt. The vanilla is present throughout the taste, but not as dominant as it is in the smell. It’s a very smooth beer, despite a slight alcohol bite and warming. The finish has a modest hoppiness, mixed with a little yeast. This is not a beer that I’d want to drink every day. For a winter seasonal (one-off brew) it’s certainly appreciated.

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Photo of bruachan
3.99/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

i'm always happy to support the offerings of a brewery so close to my childhood (well...not TOO close). this stuff is making the trek out to the great lakes, which is great to see

the head isn't all that exciting, but the color is striking

toasty, nutty malt aromas produce a robust bouquet that is ornamented by spice and hops. the advertised vanilla is evident. the flavors suggest a higher fermentation temperature: noticeable heat and some assertive fruitiness. perhaps more bitter than i would have expected. the overall timbre of the brew is warmth, without being a booze monster

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Photo of
3.77/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle

Slightly hazy, golden-orange color. Very modest, off-white head. Nice legs.

Stronger hop aroma than expected (bottle lists IBU as 23) - grassy in character. Vanilla, bready, fruits - pears. Alcohol says hello.

More sweet & malty than anything else, bits of vanilla. Can just get the alcohol, mainly in aftertaste. A bit scotch like. Nice bitter counterpoint at finish, again grassy. Pepper there as well.

Light to medium body, low carbonation. Refreshing. Some alcohol warming.

A bit too light for a winter beer, IMO. Easy to drink, and at 7.3%, a bit dangerous. As it warmed, alcohol became too noticeable.

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Photo of Zraly
4.11/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottling date is 11/15/06.

Pours a burnt orange/light amber with a thin layer of happy, little bubbles. The ale forms a ring around my glass.

Wonderful faint whiffs of vanilla and yeast. There is also an extra soft scent of maple syrup. It reminds me of really good, homemade waffles. Smells fantastic.

The overall taste and flavor matches the smell department. Doughy, yeast flavors give a backdrop to the mild taste of vanilla, wood, and nutty candy. Smooth and creamy at first, and then a ping of hoppiness presents itself. Nice contrast of sweet and bitter. The hop flavor seems almost NorthWestern-ish...Cascade perhaps, which I find to be slightly off range for what I was expecting from this particular ale. But a good "off range." The final finish is a dry, crisp alcohol note that marries well with the lingering vanilla note.

Well constructed, unique and a very mellow sipper. I don't know if I could drink more than one or two of these, but that would really be all that I need anyhow. The 7.3% alcohol is, in general, well masked.

I originally had this on tap at Marker 20 a few weeks ago. It was so delicious on tap I sought it out in bottles to try and to enjoy at home. So if you do find it on tap, indulge.

It may be interesting to pair with a yellow Thai curry dish.

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Photo of abcsofbeer
2.26/5  rDev -38.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a bottle with drink by date of 11-09-06. The color is a clear amber, topped by a thin white head that falls to a very thin crown. The lacing is minimal.

The aroma is slightly vanilla from the beans, but, not much else there. Very grainy smell.

The taste is heavily carbonated grain and maybe some small amounts of fruit. The malt is weak and the hop flavor brings in some small amounts of bitterness, but, it tastes artificial. I detect no vanilla flavor, quite the opposite of the label description. This is poor example and a below average beer.

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Photo of brentk56
3.93/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the table with a hazy amber color and a modest head that leaves nice patterns of lace

Smell: Biscuity aroma with vanilla/toffee notes; as the beer warms some hop tones start to appear as well

Taste: Shortbread and toffee up front with discernable vanilla; after the swallow, some modest earthy bittering appears to balance the sweet elements; the vanilla flavor is quite apparent from start to finish

Mouthfeel: Medium/heavy body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Definitely a solid beer for those who like vanilla; this is almost a cream soda flavored beer in that respect but there are enough hops in the grain bill to keep it from being cloying

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Photo of beerking1
3.45/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed as part of a New Year's Eve vertical tasting, which featured 3 years of Winter Brew. Aroma is malty, with notes of honey and vanilla. Body is a little thin. Flavor is sweet, juicy malt with notes of crystal malt and minimal hop presence. Balance is pretty good. Tail is sweet malt but not cloying.

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Photo of phisig137
3.5/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a medium amber color, with a thin 1/2 finger head. Little retention leaves behind only a small ring around the top of the glass.

Aroma is slightly malty, with a bit of adjunct twang, and a distinct aroma of fake vanilla.

Flavor is better, but not great. Mildly malty up front, with good caramel and toffee notes, then merges into a strong vanilla flavor. This is definitely not a vanilla bean or oak vanilla flavor, this is some kind of extract. Mouthfeel is smooth and relatively light. Drinkability is decent.

Not the best beer from dominion, and not a biere de garde. Nonetheless, this is a decent brew that would be a session brew aside from the alcohol content.

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Photo of UnionMade
3.7/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks for bringing me a bottl, Emily!
Clear, tawny amber. Light coating of eggshell white head. Malty and robust aroma. Vanilla is tucked under a generous dose of caramel, chocolate and biscuity malt. Vague herbal hops, some nutty quality, with tracings of alcohol. Sweet flavor overall. Generous body, with a softer, rounded feel. Moderate carbonation. Sugary caramel malt holds the attention, with accents of vanilla. Tastes more like vanilla extract. Definitely noticable, but not overpowering the beer. Some malt roastiness, with soft plum and apple fruitiness. Light spicing in the finish. More vanilla, with a suggestion of pepper and modest herbal hoppage. A little bit of alcohol sneaks through the finish.
I didn't get much of a "biere de garde" feel out of this. If anything, it came off as an english strong ale. Vanilla beans seem to be tricky, as they tend to impart a very sweet taste when added to beer. This came off well, and it works. Not something i could drink a lot of, but it's an enjoyable glass. Tasty nonetheless.

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Photo of BillRoth
3.75/5  rDev +2.7%

Photo of Braudog
2.23/5  rDev -38.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Copper-colored orange brew wtih a thin but solid white head. Fizzy for sure. The aroma is a nice bready cookie-ness or like a sweet cake frosting. The vanilla bean really comes out in the flavor, in a very candied way ... almost like those pyramid-shaped candy corns, this is super sweet. It’s a bit weird. (#2691, 2/7/2007)

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Photo of Aprilluvsbeer
4.23/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A review done solely for myself, to remember what this brew had to offer..

Poured into a tulip with a small head with a small ring around the edges throughout, not much lacing. Color is clear, copper - real nice.

A delicate smell of caramel and hint of spice which follows through with the taste..nice delicate flavor. A bit dry at the end of each sip with caramel as the dominating flavor...and vanilla can be spotted ever so slighty.

I really like Old Dominion's beers and this one did not disappoint! Would I drink it again?..heck yea! I will gladly drink the rest of this 6er!


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Dominion Winter Brew 2006 from Old Dominion Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.65 out of 5 with 28 ratings