Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Dominion Oak Barrel Stout

Let me quickly preface this review by saying that I'm a big fan of barrel aged beers in general. The barrel can take a particular beer and turn it into something else entirely. Sometimes the results are magnificent and sometimes not so much...either way I always like to taste what happens. I picked this one up in Ohio on a trip back from Kentucky.

The Dominion Oak Barrel Stout, fermented with vanilla beans and oak chips, pours from the longneck bottle a nice deep, dark black with a small tan head that falls to a ring around the glass. Aromas of big vanilla upfront alongside a roasty, somewhat lactic chocolate. Some bitter coffee works into the mix and I can get hints of the oak as I inhale as well. However, it all seems to collide on the way to my nose.

First sip brings a dark roasted malt upfront with hints of cocoa and mellow coffee tones. The blast of vanilla flavor isn't far behind and works its way across the length of the palate. I get a bit of sour lactic twang halfway through each sip. Subtle woodiness is there but it's more of an afterthought in the brew. The vanilla gets to be a bit overwhelming for me.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a spritzy carbonation. It's a little thinner than I'd like for a stout, but still manages to carry itself well. Unfortunately, this really doesn't stand up against true barrel aged stouts. It's a bit muddled and somewhere along the line the flavors just don't do it for me. Check it out for yourself, as your mileage may vary.

Music: Luomo - Tessio (Moonbootica Radio Edit)

Overall I gave this brew a 3.15 out of 5.

Check out what else is up at Old Dominion Brewing by surfing over to www.olddominion.com