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October 12, 2010

Old Dominion Oak Barrel Stout

Old Dominion Brewing Co.
Delaware, United States
American Stout 5.20% ABV

This beer is produced by Old Dominion Brewing Company, which was sold in March 2007 to Coastal Brewing Company, which is 49% owned by Anheuser Busch, which is now a part of AB-InBev. 51% of Coastal Brewing is owned by Fordham Brewing Company. That's pretty straightforward right? Right. Despite all of that, Old Dominion still seems to be able to produce some pretty interesting beer.

You don't often see barrel-aged beers weigh in at 5.2%, which is appealing to me because most of the time any beers of this style are 9% or upwards and obviously not very sessionable. It pours a dark black with a tan foamy head that recedes quickly leaving only some minor lacing. Sticking your nose into the glass you get an almost overwhelming vanilla smell with some slight oak/woody-ness. When it first hits your palate, you notice how smooth it is. Almost porter-like in its smoothness. Its heavy on the vanilla at first, but the oak does its part to balance it out. I detected a slight off/metallic flavor, but I was quickly distracted by notes of raisin, chocolate and some coffee.

Some may think this beer is a watered-down version of what has become the standard for oak-aged stouts, but I welcome its uniqueness. If nothing else, its a great beer to introduce someone not used to the bigger, stronger stouts.

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