Friday, January 8, 2010

Old Dominion Brewing Co.: Oak Barrel Stout

It's bloody cold here. We've seen very little in the way of above-freezing temperatures in the last week or so, and it's not supposed to get any better any time soon. So it's definitely the season for big, bold stouts, be they Oatmeal, Milk, Java, Russian Imperial, or--in a totally new twist--vanilla-oak.

Dominion Brewing Co. presents a new twist on a very old genre. At base, this is an irish-style dry stout, a la Guinness Draught. But Dominion's brewers took this venerable stalwart and infused it with vanilla beans and oak wood chips. Consequentially, this brew has a pleasant sweet vanilla flavor to offset the otherwise dry bitterness that defines this sub-genre. The oak taste is substantially harder to detect, just barely coming through as a pleasantly woody finish. It's got a medium body to it and is mildly carbonated. It's very tasty and approachable for a stout, though by the bottom of the glass the vanilla gets a little bit tiring.

Overall though, I'm pleased with this one. I'll definitely be looking it up again in the future.

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