Straight Jacket - Revolution Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Straight JacketStraight Jacket

Educational use only; do not reuse.

66 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 66
Hads: 529
Avg: 4.25
pDev: 8.24%
Wants: 166
Gots: 184 | FT: 22
Brewed by:
Revolution Brewing Company visit their website
Illinois, United States

Style | ABV
English Barleywine |  13.00% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: MasterSki on 09-08-2011

(Barrel-Aged Institutionalized) A strong ale to warm your insides in the dead of winter. Deep aromas and flavors of dark stone fruits, bourbon, molasses, toasted coconut and vanilla come in waves.

55 IBU
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 66 | Hads: 529
Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.01/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Shared a bottle of this last night with friends, but we didn't kill the bottle. I'm taking it upon myself to do the dirty work we couldn't handle last night. Killing two birds with one stone at that, since this also helps me clear out my fridge a bit.

Love the burgundy or sherry-like color in the body and the film that sits over it. Obviously less carbonation than yesterday, but that's okay. To be expected. Still looks deviously delectable. Devilishly delicious. Other alliterations as needed. 4.5

Smells like a lot bourbon and caramel were making babies and things got aggressive. Noticeably boozy and oaken and spicy and sweet. Plenty of character. Tasty. Oh no wait, I can't say that about a smell. But I said it anyway. 4

Forgive me if I think I'm drinking a port. This has lots of port-like taste. Rich caramel thick flavor with a bit of spiciness and boozy bite. As it warms it develops raison flavor and some plum and fig. Dark fruit and vinous-ness-ness-ness. Apparently vinousness isn't a word so I added the extra -ness to show extra contempt at its exclusion from the world's vocabulary. T- 4 M- 3.75

I'd have loved to age another bottle and let some of the booze settle, but this drinks pretty nicely as is.

 1,228 characters

Photo of snaotheus
3.74/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle split between a pair of large snifters. No dates I can find.

Pours murky brown with little or no head, and little evidence of carbonation. Smell is powerful booze, caramel and toffee. Vanilla, maybe maple.

Taste is similar to the aroma, but with a little more of a plummy note. Not as sweet as I expected (which is good, I think).

Mouthfeel is surprisingly thin. Overall, tasty, interesting barleywine.

 428 characters

Photo of StoneTSR
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

APPEARANCE: Very cloudy and a deep brown, almost a maroon color. The head only lasted for about 15 seconds, but a few wisps of foam remain on top of the beer throughout. There is no real lacing at all.

SMELL: Big, figgy, raisiny, jammy aroma makes a remarkable first impression. Brown sugar and molasses play with the nose on the outskirts of the aroma as well. With a second sniff, chocolate, vanilla, and cherries come through and really round the smell out nicely. Oddly missing from the aroma (or maybe it’s just being overwhelmed by the intensity) is the typical banana-like smells that I get in a Barleywine. That isn’t a good or bad thing to me, just different.

TASTE: Raisins, figs, dates are everywhere. Following the nose, some sugary notes dance around the edges. The vanilla is stronger on the palate than it was on the nose. There is also a little oak as the beer warms. Additionally, I’m getting a touch of orange peel, some mild spiciness and hints of anise. This is a wildly complex beer.

MOUTHFEEL: There is no doubt that this a sweet beer with a big body. The booziness also provides a bourbon-like bite. The finish does dry a little, but it stays sweet and never lets up from an assault on the palate. The carbonation is low and there is a smooth, but syrupy quality to it, appropriate a big beer like this.

OVERALL: This is a very impressive beer. The booze and richness made it an excellent bomber to share, but I was happy I had it at this stage as it is still maintaining a lot of its barrel character. Straight Jacket works as a dessert beer, a celebratory beer, a special beer.

 1,633 characters

Photo of SportsandJorts
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a deep reddish brown color, not quite leathery or walnut but browner than ruby. a small, centimeter or less, of a tan head. strong retention of what is there. small lacing/alcohol leg combo. due to the darkness of the color it is mostly opaque but through thinner portions some visibility is there.

Smell: huge barrel character, coming in waves of wood, vanilla, bourbon and small hints of cinnamon. sweetness comes through with brown sugar and maple syrup. smaller amounts of molasses are present. some dark fruits near the backend. Small underlying hoppy bitterness.

Taste: small amount of malts sneaks through at the beginning with notes of thick caramel before being overrun by barrel. barrels offer a wide variety of flavors consisting of wood, vanilla, cinnamon, bourbon/booze. a hoppy bitterness cuts the barrel out and gives way to some dark fruits along with maple syrup to brown sugar sweetness. slight molasses. ends with booze soaked dark fruits, ranging from raisins to plums.

Mouthfeel: thick and chewy as a barleywine should be. quite a bit of booziness and a large amount of warmth. bitterness that could either be attributed to astringent alcohol or hoppiness. sticky and lingering.

Overall: a strong and delicious treat. more complex, especial in terms of barrel character, than most bba barleywines. the hoppiness is at the perfect level in this brew. First bottle from revolution and certainly not the last.

 1,454 characters

Photo of CasanovaCummins
4.28/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours out with little lace. Incredible marshmellow nose. That comes through even as it is fresh poured. Nice luscious mouthfeel. Has the cola notes but with a deep dimension. Dark fruit flavors, some caramel. As it warms, the jangly alcohol notes get a bit astringent. This one was definitely benefits being drunk slightly colder. I think it a mistake to wait for room temperature. This one is ready to go now.

 410 characters

Photo of W_Des
4.42/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a garner red. The nose has bourbon, oak and dark brown sugar. This has good flavor to it with a malt forward sweetness. I get some vanilla in the finish as it warms as well as molasses. There is a nice booze-y warmth in the finish. It is not overpowering at all. A very good barleywine.

 292 characters

Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.55/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle received in a trade a while back from spinaltapped- thanks man!

This one pours a hazy, slightly murky brown, with a very small head, and no lacing.

Smells wonderful, with a classic BA barleywine feel- vanilla, brown sugar, bourbon, and caramel. Really expressive and quite nice.

This has a ton of barrel-derived vanilla, which is really nice. This mixes in well with the delicious bourbon, caramel, brown sugar, and molasses. The label describes dark stone fruits, but I don't really get those. There is no alcohol feel to this one at all, which is nice, considering the hefty ABV.

This is medium bodied, almost thick, but not syrupy, with a lower level of carbonation, and a very high level of drinkability.

This is definitely one of the better BA barleywines on the market, super delicious, and really well crafted.

 829 characters

Photo of neurobot01
4.3/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a bottle dated 1/17/14 (stored almost entirely at fridge temp over the last 17 months) into a snifter at fridge temp and allowed to warm.

Look: slightly ruby-tinged burnt sugar brown with little head, but good retention/lacing.

Smell: spicy (almost like black pepper), alcohol, dark fruit, bread pudding, overripe banana, candi sugar. Reminiscent of Stickee Monkee (even more than §ucaba, by my memory).

Taste: chocolate covered oranges, toasted oak, banana, key lime pie, with plenty of sinus-clearing alcohol overtones. There is some of the more standard toffee/brown sugar/coconut that I associate with BA barleywines, but more muted.

Feel: THICK. Pretty oily mouthfeel. Tiny hint of dryness. But good god, thick.

Overall: the smell on this beer is the best part. The taste—particularly those citrus elements—is a bit strange, and while I actually like it, I don't think it's quite as good as, say §ucaba, nor is it especially more complex. Still, very tasty.

 978 characters

Photo of Stevedore
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Whole Foods in Lincoln Park. Served in a snifter.

Medium brown body, on the lighter side, looks like caramel syrup. Minimal head, not much retention or lacing. Smells like toffee, biscuits, caramel, moderate bourbon aroma, a bit of milk chocolate and coconut. Whoa. Flavour is very similar, sweet toffee, caramel, chocolate, molasses, bourbon that isn't too hot, but provides a nice vanilla and oak component to the beer. Mouthfeel is full bodied, not syrupy or as thick as ADWTD but it's remarkably drinkable for such a large beer. Mild heat, but not overwhelming. Overall, excellent English barleywine that stands up to the best out there. It's missing a little bit of complexity, but overall it is a fairly underrated barleywine.

 743 characters

Photo of larryarms847
4.46/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours deep rust orange with a slightly golden hue and a thick finger of creamy foam that dissipates quickly, but leaves sticky lacing all the way down.

Vanilla, dried plum, raisins, caramel, toffee, bourbon, and oak.

Toasted malt, caramel, and toffee dominate the light fruity notes, and the bourbon gives a smooth vanilla and woody flavor to balance things out.

Heavy-bodied, light carbonation, smooth, creamy, and chewy.

Overall, this is a beer to get your hands on if possible.

 485 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
4.64/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Wow.....this is a very nice barley wine. The beer poured a dark nearly opaque color with thin head that did not lace. The scent had barrel aged goodness and hints of caramel. The taste was similar to the smell....bourbon....caramel...very nice. The mouthfeel was full bodied with very little carbonation. Overall...WOW!

 324 characters

Photo of Way2drunk
4.49/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I don't consider myself a fan of the barley wine but this is the 1st in the revolution deep woods collection I thought was good! Not nearly as delicious as bourbon county barley wine. This is one worth the deep woods price point. Smells sweeter than it taste. Has a beautiful Amber hue color. Must acquire another 4 the collection

 331 characters

Photo of timc100
4.72/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

This most recent 2015 batch is truly outstanding, much better than previous vintages which were dominated by faded old hops and harsh whiskey. This is more in an English style.

Smells like toasted campfire marshmallows. As Sucaba is coconut forwards, this is marshmallow inclined. A lot of aged oak, dark caramel, cocoa, and very subtle fruits. Full palate and strong, decadent flavor.

All of those caramelized bourbon oak flavors come out strong on this beer, and everything locks in. This is an outstanding barleywine, Chicago's best kept secret.

 557 characters

Photo of dutesanch
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Smell doesn't do the taste justice. Malty, syrupy, oily, with a lot of oak and overly ripe raisins. Boozyness hits hard and quick. Comes in bomber size, I reccomend sharing. Very much a special occasion beer.

 208 characters

Photo of superspak
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade with TheFugitive. 22 ounce bottle into snifter bottled on 1/17/2014. Pours hazy dark ruby red color with a 1 finger dense light khaki head with good retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Light spotty lacing clings on the glass with some light streaming carbonation. Aromas of raisin, plum, fig, date, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, oak, and toast/oaky earthiness. Very nice aromas with good balance and complexity of dark malt, bourbon barrel, and dark fruit notes; with good strength. Taste of big raisin, plum, fig, date, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, oak, and toast/oaky earthiness. Slight tannic oak bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of raisin, plum, fig, date, caramel, toffee, toast, brown sugar, vanilla, coconut, bourbon, and oak on the finish for a while. Incredible complexity and robustness of dark malt, bourbon barrel, and dark fruit flavors; with a great malt/barrel balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Light carbonation and fairly full bodied; with a very creamy, fairly slick, and slightly tannic mouthfeel that is great. Alcohol is very well hidden with only a light warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome barrel aged English barelywine style. All around great complexity, robustness, and balance of dark malt, bourbon barrel, and dark fruit flavors; and very smooth to sip on for the huge ABV. A highly enjoyable offering.

 1,486 characters

Photo of KYGunner
4.35/5  rDev +2.4%

Yet to have a bad Revolution but this may rank as my favorite as they hit all the right elements of a Barleywine. The nose is of brownie batter, toffee, molasses and a strong caramel malt.

The flavor starts smooth and sweet with caramel and toffee. The middle tends more to maple syrup, molasses and brown sugar. It ends with a literal barley wine ie, barley malt and fermented grape flavor. All the while it serves smooth and thick and masks the 13% very nicely.

 464 characters

Photo of beerdrifter
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up from a great trade with Evan! Beautiful mahogany-red pour with a one finger beige head that quickly fades with decent lacing. The nose is bold and oaky with huge vanilla and sweet caramel malt along with hints of bourbon, dark fruit, toffee, brown sugar, and subtle white pepper. The taste is even bolder with huge oaky barrel notes along with hints of vanilla, bourbon, dark fruits, molasses, coconut, brown sugar, caramel, subtle cocoa, white pepper, and raisins. The mouthfeel is thick and syrupy with light carbonation, incredible balance, and a nice smooth, warming finish. Overall, this a bold, flavorful, and hugely drinkable Barley Wine that is right up there with all my favorites in the style. Highly recommended!

 744 characters

Photo of BMMillsy
4.51/5  rDev +6.1%

Bottle (this is Straight Jacket) from trade. Pours dark amber with lots of reddish color and a beautiful creamy two finger off white or khaki head. Aroma is lots of fruits, figs, toffee, caramel, vanilla, oak, bourbon. Flavor is sweet rich caramel covered figs with brown sugar, vanilla, tinged of dry oak. The bourbon is here but oh so smooth with very little evidence of the 13% ABV. Silky smooth and thick, rich body with low plus carbonation. Man, this is really good. And apparently my trade partner grabbed it off the shelf? More please!

 543 characters

Photo of Bosoxfan20
4.32/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A- Near amber with bright accents. Delicate white head that doesn't hang around much other than a ring around the edge. 4

S- Huge barrel aging notes here. Bourbon, loads of vanilla, coconut, and dark fruits. Very intense from the get go 4.5

T/M- Follows nose well. Layers of complexity. Molasses, again with the big vanilla, sweet fruity finish. Some booze that only adds to the depth. Finishes quite smooth none the less. Creamy to a degree. Light carbonation with little to no heat. 4.5

O- A fine example of how the bourbon barrel aging process should go down. The nose is near flawless, the flavor is as complex as my last cardiopulmonolgy exam, and the body is just so damn smooth. My first from Revolution and most certainly not my last. 4.45

 764 characters

Photo of 1000lbgrizzly
4.06/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Orange-brown body, a little hazy, light tan head that dissipates and leaves no lacing. Tidy box-and-bottle set.

S: Tons of wood and malt. Some whiskey spice coming through as well.

T: Again, lots of wood, mostly smooth with some malt sweetness but also slightly harsh, I'm sure the high ABV contributes. Hints of vanilla and leather. Very malty as well, it approaches the level that gives me a headache. Not very bitter, but the somewhat harsh wood notes are balanced by a mild sweetness. Long finish.

M: For the intense aromas and ABV, this is medium bodied and drinkable. No filminess and moderate carbonation.

O: Maybe a little heavy on the wood aspect, but with such a heavy-malt brew it works well. For a barleywine, this is nicely complex and appropriately alcohol-ed.

 781 characters

Photo of bowzer4birdie
4.62/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Revolution's beers do not disappoint me and I believe this is one of their best offerings. To me it has all of the characteristics needed in an English BW and isn't that far behind the very best of them such as Sucaba and BCBBW. it is a notch or two below just because of depth (lack therof) of flavor/ taste. It's more expensive than Sucaba per bottle, also, which is somewhat frustrating.

 390 characters

Photo of TheSixthRing
3.89/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Pours a hazy auburn brown with a khaki-colored half finger head. Fair retention gives way to wisps of suds across the surface, and a thick ring around the glass. Leaves very little in the way of lacing.

Smell - Aroma hits you with a strong boozy bourbon punch, backed by lesser notes of sweet malty character and a moderate oak wood undertone.

Taste - Molasses and caramel notes combine to give this a touch of cola-like sweetness, along with that bourbon barrel influence which brings with it a fair touch of oakiness and light hints of vanilla. Ghostly traces of coconut. The end result gives this a flavor somewhat reminiscent of a Jack and Coke.

Mouthfeel - Full-bodied with very little carbonation. Thick and syrupy, with a drying finish. Fair heat on the finish that leaves a warmth in the gut.

Overall - Good, but not really my style. A bit too sweet and hot for my tastes. Can't shake the thought that this tastes like a 'hard cola'. Only other BA Barleywine I've had was the FW Sucaba... hard to say that I'd prefer one to the other, and truth is I'd probably rather have a well crafted BW to a BABW any day of the week.

 1,147 characters

Photo of blankenhoney
4.47/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle. Crushed in a one-man operation, with help from my trusty snifter.

Straight Jacket pours a dark amber brown, with today's sunshine bringing out some intense red notes. Head is light and soapy and stays in place around the ring of the glass. Aromas are intense and excellent: burnt caramel, oaked dark fruit, and lots of booze. Going in for a sniff never gets old. Taste is sticky sweet vanilla butterscotch and oaked dates. Some nice char and light hops that work against the (very pleasant) sweetness. Mouthfeel was just right: on the lighter/thinner side, but substantial enough to coat the palate. Overall, I could pound this one all night. So rich and tasty. From the taste I would've thought this was an English barley wine, but can see it as a milder Central Waters BA barley wine (in terms of that tart happiness I like in the American style). Ideal drinking environment is dead of winter, next to a fireplace. But a sunny porch on a 65 degree late afternoon will do.

 987 characters

Photo of woosterbill
4.36/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber at the campfire after Ebenezer's Night of the Great Thirst. Reviewed from notes; just now getting around to entering it.

A: Cloudy chestnut body, thin tan head. Average.

S: Big bourbon, vanilla, toffee, and oak. Great.

T: Vanilla, butterscotch, toffee, bourbon, spice, and booze. Really hot aftertaste is the only flaw. Delicious.

M: Creamy, velvety full body. Awesome.

O: Terrific BA Barleywine. A highlight.


 430 characters

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.24/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

The beer pours a slightly murky chestnut brown with no sediment and a thin head of fine carbonation that falls off quickly with light lacing. The nose is a mix of molasses, raisin, bourbony oak that finishes with a hint of ethanol and vanilla as it warms. Similarly, the taste is sticky bourbon barrel goodness - bready malts, well integrated bourbon notes, minimal bitterness/hop character, and lingering caramel. The mouthfeel is impressively drinkable with a medium-full, slightly flat body, rich bourbon flavors, lingering caramel sweetness, minimal bitterness, and a smooth, non-burning boozy finish. This is definitely an impressive BA barleywine, made that much better by its shelf status and availability.

 713 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Straight Jacket from Revolution Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 66 ratings.