Straight Jacket - Revolution Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Straight JacketStraight Jacket

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

63 Reviews
THE BROS
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(Send Samples)
Reviews: 63
Hads: 512
rAvg: 4.25
pDev: 2.59%
Wants: 166
Gots: 184 | FT: 25
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
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Reviews: 63 | Hads: 512
Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.2/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Tieman for sharing this one at jmgrub's tasting.

Bottled 12/6/12.

Pours a hazy orange-brown with a foamy tan head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Tiny dots of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, brown sugar, caramel, toffee, wood, and bourbon aromas. Taste is much the same with brown sugar, toffee, and bourbon flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of woody and hop bitterness and an alcohol kick on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp and medium bodied mouthfeel. Overall, this is a very good beer with great bourbon aromas and tasty flavors. (665 characters)

Photo of Knapp85
4.39/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

This poured as a very nice clear brown color, there is a thin white hea on top also. The retention is thin, just a ring around the edge of the glass. Not much lacing. The smell is sweet and very malty, some bourbon and hops in there as well. The taste is sweet with loaded of malt, caramel, maple and oak. The mouthfeel is syrupy, gently carbonated a slick. Overall it's a very nice barley wine, the barrel aging isn't over the top but still very good. (452 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.09/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

2012 bottled batch:
Dark saturated amber orange, wispy head that fades quickly.
Creme brûlée, toasted coconut, rich caramel toffee, good dose of Woodford or similar sweeter bourbon. Very smooth, moderately sweet and confectionary, big toffee and toasted marshmallow. Pretty tasty and seemingly and improvement from the first batch.

9-8-11 - 3.8
Opted for the smaller $5 draft pour, a brimming taster glass.

Pours a murky reddish brown, with a thin layer of creamy foam that faded slowly into a wispy web pattern on the surface. Sticky lace all around the edges. Opaque body.

Sweet caramel, cajeta, toffee, vanilla. Extremely sweet, "dessert in a glass" impression from the nose alone. More barrel character here would add some balance, but it's nice as is.

Feel is sticky, flavors of sweet caramel, vanilla, and toffee flavors dominate. Sweet lingering finish, vanilla from the wood, but not especially boozy. The alcohol does seem to dry out the palate after the sweetness passes. The distinctive dried cherry notes of the base beer have been obliterated by the barrel it seems. Overall this is good, and potent in small doses. Wouldn't want more than one, and then only for dessert. (1,191 characters)

Photo of TMoney2591
3.97/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at The Firkin.

Another situation where I haven't tried the base beer, but am nonetheless undeterred from ticking the barreled version. Oh yeah. This stuff pours a murky garnet topped by a half-finger of wan khaki foam. The nose comprises toasted toffee, whiskey, light toasted oak, light cocoa, and candied orange peel. The taste brings in more of the same, along with some light ruby red grapefruit rind and a slightly boozy kick. The body is a hefty medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a drying finish. Overall, a pretty enjoyable barrel-aged barleywine. It may not be especially crazy or anything, but I'd definitely have another, no hesitation. (679 characters)

Photo of oline73
4.21/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from the bottle into a tasting snifter. This was opened at a BA Barleywine tasting.

Pours with a decent amount of head and an amber color. This one has a good balance between sweeter flavors and hop bitterness. The smell is very strong and full of malt and bourbon heat. I'm getting some caramel and vanilla notes. The hops lighten up the sweetness a bit. This is pretty easy to drink. (394 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.7/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Got my Mug Club 5oz taster of this one - missed the base beer so didn't really know what to expect. A blend using both Jack Daniels and Heaven Hill Rye barrels.

A - A finger of tan foam settles to a partial cap and thicker collar, leaving behind some spotty lace. Murky caramel brown body.

S - Very sweet - lots of unfermented sugars in here. Toffee, caramel, lightly toasted malts. It's initially very Jack Daniels-forward, but the Heaven Hill character builds as it warms up. Some alcohol present, but nothing unexpected for 13%.

T - This is an odd case where I think the base beer has overwhelmed the barrel flavors - there's minimal oak and only a light whiskey bite in the finish. Just tons of caramel, toffee, treacle, and brown sugar. Sort of boring actually, as it's mono-dimensional sweetness and gets cloying after a while.

M - Medium-full body, chewy and sticky, light tannic finish, and lower carbonation. Some moderate alcohol warmth, but not too much.

D - A decent barrel-aged barleywine, but one of Revolutions weaker offerings. I didn't feel the need to order a whole glass of this one. I think I preferred Haymarket's stab at this style to be honest, although it suffered from excessive booze. Wooden Hell, BA Behemoth, and BA Hi-Fi Rye are safe on the podium for the moment. (1,297 characters)

Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From 01/21/13 notes. Had this on tap at the brewpub; was excited to see it on tap.

a - Pours a deep mahogany brown color with one inch of off white head and moderate carbonation evident. Looks as expected.

s - Smells of vanilla, coconut, toffee, caramel malts, whiskey, bready malts, oak, toasted malts, some light sugar. I thought the nose is awesome. Sweet and full of vanill and whiskey; maybe a tiny bit hot but I like that in BA beers, especially in the nose.

t - Tastes of vanilla, whiskey, caramel malts, toffee, sugar, toasted malts, dark fruits, bready malts, coconut, molasses, and some alcohol. Again, very nice, but a little more alcohol here, so downgrading it a tiny bit from the nose. I still like it a lot though.

m - Full, thick body and low carbonation. Some alcohol heat so docking it a tiny bit but also quite tihck and smooth.

o - Overall I thought this was a great BA barleywine; it reminded me of a slightly better, less boozey Bolt Cutter. Loads of vanilla and caramel mixing with whiskey, I liked it a lot. If you like whiskey/beers that are a little bit hot or you like Bolt Cutter I would definitely try to get this one; would love to have it again. (1,181 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 Alieniloquium
4.14/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

650 mL bottle poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Amber body. Small off white head. Medium collar.

Smell - Bourbon, vanilla, caramel. Simple and great aroma.

Taste - Sharp oak very prevalent throughout. Bourbon. Vanilla and a little bit of fruitiness. Caramel.

Mouthfeel - Thick and syrupy. Sweet. Slightly sharp flavor.

Overall - Very tasty. Great barrel. Everything works well here. (399 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.37/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured a clear burgundyish color with a good whispy dirty white cap, a good amount of bubbles and lacing persists after a sip or two. Good lookin' brew with good head retention.

S: Big toffee and caramel nose, really sweet with a stinging booze note on the nostrils. Very aromatic and I was hoping the taste would follow the nose. Some vanilla and dark fruits also grace the nose.

T: Initial toffee, brown sugar, dark fruits and caramel goodness, pretty sweet with some initial bourbon barrel sting. A nice punch of vanilla, coconut and wood soaked bourbon appears but not overpowering. The finish is sweet, somewhat sticky yet dry but warming.

M: Medium bodied, booze stings and hangs onto the palate as does that tasty sugary blend of caramel, toffee, vanilla...

O: Very good. I was pretty impressed. The heat is up there but it was not overly hot. I could drink this all day long! (892 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 TheSevenDuffs
4.31/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Robbie for this bottle!
Bottled on Dec 6, 2012. Poured in to snifter.

A - Poured medium copper and settled a very dark amber colour that is almost opaque with a ruby glow along the bottom. Half a finger of cream coloured head formed and reduced to a few scattered bubbles along the top of the beer.

S - Sweet bourbon, oak and vanilla from the barrel treatment stand out with caramel, toffee and raisin notes from the base beer and a hint of coconut in the background.

T - The barrel dominates up front with bourbon and toasted oak flavours and a touch of sweet vanilla. The base beer is well integrated with the barrel and adds sweet toffee, dark caramel and raisin flavours.

M - Medium to full body but a touch thin at times. Light carbonation. (762 characters)

Photo of AgentZero
3.31/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - A very nice looking deep, brown beer that turns yellow on the edges. Great khaki head that had moderate retention and faded to a misty ring. Sides left clean.

S - Lots of dark fruits, figs, raisins, dates. Very sweet smelling. The barrel influence is kind of minimal and dominated by the very strong sweet smell. A little touch of vanilla and some caramel.

T - This really tastes a lot like a quad-barleywine mix. Tons of dark fruit, some caramel and molasses. Alcohol is well hidden but the whiskey is minimal as is the barrel influence overall. Leaves a bit of a lighter fruity taste in the back of the mouth. Very cloying and powerfully sweet.

M - Full bodied and smooth, slightly souring on the finish.

O - One of the more fatiguing beers I've had in a while. So sweet I was ready to call it quits after an ounce, literally. Not that it tastes bad, just way too powerfully sweet and rich. I forced my way through 5 ounces but was rough. Not getting this again at the price. (989 characters)

Photo of sweemzander
4.41/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz. bottle poured into a snifter. Thanks for sharing Chris!

(A)- Pours a hazy tawny amber color. Some tan froth and lacing left behind.

(S)- Nice dry oak characters with sweet bourbon and toasted caramel. Maybe even some toffee and honey sweetness as it warms.

(T)- Again, really nice notes of honey, caramel, toffee, and oaky bourbon notes. Not super boozy but obvious and really nice barrel notes overall that blend well with the sweetness of the beer.

(M)- A smooth and mellow carbonation level. A nice balance to it as well with great bourbon notes with an underlying sweetness that in no way overpowering but incredibly balanced for the style.

(O)- This is a great barrel aged barleywine. It actually might lean more towards the english style than american for me, but with having this and very mad cow by revolution, I am becoming a believer in their deep wood series. Very well balanced and also incredibly drinkable for the style. (945 characters)

Photo of maximum12
3.32/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to chicken13reast, who saw my plea for this brew & answered the bell...been having a weird lust to try some Revolution barrel-stuff, so here we are. 22 oz. bottle split with the wife, if she comes home from her now three-hour 'dinner'. If not, I'll filter it all, baby.

The pour is the dark orange of weathered split wood, actually, it's reminding me of the winterkill I saw floating in a local pond today, but that's a less appealing image. Comes out flat, even with a big pour. Nose brings big vanilla, bourbon, & a buttload of caramel. Slight spicing & ends with rapacious, boozy blast. Certainly not boring.

Straight Jacket is designed to scramble some brain cells; what the hell is the ABV on this creature? Haymaker of alcohol numbs the palate better than an ice pack. The lack of bubbles is troubling & distracting, the beer is plumb-level flat. Getting to the taste, finally, it's a ton of caramel, woozy alcohol bite, butterscotch; the vanilla/bourbon is felt in both the heat & the finish.

Man, I wish carbonation had made even a cameo here. The heaviness & flatness really dulls the flavors & washes out what I suspect is an awesome beer. As is? Merely decent. (1,184 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 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.

Cheers! (430 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 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 Florida9
4.02/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Not the prettiest beer. Color is a red-hued opaque cloudy brown. Served with a thin layer of creamy light tan head. Leaves some light lacing.

S: Smell is of caramel, brown sugar, toffee, and vanilla. Smells sweet, almost sugary.

T: Much like the smell. More caramel and brown sugar. Vanilla complements the sweetness. There is some oak, but it is fairly light when compared to the strong vanilla quality. I tend to not like beers that are this sweet, but this beer is quite balanced and it just works together.

M: Mouthfeel is full bodied. Very luscious with soft carbonation. Alcohol is present, but you'd never guess it's 13%.

O: A very nice BABW. The flavors blend play well together and I'm glad the barrel aging wasn't overdone. Fairly sweet with lots of vanilla. If there ever was a dessert beer, this would be it. (830 characters)

Photo of Sean9689
3.5/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On-tap at Rev Kedzie Grand Opening Party.

A - Pours darker reddish color, off-white head, thin collar.

S - Bourbon, dark fruits, oak, barrel notes, light vanilla, and caramel. I think I get more JD over the HH Rye, but either way, it works decently well.

T - I'm getting a lot more JD here, pretty harsh. Other notes of dark fruit, oak, caramel, light char. Alcohol is noticeable, but at 13%, it's hard not to expect that. Finish is boozy and burnt sugary sweetness, slightly harsh on the end.

M - Medium to full body (could use a bit more here), good carbonation, creamy oak finish.

O - An improvement over the base beer, but I'm not a big fan of that to begin with. Pretty forgettable when it comes to BA Barleywine, but overall not too bad. (748 characters)

Photo of homebrew311
4.25/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appears a clear burnt orange with layer of tan head, nice retention. Nose starts with big bourbon wave, vanilla, molasses and oak come through. Taste is smooth with an assertive sweet malt profile. Smooth vanilla, toffee, caramel, and marshmallow. A bit of leather and earth finish things off. Smooth mouthfeel, medium carbonation. Overall, the barrel really smooths things out and makes this quite a bit more exciting. (419 characters)

Photo of Jeffo
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Masterski. Cheers!

From a bomber into a snifter
6 December 2012

APPEARANCE: Pours a one finger, medium looking, off-white head with lousy retention. Perfectly clear chestnut red with lower levels of carbonation evident. Head fades to a faint wisp and ring. A swirly wisp remains until the end but leaves no lacing down the glass.

SMELL: Bourbon, oak, coconut, caramel and toffee aromas on the nose. Spicy booze in there as well, with some dried fruit. Bold and enticing.

TASTE: Quite boozy up front, with bourbon, oak, sweet dried fruit and some spicy flavors initially. Sweet caramel and coconut from the bourbon barrel at the swallow. Big and lingering finish of oak, coconut, caramel and toffee sweetness, dark fruits and spicy alcohol. Very flavorful and the alcohol adds plenty of spicy flavors as opposed to just booze.

PALATE: Medium-full body with medium levels of carbonation. Weighty enough, creamy as well, goes down okay and finishes sticky on the palate. A scratch at the swallow and some heat lingers.

OVERALL: A solid brew for sure. This was definitely my favorite of the four Revolution brews I sampled recently, as it was very flavorful, well balanced and had a full, creamy feel to support everything that was going on. Something I would gladly drink again. Cheers again for the stuff Masterski. Recommended. (1,349 characters)

Photo of GbVDave
4.17/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter at Revolution 9/17/11. Thanks to HeatherAnn for the assist!

A: Served a murky dark caramel brown color with an exceedingly creamy layer of khaki colored foam on top. Lacing was pretty and plentiful, leaving intricate patterns down the inside of the glass.

S: No mistaking that this spent a while in Bourbon barrels. Strong, but not overwhelming, aromas of bourbon coupled with molassas, dark fruit, vanilla, and coconut.

T: As above with toasted nuts, chocolate, brown sugar, and more bourbon.

M: Very slick and full, but not at all syrupy. Sweet. Heath noticed a bit of alcohol burn, but I had a hard time detecting much heat.

O: This was a rare 13%er that didn't wear out our tongues. Dangerously easy to drink. Excellent effort in their BA program. (778 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)

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Straight Jacket from Revolution Brewing Company
93 out of 100 based on 63 ratings.