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Straight Jacket | Revolution Brewing Company

79 Reviews
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Straight JacketStraight Jacket

Brewed by:
Revolution Brewing Company
Illinois, United States | website

Style: English Barleywine

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 13.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
(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

Added by MasterSki on 09-08-2011

User Reviews
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Reviews: 79 | Ratings: 606
Photo of NewGlarusFan
4.89/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured into an Ale Syndicate Pint Glass

A) Amber Reddish brown, thin one finger head, lacing, not cloudy but rather clear. Minor Carbonation

S) Wonderful! Bourbon, oak, burnt sugar, vanilla, grape skin, malt, alcohol

T) Same as aroma, Maris Otter for sure Bourbon up front, oak finish, sugar, vanilla, grape skin, fig and bread, not too boozy

M) Thick but not very carbonated

O) One of the best Bourbon Barrel beers I have ever had, perfect amounts of sweetness and flavor all around a great beer. Lots of flavor and worth the price.

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Photo of Vonerichs
4.1/5  rDev -4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looked a little thin at first. The carbonation was very active and fizzy, which is not typical for barleywine. Otherwise, nice chestnut color and clarity.

Really nice bourbon aromas. Vanilla, wood, carmalized sugar.

It manages to extract the bourbon flavors without being overly-boozy. The wood really pops along with vanilla, toasted coconut, and brown sugar. It's sweet, but not cloying.

It's very smooth for 13%. It's heavy and has a light heat, but as expected.

A very good barrel aged barleywine. This bottle had almost one year on it which may have mellowed it. The flavors are great and captures the essence of barrel aging.

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Photo of mhksuccess
4.3/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

poured from bottle into bruery snifter
reddish brown color reall small head
smell is vanilla and toffee (probably is molases but smell like that to me)
taste is similar to the smell not sure what the sweetness is from but taste awesome to me
smooth and sweet lot of vanilla on back ened
little lacing on the glass
very enjoyable and easy to drink at 13% abv
would definite get again great beer

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Photo of Phelps
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap in a snifter at the brewpub in chitown.

Brown and opaque, like a dark, sour cherry. Half finger of filmy light tan head.

Bourbon, vanilla, maple, mint, toffee, chocolate.

Sweet. Tons of toffee, dark cherry, acidic wood, sugary at the finish. Vanilla ice cream and cherry sauce with toffee candies. Oak and whiskey at the finish.

Fairly tongue numbing, big alcohol. High pinching carbonation, viscous medium-full body. Warming.

Good to combat the winter cold.

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Photo of Knapp85
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
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.

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Photo of yamar68
3.74/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

Thanks scalzo!

Nice ruby brown body with a thin but well-retaining off white head that produces great lace, plenty of alcohol legging.

They definitely weren't kidding around when it came to the bourbon barrels. Vanilla, caramel, huge bourbon sweetness, milk chocolate, toffee, brown sugar, warming booze... it's a big'n.

Woah... even bigger on the palate. The big malt/bourbon sweetness hits first, then the heat surfaces, then a dry and sticky finish. The booze-soaked oak is pretty much a theme through and through. Honestly, this one tastes even boozier than 13%. Are they just saying that in order to appease those pussies in Ohio?

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Photo of weonfire
4.46/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A - Reddish mahogany, pinky thickness white tiny bubbled head, dissipates quickly

S - Sweet bourbon, purple grapes, toffee, aged fruits: cherry?

T - initial: sweet, real sweet, bourbon, toffee, chocolate, grapes, cherry. finish: aged fruit, real minor booze

M - just a toucher thinner than some of the exceptional barley wines, frothy, medium body, moderate linger-er

O - Lovely. Bourbon is extraordinary, frothy level was great, aged fruits were outstanding- real complex. only knock maybe be a bit sweet for some palates and I wish it was just a touch thicker, but thats just me.

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Photo of inlimbo77
4.09/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle
The Bruery tulip

A: Murky amber color. No head at all. Just laces of white whisp. Maybe see some tiny bubbles. Definitely some alcohol feet. Could have used a touch more carbonation.

S: Wow, holy bourbon. Smells of wet barrel for sure. Smells as soon as I cracked bottle. Oak is certainly there. Vanilla. Caramel. Sticky toffee pudding. Sweet malty goodness.

T: Taste follows the nose. Definitely getting sweet toffee and vanilla and caramel with this one. Touch of bitterness on the tip of the tongue, but then it's malt city. The sweetness continues during the sip, until you get some alcohol heat on the back end. I wish the barrel was a little more incorporated in the base, but it's pretty darn solid at any rate.

M: It's not super think, but is a full bodied boozy beer.

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Photo of sweemzander
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
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.

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Photo of TheSevenDuffs
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of DovaliHops
4.23/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12/06/12 bottle date. Thanks to an awesome BA for sending me this one. Pours a hazy, amber-red color with a small white head that disappears quickly. Scent is not much to write home about...gonna let it warm up a bit... Okay, I've let it warm up long enough. There is some faint whiskey aroma coming through with nice vanilla notes. Some nice dark fruit aromas. Taste is much more forward than the nose. Initially, great booziness. I'm not gonna lie, I love my BA beers to have some booziness, and this one has it. Nice warmth. Boozy whiskey up front with some vanilla and dark fruit flavors. I'm not positive what kinda barrels this beer was aged in, but you can tell they weren't "top of the line"... which is okay by me. I'm always good for a nice beer aged in Jack barrels or something. There are some definite rye flavors coming in as I taste it more. Was this beer aged in rye whiskey barrels? I should have done my research. Mouthfeel is perfect for the style. Drinkability is fairly high...somewhat scary. Overall, this beer is very unique. I'm getting a lot of rye flavors and this is a barleywine. I'm only used to rye BA stouts and whatnot. Very tasty beer!

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Photo of barleywinefiend
4.37/5  rDev +2.3%
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!

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Photo of oline73
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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Photo of mfavoino
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Shared a bottle with Treebs. Thanks for this one that wasn't on my radar! Bottle from 6 Dec 12.

A: Pours a copper/ruby color with a solid head that recedes quickly.

S: Bourbon barrel, caramel malts, subtle dark fruits, and some booze.

T: Sweet malts initially with smooth bourbon that doesn't take away from the base. Caramel and toffee malts give big malt flavor. Booze heat as it finishes, but not out of scope for a beer with a big abv.

M: Medium to full-bodied with medium carbonation and alcohol heat on the finish.

O: I personally would put call this more of an English Barleywine. Either way, this was a well-balanced, slightly sweet barleywine that I was glad to try.

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Photo of mdfb79
4.27/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of ClementiPizzeria
4.28/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

This was the first barrel-Aged Beer I've had on draft from revolution. This also was the first Barley-wine Beer I've tasted so pardon the amateurish review.

Upon first sight the beer served in a 11oz snifter appeared to hold a light-brownish hue on the head while separating in the body to a more rustic golden Carmel color that concentrated at the bottom of the glass, truly beautiful to be-hold.

Aroma, was typical of a barrel aged beer. Hearty malty smells were plentiful with minimal quaffing.

The affect of barrel aging immediately hits your palate. Sweet malty tasting with less hops up-front than I expected.

The texture of the beer was smooth and oily and not a dense as I was expecting.

I am satisfied with this rarity and my customers have all been delighted in their acceptance of this totally unique brew.

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Photo of Etan
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle from the first bottled release, 2012, into a snifter.

A: Pours a reddish mahogany color with a small off-white head.

S: Thick and sugary marshmallow, raisin, melted caramel, and vanilla dominate the nose. Very tannic, but not dry. No alcohol detectable.

T: Dried fruits, dark cooked caramel and vanilla, lots of dry oak and bourbon, palpable bitterness and warmth from the alcohol. Nutty and cherry notes come out as it warms. Almost as sweet as the nose, but with some balancing bitterness.

M: Thick-bodied with very, very low carbonation. A little more carbonation could move this from somewhat syrupy to creamy.

O: A great tasting barleywine, heavy on the barrel. More carbonation would help the mouthfeel, but besides that this is very good.

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Photo of kawilliams81
3.94/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Pipeworks snifter.

A- pours a dark copper with a 1 finger tan head. Some blotches of lacing remain on the glass.

S- sweet dark fruits, caramel, brown sugar, vanilla.

T- caramel, toffee, dark fruits, whiskey, slight citrus, and some bitterness at the finish.

M- full body and medium carbonation. Smooth yet syrupy with some alcohol,present.

O- good BA Barleywine. Not a top 10 Barleywine but falls in line shortly after.

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Photo of Treebs
4.22/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bottle served in a Hofbrau tulip. Bottled Decemeber 6, 2012.

A: Pours a pretty clear ruby color with a tan head forming on the pour. It recedes to a thin cap that leaves some splotchy lace behind.

S: Toffee and caramel with some smooth bourbon. Dark fruits, more so raisins as it's a little sweet. A little chocolate with some very light piney hops.

T: Pretty sweet up front, but once you get past it there are bready malts with some caramel. Brown sugar, smooth bourbon and a little dark fruit. A light touch of vanilla with some minimal oak. Slight heat on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with a smooth, medium-low carbonation level. Very slight heat on the finish.

O: Delicious. Incredibly smooth with a well integrated barrel. There is a slight touch of heat, but nothing out of line considering the 13% ABV. Slightly sweet upfront, but overall it is very pretty balanced.

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Photo of vic21234
4.47/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber poured into a snifter. Warmed at room temperature from the fridge for about 15 minutes. Bottled on date is 12/6/12.

A- Pours a dark copper/ ruby color, mostly clear with a small amount of haze. A minimal amount of head quickly fades. Nice alcohol legs along the sides of the glass.

S- Initial smell is of dark fruits and an overall sweetness. Molasses and bourbon round out the taste.

T- At first taste comes sweet malts and bourbon. I get hints of vanilla and dark fruits also. Lots going on in the taste as with most barleywines. As it warms the flavors become even more notable.

M- Medium to heavy, low carbonation, a nice sipping beer. The bourbon flavors are big in this one, but it doesn't drink as hot as some BA American Barleywines I've had in recent memory.

This is the first I've had from Revolution as far as their BA offerings, and I am impressed. A great example of a BA American Barleywine.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.97/5  rDev -7%
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.

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Photo of homebrew311
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Sean9689
3.5/5  rDev -18%
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.

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Photo of Florida9
4.02/5  rDev -5.9%
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.

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Photo of Hopfist
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Wonderful complexity. Richness of flavors play very well together. It's dark murky (almost mud-like) appearance as it cascades in the snifter doesn't do much to make you want to dive right in, and perhaps you shouldn't. This gentle monster improves dramatically as you allow it to warm from serving tank temperature. Refreshing maltiness for a big barleywine. A pleasant departure from the common "Hop the snot out of it" approach to the style. Though I love this beer for it's flavor and complexity, it's drinkability that sets it apart from every other 13%er around. Pound for pound, the easiest drinking big beer in town. Certainly a favorite.

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Straight Jacket from Revolution Brewing Company
94 out of 100 based on 79 ratings.