Mineshaft Gap
Revolution Brewing

Mineshaft GapMineshaft Gap
Rate It
Beer Geek Stats | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
Barleywine - American
Ranked #15
ABV:
13%
Score:
94
Ranked #1,675
Avg:
4.31 | pDev: 6.5%
Reviews:
32
Ratings:
110
From:
Revolution Brewing
 
Illinois, United States
Avail:
Rotating/Seasonal
Wants
  8
Gots
  10
SCORE
94
Outstanding
Mineshaft GapMineshaft Gap
Notes: Cognac barrel-aged "Straight Jacket"
Reviews: 32 | Ratings: 110 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of brewskis
brewskis from Indiana

4.43/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a can dated 12/3/20.

Pours a deep, dark, yet clear mahogany color with a 1.5 finger head that went away pretty quick.

Aroma is full of the cognac barrel with a sweet, malty, dark fruit base supporting it. Boozy red grape, oak tannin, some vanilla, caramel for days, brown bread, tobacco, molasses.

Taste is creme brûlée, loads of caramel, Werther’s Original candy, ripe red grape, red grape skin, lots of oak tannin, brown bread, an assortment of dark fruits (fig, prune, date), molasses, brown sugar, tobacco, bigger-than-expected cognac heat on the finish.

High medium body. Nicely carbonated, but not overly done. The oak tannin and alcohol really dry out the beer, making this dangerously drinkable for 12.4% despite the heat. Slightly soft, plenty slick, and slightly sticky.

Is this better than Straight Jacket? I’m not sure about that one. I do prefer bourbon not only in general, but with the characteristics of English Barleywine. That being said, this is way better than I expected. Fantastic stuff.

Nov 13, 2021
Photo of SpeedwayJim
SpeedwayJim from New York

4.15/5  rDev -3.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to Jeff for this one. 12oz. can into a Founders snifter. Shared with schen9303.

Dark, clear, mahogany color with a whispy cream-colored head. Oily, sticky lace with great retention. Nose is dark fruit, molasses, caramel, and brown sugar. Sweet booze tickle. Some fig and sweet green grapes too. Beer opens ethanol, fig, prunes, and grape gummies. Caramel, brown sugar, and molasses in the middle. Booze, a touch of char, and toasted barrels at the end. Roast, brown sugar, molasses, and caramel in the finish. Body is medium with low carbonation. Slick on the palate and goes down warm with a long, dry, lingering aftertaste.

Nice flavor profile but the richness and body is not there for this one.

Aug 06, 2021
Photo of BBThunderbolt
BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

4.32/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Thanks to FBarber for this one, as part of a contribution to our annual Barleywine bottleshare. 12oz can (dated 12/30/20) poured into 14oz teku. Poured a very pretty dark mahogany color with 3/4 inch of tan head that had very good retention and no lacing.

A big blast of sweet malts jumped out of the can upon opening. Closer aromatic exploration reveals a solid base beer, and certain notes of cognac and wood from the barrels. Just a hint of alcohol in the background.

Very similar on the tongue; very nice malts provide a great foundation for the barrel features.

The body was full, smooth, a bit sticky, and had a sweet finish.

Drinkability was excellent, I could drink a couple in a row, as well as have it in my regular rotation.

Overall, a great beer, one I'd be very happy to have again and again. A must-try if you see it.

Update 11/5/21:

Apologies to whoever sent me this (SamKuhgee, FBarber, ovaltine?} for not tagging this can. 12oz can dated 12/3/2020. Poured into 16oz Tulip of Doom (my La Fin du Monde tulip.). I think I pretty much agree with myself above. All the words remain accurate, I'm gonna change the Overall score to a 5 though. This beer is the real deal. get you some.

May 02, 2021
Photo of Alieniloquium
Alieniloquium from Florida

4/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. can. Deep amber. Thin collar. Smells of deep oak, vanilla, Cognac, brown sugar. Tastes sweet up front. Lots of oak, Cognac, dark fruits, brown sugar. Rich, heavy, not quite as boozy as I expected. Good barleywine with a very nice depth of flavor.

Apr 26, 2021
Photo of Pinz412
Pinz412 from Pennsylvania

4.58/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter, Mineshaft Gap poured a clear but dark burgundy and produced a one centimeter head that dissolved before long into a delicate crown. As the glass depletes, the clarity comes into full view. It's easy to get lost appreciating the its hue. The aroma emanating from the glass was heavy on cognac, oak, grape, dates, and raisin. All of those are present in the taste and then some. The cognac hits first followed by a wave of dried fruits - dates, raisin, and fig. Oak and leather appear on the finish while the fruits linger. The essence of cognac stays on your breath without the burn. Nice carbonation and restrained sweetness made this a pleasure to drink. This is an excellent offering from Revolution's remarkably consistent Deep Wood Series.

Apr 12, 2021
Photo of BEERMILER12
BEERMILER12 from Maine

4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a cola brown color with 2 fingers of head that fades down to a thin cap

S: Toasted malt, dark fruit, cognac, oak, vanilla, caramel, warming booze, and some light leathery tannins

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with a mix of toasted malt, caramel, dark fruit, and vanilla. Picks up the cognac, dark fruit, oak, and tannins. Warming booze along with a bit of sweetness. Finishes with lingering cognac, dark fruit, vanilla, and caramel

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation

O: A great barrel-aged barleywine that makes for a most awesome sipper. Plenty of barrel influence to go along with the base. I’d say it toes the line between American and English, with more of a nod to the English side with the sweetness. Definitely worth checking out

Apr 11, 2021
Photo of Sabtos
Sabtos from Ohio

4.34/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

It seems foggy and is quite dark, but under light it's actually clear. From afar it displays a muddy brown, but is truly a dark ruby-amber when lit up, with a sparkling pillar in the center supporting a creamy central lily pad that settled down from a moderate khaki foam, leaving a curled collar.

Aroma is intense, right off the bat. It's almost overwhelmingly savory, immediately causing a reaction in my gut before even bringing it to my lips, reminding me of the feeling you get when you take down an umami bomb of fatty, caramelized pork belly. It's also impressively woody, splintery even. This is all happening in my mind in one swift second, after only one whiff. Digging in, there are additional notes of gooey caramels and molasses, butterscotch lozenge, and an orange glaze reduction on the nose. Now duck a l'Orange is coming to mind, but to clarify, I don't actually experience any meat-like qualities--it's an interesting association nevertheless.

Mineshaft Gap's first sip is a lesson in dichotomy, as it is much sweeter and more decadent on the palate. We're talking mature red wine grapes, toffee and dark caramel combined with a rich, charred oak presence bringing accents of Sugar Daddies and Mounds, especially on the exhale. However, as it warms, some balancing cedar comes in to play.

The round body has a medium heft that's cut by that active carbonation that's lifting yet softly effervescent, coming into a warmingly semi-sticky finish.

Apr 03, 2021
Photo of GreesyFizeek
GreesyFizeek from New York

4.33/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

This one pours a darkish brown color, with a creamy white head, and lots of lacing.

Ths smells like vanilla, breadiness, tobacco, dark fruit, prune, dark grapiness, oak, and leather.

I like this much better than the first time I had it on tap at Extreme Beer Fest a few years back, so I'm updating my rating. This has a very creamy full flavor to it, with the cognac adding some fruity sweetness - I get the impression of prunes, raisins, and grapes, kind of swirled together. There's vanilla and oak, along with port, leather, tobacco, and caramel.

This is medium bodied, and nicely creamy, with a touch of boozy warmth on the back end, as it warms up.

Revolution's BA game continues to embarass basically all other breweries.

ORIGINAL REVIEW:

On tap at Extreme Beer Fest in Boston, MA.

This one pours a dark-ish brown, with no head or lacing.

Smelling this one, I would have thought it was simply straight cognac. The barrel completely overwhelms the rest of this beer. The only other thing I get is booze.

This was a bit of failure, in my humble opinion. I like cognac enough, but the beer here is completely subsumed. I imagine the barleywine normally tastes pretty good, since Straight Jacket is well-regarded, but I can't really tell here. I guess I get the tiniest bit of caramel character, but that's even a stretch.

This is fairly thick, with a syrupy body, and a lingering boozy, slightly astringent finish. It's hard to drink, somewhat of a chore.

My first disappointing Revolution beer, back to the drawing board with this one.

3.07/5

Mar 28, 2021
Photo of mschrei
mschrei from Illinois

4.88/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

I love barleywines. I love Revolution Brewing. I love barrel aged beers. I love barrel aged barleywines. I love barrel aged Revolution Brewing beers. And if you put Revolution Brewing and barrel aged and barleywines together, well what do you expect? This one is smoother, a velvet feel accompanied with that booze burn, and just all around wonderful. There are times when I want to say screw Goose Island, these guys are the best barrel aged program in Chicago. Their beer is one of those times.

Jan 31, 2021
Photo of micada
micada from New York

4.62/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured colder than room temp, hard to a tulip glass. Slightly higher head than the Straight Jacket, but burns down quickly the same, although with a little ring left. Color is a clear translucent burnt sienna. Nose is very prominent cognac, with a bit of vanilla, and a light tobacco in the back. First sips are complex, with a sweet vanilla, then some light caramel or toffee, a hint of stone fruit, some chocolate notes. Mouthfeel is full, not syrupy, and has a very clean, dry finish. It leaves a linger of cognac with a persistent vanilla and a Chai tea kind of flavor. Alcohol is a ghost...which must be Revolution’s pattern...because you can tip this like it’s a soft drink. As it warms in temp, it gets really mellow. One big swig to get the full profile brings on all the flavors in force. Chicago is only six or seven hours from here. Rev should distribute here...they need to distribute here...

Jan 30, 2021
Photo of REVZEB
REVZEB from Illinois

4.42/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Beer #9000! We love cognac aged barleywines in our home. We also love revolution, who, as I continue to submit in the great lakes forums, has the best barrel program in Chicago. This one was another hit! Dark brown, mostly opaque body with a light brown sudsy head. Smell captures the barrel powerfully: cognac booze, rustic oak, slight vanilla that sets the stage for caramel dipped fig and barley. Taste is pretty warm with the booze, really get the wood and dark fruits powerfully, caramel almost has a rich maple tone to it, slight nuttiness and earth support. Feel is very warm, doesn't need age but will be curious to try with other cans, barrel is very forward in the feel, much more so than in straight jacket.

Jan 12, 2021
Photo of wally_world
wally_world from Illinois

4.46/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

2020. The cognac barrels give it a nice sweeter finish than straight jacket. This was an excellent sipper and one that will age well. It even drank smooth with nice sweetness at room temperature.

Dec 27, 2020
Photo of michaelsmith11
michaelsmith11 from Illinois

4.55/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very complex with waves of caramel, vanilla, and toffee and a touch of smoke. Barrel forward with an incredible finish that was sweet and had the lingering taste of a port wine. Sweet but not overly sweet. Maybe a touch thin but I'm not complaining.

Dec 15, 2020
Photo of larryi86
larryi86 from Delaware

4.56/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Thank you bstyle for this
12 oz, dated 1/4/18, poured into a tulip

A- A clear deep ruby red with a small off white head.

S- Caramel, dark fruits, cherries, cognac, oak, toffee, slightly earthy.

T- Toffee, caramel, cognac, oak, cherries, figs, touch of molasses, slightly earthy, very well balanced.

M- Smooth, medium to full body.

O- An excellent example of a barelywine, surprisingly easy to drink for being over 14%.

May 14, 2019
Photo of AyatollahGold
AyatollahGold from Indiana

4.71/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pouring from a 12 oz. can, dates 01-04-2018, into a chalice glass, this beer pours out a burnt caramel color. It forms a pinky worth of tingy yellow, butterscotch colored bubbles that dissipate rather quickly.

The nose brings a huge caramel presence; like a caramel dipped in cognac. The cognac and barrel are both present; providing a balanced warming sensation and nice oak aspect. Fruit notes of raisins, figs and dates all bounce in front of a leather like dry background. Truly amazing nose.

The taste comes in with that caramel once again. It’s got the biggest caramel presence I’ve ever known a barleywine to have, and I love it. It morphs into other layers of sweetness like molasses, brown sugar and vanilla before turning to the fruit side. It’s almost like a fruit bar made with dates and raisins, drizzled with vanilla and then dipped quickly in a glass of cognac. Wow. I love the barrel presence too; that dry, clean oak remains the whole way through while allowing everything else to shine how it needs to.

The mouthfeel is warm; how I expect a 14% barrel aged barleywine to be. It’s also full bodied for the style, not leaving you wanting more on the thickness; a little syrupy at times going through and finishes with the dry barrel presence.

Overall, this sure is a winner. I like this better than straight jacket. It really is like a fruit bar made with oats, raisins and dates with huge chunks of caramel and drizzled with vanilla before being dipped into a cognac barrel. Wow, and yum.

Apr 24, 2019
Photo of ECOBOOSTINST
ECOBOOSTINST from Iowa

4.12/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

2017 Can still a bit Hot. Had no idea it was aged in Cognac barrels until I tasted it and thought to myself, " This has a fairly similar profile to Remy Martin V.S.O.P" Great beer, just a touch on the hot side for me.

Dec 28, 2018
Photo of maximum12
maximum12 from Minnesota

4.26/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Danken viel to Mr. HIGHPA for sending me this 12 oz. can that I was coveting. Canned 1/4/18. Revolution’s artwork is some of my favorite; love the Trump-inspired Red Star.

The pour is a deep coppery red, & a half-level pour yields a brief, small head that quickly retreats to nothingness. Smells just like Straight Jacket: big booze, slightly spicy, & caramel. Never a bad way to begin, well, anything.

Mineshaft Gap is essentially a booze-tipped ballistic missile aimed right at the forebrain. The booze actually stuns me into immobility for a moment. I think I just felt my blood alcohol content spike in a few veins. The strongest cognac component I’ve had in a beer smothers the front & middle, & the actual beer has to struggle to the surface. Big boom of caramel, shovelfuls of brown sugar, sharp oak, vanilla, & gentle caress of spiciness in the finish. Thick to the point of being syrupy. I could drink this for…about 2 ½ cans. Then I’d need a shoulder to lean on getting up the stairs. I’d bring the last ½ can to bed, though.

Boozy, deep, thick, delicious, with plenty of layers to peel back. I’d love to have a better peek at the base beer, but when a brew is this good, one just puts such trivial objections into one’s back pocket. I don’t know what I’m saying, but this is a magnificent beer that borders on the elite.

May 08, 2018
Photo of 5toutman75
5toutman75 from Illinois

4.48/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

Canned 1/18/18
Consumed 4/20/18

The smell lowered my score substantially, but I think that’s because I simply don’t like the smell of cognac in my beer. That being said, I loved the flavor it added! Like any good barleywine, it’s super complex and made for sipping. I don’t know why I still find myself surprised that I love barleywine, but every time I drink one, I feel like I just discovered a new treat. It doesn’t have the feel of a syrupy stout that I love, so I don’t know if my 4.0 for feel is even fair. I bet it could use a few years aging to calm the booziness too. I’m saving the remainder of my pack for at least a year or two. Fresh versus fresh, I still pick a Sucuba over this. Perhaps a bourbon county barleywine edges this out fresh as well, but I would need to drink them back to back to be sure. Well done Rev! Prob my second favorite behind Cafe Deth in terms of their Deepwoods ‘17 lineup.

7/4/20 drinking a second can. The smell has died down. It smells like a boozy barleywine but it smells appetizing if you like the style. On the palette it’s smooth and full flavored. There’s so many flavors. It’s a wonderful sipper. A great barleywine. I raised my score from a 4.06 now that it has had some age to it

Apr 21, 2018
Photo of kemoarps
kemoarps from Washington

4.1/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Barleywines, by and large, are not always the most gorgeous of beers. But I love 'em. This here example pours a deep rust-mahogany that swings all the way over to like bing cherry when held up to the light. Tight half finger of off white head settles almost immediately leaving a tiny island in the middle and a thin thin ring around the edge.

Nose is a delicious blend of stone fruits (plum, dark cherry) and leather/tobacco... olde flavours. With an e. Definitely a good alcohol presence as well. Sure is 13%. Fig and sweet rich cognac.

Sweet lead in definitely reminds of the barreling... Sweet honey/grape cognac flavours, including the big booziness. Layered in underneath that central charge there are those olde flavours again... tobacco and leather and fig. Sweet cognac grapes and booze come back in to clean up at the end though.
Slick and clean, with tiny pinpricks of carbonation in an unfocused scatter-attack... and an overwhelming oily alcohol that clings to your mouth and leaves the cognac impression throughout.

I enjoy this one quite a bit. I love all the different components it presents, but I think it would definitely benefit from cooling its heels for a couple of years to really let some more of that emerge instead of being swept away by the overwhelming alcohol of the cognac. It's tasty. And I'm enjoying it, just treating it as if it were actually cognac. But I'd like to explore some of the other elements AS WELL, and at 3.5 months old it hasn't found its balance yet.
A lot of barleywines are at their best a couple of years in, and I suspect that this one is no different. If I lived in distro I'd happily pick a couple up and test this hypothesis, but I don't, and I was impatient as it looked good now. I don't think that was a wrong assessment, I just think it could be even better with some of the balance that age brings.
Thanks @FlintB for sending this one along as part of NBS BIF#007! Been really enjoying this onslaught of midwestern goodness.

Apr 18, 2018
Photo of yesterdayfaraway
yesterdayfaraway from Missouri

3.9/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

L: dark ruby red with no head
S: big cognac barrel, but a bit harsh and not as smooth as I hoped for. Smells medicinal.
T: better than the nose. Here is slight medicinal flavors but I get more sweet cognac and raisins thankfully.
F: thin to medium thickness, lacks stickiness and has a bit of a harsh alcohol bite.

Apr 05, 2018
Photo of Radcpa
Radcpa from Washington

4.52/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish dark brown appearance with slight tan head. Aroma is a slightly sweet malt caramel. Taste is also a slightly sweet caramel that has a strong but smooth alcohol heat. A little more aging is in order.

Apr 05, 2018
Photo of stortore
stortore from Illinois

4.3/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce can into a snifter. Canned 1/4/18, had 1/12/18.

Pours a mostly clear dark amber, with no head and no real lacing, but it may have been too cold on the pour. Smells great. Aromas of malt, cognac, figs, dates, plums, cherries, light oak, light varnish- well, it did. The taste starts with cognac, then malt, plums, figs, raisins, oak, a fair amount of alcohol. Has a wine- like flavor overall. Smooth for the ABV, a good medium body, appropriately carbonated.

Got better as it warmed, great flavor and aroma. The cognac is terrific. Had this on tap at Revolution on release date and liked it better there. Have three more cans to recapture that feeling. Totally well worth a purchase, and the price point is decent for what you get.

Mar 29, 2018
Photo of Davepoolesque
Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.21/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned in 2018. Mahogany in color. Hazy in appearance. Caramel, brown butter, figs, brown sugar and oak. Malt driven. Medium to thick bodied. Coats the mouth. Not too sweet. Real good.

Mar 23, 2018
Photo of kevanb
kevanb from Illinois

3.67/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

12oz can, dated 01.04.18, poured into a Revolution pint glass.

The beer pours a dark brown/red amber color, burgundy and ruby hues with a tan head, about a finger tall that has good retention and yields nice soapy spots of lace. The aroma is pleasant, big caramel and brown sugar, rich grains, stone fruits, soft cognac with some candied hops and pine. The flavors are good, bitter pine and candied hops, rich dark grains, caramel and brown sugar with some raisin and fig, cognac barrel, charred oak that's still soft and chewy, a bit earthy with a bitter finish. The mouthfeel is good, medium body that feels a bit thinner, coating and soft with some lightly prickly carbonation and a warm dry finish.

Verdict: A nice barleywine from Revolution. Not as balanced or refined as Straight Jacket, feels hoppier and more bitter despite cognac usually being a sweeter treatment than bourbon. The cognac does offer some nice flavors to the beer, but this still feels a bit raw.

Mar 13, 2018
Photo of 4DAloveofSTOUT
4DAloveofSTOUT from Illinois

4.6/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

2018 blend overall score 4.27.

2020 blend overall score 4.60.

Way better than straight jacket. Crazy smooth cognac barrels. Vanilla, caramel, toffee, honey, dark fruits with a hint of grape & figs, deep complex layered dry mature oak notes. Sweeter than straight jacket. No booze. Light drying finish that works perfectly to balance out the sweetness. Another killer deep woods offering!

Feb 08, 2018
Mineshaft Gap from Revolution Brewing
Beer rating: 94 out of 100 with 110 ratings