Straight Jacket
Revolution Brewing

Straight JacketStraight Jacket
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Barleywine - English
Ranked #11
Ranked #618
4.35 | pDev: 7.36%
Revolution Brewing
Illinois, United States
Straight JacketStraight Jacket
Notes: (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
Reviews: 166 | Ratings: 903 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of brureview
brureview from Massachusetts

4.4/5  rDev +1.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Dark caramel color with a 4F head in a tulip.

Aroma: deep oak, molasses, and fruit.

Very smooth, silky MF.

Great taste: deep oak, molasses intensifies.

The finish is not bitter-just right.

Love this beer.

Jun 17, 2021
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trevorpost from Massachusetts

4.85/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a clear mahogany to ruby with a fluffy off white head. Aroma is caramel, raisin, vanilla. Flavor follows, a bit rummy and dark fruit, super rich. Feel is perfect, alcohol is terrifyingly hidden, not overly sticky or boozy but still hefty. Perfect carbonation level. This is basically what I imagine when I think of a barrel aged barleywine. Phenomenal stuff.

Apr 18, 2021
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BBThunderbolt from Kiribati

3.84/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Thanks to FBarber for this one. 12oz can (dated 11/5/2020) poured into 12oz goblet. poured a fairly dense (just translucent enough to barely see my fingers through) deep mahogany color with 1/4 inch of tan head that had low retention and no lacing.

The aroma hit all the expected notes: rich, deep malts, a bit of caramel, some grain, and, unsurprisingly, a hit of alcohol.

Pretty similar on the tongue, hittin' all the notes, nothing unique, but very well done.

The body was full, thicc, smooth, and had a sweet finish that lingered.

Drinkability was great, if it wasn't for that slight hit of alcohol, you wouldn't know it was 15+%.

Overall, a very well done Barleywine. A must-try if you see it.

Apr 11, 2021
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hoptheology from South Dakota

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

12 oz can, dated 10/31/19, 15.8% ABV, into Ellipsis trophy glass.

A scotch-y murky dark caramel with a butter colored head of 2 fingers. Recedes to 1, leaving spotty lacing.

Aroma of soaked sappy barrel, caramel candy, fig, peat, brown sugar, molasses, and toffee.

Flavor is a lot smoother than expected, and has a huge caramel presence followed by raisins, rum cake, crisp toffee, wet bourbon barrel, tobacco, molasses, caramel sauce, and a nip of balanced piney hop.

Feel is sticky and creamy, medium plus bodied, hard carbonation, incredibly well-hidden alcohol for the ABV (16%, are you kidding me?), and a sticky, semi-hot finish.

Overall, I definitely was expecting to be blown away by this. It didn't quite get me there, but this is still one of the better barleywines I've ever had. Would probably purchase again.

Feb 21, 2021
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SierraNevallagash from Maine

4.18/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Thank you TomFoolery_x for letting me try this one.

12oz can - dated 10/31/19 - poured into a cognac snifter at 45°F.

Pours a dull, ruddy brown - sitting opaque and looking like muddy water in the glass. Zero head, collar, or any sign of life.

Nose: Big, classic, no nonsense malt and barrel. The malt is fairly light, not lending much roast, with big brown sugar, burned toffee, and dark fruit notes. Prune, raisin, and a touch of cherry. A slight savoury character underneath, and some grape-like sweetness. The barrel is potent and in your face, with lots of splintery, charred, bourbon-soaked oak. Prune becomes more apparent with time, as well as some boozy heat.

Palate: Straight Jacket greets the palate with semi-sweet English-style malt, with dense brown sugar, caramel, toffee, and even a touch of darker molasses notes. Plenty of dark fruit, with prune, raisin, dried cherry, and fig. The barrel presence is a force to be reckoned with. Just a wall of bourbon barrel - oaky, charry, and dense, lending lots of vanilla, butterscotch, coconut, and a huge, tannic woody char. This tannic charred oak swoops in and dries the malt out quickly, and lends a bit of woody bitterness, setting it up for a dry, oaky, biting finish.

Mouthfeel/Body: Straight Jacket sports a medium body - full, heavy, and bold, but taking a much more classic approach, foregoing the big thick feel of today's hype barleywines, in favour of letting the malt and ABV speak for itself. It's remarkably drinkable given its nearly 16% ABV. Effervescence is predictably restrained, but there's a hint of fizz there. Minimal stickiness, respectful warmth.

Overall: Overall: This is really a beautiful execution of English-style barleywine. While there's nothing fancy, crazy, or even terribly unique about this one, it takes the style platform, and really dials in every little detail for easily one of the most true and authentic examples I've seen, with a fantastic barrel presence. Right down the line, a classic BBA English barleywine.

Feb 16, 2021
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micada from New York

4.63/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Poured fridge cold, hard to a tulip glass. Barely any head, leading to a completely bald top after a few minutes. Nice murky caramel color, very still. Nose gives a fair amount of caramel with a little wood. First sips are a bit stunted from the cold, but you gets loads of lightly sweet caramel, with a solid malt base, and tiny bit of Belgian funk in the way way back end. As it warms, the flavors open up more expansively. There’s the caramel, some bourbon, some wood, a bit of cracker in the middle. Thick mouthfeel does not get into syrupy territory, despite the deceptively still look of the drink. Lots of sweet bourbon barrel linger. Alcohol hides entirely, no warming, which makes it seem like a knock-back candidate, but at over 15%, that’s not a good idea. Excellent beverage all around.

Jan 30, 2021
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jvgoor3786 from Arkansas

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

Pours a deep tan with minimal head and no lacing.

The smell is caramel, oak, raisin, and brown sugar.

The taste is sweet molasses, bourbon, vanilla, and dark fruits with a slightly bitter, very sweet finish.

The mouthfeel is low carbonation and medium body.

Overall, this is really enjoyable, very sweet, a slow sipper.

Jan 30, 2021
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trevormajor from Ohio

4.74/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

12 oz can born on 11/5/20, poured into a snifter at 55 degrees F:
L - caramel brown with a tan head that quickly dissipated
S - bourbon, caramel, butterscotch
T - wonderful notes of bourbon and caramel with a bit of butterscotch
F - medium mouthfeel with a bit of carbonation on the finish
O - really good beer, very full bodied and boozy, but blend of flavors is phenomenal

Dec 31, 2020
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NeutroMan from Illinois

4.73/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

12 oz can into a snifter. Pours a dark plum color with a surprisingly robust tan head that dissipated quickly but was damn impressive while it lasted, given the 15% ABV. Strong scent of fig, followed by plum, toasted coconut, cinnamon, biscuity malts, and alcohol warmth. Taste is mostly similar, although the stone fruits play a more prominent role. Vanilla comes through as well. Mouthfeel is wonderful - a chewy, meal-in-a-can heaviness that coats your tongue in a pleasing viscosity but isn't sticky and doesn't weigh you down. One-two punch of sweet-but-not-too-sweet coconut sugar followed by just barely overripe stone fruit lingers in the aftertaste. An excellent barleywine for a cold winter night. Let it warm up, then enjoy sipping it next to a roaring fire.

Dec 15, 2020
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GrumpyGas from Illinois

3.98/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz can filled 11/05/2020 and poured into a taster glass, repeatedly. A fine 1/4in cap of khaki colored tiny bubbles forms on top of the gorgeous, crystal clear, deep burgundy colored body.
Aromas of caramel, brown sugar, and vanilla are muted with fridge chill and are joined by oak, stone fruits, and bourbon when it comes to temperature. The flavors match and also awaken with warmth. Smooth, full mouthfeel allows the whole palate to enjoy the sweet fruity flavors, barrel tannins and bourbon notes, and leaves a wet finish.

Overall a delicious waste of time.

Dec 12, 2020
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beergoot from Colorado

4.53/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep mahogany color to the body, transparent; gently rising carbonation; nice head for a high ABV beer. Boozy, oak-like aroma; muted caramel malt sweetness; red licorice. Rich flavors of heavy sweetness; figs and dates; bourbon; subtle honey; peppery. Heavy body; thick, oily, and chewy; heavy sweetness (not cloying) blended with a bold alcohol warmth; sticky.

This is how a powerhouse barleywine should be done! For one thing, many high ABV beers (the can lists this one at 15.8% ABV) just don't produce any kind of head, let alone a lasting one. Sure, the head collapses after a while, but there is still thin layer of foam sitting atop the glass. And the aroma and taste let you know in no uncertain terms that this is going to be a kick-ass beer. Dense and complex with tastes to linger over and savor.

Jun 25, 2020
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bluejacket74 from Ohio

4.47/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce can, stamp on bottom says filled 10-31-2019, looks like it says 15.8% ABV. Served in a snifter, the beer pours a mahogany brown color with about an inch tan head that didn't stick around for very long. There's not much lacing, either. I like the aroma, the brew smells like brown sugar, bourbon, vanilla, caramel, figs and earthiness. Taste is similar to the aroma, but with the addition of some molasses, woody and coconut flavors. Has a slight bitterness in the finish. Smells sweeter than it tastes. A little boozy heat is there too but it's not as much as you'd expect for a beer this strong. Mouthfeel/body is full, it's coating and enjoyable to drink with a low/moderate amount of carbonation. I thought was a good barleywine, big thanks to Brutaltruth for this one! Definitely worth picking up if you come across some.

Mar 31, 2020
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Bshaw22 from Wisconsin

4.38/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours dark brown. Little white head.
Smell is tobacco, figs, bourbon, and something sweet candyish.
Flavor is plums, figs, tobacco and barrel. Good stuff. Took me over an hour to drink the can. Nice as it warms. Never hard to drink. I’d always take this over a barrel aged stout.

Mar 29, 2020
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matts2896 from Connecticut

4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Well this is a barleywine! A thick wall of chewy caramel, smoky oak, vanilla, tobacco, coconut, and bourbon heat slowly ride a toffee and molasses wave into a wet, sweet finish. Bold, in-your-face, and unforgiving. Love it

Mar 18, 2020
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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania

4.57/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep mahogany, lots of carbonation, moderate head that settles into a thin lace. Aroma is fairly sweet, lots of toasted coconut & muscovado sugar, hints of cinnamon & vanilla, barrel notes there but lost in the background a little bit. Taste is thick maple molasses & vanilla upfront, bourbon caramel and toasted coconut in the middle, charred oak & leather on the back. Very balanced with lots of tonal depth. Mouthfeel is full-bodied without being viscous.

Feb 29, 2020
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JayWhitson from Montana

4.56/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Canned 10/31/19. Bourbon, raisin, fig, plum, brown sugar, caramel, new leather, and spice. Moderate to full mouthfeel, moderate astringency and pretty hot this fresh. Still an excellent example of the style.

Feb 27, 2020
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zeff80 from Missouri

4.31/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz can. Poured out a dark amber color with a small, tan head of foam. It smelled of toffee, bourbon, vanilla and molasses. Very sweet and malty with vanilla, toffee and a boozy finish.

Jan 25, 2020
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Wolvmar from Michigan

4.12/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Jan 2020 Review
12oz can purchased at ML. Poured into a chalice. Canned 11-15-19.

Pretty much the same as last review. This is really good but it drinks easy and packs a punch.

Pour 4.0
Nose 3.5
Taste 4.25
Mouthfeel 4.25
Overall 4.25

March 2019 Review
12oz can purchased at Barrels & Vines. Poured into a tulip glass. Canned 01-04-19, so just over two months old.

Pour: deep, mahogany color that you can just see through. Really beautiful, jewel like. One to two finger light tan head dissipates fairly quickly into a solid ring with some clouds and bubble lacing. 4.25

Nose: molasses, booze, stone fruit. 3.75

Taste: the booze is pretty upfront but mellowed by molasses, toffee and dark stone fruit. Burnt toast, a hint of vanilla and subtle coconut. Fairly complex although the booze/molasses combination dominates a bit. Booze and some dark chocolate/hops bitterness on the backend but balanced enough to be really enjoyable. 4.25

Mouthfeel: moderate carbonation; a bit more than expected. Thick, rich, some chewiness. Finishes pretty clean given the viscosity. 4.0

Overall: absolutely worth trying if you like big, boozy barleywines. At 13% it packs a punch but drinks fairly easy considering the booze was and ABV. Flavors are complex and balanced enough to keep the booze from being overwhelming. I’ve got another can I’ll likely age. I’m guessing this ages pretty well. 4.25

Jan 19, 2020
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Damian from Massachusetts

4.3/5  rDev -1.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank from a 12 fl oz/355 ml can purchased at Yankee Spirits, Sturbridge, MA
Filled: 01-04-2019
Served in a snifter

I decided to age this beer for a year before drinking it. Here goes.

Clear, crimson-amber appearance. The body was topped by a creamy, fluffy, near finger-tall, light tan crown that dropped to a medium sized collar. Dots of lacing trickled down the glass after each sip.

The aroma was quite muted initially. Yeasty notes dominated. Crisp, powdery and dry. Caramel malts were detectable. There was a boozy quality as well but not much bourbon per se. As the beer warmed, the nose became much more rounded and complex. The sweet malty notes really came forth. Loads of caramel and toffee. Brown sugar and dark fruits also appeared. Raisins, plums and figs perhaps. Touch of nuttiness too.

Like the aroma, the flavor became more interesting with time. Malty on the front end. Caramel malts were apparent. Some toffee as well. Brown sugar and dark fruits were noticeable in the center. Some spices too. The beer turned boozy on the back end and the finish. Like in the nose, however, the bourbon was difficult to pick out. Hint of piney hops on the swallow.

The mouthfeel was a bit thin initially. As the beer moved along the palate, the liquid turned creamy, fluffy and smooth. A super fine, fairly zippy effervescence gave the body a fantastic fluffiness. By the drink’s end, the sugars in the beer left a sticky film on my lips.

Like most of Revolution’s shelf offerings, Straight Jacket is solid but definitely not something that I would actively seek out. My biggest gripe with this beer was that the bourbon character was so subtle. I am shocked that this was barrel aged for a full year.

Jan 08, 2020
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dd53grif from Michigan

4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a light brown-ruby red color with a minimal head that disappears quickly. Aromas of bourbon, caramel and vanilla. Tastes of bourbon, dark cherry and vanilla. Good mouth feel with a pleasant alcohol heat.

Dec 18, 2019
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Holderness from Massachusetts

3.97/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L -- Looks like apple juice/cider in the glass. Minimal off-white head produced with moderate pour. Zero retention or lacing
S -- Caramel, molasses, bourbon, dried apple, prune
T -- Not sure if it's just the appearance tricking me, but again the apple character comes through strong here. Not too much barrel presence beyond some boozy heat
F -- Big mouthfeel, medium- carb. Surprisingly easy drinking for the ABV


Dec 17, 2019
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jlindros from Massachusetts

4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 1/04/19
Pours a large foamy fizzy tan head with medium retention, fair lacing, for the abv it has nice head and retention, and good legs, mostly clear dark ruby color

Nose brings loads of sweet malts, big caramelization, caramelized sugars, dark malt derived fruits, candied raisin, fig, date, apricot, etc, sweet toasty malt and a little bread crust biscuity like, candy apple, toffee, molasses, a light vanilla and bourbon but very light.

Taste brings more of all the sweets, caramel, toffee, caramelized sugars, some fruits, with candied fig and date, a little dried apricot, some smooth perfumey alcohol, molasses, more of the toasty flavors as well, bread crust, biscuity dough, little cereal, mild vanilla barrel but not much, and a little bourbon but also very light, some bitterness as well, spicy hops and roast bitterness, getting a little heavy for an English barleywine, it's bordering American style here, but the beer itself doesn't list as English, only the listing on BA, so I think it was labelled here wrong and I'll judge it as hybrid American/English due to the bitterness but also the heavy toasted biscuity malts and fruits. Drier but sticky finish, lingering bitterness, spicy hops, and caramelized sugars.

Mouth is fuller bod, a bit rich but not overly heavy, fair alcohol but not too hot, a little tingly, medium carb

Overall not bad, again judging as hybrid English/American barleywine as it has components of both. As a barleywine it's pretty nice, but the lack of bourbon and barrel makes it less so. If they didn't mention barrel I'd really enjoy it, but I can imagine what this would be like with a nice layer of bourbon and vanilla.

Dec 05, 2019
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michaelsmith11 from Illinois

4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is the 2019 version. Had this on tap at Gillerson's Grubery. The look was a nice dark amber color with a nice fluffy white head. The aroma was vanilla and boozy. The taste is some oak and bourbon up front but hen offers some fruitiness with some caramel and toffee making it a little sweet and sticky. Very good beer.

Nov 22, 2019
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EMH73 from New York

4.43/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a medium brown with amber highlights, a poorly retained half inch beige head and no lacing. Smells and tastes of dark fruits, bourbon, oak, brown sugar, toffee, vanilla, bready malts and a hint of nuttiness. Full bodied, soft carbonation, creamy mouth feel and a dry finish.

Nov 20, 2019
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Phyl21ca from Canada (QC)

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

Bottle: Poured a dark hazy amber color ale with a large off-white foamy head with good retention and light lacing. Aroma of string dry caramelized malt notes with some oak, vanilla and bourbon notes is quite enticing. Taste is also a mix of caramelized malt notes with dry notes of oak and bourbon with some woody notes. Body is full with good carbonation with some warming alcohol notes also perceptible. Solid BA barleywine with great level of complexity.

Nov 10, 2019
Straight Jacket from Revolution Brewing
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 903 ratings