Straight Jacket
Revolution Brewing

Straight JacketStraight Jacket
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English Barleywine
Ranked #11
Ranked #580
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: 155 | Ratings: 867 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of bluejacket74
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.

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Photo of Bshaw22
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.

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Bshaw22 from Wisconsin, Mar 29, 2020
Photo of matts2896
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

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matts2896 from Connecticut, Mar 18, 2020
Photo of ajm5108
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.

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ajm5108 from Pennsylvania, Feb 29, 2020
Photo of JayWhitson
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.

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JayWhitson from Montana, Feb 27, 2020
Photo of zeff80
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.

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zeff80 from Missouri, Jan 25, 2020
Photo of Wolvmar
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

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Wolvmar from Michigan, Jan 19, 2020
Photo of Damian
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.

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Damian from Massachusetts, Jan 08, 2020
Photo of dd53grif
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.

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dd53grif from Michigan, Dec 18, 2019
Photo of Holderness
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


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Holderness from Massachusetts, Dec 17, 2019
Photo of jlindros
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.

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jlindros from Massachusetts, Dec 05, 2019
Photo of michaelsmith11
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.

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Photo of EMH73
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.

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EMH73 from New York, Nov 20, 2019
Photo of Phyl21ca
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.

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Phyl21ca from Quebec (Canada), Nov 10, 2019
Photo of BlackBeerPirate
3.99/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Taste: bold, boozy, semi sweet, oak, dark fruit, charred, malty, with sticky finish. Big oak woody, bourbon, sweet nose. Deep Mahogany Red hue, mostly clear, delicate lace and head. Medium/full to full body. Boozy sipper.

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Photo of sulldaddy
4.68/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Sampling a cellar temp 12 oz can poured into my snifter. The can says filled 1-04-2019. Sounds like a good time to empty it today. Came as part of a swap with @jhavs, Thanks!

Beer pours a clear copper color into my glass and reveals some rich ruby and mahogany highlights when held up to the light. A large fluffy eggshell white head foams up about 2 cm and fades to a thin edge layer and one large wispy island resting on the surface.
The aroma is boozy. I get black pepper and some fusol alcohol notes. This is covered with a bit of brown sugar and some cherry and fig notes, but booze is central. there is a faint vanilla buried here and general it is sweet and boozy. I dont get any real hop presence on the nose.
First sip reveals a smooth texture with a bit of stickiness and very fine and mild rolling carbonation. Definitely coats my palate a bit after each sip. Sticks to my lips also.
Flavor is also sweet like the nose advertises. I get brown sugar, vanilla, some bourbon, figs and again cherry. Some toffee and a bit of a toasted grain note in the middle and then some black peppery slight bitter alcohol, but no warming in my belly after the swallow. Hops absent as far as I can tell.
the 13% makes this a definite sipping beer, the sweetness makes it enjoyable and the malt complexity makes it interesting. Ive really like all that Ive had from this brewery and would definitely get this one again if I found cans of it or saw it on draft. Nice B-wine for sure!

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sulldaddy from Connecticut, Oct 14, 2019
Photo of AmeriCanadian
4.27/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

Really fantastic beer, with everything I love about barleywine (the perfect melding of over the top hops and malts) enhances by wonderful barrel characteristics.

Pours a tawny, muddy brown with amber edges and a light khaki foam that provides faint, spotty lacing. Minimal carbonation but certainly not flat. Looks the part, but hardly noteworthy on the eyes.

Aromas take a big step forward but don’t truly preview what’s to come. There’s plenty of dark fruit, whiskey-soaked wood, and dank earth on the nose, followed by big notes of buttery toffee, vanilla, bready malts, toasted nuts, and a little pine. Multi-faceted but surprisingly modest and subdued given the size of the beer.

But this thing absolutely takes flight on the tongue, with the dance of fruity, herbal hops and earthy, grainy malts really shining. Figs and dates and raisins, overripe stone fruits, buttered wheat toast, and all the barrel notes you love — toffee, brown sugar, tobacco, vanilla, and heavy molasses — washing across your tastebuds. It's sweet but not cloyingly so. Just a fantastic slow sipper.

Feel is a touch light but silky smooth and dangerously drinkable.

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AmeriCanadian from Tennessee, Sep 13, 2019
Photo of woemad
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz can courtesy of ovaltine. Canned on January 4, 2019, but I'm doubting it's been hurt by spending over six months in the can.

Poured into a semi-tulip glass, this was a dark brown color but became more rubyesque when held up to light. Good sized beige head that left decent lace.

Dark fruits and a sweetness that reminded me of toffee was what I initially smelled. Soon, molasses and bourbon notes emerged as well. Smelled quite rich, all things considered.

The flavor was just as delicious as the aroma, but more complex as well. The bourbon barrel aging is fairly obvious, with oaky, vanilla notes up front and the arrival of bourbon flavor about halfway through the taste. But the oaky, vanilla like tones up front arrive alongside a flavor reminiscent of dark stone fruits. That bourbon flavor in the middle is initially fairly subtle, but grows in impact and "heat" as the beer warms. What initially didn't seem too boozy soon is what you might expect from a 13.1% alcohol barleywine.

Fairly full bodied, which isn't much of a shock, considering the style and the magnitude. Creamy, coating mouthfeel.

An excellent dessert or nightcap beer right now, but it might be even better if I'd let it wait until the cold months. Something tells me it would pair well with a fire and a cigar. Another great beer from Revolution. Thanks, ovaltine!

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woemad from Washington, Jul 15, 2019
Photo of Harrison8
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark burgundy with a clear transparency, making legible a few larger print words through its body. Head is two fingers of khaki foam with good retention, including a long-lingering ring of off-white foam. Aroma is rich toffee, molasses, plum, and stone fruits with heat from bourbon barrels slowly swelling and drowning out the initial sweetness. Malts are toasty, caramely, and nutty. Heat and bourbon barrel character are well balanced and folded into the beer. Flavor profile is rich and robust, with a supreme balance. Initially, dark fruits and stone fruits mingle with toffee for a little up-front sweetness, before being confronted and balanced out by bourbon, char and oak. Afterwards, it's a whirlwind of toffee, molasses, caramel and chocolate - among the fruity and dark notes listed earlier. Well balanced and extremely dynamic. Mouth feel is medium-thick with a graininess that is felt across the tongue throughout the duration of the flavor profile. Overall, rich with a speckle of heat, this is well packed with flavors and balance.

Served in a 15.5oz Speigalau tulip from a 12oz can.

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Harrison8 from Missouri, Jul 01, 2019
Photo of mynie
4.42/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The can was cooled to slightly colder than room temperature and poured slowly into a PBR chalice.

The poor is tawny and still. The lack of effervescence is perfectly fine for such an elevated ABV, and the color makes it look like a fine port.

The aroma is molasses mixed with vanilla bourbon with some ripe fruit nodes shining through. Remarkably smooth for its strength. There's just enough bourbon burn without it becoming too intense and boozy.

Tastes very smooth but nicely complex. Vanilla and molasses up front, aged fruit in the middle, and a complex finish of bourbon, toffee, sugar cane, and coconuts.

One of the better English Barleywines I've ever come across. Thankfully Revolution broke somewhat from stylistic tradition and produced something that resembles a hybrid between super sweet and toffee-heavy English versions of the style and more boozy and bitter American ones.

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mynie from Maryland, May 21, 2019
Photo of jkblr
4.46/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12oz canned 1/4/19 poured into a Duvel glass at fridge temp 13.1% ABV. The beer pours bright dark amber with mahogany highlights and light brown head. The head is big on a hard pour, buts settles to a cap and thicker ring clinging to the glass. The aroma is lovely and rather substantial with vanilla, toffee, oak, molasses and slight bourbon. The taste is warming semisweet caramel with oak, vanilla and dark sugar all intermingled. The finish is barely bitter and mostly dry. No cloying sugars left behind. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with less than medium carbonation. Overall, excellent. The Revolution deep wood series continues to impress. Perfect use of a bourbon barrel to add to a terrific barleywine. Recommended.

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jkblr from Indiana, Apr 26, 2019
Photo of ArrogantB
4.15/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12oz can that cost me $6.75. Dark orange-amber color. Aroma is mild bourbon barrel, fruit, nice. Flavor is very nice, teh bourbon barrel is mild but the flavor packs a punch. Delicious barleywine.

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ArrogantB from Colorado, Apr 16, 2019
Photo of ThrewRedButter
4.54/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

L - glowing mahogany red color, two fingers of off-white head

S - Toffee, caramel, butterscotch, bourbon, oak, char, tobacco

T - All of the above, even had some vanilla, cherry, and dark chocolate

F - Full-bodied, sometimes syrupy.

O - Superb BA barleyiwne just sitting on shelves.

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ThrewRedButter from Massachusetts, Apr 14, 2019
Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.32/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Pours a dark reddish brown with a creamy two finger off white head. Light amount of soapy lacing.

S - Aroma is caramel, raisins, coconut and borubon.

T - The taste is caramel, brown sugar, raisins, figs, coconut, vanilla and bourbon.

M - Full body with medium carbonation. Creamy mouthfeel with a soft dry finish.

O - This is an exceptional BBA Barleywine. Rich flavors with a great mouthfeel. Highly recommended.

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TreyIsWilson from Michigan, Mar 21, 2019
Photo of ovaltine
4.5/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A rich mahogany brown color, this substantial beer is crystal clear and sports a dense tan head. Wow.

The barrel is the opening band on the nose - if you’re of a certain age and a metal head (guilty as charged, your honor), dare I say the barrel is the Krokus of the nose of this beer - with rich bourbon aromas that are a cornucopia of vanilla and coconut scents, but the headliner (Motley Crue/Def Leppard - let’s stick to 1983) is the toffee, molasses, and stone fruit. Double wow.

The barrel is obviously an alpha dog on the taste, but the stone fruit, toffee, and molasses are the flavors that keep this pack together, keeping the boozy flavors in Czech.

Yes, I’m mixing metaphors, genres, and cultures. Sue me.

The mouthfeel is gripping and velvety all at the same time - there’s a bite, but it’s an iron fist in a velvet glove.

This is the best beer I’ve had in 2019.

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ovaltine from Indiana, Mar 03, 2019
Straight Jacket from Revolution Brewing
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 867 ratings