Straight Jacket pours into the glass with a clear mahogany hue, creating an unexpectedly massive yellowish foam that rises exuberantly, even spilling over the edges on the initial attempt. Unlike typical strong ales, this beer effortlessly produces a substantial head that takes several minutes to settle into a fine protective layer.


Upon bringing the glass to the nose, the rich bourbon presence in Straight Jacket is immediately evident. A delightful medley of black cherry, toffee, prunes, and brown sugar permeates the olfactory senses. The aromatic profile holds echoes of Dr. Pepper, offering a complex and inviting introduction.


In terms of flavor, Straight Jacket leans heavily toward sweetness, delivering flambéed cherries and dark rum notes. The dominant focus here revolves around bourbon and dessert-like undertones. Despite the absence of significant bitterness, the alcohol itself plays a role in balancing the profound sweetness. While the beer successfully conceals its substantial 13.1% ABV, the overall taste lacks a bit of equilibrium, leaving a desire for some background bitterness.


The mouthfeel of Straight Jacket is noteworthy for its smoothness and the robust character of the bourbon. Surprisingly, the beer manages to avoid any harsh or stinging qualities associated with its high alcohol content. The sweetness coats the palate, making it a delightful experience for those with a penchant for sweet beers.


Straight Jacket, although falling short of the remarkable qualities found in its cousin VSOJ, still stands out, especially considering its accessibility in 4-packs of 12oz cans. The absence of certain elements, such as critical roasty notes, leaves this beer somewhat unbalanced. Despite its modest packaging, treating Straight Jacket as a special occasion beer is recommended, suggesting it be shared in a group or split as an after-dinner cordial.

For enthusiasts of dark cherries and bourbon, Straight Jacket is likely to be a satisfying choice. However, those expecting a more balanced strong ale with substantial bitterness may find this offering from Revolution Brewing a tad underwhelming.