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The Substance - Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
The SubstanceThe Substance

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
94
outstanding

72 Reviews
THE BROS
-
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 72
Hads: 848
rAvg: 4.27
pDev: 8.43%
Wants: 228
Gots: 192 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Bissell Brothers Brewing Co. visit their website
Maine, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bowdoinbeerboy on 12-11-2013

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 72 | Hads: 848
Photo of maximum12
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to Joe_Grizzly, i.e. “The Hop Santa” for this among other lusted after IPAs that arrived recently. 16 oz. can with some kind of weird Burning Man symbol. Probably not, but that’s what it reminds me of.

Is this weird pour some kind of Bissel thing? Dehydrated piss again, though this one is even more yellow & urinesque. Completely opaque yellow. Thing’s got a pug nose that’s hard to tease out beyond some vague tropical that might lean into guava, citrus. Tame.

The Substance is no andrenicky, either in body or nose, but really, what is? This beer is thicker than Captain Nemo’s icebergs, denser than Hawking’s prose. I swear I’m going to have to floss the pulp out of my teeth later. When I finish chewing, I note that there a modicum of bitterness, but it’s submerged by crackling Rice Krispy grains, free range mango, citrus, backyard dirt/dank, & vague tropical island that overlays the entire liquid. Bit of a funk on the aftertaste that dims the enjoyment level. Silly easy to drink.

Good IPA, but I’m not grokking on the extreme love. There are several locals that I’d take over this in a heartbeat, but hey, glad I had the chance to try another storied New England can. (1,214 characters)

Photo of Ken_P
4.44/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

16 oz. can picked up from the brewery 5 days ago. This is the new recipe with a revised yeast. Poured into a Tree House Teku glass. Finger of white head with a golden orange body. The head diminishes quickly and leaves some lacing. Nose is mango, tangerine and pineapple, quite appealing. Some apple and grass is present too. Taste is more of the same. Fruity start, tangerine and citrus. Pine shines through in the middle and onion is on the finish. Quite bitter but it's a vegetal/floral kind of bitterness. Smooth, thicker feel. Finish is very drying. Overall this a tasty New England style IPA. As per the new recipe, unfortunately I don't remember the last time I had this well enough to note differences. I think I like this more than the last time I had it but I also had it on draft the last time. Similar body and smell of a Trillium beer but with a harsher bitterness. Definitely another great beer from these guys! (926 characters)

Photo of BEERchitect
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

If the goal of the American IPA is to simply become a grapefruit juice with alcohol, then the Bissel Brother's flagship IPA would be end game. The review could simply say, "grapefruit juice" and be done with it. However, getting underneath the fruit there's an understated would of ale flavors that play out under the radar of the senses.

Its heavily hazed straw appearance is a testament to The Substance's unadulturated taste, texture and nuances. And as those manifest in aroma, they do so with a huge overcast of straigh-up grapefruit juice with tinges of hawaiian punch, orange juice and the herbal stemmy perfume of lemon verbena, sassafras, and curious whiffs of cannabis.

As the grapefruit flavors saturate the palate with utter ease, its taste is intense, juicy and nearly teeth-churning in its tangy and tart mouthfeel. As its more herbal presence rounds out the flavor, the piquant bitterness of hops easily supplant the rapidly dissolving malt sweetness that's disguised as citrusy fructose. Simultaneously, the ale takes on the fragrancy and spice of fresh wood shavings.

Medium-full in body, the beer trends dry while remaining creamy and pillowy. Still, a dusted arid taste harks to dried grapefruit, gooseberry, gin, riesling and mimosa while the finish assumes a clean and crisp nature. Its a seductive taste and texture that easily circumvents its seemingly dimensional grapefruit character. (1,412 characters)

Photo of Kurmaraja
4.41/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a hazy yellow, almost greenish tinted, tight head that sticks around. Smell is over ripe tropical fruit - guava / papaya - along with some definite spicy vegetal notes - wet grass, crushed leaves, freshly turned compost. I can see why this isn't some people's bag, but I love the earthiness. Flavor carries through, pungent with sweet tropical notes woven in. Finish is a bit flabbier than I'd like, particularly as it warms. (432 characters)

Photo of NolaHopHead
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can. Hazy yellow-gold, thick fluffy white head and lacing. Smell is citrusy, more on the lemon peel side, and sweet bread with a little grass. Taste is a zesty combination of grapefruit, pine, and wood. Better and better as it warms. A little peppery at the end. Mouthfeel is pretty soft. Overall very good IPA, different than the typical hop or juice bombs. (365 characters)

Photo of Justin82
4.51/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 16 oz into a pint

Look: Golden and hazy. half inch head with good retention. Bit of lacing

Smell: Light citrus, but overall very little aroma

Taste: Super juicy. Tropical fruits right off the bat, citrus and pine notes as well

Feel: Crisp, light, and refreshing. light body. Good carb

Overall: Great beer and great brewery. I'll definitely go back to this one again if the opportunity arises (410 characters)

Photo of aleigator
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a slightly hazed sun-yellow color, with a decent, froth head.

Smells of skunky citrus peel, onion and biscuity malts, which add a gentle sweetness to the nose. As the beer warms up, a well pronounced dankness evolves from this balancing sweetness, together with ripe oranges blending right into wet grass.

Has a very pleasant mouthfeel, due to a medium carbonation, revealing an incredible hop profile, ranging from flowery, to fruity to bitter. Showcases an awesome depth and versatility.

Tastes of white bread malts, accompanied by a mineralic quality, inviting a bubbly carbonation to the palate. On top of that settle the hops, ranging between sweet exotic fruits, crisp, lemon dipped grass and flowery undertones, perfectly balanced by dough malts. Finishes utmost refreshing, due to the bubbly carbonation, together with dry lime, amped up by sunny, ripe oranges.

Fantastic, flavorfull ipa, providing an absurd flavor depth, coming outstandingly well together, completed by a perfectly fitting carbonation, creating a powerful, dry and refreshing beer. (1,070 characters)

Photo of 2ellas
3.65/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Looks a bit hazy, yellow like juice with a thin white head.
Smell is hoppy, citra I think
Flavor follows the smell nearly exactly
Mouthfeel is slick but not overly so
Overall a good beer, wish it was local! (206 characters)

Photo of jhavs
4.34/5  rDev +1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Fresh cans from the brewery poured into one of their snifter tasting glasses.

A=Hazy and a yellow/amber color, thick white head that is foamy, not bubbly, settles to a thin layer.

S=Tropical, citrus, grapefruit first then a dank resinous background.

T=Hops up front, especially mango, papaya, grapefruit. There is definitely a background hoppy dankness that smooth everything out. Malts balance the strong hops flavors.

M=Moderate carbonation with medium body.

O=Tastes great, lots of hoppy goodness with enough balance to make it surprisingly palatable. (562 characters)

Photo of Sintech
4.75/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance - Light golden yellow.

Smell - Light citrus.

Taste - Citrus at first then resinous pine in the finish. Delicious.

Mouthfeel - Light. Very drinkable. Perfect carbonation.

Overall - (A-) Highly recommend. (218 characters)

Photo of -Rick
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

On tap, pours a bright yellow color. Smells of citrus and hops. The beer has a nice citrus taste, very refreshing. The feel is crisp and clean, this a great summer drinking IPA. Its the real deal! (200 characters)

Photo of 4thFloyd
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A light gold to yellow color with minimal haziness and nice white head. Moderate citrus and earthy hop bitterness in the aroma. Aroma picks up a little dankness as it warms. Flavor follows closely with bright citrus flavor and good middle bitterness. Very smooth with a clean finish. (287 characters)

Photo of rudzud
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up half a case while at the brewery. Poured into my Duvel tulip.

A - Poured a nice hazy golden hue with a big fluffy two finger white head that fades slowly to leave a creamy blanket and great side lacing.

S - Aromas of very light almost generic tropical hops, cereal grains, little bit of dankness.

T - Taste is similar to the nose. Decent amount of cereal grains, little crackery, grain. Light citrus, pineapple, faint mango, guava, papaya. As it warms the tropical notes pop a bit more, same with the citrus too. Warming up definitely makes a big difference.

M - Mouthfeel is lightly carbonated, a bit fluffy.

O - Overall, this beer was tasty. Really shined as it warmed up. Nice appearance and really solid citrus/tropical taste.

Serving Type: Can (767 characters)

Photo of W_Des
4.87/5  rDev +14.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

A fantastic IPA. Pours a bright straw color and the nose contains a sweet floral tropical fruitiness with some grapefruit, papaya and mangoes. The body is extremely refreshing and juicy with a restrained bitter finish. (218 characters)

Photo of stephens101
4.54/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A billowy white froth weighs heavy atop this golden brew, setting itself apart from the get go. Aroma is bright with orange and grapefruit. The flavor is ocean deep with more waves of citrusy goodness, a palpable layer of peppercorn, a coating of orange peel and a squirt of sweet fruit juice. Light to medium bodied with little weight and enough alcohol bite to keep plenty of hair growing on the chest. (407 characters)

Photo of jlindros
4.39/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tap at the brewery.

Pours a huge fluffy foamy head that fades semi slowly, tons of lacing, hazy little murky pale golden color.

Nose juicy hops, little dank musty, raw hop juice and tropical, hint pineapple and papaya, tropical generic, hint cereal grain.

Taste brings more sweet like malts, grainy smooth malts, into big hops, little earthy spicy notes, mild dank, then into big tropical notes, papaya, pineapple, little dank citrus, fruity notes, guava, etc. Creamy smooth malt, fair bitterness. Finish is dry, fair bitterness mild spicy hop, bit more tropical notes, dank, etc, hint of banana.

Mouth is med bod, creamy, nice carb.

Overall nice, not as crazy as I expected but got better, then tropical came through nicely, maybe not quite as much as the hype, but def deserving of a great IPA. (805 characters)

Photo of cosmicevan
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

can to glass..golden yellow. nose is sick...soapy inviting hops. crisp and refreshing. burst of citric, little resinous while still being nice and easy...little sticky. very refreshing. (185 characters)

Photo of Buhz_Bee
4.69/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Lighter in color than average, carbonation bordered on fizzy - lacey beyond compare though. Dynamite smell - grapefruit from out of this world. ABV was somewhat deceptive, drinks like a session IPA, but hits like a freight train. (231 characters)

Photo of JNbeerded
3.18/5  rDev -25.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Out of the three offerings I've had from BBB, I think this one was the best. Still, like both of the other beers I've had from them, there is a strange off-putting, dirty vegetal-like aroma and flavor that I cannot get passed. Not sure what the hype is all about. (263 characters)

Photo of ColdOneKev
4.36/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Clear, straw body. Large fluffy head leaves heavy lacing.
S - Grassy hops, lemon, flowery. Light hops basically.
T - Tropical fruits, lemongrass, light pepper. Some very light bitterness. Must hide th emalt well, because that is not present.
M - Light body, medium/high carb.
O- An excellent American IPA. Worth seeking out, but difficult unless you go straight to the brewery, which I recommend as well. (412 characters)

Photo of JamesStreet
4.55/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- poured a slightly murky yellow with a huge, pillowy white foam.
S- floral and tropical hops
T- sweet citrus/tropical fruit. Mango.
M- light-medium feel, moderate carb. Not dry.
O- another fine beer from Bissell Bros. (223 characters)

Photo of Stevedore
3.81/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz can. Served in a snifter.

Appears darker straw yellow body, hazy and cloudy, three finger white head with a lot of retention time and film. Nice expansive lacing. Smells fairly tame, grainy pale malt sweetness, mild caramel, a bit of citrus. Not much else. Flavour is a bit more interesting; grainy, sticky caramel malt, minerals, a bit of citrus aromatics and earthy bitterness. Mouthfeel is solid, medium body, good carbonation, nice soft feel. Moderately bitter, but not overwhelmingly so. Overall, decent IPA with a fair bit of bitterness, but not a ton of interesting flavours. Still very good. (605 characters)

Photo of WunderLlama
4.25/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into an antique German Pilsner glass

Pours a pale yellow with one finger of fizzy white foam. Little lacing.

Aroma of dank, pine , spice and lemon citrus and pine.

Taste leads with gentle pine and then citrus in the middle of the tongue. Gentle lingering bitterness. Low sudsing . Crisp clean finish

Sessionable. I can see cutting the lawn and cracking open a frosty one of these. Nice beer

IPAGeorge, May 03, 2015 Report Like (454 characters)

Photo of tregan_20
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Received this beer as an extra in a trade. The appearance is quite hazy with an amber appearance. The flavor profile was somewhat citrusy with grapefruit being noticeable. In my opinion, this was a well crafted IPA from Bissell Brothers. Cheers! (245 characters)

Photo of IPAGeorge
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a can into a tulip

A. Pours a hazy golden yellow with 1" of sudsy head. 1 minute of head retention. Very little lacing.

S. A nice blend of bread malts, lemon citrus and pine. Some spice. Almost Belgian without funk.

T. Very nice. More pine in the flavor. Grapefruit. Some decent bitterness. Slight malt sweetness and citrus rind. Aftertaste is bitter with sone hop resins.

M. Crisp and refreshing. Carbonation chases the swallow. Finishes mostly clean. A nice summer ipa. Pretty sessionable.

O. A clean ipa with nice flavor. Great for summer or after mowing the lawn, working in the garage, or just chillin. Will definitely drink again. (691 characters)

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The Substance from Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 72 ratings.