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The Substance - Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
The SubstanceThe Substance

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
96
world-class

642 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 642
Reviews: 56
rAvg: 4.34
pDev: 8.53%
Wants: 192
Gots: 143 | FT: 9
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 642 | Reviews: 56
Reviews by Boto:
Photo of Boto
3.81/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

16oz can: This one pours an opaque, bright straw yellow color. There was a small white head on it that didn’t linger long. Nice nose. Definitely hoppy, but I get a bit of pineapple rising out of the nose. Peaches, pine, floral and grassy notes also. The taste is very good. A bit bitter. Hints of the pineapple and peaches. A bit of the pine hops and grassiness. A fairly good malt backbone, but not too heavy. Smooth and well balanced. This drinks real easy. I’d definitely search this one out again next trip up to Maine. Thanks to the guys in the brewery for sharing a can with me!

More User Reviews:
Photo of SomethingClever
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

canned 8/27

A: Poured light hazy in the glass very light copper color but murky

S: it has to be the falconer hops I'm getting a spicy nose like this beer is going to bite and pine not resin but actual pine just almost sour I'm trying to describe it but it's hard. I have to say it has a smell all it's own I haven't encountered enough to describe

T: the taste embodies that smell it's like a spicy then wait it's balanced out by the malts very earthy a lot of ppl claim fruitiness I get none from this beer just earthy raw spiciness without the heat finishes smooth not like the upfront taste would make you think. it's almost bitter then it's gone.

M: Nice crisp mouthfeel with good carbonation

O: this beer confuses me I want to say oh it tastes like this of it tastes like that but really it has a unique taste maybe I'm unfamiliar with the flavor profile of falconer hops but I think this beer is unique

Photo of NateF90
4.38/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16 oz canned on 1/16/2015 purchased from the source on 1/17/2015 poured into a very elegantly shaped Bissell Brothers glass marked with what appears to be glow in the dark or UV-reactive graphics. Normally would have enjoyed from the can, but had to check the color. Lightly hazed straw. Eggshell white two finger head, velvet-textured bubbles. The nose is predominately pine and all things dank, suggestions of the West coast abound. The flavor brings it back home, perfectly balanced hop bite and what I want to call fruit punch, although no fruit notes themselves are identifiable, except in fleeting whisps on the exhale. Excellent buttery feel, nice and rich but always refreshing and several cans the beer definitely can be knocked back successively. Bb is a 'must try' if in the Portland, ME area.

Photo of Chico1985
3.96/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My last of the tall boy 4-pack bought at the source while up in Portland a couple weeks ago, definitely a purchase I'm happy with. Canned on 1-16-15, one day before we were there, nice.

A - Pour to a pint is a hazy golden yellow color. White head starts huge, a sticky full cap is left at the end along with pretty substantial lace.

S - Oranges, grapefruit, lots of pine resin, danky peach, the slightest sugar cookie malt. Nice, but so-so strength-wise.

T - Big bold and bitter hops, forest pine sap, dirty weed, grapefruit, tangerine, peach, some spicy hops. Very slight malt with a nice sugar biscuit finish.

M - Average heft, somewhat low-feeling but fine carbonation, intense bitterness is nice but gets a bit tiring during a pint.

O - Nice, really packs a punch and the flavors are there, but I find myself wishing it were smoother. The intense bitterness ends up a bit of a detractor for me here.

Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.04/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a sightly cloudy golden yellow with a creamy white head that laces. The nose is mainly mild citrus fruits, nothing particularly distinct, followed by some grain sweetness. The taste is a delicious mix of flavorful citrus hops that have a creeping bitterness, biscuit-y malts, and yeast - all pulled together it's pretty balanced and drinkable. The beer potently hopped, but maintains balance with a creamy sweet malt backbone and a semi-dry and bitter finish. The alcohol is minimal, but there is something funky that lingers (wet cardboard-like?). Overall this is a tasty beer, nothing to stand in line for, but definitely something I'd try again in the future.

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.02/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this on tap at Frontier in Brunswick. It was served in a really cool pint glass. The beer was a hazy gold color with a good-sized white head. There was a fair amount of sticky lace.

An herbal, piney aroma. A bit of sweet malt.

Taste closely resembled the aroma. Herbal and piney hops. A little bit of caramel.

Hoppy, rustic mouthfeel.

Nice beer.

Photo of RDDR1979
4.69/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.75

A: ghostly golden yellow, I swear I saw smoke inside my glass

S: powerful citrus, light pine

T: fine balance of delicious bitterness with clean finish

M: surprising robustness

O: My new favorite. Look out Pliney & Topper, Maine has answered! Delicious in a 16 oz. can OR on draft around town if you can find it. I recommend getting a 1/4 keg and enjoying at home.

I think the quality of the draft beer has improved since their unveiling in December, seemed to have tweaked the carbonation or something.

I would keep an eye on this brewery, I expect great things to come.

-DLR

Photo of Roguer
4.11/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful pale orange brew, very thick and hazy. Pours with a big, strong white head, with good retention and soapy lacing.

Classic IPA aroma of grapefruit and pine resin. Some pale and caramel malt in the background. Not complex or new-school, but it does what it does very well.

Flavor is about what you would expect. It's a very crisp IPA, with quite a bit of grapefruit peel, a little pine resin, and some orange and lemongrass. Extremely bitter. Pale biscuity malt provides the backbone.

Extremely easy to drink, with minimal sting. Slightly cloying, silky, and syrupy. Very bitter, with a bit of puckering.

This is an excellent single IPA, at a very reasonable ABV, that provides the bitterness of a DIPA (but not the malt profile). It's very enjoyable, and reminds me of a mix between old-school single IPAs and Sixpoint's Resin.

Photo of tempest
4.18/5  rDev -3.7%

Ah, a fresh delicious IPA in a can. We can never have enough. I'd call it West Coast-style for the lighter body, making all too drinkable. The big, juicy hops are rich enough — with pine resin, light pepper, floral spice, and tangerine — that it's satisfying in any weather, but still drinkable in the summer. More please.

Photo of Alieniloquium
4.13/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz. can poured into a snifter.

Appearance - Hazy orange body. Nice white head. Great lacing.

Smell - Herbal hops. Grapefruit. Light rye.

Taste - Very herbal and kinda dank. Very intense on the rye here. Makes it kinda toasty. Grassy hops in the back end. Very nice.

Mouthfeel - Very bitter. Medium body. Well carbonated.

Overall - Intense. Works very well. Love the rye component.

Photo of mjstacker
4.64/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured a 6 day old can into a tulip glass. Amazed by the presentation. Massive white frothy head over a super light copper-ish colored ale, thick lacing all the way down. Smells of Pine, hints of citrus and melon. Tastes of delicious hoppy, dare I say, "Heady-like" goodness. Not super fruity nor spicy, kind-of a blend of the two. Super smooth, tiny-bubble kind of carbonation. Finishes easy and crisp. This is an amazing beer from a company that i'm so excited about. Hopefully they continue to push out beer as good as this. Cheers.

Photo of Chuck_IPA_Mathus
4.25/5  rDev -2.1%

Correct its not a Heady, but it was very good and almost just as rare.. which always makes a beer better. more hype than hop though.

Photo of scottieie
5/5  rDev +15.2%

Don't pour this beer. Drink it right from the can. It is the finest Maine has to offer in an IPA. Enjoy.

Photo of Reds76
4.7/5  rDev +8.3%

Canned yesterday, drinking today! Fresh is definitely makes a big difference. I don't smell or taste as much of the citrus that other people report but I do get a fantastic hop aroma and flavor - more herbal, dank and funky - very unique flavor - can't quite put my finger on it. Smooth and drinkable. Excellent lacing and carbonation. This one has really grown on me since I first tried it. Another great beer from Maine!

Photo of obninsk23
3.88/5  rDev -10.6%

1 pint can was given to me by a friend who loves hoppy beers. I thought it would be unbalanced hoppsville, but it was surprisingly pleasant. Eighth of an inch foam staid with me till the end, which is laways a bonus. Smells with a hint of citrus, amber color, tasted like.... hmmmm, I just realized it has unique taste that I never had before. Loved it.

Photo of Etan
4.29/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A couple cans from valdieu2.

Bright hazy orange. Crisp blood orange and apricot in the nose. Taste is bone dry with a nice mix of restrained green bitterness and a bit of mango. Similar to but better than Heady.

Photo of cbutova
4.26/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Well Brady, way to shit your pants there. Hopefully he shotguns one of these and gets his composure back. Third can of a six pack picked up two weeks ago.

A- Tall boy falls into a wide tulip with a hazy golden orange body and a several finger, thick puffy white head of epic retention. Lasts for ages and leaves a comforter around. Lacing is ample and tons of blankets remain.

S- Big citrus flesh, juice and pith like tangerine, grapefruit and oranges leads to a medium dose of stone fruits and a hint of stone fruits. Hints of mango, lemon, dank resin and bready grains.

T- Dank skunky substances open up here a bit more with some pine and herbal tea notes but the citrus is still the focus by far. Oranges, clementine, lemon peel, grapefruit and mangoes come to mind. Stone fruits and tropical feel is secondary to the aforementioned. Light cracked grain sweetness and bread.

MF- Frothy and creamy substantial body when you swirl it around on the palate with a medium overall thickness. Carbonation is on the high side appropriately with the flavors and clean hoppy brew.

New England in the Super Bowl, might as well do my only review of the night on another great NE IPA. Citrus driven but other complexities and fruits from the hops beyond that.

Photo of woodychandler
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

My undying gratitude goes out to my current "Character", Justin Chlan, who knows to look for CANned beer for me in his travels. He brought this back from a recent foray up to Maine in support of The CANQuest (TM). Cheers!

From the CAN: "The Substance Ale, a creation two years in the making, represents the past, present, and future of beer - Drawing from the wealth of knowledge of those that came before us while creating something entirely our own, waves of hop flavor permeate the senses as you [CAN]sume The Substance. We started Bissell Brothers for one reason - To use the short time that we have to live to make something awesome and share it with the world. Thank you for enjoying the fruits of our labors."; "keep maine beautiful. recycle."

No problem with that last as the spent CAN will be given to Jeff Lebo for his House of CANs. The Crack! gave me a little spritzy squirt across my fingers! This is usually the indication of good things ahead. I began with an inverted Glug, but I had to back off due to the pint-sized CAN. I was rewarded with three fingers of dense, French Vanilla-colored head with reasonable retention. Color was a cloudy Yellow-Gold (SRM = 4 -5). Nose was very piney and now my hophead mouth was beginning to water. Mouthfeel was medium. The taste was a combination of grapefruit rind and pine needles and now my tongue was dancing in unbridled joy! Amazingly, though, after the initial wash of hops, it became very mellow and easy-drinking. I ran through that CAN like a hot knife through soft butter. The tastes commingled beautifully and I really enjoyed its finish. The finish was very citrusy and tickled the back of my throat going down. It was dry, but just enough to lead to the next sip. I definitely recommend this one for my fellow hopheads. Others should just leave it for the rest of us.

Photo of RedDevil36
4.79/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

Top 3 beer for me. Will wait in line for it any day of the week. A great experience from the nose, the feel, the euphoria and the taste. Well played Bissell.

Photo of HopDeezy
4.21/5  rDev -3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - light golden color, clear to slightly hazy, white frothy head with minimal lacing. Lighter than expected for an IPA so clear.

S - citrus grapefruit and slightly lemony. Light and pleasant.

T - follow along the nose like most beers do for me. Grapefruit citrus, a little lemon, a little skunky/cat pissy, smooth and very drinkable.

M - highly carbonated, very hoppy start to finish with a light but lingering finish.

O - Very nice IPA, very crushable IPA. This could easily be my go to for a round of 18 or a day at the beach it's so easy to drink. Difficulty to attain has led to a little bit of overrating here but nonetheless it's still a great IPA. Not quite on par with the IPAs of Maine Beer 30 minutes north or Stoneface 1 hour south but it's definitely one I always look forward to drinking when I can get it. Prefer it straight from the pint can and yes....easy to crush multiple.

Photo of handcrafty
4.5/5  rDev +3.7%

A wonderful treat received as an extra via @skinny_mcginley ..
Pours a hazy off gold with an initial two finger, and sustaining 1/4 inch head.
Smells dank grass, pinecones and sharp citrus.
The taste follows with a wonderful accompanying malt backbone and a nice spicy note courtesy of the rye.
This beer, like many other beers crafted in the great state of Maine is done supremely.
The taste is almost 'clean' given the water quality, which really allows the F.F hop blend to shine through.
A beautiful, well crafted example of the style.

Photo of TKH
4.31/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Tasted 1/11/14 at the Thirsty Pig in Portland. Overall a truly excellent IPA, strong hop presence, with a clean finish leaving very little bitterness after the beer is gone. To me this is the ideal IPA for summertime and a fantastic beer.

A - Light in color, straw, with very little haze.

S - Excellent aroma. Like the previous reviewer stated, strong but not overpowering. Clean, not too much "tropical fruit", but perhaps a hint of citrus.

T - Again, very impressive. Great hop presence, the Falconer's Flight and others really shine through. Not as dry as some IPA's, which I liked, and drank very easily. While very much a "hop bomb", unlike so many IPA's this one seems like it would be perfect for those hot summer days. Bitterness vanishes quickly as quickly as the beer does from the glass.

M - Great mouth feel. Not too dry, quite thirst quenching. Hinted at almost a little wheat.

O - Excellent American IPA. Would be my go to for the summer if we could get it in Florida. I'm looking forward to watching, and tasting, the evolution of Bissell Brothers Brewing.

We ended up visiting the brewery the next day and had a great time meeting Peter and Noah Bissell. They were incredibly gracious with their time and went out of their way to discuss the brewery, the beer, and everything else. An hour and a half later we left with t-shirts (awesome designs!) and glasses.

Photo of Damian
4.19/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Drank on tap at Bissell Brothers Brewing Co., Portland, ME
Served in a Bissel Brothers stemless wine glass

Hazy yellow ochre appearance. The beer was topped by creamy, fluffy, bright white head. Spotty, drippy lacing dotted the glass.

Super musty, almost skunky aroma. Lemony. Super dry. Bright. White grapefruit. Slightly dank. Musty.

Taste is much more interesting and complex. Super hoppy. Nelson hops dominate. Catty. Lots of white grapefruit. Super lemony. Lemon grass. Touch of orange peel. Crisp, pithy dry grapefruit rind like finish. Very citrusy and bright.

The mouthfeel was light and spritzy. Highly effervescent. Creamy on palate.

An interesting and well crafted offering from the folks at Bissell Brothers. Definitely a big improvement over their Swish double IPA.

Photo of Ready4aHeady
3.9/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

On tap in Portland...
Not sure what all the hype is about. A good IPA but not all that complex, not much hop funkiness or citrus notes, etc... And a little too malty for my taste. I thought the baby genius was better, although fairly light.
Update: Just opened a can, more refreshing and interesting than I remember. Nice hops, bitter--which I like, and less malt than I remember....I'm liking this more than the first time and would up my score to a 4.17789!!

Photo of johnnnniee
4.23/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Can from MrBarleywine, thanks for the opportunity Mike!
Slightly hazy deep straw color with a huge bubbly white head that persists forever. Aromas of earthy citrus tropical pine resin and dankness. Oh yeah that smells good. Light bready malt, maybe. The flavor is much the same as the aroma but adds a bit of alcohol. Medium body with a moderate level of carbonation. Very nice ipa I enjoyed the hell out of it.

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The Substance from Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
96 out of 100 based on 642 ratings.