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The Substance - Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
The SubstanceThe Substance

Educational use only; do not reuse.

84 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 84
Hads: 898
Avg: 4.27
pDev: 27.17%
Wants: 232
Gots: 220 | FT: 5
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: 84 | Hads: 898
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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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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!

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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.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the can dated 4/30/15. Sampled on May 3, 2015. Only four days old.

The pour is a slightly hazy yellow color with lively carbonation building up to a tremendous white foamy head. The head sticks around.

Such a vast array of malt and hop aromas to choose from. The hops present themselves the most forward with their citrus, orange, grapefruit, and grassy sensations. The malts are toasted with a hint of barley and wheat.

Medium body. Smooth.

Toasted malts and sweetness start things off in the flavor but those many different grassy, citrus, lemon zest, floral, and orange hop flavors combine into a definite bitter finale. High quality beer.

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Photo of illpass78
4.32/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pint on draft in a standard pint glass at Hunt & Alpine in Portland, Maine.

Appearance: Pours a hazy, heavily carbonated orange/yellow with a big, pillowy, hefty white head. Much lacing.

Aroma: Big citrus presence in the nose. Hops are right there. Some mild funk.

Taste: Big, juicy, flavorful IPA. Citrus, lemon, grapefruit and pine hit the palate first, followed by a resinous finish. Bitter and appealing. Alcohol is well concealed even given the moderate ABV.

Mouthfeel: Depth is pretty spot-on. Has substance (duh), but isn't burdensome.

Overall: Pretty great IPA. Packs a ton of flavor for a mid-range ABV IPA; I tend to associate these kind of flavors and aromas more with double IPAs. Would recommend to anybody - worth the hype.

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Photo of Damian
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
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, light brassy-amber appearance. The beer was topped by creamy, fluffy, one-finger tall, bright white head. Spotty, drippy lacing coated the glass.

The aroma was super musty and seemed almost a bit skunky initially. Really dank. As the beer warmed, the nose opened up and the dankness transitioned from skunky beer to skunky weed. Lemon notes were also apparent. Some white grapefruit as well. Crisp, bright and dry. Citrusy.

The flavor profile was definitely more interesting and complex than the nose. It was super hoppy, with catty hop notes dominating. Loads of white grapefruit and lemon. Some lemongrass was also noticeable. Touch of orange peel. Subtle grassy hop presence. Pithy, dry, grapefruit rind-like notes appeared in the finish. All in all, really citrusy and bright.

The mouthfeel was spritzy and highly effervescent. Lighter bodied for the style. The liquid turned soft and creamy once it settled on the palate.

This is an interesting and well crafted IPA from the folks at Bissell Brothers. Although similar in many ways, this beer is definitely much better than Swish (their double IPA) which I found to be astringently dry, pithy and bitter.

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Photo of ScaryEd
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Wanted to review this one after having my third batch. Poured from a 16 oz can dated 09/23.

The pour is a hazy, golden blonde color with a fluffy white head. Leaves some pretty good lacing, but the head is gone in a hurry.

The aroma is pretty grassy and dank, with some citrus notes as well. I get mango and pineapple, as well as some grainy bread.

The taste is juicy and piney, with some peppery spice notes on the back end. It's pretty well balanced, but honestly nothing really stands out to me.

The mouth is medium bodied with a decent amount of carbonation. Alcohol is well hidden.

Overall, this is a very solid IPA. However, in my own personal taste it has always seemed like more of a pale ale to me. Perhaps I've been disillusioned because I'm so used to these big, hype-driven New England IPA's being absolute juicy hop bombs. Don't get me wrong, this is still a very juicy, hoppy beer. It's just not what I expected when I first tried it and every time I drink it I find myself feeling it could be so much more. It could be my own tastes and biases are skewed, but ultimately this beer has just never met my expectations or the ridiculous hype that surrounds it. It's a good IPA, but not worth the wait in line for.


Flavors seem to pop more about 5-6 days after canning date. Interesting.

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Photo of Etan
4.29/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

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Photo of costanzo_mike
4.35/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up some fresh cans from the brewery, canned that day 2 hours earlier.

A: Light yellow color, hazy, foamy head

S: Crisp citrus smell, some tropical on the nose as well

T: Bursts with citrus flavor, resiny, earthy towards the end

M: Somewhere in the middle, some carbonation present, nice and light

O: Very drinkable IPA, delicious taste. Every time I stop by the brewery I am sure to pick some of this up

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Photo of HeadyTheElder
4.56/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Another great IPA from the northeast. Nice lemony citrus flavors with some tropical and floral notes. Don't really get any pine. Very crisp and refreshing with minimal malt presence. Juicy. My kind of IPA.

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Photo of JebBeerFish
3/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received this as a gift. IPAs are not one of my favorite styles. Not a bad ipa, but I don't see myself ordering this in the future, but wouldn't turn one down on a hot summer day.

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Photo of ThePorterSorter
4.04/5  rDev -5.4%
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.

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Photo of BMMillsy
4.33/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Fresh can from Joe arrived today at my doorsteo. Thanks man! Pours cloudy bright yellow with a big fluffy white head on top in my Rapp tulip glass. Amazing aroma of pineapple, grapefruit, lemon rind, some pine, mmmmmm. Flavor is sweet pineapple balanced with bitter grapefruit, some light sweet malts and honey notes, interesting floral potpourri flavors linger (in a good way). Light bodied with medium carbonation, very crushable, yum.

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Photo of cbutova
4.26/5  rDev -0.2%
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.

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Photo of Chico1985
3.96/5  rDev -7.3%
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.

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Photo of NateF90
4.38/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of HopDeezy
4.21/5  rDev -1.4%
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.

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The Substance from Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 84 ratings.