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The Substance - Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
The SubstanceThe Substance

Educational use only; do not reuse.

107 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 107
Hads: 1,020
Avg: 4.28
pDev: 25.23%
Wants: 272
Gots: 261 | FT: 4
Brewed by:
Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
Maine, United States | website

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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of The Substance Alström Bros
Reviews: 107 | Hads: 1,020
Photo of Newbeergeek1
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Just there to get my Me. Beer Trail stamp and I run into THIS. Wow! I'd never heard of this but I sure have now. Tastes exploded in my mouth, all on a good way. Wound up buying two 4 packs and am now wishing I might have bought more.

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Photo of Sheppard
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.25

Pours a cloudy, almost murky dirty blonde with white head and some hop residue. Smells of lemon and citrus fruits. The flavor is bursting with citrus, slight chalkiness, and nice resiny bitterness. The mouthfeel is terrific in that it evolves and doesn't carry just one note. Overall, this is a really solid IPA that I would love to have as a shelf canned beer. However, I'm not sure if the yeast change was a positive development as it used to have more citrus and looked better. Still a great beer.

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Photo of TheElectricOne
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a fresh 16oz. can into a tulip glass:

Appearance: straw-yellow and hazy as can be, with a pure white head. Head lingers for a while and leaves lots of lacing.

Aroma: the dankest weed smell I've ever had from a beer. I couldn't get over how much like fresh buds this brew smelled like, and it didn't go away. Really, it was the only smell I got from the beer, but it was incredibly pungent; as in smell it from three rooms away pungent.

Taste: Lots of bitterness, as expected following the aroma, but also solid layers of passionfruit and melon rind. Lots of complexity once you get past the overwhelming smell of weed as you sip. Starts grassy and fresh, moves into some fruity juiciness, and finishes with a blast of bitterness.

Feel: soft-bodied and creamy, with a punch from the bitterness at the end that leaves the flavor lingering for a looooooooong period of time after drinking.

Overall: a damn good, dank IPA. I wouldn't put quite up with the NE elite just yet, but it was just a tick below. Crazy good.

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Photo of dougiegarmonbozia
4.71/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from can into a tulip glass. Smells and tastes of piney, resin dankness. Very much like concentrated buddiness. This gives way to mandarin and other tropical notes and more piney, grassy delight.
Second strongest feature is the exquisite feel, which I am superseded is not generally rated higher. Most super-dankly beers make my tummy eventually rumble in pain, but this one balances massive dankness with an equally strong match of fruit girth. Highly recommended.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A - Hazy ginger colored body. Minimal head with big bubbles and some light lace around the glass.

S - Pear, grapefruit, grassy hops, and pine.

T - Strong dank resiny hop, orange, pineapple, and wheat.

M - Full, pulpy feel.

O - Your typical New England IPA.

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Photo of Tidesox28
5/5  rDev +16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I will take this over Treehouse Julius any day. Super drinkable, verging on balanced. At least as balanced as a hoppy IPA should be. Nice mix between citrus and floral hops. Nice enough body to let you know it's there.

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Photo of wpg1989
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Canned on 9/02/15.

A:Poured into tulip. Hazy unfiltered straw color. Pillowy white head, no retention.

S: dank,grassy and tropical. Pineapple.

T: bitter but not over the top. Green, grassy hops. Some passion fruit. Cream

F: I would say medium-light, creamy texture. Would have liked a fuller body

O: great beer. On par with Treehouse, Alchemist, Night Shift and Trillium.

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Photo of meson13
4.48/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Looks like some sort of imperial Berliner!
Smells like an ipa!
Tastes bomb! Grapefruit! Apricot city! Bit of mint?! Hops steal the god damn show, malt are totally embarrassed and shy.
Feel is a tad thin but adds some serious slugability
Overall- I kinda like that the bitterness is a tad unrestrained. It says, I'm not for you people that don't like ipas and that's cool with me. sometimes I think this beer is good and sometimes i love it. Tonight I'm digging it as much as I ever have. Good shit

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Photo of maximum12
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
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.

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Photo of Ken_P
4.44/5  rDev +3.7%
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!

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
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.

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Photo of Kurmaraja
4.41/5  rDev +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.

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Photo of NolaHopHead
4.26/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Justin82
4.51/5  rDev +5.4%
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

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Photo of aleigator
4.39/5  rDev +2.6%
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.

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Photo of 2ellas
3.65/5  rDev -14.7%
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!

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Photo of jhavs
4.34/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

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Photo of Sintech
4.75/5  rDev +11%
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.

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Photo of -Rick
4.31/5  rDev +0.7%
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!

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Photo of 4thFloyd
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
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.

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Photo of rudzud
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
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

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Photo of W_Des
4.87/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

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Photo of stephens101
4.54/5  rDev +6.1%
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 +2.6%
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 -0.5%
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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The Substance from Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
94 out of 100 based on 107 ratings.