The Substance
Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.

The SubstanceThe Substance
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Beer Geek Stats: | Print Shelf Talker
Style:
New England IPA
Ranked #212
ABV:
6.6%
Score:
96
Ranked #678
Avg:
4.32 | pDev: 7.64%
Reviews:
256
Ratings:
1,812
From:
Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
 
Maine, United States
Avail:
Year-round
Wants
  312
Gots
  537
SCORE
96
World-Class
The SubstanceThe Substance
Notes: Our flagship; a brightly dank ale that threads many needles.

Hops: Falconer's Flight, Centennial, Apollo, Summit, Chinook
Malts: 2-row, flaked Wheat, Flaked oats, Flaked Barley

OG: 1.060
Reviews: 256 | Ratings: 1,812 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of JRed
JRed from New Jersey

3.98/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Milky golden with white head on top. Aroma of grass, papaya, mango yogurt, pineapple, peaches and cream. Tastes of papaya, mango, pineapple, peaches, cream, pine, and dry bitterness towards the finish.

May 30, 2020
Photo of jpkand
jpkand from Virginia

4.68/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

All-day long with this one. Pours a bright hazy gold that's almost luminescent with a nice white head.

Orange juice and papaya on the nose. Subtle melon.

Taste comes in with grapefruit peel, nice bright citrus fruit, and apricot.

Borderline full body. Excellent crisp and clean piney/ grapefruit finish

May 25, 2020
Photo of BucannonXC5
BucannonXC5 from California

4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Type: 16-oz. can
Reviewed as: New England Style
Glass: Pure Project 16-oz. brandy snifter glass
Price: $4.99
From: Windmill Farms in Del Cerro (San Diego), Calif.
Purchased: April 30, 2020
Consumed: April 30, 2020
Misc.: Canned on March 27, 2020

Absolutely psyched to see Bissell cans in San Diego. Had known about these guys, then saw Hamilton’s got some kegs and went out there on Super Bowl Sunday to have Swish, giving it a 4.49. This one was apparently their flagship. Mentioned hops online were Apollo, Centennial, Chinook, Falconer’s Flight and Simcoe. Damn, that’s a lot of hops and a few I’m not familiar with (Apollo and Falconer’s Flight - it's been a long time). But a 4.32 on Beer Advocate and 4.16 on Untappd can’t be wrong.

Poured a pale-to-medium yellow hazy color with 3-to-4 fingers of frothy-to-rocky white head. Could see some bubbles slowly creeping along the sides of the glass. Almost perfect uneven foamy lacing. Perfect foamy retention. Just an awesome looking beer. (Overall - 5.00)

Smelled grapefruit, pineapple, tropical Hawaiian fruit punch, passion fruit, papaya, apricot, melon, orange juice, lemon zest, woody pine resin, some Chinook and wheaty malt. A little better out of the can with grapefruit, pineapple and lemon leading the way. (Smell - 4.00)

Tasted close to as good as the nose. In order got bitter grapefruit rind, pineapple, lemon zest, woody Chinook, pine, resin, bitter aspirin, passion fruit, tropical Hawaiian fruit punch, papaya, Simcoe, black pepper, dry Centennial, lime, apricot and Fruit Loops. (Taste - 4.00)

Medium body. Creamy texture. Average carbonation. Long, dry finish. (Feel - 4.25)

I was back and forth on a few categories, but I really liked this beer. Kind of fruity, but bitter IPA. Outstanding overall. (Overall - 4.00)

4.09 | 91 | A-

May 21, 2020
Photo of Georgiabeer
Georgiabeer from Georgia

4.35/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Really, really solid beer. Huge, deep flavors and a nice backbone of malt give it a substantial mouthfeel and an almost chewy aspect. Very satisfying, with juicy hops and an almost bitter toffee note running throughout. Quite enjoyable.

May 08, 2020
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Humanusfermentum from Virginia

4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Gorgeous, orange juice pour with a two-finger, frothy white head that is both soapy and creamy (yeah, yeah...). Tropical nose that's pretty sweet indicative. But, psych...flavor profile is a little more complex. Orange and subtle "tropical" notes hold steady in the background, but there is plenty of hop play, some earhiness, a unique malt presence that is a constant culprit in the hop expression. Indeed, that is the word: expressive. Not every sip was the same. The feel was pretty consistent: smooth and a little creamy. Personal taste preferences aside, the quality is undeniable.

Apr 28, 2020
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HorseheadsHophead from New York

4.65/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Opaque, glowing golden orange in color with a fluffy white head. Insane retention and lacing.

Smells of muted orange puree, orange oils, a hint of pine needle and mango.

Tastes like essence of orange. Tart, juicy and oily. Orange pith and pulp as well as juice. Underlying hints of mango and white peach. A bit of honeydew melon and yellow grapefruit. Soft fragrant pine needles. A bit of creamy oats. Clean finish, not really bitter at all but the oily essence of orange lingers.

Fairly high carbonation for the style, smooth and silky-soft, feels creamy on the palate but also flies off fast. Clean and crisp for the style with a bit of lingering resin.

Mar 19, 2020
Photo of djames
djames from Pennsylvania

4.09/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very good beer!! Not a 96 imo, but very good. I would not say that there’s something in it that shouldn't be. I would say that there’s something that’s not in it that should be, if you know what I mean.

Mar 07, 2020
Photo of RaulMondesi
RaulMondesi from California

4.1/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Native Son Alehouse in Santa Ana, CA.

This one speaks to me like a ghost in the darkness. Wow! Like a poltergeist that just wants to say boo! Hell yeah, Substance, I feel you like Freud doing a line before breakfast. Tropical for dayyzzzzzz. That being said, I wouldn’t say it’s world class, but it still does the job like a Dyson vac after your latest box social.

Feb 17, 2020
Photo of jrc1093
jrc1093 from Connecticut

3.98/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Canned on 1/14/20

Pours a fully opaque bright orange-gold hue topped with multiple fingers of tight, white froth; head shows persistent retention as it fades steadily to a slight, spotty cap, bubbly collar, and chunky layers of soapy lacing.

Aromas of deepening fresh citrus rind, overripe pineapple, and a prickle of mossy earth strike intensely upfront before dank, musty wheat and nutty earth come into focus; a breezy, creamy tropical undertone lingers, however, touching the bouquet with further passionfruit, guava, and mango peel undertones.

Taste profile presents a dense layering of juicy tropical fruits beneath a wilted mint, dirt, and a wheaty overtone, lending to an almost nutty tone on the finish; the musty earthy core remains undeniable throughout the course of the profile, overlapping the more quieted, saturated tropical tones.

Mouthfeel brings a medium-light body with a carbonation a touch on the higher end of moderate; consistently smooth as a quick bitter tingle maneuvers through the mid-palate while the juicier tones steadily overtake.

A NEIPA presenting equal parts peak refinement and strangeness, the profile feels perpetually confident in its execution, and yet awkward in the overtly earthy, nutty notes it comes to deliver; the pure quality cannot be denied, though, as I find myself still returning for sip after sip as the top-tier drinkability leaves a lasting impression despite the beer's odder aspects.

Jan 25, 2020
Photo of Bluecrow
Bluecrow from New York

4.31/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

-deep yellow tap pour with a dense haze, 1 cm of foam and a spruce-orange aroma. The flavor includes pine-resin, citrus and some berry notes. The hop bitterness is moderate. The mouthfeel is smooth. This is a fully flavored, really special.

Jan 16, 2020
Photo of argock
argock from Virginia

3.55/5  rDev -17.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12/10/19 stamp. Poured into Samuel Adams Perfect Pint.

Hazy gold with 1-finger frothy off-white head with decent retention but fleeting lacing.

Aroma is mango and peach candy rings.

Flavor is a shade disappointing with some nondescript fruitiness, kind of candy sweetness in the finish combined with some rough green leafy tea like hoppiness and a fair blast of rough bitterness.

The tea like character carries through to the feel which is chalky and slightly astringent.

Disappointing for all the hype. Maybe a bit past its prime by canned on date, but 5 weeks isn't that long.

Jan 14, 2020
Photo of Vetbidder
Vetbidder from Pennsylvania

4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Looks like Focal Banger(hazy and on the lighter side of golden) with a thicker just off white head. Fruity and citric nose is nice but needs more power. Not as sweet as I would have imagined but I like the flavor on the finish, it’s a bit different. Very balanced and dare I say a bit on the thinner side. Nevertheless this is a tasty, easy to drink, not so sticky brew.

Jan 12, 2020
Photo of Griffin2
Griffin2 from Virginia

4.21/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 16 oz can dated 12/10/19 into a willi becher pint glass.
L - Pours a hazy orange color with a frothy white head.
S - Smells of tropical fruits.
T - Taste matches the smell, mostly pineapple.
F - Medium body and carbonation.
O - Tasty IPA.

Jan 12, 2020
Photo of DavetotheB
DavetotheB from Pennsylvania

4.25/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 16oz can dated 12/5/19 into a pint glass. Pours a pale opaque yellow with two and half fingers of white soapy head. Moderate retention, great lacing. The crack of the can yields a mixture of onion, citrus and tropical fruits. Taste is a good balance of juicy and hoppy with edge given to hoppiness especially on the back end of the sip. Mouthfeel is soft and smooth, with the bitter hoppy aftertaste. Overall a really nice brew that is quite unique in a sea of hazy juicies.

Dec 24, 2019
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Profundobaso from New York

4.43/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Look - poured into an IPA glass. Pint canned on 11/26/19, purchased fresh from the brewery. Orange-yellow in color, hazy, with a beautiful 3 finger head and excellent lacing retention. A good looking IPA rarely gets better than this.
Smell - complex. multiple hops detected, with pine and citrus forward scents. Dank is the right word of describing it - but really in a good way.
Taste - surprisingly malt forward. complexity of the hops come through, but with a nice and almost surprising balance from a variety of malts, giving this beer a true balance in the complexity of both worlds. Really tasty.
Feel - medium bodied, below average carbonation, and respectable ABV at 6.6% in a pint.
Overall - a easy drinking hazy NE IPA with complexity in both hops and malts that lead to a delicious brew. Quite phenomenal.

Dec 12, 2019
Photo of stoumi
stoumi from California

4.28/5  rDev -0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The Substance pours a cloud, gold with a light, fluffy and white head leaving spotty lacing. The smell is light citrus with a splash of lime and lots of earthy tones with a hint of pine. The taste is citrus up front, not overpowering that gives way to an herbal pine with a slight malt undertone.

*Can may have been too old

Nov 16, 2019
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REVZEB from Illinois

4.4/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap. Super hazy yellow body with a fluff white cap. Love the dankness on the nose, with pine and grass in there too, plus the starring fruits of pineapple, orange, papaya, melon, and grapefruit pith. Dankness reigns, destroys any balance immediately in the taste, until oh wait, can you believe it, from the ashes rises grapefruit, orange, mango, peach and weedy grass! Not as harmonious as the smell, but still plenty flavorful. Feel is juicy, creamy, full but not heavy, and of course super dank. Dank beer bro!

Oct 31, 2019
Photo of justintcoons
justintcoons from Pennsylvania

4.22/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16 oz can poured into a tulip pint.

Appearance
Extra hazy blonde. 1 finger of creamy white head.

Nose
Passion fruit, peach, candied citrus, pine, and grapefruit.

Taste
Passion fruit, grapefruit zest, and pine resin. Candied orange and slight peach. Moderately dank along with florals and a light earthiness.

Mouthfeel
Medium bodied, silky, smooth, juicy, and semi-dry with a medium-light bitterness.

Overall
Smooth, candied, and dank IPA.

Oct 28, 2019
Photo of Gatch
Gatch from Rhode Island

4.19/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Canned 10/02/19.
Finally made it up to BB during a trip to Portland. Been waiting to try their standby beers to see what the hype is all about and so far so good! Check all those NEIPA boxes but has a unique flavor in the finish from the diverse hop bill. Very grassy, almost herbal, with plenty of fruit. Not a stand-out beer but a very good example of the style.

Oct 19, 2019
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mushroomcloud from Texas

4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

16oz canned 9-11-19 (? hard to read), opened 10-12-19.
2 finger white head with fantastic retention, little movement after 2 minutes. Almost completely opaque orange/gold NEIPA. Full and fresh lacing.
Tropical, citrus, and melon trifecta. Bright and hoppy nose with a hint of weeds/green underneath all the different fruit.
Citrus, grapefruit, orange, melon, getting close to a wild oniony thing mid to late. Creamy malt carries it all home.
Medium body with a soft mouthfeel, more bitterness than expected -- it's welcome but surprising. Long and zingy with a dry finish and a persistent bitter feel.
Very good.
Big aroma, great mouthfeel and with a bigger than normal for NEIPA bitter punch.

Oct 13, 2019
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beersampler6 from Michigan

3.92/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very interesting IPA. Not my favorite, and certainly I was more than a little disappointed since I expected a lot more from this brewery. It was still very tasty, just not world-class. Canned date 8/14/19. Pours a very nice hazy yellow-orange color with some fluffy white head and nice looking thick sheets of lingering lacing that stayed forever. Smells quite dank, lots of fresh ripe fruit. Mango, pineapple, grapefruit, melon, orange and lemon. Also some herbal and floral notes, vanilla, bread, malt and tea. Taste follows the nose, except there was so much dankness and tea that it overpowered the malt and hops. A strange balance and this flavor profile wasn’t quite to my liking. Quite disappointing. Mild, slightly sticky mouthfeel with good carbonation. Not bad, all in all, just not amazing. But I’ll look for more beers from this brewery as this was my first one.

Sep 29, 2019
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Jesterr44 from Canada

4.18/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a 4 pack at the brewery on my may through Portland. Nice big old warehouse building; not that many offerings available when I was there. Pours a thoroughly hazy light straw colour with fluffy white head. Significant sheets of wet lacing during drinking. Aroma of fruity hops; citrus, grassy, maybe some melon, with a significant malt backbone. Taste follows nicely & each sip ends with just a touch of bitterness while the hops linger. Mouthfeel is moderately full & smooth. A very nice NEIPA; while I wouldn't say it's among the very best, I'd enjoy it any time. Came for the Swish which was not available, but this was a nice fill in. As a personal note, it reminds me of the flavour profile of Meanwhile Down in Moxee.

Sep 18, 2019
Photo of Act25
Act25 from New Jersey

4.34/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

At cask temp from my ferry bodega, pours a...
a) Profoundly rocky, craggy meringue head meriting high marks as it leaves pillows of lace round the cup, all over a yellow, opaque thick NE style body,
s) Grapefruit, pith, grass, orchard. Faint compared with....
t) Massive flavors of all the above, large large and super hopped and bitter. Will need a rest after.
f) Suitable astringent. Also leading to much to grapefruit in long run, but cleans up nicely, a tickler.
Creamy while being astringent - a very hard thing to do outside a creamsicle.
o) One of the best NE IPAs which must be blind tested against all the best.

Sep 12, 2019
Photo of EMV
EMV from Pennsylvania

3.87/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured fresh from a tallboy can into a Dogfish Head tulip

L: hazed dull golden pour with thick foamy white head. Great lacing.

S: Dank and citrusy. Grapefruit and pine.

T.F: Just like it smells. Strong citrus. Grapefruit and orange rind. A bit of fruit sweetness and tropical juice... more bitterness than expected and a kick of pine and herbal hops towards the finish. Medium to light bodied... sticky on the tongue.

O: A solid NEIPA and I like that they upped the bitterness for the style. Still one that I don't think is nearly as good as its rating. Above average but that's about it.

Sep 12, 2019
Photo of arizcards
arizcards from Arizona

4.27/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Picked up a single from the Beer House in Old Port Maine on 9-5-19 for around $5. Canned on 8-26-19; consumed on 9-7-19.

Beer poured a cloudy golden with a beautiful white head that is leaving lacing behind.

Nose is grapefruit, orange, and mango forward - very nice.

Taste follows the nose. Pale malts combine with orange, grapefruit, and mango for a nice full flavor. Finish is piney with a touch of rind; 7/10 on my bitterness scale.

Mouthfeel is light bodied and very refreshing.

Overall a really nice beer, glad i was able to try it!

Sep 07, 2019
The Substance from Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 96 out of 100 with 1812 ratings