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The Substance | Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.

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148 Reviews
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The SubstanceThe Substance

Brewed by:
Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
Maine, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Our flagship; a brightly dank ale that threads many needles.

vailability: weekly production
ABV: 6.6% OG: 1.060
Hops: Falconer's Flight, Centennial, Apollo, Summit, Chinook
Malts: 2-row, flaked Wheat, Flaked oats, Flaked Barley

Added by Bowdoinbeerboy on 12-11-2013

For Trade:
User Reviews
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Reviews: 148 | Ratings: 1,256
Photo of PHBoiler
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Solid IPA but very different. Pear, pineapple, and some grassiness as the beer warmed. Great body and balance. Nose is slightly tempered. Clean and crisp.

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Photo of groutenberg
3.84/5  rDev -10.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Well, after being shut out 3 times at the brewery I finally got hold of a few fresh cans. Overall, I'd say I was a bit disappointed adter hearing & reading and trying to get some. Not a bad beer, great color, love to clody orange pour, nice head, good smell, decent mouth feel not great, not as full as Julius or some others, close, but not quite at that level. A bit of a bitter end bite. Overall a good beer, probably would buy it again if it was easy, but probably wouldnt make the drive to Portland in search of. No "desperately seeking Susan" opps, I mean Substance for me.

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Photo of Sabtos
4.19/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Densely opaque dark orange with a thick, chunky off white foamy head that visibly settles down like a reverse push pop leaving coral lace.

An enticing aroma reminds me of Trillium--it doesn't get any better than that! Spicy, verdant dankness--this is the essence of a scrumptious Colorado greenhouse--with some pineapple, peach, nectarine, and a touch of earthiness.

In flavor, tangy light pine and dankness are paired with orange zest and something green like chive and a little juniper. Biscuit and cracker follow in malt, bringing it to a dry, ashy finish.

I was expecting it to get more harsh and bitter as it warmed, but it only got lighter--this is really easy drinking and goes down way too fast!

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Photo of DankScuba
4.09/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Very hazy, yellowish orange.

S: Tons of hops. Citrus, pine, herbs.

T: Sweet, citrus, light malt backbone. Herbs and pine come through.

F: smooth, touch of bitterness.

O: very tasty. Would absolutely drink again.

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Photo of stakem
3.53/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pounder can into a snifter appears a hazy pale copper color with a darker tanned to khaki cap a finger strong that fades leaving stringy lace.

Citrus rindy nose, pulp, pith and herbs are all present. Pine and almost a peculiar smokey aspect.

Tastes bitter rinds and slightly vegetative with a bite of green yeastiness.

Medium in body and modestly carbonated. Almost creamy and yeast filled but enjoyable nonetheless. I appreciate the chance to try this but it falls a bit shirt in my opinion.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.27/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

thanks to Brandon for sharing this enjoyed from the can in a glass.

the color is golden with hazed appearance and white head that recedes with fine bead. the smell is very nice with a floral and citrus aroma with mild yeast ester. the feel is good with medium bitterness and moderate carbonation with a slight chalkiness in the dry finish.

The taste is very good with a nice presence of hop in the citrus and fruity arena with a slight dank herbal accent with low malt and yeast mainly a hop focused flavor with a dry finish and low alcohol in the taste. I was glad I was able to try this, thanks Brandon for my first taste of Bissell Bros.

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

16oz can from Justdoit1234 (thanks man!). No apparent canning date. Served in a Wicked Weed snifter.

Pours a completely opaque, hazy, pale yellow orange with about two fingers of dense white head. The foam shrinks but leaves a rocky layer of retention and thick belt that imparts large curtains of lace.

Smells of tangerines, pine, lemon, tropical fruit and a little fruit jammy sweetness.

Bright, hoppy flavors of oranges, tangerines, lemon peel, pine, some mild flower petals, a little vague black pepper and a hint of crackery malt. The waves of citrus-forward hops make this dangerously easy to knock back quickly.

Medium full body that seems to almost vacillate between creamy and sticky with moderately sharp carbonation. Lightly bitter and citrusy finish of zest, orange pulp and petals.

After my first ride with Bissell Brothers I can easily see why they've garnered such respect. The Substance is a damn fine and wonderfully drinkable IPA that I would definitely keep on hand if it were available.

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Photo of Huhzubendah
4.53/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Draft at the source. Hazy yellow body with a soapy, white head. Lovely aroma of tropical citrus and uber fresh hops. Similar flavor. Refreshing and easy. Teeming with flavor. So juicy. Terrific.

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

such a beautiful pour! hazy, fluffy, creamy, orange-juice-y.... the evolution of the IPA, indeed! although i am beginning to find these brews sweeter than my palate wants to handle anymore.... old age? yeah.... probably. give me my Pliny back! but still a great brew! this is delicious! and AHEAD of the curve if it was added in 2013..... right?

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Photo of kculrich
4/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

From a 16oz can, undated, purchased at the brewery 08/13/16. Served in a spiegelau.

A turbid orange juice-coloured pour with a pillowy three-finger-plus head of fluff, very good retention and moderate amounts of lacing.

The nose is sugar cookies, peaches and honeydew, clean, sweet, fresh hay and strawberries.

Taste is a muddled mass of tropical fruits, stone fruits, mellow citrus and biscuit. Not quite getting the dankness, a little garlicky, I suppose, maybe? but it is grassy as all get-out. The palate spans the broad spectrum of all possible NE-style IPAs without ever quite resolving on a major theme, finishing with a brief zippy grassy bitterness and a hint of lime.

Feel is medium-to-moderately-heavy bodied, slightly better than adequately carbonated, a little creamy, a little slick.

Overall, a little-bit-of-everything can of spiked fruit punch. A real palate wrecker, not necessarily in a bad way however I will definitely be unable to review anything else for a few hours.

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Photo of ELS
3.78/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

I know you'll think I'm crazy if you're reading this review, but I both smell and taste peanut butter in this IPA. That's a first! Probably the only one who ever said it but if you try it look for peanut butter and drop me s line if you agree. Otherwise. It looks good with a hazy yellowish gold color now considered standard for a NE IPA. Smells good with citrus and peanuts. Taste misses a little on flavor. A bit muddled and not making me want to drink more. Not the most drinkable IPA.

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Photo of Hyptochrons
4.5/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

awesome golden orange murkieness with a bone white head that is super dense, takes minutes to recede, and leaves nice fat patches of lace on the glass. this is how i like my IPAs to look!

to me, this is a somewhat unconventional/ raw IPA with huge dankness to it and light tropical/citrus notes. on the nose are herbaceous green notes and a big spicy dankness - also aromas of wet grass, earth, cat piss, garlic, onion, pineapple and peach. on the palate is candied orange, peach, mango, weed, grassyness, earth, pepper, doughy malts, resinous pine. all comes together really nicely and the incredibly soft pillowy mouthfeel enhances the flavor profile. theres a lot going on with this one, and definitely big flavors coming through - but it could definitely be cleaner on the palate and pop more on the nose. regardless, a highly enjoyable IPA that I consider worth trying.

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Photo of kgammell1
4.61/5  rDev +8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Man, I got 12 cans from the brewery and after each one gets better and better. First few were almost too fresh but a week later they are on point.

Super dank, soft and velvety pine, juicy peach and mango. Herbaceous notes for sure. Taste is not as juicy though but more spivey and herbaceous. Mouthfeel is crazy creamy and soft. Excellent.

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Photo of lolcats
4.45/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer tastes like an unbalanced murky hoppy homebrew. And that's why I love it!

It tastes raw, it tastes like a homebrew. Smell is weed and cat pee, dank as hell. Great stuff

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Photo of daudelin2000
4.31/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed this beer at Robert's Maine Grille in Kittery, Maine. Pours a very hazy light gold color with a very nice white head. Smells of grapefruit, oranges, and lots of pine. Some dankness. Taste is very hop forward and very juicy. Lots of citrus flavor with lots of pine. The slight dankness comes through in the taste too. Medium mouthfeel with very little bitterness. This is a quality beer. I would say it's just a notch below the New England IPA royalty.

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Photo of MaineBeerDinner
3.63/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Doesn't lack substance that's for sure. Too dank, too heavy on the aftertaste to make me want to sit with this one. No head, haze for days, definite malt body but too hop heavy to balance the finish

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Photo of GarthDanielson
4.59/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a tallboy into a shaker pint, the beer is a hazy, opaque, yellow-orange coloring, with a fluffy, bubbly, clingy, tall, white head. Aromas of bright orange rind, subtle grapefruit, lemon zest, and a subtle caramel backbone. Very juicy, with a balance nose of pine and dried grass. Flavors are very juicy and sweet forward, heavy on lemon zest and dried grass. Wow! Super juicy and insanely balanced. Solid grapefruit and subtle tropical fruit notes in there, too, with subtle pine tassel characteristics, as well. Smooth, light body that supports the overall juiciness perfectly. The aftertaste is more lemon heavy citrus and tropical sweetness, again with a subtle grassy and piney component. The dank and resinous pine notes build as you drink, too. Solid sweet and bitter linger past the dry, slightly acidic finish. Great beer!

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Photo of Fishersold
2.06/5  rDev -51.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

This beer is all hype. When it first came out, it was amazing. They changed their yeast and now it tastes like plastic.

While the look is usually opaque, with inconsistencies, I've seen it look like Metamucil.

The smell is odd, hints of hops.

They market themselves well, good place for T-shirts.

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Photo of Korbynlehr
4.81/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Aroma=Dank with a the hop nose that we hopheads love. Pours with no real head to mention, but a hazy, almost golden honey look. The taste is one of sheer genius, BB hit the mark on the head. I love this beer. If I could get it in Kentucky that would be great!

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Photo of Boccu
4.06/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden and cloudy with a nice heady that stays until the end. . Nice citrus aroma. Has nice hops very smooth. Citrus with pine needle tones. Another great beer from bissell.

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Photo of Thedataman
4.88/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Was in Wells Maine over the 4th weekend and ran into Tullys beer emporium (lol) and asked the woman working if she had anything that she felt rivaled Heady Topper....she went into the back and laid a 4-pack of these on me...the 4-pack had a post it not on it...she was holding them for her...but said she would sell them to me...I am glad she did, they did not disappoint!

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
4.7/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75

On tap at Bissell Brothers in Portland, ME.

This one pours a super hazed deep yellow/orange, with a small head, and lots of lacing.

This smells like like intense juicy hoppiness, dank marijuana, pine, orange, grapefruit, and mango.

This is really wonderful. It's definitely got an interesting hop character to it, that makes it really dank while also being super, super juicy- orange, grapefruit, and mango, with cut grass, pine, and marijuana. I don't get a whole lot of malt character.

This has a medium body to it, slightly creamy, with a good level of carbonation.

This is an absolutely great IPA and a near perfect example of the controversial NE IPA style.

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Photo of 11-52_4hops
3.98/5  rDev -6.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks like orange, smells like mangoes, tastes like grapefruit. Pretty nice but loses me at the end. Closing flavor is closer to grapefruit pith bitterness than hoppy bitterness -- lingers too long. The aftertaste here doesn't work for me. Reach for a Swish instead. Just my thoughts.

 285 characters

Photo of Bmoylan1618
3.7/5  rDev -13.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Thick color is orange pink. Dank da dank dank nose. Sweet and piney. First flavor is a citrus Pine with a smooth pine flavor. Solid beer. Tongue lingers light but easily looked past.

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Photo of Jacobob10
3.93/5  rDev -8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

16 oz can.

Pale gold / light amber color and cloudy with one finger of head. Big orange and grapefruit aroma with pine. Brisk hoppiness in the flavor, leaving a bitter finish. Medium-light body and very smooth. A nice IPA, similar to a couple of Tree House beers I've had, but I still prefer a filtered IPA to unfiltered.

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The Substance from Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
4.27 out of 5 based on 1,256 ratings.
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