The Substance | Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.

167 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

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Reviews: 167 | Ratings: 1,355
Photo of pkalix
4.5/5  rDev +5.1%
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 -6.5%
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 avas
4.38/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Re-review. Canned 11/12/16. Consumed 11/19/16.

A: Beer comes in a turbid, light gold / medium orange color with a full haze on it. This is one of those super thick looking NE-style IPAs. About a half finger of eggshell colored head fades to a thin layer pretty quickly, leaving some nice lacing the glass.

S: Big zesty lemon, bright citrus pith, and a hint of pineapple. Some white bready, kinda doughy malt in there as well. But overwhelmingly, this smells super dank and vegetal-y. There’s a resinous quality that nicely complements the pithy citrus, as well as a musty, weed-y dankness that underlies everything. I get some vegetal notes of onion and garlic, a big green tea note, and maybe some green herbs too. The intensity of the nose is pretty big for 6.6%.

T: Follows the nose, but perhaps even more herbaceous and vegetal. Up front, I get straight up floral, piney, fresh-cut green herbs topped with grapefruit and lemon zest and mixed with a little bit of white onion. There’s a light doughy malt character mid-taste that rolls very nicely into a sharp and lasting finish, which combines the citrus, earthy, and bready flavors with a medium-plus bitterness, light dryness, and light sweetness. Citrus zest and floral pine flavors linger on the tongue, along with an aspirin-like bitterness that, somehow, works really well.

M: Very smooth with a nice balance of effervescence and softness on the carbonation. It moves across the tongue nicely, carrying intense flavor and finishing with a pointed, assertive bitterness that arrives early and sits on the middle of the tongue throughout. The mouthfeel isn't quite full, but definitely not thin either—probably on the better side of medium overall. At 6.6%, there isn’t a hint of malt sweetness or alcohol anywhere, even as it warms.

O: Substance is an excellent change of pace for me following all of the pure juice bombs I’ve been drinking the past few weeks. While it has a nice zesty citrus quality on both the nose and the taste, the fruit flavors aren’t nearly as forward as they are on some other NE-style IPAs. Instead, it’s the dank, piney, herbaceous raw hop character that comes through most intensely, but without the intense bitterness or resin that you might get on a west coast IPA.

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Photo of ELS
3.78/5  rDev -11.7%
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 +5.1%
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 +7.7%
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%
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 +0.7%
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 -15.2%
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 +7.2%
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 -51.9%
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 +12.4%
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
4.16/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | 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%
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 +9.8%
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 -7%
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.

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Photo of Bmoylan1618
3.7/5  rDev -13.6%
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 -8.2%
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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Photo of mickyge
4.65/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Pours cloudy orange and thin head. Smells piney and resiny and some sort of tropical fruit. Crisp mouthfeel slight bite and drys out at the finish. This is a really nicely balanced ale

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Photo of Gavage
4.32/5  rDev +0.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: pours a very cloudy pale golden yellow color with a 1/2" head that breaks apart immediately.

Smell: citrus tones are most noticeable.

Taste: caramel. some wheat or grassiness, lemon zest, orange, mango, and a moderate bitterness.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied beer. Crisp to start, less crisp at the finish. Citrusy aftertaste.

Overall: this is a real quaffable IPA that is refreshing on a hot summer day.

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Photo of crotharagain
4.2/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Gift from a trading budding. No date on the can, but likely fresh.
Poured into a Gray Sail pint glass.
L - Cloudy straw with minimal foam and lacing
S - Superb Treehouse type hoppy aroma, really promised a great taste.
T - Did not follow up to the aroma, but still very solid citrus with an herbal finish.
F - Solid and silky
Overall, a great summer IPA. Lowish ABV, nice after mowing the lawn.

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Photo of Beric
3.97/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Serving: On tap at Duck Fat in Portland, ME, in a Bissel Bros glass
Served: 3 June 2016

Appearance: Pours like your standard NE IPA juice bomb- very opaque, almost orange-juice like but maybe a little browner. Soft white head. Great lacing.

Smell: Pretty subdued compared to what I was expecting. Soft citrus and tropical fruit notes. Subtle sweetness.

Taste: Similar to the nose, except I think the more subdued flavors were really a positive here. I feel like this beer drank very smooth and was easy on the palate for being a 6.5% IPA. Went down fast and easy.

Mouthfeel: Medium-high body with high carbonation.

Overall: A very drinkable New England-style IPA and one that I could easy have a few of in a sitting from a flavor perspective. Not too boozy for a standard IPA, which was nice to see. I would definitely recommend this, but I find the overall BA rating a pinch too high, and the Bros' rating far too low.

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Photo of jmdrpi
4/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16 oz can

Appears cloudy opaque pale yellow, good head and lacing. Nice well rounded hop aroma. Taste is hop dominated and low bitterness. Full mouthfeel

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Photo of Mateo2699
4.33/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pour is a typical NE style orange hazy hue, excellent lacing and retention.

Fresh orange peel and lemon zest in the aroma. Hints of mint, honey and nectarine. Aroma isn't as in your face as swish, still great though.

Taste follows nose pretty well, definitely getting even more citrus. Especially orange. Piney hop resin In the back end, combining with a subtle peppery malt.

Mouthfeel is medium carbonation, pretty easy drinker.

Definitely isn't on Swish level, still great.

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Photo of Brew_42
4.05/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

One of the best IPAs I've ever had.

Pours hazy orange/gold with a bright white head that leaves heavy lacing

Smells fruity and piney. Taste follows the nose with a ton of fruity punch to balance out the hoppiness

Crisp and refreshing.

Really solid IPA IMO but I'm not an IPA guy

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The Substance from Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
4.28 out of 5 based on 1,355 ratings.
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