Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.

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Red Ale - American Amber / Red
Ranked #19
Ranked #9,990
3.98 | pDev: 9.05%
Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
Maine, United States
Very Good
Notes: Sticky hops layered over soft malt. Great pairing with involuntary memories.

ABV: 5.6% OG: 1.054
Hops: Simcoe, Merkur, Centennial, Chinook
Malts: Pilsner, Vienna, Munich, Red X, Malted Wheat, Melanoidin
Reviews: 33 | Ratings: 263 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Photo of Imakoniver
Imakoniver from New York

3.89/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

I tried three beer at the brewery and while good, this was my least favorite. It didn’t finish as nicely as the other two or the Lux I drank the night before.

Apr 04, 2019
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papposilenus from New Hampshire

4.11/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From a 16oz can, dated 10/24/18. Served in an imperial pint pub glass.

Pours a cloudy brownish-bronze with three fingers of puffy, fluffy, cream-coloured head. Retention is excellent, finally leaving a fat sticky web of lacing.

Nose is mildly sweet and malty, with an interesting crusty, pie-like aroma, apple and lemon merengue.

Taste is very much in line with the nose but with less sweetness, more bitterness. Toasted whole grain pie crust, apple, lemon, spicy pine needles and sticky juice. Lightly sweet upfront, earthy, grassy and mildly bitter into the finish.

Feel is clean and quenching, medium bodied and brightly carbonated.

Overall, a damnfine beer. Relative to the fairly unexciting universe of red ales, this one's pretty terrific.

Nov 04, 2018
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GratefulBeerGuy from New Hampshire

3.72/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pint can 3/21/18. Poured out into a Treehouse long stemmed glass.

A muddy, reddish, amber color with yellow and white highlights. Golden amber in direct sunlight. Sea foam thick, off white cap gives constant coverage. A seriously creamy and robust foamy head leaves a lasting impression.

A dense amber-sweet maple, caramel and honey soaked wheat bread style malty scent. Spice, dry earthy, dry grasses make up the hoppy scent. Wild red berries are subtle but sweet from the hops as well.

A red-amber malty flavor dominates right off, bold flavor's and texture from the big earthy>dry>grassy>spice>herbs and pepper blast from the hops and malty combo. Sour-bready malt, heavily dry-herbal hops seem to really bring forth dry amd bitter, medicinal, grassy tones that do not ever get balanced out by any sort of sweetness. Bitter, earthy, dry....acorns, dry grass and bitters seem to be the biggest part of the flavor profile.

Big, red malt, bitter, dry and earthy but also sour edged vibe is different for Bissell and maybe, perhaps not exactly up to Bissell standards. Odd, style points concidered.

Mar 28, 2018
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digboy from New Hampshire

4.24/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Had on tap at brewery. Pours muddy orange brown, opaque with a thin head but nice lacing. Aroma is pungent with citrus tones and pine mixed with yeasty malt. Taste is hpps up front, very bittet on the tongue as well. Medium malt body blends well with hops. Feel is creamy smooth.

In an age of low malt this is a great take on an amber with the glutinous bright citrus hops and creamy flaked oats feel. Great job.

Sep 15, 2017
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dee4maine from Maine

3.32/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 2 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

This beer didn't cut it for me. Ugly as my neighborhood muddy spring dirty snow melt off stream. Hops definitely are shining but the overall feel is washed out.

Apr 09, 2017
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Danstaats from New Jersey

3.83/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Got this in a trade. Thought it was going to be better. Lacked the complexity I'm use to in most bissel brother beers. I guess if youre not a "craft beer guy" this is a good beer to start on . safe ale. not too hoppy just a safe ale

Feb 22, 2017
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brewskis from Indiana

4.1/5  rDev +3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a very murky dirty amber, brownish color with a finger of tan head. Admittedly a very ugly looking beer.

Aroma is full of dank, fruity hops. Get loads of candied grapefruit, clementine, pineapple juice, juicy peaches, lemon heads, dankness, and pine resin. A juicy fruit bubblegum note is there from the yeast. Get sugary sweetness, light carmel sweetness, and light toast from the malt.

Taste follows the aroma well. Get loads of juicy pineapple, candied grapefruit, juicy peach, and fruity yeast esters up front along with sugar, slight carmel, and faint toasted bread from the malt. Well balanced, but manages to keep the juicy hops the showcase of the beer. Pretty dry finish with some pine resin, grass, and herbaceous dank bitterness coming through. Some underlying juicy peach and grapefruit notes hang around as well.

Solid medium body. Smooth, creamy, and chewy, especially for such a light abv beer. Very soft.

A very solid hoppy amber. If there was such thing as a NE style amber ale, this would be it. Manages to be full of juicy, dank hops, but still stays balanced. Drinks much higher than the abv would indicate. Well done.

Dec 26, 2016
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Davepoolesque from Massachusetts

4.13/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Medium dark amber in color. Super hazy in appearance. Tropical fruit hop flavors intermingle with the caramel malt backbone seamlessly. Hopped up amber for sure. Solid.

Sep 12, 2016
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Huhzubendah from District of Columbia

4/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Draft at the source.

Super murky rusty orange / brown body. Tan collar with copious lacing. Malty, fruity, dank hop aroma. Sweet malt leaps out with ripened fruits and a note of sweet breads. Medium bitterness.

Aug 24, 2016
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brentk56 from North Carolina

4.09/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Yes, it is a cloudy, cidery color (not the prettiest for sure) but what a magnificent head and just look at the curtains of lace that are left behind

Smell: Caramel with bright stone fruit and dank hemp tones

Taste: The caramel base underpins from start to finish (this is an Amber, after all) but the hops emerge and hang tough, bringing stone fruit and hemp flavors; moderate bitterness, through the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Remember folks, this is an Amber, not an IPA, and as an Amber it has everything I would want; well done

Thanks, cp45, for the opportunity

Aug 19, 2016
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BEERchitect from Kentucky

3.78/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Bright, bold and citrusy, you'd think that the beer's descripiton reads like IPA. But with a richer appearance and dry malt balance, the background taste is much more of amber than of pale. One thing's for sure- this ain't your father's red ale.

Bissell Brothers Bucolia might look somewhat of an ugly duckling with its murky rust and prune colors along with its tarnish sepia froth. But its scent is a botanical blend of fresh grass clippings, citrus peels and a backdrop of toasted sweetness. Toasted caramel, nuttiness, toastiness and burnt granola brings about a savory but dry sweetness with hints of peanut skins and bread crust.

The remnants of what was already a slim sweetness trails off quickly in order to favor the hops. The more piquant flavors of citrus peel, fresh-cut grass, and herbal cannabis-like botanicals arise with a peppery bite and a sourish bitterness of grapefruit ribs. Growing bitterness shows a light astringency but a sharp pine resin finish with the bitterness gripping the gullet tightly.

Medium-bodied yet trending dry for amber ale, the beer's caramel flavors remains tight and dry with any savory component relegated to a crusted toastiness. Creamy dry as the finish nears, hints of coffee grounds and peppercorn accompany the abrasive bitterness that extends deeply into aftertaste.

Aug 04, 2016
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GarthDanielson from Virginia

3.84/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a tallboy into a shaker pint, the beer is a muddled, opaque, brown coloring with a low profile, bubbly, off-white head. Looks like muddy water. Aromas of rich and sweet malt profiles of toffee, caramel, and hints of chocolate, with overlays of piney hops. Flavors are rich and sweet forward, again with the caramel and chocolate, but the hops follow is much more intense this time around, with a blast of sticky resin and pine tassels, dank and wet, providing a bolt of bitterness through the middle of all of those rich and sweet characteristics. The body is big and slick, with a sharp edge underneath it. The aftertaste is slightly cloying sweet, but with that bitterness still lingering around. Piney and caramel/toffee sweet. The finish is slick, slow, and with that bitter linger still going strong. Interesting take on a Red.

Jul 24, 2016
Photo of rudzud
rudzud from Massachusetts

3.21/5  rDev -19.3%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Thanks to JLindros for sharing.

A - Poured into a Kate the Great tulip a nice pond water scum colour, there is a thin halo and light lacing.

S - Aromas of very light malts, caramel, generic bitterness. Light fruits, generic hops.

T - Taste is similar to the nose, fair amount of caramel, light bitterness, faint grassy hops, light citrus. Very, very average.

M - Mouthfeel is relatively thin, watery, lowly carbonated.

O - Overall this is a very very underwhelming beer. Thin, watery, malty, very very mediocre.

Serving type: can

Jul 16, 2016
Photo of jlindros
jlindros from Massachusetts

3.31/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Light fluffy creamy but smaller head, lighter lacing, murky pond water brown tan color.

Nose light floral hops, little grassy, little fruity, little citrus some spicy hops too, little chewy briny hops, generic fruity, little sweet Amber malt, almost caramel.

Taste brings toasted malts, mildly sweety amber toasted malts, and caramel, grainy almost husky, into mild hops, bit spicy, little earthy, chewy almost briny, touch fruity, a little hop water thing, bitter thing.

Mouth is thin, a little watery, decent carb.

Overall incredibly disappointed.

Jul 16, 2016
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perpetuity from Maine

2.83/5  rDev -28.9%
look: 1 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.5

Really looks like diarrhea water. Aromas thankfully not the same, pleasant but typical. Another BB brew, another juice thing. Very underwhelmed by this brew. Taste might as well be just about anything, nothing surprising or very interesting to me.

Will try again to see if it was one of _those_ palate days...

Jul 10, 2016
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TylerHockett from Indiana

3.86/5  rDev -3%
look: 1 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

L: THE ugliest IPA I have ever seen. It looks like dirty pond water
S: Floral and piney
T: Follows the nose. Lots of spices and bitter pine
F: Typical unfiltered NE IPA feel
O: Very interesting. Was worried it would be terrible when poured because of the look, but it was actually quite pleasant.

Jul 10, 2016
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cosmicevan from New York

3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

thanks Gary for the can, enjoyed from a bissell wine glass. deep muddy color, nose and flavor are solid hoppy amber. really nice brew, super drinkable. nice to sometimes not be an ipa

Jun 22, 2016
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Boccu from New York

3.8/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

pours with a nice head. Deep, dark amber color. Deep toasted malt. Lots of caramel. Nice hops. Not as good as other bisell beverages. Still a solid brown ale.

Jun 17, 2016
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Chico1985 from Massachusetts

3.76/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Another single Bissell Bro can grab from last weekend's Portland excursion. How was that already a week ago btw?

A - 1 pint can to 1 pint glass. As every other review ever already mentioned, it's light brown colored and kinda looks like swamp water. A couple fingers of puffy beige head upon the pour, a thick ring+mostly full cap by the end with some lace dots left.

S - Scent is a bit on the weak side. Herbal tea and orangey hops feel kinda muted, some toffee, sugar cookie and toasted malt. Nice but faint.

T - Bigger everything here. Sharp and bitter earthy pine sap hops, orange, floral, some peach and tropical fruit notes. Prevalent malts are nice and mesh decently, bringing a decent dose of sugar cookie sweetness and bread crust.

M - Definitely on the hefty side for the ABV, quite smooth with a nice level of swishy carbonation. Good amount of malt coming through without overpowering, but the bitterness here is a bit on the abrasive side.

O - A nice hoppy red that's under 6%, kind of a rare thing nowadays and certainly a nice change up instead of yet-another-IPA. Could use some tweaking, though -- it'd be nice to see those amber ale malts showcased a bit more and the hop bitterness toned down a shade.

Jan 25, 2016
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twizzard from New York

3.98/5  rDev 0%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Probably one of the ugliest looking beers I've poured in a while....Kind of like Hudson River after a 3 day storm. That said, it's a solid IPA that I'll drink whenever offered.

Oct 07, 2015
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ScaryEd from New Hampshire

3.91/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16 oz can dated 09/22.

This beer is hideous. It's a murky, reddish brown color that looks a bit too much like diarrhea. The cream colored head is decent, but dissipates quickly. Some decent lacing left around the top of the glass.

Fortunately the aroma is far more pleasant. The simcoe hops really pop here and are very noticeable each time I take a whiff. Very earthy. The sweet, bready malt is also present and gives the aroma some nice balance.

The malt takes the reigns on the flavor but the earthy bitterness of the hops are still very much present. A bit grainy, but sweet. The hops really come forward on the back end giving the beer a nice, piney character. Nothing spectacular, but very well balanced.

The mouth is medium bodied with good carbonation. Drinks like a much heavier beer than it really is.

Overall, a beer that proves you can't judge a book by its cover. It looks like liquid poo, but it tastes pretty damn good. Very well balanced with a nice aroma.

Sep 26, 2015
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Hophead508 from Massachusetts

4.02/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I was lucky enough to score a 4 pack of these on my recent Portland trip at the recommendation of some friends who work at a rival brewery (all are friends in Maine anyways). I was impressed at the amount of hops they pack in for a 5.6 abv beer. The beer pours a deep Amber color, I little cloudy, with a huge hoppy nose. This beer smells awesome, I picked up on the Simcoe pine right away. I did not find the beer bitter at all and tasted a Carmel tail with a smooth hoppy taste. This a is a big beer for 5.6 abv!

Aug 16, 2015
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VelvetExtract from Massachusetts

3.93/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can. Pours an amber hue. Nose is pretty packed with hoppiness. Some earthy and piney hops and also some citrus and fruity hops. Malt is semi-pronounced but smells like it may be on the drier side. Some very nice hop flavor here balanced out by a sturdy but rather dry malt. It reminds me a bit of bread crust. Citrusy and grassy and fruity hops. Finishes bitter but not overwhelming. Enjoyed it but less than others from Bissell Brothers.

Jun 14, 2015
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smcolw from Massachusetts

4.19/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deep, dark amber color. Mild haze. Good spotty lace from a moderate bar-poured head.

Deep toasted malt. Lots of caramel.

Dark malt start with an overly browned toast initial taste. The hop comes in smoothly. The finish is bitter but not too strong. The smoothness is in the body as well.

May 16, 2015
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kscaldef from Oregon

2.27/5  rDev -43%
look: 3.75 | smell: 2.25 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

No canning date I can find.

Amber with good clarity, moderate head, splotchy lacing. Muted caramel and citrus aroma. A little bready. Falls apart in the mouth. Sort of a woody, bitter type of red ale. Any hops that were once there are oxidized beyond recognition. Unpleasant.

May 13, 2015
Bucolia from Bissell Brothers Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 88 out of 100 with 263 ratings