Back to back hoppy rye beers with Light in the Window fromBurlington Beer and now Lux from Bissell Brothers. I believe this is the last of the Bissell Brother’s beers for me to review. I will have to go back through and update some photos as they now have brand specific cans for Lux and Baby Genius and I am sure Noah and Peter will have some new options soon enough.
Lux pours a deep hazy orange, not nearly as murky as some of their other beers but still far from clear. Head is bright white with big soapy bubbles that left a fair amount of lacing on the glass. Aroma is a mix of spicy rye and lemon and taste pretty much follows with the rye dominating and the hops there for some added flavor and complexity.
Overall a very good beer from Bissell but I prefer most of their others over Lux.
Pros: Cons: Alcohol Content: 5.1% ABV IBU (Bitterness): ?? Rating: Brewers Website:Bissell Brothers Brewing Brewers Description: This rye ale is our tropical escape to a sunnier state of mind.
Another hop forward beer from Bissell Brothers Brewing. This one comes in at 7.3% which is a big increase in ABV from Baby Genius (4%) and Diavoletto (2.6%) and only marginally less than Swish at 8%. So far I have really enjoyed all of Bissell’s hoppy offerings and not as impressed with Seed or i-Lucky.
Reciprocal may be the murkiest beer I have tried. The only other that comes to mind is Lotus Eater from Candia Road Brewing that I had 3 years ago. This beer looks like a combination of orange and grapefruit juice with a nice white head. Aroma has loads of citrus, pineapple, mango. Taste follows with lots of grapefruit, mango, pineapple and just enough of a malt base to keep things in check. Minimal bitterness in the finish and the 16 ounce can was gone in no time.
Another excellent beer from Bissell Brothers and I believe this beer is now part of their normal brew schedule so I look forward to more Reciprocal in the future.
Pros: Cons: Some people may not like the haze Alcohol Content: 7.3% ABV IBU (Bitterness): ?? Rating: Brewers Website: Bissell Brothers Brewers Description: A showcase of Southern Hemisphere hops, and a giant thank-you to the true fans & supporters.
Bissell Brother’s beers always create quite a buzz but the hype around Seed may have exceeded all others. This was on their can release schedule for the summer and was pushed back a couple of weeks due to delays in hop shipment. Eventually the beer was brewed and release date set. The lines were long and purchases were limited to two $18 4-packs per person.
Almost immediately after it was released people started to comment they were disappointed in the beer. I think those that were disappointed didn’t know what Seed was supposed to be. This is not a sour fruit beer like those from Allagash and it is not a berliner weiss style beer that often have fruit added; it is a relatively simple fruit beer and it was good for what it was.
Seed pours a deep red with minimal carbonation and almost no head. Aroma and flavor are both fresh raspberry with very little else going on. The strawberries seem to have been lost or simply over powered by the raspberries. Finish is sweet and refreshing.
Overall I enjoyed the beer for what it was but prefer sour and berliner style fruit beers. Seed felt too much like wine or fermented fruit juice for me to want more than one. I still have a couple cans in the fridge if anyone missed out and wants to try this beer.
Pros: Appearance Cons: Alcohol Content: 6.0% ABV IBU (Bitterness): ?? Rating: Brewers Website: Bissell Brothers Brewers Description: We crafted an ale with a half-ton of pesticide-free, Maine-grown strawberries and raspberries from our friends at the Bradbury Mountain Berry Farm in Pownal.
Bissell Brothers continues to impress making great beer in all categories from their DIPA Swish to their lower ABV beers like this one and Baby Genius. I am always impressed when a brewer can make a full flavored beer and keep the ABV below 4.5%. Being able to keep the flavor and reduce the ABV to 2.6% is amazing.
Diavoletto looks a lot like its slightly bigger brother Baby Genius, pale yellow with a decent white head. Aroma is plentiful for such a small beer with lots of tropical and citrus hops. Taste follows with lots of hop flavor, almost no bitterness and a crisp clean finish. Some may say this beer feels a bit thin but what do you expect from a 2.6% ABV beer.
This beer is perfect for day drinking, golfing, enjoying at the beach or pretty much anywhere.
Pros: Flavorful and low ABV Cons: Alcohol Content: 2.6% ABV IBU (Bitterness): ?? Rating: Brewers Website: Bissell Brothers Brewers Description: a super-session ale. massive flavors & body with an impossibly low abv. Hops: Lemondrop, Equinox, Citra – Malts: Malted Heat, Flaked Wheat, Golden Pomise, Munich, Carapils. Flaked Oat.
I believe i-Lucky was first brewed for Pai Men Miyake a Japanese Restaurant on State Street in Portland. It was also available for tasters at the brewery and eventually made it into cans. Unfortunately this beer simply did not work for me and I ended up giving away three of the four cans I purchased.
Appearance and aroma were fine with a nice light orange color, solid white head and a muted aroma of ginger and other spices. Taste is where it fell apart as it was all ginger. I tried this beer on its own and then with my dinner and the ginger simply overpowered everything. Maybe my taste buds are sensitive to ginger or maybe the beer would work with Japanese or Thai food but it didn’t do anything for me. By the time I was half way through the can my tongue was tingling and I decided to move on to something else.
I feel like there was a well crafted beer in there somewhere but the ginger was simply too much for me.
Pros: Cons: Alcohol Content: 7.0% ABV IBU (Bitterness): ?? Rating: Brewers Website: Bissell Brothers Brewing Brewers Description: IPA brewed with rice & fresh ginger. a homage to restaurant workers everywhere.
Updated for 2016: Bissell Brothers changed the yeast strain they were using across all their beers and I feel it has improved the beers. The more recent releases of Swish have been even better than they were last year making it one of the most sought after DIPAs in Maine.
Original review: I tried both batch 1 and batch 2 of Swish and I am glad I waited for the second batch before writing this review. Not sure if my palate was off for the first batch but batch 2 was much more of what I expected from the Bissell’s.
Swish pours a pale orange, color is actually a little lighter than the photo and certainly on the lighter side for a double IPA. Aroma is strong and filled with tropical fruits; pineapple, grapefruit. Taste has lots going on with layers and layers of hops; grapefruit, passionfruit and pineapple flavors being the most prominent. A fair amount of bitterness in the finish.
Overall very impressed with Swish from Bissell Brothers and glad this one will be available for the next few months.
Pros: Big hop aroma and flavor Cons: Alcohol Content: 8.0% ABV IBU (Bitterness): ?? Rating: Brewers Website: Bissell Brothers Brewers Description: The double IPA we have dreamed about.
availability: october through april
Hops: mosaic, citra, simcoe, apollo
Malts: 2-row, golden promise, flaked wheat
Updated 2015 batch: I got a fair amount of push back on my original review of AWFS. Many felt that I was far too generous of the beer but I did enjoy the 2014 batch even though it was a bit unorthodox. In 2015 Noah completely changed the recipe for AWFS making it more of a traditional porter and added maple syrup to give it a bit of complexity and that probably also helped to bump up the ABV a bit. Overall a different beer but still enjoyable.
Original review 2014 batch: The fourth beer release from Bissell Brothers Brewing is their first dark beer and it comes in the form of a heavily hopped porter. Angels with Filthy Souls is a reference to Home Alone that I completely missed but both my wife and eldest daughter picked up on it immediately. For those that have not seen Home Alone 100 times Angels with Filthy Souls is the black and white movie playing while Kevin is in the hotel room, the one with the machine gun noise and “keep the change, ya filthy animal”.
As you can see in the picture this beer pours a deep brown with a very thick tan head. Aroma has mix of roasted malts and floral hops, interesting aroma but nothing too exciting. Taste follows the same path a very mild chocolate/coffee start that is quickly replaced by the Amarillo hops and leaves a slightly oily film on the tongue and teeth.
An interesting beer and one I enjoyed but seemed thin for a porter but it wouldn’t really fit into the black ipa/Cascadian dark ale category either. Certainly worth trying if you can find a can of it. Pros: Unique Cons: Alcohol Content: 6.3% ABV IBU (Bitterness): ?? Rating: Brewers Website:Bissell Brothers Brewing Brewers Description: Our first dark offering; this porter is laced with lactose sugar to balance the tremendous amounts of amarillo hops contained within. Debuted in December 2014 to commemorate both the holiday season and our first anniversary, this unique celebratory ale will always rear its yellow, no-good, fore-flushing kiester around Christmastime.
The third offering from Bissell Brothers to make it into cans is their fall seasonal Bucolia. I believe this is classified as a red/amber ale however in true Bissell Brothers fashion it is heavily hopped for your enjoyment. You may notice the can is the same as Baby Genius but they affix a clear label to the side to identify the beer within. The label is very well done and you might not even notice it is a label unless you were specifically looking for it.
Bucolia pours a deep copper color, not quite red but close. Aroma is loaded with citrus and pine, very enjoyable. Taste follows with those same citrus/pine notes but enough of a malt profile to keep things in line. Slightly bitter finish and a relatively low 5.6% ABV make this an easy drinking fall beer.
Really impressed with the Bissell Brothers first three offerings and I am sure to consume many more Bucolias before it is replaced by their winter seasonal.
Pros: Flavorful and hoppy Cons: Not your typical amber ale (but I am OK with that) Alcohol Content: 5.6% ABV IBU (Bitterness): ?? Rating: Brewery Links: Bissell Brothers Site, Facebook, Twitter Brewers Description: Bucolia was our answer to the question of how to provide a robust beer with a deep, interesting malt character, while staying true to our passion of producing fresh, soaring hop flavors in our offerings.
We are thrilled with the result, and will continue brewing Bucolia through late Autumn / Early Winter.
This is a great beer! I have been drinking it every chance I get this summer, mostly at Salvage BBQ in Portland and Marche in Lewiston. Unfortunately Bissell Brothers only did a single canning run before changing over to their fall seasonal so I only had the chance to purchase a couple 4-packs. I ended up sharing a couple cans with others and all that got the chance to try it raved about the robust flavor with low ABV.
Baby Genius pours an extremely murky pale orange with a thick white head. This is exactly what I want my beer to look like. Aroma is mild when compared to many of the big double IPAs I enjoy but when you consider this is a “blonde” and has a very low 4% ABV the aroma is huge. I put “blonde” in quotation marks as this is certainly not what you think of when you hear blonde ale. Lots of citrus and tropical fruits with just a hint of sweet malts in the aroma. Flavor follows with grapefruit, citrus and a bitterness that leaves you wanting more. How they pack so much flavor into such a low ABV beer I don’t know. Baby Genius is almost certainly not brewed to style as the hop profile is much bigger than a blonde should be and also has more bitterness but you will not hear me complaining.
This is one of the most flavorful low ABV beers that I have reviewed. This combined with the cloudy appearance and excellent aroma make this a beer you must try. I really hope they can this all summer long in 2015 as I will enjoy many cans of this and Rising Tide’s MITA while golfing.
Pros: Loads of flavor and low ABV Cons: Not available year round 🙁 Alcohol Content: 4.0% ABV Calories: ??? IBU (Bitterness): ?? Rating: Brewers Website:Bissell Brothers Brewers Description:
This review was a long time coming as the Bissell Brothers have been planning their brewery for over a year. I got to try some of the pilot batches along he way and really enjoyed them. When the brewery opened they did not have the canning machine as it was delayed at the manufacturer so The Substance was keg only for quite a while. Then word came down that cans were hitting select retailers and the craziness began. Bier Cellar in Portland and The Vault in Lewiston were included in the first round and I picked up my 4-pack at The Vault. Greg at Bier Cellar blew through many cases of this in the first day setting a new record for single day sales. Goes without saying a lot of people we waiting for this beer to hit the shelves so they could enjoy it at home.
The Substance has one of the coolest can designs I have seen and comes in 4-packs of 16 ounce cans. The appearance is a crisp clean yellow with a solid white head. Aroma is a very nice mix of citrus and pine, not as big as some other beers but still a very inviting appearance and aroma. Taste is certainly hop forward but still very well balanced. I get a fair amount of citrus and slightly less pine. Also seems to have a slight oniony taste which seems strange but it works. Faint bitterness in the finish and was very refreshing. I actually enjoyed this more out of the can than I did on draft which is surprising. Not sure if it was just a different batch and Noah continues to gain experience on their new system or if it was the fact I was drinking it in the comfort of my own home.
This beer will be a great summer beer in Maine, take it to the beach, golfing, hiking or anywhere you want a quality tasty beverage.
Pros: Hoppy and refreshing Cons: Alcohol Content:6.6% ABV Calories: ??? IBU (Bitterness): ?? Rating: Brewers Website: Bissell Brothers Brewing Brewers Description: Our bread and butter; the beer that has made waves in Portland, greater Maine, and even NYC.
Flavor that goes and goes, without being overly bitter. Soft in the mouth with a juicy finish, the Substance begs to be crushed.
The Substance can be found on draught and in 16 ounce cans.
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