Next is a review of Bissell Brothers flagship IPA, Substance. Bissell Brothers are certainly creating some noise out of Portland Maine with beers like this one, Reciprocal and Swish. Substance comes in at 6.6% ABV.
Appearance: New England hazy juice style. Yellow orange color with a 1 finger head which dissipates slowly into a layer of thick lacing. Very turbid.
Nose: Pine, orange, pineapple, tangerine, tropical and mango. Very dank and juicy nose. The pineapple and mango notes are what stuck out most to me.
Taste/Mouth: Nice juicy peach and orange with some floral notes up front. Lemon, tangerine, pineapple and mango make their way over from the nose as well. Biscuit and cracker malt. Nice chewy, medium body with medium carbonation. Finishes slightly dry and bitter. Its a very New England style IPA mixed with a typical East coast style IPA.
Price/Availability: This is a brewery release which is brewed weekly I believe. I got it in a trade.
Overall: A fantastic NE Style IPA which I would consider on the same level as some of Trillium’s beers. Unlike a lot of other juice bomb style IPAs this one still has a nice East Coast IPA feel to it. This was my first Bissell Brother’s beer and I recently took a trip to Portland Maine and was able to try some of their other stuff as well. Excited to see what this brewery will do in the future. This is a well crafted flagship beer for the brewery and certainly lives up to what I heard about it.
Happy to finally get some more Tree House on the blog, this time in cans. A while back, when Tree House was literally still a shed in a backyard I did some reviews of Julius and That’s What She Said (old school reviews). Well they have come a long way since and their beers are somehow even more difficult to get now. Haze is their Imperial IPA and comes in at 8.2% ABV.
Appearance: Super hazy orange juice. Nice 1 finger head with some sticky lacing. It is a New England style milky juice bomb IPA.
Nose: Pineapple, orange juice, mango, great tropical and citrus juice notes. New England style IPA so really heavy on the juicy notes with some floral and toasted malt coming through as well. You can literally smell this beer from across the room.
Taste/Mouth: All signs point to this tasting like a juice bomb and it sure does. Where is the alcohol in this? It says 8.2% but I wouldn’t even believe it if you told me this was .2% alcohol, it’s nonexistent. Great mango, pineapple and orange flavors. Grapefruit is big with a nice malt backbone. Has some biscuit and honey flavors as well. How is this an Imperial IPA, it drinks like a session beer. Medium body finishes dry.
Price/Availability: Brewery release, so much hype. Just hype, I got it in a trade and unless you like lines I think that’s the move.
Overall: What an incredibly well crafted beer. Tree House basically invented the NE Style IPA and every beer they make is unreal. They literally don’t have a hoppy beer on BA with less than a 90 score, and Haze isn’t even close to their highest rated beer (it has a 100 btw which is the highest score). Haze is one of their best beers and one of the staple NE Style doubles you should try. I could crush these all day and not even realize I was drinking beer. I seriously don’t understand where the 8.2% is, it is a testament to the incredible work these guys are doing. This thing is packed with flavor and has a nose to die for, get it now. Haze is perfect.
Glad to be finally getting a review of this beer up on the blog as it is one of my go to beers when visiting friends in central Massachusetts. Wormtown has gained some notoriety off the back of this beer and it is especially accessible now that it is offered in cans. Be Hoppy comes in at 6.5% ABV.
Appearance: Clear golden yellow color with a nice 1 finger head. Good retention and great lacing. Love the new 16oz cans.
Nose: Pine, resin, grapefruit. Especially big on the pine and resin notes as a west coast style should be. Floral, earthy and grassy as well. Citrus comes through on the backend of the nose.
Taste/Mouth: Slightly citrus, lemon and grapefruit. The floral, pine and earthy notes all come through from the nose as well. Bitter and hoppy but not palate crushing. Nicely done west coast style. Finishes dry and bitter but also crisp and clean. Makes for an easy to drink IPA.
Price/Availability: 4 pack of 16oz cans for $10 in Worcester.
Overall: Who says if your a brewery in NE you have to brew only NE style juice bomb IPAs? Be Hoppy is a great east coast take on a west coast style IPA. Easily can put down a few of these and not get tired of it. I gotta say its refreshing to just have a nicely well executed west coast style IPA after drinking all the juice bombs in NE. This is a solid go to if you are in the central MA and wanna drink a nice local IPA.
Next up in my Trillium reviews of beers I was able to grab visiting some friends in MA when I stopped by the brewery is their Double IPA Vicinity. I was super happy this was available when I was there as this is one of the beers from them I have been most excited to try. Vicinity comes in at 8%ABV.
Appearance: Light orange super hazy, milky color with a very small head and some okay lacing. Cans are so simple but so aesthetically pleasing. Their art direction is great.
Nose: Fresh squeezed orange juice, straight up. Citrus everything, super dank juice. Peach, pineapple, huge citrus rinds, lemon, lime, orange, honey and floral. Almost hard to believe this is beer at first.
Taste/Mouth: Orange, citrus, onion, some pine resin flavors and peach. Little heat from the alcohol, not a ton of bitterness but it is present. Pretty light for a double IPA but medium mouth feel and medium carbonation. Super juicy and easy to drink.
Price/Availability: I got a mixed 4 pack of cans when visiting the brewery, I believe a 4 pack of this is ~$14.
Overall: Trillium nails this one, stylistically and in general it is hard to find anything wrong with this beer. This is a top tier DIPA that every hop head needs to get their hands on. One of the staple NE style DIPAs and one of the best “Juice Bomb” style beers I have had to date. Vicinity hits the perfect grade.
I recently had the pleasure of getting to Trillium’s brewery in Canton, MA and oh man did it live up to the hype. First of all the actual facility, minus the weird rules about how many samples/beers you can have, was beautiful. Trillium is THE brewery right now, everyone everywhere wants a piece of them and it seems as though right now they can do no wrong. I brought home a variety 4 pack of their beers for reviews so expect a few in the upcoming posts. Scaled comes in at 7% ABV.
Appearance: Super, super hazy golden murky color, or turbid as all the kids are saying these days. Looks like straight up juice, they should do a photo series “Beer or Juice”.
Nose: Juicy, very juicy and fruity. Tropical, citrus, some stone fruits. I can easily grab lime and grapefruit out of the aroma. I think El Dorado adds an interesting aspect to this as it isn’t a hop I would typically envision as part of the bill for these juice bombs, while Citra is.
Taste/Mouth: Citrus, tropical and juicy fruit bomb. Not much bitterness at all except the end finishes slightly bitter and dry. Fresh peach, nectarine, tangerine and pineapple. Good medium feel with medium carbonation. Really no evidence of the alcohol at all. Can easily crush a ton of these.
Price/Availability: Got a mixed 4 pack at the brewery for around $14 I believe.
Overall: After recently visiting the brewery I can finally jump on the Trillium hype train and for once I am totally down to ride this hype train. These guys are making some outstanding beers and pushing the boundaries of the IPA style. This isn’t even close to being their best offering, which is hilarious since this would probably be the crown jewel beer for so many other breweries. Trillium are the kings of the NE style juice bomb IPA right now and they don’t show any signs of slowing down.
I first heard of this beer even before it was actually released. Lord Hobo did some seriously extensive advertising in Beer Advocate leading up to the actual release of their beers. Needless to say I loved the advertising campaign and ever since have been excited to try their beers. Boom Sauce is their flagship American IPA and comes in at 8% ABV.
Appearance: Super hazy glowing orange color with a 1 finger head and some really nice retention. The beer has great lacing as well. Huge fan of the cans look and all of Lord Hobo’s marketing.
Nose: Pine, resin, grapefruit, pineapple and some sweet caramel malt. Right off the bat smells way more like a West Coast or Midwest Style than a NE style IPA. Honey, herbal, earthy and floral notes all come through as well.
Taste/Mouth: Grapefruit, orange, piney and resin hop notes. Good malt sweetness to back up the big bitterness of this beer. Big citrus notes throughout the taste and feels moderate to heavy while finishing dry and bitter. Little heat on the back but easy to drink mostly.
Price/Availability: 4 pack for around $10 in Worcester where I picked this beer up.
Overall: This and Steal This Can are Lord Hobo’s flagship IPAs and Boom Sauce is their crack at a New England Style IPA. It certainly looks the part of a NE IPA but the aroma and taste lean way more toward a west coast feeling IPA. Now don’t get me wrong I have no problem with that but even if your looking at this going in as a West Coast IPA it still feels slightly lacking. It is decent enough but this beer has some rough competition over in Massachusetts and the whole Northeast right now. It probably falls somewhere in the middle of the pack. I would drink it again but I wouldn’t doubt it if I picked something else over it.
Doing my best to grab all the Planet series beers from Bells. This is the third beer in the series I believe. Mercury the Winged Messenger comes in at 4.8% and doesn’t list its IBU.
Appearance: Small head, little to no lacing and a lot of floating debris in the beer. Straw yellow pale in color.
Nose: Yeasty, fruity, some banana and clove notes. White grape, spicy farmhouse notes as well. Smells a lot like a Czech Pils to me.
Taste/Mouth: Tastes like a bad Hefe honestly. Earthy and musty yeast flavors, spicy phenols, grape and kind of skunky like a Czech beer. Really weird and definitely not what I expected from this beer. Don’t like the finish either, leaves a very strange flavor in your mouth.
Price/Availability: One time only for the planet series and around $2.50 for a single 12oz bottle.
Overall: Another letdown from this series. This was more drinkable than Venus but that is not saying much as that beer was just an instant drain pour. This is a pretty big miss from Bells and another miss in a series I had high expectations for. I only drank about half of it before I poured this one as well.