Lilja's Hop Nest Monster | Sand Creek Brewing Company

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Lilja's Hop Nest MonsterLilja's Hop Nest Monster

Brewed by:
Sand Creek Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
Nest is NOT a typo.

Added by feloniousmonk on 01-14-2009

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Reviews: 105 | Ratings: 192
Photo of DaneBramage
2.84/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

L: Golden brown with a small foamy head.

S: Hoppy and citrusy.

T: mildly hoppy and citrusy but bitter. Watered-down flavor, almost a light-beer version of an IPA.

F: average.

O: The name here is misleading - not extremely hoppy and not a monster taste. Disappointing.

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Photo of lochef81
3/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3

Picked this up on a whim, not expecting much. The pour is a golden amber color with an overly abundant white head that leaves nearly no lacing. The aroma is reminiscent of vegetables; particularly tomato, stale hops, and mass produced corn-malt beers. The mouthfeel is decent; smooth and easy to drink. Definitely on the lighter side of medium bodied. The flavor is slightly better than the nose with no vegetable qualities but still the presence of stale hops. It is butter on the finish but nit in a good biting ipa way. This was a very dissapointing beer and I'm not sure I'll try this brewery again.

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Photo of Strix
3.11/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Straw yellow, decent initial head that leaves some lacing and gradually fades to nothing.

Grass, urine (like an old baseball dugout), floral, slightly citrus smell.

Pale malt, green peppers, english hoppy grassy note, followed by a dank orange rind. Really interesting mix of flavors, but a little off balance.

Medium carbonation and mouthfeel.

You know, this didn't really connect with me, but it was serviceable. More along the lines of an English PA than anything else. Hopping just seemed to be all over the place, with no plan in sight.

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Photo of TheBeer
3.4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Not a bad beer, but not one to seek out by any means. Labeled as a primordial extra pale india pale ale, but it tastes taste nothing like that. There is no shot of bitter hops if that is what you are seeking out in this beer. The beer is a little sweet for an IPA and it doesn't seem to come from the severe lacking presence of malts. Fairly normal smell with grapefruit and orange overtones and a slight breadiness. Taste essentially mocks the smell with a citrus fruit forward taste and a much calmer maltish on the back end. If nothing else satisfies your craving for this beer, the label will be sure to please. If you can find single bottles for $1.50 or so(maybe even $1.00(other options are better and cheaper) )then pick one up. This will not be your next holy grail of beers, but it will satisfy your craft beer desire.

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Photo of Kenharkerjr
3.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

I saw this and bought it on a whim. It was serviceable. It finished a little sweet for my taste. It didn't pack the weighty IPA punch I like. It did well to mask the 7% ABV, it wasn't overtly strong. Not terrible, but not great. I won't be in a hurry to get more.

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Photo of JG-90
3.42/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Beer is a clear golden brown color with a large, creamy, white head. Head has very good retention and leaves heavy lacing. Smells mostly of rye bread, grassy/earth, and pale malt. Has a bit of citrus.

Tastes of lemon, pinneapple, and grapefruit, then dark bread and dark/caramel malts, with an aftertaste that has a little citrus (musky orange and lemon), floral and resinous hops, and dark fruit, along with old bread and earthyness. Mouthfeel is a bit lighter than average for an IPA, very creamy, with high carbonation.

Review #100!

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Photo of woosterbill
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle.

A: Clear medium amber body under a thin cap of fine eggshell foam. Ok retention, great lace. Not bad.

S: Sweet malt and fruity, resinous hops. A bit tropical and quite caramelized. Ok.

T: Spicy hops up front, sweet toffee midway through, bittersweet finish. Definitely sweeter than I like in an IPA, but tasty in its own way.

M: Light-to-medium body, plenty of creamy carbonation. Great.

O: Too sweet, but not a bad beer at all.


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Photo of swingdjted
3.18/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Appearance: Manufacturer name and description really lays it on, making a potential buyer think this is some kind of hophead-meets-malthead beer marriage. The label is a little over-the-top, almost annoyingly comical. The beer pours with a decent amount of head if you let it glug a few times, no need to be extra careful. I got around 3/4 inch to start, followed by about 1/8" after about 5 minutes. Good lacing. Color is orange/brown, not fully transparent, mildly cloudy.

Smell: Hops. Mildly bitter. Floral. No malt or other flavor smell. Certainly not a monster smell at all, but still a good beer aroma for a beer that teeters on the hoppy side.

Taste matches smell very consistently, maybe with a little added citrus, like a hint of grapefruit or non-sweet orange. No taste of malt that I can find, unlike the advertised description. The hoppy taste is not not hoppy enough to please a hop head at all, but it would be a good beer for someone wanting just slightly more (especially floral) hop flavor than the average beer, and little other flavor. The chosen hops are good-tasting.

Mouthfeel: Light carbonation, thin, almost like a hoppier, heavier beer watered down, but not too much; I still liked the beer. Very smooth and easy drinkability.

Overall: If it weren't for the description, I'd be mostly satisfied by this decent beer. The description and label make me think it's some push-the-limits beer, and then I come to find out it's a basic beer with just a little extra floral and bitter hop flavor, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Save the crazy names, pictures, and descriptions for the triple digit IBU and extreme-malt beers, and market this one as a good but mostly tame beer. It'll still sell, and probably better since most drinkers don't like overkill.

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Photo of SerialHiker
2.58/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Pours an orangish golden color…some bubble action in the middle…transparent…some head formed, but decided not to stick around…(3.5/5)

Smell: Bitter initially…pale malts come out after…not overly floral or citrusy…grassy and sweet…after I really stick my nose in the glass, I pick up a hint of citrus, lemon maybe, but it’s only ‘cause I was really digging deep that I noticed it…definitely an “extra pale” smell…(3/5)

Taste: Floral hops and bitterness right off the bat…there is a pale malt backbone that does ride all the way through but plays a deep second to the bitter hop flavor…the extra pale malts do linger and coat the middle of my tongue, but the bitterness is dominate and takes no prisoners…there is little other flavor that bitter hops and pale malt…(2.5/5)

Mouthfeel: Light and fluffy…medium carbonation does fluff and create a bitter factory in my mouth…pale malts do run the middle of my tongue, but it’s a bitter beer…(2.5/5)

Overall: Not my favorite…the extra pale malts with overly bitter hops is one concept, I guess…the bitterness is too dominant and leaves the pale malts in the dust, creating a train wreck of flavors in my mouth…there is little else going on here, leaving me wishing there was more citrus or less floral bitterness or maybe some balance with the malt…something…as it is, it’s a beer that I’ve tried and won’t again…(2/5)

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Photo of GoldHorde
3.67/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Mild herbal aroma and pours a hazy pale copper. A light head with a long lasting lace. Not as aggressive in flavor as I've come to expect in IPAs but the after bite is definitely in the style. My acceptable beer list continues to grow in IPAs and this is one that I would again.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.12/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sand Creek : Liljas Hop Nest Monster

LOOK: Pale copper in color with a yellowish head. Some lace on the glass. The end of the pour yielded some sediment.

SMELL: Cat pee, herbs, flowers and sweetness. Hoppy aroma.

TASTE: Mellow in character, with a citrusy hop giving off lemon and grapefruit flavors. A bit grassy, and fairly bitter. Sweet caramel and honey from the malts. Alcohol is present in the taste but not distracting. Just plain.

FEEL: Medium bodied, carbonation ok, kind of lacking in fullness.

OVERALL: A pretty decent IPA , unfiltered , with good hop flavor. Lies somewhere between an English and American style pale ale but falls short of many finer examples.

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Photo of FickleBeast
3.35/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a hazy yellow color with a finger of foam. Aroma is very hoppy, with grapefruit and citrus aromas dominating.

First sip is dominated by a vanilla and butter flavor. Uh oh - this tastes like a diacetyl bomb. The hop flavors are there as well, but it is hard to ignore the butter flavors. Underneath this tastes like a pretty good IPA, with a substantial citrus hop flavor and medium body.

Well - I wish I could give this a better score, but there is a serious flaw, in my opinion.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.15/5  rDev -6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

The beer pours a pale golden yellow color with some hop haze and a thin white head that is leaving some lace. Smells a bit on the light side, some mild floral components, a touch of breadyness. The taste is bitter with a slight sweet malt balance. I does not go over the top. transition between bitter and malty is nice. taste is floral, with a tinge of lemon peel. mouthfeel is perfect, carbonation lasts for 45 minutes through the session, great semi dry finish. Mouthfeel is medium to full body with smooth carbonation. Overall is is ok.

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Photo of wvsabbath
2.26/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Serving Type - Bottle

Appearance - Golden tan/yellow with a minor 1/4 inch head and some sticky lacing.

Smell - Very bland, light hop aromoa. A farmhouse, sour like flavor also. Not much else.

Taste - Starts out with a odd fruity flavor. Kinda like a mix of grapes and mango with some europeon malt. Has added sugars and plenty of lemon flavor that makes it very tart.

MOuthfeel - The strange flavor coats tounge and bitters the hell out of it. Palate gets the grape/lemon flavor and leaves it bittered and dry.

Overall - Not very good, odd flavor and no balance. Sour fruit with some lemon . Not worth the effort to crack open the bottle, avoid.

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Photo of bjohn84
2.66/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Looks great with nice clarity. A solid finger of fluffy white head

S - Get the aromas of a euro lager. Nothing like I was expecting from this one

T - Dry and fairly bitter, but not a lot of flavor. Get some citrus

M - Dry and pretty light on the tongue

O - It feels like the hop blend doesn't fit the style here. Some pine, but getting mostly dry and earthy rather than the typical citrus, fruit, or floral flavors you often find

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Photo of homebrew311
3.23/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured on tap at Delilah's. Appearance is gold and clear with a finger of white head. Lots of lacing. Nose is bitter hops and bits of spice. Very bitter nose, taste presents more than the same. Muddled earthy notes pair with, well more earth. No bright fruity notes to balance out the earthy bitter quality. Mouthfeel is moderate body with moderate carbonation. Overall, not a great ipa when considering the saturated world of delicious ipas.

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Photo of thebrood1987
4.08/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Definitely smelling some mild fruity smells mixed with light herbal and pretty much overall mildly floral smelling. You instantly get a hop bite with not much malt at all and a very sharp almost metallica bitterness.

The bitterness is really nice in this beer and a nice herbal floral hop flavor accompanies it. Some citrus and orange flavors in there as well but the malt is pretty tame an maybe a tad grainy. It still tastes rather well made though.

A bitter floral IPA that has some off flavors to me but all in all a good IPA if you want some a good hoppy bitterness. Definitely was surprised with how nice the IBU's came out on this one...especially for not having that strong of a smell. I guess thats because they do not dry hop the beer.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.82/5  rDev +14%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle tried 24 Oct 2011. Courtesy of R&S, thank you! Served in the Bright Brewing shaker pint.

Medium sized lacy off white head. Moderate carbonation. Clear golden in color. Aroma of light resin and sweet grains. Starts quite similar with and addition of a little orange. Sweet throughout. Medium body, slightly warming ethanol. Mild lingering citric bitterness. Well balanced.

Not an in your face IPA, but tasty.

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Photo of jera1350
3.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Thanks to brewrouse for this one.

Golden in color with tons of hop sediment dispersed throughout the whole glass. I even left a bunch at the bottom of the bottle. Unfiltered beer me thinks. The head is short, but pure white and clings to the glass.

Very little hop presence on the nose. Mostly just a buttery pale malt smell.

Starts out with the butter notes and then transforms into this extremely bitter hop punch in the face. Bitter grapefruit peel on the tongue and it lingers seemingly forever. I think they bottled a beer and dumped an oz. of hop pellets in. Sickeningly bitter.

The feel is very smooth and the carbonation is soft, but the bitterness detracts from it all.

Not real impressed. A bit of a mess in the flavor department. Just way too bitter to enjoy.

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Photo of TMoney2591
2.58/5  rDev -23%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

Bah, it's just a stick... Anyway, this stuff pours a clear straw topped by about a finger or so of lightly off-white foam. The nose comprises sweet flowers, light lemon zest, light orange zest, and white bread. The taste...well, I think the only way I can describe it is as follows: Take an orange. Peel it. Take the shards of peel, flip them over, so that the orange side is facing away from you, then lick the side facing you. That's what this stuff tastes like, all orange resin-y and bitter. Boo this. The body is a light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a wet-ish feel. Overall, the hops just didn't work in this beer (or such is my assumption as to what happened). Not a fan.

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Photo of ncketchum
2.43/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Served in a Sierra Nevada imperial pint glass

A - pours a straw yellow with much carbonation, 2 fingers of white head with good retention.

S - a bit of floral hops followed by malt. nothing off-putting but nothing to write home about

T - straight bitter - not really in a good way. kind of harsh with a medicinal aftertaste

M - fair, not too thin

O - nothing that I'm going to seek out again, I might actually end up drainpouring this one... Others I know have liked it, did I get a bad bottle?

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Photo of weatherdog
3.11/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass

It pours a crystal clear gold with a nice decent white head and medium lacing.

Medium light crystal malt aroma up from then going into some floral and light citrus hops. It's all around just pretty muted and very balanced. Not too impressed.

The surprising thing about the bitterness in this beer is that it comes on strong and harsh but then really dies in the aftertaste, it's something I kind of enjoy as the lasting, resiny bitterness is not my thing. Hop flavor is swayed more towards the floral with just a little bit of grapefruit coming through. Nearly non existent malt flavors but it lends a balancing sweetness at the end.

Overall it's a very average American IPA, nothing great but nothing really wrong with it, like so many of the of the hundreds or thousands of IPA's out there.

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Photo of bigbluebeerguy
3.08/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle into a pint glass. Golden yellow with a slight haze, very rocky, two-finger off-white head. Thick, sticky lacing.

Nose is a little grassy, almost a soapiness to it. I'm not getting a lot in the way of hops here.

Taste is a little more hop forward than the nose would suggest. Some bitter citrus peel, oily hops, and a very grassy finish.

Mouthfeel is not bad. Medium body and good carbonation make it very crisp, fairly astringent. Very dry finish.

Overall, not a bad beer, but not outstanding. Just didn't seem to get the complexity of flavors that I would have liked.

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Photo of mattcrill
2.43/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

Aroma: Low levels of floral hop resins appear first. Slight smell of skunkiness and buttery-like aromas but they are faint. Still, not a good sign.

Appearance: Light straw color with a bone-white head. Appears very efferevescent in the glass.

Flavor: Nice floral hop flavors but again I get some background skunkiness and butter-like flavors. They fade in and out and I'm not sure I get them with every sip but it definitely fits in the "things that make you go hmmm" category. Finish is nice and dry. Aftertaste is bitter. Balance is to the bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Light body with high carbonation. A little slippery so if it "smells like a duck, tastes like a duck, and has the mouthfeel of a duck" it must be diacetyl.

Overall impression: A light bodied, suspicious IPA. Base beer seems ok but fermentation and packaging issues suggest otherwise. Pass next time.

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Photo of Rhynes2
3.33/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Picked this one up at my local beer shop in a mix a six. Pours a nice light color with a tall head. Little head retention but lots of lacing from this brew. Taste is very hop centered (obviously since it's called Hop Nest Monster). Hops are not over powering though. i was expecting more bite on this one and the hops are more of a non-agressive flavor in this beer. I won't buy this beer again but it's a decent IPA to try

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Lilja's Hop Nest Monster from Sand Creek Brewing Company
3.35 out of 5 based on 192 ratings.
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