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 Sammy
3.72/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Hopcat. Very hoppy, like a double IPA Light yellow body with creamy white head and lacing. Hoppy aroma, creamy mouthfeel at the beginning and then lighter as you work your way through the head. Carbonation right there, as in all the taps at Hopcat.

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Photo of brentk56
3.81/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy golden color with a massive head that just sits there and does a nice job on that lace front, when asked

Smell: Biscuity malt and piney hops interplay with one another (not the greatest aromatic combination)

Taste: Biscuity malt, up front, that grows even sweeter before the pine, pith and bitter grassy flavors (vaguely Germanic) enter the fray; after the swallow, the bitter flavors continue to develop, though the malt bill never backs down

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Certainly a different sort of a beer for the style and not all to my liking, but still a worthwhile effort

Thanks, brewandbbq, for the opportunity

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Photo of emerge077
3.18/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Into a tulip this pours a dull coppery orange. Bright, bleached bone white foam rests on top with some sticky lacing. Aroma is all floral with some skunk and sweet caramel malt buried underneath. Bitter and sappy, some malt meagerly appears in the middle, and the end is all harsh bitterness. Pine and chalky bitter aspirin without much else to balance it. It has medium body and a decent carb level, but far too abrasive to really enjoy it that much. Needs more malt and hop flavor to improve. It leaves me wondering how old this bottle is, it's been 6 months since the first review.

For the masochistic hop heads out there...a monster indeed.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.58/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours a clear gold, with at least 2 fingers of rich and foamy bright-white head. Retains with a thin yet creamy layer of froth that flares up quite robustly and coats the sides of the glass with some sticky patchy lacing. The aroma is floral and earthy, with some herbal accents, bitter grapefruit, and gentle spice coming out as well. Bready notes and some lighter caramel mix in with the hops, giving this a danky smelling tang in the back of the nostrils.

The taste is aggressive with hops, as resins, spice, earthy green citrus, and gritty bitter citrus rind all being very assertive and lingering strongly on the palate with an intense dry feel. The malts feel more on the Paler side here, blending with the fruitier aspects of the citrus flavors to help provide some balancing sweetness. The moutfeel is meduim bodied, with a slick and creamy texture in the mouth, keeping this easier feeling than it probably should be. Some light alcohol is present but it's less tasted than it does help strengthen the bitterness of the hops.

Well there were certainly no shortage of hops in this, even if their character was a bit all over the place at times. The aggressiveness got a little out of hand but there was just enough balance here to keep things in check and the easy body on this kept the drinkibility up for the most part.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Men heap together the mistakes of their lives, and create a monster they call Destiny."

--John Oliver Hobbes

Polished 24-karat gold with sunshine colored highlights. A vigorous pour produced four full fingers of eggshell colored foam that has a mousse-like texture. The lid melts in attractive fashion and is leaving the glass festooned with a generous amount of delicate lace.

The nose is more Imperial pils than American IPA, thanks to a musky-earthy grassiness reminiscent of Saaz and its ilk. One source says that Amarillo hops are in use. It's odd that their typical orange zestiness isn't apparent. Warming makes things more pungent and more pleasing.

Lilja's Hop Nest Monster tastes like an IPA... to which one or more of the German/Czech nobles were added. Classic Saaz flavor. It's also pretty hoppy-bitter, so this must be a fairly fresh bottle. Some sort of dating would still be nice (for all craft beer).

It looks and smells and tastes like nothing darker than pale malt is present. That allows the focus to be where the focus should be in an IPA. Hop flavor is clean and pithy and biting. It's mostly white grapefruit pith, with bitter grasses and lemon zest close behind. I'd love to know the hop bill.

The mouthful is more APA than IPA. On second thought, a more full creaminess would require more malt, and that would not be a good thing. Actually, it's fine the way it is. Sparkly carbonation adds just the right amount of mouth energy.

Lilja's Hop Nest Monster isn't as good as Sand Creek's best beer (Wild Ride IPA), but it's a wonderful effort in its own right. It you like the European hops as much as the American ones, give this one a go... and satiate your inner hop monster.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.3/5  rDev +28.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this beer as an extra in a recent trade. I am always thrilled to try new beers, and having this one was going to be no exception. This gem of an IPA was served cold and poured into a pint glass. Consumed on 03/29/2009.

The pour was very nice. Rich medium amber in color with a nice head of white coming up and over the top. Decent settling and nice carbonation left a good amount settling down as it warmed. Rich notes of pungent pineapple and grapefruit led the way here. Subtle malts mid palate as it warms provided a nice amount of balance, and the easy, smooth character of it really showed off quite nicely. Rich hop profile here as it warms and the finish was full of orange and pineapple bite. Really nice medium body and a full, dry finish that begged me to come back for another round.

This was about as solid of an IPA as you get. Really top notch and I would go back to it anytime.

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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 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 feloniousmonk
4/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Not much to go on, here. On the label, the beer name is splayed over a painting of a roaring T-Rex, with this extra verbiage: "A Primordial Extra Pale Ale", "India Pale Ale", & "Bold, Brazen Beer Brewed Behind the Cheddar Curtain."
Okay! Well, let's check it out!

Very hazed,thick and clouded, golden hue, creamy white rocky head.

Snappy citric aroma, bright and pithy, lemon and orange...nice.

Taste: the hops are happily at play here.Very bright and lively. Puts me in mind of a fresh, fruity IPA like Bell's Two Hearted Ale. Nothing wrong with that.

Medium body, well balanced, mellow mouthfeel, long hoppy finish.

Good drinking IPA, really delivers.
Nice work, Lilja, whoeveryou are.

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Photo of Tone
3.74/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, golden color. 1/2 inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of citrus hops, sweet malt, slight pine, and floral hops. Fits the style of an American IPA. Mouth feel is smooth and clean with an average carbonation level. There is a noticeably high bitterness level. Tastes of floral hops, citrus hops, sweet malt, and a hint of pine. Overall, not too complex, but great appearance, and good blend.

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Photo of tempest
3.16/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Keith for sharing this. There was a doughy malt background behind standard citrus and pine hops. While this beer is technically fine (no flaws), it's also fairly unremarkable. The hops aren't very big for an IPA, this comes off more like a thick pale ale.

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Photo of Wasatch
3.88/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks goes out to beerbeagle for this brew.

Pours a nice cloudy golden yellow/orange color, nice carbonation, nice one-finger creamy off-white head, with some nice sticky lacing left behind. The nose is slightly hoppy, with some malts, citrus, slight pines. The taste is hoppy/malty balance, with some citrus, and slightly piney. Medium body. Drinkable, not a bad IPA at all, my first from this brewery, Thanks Randall.

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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 weeare138
2.51/5  rDev -25.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to TomDecapolis...
Appears a hazy light gold with a small white head that fades into a mild cap. Spotty bits of lacing are left around the glass.
Smell is of cracked grain and a bit of a bland clay like aroma.
Taste...ok, talk about bland. Just not a whole lot going on in this other than the yeast.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied, yeasty overkill, and grassy bitterness. I don't like it. Sorry.

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

A: A crystal clarity pumpkin orange coloring shows a light and lazy rise of effervesce. The head is frumpy and rocky of light cream coloring, standing an initial finger high. Retention was fair, as was the lacing.

S: Lemon weed best describes this, really light in strength despite its name. Lightly dried vegetation, dried citrus peel. Really disappointing in light of its name, what a farce.

T: Watery toasted grains, dried flowery citrus is quick to hit and go before returning to a weak finish. A bit more distinguishable then their argosy, but really isn’t saying to much. Dried grapefruit shows a quick flash at punch out. The strength is coarse but again as with their argosy, a wreck and like chewing raw citrus weeds. A ton of hops alone doesn’t make for a good beer, neither a snappy name.

M: The mouthful is medium, dry toasted malt with a touch of heat coming from the alcohol and warming citrus. Dried grass comes as well on the swallow.

O: Overall another bitter disorganized beer by sandcreek that is trying to be the big bully on the block in the ipa department, but needs to step back and learn some class and refinement. Its evident that they know neither so just opted for the most blunt and offensive amount of hops which im sure is someones thing. No complexity, uninteresting flavor, boring, and a hold off by purchase unless you just like to be insulted.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
3.5/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

(Served in an American pint glass)
A- This beer pours a hazy orangeish-golden body with a thick lumpy off-white head and a gentle carbonation.
S- The green piney hops have a cinnamon hint to them with a soft minty quality. There is a faint musty diaceytal butter note to the finish.
T- The dry pungent bitey hops have a cream flavor to follow them. The hops are aggressive and a bit harsh without having much hop flavor to them. There is a slight sweetness underneath that comes through when the beer opens up and some faint toasted malt that comes with them. The finish is more bitter pungent hops bite that lingers a moment.
M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with a tight fizz and no alcohol heat noticed.
D- The hops are soft in aroma and flavor but full in bitterness. It made this beer a bit tough to get through but the malt offered a little support to the bitterness.

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Photo of scruffwhor
3.63/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, light copper with pretty good bubbling. Theres a nice film o' foam and some Brussel's lacing stuck to my glass, a good sign.

The aroma is a crisp orange and grapefruit peel citrus. Not much malt noticed in the smell though.

Lots of crisp grassy malts topple the tongue first. Then the bitter oarnge peel and a few other citric hop flavors dominate the flavor profile. The finish has a more pronounced malt compared to the front and middle of the palate. This is a bitter beer overall, but not a hop bomb by any means. This is a bitter session beer. Hop flavors from start to finish with just a little balancing malt.

Pretty good beer overall.

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Photo of Bighuge
3.17/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Hazy sun yellow with a bunch of particulates hanging in suspension. Decent crop of frothy white head. Aroma is a little grassy and herbal, but mostly stale, dusty malt feel to it. Interesting flavor to say the least. Lemony feel to it but more of a lemony custard sweet flavor rather than bitter or citrusy. Although I do get some bitterness on the aftertaste. Base malts are doughy sweet, but not too sweet. Moderate carbonation with a medium to medium-full body. Drinkable beer and flavorful, even if not in an IPA kind of a way.

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Photo of ZAP
3.3/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Pours a light golden...creamy white head

S-Grassy hop aroma...more floral than fruity but nothing real impressive..a bit of doughy malt

T-Pretty strong grapefruit rind first it seemed to be .lacking malt backbone and appeared one sided with too much pure bitterness. But after having a couple more the malt seems to standup just fine...doughy notes complement.

M-Medium bodied...ample carbonation.

D-A little too one sided and first but closes off as a nice drinkable IPA leaning into DIPA area.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.46/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz single - i should know better than to purchase crappy sand creek products but the label got me

appearance: very busy label with a "cheddar curtain" reference - pour is pretty nice - kind of a dull copper body but a real nice foamy white cap and full retention

smell: pretty light, bready, lemon, light hops

taste: nice and oily but with a dull hop profile - light bitterness, lemon, dough, lacks a refined definition or direction

mouthfeel: oily, medium

drinkability: good

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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 xnicknj
3.2/5  rDev -4.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into tulip - thanks to phan869

Pours a somewhat pale golden color with some haze, thin white head retains with film and leaves layers of lacing on the glass.

Decent helping of hops in the nose, some bready malt backbone as well with some caramel lacing. Slight sweetness, but more on the hoppy side of things.

Bitter and floral up front followed by some citrusy notes. Hints of grapefruit and orange. Thick bread crusty malts with some sweetness and caramel. Finishes a bit hoppy and dry.

Medium body, nice carbonation, sticky and lingering on the tongue. Eh, this wasn't bad but it took me forever to finish as I pretty much kept forgetting that I was even drinking it during dinner (and it was my first beer of the evening as well).

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Photo of Brenden
3.68/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The color is a clear, deep yellow that just gives the slightest hint of an orange tint in a certain light. The head pours about a finger and fades to a thick foam that leaves some firm patchy lacing behind.
This smells very much like a pils initially. There's a bit of a hops presence in there and it's clean and pretty raw with a natural earthiness. There's a faint malt as well.
The taste is like an APA with a citrus and flowery hops flavor, fairly strong but not typical of an IPA. Plenty of grapefruit and citrus rind with a little pine resin is in there with a light malt presence. Raw bitterness lingers in the finish.
There's a moderate crispness with a smooth finish in a medium body. Carbonation is light to moderate.

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Photo of buschbeer
2.87/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

I reviewed this beer last week but it is not on here. So here we go again . . .

I poured into a pint glass to an inch of white head. It is yellow in color. This is a lot lighter than expected. The smell is of weak pine. It has a bitter taste but not in a good way. Overall, it is not a good IPA.


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Photo of jsh420
3.93/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

pours semi cloudy yellow orange with a 2 finger head that left spotted lacing

smells of some fruity hops but malts for the most part

taste is good - reminds me of a stronger snpa - richer sweeter carmel/crystal malts and fruity hops - i would rate this higher if it were a pale ale but ipa is stretch

mouthfeel is light crisp and creamy

drinkability - very good session beer although the abv is unknown

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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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