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 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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Photo of outdoorbrewer
3.71/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured lively into an 18 oz. Hourglass leaving the lees in the bottle (yes I downed it) which created well formed beer settling a rocky, creamy off-white head that lasts awhile with good lacing. Orange amber hue that's a little cloudy. Figure I'll get some more and leave a few in the back of the fridge so they clear up some weeks then check. Aroma blended the light to moderate malty cookie grain profile with the Amarillo in a big time presence. Esters some apple/pear lemon/lime generally there though pleasing. Light tart/sweet flavor. Nice malt background seems like the character you get from British malts. Light to moderate bitterness would be at fault with an IPA. I like this beer for what it is. A nice drinking ale.

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Photo of Jesse13713
3.83/5  rDev +14.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Awesome bottle art. Picked up at 101 Bottles in Kent.

Appearance - A volcano of frumpy and frothy head. Whipped and scoopable on your fingers. Does not lace to the glass hardly at all. The beer itself is a sickly pale green. It looks poisonous, even venomous, in a way.

Smell - A slightly sour apple smell. A light citrus zest that is also full of hops. Quite fruity overall.

Taste - A nice burn all-throughout. Light hops with a bit of lemon juice in the background. I get some sort of odd unsweetened cotton candy taste also. Heavy in apple.

Mouthfeel and Overall - Very dry in its entirety. Low carbonation. A bit of sweetness in the end adds a different tone. This IPA has something a bit special about it, although it is hard to put my finger on. I liked this quite a bit.

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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 PilsPony17
2.82/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a Belgian tulip.

A: A dark gold, wheat colored brew with fairly decent head. Head retention is quite good and kept up until the finish. Carbonation on the medium side of things. Unfiltered (didn't notice at first until the end) which makes this feel very promising.

S: Not too aromatic. Has a very subtle grassy aroma with a little bit of hop presence behind it.

T: Hops are right up front on the palate with a slight biscuity flavor to it. Very lemony and sharp. Hops dominate most of the taste even after the finish.

M: Smooth mouth feel and nice level of carbonation makes it a very quaffable brew.

Overall: It's a fairly average IPA. The presentation and mouthfeel of this brew is on par with what I'm looking for, but the hops dominate way too much and seems to be lacking a more malt background in that area. Aroma of the brew was less than impressive. Drinkable, but I've had better.

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Photo of OlRasputin989
2.74/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass...

A: pours a slightly hazy shade lighter than amber with a large off white rocky head that leaves lots of webbed lacing

S: aroma of lemon, orange peel, grass, and pale biscuity malt. hops aromas are much lighter than i had expected. very subdued and lacking complexity

T: a tad better than the aroma. has a sweet honey toast malt flavor with a much stronger hop presence than the nose implies. hop flavors are grass, orange peel, lemon peel, and pine sap. has a long finish of very bitter hops and biscuit-flavored malt

M: light-medium body with a medium carbonation and a resinous, very dry finish.

Overall, this beer seems to be headed in the right direction, but i'm not digging the choice of hops. They lack the grapefruity, piney, and danky weed hop characteristics I look for in world class AIPAs. That being said, I found the long hoppy finish to be displeasing. Most likely would not purchase again, unless out of options. And by options I mean Bud, Miller or Coors. Ya, thats not gonna happen. Cheers!

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Photo of farrago
3.75/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Two plus finger of bone white head, thick coating of delicate microfoam with excellent retention, more cratering than dimpling, sticky lacing stains the glass walls almost completely. Somewhat dark golden color that flirts with amber, no visible bubbles but there are some floaties in there. Broadly arrayed nose, curious lactic notes alongside an otherwise conservative orange, lemon citrus, pine cone, dried flowers base and a smattering of apricot, peach, yellow apple scents, small amount of brown sugar and caramel makes for a soft landing. Medium-bodied, the gentle and mostly fluffy carbonation acts as a counterbalance to grass, hay, herb elements. Touch of pepperiness enlivens the middle while the apricot, peach, pear, apple fruit swell to fill in most blanks. Dries through the finish. No one element leaps out at you but it coheres as a basic “fastball down the middle” IPA that is drinkable, if not memorable. [Note that the bottle says brewed by Pangaea Brewing Company, not Sand Creek Brewing Company although it may be contract produced at the latter, dunno.]

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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 TastyTaste
3.77/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pale body, small head. Taste and smell have a grainy malt component not really wanted/ expected in the style. Certainly delivers hop bitterness if that's what you are looking for, but not a very well rounded experience. The grassy-grainy malt of euro lager is certainly unexpected for the style. The hop are large, but not overpowering. A decent IPA, flirting with the DIPA range of bitterness and strength.

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Photo of BasementBer
2.75/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Light straw translucent color. Good lacing, good bone-white head retention. Little to no carbonation.

S: Grainy, some bitterness from the hops in aroma, but mostly grain and husk.

T: Has a decent pale malt body, but its swept away by the somewhat overpowering hops. A good bitter, but not the citrus i prefer in the style.

M: Bitter resin on the tongue and pockets of the mouth are enjoyable.

D: Its an ok IPA, id prefer a bit more variation than one or two different hops and the same pale malt to be sparking my interest.

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Photo of Lauthaha
4.33/5  rDev +29.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a beer mug.

Appearance: Beer pours a beautiful medium golden color. Moderate carbonation visible through the glass. Excellent head retention; after several minutes, there's still at least a finger of off-white head left. Wispy lacing, like cumulus clouds dotting the sky on a summer's day.

Smell: Very floral. Some mild bitterness. Grapefruit leaning towards clementine citrus tones. Maybe a little spice somewhere in there for good measure.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Beer is tangy at first, the citrus-type flavor shining through on impact. As the carbonation begins to bubble, a very hefty and beautiful malt character is unveiled. Moderate bitterness balanced with just the right amount of sweetness...a win win! Aftertaste is hops, but not overpowering. Darn-near perfect.

Overall: Really good for the style, very drinkable, and relatively inexpensive.

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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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