Sand Creek Lilja’s Hop Nest Monster

Happy IPA Day. I know that I’m posting a little late, but this was one of the IPAs that I had for IPA Day (and the only one I reviewed). Katie was nice enough to buy this one for me. The label is pretty sick, I gotta say. We spent IPA watching the Olympics and just hanging out and having a relaxing dinner. I couldn’t do anything crazy because I had work on Friday. But, at least on Friday we’re going to a concert and we get some time to ourselves. So, onto the review portion of the program.

ABV: 7%

Style: American IPA

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “When brewing the Hop Nest Monster, we make a final addition of Amarillo hops after the kettle boil is finished and the beer is ready to be force-cooled. This post-boil hopping process preserves the highly volatile flavor compounds and essential oils virtually lost during the long, violent kettle boil. These highly-valued hop oils are extracted and forced into solution, imparting the specific flavor unique to this highly-coveted and proprietary Amarillo hop. While this method of hopping does not contribute greatly to the overall bitterness level of the beer (isomerized soft-resin alpha acids formed during the kettle boil), it is largely responsible for the Monster’s mighty citrus aroma and hoppy floral flavor-profile so highly esteemed by a growing number of American IPA connoisseurs – Yes, that means you, Mr. Hop Head!!! So, while we know where the Hop Nest Monster gets its signature character, we still don’t know what kind of character is reportedly swimming around in the cold, deep, murky waters of that mysterious lake known as Loch Ness.”

Random: The arms on the female rowers are just insane. I think I really have to start hitting the rowing machine at the gym.

This one poured with a two finger, surprisingly thick, white head that dissipated slowly and left some lacing on the pint glass. The body was light orange in color with light visible carbonation. The nose was all citrus all the time. Orange and grapefruit especially stood out to me. I didn’t get any sort of malt from this one. The taste was a little bit different than the nose. I got lots of citrus and bitterness up front. It was exceptionally grapefruity. The sip finish with a little bit of malt. As I was drinking this, it reminded me a lot of Troegs Pale Ale (which is actually the beer that got me into pale ales and eventually IPAs). The body was medium thickness with medium carbonation. It had a long and hoppy finish. My final verdict: very hoppy up front, low booze and easy drinking. I would grab this one again.

Untappd Rating: 4.0/5.0

Sand Creek Lilja’s Sasquatch Stout

It’s the weekend! I’m meeting Katie when she gets out of work tonight and we’re trying a new bar. I have this thing where I get sick of bars very quickly, especially when they don’t have a great beer selection. So, I think I’ve successfully convinced her to try one of the Irish bars in Red Bank. I know that they’re probably not going to have the greatest beer selection, but at least it will be something different. So, another dark beer hailing from the state of Wisconsin.

ABV: 7%

Style: American Stout

Trivia: According to the brewery website, “As with other animals relegated to the realm of cryptozoology, there is considerable debate. This discourse not only involves the taxonomical classification of Sasquatch, but whether or not such a creature exists at all. Some primatologists have suggested that the beast might be a relic hominid related to the now-extinct Asian hominid, Gigantopithocus. Others have suggested that the creature many not be entirely physical, moving in and out of our three dimensional world through a mechanism like string theory or ley lines. The controversy shows no sign of abating. So, wherever you are trekking, make sure you have a six-pack or two of Lilja’s Sasquatch Stout in your rucksack – because sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. And at the end of the day, when it’s time to relax, there’s one stout that stands clear – you might say head and shoulders above the rest: LILJA’S SASQUATCH STOUT – IF YOU’VE GOT THE BEAST, WE’VE CERTAINLY GOT THE BEER.”

Random: This is one of those beers that I’ve seen around the beer store a lot, but never picked up. That’s one of the things that I like about doing themes. I’m forced to pick up beers that I never would have considered before.

This brew poured with a half a finger of tan head that dissipated quickly and left no lacing on the glass. There was no visible carbonation due to the deep black color, but lots of visible sediment floating throughout the brew. That’s a bit different. I let the beer warm up for about 15 minutes to try to get all of the flavors out of it. Once it was warm, I stuck my nose in it. The nose was primarily roasted malts, followed up with some coffee. There was nothing else that was all that exciting to speak of. The taste had a lot of chocolate and roasted malts with a healthy dose of sweetness to it. The coffee that was on the nose was not even a factor on this one taste-wise. The body was pretty thin for a stout with mild carbonation. The finish was quick for the style with a touch of roasted malt. This was a solid beer but nothing amazing.

Untappd Rating: 3.0/5.0