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Lilja's Argosy IPA - Sand Creek Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Lilja's Argosy IPALilja's Argosy IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.

59 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 59
Hads: 78
Avg: 3.12
pDev: 18.91%
Wants: 0
Gots: 1 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Sand Creek Brewing Company visit their website
Wisconsin, United States

Style | ABV
English India Pale Ale (IPA) |  6.30% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: dirtylou on 09-12-2006

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 59 | Hads: 78
Photo of Sammy
3.6/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

An extra in a trade. A serviceable IPA. Mild pleasant hop aromas. A medium yellow colour, with lots of foamy creamy head. Medium mouthfeel. Good drinkability,decent caramel malts, and being an English style not in-you-face bitterness, rather understated. WOrth a try.

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Photo of zeff80
3.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - Poured out a hazy, golden-orange color with a one-finger, white head of pillowy foam. Not much lacing.

S - It smelled of citrus and fresh cut grass.

T - It is spicy up front with sweet caramel. There was also a butterscotch sweetness to it.

M - It was fairly crisp and smooth. A light to medium bodied ale with a dry finish.

O - This was okay. It was a little unbalanced and too sweet for an IPA.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.74/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Coppery dark orange with bright pumpkin trim. Sunlight brings out a suggestion of coral without quite getting there. The whipped creamy crown tops out at about three fingers after a high-altitude pour and does everything it's supposed to do; namely, persist and look good while doing so. Sudsy squiggles of lace decorate the drinking vessel.

This is an India Pale Ale? Sure, it's mildly citrus fruity, but that's the extent of things. Most APAs have more power and presence than Lilja's Argosy IPA. Given the style, there's no choice but to go with a less than average score.

What an odd beer. Unfortunately, Sand Creek does not publish specific ingredients. East Kent Goldings hops? If blinded, I would have identified this as an organic IPA. It has that earthy, clay-like, almost vegetal off-flavor that is all too common in organically brewed beer.

The malt tastes pale-dominant (with a moderate toasted breadiness) and isn't quite sturdy enough for the style. The hops deliver more bitterness than flavor... and what hop flavor is present is nothing to shout about. Or even whisper about. Rotting grapefruit rinds and earthy caramel (once the stuff at the bottom of the bottle is added) stored in wooden barrels?

The mouthfeel barely hangs on to the bottom rung of the IPA ladder. It just does reach the next rung up as it gains a few degrees. Carbonation stays behind the scenes, while doing its job well enough.

Sand Creek Wide Ride IPA is wonderful beer. In fact, it vies with Tyranena Bitter Woman for Wisconsin's best IPA. That's why Lilja's Argosy is such a disappointment. The brewers need to take this one back to the drawing board.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
2.71/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance: Pours a hazy orange body with a small, white head.

Smell: Aroma of musty grains with a hint of caramel and a kiss of citrusy lemon.

Taste: Again, more of the musty, husky graininess with only a faint, middling caramel malt taste. The hops impart a mild citrus flavor and a light bitterness. Finishes semi-dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: When Sand Creek and I last crossed paths, it was over the Imperial Porter. I had high hopes we could be friends, then this had to happen.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.3/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Pours hazed golden copper, with lots of suspended oils very visible, and topped with a finger of tight eggshell-white head. This retains with a ¼ finger of froth, which maintains a good richness to it and leaves a solid latticework of thick lacing behind. The aroma is grassyl, green, and earthy overall, with grapefruit accents giving the nose some bitterness while sweet grains pulling up the rear.

The taste is bitter with grapefruit and citrus rind, with that toasted malt sweetness balancing out the back. This finishes with some leafy feeling earthiness and lingering dry spiciness. The mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a crisper feeling carbonation on top that then gives way to a good bit of oily slickness underneath. This is maybe a tad too thin on the swallow. Some gentle warmth hangs on the breath after each sip but that's about it as far as the ABV goes.

This was OK I guess. The hop profile came off as a little too one dimensional to me at times, with a bit more assertiveness to the bitterness probably would have been more welcome here. This did hide its ABV pretty darn well though, which at least helped keep things smooth on the palate for the most part. Decent but I probably wouldn't have another.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.9/5  rDev +25%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Lilja's Argosy IPA pours a slightly hazy orange-amber robe beneath a thin head of creamy off-white that holds fairly well and leaves rings of splashy and spotty lace at the outset of the glass. Grainy, husky, biscuity and lightly caramel-accented malt greets you in the nose along with some spicy hops and a mild touch of yeasty fruitiness.

The body is medium with a dextrinous edge, and it flows smoothly across the palate with a moderate, very-fine bubbled natural carbonation.

Initially malty in the flavor, the hops pick up mid-palate. It's biscuity, with a toasty, bready, charamelish character; but not really "sweet". The hops are spicy, grassy, and subtly floral. Hints of citrusy appear in the finish, but that's probably due to a bit of tartness from the low pH of the yeast. The bitterness is solid, and resigned to balance, leaving it to finish dry and smooth with a smear of dextrinous maltiness and a sprinkling of grassy, floral, and spicy hops.

Nicely done, the Argosy IPA offers a good balance in what would be an otherwise overly malty ale. As for the IPA designation, it definitely falls in the English vein with a restrained bitterness, and reigned in hop flavors and aroma - but there is some strength to it. Enjoyable!

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Photo of russpowell
3.4/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Picked this as part of a mixed 6-er in Fayetteville, AR

Pours an effervescent gold with 3 fingers of cream colored head. Great lacing & above average head retention

S: Breadyness & grassy hops, jammy notes

T: Follows the nose, some leafy hops & apricots up front. Jammy notes plus leafy & woody hops as this warms. Finishes with jammyness, plus dryness with woody & leafy hops

MF: Medium bodied, creamy carbonation, okay balance

Much like other offerings from these guys, just a run of the mill example of the style, nothing to see here. Drinks okay, just not digging the hop profile at all, which makes it somewhat a slog to finish

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Photo of feloniousmonk
3.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Lilja's Argosy IPA, East India Pale Ale, A Fully Laden India Pale Ale.

Highly clouded, muddy amber, dark, slim white head, leaving some lace.

Aroma: strangely muted, very shy, light fruit, apple, cherry.

Taste: Big hop bitterness up front, but nothing beyond that. Middling malt. Nothing stands out. Seriously lackluster. And I want some damned luster!
Very much an English-style IPA, feel like some Fuggles or EK Goldings are at work here, some fruit flavor going on, apple, cherry, again, just like in aroma. Lightly bitter, definitely drinkable, but not especially special. Actually fairly tasty, certainly sessionable, but I wished for something with bit more spark.

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Photo of tempest
3.21/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

I can see where they're going with this beer. It reminds me a touch of Brooklyn EIPA, but the body is too thin and there isn't enough malt character. The hops do bring a nice earthy, perfumed mix of grapefruit and lemon peel. There's a hint of biscuity malt, but this is watery compared to most IPAs. Again, like the pale ale, this needs more oomph. I don't like overly thick beers, but this is just too thin

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Photo of beerthulhu
2.69/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A: Cadmium orange coloring with a good clarity reveals a medium dense effervesce rising at a rapid rate making the micro- yeast particles within swirling around in the glass like a wind tunnel. A rocky light beige head sits atop like a 2 finger high pile of shaving cream sticking tough to the glass walls with a well lasting retention.

S: Peppery flowers and pine first come to mind on the nose. Dried lemon meringue, fresh parsley with some cinnamon toast and cereal grains. Intriguing, not your typical ipa hopping. Spicy, fruity and flowery of light strength.

T: Toasted grains with a touch of peppery flowery hops. Things turn to dried citrus, fairly bitter with signs of pine and dried grapefruit. The hoppiness is pretty blunt, lacking the complexity found on the nose. Dried pine comes on strong for the finish along with a peppery fade. There are flashes of intermittent sweetness from the grain here and there in the beginning, but over there is a sour, almost acidic nature to the flavor. All and all the hops are blunt, kinda coarse and without much taste defining flavor, the malting is toasted and of medium base while the alcohol is quite noticeable.

M: medium by weight, dry, citrusy and peppery warming the inner cheeks along with some fore-mentioned alcohol presence. Some washiness comes from the mostly lasting head with every sip.

O: Overall a blunt ipa, but not necessarily a good thing. Dry, peppery with a focus on a knock out hop punch rather flavor, complexity and balance. A smack your tongue around hoppiness but ultimately doesn’t taste all that good, and I do love my hops strong in my beer, this is just a wreck in composition. the hopping is totally off per english style.

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Photo of scruffwhor
2.95/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Thick looking deep amber and copper. Maybe a one finger head after a hearty pour. Interesting suspended haze to this IPA. Piney and maybe a little creamy aroma with somewhat maple and tobacco notes make this a questionable and interestng aroma. Hints of citrus peels and pine cmbne with a syrupy sweet toastd bready malt. Resiny andcream textured plate. A little odd for an IPA. A bit off-putting.

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Photo of dirtylou
3.28/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz single, taken from the fridge of a friend, purchased at Riley's...I am assuming this was an attempt at an english IPA based on the taste and the name

appearance: pours into a dotty's pint glass...pale golden body, very clear, foamy white head with decent retention

smell: not much of anything in the way of a hop punch, mostly vegetal, toasted malt, caramel

taste: Not much better...apple sweetness comes through but still pretty empty in the hops department...What little hopping there is comes through in the way of pine and provides a light bitterness...toatsed malt is the dominant flavor with some caramel, a slight nuttyness, and a mild sweetness

mouthfeel: medium-light body

drinkability: easy

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Photo of maximum12
2.39/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up recently in a little bottle shop that we've been eyeing. Interesting that the beer claims to be an "East India Pale Ale". Haven't seen that advertised before. East? What about West India? Not for them? Hmmmm.

Poured into my a pint glass from my favorite Lake Mills brewery, this is a sunlight-riddled beer with kiltons of carbonation. Head fills the empty four ounces of the glass. Smell is weak: more like a triple-hopped lager than an EIPA. Spare notes of grass, wheat. No hops.

Lilja's Argosy (E)IPA tastes like beer. Straight up. This beer would make the best beer chaser in the world - it's completely inoffensive. Taste? Not so much. Bit of yeast, citrus shavings, water. Faintly metallic aftertaste. Really, this is almost funny. Aside from the carbonation, there is - really & truly - almost no taste.
It's remarkable.

How do you grade something like that? It's not -bad. Certainly, it's not good. I'm going to go with sub-par, but this is almost an achievement.

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Photo of mynie
3.06/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Nice IPA pour. Or, well maybe it's way too cloudy. That's kind of weird. But still it's got a real nice head and good color to it.

Smells of west coast hops and astringent malt. A little unbalanced, a little off, but not really bad by any means. There's something going on in there, and that has to be worth at least a little something.

Hop profile is decent. More spicy than bitter and well balanced. The malt profile does a good job of backing up the hops, too, it's somewhere between bread and caramel. But there's a very unsettling node of astringent alcohol that just about ruins everything. What the hell is that? It's not age. It's just that offness that so often ruins otherwise tasty American IPA's.


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Photo of Redrover
3.65/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I had this one at Tannins in Elmhurst, IL. Do yourself a favor and check this place out. It is a wine bars with an outstanding beer list.

Poured into a pint glass, the beer is a darkish copper with a slight chill haze. Nice sturdy head and lacing.

I like the pine/citrus aroma. The malt adds a nice grainy smell.

The taste is just a notch below the smell. The beer has some nice hop bite, but seems to fall a little short. The beer has a nice pinesap taste that is backed with caramelized malts. It just needs a bit more of each. The beer is in balance.

The mouth is sturdy enough. This beer was refreshing and was easy enough to drink. It just leaves wanting a bit more. Perhaps a good intro beer for this style?

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Photo of RonfromJersey
2.7/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

$2.00 single from Penington SuperSaver.

Hazy golden body with orange undertones. Two fingers of white foam. So-so lace.

Subdued nose with hints of pine, citrus, and bread, all very low key.

Sweet beginning, almost pilsner-ish. Slightly earthy hops follow. Bitter nip at the swallow which carries into the aftertaste. The final bitterness is more than a little unpleasant rather than satisfying. Small dose of citrus also in the aftertaste.

Mediumish mouthfeel is okay.

All together, a rather uninteresting English IPA. Not one to seek out.

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Photo of atsprings
3.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased a sixer in St. Charles Illinois. Pours a hazy light amber with a minimal head the almost immediately diminishes to a ring. The aroma is dominated by sweet malts with a hint of caramel and just a slight hint of citrus hops. The taste is dominated by an interesting balance of caramel malts and both citrus and pine hops, a far cry from what was advertised in the aroma. The beer is medium bodied with some slight alcohol presence, I'd venture a guess that the strength is somewhere between 6.7% and 7.5%. This is certainly a very interesting IPA, one I'm very glad I got to try.

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Photo of hosehead83
3.35/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a twelve ounce bottle into a Sam Adams "bubble" glass
Pale golden, slightly cloudy,big head of foam
Aroma-Grassy, some biscuit, not much hop aroma
Taste-Biscuit, clean, faint lemon grass, then hops come on and stay for a earthy, bitter finish
Seems to be in the English tradition of IPA's, subtle, earthy hops, rather clean and uneventful

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Photo of Ryan011235
2.06/5  rDev -34%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Poured into a pint glass on 11/12/09

A - Ever-so-slightly cloudy yellow with ¼ inch head of white foam. Decent retention throughout. Solid & impressive lacing.

S - It smells of an American Adjunct Lager - thin & grainy. Hints of muddled & unfocused hops. Faint citrus presence as it warms.

T - There are no surprises here after what was put forward by the nose. The only real difference is that the hops come across as more murky, resembling rotten orange & lemon rind. Hints of pine & a dry toastiness.

M - Moderately light body with ample carbonation. There is a skeevy bitterness that lingers a few moments too long.

D - This may as well be a "hoppy" American Adjunct Lager; in the confines of such a style it might be considered almost decent. As an English IPA however, this is pretty much awful. I simply cannot recommend this one.

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Photo of budgood1
3.8/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

pours out an unfiltered murky dark gold colour with a frothy half inch beige head. tons of lace to be had. aroma is nice combination of modest citric fruit and earthy herbal spice. taste follows suit leaning heavily on the spicy, herbal hop bitterness...seemingly leafy in nature with a slight blonde tobacco nuance. pale maltiness provides a nice backbone... and i detect a slight yeast and wheat aspect that adds another dimension. it's a dry beer that has a solid back end bitterness in the tradition of english ipa's. this is certainly a hybrid, though, and that's a good thing. medium to above medium body, complimented by a somewhat coarse mouthfeel due to a moderately bitter bite. drinkability is nice...although i see this offering to have more of a summer time quenchability to it.

overall i was somewhat pleased with this ipa. the price was right slightly discounted as it was and seemingly in better shape than the hop monster i also purchased at the same time and price. recommended.

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Photo of granger10
3.91/5  rDev +25.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear kind of an oragnish amberish color. Larger off white head, quality lacing. Smells fruity but weaker. A touch of some sweeter grain notes but more of a hoppy fruitiness. Very balanced taste. Slick smooth mouthfeel. Appropriate moderate liveliness. Some sweet caramel flavors early. More of a light earthy flavor in the middle. Herbal notes and fruity hop elements toward the back. Enjoyable, nothing mindblowing, but I think it's good for the style. Worth a buy.

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Photo of JerzDevl2000
2.64/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

All these beers I've reviewed on here and this may be the toughest one that I've ever come across. I saw IPA on the label and didn't necessarily expect a Hop Bomb. Unfortunately, what I ended up with was a beer that was way too bitter, unbalanced, and lacking in redeeming qualities. What the appearance is far and away the best aspect of a brew, it's certainly back to the drawing board...if they even still exist.

Nice translucent goldenrod hue to this with a fluffy head that took a long time to go away. Not much to smell here and the lacing only existed in theory. Then we get to the taste. Bitter up front, bitter in the back, and not the kind of bitterness that I expected from this style. It was earthy, metallic, and astringent. Not a warm or leathery earthiness but more along the lines of a grassy floral bent. Never took or felt fulling and only the sharp metallic notes lasted in the aftertaste. I needed a glass of water when I was done with this, but for the wrong reasons. Maybe if there was some more carbonation here, it would have been lighter in taste and easier to down...but this felt pretty flat in the mouthfeel from start to finish.

I wish this had some more gusto and didn't feel like it "went bad". Maybe I"m not used to the hops in this but I couldn't even feel the alcohol and for any bad IPA, that tends to be the redeeming quality for me. While this isn't a total dud, it's the biggest disappointment that I've had this year and I can only wish that any other beers that I may have from these guys will be better. This isn't like all the other IPA's on the shelf but it doesn't have enough in common with it either. A darker hue from some darker malts may be in order but for now, this is a few steps above a drain pour for me.

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Photo of BeerBelcher
2.42/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I picked this up as a 12oz single, and it seems a lot of Sand Creek/Harbor City beers are popping up in my area these days. This beer looked great, but was otherwise very unimpressive.

It poured out of the bottle a very pretty hazy orange with a perfect amount of what appeared to be velvety-smooth head.

But it smelled like very little; the faintest hint of hops. And the taste was also confusing; the label had led me to believe that this was a very hoppy ale (calling itself a "fully laden India Pale Ale"), but I did not find this to be the case. The flavor is some of hop bitter, but I also get some sourness and a good bit of pepper that doesn't seem like it belongs.

Mouthfeel was OK, but I did not find this beer to be very drinkable.

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Photo of Wildman
3.29/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a cloudy straw color and formed a off white foamy head that left lattice lace. Almost float like head. Medium amount of carbonation is present. An aroma of hops, grain and pepper. The flavor was of malt, hops, citrus and pepper. The body was medium light and the finish was bitter. More an English style so not as familiar with that style or rather sample it less.

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Photo of mikereaser
2.31/5  rDev -26%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle on 12/15/09

A - pours a murky copper orange with a little bit of foam that left some lacing

S - slight citrus aroma along with some sort of metal smell

T - lemony with a malty backbone, metallic taste is there as well with some bitterness

M - oily mouthfeel, good carbonation

D - i'm just turned off by the flavor, would not have again

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Lilja's Argosy IPA from Sand Creek Brewing Company
74 out of 100 based on 59 ratings.