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Lilja's Argosy IPA | Sand Creek Brewing Company

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Lilja's Argosy IPALilja's Argosy IPA
79 Ratings
Lilja's Argosy IPALilja's Argosy IPA

Brewed by:
Sand Creek Brewing Company
Wisconsin, United States

Style: English India Pale Ale (IPA)

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.30%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by dirtylou on 09-12-2006

Bros Score:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 79 |  Reviews: 59
Photo of BeerdedEric
1.32/5  rDev -57.7%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Nice head on the pour but deteriorated quickly. Foamy lacing from the head. Body is light gold. The head formed into different islands creating the lower case letter Y.

This smells like a freakin' Miller Lite. Does not smell anywhere near a IPA. Maybe a really shitty Pilsner.

With the smell being such a turn off I brace myself for the first sip...here goes... Wish me luck... What the hell is this! Tastes totally macro with a thousand copper pennies. Its like Miller Lite with a crappier taste. Grass, bitter metal, copper taste, buttered buscuits and more grass. Yuck!

Very carbonated, light in body. The lightness in body might the only reason why I finish this.

Holy hell! Yuck! By far the worse attempt at an IPA. Tastes more like a Pilsner gone horribly wrong. Did someone test taste this? What a waste of a glass bottle. Thank goodness for recycling, hopefully the glass will reincarnate into a bottle with a better tasting beer.

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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 pweis909
2.29/5  rDev -26.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 2

A=Hazy yellow orange with a strong white foamy head that laced the glass.

S=Butterscotch with no hop aroma.

T=Sweet, oxidized, and butterscotchy.

M=Feels right.

O=I vehemently would refuse a second one.

This beer is nothing like a good English IPA. The heavy diacetyl points to a fermentation problem. Lack of hop presence points to a recipe problem, and perhaps, an age issue. And the oxidized character, of course, points to poor storage and possibly poor packaging.

Nice label. I dig the mythology reference, and I really disliked this beer.

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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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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 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 omegaman
2.5/5  rDev -19.9%

Photo of xipho
2.5/5  rDev -19.9%

Photo of jkball01
2.5/5  rDev -19.9%

Photo of BigMike
2.51/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a nonic pint glass.

No best by or bottled on date present.

Pours a hazy copperish orange color. A really nice amount of creamy rich white head tops it off. The appearance was the best part of this beer experience.

Aroma is funky. Grainy and breadlike. Also lemon zest and astringent malts. Smells a bit "off"

As with the smell. The flavor itself is a bit "off". Grainy and a bit musky. Not much bitterness from the hops. Some earthy type flavor too. Doesn't really remind me of an ipa. Alot of sourness.

Mouthfeel is nothing special. I would not drink this one ever again.

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Photo of Otesanek
2.59/5  rDev -17%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pale golden with a light haze, pours a nice 1" bright white head that recedes down to a good 1/2", nice lace. I'll start off by wondering if I got an old bottle? Aroma is very mellow, a little sweet malt, tiny suggestion of citrus, maybe it's too cold--(time passing montage)--warmed up a little, still nothin! Flavor is about as bland as the aroma, kinda grainy sweet, no real hop flavor. The bitterness starts midway through, pretty clean, but not interesting. This beer has a pretty flat, one-dimensional flavor. The mouthfeel is pretty fizzy, medium-light body. Drinkability is pretty low, because this isn't fun to drink, kinda bitter, nothin else really.

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Photo of Risser09
2.6/5  rDev -16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a pilsner - fridge - 2009

Appearance: A somewhat cloudy golden orange beer with a 2.5" off-white head. Good carbonation and a relentless cake of a head. Speckled, spongy lace shrads itself all over the glass.

Smell: Milky grain is cereal-like in aroma. Pale malt, without a trace of bitterness, okay, maybe a touch of hops.

Taste: Bitterness is actually apparent, but doesn't have much of a flavor aside from lemon pine sol. A cereal grain and pale malt flavor are dominant throughout.

Mouthfeel: Somewhat bitter, but a pedestrian malt smoothness lies underneath. Some booze in the finish. Sweet.

Drinkability: An average IPA that needs more hop bitterness and flavor. There are so many readily available, cheap, awesome IPAs, that you have to make something unique or spectacular to move your product. Needs work.

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Photo of CaptainIPA
2.62/5  rDev -16%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 12 oz. brown bottle without freshness dating.

Appears reddish amber with virtually no visible head. Spotty lacing at best. Lethargic carbonation.

Hoppy citrus aroma with notes of pear, lime and vegetable rinds.

Toasted biscuit malt upfront, followed by a lingering bitterness and dry finish. Detected a kiss of honey. Watery mouthfeel. Limited drinkability. Lacking in the character and complexity departments.

According to the label, Lilja's Argosy is a fully-laden India Pale Ale. Fully-laden with what? Disappointment?

If you're setting sail to discover a memorable IPA, don't climb aboard this underperforming argosy.

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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.

 1,762 characters

Photo of OlRasputin989
2.64/5  rDev -15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured into pint...

A: pours a hazy gold with a huge off white head, leaving thick resiny lacing. lots of chunky goodness floating around in there.

S: grassy and lemony hops aromas with honeyed biscuity malt aroma

T: subdued honeysuckle graham cracker malt sweetness upfront meet with a very bitter hoppiness. picking up on a dusty and metallic flavor in the finish.

M: medium full body with a low carbonation and a resinous, sticky finish.

Overall, this beer starts promising, however, the aroma and flavor are nothing special and the finish in the taste is off-putting. too heavy for the style. not bad for the price but probably wouldn't buy again

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Photo of alcstradamus
2.67/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Beautiful creamy, sticky head that sits upon a pale golden base.

Very watery, musty, and waxy...three characteristics which are bad enough individually but together make for a really weak beer.

The taste isn't much better...nothing off-putting but really nothing of note. Watery and plain, with a bit of stale bread. Normal mouthfeel, but this just isn't drinkable due to its overall lack of anything noteworthy.

 414 characters

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.

 1,713 characters

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 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.

 523 characters

Photo of BeerCheese
2.73/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 2 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Nice copper color with average head, but it was a little cloudy with some chunky sediment even with a gentle pour. No indication on the bottle that it's unfiltered. Aroma was appropriate for the style - hoppy, not much malt. Taste was hoppy like an IPA should be, but a little watery for my taste. Pretty typical of an English IPA. A little weak on the carbonation. Not a beer I'd run out and buy again, so I have to give it a lower score on drinkability.

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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.

 1,650 characters

Photo of ruckus232
2.75/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Photo of Gtg642
2.75/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of MrBuckHigh
2.75/5  rDev -11.9%

Photo of Natural510
2.76/5  rDev -11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours a light, hazy yellow with a decent set of soapy head & lacing.
Not much to the scent; a bit of breadedness, a touch of hops.
Taste is fairly thin, with a metallic bitterness. An overall breaded quality is there to balance the (unremarkable) hops.
It does provide the desired dry, astringent quality one seeks in a "bitter", if nothing else.
Weak pale/IPA entry. It has a good breaded malt but fails in providing the necessary citric and/or pine hop balance.

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Lilja's Argosy IPA from Sand Creek Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.12 out of 5 with 79 ratings
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