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

Poured out a 12 oz. bottle into my pint glass as i have had this sitting in my fridge for about 2 months now. This beer pours a hazy medium golden color that burns into a lemon like yellow when held to the light. Has a nice big, fluffy white hear well over an inch thick when poured, settling to a good 2/3 inch with very nice lacing and then eventually settles to a good solid 1/4 inch with good retention. Aromas of earthy citrus hops along with a nice caramel and biscuit malt undertone. Very nice citrus hop bitterness flavor upfront, followed by a nice, slightly toasted, biscuit and caramel malt flavor along with a sort of grainy taste. Very well balanced, but the hops certainly dominate. This is very tasty. Has a nice full bodied and crisp, frothy mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. This really is a good beer, one the best English IPA's I have had in a long time. Spot on for the style I'd say. I would certainly drink this again.


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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 ΒΌ 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 OldSchoolGamer
2.81/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Another unremarkable beer from an unremarkable brewery.

A: This has got to be one of the cheapest and generic looking beer labels I have ever seen. The beer pours a Bud Light yellow. A little cloudy. Head is actually nice and creamy. Lacing is present.

S/T: The aroma is very grainy and cheap. Slight fruityness in there. Taste is also pretty cheap. Pretty grainy with a hint of hops. Maybe some chlorine in there as well. Its not offensive at all, just very cheap. Not a lot there. Their Pale Ale was hoppier and more impressive than this.

M/D: Mouthfeel is pretty watery. Not bitter like an IPA should be. Not dry either. Drinks rather well, actually. Probably could slam a few of these down if I wanted, but with such better beer out there, why bother?.

If a macro-brewery made an IPA, this is exactly what it would taste like. Cheap on the hops and flavor, this is quite a forgettable beer. You probably won't even take notice of this beer to begin with due to the cheap label. Pass it up.

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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 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 bigreduw64
2.96/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured with a hard pour into my glass and produced only minor head. Appearance is a hazy yellowish orange. Upon smelling, I get a minor hop presence with a slight aroma of wild grass. The taste is ok, decent bitterness that comes across as an earthy flavor with a touch of bleu cheese. This would probably go well with a nice Maytag or Gorgonzola. Overall this is a lackluster IPA. Not upset with it, but won't pick it up unless it is a very limited selection.

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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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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 jackorain
3.67/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- pours a cloudy, dingy straw color. Very little head forms, maybe a quarter inch. This falls quickly to a clumpy, thin coat.

S-Earthy hops, biscuit malts and caramel malts. Clearly, this has not bee heavily dry hopped.

T-Initially, earthy hops hit hard. Some floral and herbal notes are here as well. This is followed by a big malty backbone, which is followed by a onslaught of bitterness. The finish is earthy hop bitterness coupled with a slight acidity. The bitterness does not linger too long.

M-Firm, medium body with nice mouth coating fell to it. The carbonation is medium to low, befitting the style.

D-Drinkability is pretty good, I could easily have a few of these.

Overall, this is much better than I thought given that it is an English IPA combined with its average rating. The bitterness is quite high even though the hop and malt profiles are distinctly English. I say nice job Sand Creek.

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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 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.

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Photo of WakeandBake
3.82/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A hazy golden orange color with a thin soapy off white head, slight lacing ,medium carbonation. Aroma of musty malt grain,citrus,caramel and yeasty fruit notes. Flavor was better than expected , caramel malt,mild citrus and a bitter floral hop profile. Nice full muthfeel , medium body, nice bitterness,slightly dry,long bitter finish.

This was pretty good and drinkable

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Photo of BierFan
3.58/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass. No freshness date to be found.

Appearance: One inch of foam on top of the hazy cider colored body. Good lacing and head retention.

Smell: Doesn't have the same kind of citrus hop aromas that most would normally expect an IPA to have. Rather flowery, like most heavily hopped European style beers.

Taste: Creamy mouthfeel, flowery hops, little yeast bite. This reminds me a lot of Bell's pale ale.

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Photo of supercolter
3.52/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is relatively bland for an EIPA. Coppery hue with no real head or lacing to note.
Smell and taste are decent but nothing special. Firm evergreen hop taste that hangs on the whole way though. That was really all that I picked up on this one. Sort of like an overhopped pilsner.
Mouthfeel is pretty decen actually. Some notalbe carbonation and oily feel.
Drinkability is ok.

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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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 MrMcGibblets
3.38/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this pours a hazy, opaque amber with a small, creamy, off-white head. lacing is minimal. billed as a "fully-laden ipa" with long, descriptive, tangential stories on the sides of the sixer. that being said i expected a bit more in the aroma and flavor departments. this seems as if it was modeled on an english ipa. the nose is very subdued for what i am used to. light vegetal, flowery, nutty, and grainy/bready notes in the bouqet. taste is a light malt sweetness with a light/medium (for the style) hop bitterness. about 40 ibu's i would guess. well-balanced in flavor. light to medium in body. decent creamy carbonation and mouthfeel. a drinkable brew but not one i would seek out given other options. if you like english-style ipa's maybe you'll enjoy this one, though.

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