Leather Lips IPA - The Tap Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Leather Lips IPALeather Lips IPA

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

299 Reviews

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Reviews: 299
Hads: 408
Avg: 3.93
pDev: 16.03%
Wants: 59
Gots: 15 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
The Tap Brewing Company visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American IPA |  5.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: Bierman9 on 04-05-2004

he brewing process by itself contains enough Nugget and Chinook to satisfy the most seasoned hop head. But we couldn’t leave it alone. Once fermentation is complete we add a massive hop bag to the bright tank that is bursting at the seams with whole cone Centennial for an aroma that you just can’t get any other way. High fives all around.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 299 | Hads: 408
Photo of raiderandbeerfan
3.43/5  rDev -12.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark golden color, almost 1/2" head on the top, good clarity, the head is white.

Aroma was hoppy, you get the c hops mostly.

Bitterness, but not palate wrecking. Biscuit malt, caramel. Solid use of the nugget hops here, such an underutilized hop imho. Does drink substantially heavier than what you have come to expect at the 5% abv threshold. More grapefruit than pine. Hops don't burst with flavor as much as they do bitterness, but it works since they aren't trying to push the 100ibu bs nonsense. Not complex, solid 60 ibu pounder.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

It positively blew my mind last night how bitter and intense this beer is for being in the single IPA abv range, I mean it's uncanny. Looks unassuming, pale in color with golden and rust notes depending on the light. It smells like pine and hop oil, northwestern for sure despite where it's made, and a heavy C hop nose all around. Still, it doesn't prepare me for the intensity of the hops in the flavor, totally over the top. Bitter is an understatement, but it's boldly flavored and oily too. Approaching harsh really, like an enormous double IPA without the alcohol. Impressive they packed so much hops in here, the wordiness of the centennial is very obvious, but it's a little more than u need in a beer I might try to have several of. Wow this is a bruiser, almost makes me feel allergic. Crazy intense, I bet it's a fun beer to make. Highly recommended to any true hop head, this will really wake you up. Never expected a palate wrecker at this abv. I liked it, but it was a one and done for me.

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Photo of alexbutler
4.18/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A - Poured this pretty strongly and the beer featured a thick head that dissipated quickly and left a nice lace over a soapy, golden IPA. Great amber color.

S - Very distinct smell here, and I'm reminded of chocolate and ripening banana. Not exactly what I was expecting when I picked up the IPA, but the hops on top of hops might do some strange things.

T - Probably one of the smoothest IPAs I've had. I don't know if the temperature makes a huge difference, but I had LeatherLips at room temp and it came off very bland. Very drinkable, but nothing hugely remarkable either.

M - Very full mouthfeel, the hops lingers just that perfect amount before becoming too much.

O - Nice IPA which highlights a very different group of hops that I'm personally not used to... Nugget, Chinook and Centennial. I would drink this again

*Slight amendment - The bottle I picked out had a light film of dust on it, and I was later informed that hops doesn't age very well. So the beer I had may have not been the freshest, however I liked it well enough. But maybe that's why it wasn't as remarkable as I thought it'd be.

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Photo of Alexmc2
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Aggressive pour yields a small head over a straw-golden beer with some protein haze. Lacing is low to moderate with a mild citrus astringent nose. Taste is bone dry, Centennial hop presence is evident in the flavor profile. Very pleasant bitterness and no kick at all with the pleasantly low abv of 5%. Great session IPA, nice change of pace from all the huge double IPA monsters going on right now.

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Photo of SawDog505
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a 12 oz tulip glass, not sure when it was bottled. Pours a bright orange, with a one inch white sticky head that leaves behind webs of lace. Smell pine, tangerine, earthy hops, and some grapefruit. Taste matches the nose, with grapefruit being stronger than the nose led on. Body is large for its 5%, nice amount of life, a touch dry, and easy drinking. This is very nice, maybe my favorite session IPA.

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Photo of mmurphy
3.6/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

Had it at Lord Hobos on tap. Was expecting more of a hoppy bite to it but I guess with a lower ABV I should have realized it wouldn't wow me. Nice medium to dark color and a good smell. Not something I would order again at a place that has other excellent selections such as Lord Hobos. Overall it is a good session IPA.

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Photo of Omnium
3.74/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Bomber > Pint Glass

A - Lightly cloudy orange with one finger of off white head, not a whole lot of lacing.
S - Lots of dank pine, earthy tones, dried leaves, grapefruit, orange peel.
T - Kinda lacking in the flavor department, lots of piney bitterness and lots of grapefruit, still earthy, a little grassy.
M - Best part, this is super drinkable, sure its bitter and dry on the end, but its still a beer I could chug.
O - It goes down easy, but isnt memorable.

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Photo of brochamb
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

First sip gave me an off, almost garbage smell. It opened up into an okay IPA. Not as much flavor I had hoped for but worth a try for a local beer. Nice burnt orange color with a bubbly mouth feel. Taste is moderate with some citrus flavors. I probably wouldn't buy it but would drink again if given to me.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.79/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured on-tap at The Tap, the beer was served in a nonic pint. The beer is a light, clear, caramel color with a filmy, low profile, white, clingy head. Nose of light caramel backbone, with subtle resin and peppery hops notes. Flavors are malt forward, with a caramel and toffee sweetness and grapefruit tart highlights. Subtle spice and floral hops notes, too. Smooth, mid-bodied, with a tangy sweet and subtle bitter aftertaste. Clean, slick, slightly dry finish. Completely drinkable IPA, with an English lean on the style.

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Photo of gestyr
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pub glass

A: Pours a clear gold with 1 finger of fluffy white head that fades to a coating on top.

S: Citrusy hops with a bit of malt

T: The hops are dominant with a heavy tilt towards grapefruit. There is a malt backbone but it is subtle.

M: Light bodied and refreshing. No carbonation bite, in fact it seems lightly carbonated.

O: This truly is a delivery system for hops. Nice and bitter with the hops flavors and aroma being showcased. I would buy again.

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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.54/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Darker golden color, respectable clarity, smallish 2/5" head on it, white in color.

Aroma was hoppy, but not massive, usual old school c hop culprits I suspect. You can tell this is one of the recipes that has been around before the explosion of proprietary hop strains.

Good bitterness first in the taste, hefty but not palate wrecking. Solid biscuity malt that is actually a tad heavier than the color would lead you to believe. The bitterness is no doubt complimented heavily by the Nugget hop. Good usage of it. Mouthfeel is bitter, and drinks heavier than 5% would make you think.

Leans more grapefruit than pine. Bitterness really is the #1 discernable attribute of the beer, moreso per se than 'flavor' hops. Its a little nondescript and generic in that sense. Don't expect a lot of complexity or flavor and you'll be fine, its plenty drinkable if you can handle 60 ibus.

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Photo of ItsPete
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crisp, well-balanced, bready and sweet. For a long time I wrote it off for some reason, and I'm sorry I dismissed it for so long. The saving grace is that I drank a lot of IPAs in the meantime that I can compare it to.

This is the kind of rounded, balanced flavor I look for in every IPA. Enticing smell, taste that starts out crisp and bready, opening into a nice hoppiness that's nicely bitter but doesn't overwhelm the taste buds.

These qualities are common to a number of my favorite IPAs, but this one stands out because it's 5%. You can drink more than two of these and still walk straight. In a day where IPAs trend ever upward toward and beyond 7% and 8%, Haverhill makes a delicious version that's not debilitating.

I first tasted it in bottles, but I can't wait for the next time I find it on tap!

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Photo of PDXHops
2.1/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle from Spleeb, consumed way back in September 2011. (This review notes backlog is getting outta hand...) Duvel tulip. Hazy golden amber with a massive foamy head that's in no rush to leave. Lots of soapy lace.

Citrus zest and pith aplenty in the nose, but also what appears to be newspaper? The first sip confirms the newspaper presence and also entirely too much carbonation; I reckon something went a bit wonky with this bottle. It's a shame, too, as the hop profile gives hints that it was pretty ferocious in the grapefruit department at some point. There's still plenty of astringent bitterness left behind, but that weird newspaper business seems to blunt the hop flavor. I'm inclined to give this one another shot down the road and update this review.

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Photo of SouljaSaia17
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have overlooked this beer many time because I tend to judge a book by its cover a lot. But this time I decided to give it a try.

A: Beer pours a cloudy/golden color with a 2 inch off white, soapy head that quickly fades and leaves some lacing.

S: Smell consists of honey and apricots up front, followed by some pine, citrus, grapefruit and clove on the back end. A very earthy smelling IPA.

T: Taste is a lot like the smell but I get the pine and grapefruit up front, which is accompanied by the honey and apricot on the back end. Has some subtle earth notes, but no real yeast feel on the aftertaste.

M: mouth feel is a tart and bitter flavor on the mouth but I like that in an IPA.

O: Strong version of the style with grapefruit dominating the flavor. Drinkable for those who can absorb a strong style IPA. I guess you cant always judge a book by its cover!

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Photo of Gatch
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Beautiful golden-copper with a fizzy, white head that builds and fades quickly. Some good lace but no retention.

S: Honey, floral hops, lightly roasted malt.

T: What a splendid IPA. Sooo balanced. Wonderful sweet malt followed by great flavor from the American hops. Sweet, sugary, honey flavors throughout. The finish is all American hops. Wonderful.

M: Super smooth, right amount of carbonation, and a great dry, resiny feeling in the mouth from the hops.

O: Is this IPA falling out of favor with all the huge hop bombs taking precedence? It seems this is true based on how few reviews have been posted in the past year or so. This is a different IPA that is a great change from all the 100 IBU IPA's out there right now. If you want a balanced yet still deliciously hoppy IPA, pick this one up!

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Photo of ProfPayne
5/5  rDev +27.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This was the beer that made me an IPA convert. At only 5% AVB, I'm astounded at how much flavor this beer has. It is bitter and delicious, but redolent with smells (and flavors) of various citrus fruits - especially oranges. In fact, it always tastes and smells like blood oranges to me (just a hint of sour).

For me, it's still one of the benchmark IPAs. Sadly, I can't get it now that I no longer live in Boston!

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Photo of joallen17
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a light copper color with 1-finger, creamy head and a lot of suspended particles. Floral hop aroma most pronounced at the nose, with some citrus. A good hoppy flavor that matches the aroma closely and medium carbonation that fits the style and the flavor quite nicely. All told a nice, well-balanced IPA with a well-supported hoppy kick.

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Photo of SmartyPints
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Poured a darker orange hazed orange that clears up a little once it warms. Half finger cream colored head which shows poor retention. Light spotty lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S- Light floral hop aroma in the front of the beer is overpowered at times by a caramel biscuity malt. Nothing really else in this beer. Plain and simple but it works well.

T- Nice bitter hop taste when it first hits the tip of the tounge. This gives way to a balanced caramel malt. The hops start to fade away in the middle of the beer with most of the flavor dying off by the backend.

M- Light-medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Bittering hops with light caramel malts are left on the palate. Aftetaste is a watered down alcohol with even more watered down bittering hops and caramel matls. Flavors were put together well just a little watery in the backend. No off flavors were present. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer had some good qualities to it along with some bad ones. I personally liked the ABV being lower than usual. The bitterness from the hops I enjoyed with a nice balance from the caramel malt. The downside to this beer is the fact that the finish is so watery it is not even funny. If that single thing could be corrected than this beer would be something to really seek out.

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Photo of angrybabboon
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review adapted from notes taken 7/12/11

Appearance: A hazy copper orange - off-white head fades to some nice lacing

Smell: Ripe, floral and leafy hops - orange, tangerine, grapefruit - some very faint malts in the background

Taste: Very good - orange, grapefruit - on the dry side, with some zest and pith - bitter - malts are extremely light, like just a hint of biscuits - totally lacking balance, but not a huge deal

Mouthfeel: Very light, especially for the style, nicely carbonated, smooth, refreshing

Overall: A good beer, but not the best thing brewed by The Tap / Haverhill Brewery

I think there is a buzz around this beer because it's so uniquely light for an IPA. It's kind of like a hop potion. As much as I like hop bombs, I do like some balance. There are some better offerings from Haverhill.

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Photo of bierbrauer
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle poured into tulip glass. Brought back from MA in mid August, so 3+ months old. Numbers on the bottom of the bottle: 11 B1 0425.

A: Cloudy, gold/amber, with many suspended particles. Huge, puffy, off-white head that settles swiftly, leaving sticky lacing.

S: Slight citrus, sweet caramel malt, pineapple.

T: Full, biscuit-like malt, mid-phase sweetness, followed by steadily developing and lingering bitterness.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation. Smooth and creamy. Dry finish.

O: An IPA that brings on the hops, 50 IBUs, with ABV limited to 5% has my full support. Given the known minimum age of the bottle, this is probably not a fair evaluation. Will look forward to tasting again when fresher.

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Photo of CheezyBlaster
2.41/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Funky. Mustard (WTF?). Citrus, like . . . a citrus banana? Pluots. Huh? This is an odd smelling IPA. I'm going to have to taste it to know.

Bitter/soap finish ruins thoughts on taste, yuck, in fact, the taste is bitter and soapy. I do not like this uber-unbalanced cringing mess. It definitely doesn't taste like any IPA I've ever had. There is no balance to this mess. Drain Pour :( For me, it's an F overall. Not impressed. However, it smelled interesting and looked okay. No thanks anyhow.

EDIT: It's entirely possible that I got a "skunked" or infected bottle/batch/dunno??

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Photo of CHADMC3
3.92/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The body pours a hazy copper color with a slowly developing white head that is a bit thin but lasts for quite a while before dissolving to a thin lacing.

As advertised, this beer packs a hop punch to the nose. It seems both citrus and floral with underlying malt sweetness. Grapefruit, lemon, and similar citrus are featured as well as grass or flowers from the floral aspects.

The flavor is similarly hopped, featuring more citrus and floral hops, but also more of a presence from grassy and pine notes.

Medium in body and medium to light in carbonation with a nice biting finish.

Overall a very nice IPA with nice flavors and aromas. I am wondering if this wasn’t a bit under carbonated or perhaps sat for too long because it lacks the fuller body of some of its counterparts.

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Photo of Retail1LO
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Received this as an extra in a trade.

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

This pours a cloudy, hazy, orange-gold shade with a thin crown. Nose isn't particularly boisterous, it has a pretty muted but very pleasant citrus delivery. This is a smooth tasting IPA. More citrus, with a light hint of pine. The mouthfeel is extremely pleasant. The hop presence isn't overpowering. There's a mild astringency to this, but again, not at all offensive. This doesn't annihilate your taste buds, which is uncommon for a lot of today's IPA's. This is something that I could drink on a regular basis for sure.

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Photo of puboflyons
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on August 23, 2011. The artist they hire for their labels has a knack for painting hot looking women. It pours a medium amber to copper with a small white head the bubbles down to a thin cap and lace. The aroma blends sweeter malts with a harvest of earthy, piney, floral hops. The body comes in slightly under medium. The taste tingles with bitter hops that overpower everything else. I guess that's why they call it an IPA. I think it makes me pucker up too much but it lives up to its description.

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Photo of jondeelee
2.56/5  rDev -34.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Leatherlips begins with a nose that is heavy on hops, which give the beer a complex series of citrusy grapefruit and pine fragrances, touched heavily with floral perfumes. Hints of wildflower honey, yeast, and roses add to the floral notes, giving the beer a troubling resemblance to bath salts. A layer of lightly toasted grains lies below this, which does at least add to the beer.

On the tongue, the beer begins with an immediate hop kick, coming in low and strong at 50 IBUs. The hops bring light grapefruit and pine to the tongue, but also a large dose of the floral perfumes found in the nose, and the result is somewhat like eating rose petals and dandelion stems. There is a good grain base--biscuits and lightly toasted breads--but those are largely subsumed beneath the hops. The aftertaste is mainly hops, and lasts for a long time. Mouthfeel is medium-light, and carbonation is medium.

Overall, I find the hops in this IPA out-of-balance, tending far too strongly toward a single flavor profile for my liking. I would have preferred the same IBU level, but a wider variety of hops to give the bitterness more characteristics, range, and complexity.

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Leather Lips IPA from The Tap Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 299 ratings.