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Leather Lips IPA - The Tap Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Leather Lips IPALeather Lips IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
86
very good

398 Ratings
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 398
Reviews: 297
rAvg: 3.92
pDev: 14.03%
Wants: 58
Gots: 11 | 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:
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 added by: Bierman9 on 04-05-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 398 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Sammy
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

What turned out to be a small bottle for three of a superior American IPA. Only IPA and yet so well the hops in aroma and taste. Citrus aroma i was, a cloudy grapefruit with soapy head. Mouthfeel is creamy, and grapefruit taste. A lot of hops..must be there. Can't get enough to sample multiple times.

Sammy, Aug 14, 2008
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2%

t0rin0, Mar 02, 2013
Photo of Thorpe429
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub the afternoon of Night of the Funk 2010.

Pours a modest amber-brown color with an off-white head that starts out a big shorter than normal. Then, loads of lacing follow as the head dies down. A bit strange in that there was very little initial foam but what was there stuck quite well.

The nose brings a solid dose of citrus, floral, and piney hops. Nothing really meshes and it seems like a bunch of hops were just thrown i the kettle without regard for how they would interact. The taste is a bit better as they're more muted and meld into a generic "hoppy" flavor. Pretty bitter feel. Not a bad IPA.

Thorpe429, Nov 14, 2010
Photo of nmann08
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

nmann08, Dec 05, 2011
Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy honey color with a sturdy head that sticks well and splotches lace

Smell: Grassy and piney with a touch of pith

Taste: Slightly grainy up front, this starts out with a grassy bitterness that adds pith by mid-palate; after the swallow, some piney elements arrive, but this highly attenuated brew is pure hops and finishes extremely dry

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate but fizzy carbonation

Drinkability: While I like a bitter beer, I like a bit of malt backbone, too; this beer just doesn't have the balance I am seeking although I can understand why others like it so well

brentk56, Aug 21, 2007
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Crazily bubbled bright orange topped by a beige crown that is currently filling all but the bottom inch of the glass despite the gentlest of pours. This may be the most carbonated beer that I've ever seen, and I've seen some doozies. It still looks pretty good. Here's hoping the flavor and the mouthfeel won't be negatively impacted.

The aroma doesn't seem to have taken a hit, even through what is still four fingers of foam. It's bright and citrusy, with orange, lemon and grapefruit peel bursting out of the glass. A hop bill of Centennial, Nugget and Chinook should make for an impressive nose. And definitely does in this case.

Leatherlips is a good IPA that, nevertheless, isn't the stuff of my fevered hop dreams. I don't want to believe that overcarbonation is responsible for my less than full-throated praise, not after I've been dying to acquire a bottle for so long, but I'm afraid that it is. I'll try to work around it as best I can.

I'm amazed at how bitter *only* 50 IBUs can be in some instances. This beer is hugely bitter, much more than some IPAs/DIPAs that claim more than 100 IBUs. It just goes to show that the numbers mean very little. White grapefruit pith, bitter orange and unsweet pine sap make up what is a relatively simple flavor profile. Simple, but intense. My tongue has already started to twitch and I'm only halfway through the bottle.

Subsequent pours rejuvenate the head like an M-80 in a bubblebath. Amazingly, the insane carbonation is still as frenetic as it was when I popped the cap more than 10 minutes ago. While I'm tempted to bump the flavor score, I won't. This just doesn't taste like a special IPA (in its current state). I know one thing, my alpha acid tank has been topped off for the remainder of the day; maybe even the week.

How the hell do I properly assess the mouthfeel with this much chaos going on? If I can factor out the bubbles (difficult, but possible), I can better appreciate the quality of the mouthfeel. It's medium in heft with a finishing stickiness. It's a shame that I couldn't have experienced it as the brewers intended.

I still don't feel like I've had the true Leatherlips IPA. jrdegriselles was kind enough to send me two bottles, but I'm pretty sure they're both similarly affected. Maybe I'll open the other one and let it sit in the refrigerator for an hour or so. If incredibly bitter, incredibly hoppy beer is your thing, then wrap your lips around a Leatherlips and get ready to pucker up.

BuckeyeNation, Jan 18, 2007
Photo of Phyl21ca
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a cloudy light orangey color ale with a big foamy head with some good retention and some lacing. Aroma of bitter and citrusy hops is quite interesting and totally dominating. Aroma of bitter hops with some citrusy notes are totally dominating. I have to admit that I wasn’t expecting much from this but was pleasantly surprise overall. I believe that if you going to do one-dimensional bitter beers that the way you have to go. I also have to admit that this is one bad label!

Phyl21ca, Oct 24, 2007
Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

ygtbsm94, Feb 20, 2014
Photo of mikesgroove
4.7/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ok so here we go with another long one today. I have had this on my wants forever and was finally able to nail down some in a trade. I love all things IPA and with the rep that this one had, you know I had to try and find it. So I can finally cross another of my to find big hoppy list! So when to have it came next, naturally the best time would be with a nice pasta dinner, which I found when I came home last night, so that made it real easy. Away we go..but first I have to mention the bottle here, Just really great artwork, that always adds to it for me, I love when some time is put into the artwork…



A – Poured a light orange amber, much brighter then I actually thought it would have been, and this kinda took me by surprise, most deep IPA’s I find have that more burnt orange dark color, but this one was rather bright. Very hazy and cloudy with some sediment floating in the bottom, and that is always good. A big two inch plus head formed on the top right away and hung around for a good lng while, when it finally did decide to up and fade, it left behind a ton of gooey sticky side lace that stayed throughout the session. Very good carbonation was evident from the very start. Looking good so far I gotta say.

S – Aroma was super bitter citrus hops. Lots of grapefruit here, and very light. It had that sparkling kind of smell, so bitter you could feel it. It says 50 IBU’s but I am getting the impression I am going to be in for a lot more then that when all is said and done. Some ligh sweetness starts to carry though as it warms, however this a total hop bomb, it was so astringently bitter that you could not smell much else then fresh, blow your mind citrus hops, really starting to get a good feeling on this one at this point…

T – WOW, this blew me away. First off it was light. Not a heavy IPA by any means, but rather a generously carbonated light beverage, with a knockout punch of a taste. Huge, and I mean HUGE, bitter citrus hop taste. Lots of grapefruit, with even a hint of lemon mixed in. Some orange peel as well. Very fresh taste, it was almost like it was dry hopped it came off soo fresh. Nice little sweetness in the back, and a long drawn out dry bitter finish, lots of fresh cut grass, plant like taste in the finish, defiantly fresh hops. This had a killer taste. I really savored every sip.

M – Great smooth but yet crisp mouthfeel. Just awesome carbonation that never did quit. It really had that lighter then air feeling when sipping it. I always seem to find that when something gets this bitter, it tends to become somewhat thick, almost syrup like, however not in this case. It was able to remain light, and easy going. Which added a tremendous amount to it. You could really bring out the flavors here because of it. Never fely like it was getting dull at all.

D – Fantastic, actually I will give it a perfect five here. Have to. I could have continued with this one forever. Just such a fresh lively feel, light, great taste with a huge dry finish. Low ABV, great carbonation, what did it not have going for it at this point. Just a ridiculously good brew here.

Overall I was not only impressed I was simply blown away. This was utterly great and defiantly one of the best IPA’s I have ever tasted, no joke. I thought it was going to be good, but did not realize it was going to be this good. A fantastic brew I would recommend to any, seriously go out and try this. On a side, no way it is only 50 IBU, impossible. I have had some that claim to be 80-100+ that were not as bitter and fresh as this, way to go here, simply great.

mikesgroove, Aug 29, 2007
Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, pale orange body with no real head beyond a few scant bubbles.

Smell: Very citricy aroma full of juicy grapefruit rinds, lemon peel, and meadow flowers backed by a thin measure of candied maltiness.

Taste: Dry maltiness with a tiny hint of biscuit. A sharp, zesty, almost rauncy citric kick of citrusy hops. A touch of grass and flowers. Medium-high bitterness shines through as there's really not much at all in the way of malts. Acidic, bitter finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: My hope is that you're ready for plenty of hop bitterness.

ChainGangGuy, May 12, 2008
Photo of largadeer
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dirty orange, hazy and unfiltered, with a two finger head that lasts for a couple of minutes.

Smell: Candied grapefruit over a light toffee malt backbone. Spicy chinook is present as well, lending a note of tobacco.

Taste & mouthfeel: This one opens with flavors of grapefruit and husky grain, with a bit of black tea in there as well. Wow, this is hoppy stuff. The bitterness is intense for a brew of 5% ABV - a few bottles would surely wreck the palate. The finish reveals a bit of tobacco, though any actual flavor is quickly washed away by the bitterness. While I generally prefer my IPAs to have an even mix of flavor and aroma hops, this beer is a bit of a novelty. They really do pack a ton of hop bitterness into a light-bodied, low ABV beer. Fun stuff but not something I'd drink often.

Notes: Got this one from wolfsblood. Thanks!

largadeer, Aug 28, 2008
Photo of JAHMUR
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

JAHMUR, Oct 20, 2014
Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Thanks to Hophead101 for this bottle!

Reviewed blind as part of the Blind Beers BIF. It pours a clear copper amber topped by a finger or so creamy ecru froth. Quite a bit o' particulate matter, which I've allowed to settle to the bottom (I'm a benevolent landlord, like the elightened absolutists of yore). Not much in the nose here. A bit o' florals, some greens, a hint of what may or may not be toffee. Hmmm. The taste is similar to the nose, only more present. Definite tobacco-malty flavor, along with some floral bitterness. Quite a bit o' earth in there as well. The body is medium, with a light carbonation and a smooth and dry feel. Not bad, overall, but I didn't see an IPA as I drank it. Interesting.

TMoney2591, Jul 21, 2010
Photo of Jason
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the HHTD.

This baby is the runt of the litter, it might be small in stature but it packs a hop dropkick of bitterness for its size. Lots of bitterness to go around, with a sharp oily hop flavor. Peachy minty pine aroma. Solid head retention on a golden amber brew. Slight malt flavor comes though for a second.

Jason, Jul 30, 2004
Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

A: The beer is a deep golden-brown color with a medium foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma has a good strong hops burst and some caramelized malt and citrus sweetness to back it up.

T: The taste starts out with a smoky malt character, which is quickly followed by a heavy dose of hops bitterness and not a lot of sweetness. There are complimentary flavors of citrus, caramel and a little spice in the background. The after-taste is loaded with residual hops bitterness.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, very clean and dry finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, very good representation of style, not very filling, this is a beer I could stick with for a whole evening and I bet it’s even better on-tap. My only problem with this beer is that I haven’t seen it in a 12-pack yet.

TheManiacalOne, Mar 11, 2007
Photo of Kegatron
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a cloudy orange with a +1 finger width of off-white head that left a fantastic creamy retention (one of the best that I've seen in a while) that naturally left some pretty awesome sticky lacing. The aroma is fresh smelling floral hops, citrus, and pine with just a touch of sweetness thrown into the mix.

The taste is a big floral, piney bite of hops up front that is nicely kept in check by a splash of citrus and sweet malt. The mouthfeel is medium bodied but exibits a bit of a watery feel in the finish. Overall not bad though.

Wow, this was a pretty darn tasty IPA from a new to me brewery, in the Tap/Haverhills. I'll definitely be seeking more of this out on our next excursion up to Mass.

Kegatron, Jan 31, 2008
Photo of Slatetank
3.78/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to TheManiacalOne for this trade, I enjoyed the chance to try this ale.
Decanted cool into my Dupont Saison glass.

A - Golden accented medium amber that has an immediately expanding whit cap tha gradually settles to about an inch. The foam is dense like cotton candy and leaves an airy froth coating the glass and it won't loosen is grip.

S - Very fruity and slightly cidery as the aroma whooshes up to greet my schnozz. A sweet malt aroma complements the floral subtle aroma that is like mellow orange blossoms.

M - A very creamy carbonation joins the sharp grassy, resinous and very grapefruity feel w/ acrid citrus Chinook and Centennial feel. This ale is lively and soft on the tongue w/ a many textured touch on the palate that has a very bitter hop presence.

T - A jolt of citrus that finishes sharp w/ a bitter thrust of grassiness. The hops have more Chinook coarseness w/ a hint of warmth of booze flavor as the acid is intense and just doesn't have enough malt supporting the intensity for me.

D - This is probably better appreciated by hopheads, although I still feel this is a fine, well crafted ale that is a little heavy on the bitterness, yet still tasty. I would probably not drink multiples though.

Slatetank, Mar 30, 2008
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, bright coppery/ crimson color, topped with a fine layer of beige suds, looks nice.
The instant my nose gets nearer the glass, I know I'm in for a treat!This is the stuff, fresh, piney, bold, citric, a flood of fruity flavors, but not too bitter. Floral, fragrant, and, aromatically, an instant favorite.
Impressive entrance on the palate, the brew grips and grabs all areas of the mouth and sends it's bittersweet flavor in every corner! Vibrant, flavorful, with a long, bitter finish.
There's just enough malt hanging in here, to make it magnificently drinkable.


Very, very tasty this Leatherlips, smooth and delicious. Fine people of Massachusetts, you are truly blessed to have some a lip-smackin' wonder of an IPA at your beck-and-call!

feloniousmonk, Aug 06, 2004
Photo of drabmuh
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass. First thing is first, no head. I poured violently when nothing was happening. I got a minimal head of big bubbles with no lacing. beer is amber in color and has VERY LITTLE CARBONATION. Wrong.

Aroma is quite sweet with some pininess. This is probably going to be a malt bomb IPA.

Beer is medium body and really bitter. There is a lot of pine flavors in this thing but it leads off with a strong malt syrup flavor that is pretty off putting. I had this beer on draft in Boston and didn't write a review but this was not my experience. I would cautiously try it again on draft but not again in the bottle.

drabmuh, Aug 11, 2010
Photo of Mora2000
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hophead101 for sending me this beer as an extra.

Pours murky yellow with a white head. The aroma is orange and pine. The flavor is strong citrus with hardly any bitterness. Slightly thin, watery mouthfeel with low-medium carbonation. Glad I got to try this one and it didn't disappoint.

Mora2000, Feb 10, 2010
Photo of jwc215
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours slightly hazed orange/amber with a thin, creamy head that lasts for the duration and leaces some broken rings of lacing on the glass.

The smell and the taste are citrus and floral hops all over the place. Just a touch of caramelish malt gives it some body. Finishes long and dry.

The hops are so prominent that some might consider it "imbalanced", but if you want a hoppy IPA with just a nod from the malt, this is a tasty choice. The modest abv for the style certainly helps it drinkablilty.

jwc215, Apr 18, 2007
Photo of Rochefort10nh
4/5  rDev +2%

Rochefort10nh, Nov 21, 2011
Photo of smcolw
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Impressive rocky head; nice ring lace. Cloudy, light amber color.

Nice floral and fresh hop smell, but quite mild.

Potent hop flavor--I can tell that they used a generous amount of a high alpha version to get this lip-smacking flavor. Very long aftertaste. Full body with high carbonation.

Hop heads rejoice...this beer will satisfy those bitter needs. Not a complex brew, and there is nearly no malt presence except to provide the vehicle for delivering the hop bite.

I wrote the above before I looked at my review of the tap version. The bottle version was not up to the level of getting it fresh at the brew pub. Then again, what would be? If you're north of Boston and can drop into The Tap, I'd highly recommend it as well as this beer.

smcolw, May 12, 2007
Photo of Gavage
4.75/5  rDev +21.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

On tap at Bukowski's.

Appearance: slighlty hazy orange color with a 1" head that lasted a while. Decent lacing developed.

Smell: pleasant grapefruit, pine, and fruit sweetness.

Taste: this is a well balanced and wonderful IPA. Very fresh on tap. Loads of malt sweetness nicely balanced with grapefruit and orange citrus, along with a nice pine bitterness that doesn't overwhelm the tastebuds. Hints of biscuit and sweet pears are lingering in the background.

Mouthfeel: crisp from start to finish. The finish also sports a hint of dryness. Short aftertaste as the flavors leave the tongue in a second or two. Medium bodied.

Drinkability: doesn't get any better than this in the style. This can be quaffed all day for a week straight. Alcohol levels are low enough making this a pure session beer. Fantastic on tap.

Gavage, Mar 20, 2007
Photo of akorsak
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle from a trade with bjohnson.

A: The ale has a thick voluminous head, billowy and measuring around 3 fingers. The color is a hazy orange amber color that is quite brilliant when light is shone through it.

S: The nose is grapefruit spicy with a biscuity malt base that keeps the hops grounded.

T: The first sip is a whirlwind of hops and malts. Spicy grapefruit and sweet pineapple are abundant and well-matched against a strong grainy malt background. The malts are chewy and never let the hops get out of hand. The finish comes back to the hops, providing a bitter finish that is flavorful but never scalds the tastebuds.

M: The mouthfeel is full of juicy hops and strong malts, both of which make for a good tasting ale.

D: The drinkability is excellent. The hops are strong and the alcohol isn't, making it a great choice for a long session.

akorsak, Apr 09, 2007
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Leather Lips IPA from The Tap Brewing Company
86 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.