1. Extreme Beer Fest. March 20 & 21, 2015 in Boston, Mass. Join us!
  2. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  3. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Leather Lips IPA - The Tap Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Leather Lips IPALeather Lips IPA

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

398 Ratings
THE BROS
95
world-class

(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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Leather Lips IPA Alström Bros
Ratings: 398 | Reviews: 297 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of blitz134
3.8/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy, golden body. A fair amount of white head that reduced to a lump mass while sticking sporadically to the glass. Pretty nice.

Aroma is mostly citrus rind hops with straw-like qualities as well. Clean, light malting works well with the straw hops. Not overly strong though, but still smells pretty good.

Taste is an onslaught of hops: straw and citrus rinds again. Finishes with lots of resin and residual bitterness. Quite the dry finish too. Malts don't really come through that much.

Coats the mouth well but is pretty thin bodied. Prickly carbonation on the tongue.

Overall a pretty good beer. I consider this an "east coast" style IPA. Goes down pretty easy but its super hoppy and unbalanced but I think this was the way it was intended. While it is weak in a couple of areas it certainly has a lot of kick for a 5% brew.

blitz134, Feb 24, 2007
Photo of muffguy4beer
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Normally have this on tap at the Tap but they had it on cask last friday and had to give it a shot as it is one of my favorite beers anyways.

Appearance - Golden Amber in color, with 1/4 of white head. Head retention is noticeably different but a welcomed difference never the less.

Smell - the smell is also a little subdued in the cask version but I can still easily get the citrus and pine hops in my nose.

Taste - I am pretty new to cask beer and would have thought that an IPA would not benefit but I was very impressed at how this beer tasted. The big fruity taste of its kegged brother is lessened but still in the background and very tasty. the warmth really brings out the depth of the beer and I can appreciate the malts much more.

Mouthfeel - Creamy medium body much more pronounced in this version.

Drinkablility - I ordered two because it was so damn good. If this was offered normally I would definitely drink here more often. Its hard to find casks in this area let alone America but I am glad to have found this beer joint which offers them every friday.

muffguy4beer, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of shamrock7
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I recently tried this beer at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI and really enjoyed it. It had a good taste, not overly hoppy (not like a hopwhollop or hop devil), and a nice finish. I thought it was a very drinkable IPA. I hope that they are able to get some more in stock (I’d like to try it on tap)...it would definitely be on my drink list.

shamrock7, Feb 23, 2007
Photo of edchicma
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Julios in Westboro, MA. Pours a beautiful vlear golden yellow wit han outstanding head and outstanding lacing. Smell is a blast of citrus hop notes with a faint malt undertone..very inviting. Taste is robust in citrus hops...like Victory's Hop Wallop. A definite hophead's brew. Mouthfeel is smooth initially then the dry hop quality kicks in..mmm. Drinkability is good for the style..light initial creaminess...then a great dry finish.

edchicma, Feb 18, 2007
Photo of ybnorml
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean amber beer. With a big creamy off white head. Strong hoppy aroma. Mostly piney hop notes with a hint of floral in the background. A light biscuity malt note kisses the tip of your tongue just before the hops tear into the rest of your mouth. The piney hop notes dominate leaving a nice dry finish.

ybnorml, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of Imstillthegman
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this one at the EBF in Boston and had to find some to bring home.

Pours out of the bottle an orange-amber color with a slight chill haze to it. About an inch and a half of frothy white head. Nice lacing cascades down my glass.

The smell is strong citrus and pine hops. Really good, strong aroma for an IPA.

Wow...this is just an IPA? At only 5% I would have never imagined that it could be this hoppy. I have had DIPA that don't compare with this one. Bitter grapefruit and pine dominate the taste. Bitter, tasty treat.

Medium body with good carbonation. Dry, tongue smacking finish. I could drink this everyday if it was available in my area. I should have grabbed another six-pack. Lucky Bostonians. I still can't believe this only a 5% IPA. Freakin' awesome.

Imstillthegman, Feb 15, 2007
Photo of mmmbeer
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Chose this as the brew to pair with my dinner at the Sunset Grill and Tap. It arrives in the tulip glass (maybe 12-14 oz.?) a transluscent orangey/amber with an inch of frothy white head that leaves very sticky lacing. It has a big piney and citric aroma (orange, grapefruit) with a matching flavor profile that adds some herbal hops, light malts, and an abrasive bitterness on top of a smooth, medium body that has light carbonation and leaves a long-ass finish. Overall a nice big, intensely bitter IPA that packs a huge amount of flavor into a mere 5 percent. A beer I would definitely revisit.

mmmbeer, Feb 14, 2007
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle>Mug.

AP: A pale-ish amber color, semi-cloudy, very bubbly and active with a one finger thick, bone-white frothy head that displays some brownish-orange spots on the top of the head, leaves some nice thick lacing dripping down. Displays excellent head retention.

Nose: A pleasant but not overlly aromatic herbal and spicey hop scent with mild citrus and a hearty malt scent way down deep.

Taste: A very hearty flavored malt that is detected undeeneath the an herbalized and slightly spicey and citrus hop dominated flavor. Only a minor bitter effect at the very end. Good balance here though.

MF: A medium to full body, rather hefty and smooth for the style. A nice mellow feeling on the palate.

DA: Very tastey, just above average for the style I feel. Easy to drink.

GratefulBeerGuy, Feb 07, 2007
Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass at 40 degrees. Picked up in a trade from cburian - thanks!!

A - Cloudy, pale orange color with a small-to-medium head that left a white ring atop the glass. Good carbonation.

S - Very fruity hops with a lingering sweetness. Smells like I'm ready for a hop bomb..

T - If I didn't know any better, I'd think I was drinking a lower-ABV DIPA. Extremely well-balanced between sweet malt and overpowering hops...strong bitterness followed. Flavors are very straightforward, no real complexities or subtle tones...just a blast of hops not usually associated with a 5.0 ABV IPA.

M - Medium, creamy body with a strong bitterness upon the finish. Carbonation remains strong.

D - Excellent IPA - when I saw it listed as 5.0 (despite my better judgment...) I assumed it would be lackluster and come across as a slightly hoppier APA...this definitely stands out in the crowd.

JohnnyM2002, Feb 04, 2007
Photo of n0rmann
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beers with 5 percent APV shouldn't be this good. I found my new everyday beer. The bitterness is amazing for such a low alcohol brew, and there's a nice hop character, with a nice citrus taste.

I could easily sit back and drink three, four etc. of these.

It is definitely one of the best American IPAs out there, and perhaps the best beer produced in Massachusetts.

n0rmann, Jan 25, 2007
Photo of BattleRoadBrewer
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured at 35F from a 12 oz amber bottle into a standard pint glass.

Rocky tan head leaving plenty of lace over a dark orange, cloudy brew.

Aroma dominated by hops, but a bit malty and yeasty, possibly some higher alcohols.

Taste was grassy, very hoppy with floral and citrus, malty bite and nicely bittered. Mouthfeel was nicely suited. Slightly medicinal, but not bad.

Drinkability was good, good enough to have another. Nice effort from a micro/brewpub, better than many efforts from bigger brewers. If you're looking for an IPA-like session beer this would be it. Fat feel of an IPA at only 5% ABV, it's technically a pale ale--but drinks like an IPA. Lately the trend seems to have been the opposite, set by 3FFF, calling IPAs APAs and DIPAs IPAs--rather than the other way around as in this case.

Edit: the above review was either before they got their process down for this beer, or else the bottle was old/abused. Just had a Leatherlips recently and it is just fantastic. Beat Mojo and Longhammer by a long shot in a side-by-side tasting. There was no medicinal or other off flavor, and it was only slightly hazy. Formerly rated this a solid B, but latest serving was much better.

BattleRoadBrewer, Jan 24, 2007
Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade from bjohnson. Thanks. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my pint glass. Appears a hazy light amber in color with at least three fingers of fluffy off white head. Awesome lacing left in the glass with each sip. Smells of pine needles and grapefruit peel as well as sweet malted grains. The hop bitterness starts as soon as the beer hits your tongue and slowly fades into the finish. Sweet lemon and grapefruit notes come through the bitterness, but only briefly. This beer does not let you forget the bitter bite it delivers. Medium in both body and carbonation. I could drink this all night but not with out a glass of water in between each pint to allow my tongue to spring back into shape.

ClockworkOrange, Jan 23, 2007
Photo of bigone4
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI. Nice presentation. It poured a hazy straw orange color with a nice off white head. This one smells of grapefruit and citrus tones. Strong hop oil scent with even piney hop goodness in every whiff. This beer packs quite a powerful nose. Great hop flavor throughout the taste. Starts out rather sharp with citrus grapefruit tones followed by a nice smooth hop bite. Rolling subtle hints of orange and pine. Certainly a well hopped beer from start to finish. I would consider this offering for any hop head out there. Good finish and an even better dry hop aftertaste. They really capture the hop essence in this brew. The malt takes a back seat in this beer. Truly a bitter and mouth puckering experience. Its name fits it well. I found this brew to be quite drinkable and very enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed drinking this beer and I hope to have a couple more in the next week before the log kicks. This was my first beer from Haverhill Brewery and I hope to try some of there other offerings.

bigone4, Jan 23, 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 nase
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Tasting this next to a fresh Smuttynose IPA. This one is a few months old which makes the two difficult to compare.

This one has more emphasis on the sweet citrus taste and the heaviness of the hops. A thinner body on this one as well though there is good head retention and the beer overall feels light and creamy. Long-lasting pine/even metallic? finish.

Appearance - 4
Smell - 5
Taste - 3.5
Mouthfeel - 3.5
Drinakbility - 3.5

nase, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of orfeu
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to zrrbrrt for sending this my way. Cloudy apricot nectar with a huge mass of just-off-white sticky and cratery foam. Killer lacing, to boot. Lovely grapefruit and spruce scents, nothing mind-bogglingly unique about the aroma, but it's nevertheless a mouth-watering, hoppy nose that seems "picture perfect" for an IPA. Bitter through and through, with piney flavors just beating out the grapefruit pith citrus notes. Finishes *slightly* phenolic with a pleasantly biscuity aftertaste. Again, nothing that really "stands out," but I think Haverhill has simply nailed a solid, sessionable IPA here. Juicy mouthfeel with a dry finish. Awesome drinkability -- glad I have another in the cellar. I have the feeling that this might be just a bit better on tap...

orfeu, Jan 17, 2007
Photo of Enola
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer is hoppy, for sure. There is a small head atop a nice partly cloudy light orange brew. There are plenty of little particles suspended in the beer. There is also ample lacing. The smell is very piney and citrusy. Sweet hops abound!!. The taste is bittersweet. This is the kind of IPA that one could drink every day. The mouthfeel is smooth and sticky. Drinkability is good. I wish this beer was more readily available here. Thanks to wcudwight who obtained it from swedejay.

Enola, Dec 29, 2006
Photo of JimFalzone
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The Tap has been quietly brewing and serving exceptional beers for a long time now, but now one of their creations is available in 6-packs. The artwork on the 6-pack holder and bottles is racey and humorous. The sexy woman depicted on the label was inspired by the name Leather Lips. This here is a hop monster. It's not an IPA like the bigger brewers make, with a subtle hop bite. The Tap's version is BITTER, really, really BITTER. I like it, but it would be tough to toss back more than a couple without needing some water to chase it. But you know the deal... Hop heads live for this type of beer. All other beer drinkers beware. Not my favorite Tap offering but it ranks pretty high.

JimFalzone, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of warmstorage
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle, into pint glass.

Pours a bright clear medium copper with heavy carbonation visible, and medium dense somewhat rocky head that leaves medium lacing.

Smell is sweet citrus fruit hop, and sweet malt to back it up.

Taste is lovely, pronounced citrus and sweet hop, pine and caramel malt. Delightfully unbalanced, and hop heavy. It's fascinating, in that it's almost like a hyper-hoppy English IPA more than a west coast style hop bomb.

A delicious beer, the dozen or so times I've had it on tap, and half a dozen in the bottle. I'll definitely keep buying it.

warmstorage, Dec 27, 2006
Photo of jamie2dope
4.88/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've waited quite a while to try this beer. Although I live pretty close to the brewery, I never got around to visiting. Tjis one pours a perfect orange color, with a nice white head, and sediment floating around inside the glass. Smell was absolutely filled with hop presence. These were the real deal piney, oily hops that really assault the palate. Taste was as intense as the smell with the hops...they really do a number on your tongue. Mouthfeel was medium, and oh so drinkable if you are big into hops like me. I have to say that this might surpass Smuttynose Finest Kind as my favorite local American IPA. I simply cannot find anything wrong with this beer. It gives some Double IPA's a run for their money in the hop department.

jamie2dope, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.35/5  rDev -14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to my SS 2006 jrdegriselles for this beer off my wants.

The beer was a little over carbonated with the pour. A rich floral smell is present. The taste is a little too floral for my preference. This an above average IPA IMO but I would not seek this out b/c I have easy access to some great IPAs. I would like to try this on-tap to see if there is a difference.

Cheers.

SkinnyElvis, Dec 21, 2006
Photo of Greenlabel
4.4/5  rDev +12.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

IPA's are one of my 2 favorite styles and I'm certainly glad the folks in Haverhill put in a bottling line and made this product available to a wider audience. I'm not sure how widely the bottles are distributed but I bought a 6-pack at Julio's in Westboro, MA. No freshness dating but definitely fresh.

This IPA poured an orangy amber color with a lasting white creamy head. Smell seemed normal for an IPA but the taste and mouthfeel were well above normal. Citrusy, piney - whatever it might be called, the taste was at the upper end for IPA's. From a drinkabilty standpoint, it would seem to be a great candidate for a session IPA.

I've never tasted a Haverhill Brewing product before but, if this is an example of their brewing capability, I'll try any of them which are distributed in bottles. Hope they go for a wider distribution but, if not, I'll be back to Julio's for an encore - maybe a case next time.

Greenlabel, Dec 20, 2006
Photo of Franchise
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This offering pours a cloudy dark orange leaving a thin off-white head. The aroma is orange peels, lemon, pine, honey, and a grassy earthiness very nice. The taste starts bitter, actually more like a bitter "pimp slap" that roughs up your palate a bit but tries to balanced with a small malty fruit honey feel but finishes with that grapefruit bite that makes you smack the tongue. Great aggresive American IPA. One that will end up in my fridge most of the year.

Franchise, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of SixpointJMH
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a wonderful looking hazy as hell copper colour wit ha big foamy head that leaves it mark all over the glass after it subsides.

The aroma is bready, piney, and citrusy for the most part. A bit rugged but a bit floral as well. Good stuff here.

Taste is more of the same: Bread all around. Hops simply dominate, but in a good, balanced way. Nothing overpowering here as the malt backbone is quite nice as well. pine/citrus notes mix in mostly in the middle and the finish is a bit rugged and dry perhaps. Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nice and slick and oily.

I dug this one. Was happy to find it in bottle format as I had actually forgotten it was bottled on a recent trip back to Boston. Worth picking up at least a bottle or six-pack if you can find it.

SixpointJMH, Dec 11, 2006
Photo of ghostwalker
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle.

Amber body with thick off-white head.

Nose is sweet tangy citrus, delectible.

Flavor is outstanding, one of the best IPAs around. Tart citrus and floral hops perfectly balance the sweet malt body.

Mouthfeel is oily and slick. Plenty of tooth stripping quality.

Drinkability is near perfect. A flavorful and tasty session IPA.

Thanks for finally making this available in bottles.

ghostwalker, Dec 07, 2006
Leather Lips IPA from The Tap Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.