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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.
very good

398 Ratings

(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 Jermbrew
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've had this on tap @ the brewery before, but this time from a 12oz bottle. Just as good as the first time.

The frothy head sits on top of a copper colored ale. It's a good looking sight. My initial wiff turned up a scent of pine accompanied by a hint of sweet smell. The piney smell lingers throughout the duration of the drink.

Taste is great. Bitterness prevails in the end and I even detect a little honey-clove sweetness.

Due to a reasonable ABV of 5% I see no reason to "take it easy". Makes for a great all-day IPA. The brewer did an excellent job here while maintaining a lower gravity for this style.

The first gulp coated my entire mouth with a pleasant creamy layer. I dig this a lot. Ideal mouthfeel for an IPA in my opinion.

I live in Northampton,MA but go to Haverhill quite a bit, so if anyone is interested in scoring some Leatherlips drop me an e-mail.

Jermbrew, Nov 27, 2006
Photo of wcudwight
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a very hazy burnt orange color.
The smell of tangerine jumps right out at you the moment you free this beer from the bottle. I don't have to swirl or inhale. Tangerine just fills the room. Wow!
This is a unique IPA. Fruit fresh from the tropics start this beer off. Mango maybe? The flavor actually kind of mutes itself in the middle and the hops kick in during the finish and stay. I love beers where you are still tasting the hops from the previous sip when you take the next sip and this is one of them. The hops are very citrus in nature and somewhat floral. I don't detect the piney nature of a lot of IPA's.
Mouthfeel is very dry and not sticky like a lot of IPA's. The dryness is nice and kind of refreshing.
At 5% this is an excellent session beer that is full of flavor and will make a positve impression on your tastebuds.
Thanks to swedejay53 for the bottle.

wcudwight, Nov 21, 2006
Photo of waughbrew
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz brown bottle, no date, leather-clad redheaded woman with a mug of beer looking seductively at me. Back off lady, I'm married. Plus, if I married you, our kids' hair would burn people's eyes.

A very hazy light-amber with a big creamy head that leaves rings of lace down my mug. Bready and yeasty with a small helping of orange peels. Not as hoppy in the nose as I was expecting. Sort of homebrewish with the yeastiness. On the thin side, crisp, evenly bitter, and pleasant citrus throughout. The finish has a tang to the bitterness that keeps going, but is not entirely pleasant. A little crushed aspirin action going on. Strong bitterness plays on and on like it is the guitar solo in Freebird. And I like it. The bitterness is at a rare level, I find.

Overall, this bottled beer does not stick out too much in its look, smell, feel, or drinkability, but I love that shot of bitterness that it has.

Beware the redhead.

waughbrew, Nov 16, 2006
Photo of Estarrio
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured a cloudy, light orange with a medium foamy head. The head retained quite well, with persistent, intricate, sticky lacings. The impressive lacings possessed a grainy, wet sand property that seemed to move magically around the sides of my IPA glass.

Sweet malt aroma blends with orange peel, grapefruit and a floral hoppy presence.

The unique taste consists of sweet malt, bittersweet grapefruit, citrus rind and a nice, bitter hop finish. The Centennial and Choonook hops represent a nice changeup from the usual norm, adding to a pleasingly bitter character. The name may or may not be derived from an earthy, leather-like character in the aftertaste. At five percent, there is no perceived alcohol in the flavor.

This light/medium bodied brew is very well carbonated and lacks the syrupy consistency that can detract from the drinkability of other Amercian IPA's.

This is a unique, smooth and well-balanced IPA. At 5%, this is a hoppy, sessionable delight!

Estarrio, Nov 12, 2006
Photo of ppoitras
4.03/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12ozer bought as part of a 6-pack from Julio's, Westboro, MA.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1" dense light tan head over the clear orangey amber brew. Head fades gradually, with lots of lasting lace. Aroma has some grain notes, but the story here is the citrus hops. Taste is upfront with the fruity hops, then kicks in with a whole pile of bitterness, and then thinks about balancing a bit with some sweetness peeks towards the swallow. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both great. This one is all I expected, hope to see more out and about.

ppoitras, Nov 07, 2006
Photo of cbl2
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

10/28/2006 $8.99 6 pack 5.00% No best by date.


Pours a hazy peach with fine carbonation that lead to a meringue like peak that settles into billowy clouds of white vapor, with nice lacing along the glass.


Beautifully ripened grapefruit, dripping juice with smooth biscuity malt.


Nice biscuity malt flavor with muted hops, perhaps approaching the 50 IBU's promised on the label, though this is subtle by IPA standards. Finish has notes of grapefruit, and a long bitter streak to it. This reminds me more of an American Pale Ale than an IPA, but it is damn tasty.

Purchased at Bauer Wine in Boston. Nick told me this is unpasteurized, and that he doesn't like to take it out of the fridge for extended periods of time.

cbl2, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of Doomcifer
4.45/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Ok, so it's finally available in bottles. Let's test the hype.

Pours a hazy light copper with a decent off-white head that lingers around.

Smells extremely citrusy and juicy, very sweet, tropical fruits, candied malts.

Taste is also very sweet with hops fighting their way through to a dry, astringent finish. Once again, very tropical tasting. Very unique, I must say. Almost tastes like a red ale/ipa hybrid. Finish is very dry, aspiriny, grapefruity, while the front is very sweet, citrusy, and juicy. I wish it was a bit more balanced throughout the taste curve, and not as thin, but it is still very impressive. The dry, astringent hoppiness clings to your palate for an eternity after each sip.

Mouthfeel is a little watery with decent carbonation.

Drinkable? Absolutely. The tropical fruity sweetness to it makes it very drinkable and addicting. The 5.0% abv helps a boatload in this category as well. Great session brew.

I must say that, while it is not the best IPA out there, it is definitely very unique. For that alone, it deserves good praise. I'd say that I am pretty impressed with Haverhill on this one. Although, I'd still say that it is slightly overrated.

Edited rating on 10/08 - this has become a favorite and is way better than I had recalled.

Doomcifer, Oct 28, 2006
Photo of snilsen13
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I seek out this sort of brew. "Hazed and Infused " and "Blonde Hop Monster" are similar. These are IPAs with a lots of aroma from dry hopping, I think. This one is pretty good, but is also pretty straightforward, and could be better. There ought to be a new category for these beers.

a - slightly cloudy orange with solid off white (yellowish) head.

s - dry-hopped? Most definately. Very floral hops. Bottle says 50 IBU of centennial and chinook

t - hops are bright and grassy/piney, very subtle sweetness.... aftertaste is not over powering, but this could benefit from storage. Hops are too sharp and not sufficiently complex too merit a rating better than "good".

m - it's fine.

d - pretty good. 5% ABV makes them easy to knock back, and the hops become increasingly palettable and never loose their bite.

snilsen13, Oct 23, 2006
Photo of Sycodrummer
4.93/5  rDev +25.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The new bottled "edition"

From the 12oz. bottle into a shaker pint the beer was a pale golden bronze color with one-finger of pure white and fluffy head. Some moderate lacing, but no other outright signs of carbonation.

The nose is fresh juicy hops. The beer smells like ripe and wet hops freshly plucked from the vine and put under your nose. The hop freshness aroma is truly amazing. The hop smell is raw and piney. Very citrusy with grapefruit leading the way.

The bitterness hits your palate immediatley and grabs the back of your tounge and coats the palate. Crisp grapefruit citrus flavors are abound and this one approaches Smuttynose grapefruit levels. Again the freshness in taste of this beer is amazing. The taste has hints of malt that make a futile effort at balance, but hops steel the show here. The taste in not just bitter, but trully hoppy with every sip. The beer drinks much bigger than 50 IBU but is very sessionable.

Medium body that is very crisp. The hop flavor seems to almost coat the palate with a film that lingers for some time. Still bitterness is not abbrasive or "biting" but rather smooth and even.

This may well be better from the bottle than the tap. The freshness of the beer is supburb and thus it is extremely drinkable. The flavors here are hoppy, bitter, and everything I look for in a sessionable IPA. Thankfully this is all now a trip to the fridge (and not Haverhill) away.

Sycodrummer, Oct 19, 2006
Photo of kmo1030
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

hazed amber with a thin-ish not quite white head.
the aroma consists of yeasty light caramel, and pungent grapefruity flowery hops up close. really green smelling.
resinous, spicy almost tangy grapefruit hop flavors with a nice strong bitterness. i can't find much in the way of malt, maybe a trace of caramel... very west coast.
medium bodied with delicate, but active carbonation.
easy drinking despite the high bitterness. a really kick ass american IPA.

kmo1030, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of clickpush
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: 12oz bottle to pint glass, this beer came heavily recommended by Nick at Bauer. A nice one finger tan head rises over a caramel or almond skin color brew. The beer's very cloudy for an IPA, but this one's unpasteurized. Head lasts only a couple minutes and reduces to great lacings and trails along the glass. Lots of tiny bubbles stream from bottom to top.

Nose: The aroma is so strong it kept wafting towards me as I regarded the appearance. Lots of fresh dough, heavy in the yeast, and caramel. Up close it's very hop-forward with a malt balance underneath. Seems to be very well balanced.

Mouth: Sour and hoppy, all around grapefruit. Nice prickly mouthfeel as it enters. The malts are not as present as in the smell, or they're just completely overshadowed by the hops. After swallowing it's like sending some hops olympic boxing team down my throat, pummeling my rear taste buds with its bitter finish. Slight lemon-sour flavor and peanuts to balance bitterness, but not comparable to malts. This is a hop-head's dream, but doesn't present the hop/malt balance that I like.

clickpush, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of bencharles
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

i headed over to the tap to try some leatherlips (my friend suggested it since i'm in the nashua area)...

leather is simply incredible! it goes down SO easy, no fizzy carbonation, AND the taste is just "WOW" :) i drank one too many of these bad boys and uh, well, let's just say it's a knockout punch! (in a good way)....good times, good friends, good leather...mmm....

however, there was a kind of medicine/cough syrup odor coming from the glass, but other than that it's by far one of the best IPA i've had...try this one, you won't be dissapointed!


bencharles, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of WeymouthMike
4.9/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I really couldn't wait to try this beer in the bottle, I had limited prior experience with samples at brewfests which on led me to want more. Appearance is straw yellow with a red tint with a clear one finger head. Lets jump to drinkability, 5% you must be kidding me. When I bought the six pack I was told to pick up two and didn't. Mouthfeel is smooth with no carbonation.

WeymouthMike, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of bkett01
4.53/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours up with a transparent amber hue covered by a thin eggshell colored head that settles down to evenly coat the entire surface. Smells of fresh grassy hops straight from the bomber. Hard to detect any malt amongst as the hops dominate the nose.
I've heard people ask what "green" tastes like... and this is it. Green grassy flavor overwhelms a sweet toasted malt. I love the raw hop flavor I get from this brew, and even though the growler has been sitting in my fridge for a couple weeks, it tastes as if I just pulled up a seat at The Tap.
The drinkability is incredible, and can be dangerous when spending time at the brewpub. Great Beer. Great Brewpup. Recommended!

bkett01, Oct 01, 2006
Photo of bruachan
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

i do love me some hops
poured a fairly nice clear copper color that left behind some, but not a huge amount of, lace. the hop oils contributed to a short but tight head

the aroma is of resiny hops, and though good, not particularly balanced (do we want that anymore?). jilted citrus flavors allow a ray of bright malt to stick through and show me some caramel and toffee, but it's only a quick glimpse

nice brew, but i think i've had it before. is that bad? maybe not (the germans would say "no")

bruachan, Aug 06, 2006
Photo of LPorter33
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

From cask, at Bukowski's in Inman Sq.

Hops just dominate this glowing amber colored beer. Grapefruit and pine dominance mixed in with a nice frothy white head. It's a pretty beer but it quite one dimensional in the hops department. It reminds me of Stone's IPA except a bit more harsh and in your face. I, like others, am shocked this is only 5% as it tastes ~7%. I recommend it for hop lovers but it's just a bit too much for more than 1 pint. An impressive, powerful IPA but there's others out there which are a bit more dynamic.

LPorter33, Jul 23, 2006
Photo of Bierman9
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Quaffed a couple of pints last night whilst in the good company of Goz and Woodchandler (Obi-wan-kawoody?). The bier menu at The Tap listed it as 5.6%, fwiw....

My pint glass was filled by Drizz with a medium golden-copper hued libation. 'Twas clear within, save for the steady stream of carbonation heading topside. And topside was found a thin, marshmallow white layer of foam, which left a superb trail of lace down the glass. The aroma laid some toasty malt on me, along with some sharp, citrussy hop action. Considering the robust character of the flavor detailed below, I was surprised the aroma was not that strong. Solid body; yes, a good medium-plus! And silky smooth on the tongue... oh my!

Flavor starts with lightly toasty malt, lending just a touch of sweetness to the proceedings. Soon thereafter, and I mean real soon, the palate gets blasted by a huge hit o' hops! Sharp and biting citrus notes coat the insides. Heavily west-coast-like and resiny, yet not entirely grapefruity. Seems to have a smidge of a spicy side, and it all just lingers and lingers.... Quite welcome, I must add! This sucka could be quaffed all night long!


overall: 4.45
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 5


Bierman9, Jun 15, 2006
Photo of gentlebubbles
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

on cask at Redbone's 5/1/06

Lovely honey color with cremy white cookie that leaves sheets of fluff on the glass.

Grapefruit leaps into your nose.

Tender mouthfeel.

This all about the hops: orange and grapefruit with a powerful resin
and grassy finish and grapefruit rind on the lips. Poor malt! I know you're in there somewhere!

What a great way to bring cask back to Redbone's!

gentlebubbles, May 22, 2006
Photo of bjohnson
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Bukowski's Boston. In a 22oz. mug.

A: Pours a hazy golden color with hues of yellow and a white frothy one and a half to two finger head that retains nicely. Leaves rings of lace down the glass.
S: Aromas of citrus, especially grapefruit, with some floral notes in there also. Smells very fresh and hoppy.
T: Grapefruit and floral hops hit the palate first with a bang followed by some sneaky wheaty malts that creap in there. Dominate hops taste with a wonderful bitter ending. Definately a great tasting IPA.
M & D: Mouthfeel on this beer is very good. Bitter and dry finish makes one anxious for the next gulp. Smooth and highly drinkable with a low abv makes me think I could have a bunch of these at lunch and NOT go back to work. Seems like a good beer to drink in the sun as the dry finish makes you come back for more to quench your thirst. I wish they bottled these suckers! Rivals some of the very hoppy double ipa's as the hop blast is awesome. Beware of hops and bitterness.

bjohnson, Apr 10, 2006
Photo of twelvsies
4.9/5  rDev +25%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Leatherlips IPA:
Currently sweeping the nation!
This beer will put some hair on your chest. A nice golden looking ale, nice and clear, with a hearty, bubbly thick head. Smells doughy and grainy, and from several feet away. Speaking of feet, there was almost a raw sort of funky smell to this one, really unique for an IPA. Also, plenty of hops in there. And they come out full force in the taste. Puckering bitterness. This beer just evaporates you. Dry as the Sahara. Plenty of grapefruit rind, crab apples, and dusty wood floors. Yet it backs you up with plenty of bready, doughy, yeasty malts. Wow, I can't really remember describing an IPA like that. Pretty unique guys. The thing is, it has an amazingly light, floaty mouthfeel. Incredible for such a complex beer. And I can't believe it's only clocking in at %5. Had this one on tap at Bukowski's, but I'm gonna have to make it up to The Tap at some point, because this beer is killer.

twelvsies, Jan 25, 2006
Photo of Gogol
4.22/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(0002) Reviewed: 1/11/06.
On tap at the Horseshoe Pub, Hudson, MA. Temperature appropriate for a kegged beer.

Appearance: Color orangey, with a thick (0.5”), tight head that dissipated slowly. Lace: not much.

Smell: BLAST of hops!

Taste: Another blast of hops, nearly no malt in evidence to balance out. Bitterness starts at the beginning and lasts looong after the beer has gown down the hatch. Hop heaven!

Mouthfeel: Spare. Impression is that of a framework on which to hang the hops. Its there, but it seems to be distracted with its struggle to keep the hops in the foreground.

Drinkability: Pretty dang good, but it’s definitely not a session beer! I mean, I’m a bit of a hophead, but I suspect that my taste buds would tire of it long before a case of it was gone.

Gogol, Jan 15, 2006
Photo of MuddyFeet
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A hop bomb on a day that I was craving some serious hops. Had just moved into my new apartment the day before and was looking for a good puckering so we took a short road trip to Haverhill. Poured a lot lighter than I expected--an amber/orange hue with a two centimeter thick head that receded to around the edges of the glass. Layered lace would form with each sip. Intense hop flavors that first hit you in the nose with lots of floral and citrus hops. The olfactory sensation is quickly followed by a taste bud smack down the is rich with hops. Slight buttery malts provide a nice balance, but do not kid yourself, this beer is all about the hops. Surprisingly light body too helped make this beer very easy to work through.

MuddyFeet, Sep 15, 2005
Photo of jamesclark
3.18/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Anam Cara. This was a clear amber-yellow, with not much of a head.

It had a crisp smell, hoppy, not earthy as much as floral. There was a slight medicinal smell.

The flavor was light, wet, and very bitter. Not much alcohol to notice, but the hops were tangy and pungent. The flavor was a little too mild, almost watered-down, and a little metallic. Malt was not very noticeable. The finish was dry and simple, leaving some hop flavor behind.

This beer was drinkable, and reasonably tasty. However, I felt that the body was lacking, and the (slight) medicinal and metallic notes left me wanting something different.

After posting this review, I am told that the beer was "out of an old Theakston cask from England," which might be responsible for the "lack of body or head". I look forward to giving this a second try, to see how much better it can be.

jamesclark, Jul 23, 2005
Photo of Rastacouere
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Orangey-amber hue proposes a lasting white head displaying good lacing. The nose is straightforward, very clean hoppy nose, appealing complex hop profile, very foresty, earthy and citrusy letting anticipate a citric acidity in mouth. The hops have a definite green feel to them and are indeed tart and citrusy, but they don’t suffer from a lack of malt. We feel a most welcomed sweetness as this gets a bit astringent. Resinous and straightforward, but still good. I don’t like IPAs as much as most people, to me it’s a refreshing style that only serves to tame hop cravings and I’ll always prefer a well hopped yeasty dry Belgian for that. Therefore, you won’t see me handing this above 4, but among ths IPAs I’ve had, this is easily in the top quarter, so if you do like IPAs, you’ll definitely enjoy this a lot and being on their regular roster, this makes it all the more worth seeking out.

Rastacouere, Mar 31, 2005
Photo of LiamStLiam
4.72/5  rDev +20.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I drink a lot of IPAs, and this is my all-time favorite.

I have had it on tap at The Tap and at the Publick House.

This is a seriously aggressive beer. It grabs you by the throat, kinda like talking to the brewer.

But . . . it is very, very drinkable. You have to think when you drink it, because it changes as the session goes on.

LiamStLiam, Mar 19, 2005
Leather Lips IPA from The Tap Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 398 ratings.