Leather Lips IPA | The Tap Brewing Company

Your Rating: None
Want it   Got it 
Leather Lips IPALeather Lips IPA
Very Good
411 Ratings
Leather Lips IPALeather Lips IPA

Brewed by:
The Tap Brewing Company
Massachusetts, United States

Style: American IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 5.00%

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.

User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Ratings: 411 |  Reviews: 301
Reviews by rudzud:
Photo of rudzud
2.85/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Picked up a bottle of this on a whim from Julio's. Kinda shocked at this review.

A - Poured into my duvel tulip a rich golden hue full of suspended particles. There is almost no head, just a super thin white halo.

S - Definately malt heavy. Some very light citrus hop notes but mostly malt sweetness.

T - Much like the nose, this is a malt heavy IPA, or atleast this bottle is. Sweet malts and very light bitter citrus encompasses the flavour.

M - Not a bad mouthfeel. Some light carbonation here. Still, cant help but feel this is a bit thin or watery.

O - Eh, just not impressed by this one. There are much, much MUCH better IPA's out there that wont break the bank. Not sure if this was just old or what.

 712 characters

More User Reviews:
Photo of BuckeyeNation
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

 2,479 characters

Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.73/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine March 2007.

First created and made popular by Dann Paquette back in 2004, Leatherlips IPA is a great example of a brewer packing hops into a highly drinkable beer without feel- ing the need to make it 10 percent ABV. The recipe lives on at this brewpub, and its new brewer, Steve Bernard, has taken it to the next level by bottling and distribut- ing it.

Deep and vibrant golden color shows a really good clarity; we opted to leave the sediment at the bottom of the bottle for this
purpose. A good two fingers of head pillows up from a hard pour. Soon after, the scent of hops permeates our nostrils. An old-school aroma of high-alpha hops shows that this is an IPA before the first sip: pungent, citric and floral all over the place. Hint of lightly toasted grain in the nose as well. Smooth mouthfeel and a moderate body give points to drinkablity. Mild biscuity malt and some yeast upfront. This all gets wiped away from a wall of hops--first the sting of bitterness and then a long, lingering herbal and citric finish.

For hopheads looking for a fix that's also a session beer, here it is--a brew that we'll be frequenting often. Try pairing it with a hot pot of green curry.

 1,216 characters

Photo of blitz134
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
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.

 853 characters

Photo of lordofthewiens
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap at The Tap. An orange color with a medium white head that is very sticky. It had a predominately hoppy (pine) aroma with just a little bit of citrus. Quite hoppy. Very bitter, in a nice way. Really couldn't appreciate any other taste. Nice beer, very drinkable, although I think my face would go numb if I drank more than two.

 333 characters

Photo of Todd
4.8/5  rDev +22.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Enjoyed directly @ The Tap on tap.

Dann Paquette, the Brewmaster, mucked around a bit with the specialty grains, so this *slightly* different version had a richer amber / copper-hued color to it, which was topped by the same healthy white foam head and retreating stick lace.

Very grapefruity and herbal in the nose with a major resiny character. Todd likes.

Smooth, spicy and prickly palate. Tight carbonation feel. Sharpish and dry upfront with a big grapefruit rind-like hop bitterness and notes of mineral salts. Major citric smack on the palate. Malt breaks through with a bready, toasty caramel character with sweetish edges. As the beer warms, there's also a burnt end to the caramel, which is quite nice. Loads of woody / herbal hop character, kind of like green twigs and bark. Resiny hop oils and a leafy finish. Yeah, very resiny! The hop oils stick to the palate and never let go, creating a seemingly never-ending hop finish.

It's freagin' amazing that all of this is in a mere 5% beer! And even though the hops are dominating, no insane, there's still just enough balance from the malts to make you want more and more. By far one of my favorite American IPA's, and one of the most complex within its breed. Drink it and get a palate smackdown today!

 1,275 characters

Photo of muffguy4beer
4.52/5  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.

 1,089 characters

Photo of Doomcifer
4.45/5  rDev +13.8%
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.

 1,273 characters

Photo of Jason
4.23/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

 323 characters

Photo of fdrich29
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Anam Cara.

Sweet Jesus!! Hops in a pint glass.

You can not call yourself a true hop head unless you can keep up with this bad boy from the Tap. You have to work your way up to his one, earn it if you will. Not for hop novices.

This is the first review I'm not going to go through the categories, it will only waste your time. It smells and tastes purely of hops. If that sounds good to you it's highly drinkable, if not you probably won't finish your pint.

The mouthfeel does deserve some description. Imagine all the moisture being sucked out of your mouth and someone dry rubbing hops on your palate. That's pretty much what it feels like after you have a few sips of Dann's hoppy nectar.

Don't expect to be able to taste anything else after you drink a pint of this. You might as well drink Bud, you're taste buds won't know the difference.

 868 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
4.3/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

First had this tasty IPA at Hophead Throwdown...finally made it up to the brewpub for a first hand experience.
This particular IPA is much lighter than your typical...golden in color w/ thick white head. Lace was thin and dried up quickly on the side of the glass.
Served the perfect temperature to unleash its buttery hop goodness this treasure is.
Taste is pretty intense, but not thick at all...after all, this is by no means pushing the hop boundaries. There is a hint of malt to make this a well balanced IPA, but the grapefruit hoppiness is what you will remember. Very smooth texture w/ a bitter finish...no alcohol present...making this one hell of a session brew. I put down two of these and it would have been a heck of a lot more if I wasn't driving.
Thanks to the fine folks at the Tap...one heck of an establishment serving up quality brews.

 859 characters

Photo of tigg924
3.67/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: clear, gold, minimal head, small carbonation

Smell: grapefruit, pineapple, and hops

Taste: grapefruit, pineapple, and hops

Mouthfeel: very smooth, light, crisp, next to no carbonation, with a sharp bitter end

Drinkability: A very good IPA, I could taste the hops loud and clear..Could have several due to low abv

 328 characters

Photo of Mora2000
3.95/5  rDev +1%
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.

 298 characters

Photo of alienlifeforcecube
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.32/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at The Tap.

WARNING: This beer is not for the faint-hearted. Prepare to have your ass and palate kicked.

The color is a nearly clear copper with ruby tinges. Nice level of lace on top that leaves a appreciable ring of lace after each sip. Aromas...oh wowsers. An intense plethora of hoppy scents: resinous pine oils, floral...it's just fantastic. The smells wash over your nose and flay your nasal passages into submission. Flavor is intensely bitter initially, but is tempered by the backbone of malt sweetness. Finish is mouth-puckering and has some definite grapefruit notes. Low ABV means you can throw down a few pints and still be coherent. Quite the different IPA, to say the least. Another must-try from Dann.

 730 characters

Photo of SkinnyElvis
3.4/5  rDev -13%
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.


 381 characters

Photo of standardcherry
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Photo of jondeelee
2.56/5  rDev -34.5%
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.

 1,164 characters

Photo of WeymouthMike
4.88/5  rDev +24.8%
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.

 374 characters

Photo of virinow
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of Mantooth
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Photo of doremite
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.54/5  rDev -9.5%
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.

 884 characters

Photo of glid02
4/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Received this in a Northeast grab bag from Norica - much obliged!

Pours a clear color that is more gold than copper but has a bit of both. Head is one-finger of white foam that recedes into a patchy layer on top, leaving webbed lacing.

Smells of equal parts floral and grapefruit hop scents, with a hint of malt. As the beer warms the buttery malt comes out more, until it becomes the dominating aroma.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Buttery malt flavors are joined by hints of grapefruit. What stands out most is the bitterness that starts midway through the sip and lingers long after the sip is over. It's large and in charge, but not overpowering.

Mouthfeel is good. It's on the thin side, but then again it's only 5%.

Drinkability is good. This is a simple IPA that does it's job and goes down easily.

Overall I was a fan of this beer, but judging from other reviews I'm surprised I didn't get a larger hop presence. Hopefully I will come across this one again and can compare. Thanks again to Norica for sending this one along.

 1,041 characters

Photo of lambpasty
4.04/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Leather Lips IPA from The Tap Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 411 ratings