Leather Lips IPA | The Tap Brewing Company

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Leather Lips IPALeather Lips IPA
Very Good
410 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.

Added by Bierman9 on 04-05-2004

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 410 |  Reviews: 301
Photo of virinow
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of goz
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours deep golden with a large off-white head, which lasts and leaves sheets of lacing. Body has lot's of tiny bubbled lazy carbonation in it. Aroma fills the room with big citric hoppiness, some floral and pine in there as well, with a bit of toasted bread in there to keep the hop aromas in check. Flavor starts with a hint of grainy maltiness, then the middle and end are all about the hops - citrus flavors abounds, and the bitterness is huge, but never overbearing. Medium in body, the flavors last forever in the mouth, and the hop burps from this brew last for days. Incredibl drinkable for a beer that is this bitter, I could drink this all day and night (in fact, I have) and not get tired of it. IMO, deserving of a perfect score.

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Photo of 67couple
5/5  rDev +27.9%

Photo of BeerTruth
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I had the chance to visit The Tap on my amazing adventure to the almost Haverhill town of Groveland for the not-so well known Baker-Lang Lobstah-fest! I had this beer, as well as their Nut Brown and their Cream "Haver" Ale in pints with the company of two of my favorite cousins. Having this beer on tap is one of a kind already, but take this in a growler home to the seafood homeland and you're quite possibly the luckiest human alive. So what did I have to do? Well, buy two cases for the one and only Syracuse, NY to enjoy. So that is where I enjoy this truly amazing beer. The city that bleeds Orange.

12 oz. bottle poured into a nonic.

Pours a semi-murky burnt amber with a generous two finger fluffy white head that dies down to a nice lacing that lasts the entire time. Stickiness...hmm, if you can't recognize the lacing of this beer than you must be blind. Smell is a symphony of pine, dirt, and citrus. I have come to find I like my IPA's earthier than normal, and this one definitely fits the bill. Taste is what I want. Starts off with a refreshing citrus burst of lemon, lime, and orange. Next the pine emerges in a perfect evergreen tingle. The beer finishes with a grassy earth hop that gives you a sense of enjoyment. Mouthfeel is a perfect IPAlike dry-bitter hop mouthfeel that is light but has a sense of density. Very balanced carbonation that will not overpower. Drinkability, well...let's just say I wish I had put another bottle in over night so I could be enjoying it riiight...now. But I can't....so I'll end the night reaching for a beer that can't compare to this one.

Perfect 5 has finally been found.

Get this one now.

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Photo of ProfPayne
5/5  rDev +27.9%
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 capo56
4.97/5  rDev +27.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours bright and clear with a medium copper color, And with the medium denseity the frothyhead leaves medium lacing on your glass.
Smell is sweet citrus fruit hop, and sweet malt. The taste is outrageously good, From the pronounced citrus and sweet hop,to the pine and caramel malt. Has a true IPA hoppyness to it. What a great flaver from the top of the pint right down to the bottom. This is a new favorite.

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Photo of Sycodrummer
4.92/5  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.

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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.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.88/5  rDev +24.8%
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.

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Photo of TheIPAHunter
4.87/5  rDev +24.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12 oz. bottle poured into a “blind pig” mason jar.

crepuscular bronze w/ a billowy white head that leaves patches of lacing in its wake. impressive.

citric and floral esters permeate the nose. a sweet malt profile gives it the finishing touch. a pleasure on the senses.

a hops energizer, as the resin of the hop oils creates a taste that keeps on giving. a relentless balance of grapefruit and semi-sweet malt gives this offering a perfectly smooth finish. noticeably piney on the back end. this is about as good as it gets in terms of hops symmetry.

a smooth operator as far as mouthfeel. the sharpness of the hops profile resulted in a pleasant residual bitterness.

5.0% abv…are you kidding me? i have and will continue to seek out this beer. haverhill brewery, inc. attempted to create an enjoyable beer; they did that, and more. despite the positive fanfare it has already received, i believe this beer still flies under the radar for many. i highly urge everyone that has not tried leatherlips to put it on their “to do” list.


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Photo of Tomdee74
4.85/5  rDev +24%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I recently made a two hour drive to Julios and picked this up after reading such glorious reviews. The case I picked up tasted flat so I didn't review. I emailed Jon at Haverhill and spoke with Andy and they were gracious enough to send me a case and were very nice to deal with. I am so happy I didn't review this before they sent me a case. Okay I'll get to the point!

A - Just excellent could not believe the head on this and tremendous lacing. My first batch did not look like this.

S - I smell the floral and citrus hops. It smells like a west coast IPA in a sense.

T - This is such a great IPA. I'm drinking my second one I immediately opened after my first. It really is that good.

M - I cannot believe this is only 50 IBU and 5% abv. I really can't believe you could get this flavor from that.

D - Wow I could drink these like water all nite. I love Smuttynose Finestkind IPA as that is my go to beer; however, this must also be made part of your normal repetoire! Well done Haverhill!! I wish I could get this in CT I'm only one state over!!!

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Photo of jamie2dope
4.85/5  rDev +24%
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.

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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!

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

Poured 12 oz. bottle into Sam Adams pint glass.

A: Pours a slightly hazy golden copper color with 2-finger off-white head that leaves behind a lot of nice lacy foam.

S: Mostly citrusy and piney with a hint of apricot and some sweet maltiness.

T: Nice grapefruit/orange bitterness punch up front but very balanced with some sweet biscuity malt. Leaves some resinous pine behind and finishes mostly dry.

M: Medium-bodied, carbonated just right, very crisp.

D: I'd been recommended this beer by a number of people and it 100% lived up to the bar that was set for it. Probably one of the most sessionable IPA's I've ever had. Glad I bought a 6-pack, but next time I'll have to find some room for more in the fridge.

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Photo of deejaydan
4.77/5  rDev +22%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

First off, thanks to my secret santa, Hotsauceathlete for a growler of this nectar!

Pours with a huge head, that settles after a while. I tried careful pouring, but it still produces a sizeable head. Wonderful Yellow-Orange color.

Smell is of a great mix of hops. I get some citrus notes, some minty notes, and a touch of piney notes in the background.

Taste is very refreshing. Juicy hop zing, followed by a sweet malt rush, and a then a pow of bitterness at the back of the throat.

Mouthfeel is crisp. A very clean and well managed yeast feremented this, I'd say. It doesn't finish thin or thick, it's *just right*

I could finish this growler off tonight, if I didn't have to go to work in the morning... this beer is delightful.

I'd dare say that I think this beer is the best IPA I've tried.

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Photo of DavidHamilton
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of PatGreer
4.75/5  rDev +21.5%

Photo of Gavage
4.7/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

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Photo of LiamStLiam
4.7/5  rDev +20.2%
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.

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Photo of mrbosworth
4.69/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Leatherlips is THE IPA. Strong citrus bitter flavors with a smooth easy drinking character. It has a frosted dark wheat color and a really crisp tongue. Sweet yeasty and floral scents are noted throughout. This IPA is very hoppy, with herbal and bitter flavors that punch through right away. A lower alcohol content from a really complex beer makes Leatherlips a great beer for anytime. Must try.

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Photo of ColForbin
4.67/5  rDev +19.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchased a growler of Leatherlips IPA from The Tap on 7/23/04 and drank it two days later. I should note that my glassware for this tasting was sub-optimal - I was drinking from a plastic Harpoon pint glass from one of their festivals.

Leatherlips pours a golden-red color, is slightly cloudy, with a white head that fades to a lacing on top of the beer. The aroma is very hoppy - with pine notes dominating. This beer is a hop bomb - the taste is hops through and through, piney, spicey. Some toasted malt flavors do peek through, however, and provide a firm backbone for the hops to do their work. The beer has a nice dry finish with a great oily hoppy feeling left on the tongue.

This is a great IPA, and I would drink this all the time if I could.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.65/5  rDev +18.9%
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.

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Photo of ShogoKawada
4.61/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This beer, I owe a great deal of gratitude towards. It showed be that IBUs don't mean jack shit in the long run. Clocking in at 50 IBUs, this beer tasted more potent and powerful than some of the 100+ IBU beers I've had. A real eye-opener.

A- Standard IPA, although the coloration is a bit glowing. Nice head, moderate lacing. Scratch that... incredible lacing. Looks like a fire extinguisher set off in my glass.. best lacing I've ever seen.

S- Hops! Bitter, pungent, grapefruit and pine growth hops are screaming at me from the second I started to pour. Very strong.

T- I had a bitter beer face from this one. In a good way... just wasn't expecting it! This beer is a hop blast. Grapefruit hops are in charge, and hit twice as hard as I was expecting. Faint lemony/grassy aromas come through after the initial grapefruit blast. Calling Leatherlips a flavorful IPA is almost doing this beer injustice. Holy shit.

M- Crisp, fair carbonation, my only complaint is I wish this beer had a stronger malt bill. Which is odd... 99% of the time I wish brewers left the malt on the side and focused on the hops. It's like my requests were answered and then souped-up just to mock me.

D- Moderate. I liked this beer. I cannot fathom how it is only 5%. Tasted like a strong 8% to me. Amazing that the brewer could get such amazing power behind his hops. While not my favorite, I was blown away by this beer and can recommend this to anyone looking to see what a well-crafted beer can be.

Not my favorite IPA, and I can't imagine I'd pick this over some Smuttynose IPA.. but I respect this beer. For some of you, I can see how this would be an instant classic. I am so glad I tried this beer.


I cannot get this beer out of my head. I've come back to re-review, bumping taste, mouthfeel, and drinkability. I have bought close to a case of this since the first time I bought this.

It is simply an amazing IPA.. I was put off at first because I've never had one like this. But something in my brain craves this beer. I found myself drawn back to the beer, and I bought more soon after I posted this review.

Truly neck-and-neck with Smuttynose IPA for my favorite IPA. World-class!

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Photo of SamPaps84
4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Photo of trbergman
4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

12oz bottle poured into a cervoise.

A - Amber beer with a thin white head.

S - The nose is a balanced mix of sweet malt and lots of hop aroma - cut grass, pine, and grapefruit.

T -This beer assaults the palate with hop bitterness. Don't be lulled into a false sense of security by the label's 50 IBU claim - at 5 percent alcohol, Leatherlips is a sufficiently small IPA that the hops pack the same punch as those of bigger hop bombs like Ruination. Grapefruit and pine flavors sting the tongue and linger into the lengthy finish.

M - Sticky, prickly, light-bodied.

D - Outstanding. I don't know why I've only bought singles to date.

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Leather Lips IPA from The Tap Brewing Company
Beer rating: 3.91 out of 5 with 410 ratings