Leather Lips IPA | The Tap Brewing Company

very good
301 Reviews
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

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Reviews: 301 | Ratings: 410
Photo of Beerking721
1.8/5  rDev -54.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Well... This was an interesting one to write. In advance, I have looked at some of the other reviews and my critique will be significantly lower. In fairness, the bottle I tasted had been obtained in trade. I hope freshness wasn't an object...

A: Medium amber with haziness similar to a hefe. Minor head with moderate lace.

S: An acidic hop presence on the nose followed by slight cereal aromas.

T: All bitter hops on the palate with complete lack of malt and/or grain flavors.

M: Very thin without the normal oiliness associated with an aggressive IPA. Finish is astringent left me wanting much more.

D: This was one and done. Nothing here that would have me reach for another.

There just wasn't anything here for me. Very one dimensional.

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Photo of jdhilt
1.83/5  rDev -53.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 1 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Pours a four finger white head that fades slowly to a thin layer, leaving a good lace lace. Almost clear pale amber color. Light carbonation and medium bodied. Hoppy nose. Flavor is hops and more hops any other flavors are buried. Lingering bitter finish that lasts forever. $1.85 for a 12oz bottle from Colonial Spirits Acton, Ma.

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Photo of PDXHops
2.1/5  rDev -46.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12 ounce bottle from Spleeb, consumed way back in September 2011. (This review notes backlog is getting outta hand...) Duvel tulip. Hazy golden amber with a massive foamy head that's in no rush to leave. Lots of soapy lace.

Citrus zest and pith aplenty in the nose, but also what appears to be newspaper? The first sip confirms the newspaper presence and also entirely too much carbonation; I reckon something went a bit wonky with this bottle. It's a shame, too, as the hop profile gives hints that it was pretty ferocious in the grapefruit department at some point. There's still plenty of astringent bitterness left behind, but that weird newspaper business seems to blunt the hop flavor. I'm inclined to give this one another shot down the road and update this review.

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Photo of CheezyBlaster
2.41/5  rDev -38.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Funky. Mustard (WTF?). Citrus, like . . . a citrus banana? Pluots. Huh? This is an odd smelling IPA. I'm going to have to taste it to know.

Bitter/soap finish ruins thoughts on taste, yuck, in fact, the taste is bitter and soapy. I do not like this uber-unbalanced cringing mess. It definitely doesn't taste like any IPA I've ever had. There is no balance to this mess. Drain Pour :( For me, it's an F overall. Not impressed. However, it smelled interesting and looked okay. No thanks anyhow.

EDIT: It's entirely possible that I got a "skunked" or infected bottle/batch/dunno??

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Photo of Murchmac
2.43/5  rDev -38.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

I was looking forward to trying this beer, it was not unlike a friend of mine that worked his upper body so much and didnt work his legs at all, he looked ridiculous. Imagine Lou Ferigino with chicken legs.

This beer was too big for the body it had, give it more malt and bigger body and you've got a good beer.

no head, golden color, cut grass smell, some sweetness, too bitter...

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Photo of xerotime
2.5/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

Opened with barely a sound and poured from a 12oz bottle into a snifter.

A - Deep golden color with a bit of a haze and no head to speak of (even with an aggressive pour) due to the lack of carbonation

S - Very faint hops and toasted malt

T - All bitter with very little hop flavor or aroma. Slight toasty malt.

M - Very thin with almost no carbonation

D - Total drain pour. I wouldn't mind trying it fresh on tap to give it another shot but I don't see myself bothering with another bottle.

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Photo of jondeelee
2.56/5  rDev -34.9%
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.

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Photo of fratmonkey
2.62/5  rDev -33.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

I'll preface everything by saying:

(I'm really not into this hop-water style of beer. Maybe I'm just a fat kid in training, but I'm really looking for more malt balance. I can appreciate a big pungent load of hops, but only for about half a glass.)
The nose is beautiful with citrus, a little pine, but the onslaught of botanicals to my palate proved difficult to surmount. I would only drink it with ultra spicy foods that are going to destroy my palate anyway, ie buffalo wings, curried chicken, chili. Your palate will need time to recover from this beer, so save it for later in the night. This is NOT a session beer, at least, not for me.

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Photo of woosterbill
2.68/5  rDev -31.8%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

12oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

A: As I begin to pour this beer straight into the tulip, I notice that there doesn't appear to be any carbonation. I pour from higher up. Nothing. Higher still. Nada. I dumb the last ounce of beer in with some force behind it, and finally get about half an inch of huge white bubbles to show up, but they don't stay long. This one looks to be completely uncarbonated, and to make matters worse the medium-amber body is absolutely awash with huge chunks of swirling particulate. I'm sure I dislodged some with my rough pour, but this amount is seriously unnerving. This makes even the most unfiltered of IPAs look crystal clear. Definitely one of the least appealing brews I've ever seen, but I'll bump it up a half-point for being a nice color for the style.

S: The smell is more what I'd expect, being a fairly nondescript mixture of piney hops and caramel malt. Not bad at all, actually.

T: Follows the nose, with extremely bitter piney hops far outweighing the moderately sweet malt backbone. This one doesn't seem to have the strength or body to stand up to the alphas, and the result is just an overwhelmingly bitter beer. I'd be loving the hop dominance if the hop varieties used showed a bit more complexity, but all I'm getting is pine and bitterness. Disappointing.

M: Flat, sticky, and medium bodied, with the occasional chunky floaty that gets caught between my teeth. Pretty terrible, I'm sorry to say.

D: This is about as close to a drainpour as I've ever had from a non-infected beer. I'll finish it since it really doesn't taste too offensive, but I'm not really enjoying it.

Notes: Wow, what a letdown. I had really high hopes for this one, but it really didn't deliver. It's been in my fridge since I bought it at Julio's a couple weeks ago, so I don't think anything terrible has happened to the bottle. I'll be happy to rereview if it ever crosses my path again, but this is most definitely a beer that I won't be seeking out in the future.


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Photo of rudzud
2.85/5  rDev -27.5%
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.

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Photo of beerbutcher
2.96/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

there may be something wrong with this beer (first try)
pours orange/gold with creamy tall head.

s- this ipa has the most unusual bouquet i've ever witnessed.. they say it's centennial and chinook hopped and i get the citrusy cent. stuff.. it's really pungent. but beside that or perhaps ahead of it, is an obnoxious rubbery, medicinal aroma, and not like scotch medicinal... think pills dissolved in very little water. difficult nose.

taste- incredibly biting bitterness, lays thickly across palate for being only five percent beer. very pronounced grapefruit and there it is again.. a very difficult, chemmy, rubber tube flavor... am i the only one?

mouthfeel- the beer drinks nicely. light on the palate, with a suckerpunch hop wallop. the bitterness stays on the tongue for quite a while, and lingers, and lingers.. little to no discernible malt richness.

overall- aside from the previously mentioned distractant, this beer was working hard for it's money. i'd love to try it again... just, a different batch. hard to drink this one though.

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Photo of Monkeyknife
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from the bottle looking like a cloudy apple juice with a bubbly white head.

Aroma of malt and fruit with a bit of grapefruit and apples.

The taste hit me with a combination of bitterness and salt. Not good, somewhat bile-like in flavor. The bitterness hangs around between sips. Totally unexpected.

Lighter bodied and lightly carbonated.

Well, that was a shock. I love ipas and had high hopes for this one. Hopefully, I'll get a second chance someday to try it again. I finished this beer 15 minutes ago and still have the bitter bile taste in my mouth. Ugh.

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Photo of GJ40
3/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled from a 12oz bottle purchased at Yankee Spirits in Swansea, MA.

A - Deep golden with a haze of fine suspended particles. Almost no head. The bottle didn't have a clear best by stamp but it did have a stamp that started with 311008. I'm thinking that might be 10/31/08. I really wish everyone would include a clear date.

S - Faint floral hops and toasted malt. Not much to it.

T - Starts with toasted malt then goes bitter. I found it pretty bland and uninteresting.

M - Very low carbonation (too low) but a good consistency.

D - Not bad but not very interesting.

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Photo of EkimGram
3.01/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: 12oz bottle poured into standard pint glass. Colour is a cloudy, pale golden-wheat. Barely any head whatsoever, just some little traces on the top. No visible carbonation.

Smell: Aromas are not very strong at all. Faint amounts of sweetness and hops, a little bit of citrus.

Taste: Malty, a little too malty for an IPA. A little bit of hops, somewhat fruity and some floral notes. As the smell, the taste is inappropriate and weak.

Mouthfeel: Light-bodied, little, very little amounts of carbonation, it's actually kind of watery. Barely any bite.

Overall / Drinkability: This is my fourth review of this brewery, I must say I'm very disappointed. This isn't the worst one I've had but I can't praise this brew much in terms of an IPA.

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Photo of berkey
3.06/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12oz bottle poured into a tulip glass. No freshness date listed. From notes 05/20/10.

I really had to pour roughly to get any sort of head to form and it faded quickly. While it lasted the head was small, white, and soapy.

Smell is relatively subdued but what's there isn't bad. Bitter with some citric fruitiness and a little pungent pine aroma.

Flavor is about as bland on the entry as any I've ever tasted in the style. The uninteresting and thin malt profile is followed by some fairly strong lingering green, leafy, bitterness on the aftertaste. Almost reminds me of over steeped tea.

Carbonation is somewhat low and the finish is dry. Not sure what they were going for or if I got a bad bottle but I can't help think something has gone awry here. Not recommended.

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Photo of htomsirveaux
3.07/5  rDev -21.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle tried 28 Mar 2009. Courtesy of jleblanc, thanks!

Poured in a Serra Nevada pint. Medium sized slightly yellow head. Light carbonation. Just slightly hazy, dark amber in color. Aroma is sweet and perfumey, resiny, slightly buttery (A). Starts fairly bitter, some resin and slight citrus. Minimal malt, faint caramel. Bitterness and hops dominate, seems like more than 50 IBUs. Not really a great depth of flavor. Finish is dry and astringent. Light body, almost watery. Ethanol is slightly noticeable.

A little more body and a touch more malt would be a great improvement.

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Photo of pokesbeerdude
3.11/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Big thanks to 67couple for this one, long time want of mine. Into a Samuel Smith shaped pint glass. No freshness date.

A: Turbid amber color with a white head, not quite an inch thick that fades to a slight film of bubbles. Nice rings of lacing left behind as it recedes. Pretty standard looking IPA.

S: Some citrusy hops and a little bit of a sweet caramel malt. Doesn't really have a huge nose. Pretty average here.

T: Again fairly muted on the hop profile, but a decent amount of bitterness on the finish. Pretty decent malt profile, nicely toasted and caramel malts. Pretty average here.

M: Lighter body with medium carbonation, finishes nice and dry and lingers in the mouth for quite some time.

O: Meh, pretty disappointed with this beer. It's kind of blah, doesn't do much for me. Would like to revisit at some point in time though. I wish all IPA's came with a freshness date.

Thanks Jon!

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.15/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Leatherlips is a wonderful IPA on tap at The Tap in Haverhill. I am however reviewing the bottle, which does however win the award for most seductive looking woman on a craft beer label.

Pours a sparkling golden color with a stark white head of about a fingers width. Lots of bubbling action in the pour.

Smell is earthy, grassy, lemony and a little musty.

Taste is immediately mouth puckering but not from a hoppy citrusy sort of taste but rather a very drying effect. Hard to describe. The bottled form of this beer seems to lack body and is slightly astringent. Kind of a bummer since I remember this beer on tap as being pretty damn good.

Decent IPA, not one I'd go to again (in the bottle anyways).

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Photo of atremains
3.16/5  rDev -19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This one pours a golden light amber with a 1.5 finger head. The foam recedes to a bubbly cap rapidly. Carbonation looks delicious. Smell is hoppy with some sweetness behind it. Taste is what is expected from an ipa, a bit more on the bitter side. Some of those sweet scents are detectable. The mouthfeel is a bit on the thin side but not too much to make a big deal. This would probably not be my first choice to session anytime soon but it's worth giving a go.

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Photo of jamesclark
3.18/5  rDev -19.1%
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.

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Photo of Damian
3.22/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Drank from a 12 fl. oz. bottle purchased at Julio's Liquors, Westboro, MA

First, I must say that the leather clad, beer drinking bimbo on the bottle's label is rather ridiculous. Every beer nerd's fantasy, I guess.

As for the beer itself: After decanting, it poured a clear, copper-amber with no real head but rather a thin, white, fizzy film of lace.

Aroma was intensely hoppy yet smooth and balanced. Piney and floral hops, citrus and fruity esters came through strong along with a touch of candy-like sweetness.

The taste was super hoppy as well yet completely unbalanced. The hops assaulted my palate from the very beginning and never let up. Cascade hops and hop oils soon became bitter and biting and left a noticeable film on my tongue. Intense pine sap, grapefruit and orange rind carried into the super dry, bitter, long-lasting finish. As I continued to drink the beer, the finish seem to become somewhat sour, in a lemony sort of way.

Mouthfeel was quite thin, watery and a bit fizzy.

Unquestionably, this was the most bitter and unbalanced IPA I have had to date. A true hop bomb in every sense of the word. I found it astonishing that it registers at only 50 I.B.U.s. While many may applaud this beer's extreme nature, I found that its total lack of balance made it rather difficult to drink.

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3.25/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A light orange amber body has a very murky hue to it. The strong pour gets a solid rocky two finger light tan head. Nicely scattered lace is left all around the glass. Nose has a loled fruity hop presence. Hints of fresh mellon and phelonic spices compliment the sweet hoppy presence. The hops attack the tongue on first sip with a sharp dandilion rawness and a slight mouth stink that resembles day old cut and bagged grass. A bit soapy but unique hop feel is rounded out on the end of the palate. the hop presence of this beer is so raw and obtrussive that it is a little unwelcome for my likings. Really warms the belly for only 5% alchol. Drinkability is so-so for me. Mouthfeel is a very long upfront bitter.

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Photo of SmartyPints
3.3/5  rDev -16%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle.

A- Poured a darker orange hazed orange that clears up a little once it warms. Half finger cream colored head which shows poor retention. Light spotty lacing left on the sides of the glass.

S- Light floral hop aroma in the front of the beer is overpowered at times by a caramel biscuity malt. Nothing really else in this beer. Plain and simple but it works well.

T- Nice bitter hop taste when it first hits the tip of the tounge. This gives way to a balanced caramel malt. The hops start to fade away in the middle of the beer with most of the flavor dying off by the backend.

M- Light-medium mouthfeel. Carbonation is good for the style. Bittering hops with light caramel malts are left on the palate. Aftetaste is a watered down alcohol with even more watered down bittering hops and caramel matls. Flavors were put together well just a little watery in the backend. No off flavors were present. Light alcohol drying on the palate.

O- This beer had some good qualities to it along with some bad ones. I personally liked the ABV being lower than usual. The bitterness from the hops I enjoyed with a nice balance from the caramel malt. The downside to this beer is the fact that the finish is so watery it is not even funny. If that single thing could be corrected than this beer would be something to really seek out.

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Photo of brochamb
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

First sip gave me an off, almost garbage smell. It opened up into an okay IPA. Not as much flavor I had hoped for but worth a try for a local beer. Nice burnt orange color with a bubbly mouth feel. Taste is moderate with some citrus flavors. I probably wouldn't buy it but would drink again if given to me.

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Photo of beertunes
3.32/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Received in a trade with BA johnmichaelsen, thanks John! The beer poured a clean, clear, pale golden straw color with no head or lacing.

The aroma had a nice hop aroma, but was a little on the subdued side. I didn't find much piney flavor, but did get citrus and the beer had a bitter finish.

The body was on the thin side and drinkability was decent, but I probably wouldn't drink more than a couple in a row. Overall, a decent IPA that I would drink semi-regularly if it were local for me.

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Leather Lips IPA from The Tap Brewing Company
3.93 out of 5 based on 410 ratings.
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