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 puboflyons
4.12/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle. Sampled on August 23, 2011. The artist they hire for their labels has a knack for painting hot looking women. It pours a medium amber to copper with a small white head the bubbles down to a thin cap and lace. The aroma blends sweeter malts with a harvest of earthy, piney, floral hops. The body comes in slightly under medium. The taste tingles with bitter hops that overpower everything else. I guess that's why they call it an IPA. I think it makes me pucker up too much but it lives up to its description.

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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 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 RonfromJersey
4.06/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy golden body, topped by two level fingers of snow white highly whipped foam.

Citrus aroma, grapefruits and oranges.

Clean lighty sweet malt foundation, quickly engulfed by juicy fruits - oranges, grapefruit, maybe some mango - and other citrus treats, and that in turn swallowed by a huge bitter blast at the swallow that lingers long and loud.

Solid medium mouthfeel delivers and coats all surfaces well, nothing wimpy here.

A rock solid ipa worth visiting whenever in New England.

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Photo of clegolfski
4.2/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've seen the mixed reviews on this one and think that there are some consistency issues (in the past anyway). Because I've had it in the past and was dramatically underwhelmed by it. Had it on draft awhile ago and was blown away by how enjoyable it was.

A- Orangeish color with a decent head

S - Oooh bright and resiny at the same time.

T - light sweet malt and the get up and followed up by some serious hoppiness

M- Light, Dry, Sharp

D - Flavorfull yet poundable

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of Durge
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed right at home at the Tap in dowtown Haverhill, MA this old favorite shows a very cloudy lemon amber color with a huge creamy looking white head and lots of luscious lacing. The aroma brings pleasant citrus hops and sweet bread, mild but a very balanced tasty suggestion. The flavor has citrus hops and slightly yeasty bread, consistent with the aroma but happily a bit bolder with a fair bite and satisfying to the taste buds. This is generally a smooth creamy brew with fair carbonation as cask ales go. The body is solidly middle range but there is an aqueous quality as it goes down easily. It’s very drinkable for anybody that likes some hop bite. I was very pleased with this and would put it in the upper rankings among my cask experiences to date.

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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 Sensaray
4.22/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

Appearance - half finger white head and a copper color

Smells of floral pine and sweet citrus burst from this and could smell clearly as I poured. When I moved closer I could notice a nice malt scent.

Hop frontal attack. Citrus and pine match the smell. The malt comes through in the middle and finish, with bitter hop throughout. The after is an earthy pine hop taste. I liked to let this linger a little between sips. As I drink this gets more complex. I'm sensing at different times, a sweet caramel, a sweet grapefruit, orange.

Mouthfeel was almost a tad light for the taste or something like that, but it was still good.

Overall very good beer. Definitely a great ipa. Good hoppiness and some complexities to it and for a great price. I felt like this was a superb example of the style. Will get again. And local!

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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 brew3crew
4.13/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A-hazy orange color with minimal head
S-more malt than hops. Sligit pine smell to it.
T-this has been sitting around for a while so im suprised that it has as much hop character as it does. more piney hops than citrus ones
M-almost a dry finish. Nice bitter after taste
D-very drinkable. Gone in new time

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Photo of mdaschaf
4.1/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a DFH pint glass

A: Pours a hazy amber color. A very small head forms and dissipates quickly leaving some spotty foam on the top. Decent lacing down the glass.

S: Very pleasant hop aroma. Nice combination of piney hops, citrus fruit, and caramel malt. Spot on.

T: Similar to the smell. Nice bitter hop flavor up front with a slightly sweet malt backbone. The hop flavor is marked by grapefruit and orange.

M/D: Medium bodied. Has a sticky finish. Nice carbonation. Very nice, and love that it is only 5%. If it was a local, it would probably be a staple in my fridge.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.46/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the brewpub the afternoon of Night of the Funk 2010.

Pours a modest amber-brown color with an off-white head that starts out a big shorter than normal. Then, loads of lacing follow as the head dies down. A bit strange in that there was very little initial foam but what was there stuck quite well.

The nose brings a solid dose of citrus, floral, and piney hops. Nothing really meshes and it seems like a bunch of hops were just thrown i the kettle without regard for how they would interact. The taste is a bit better as they're more muted and meld into a generic "hoppy" flavor. Pretty bitter feel. Not a bad IPA.

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Photo of NCSUdo
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle

A: Copper body, small white head. No lace, very little retention.

S: Blend of malt and hops, malt backbone is pretty big, hint of caramel, hops are floral and a bit pine like.

T: Malty, some herbal hops, pretty big bitter finish. Hint of citrus in the middle, but overall a herbal, piney hop character.

M/D: Medium bodied, carbonation is on the high end. Drinkability is pretty good. A solid beer.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
3.99/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks for the extra, BigBalls!

Appearance -- Pours a pleasant medium amber, faint haze, some sediment, and a slim white head. Woeful head retention.

Smell -- Whoa! Bright citrusy hops, apricots and peaches, orange marmalade, and buttered bread. Very buttery.

Taste -- Again, lots of bright citrus from the hopping along with ripe peaches and pineapple. Pine resin also becomes prominent mid-palate as the hop bitterness crescendos. Caramel malt backing with a good deal of buttery diacetyl. Finish is bready malt and resin.

Mouthfeel -- Light-bodied, a bit thin, with somewhat mild carbonation. .

Drinkability -- Talk about sleepers, this beer was surprisingly good, and at only 5% abv, it's hard to believe there can be so much flavor. Needs a boost in the body, plus some better head retention. Would gladly have again.

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Photo of SpdKilz
3.97/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another huge thanks to ShadesOfGray for yet another great extra. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours a hazy dark golden color into my SA Perfect Pint with almost no head and little lacing.

Smell - Bitter hops, hops, and more hops. Slight maltiness.

Taste - Okay, I'm not going to lie. I normally do not like overly bitter IPA's. This one, at a first sip, threw me into bias mode because of the initial bitterness. That and the beer was [relatively] flat. However, no joke, it oddly tasted a hell of a lot better the more I sat outside in this hot 90 degree night. The beer became less bitter, the hops more enjoyable, and the slight malty backbone just enough to take the edge off. I also get a hint of leather and tobacco flavor the more I sip this.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, low, low carbonation (yet no joke, it somehow works).

Drinkability - This is a great session beer. Packed with flavor, lower ABV, and overall quite quaffable. The irony is looked at this beer and saw it was "only" 5% for an IPA and was almost taken aback since I'm so used to higher ABV IPA/DIPA's. But this one turned out to be pretty tasty. Not something I'd seek out if it was available in CA since I do have so many other "go-to" beers, but good nonetheless.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.49/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into an imperial pint glass. First thing is first, no head. I poured violently when nothing was happening. I got a minimal head of big bubbles with no lacing. beer is amber in color and has VERY LITTLE CARBONATION. Wrong.

Aroma is quite sweet with some pininess. This is probably going to be a malt bomb IPA.

Beer is medium body and really bitter. There is a lot of pine flavors in this thing but it leads off with a strong malt syrup flavor that is pretty off putting. I had this beer on draft in Boston and didn't write a review but this was not my experience. I would cautiously try it again on draft but not again in the bottle.

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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 VelvetExtract
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Leatherlips IPA

A-Pours a light amber which looks almost golden when held up to the light. Minute floating particles sway within the liquid. The head is smaller and a fairly pure white hue. The head does retain well. Strings of lacing form in a camouflage pattern. Looks as if it were a %5 alcohol IPA. Most of the style are higher in ABV and perhaps the nose and taste may show me that this beer just isn't big enough to have any true greatness within it.

S-Strong smell of bitter hops. This one literally smells like a freshly squeezed glass of grapefruit juice. %5 ABV and only 50 IBU, how is this possible? The malt lingers in the background and displays some caramel tones but the hops are the muscle here.

T-This beer is why I completely disregard the use of IBU as a measurement of bitterness on my palate. At only 50 IBU, this IPA is more bitter and hoppy than most DIPAs I have tried. This brew is not meant to be balanced, and it isn't. The bitter grapefruit and pine yield nearly no ground to the sweetness of the malt. The aftertaste is long and dry. This is one of those beers that scorches the palate for the rest of the night, any other beer drank after this may actually taste as if there were no hops used in the brewing process. Blown away by the flavor.

M-Dry and sharp yet pretty light bodied. The bitter flavors cling to the tongue. The carbonation is mild. Still, a pretty light brew especially because if the low ABV.

D-How did they pack so much flavor into this ABV? This one is one of my favorites. So drinkable but has a very noticeable and surprising kick. Much more powerful than expected. Sessionable ABV and merely 50IBU...how is this so bitter? Great time here, will forever be one of my go-to brews. Cannot wait to have a fresh glass on-tap in the near future.

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Photo of bobsy
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle shared by Shawn - huge thanks for pulling out something that was on my top 100 session list!

Pours a clear rich orange with a couple fingers of white head that had good retention and lace. Clean aroma has slightly more malt and less hops than I would have thought, but is nicely balanced nonetheless. Mostly there's pine resin with hints of grapefruit, with a strong backing of biscuit. Much the same can be said of the flavour, which displays a fine balance without blowing you away with bitterness or hops. There's certainly a nice pine character that adds to the citrus, and quite a large biscuit presence. Medium-light body and medium carbonation.

Certainly an easy drinker, and its nice to have an IPA at this weight, though in many respects it seems closer to an APA or ESB.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Devil's Backbone willibecher.

Thanks to Hophead101 for this bottle!

Reviewed blind as part of the Blind Beers BIF. It pours a clear copper amber topped by a finger or so creamy ecru froth. Quite a bit o' particulate matter, which I've allowed to settle to the bottom (I'm a benevolent landlord, like the elightened absolutists of yore). Not much in the nose here. A bit o' florals, some greens, a hint of what may or may not be toffee. Hmmm. The taste is similar to the nose, only more present. Definite tobacco-malty flavor, along with some floral bitterness. Quite a bit o' earth in there as well. The body is medium, with a light carbonation and a smooth and dry feel. Not bad, overall, but I didn't see an IPA as I drank it. Interesting.

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Photo of Overlord
3.68/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a golden orange. Two or three inches of white foam head.

Smells of crisp, earthy pine, a hint of grapefruit and ... a bit of an interesting, almost toasted, ESB character.

Tastes strangely earthy/piney/crispy. Really kind of an ESB/IPA meld. The grapefruit and citrus component is a muted, pithy sort of rind flavoring. Mild.

Interesting. Not my fave, but nice to try.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.62/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz. bottle served in my SA Perfect Pint. No freshness dating indicated on the bottle. Poured a pale, translucent, orange-gold with a frothy, half inch off-white head that dissipates into a bubbly band and a skim of foam. Nose reveals some citrus hops on a light, malty background. Taste follows nose, with a slightly resinous bitterness that lingers between quaffs. There's also a bit of staleness to the flavor profile that causes me to question the freshness. Mouthfeel is medium-light in consistency. There's some carbonation, but it feels like it is a little flat. Some astringency stimulates the salivary glands in the cheeks. A decent IPA, but I wasn't overly impressed. As I mentioned, I question the freshness of the beer, so I may need to re-visit this again when I have the opportunity to try it on draft.

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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 silentjay
3.88/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a hazy orange with tons of "floaties" but with barely any head.

smells of hops! grapefruit, citrus, grass, a bit of pine. very aromatic.

taste is bitter, but refreshing of grapefruit primarily. plenty of flowers and acidic citrus and piney hops overpower any semblance of malt. definitely a hophead's beer.

a bit thin on the tongue with a bit of resin left behind and plenty of bitterness lingers and seems to last until tomorrow.

drinks well. you have to enjoy bitter hops to enjoy this beer. I do, and I do. very strong flavors for a beer with an ABV of "only" 5%. shows you do not have to imperialize everything to have a full-flavored beer.

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Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.41/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Wish there was some sort of bottling date to go off of with this one.

Pours golden color with hues of orange, fair amount of sediment floating around in the glass, not much of a head though with only a few spots of lacing.

Smell is surprisingly unhoppy, I'm actually picking up much more malt than anything else, although there is a trace amount of citrus.

Taste is also dominated by the malt and a biscuity presence, slight bitterness in the aftertaste though, citrus only makes a slight appearance and goes away fast.

Awesome label for only an average IPA, been wanting to try this one for awhile just because of the label actually, hard to go wrong with red heads.

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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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