Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Leather Lips IPA | The Tap Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 301 | Ratings: 410
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.

 873 characters

Photo of Rastacouere
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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

 901 characters

Photo of LiamStLiam
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
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.

 340 characters

Photo of warriorsoul
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
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 deejaydan
4.77/5  rDev +21.4%
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.

 816 characters

Photo of OldFrothingSlosh
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
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 ViveLaChouffe
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Tap in Haverhill

Pours a hazy orange with a forthy ivory head. Smells of hops and a light fruitiness.

OK, the taste is almost pure hops up front. Not a citrusy or floral hoppiness, it's a pit-bull-on-your-tongue biting bitterness. It's snappy and crisp hops. Pure, sharp bite. After about half a pint, you can detect the graininess and breadiness of the malt. There is actually a nice malt profile to counter the hops. But this is a hops showcase, a hoppy infusion. It's unbalanced but not as much as you would think upon your initial tasting. It is deceptively complex. Hops linger on the tongue forever. If you are a hophead, it is a must try. Very pleased with this one.

 694 characters

Photo of fdrich29
4/5  rDev +1.8%
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 RocketWidget
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Anam Cara.

Pours a big orange color. Extremely light, white head. Low carbonation. Smell is hoppier than most.

This is the pinnacle of hoppy beers. Not JUST a hoppy flavor, not JUST dominating with a taste of hops, the taste of this beer is EXCLUSIVELY hops, from the first taste to the aftertaste five minutes down the road. Don’t drink any other beer after this one, taste will be seriously affected. This beer isn’t for everyone, but hopheads will have difficulty finding a hoppier beer. Leatherlips, indeed.

 529 characters

Photo of carln26
4.11/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I had this beer at the throw down, but did not rate it there. I paid closer attention to it this time, and was not disappointed. The IPA poured a dark copper. It had a nice, neat head and a beautiful lace. I’m not sure I’ve seen a beer do this before. I could tell how many sips of the beer I had taken, by the lace. It was almost like the rings on a tree. Amazing. The aroma is floral with a huge citrus bomb. The taste is a hop punch then the citrus. Very full flavored with a medium-heavy mouth feel. Very drinkable. The malt shows up late, but helps to balance it. Once of my favorite local IPAs.

 602 characters

Photo of mikeys01
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served fom a growler provided courtesy of Unionmade. The Leatherlips poured into my glass a bright copper orange like a newly minted penny, buried beneath a foamy just barely beige head. This beer is bursting with citrus fruit and sharp pine aroma, and just a bare hint of malt sweetness. First sip scorches the tongue with ultraviolent hop bitterness, it takes many more sips to adjust my taste buds for a beer this hoppy. This beer is clearly the hophead's dream and makes other hopmonsters look like crying babies who just soiled themselves. Flavor has lots of pine/grapefruit as well as a very pronounced flavor that seems to me to be very much mango. Certainly a bit astringent but that's to be expected with this unbridled hopzilla of a beer. Body is a comfortable medium and drinkability is quite good once you've entered the Leatherlips alter-reality. Eventually I am able to penetrate the hop defenses to discern a nice biscuity malt flavor. Finish is bitter to the point that it sticks with you for hours to come, my taste buds have been bittered to submission. Cheers to Dann for a brilliantly bold creation, it's all I could have hopped for.

 1,153 characters

Photo of feloniousmonk
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, bright coppery/ crimson color, topped with a fine layer of beige suds, looks nice.
The instant my nose gets nearer the glass, I know I'm in for a treat!This is the stuff, fresh, piney, bold, citric, a flood of fruity flavors, but not too bitter. Floral, fragrant, and, aromatically, an instant favorite.
Impressive entrance on the palate, the brew grips and grabs all areas of the mouth and sends it's bittersweet flavor in every corner! Vibrant, flavorful, with a long, bitter finish.
There's just enough malt hanging in here, to make it magnificently drinkable.

Very, very tasty this Leatherlips, smooth and delicious. Fine people of Massachusetts, you are truly blessed to have some a lip-smackin' wonder of an IPA at your beck-and-call!

 756 characters

Photo of francisweizen
4.08/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Fresh from a growler: A dark red beer with a small off-white head that lasts and leaves nice lacing on my glass as well. The aromas are of fresh, green, herbal hops, and awesome spicy malts. The taste is a wonderful blend of spicy malts and fresh herbal hops. The finish and aftertaste are very bitter too. The mouthfeel is creamy and smooth and the drinkability is very, very good!

 382 characters

Photo of Jason
4.23/5  rDev +7.6%
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 pbrian
4.45/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

1/2 gal growler. Filled to the freakin' brim less than a week from consuming.

Clear copper colored with a small, slowly-forming off white head. Distinctively sharp, piney aroma with hints of mints, citrus and sweetness. A full well-rounded bitterness is the main taste theme. Pine needles, grapefruits, peppermint, a little earthiness... were all the basic hop groups used in this one? Enough generic malty sweetness is there to not make this one-dimensional, but it certainly lives up to its namesake. Full bodied, good mouth texture, yet light enough to be extremly drinkable. Lovely.

 589 characters

Photo of ColForbin
4.67/5  rDev +18.8%
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.

 760 characters

Photo of yen157
4.02/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Growler poured copper color without too much of a head. Liquid kinda lookes like bubby bourbon in a big glass. Piney nose with malt notes of caramel and cookie dough. In the mouth its like a strange dream. An IPA, yes, but an odd one. Medium bodied, and not all that much sweetness. Hop flavor is sappy and a little dusty. Malt is there one sip and there the next and a little smoky at times. Bitterness isn’t up in the front, but rather leaps from the glass directly to the back of the throat where it sticks and lingers. I like it, but I have to admit I was broadsided by this idiosyncratic IPA.

 598 characters

Photo of Todd
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
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 goz
5/5  rDev +27.2%
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.

 740 characters

Photo of cjpala
4.6/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Served on tap . . . at The Tap.

The colour was a rich, deep orange/amber with a nice head of white foam that gave off a wonderfully fresh hoppy aroma with a hint of citrus.

Taste was exactly what you would expected from the aroma. A full bodied, but not over powering, hop flavor. Carbonation was perfection.

The smooth finish of this IPA gave a nicely bitter/woody flavor with a dry sensation on the tongue. A great blend of Centennial and Chinook hops.

Though the brewers'/pubs' description for this beer states "for hop-heads only", I think that the hoppiness is nicely blended and not so over whelming that IPA lovers who prefer something not so heavily hopped, would still enjoy this great local brew.

Here's the Pubs' description:

LEATHERLIPS I.P.A. 12.7 degrees plato, 5% alcohol, 50 IBU
Hold onto your hats, or even better - your lips! This beer is for hop-heads only. Ripe with floral and citrus notes, our new "india pale ale" is so packed with Centennial and Chinook hops it should be green (the color of hops).

If you're in the Merrimack Valley area of Massachusetts, stop by and checkout this great IPA and the other offerings of The Tap and it's brewer Dann Paquette.


 1,214 characters

Photo of UncleJimbo
4.5/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled on tap at the brewpub.

This IPA poured a hazy, orange-red-amber color with white foam that settled but clung to the glass, coating it well. The smell was a slightly fruity, floral hop aroma which was very nice but faded a bit by the end of the pint. The taste was dominated by good, juicy NW hops with a good malty backbone and some floral hop overtones. The finish was characterized by bitter, woody, astringent hops. The mouthfeel was dry and hoppy with medium body and moderate carbonation. The finish was good and hoppy with a lingering hop flavor. I was told that Chinook and Centennial hops were used. This was a very enjoyable IPA.

Resampled on another day and here are my notes:
Poured a clear, red-amber color with full, creamy, off-white foam that clung and coated the glass. The smell was a strong, fruity hops aroma with notes of citrus, pine, and floral hops. As the beer warmed a strong Cascade-like aroma poked through. The taste was very hoppy and astringent but with good floral hop flavors as well. There was a good maltiness to balance the hops, but overall a very strong, almost stinging hoppiness. The mouthfeel was very dry and smooth with medium body and medium carbonation. The hoppiness lingered, but there was also a nice floral hop flavor that lingered, too. This was very nice, and the more I drink this IPA, the more I like it. I have had it from a growler, too, and it was very good, but the flavor has been the best at the brewpub.

 1,477 characters

Photo of PopeJonPaul
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Fluffy white head with lacing that drools down the glass, a hop\citrus smell and a cool looking orange color. Dry-hopped citrusy fun with a spicy gingery flavor, distill this stuff and you'd have a hop altoid. Left my tongue a bit thick at the end, made me need another glass (which is not a bad thing I guess.) A bit too much hops for my personal taste but still a really good beer.

 383 characters

Photo of konabrewer
4.44/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance. barely hacy with a deep golden hue.

Aroma. Absolutely beautiful. Big citrus notes with rind and zest everywhere. Not too much grapefruit. well balanced with toasted-like malt nose

Taste. pure heaven More hops, wait and more hops. Not over powering but bold. A bit of green earth and resiny

Mouthfeel. Feels great... not too sticky and highly carbonated

The finish was the best part. It stays with you. This one should be drunk all night because you will continue to taste it for a while.

Very drinkable but bold

 539 characters

Photo of Truh
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Kumar and I both tried this yesterday at Anam Cara aprés work. The ale poured with a pillowy brown veil in the pint glass, a hint of gold on the edges. Had it been a sunny evening we might have held the glasses up to the red orb and proffered the gods with this elixir. As it was, we stared greedily at a thin layer of carbonation on top of the libation, trying desperately to contain our urges to slam back the brew so that we could properly appreciate the bouquet. Much to our surprise, there seemed to be very little aroma to speak of. We had expected a fusion hop bomb to detonate in our nostrils, but instead there was a nice balance of hop character with a combination of what we described as cloves, grass, and some green apples. And none of this was bad, because we like the unexpected. Despite the masked hoppiness, there is no denying it with the first quaff. The huge hop kick up front made us wonder how it could be so well hidden in the bouquet. There was a bit of an acidic trailing palate, but as hop lovers, this was more than acceptable, and actually appreciated. For those who are into IPAs, this is a champion. It beats Weyerbacher’s Hops Infusion by a mile. For those not yet introduced to the madness of extreme hopping, we’d recommend a 2 oz. pour before going full bore with a pint. You’ll have to scour your palate after this one before drinking something else.

 1,389 characters

Photo of AllThingsNinja
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I enjoyed this beer as part of a Sampler at the Tap. I had read that it was supposed to be so hoppy that it would pour green, that wasn't quite true. It was a dark orange, with a lacy and retentive white head. The aroma was rife with citrus hops. This is a Hophead's ipa, but doesn't build it's hoppyness with outrageous quantities of Centennial and Chinook hops instead the beer showcases those spices over a minimalist malt back bone. The beer is not as strong or full-bodied as I expect from an IPA, but it's certainly worth tasting. I'm not a hop crazed beer drinker, and found this to be a little too imbalanced for my tastes. I enjoyed sampling it, and would love to try it after some time in a cask.

 706 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!