Leather Lips IPA | The Tap Brewing Company

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

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 410 |  Reviews: 301
Photo of sstackho
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle. Pours a light-to-medium straw with little head and a fair amount of carbonation. Very pleasant aroma of some floral hops. Taste has a lot of upfront hops and the aftertaste is rather piney. Enjoyable and decent IPA, and it fills the need for hops, but I don't find myself longing to open another of the same when the first is finished.

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Photo of akorsak
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz bottle from a trade with bjohnson.

A: The ale has a thick voluminous head, billowy and measuring around 3 fingers. The color is a hazy orange amber color that is quite brilliant when light is shone through it.

S: The nose is grapefruit spicy with a biscuity malt base that keeps the hops grounded.

T: The first sip is a whirlwind of hops and malts. Spicy grapefruit and sweet pineapple are abundant and well-matched against a strong grainy malt background. The malts are chewy and never let the hops get out of hand. The finish comes back to the hops, providing a bitter finish that is flavorful but never scalds the tastebuds.

M: The mouthfeel is full of juicy hops and strong malts, both of which make for a good tasting ale.

D: The drinkability is excellent. The hops are strong and the alcohol isn't, making it a great choice for a long session.

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Photo of bennetj17
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bright orange, with a bit of tan, and quite hazy in appearance. The head develops massively and almost overflows the glass rim before I'm done pouring. The smell is ver citrusy, with a sharp pine-like bite underneath.

The taste is predominantly citrus hops, with enough caramel malt flavor to balance it out. It has a sharp bitterness at the end that doesn't go away too quickly. It's like bad yet good, if I can even describe it. The mouthfeel is a bit thin, not too strong on carbonation, but I think it is good for this beer.

Overall this is a refreshing IPA that has a hefty bitter bite for those who like it that way. Plenty of flavor for 5% ABV. Recommended...

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

Received from cburian as part of Secret Bunny '07. Thanks Chris!

Very clear, on the light side of orange, maybe deep gold, with a fluffy white head. Great head retention, clumpy lacing. Aromas of grapefruit juice, herbal and grassy hops. Moderate bitterness up front with more punch near the end, lingering long into the finish. Starts with a bit of toastiness and grapefruit fills out the middle. Solid malt backbone. Medium bodied, carbonation is just slightly low but still a little crisp. It sure does go down easy! It has a good balance with a bit of hop bite and a long, pleasant finish.

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

I am drinking a cellar temp bottle of this beer poured into a pint glass. The beer foams up hugely on the gentlest of pours 3/4 bottle into glass in 45 seconds and still 5-6 cm of fluffy eggshell white head that is leaving mountainous craters as it slowly recedes.
Aroma is citrusy grapefruit rind with some hints of grass and also a general flowery note as well. No real malt scents that I can find.
First sip reveals a generally light body with very fine and fizzy carbonation. Flavor is a bit of caramel up front and then hops take over. The hops are not overwhelming but they are strong. I get some resiny sappy pine, mixed with rindy grapefruit and this rolls to an astringent, bitey finish that lingers on the sides of my tongue.
The beer is easy to drink with no hint of abv and not an overwhelming thick body. A well made IPA that isnt over the top. Quite nice, but I would not be able to drink several of these in a sitting as I would need a little malt balance.

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Photo of Gavage
4.7/5  rDev +19.6%
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 capo56
4.97/5  rDev +26.5%
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 Westsidethreat
3.65/5  rDev -7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Nase for the opportunity

A: Sturdy copper/marmalade color with a thickness to it. Overall very still, no bubble activity. The head is solid; two thick inches of what looks like whipped butter.

S: Tang, vitamin C, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice and far away pine.

T: Begins dry and earthy, a real redwood bark like piney/bitterness. Some watered down OJ comes next laced with lemon zest with only a hint of sweetness. Very minor biscuity backbone tries to pull the flavors together. Finishes abrasive bitterness around the back sides of the mouth with lingering redwood and a bit of lime peel.

M: Medium body, nice mouthfeel with just a touch of fluffiness.

D: I thought this beer was a bit over rated. The flavors weren’t strong enough to support the strong bitterness. This certainly isn’t a bad beer, just not a great one.

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Photo of lordofthewiens
4.28/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.38/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep golden-brown color with a medium foamy off-white head that fades slowly and leaves a decent lace on the glass.

S: The aroma has a good strong hops burst and some caramelized malt and citrus sweetness to back it up.

T: The taste starts out with a smoky malt character, which is quickly followed by a heavy dose of hops bitterness and not a lot of sweetness. There are complimentary flavors of citrus, caramel and a little spice in the background. The after-taste is loaded with residual hops bitterness.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, very clean and dry finish.

D: Very tasty, goes down easily, very good representation of style, not very filling, this is a beer I could stick with for a whole evening and I bet it’s even better on-tap. My only problem with this beer is that I haven’t seen it in a 12-pack yet.

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Photo of
4.47/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz. bottle courtesy of WeymouthMike

Poured a slightly hazy, dirty yellow-orange liquid. Large, rocky, off-white head topped it off. Fairly lively carbonation.

Leather - really! Maybe just my imagination, but I swear I smelled it. Grapefruit, peach, biscuity. Pepper.

Taste - HOLY SHIT! I didn't know you could brew a beer with just hops (citrus BTW). I really thought you needed some sort of grain as well. My mistake. A hint of biscuit flavor for the hops to sit on. A little pepper at the finish. Balance - not here! You have to love it!

Medium in body. Low to medium carbonation. Dry as a bone.

What a ride! Out of balance, but if you love hops, who cares? And just 5% ABV so you can have a couple without falling off your barstool. Man, I hope this is eventually distributed in Maryland.

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Photo of blitz134
3.78/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Slightly cloudy, golden body. A fair amount of white head that reduced to a lump mass while sticking sporadically to the glass. Pretty nice.

Aroma is mostly citrus rind hops with straw-like qualities as well. Clean, light malting works well with the straw hops. Not overly strong though, but still smells pretty good.

Taste is an onslaught of hops: straw and citrus rinds again. Finishes with lots of resin and residual bitterness. Quite the dry finish too. Malts don't really come through that much.

Coats the mouth well but is pretty thin bodied. Prickly carbonation on the tongue.

Overall a pretty good beer. I consider this an "east coast" style IPA. Goes down pretty easy but its super hoppy and unbalanced but I think this was the way it was intended. While it is weak in a couple of areas it certainly has a lot of kick for a 5% brew.

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Photo of muffguy4beer
4.52/5  rDev +15%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Normally have this on tap at the Tap but they had it on cask last friday and had to give it a shot as it is one of my favorite beers anyways.

Appearance - Golden Amber in color, with 1/4 of white head. Head retention is noticeably different but a welcomed difference never the less.

Smell - the smell is also a little subdued in the cask version but I can still easily get the citrus and pine hops in my nose.

Taste - I am pretty new to cask beer and would have thought that an IPA would not benefit but I was very impressed at how this beer tasted. The big fruity taste of its kegged brother is lessened but still in the background and very tasty. the warmth really brings out the depth of the beer and I can appreciate the malts much more.

Mouthfeel - Creamy medium body much more pronounced in this version.

Drinkablility - I ordered two because it was so damn good. If this was offered normally I would definitely drink here more often. Its hard to find casks in this area let alone America but I am glad to have found this beer joint which offers them every friday.

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Photo of shamrock7
4/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I recently tried this beer at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI and really enjoyed it. It had a good taste, not overly hoppy (not like a hopwhollop or hop devil), and a nice finish. I thought it was a very drinkable IPA. I hope that they are able to get some more in stock (I’d like to try it on tap)...it would definitely be on my drink list.

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Photo of edchicma
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Purchased at Julios in Westboro, MA. Pours a beautiful vlear golden yellow wit han outstanding head and outstanding lacing. Smell is a blast of citrus hop notes with a faint malt undertone..very inviting. Taste is robust in citrus hops...like Victory's Hop Wallop. A definite hophead's brew. Mouthfeel is smooth initially then the dry hop quality kicks in..mmm. Drinkability is good for the style..light initial creaminess...then a great dry finish.

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Photo of ybnorml
3.85/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A clean amber beer. With a big creamy off white head. Strong hoppy aroma. Mostly piney hop notes with a hint of floral in the background. A light biscuity malt note kisses the tip of your tongue just before the hops tear into the rest of your mouth. The piney hop notes dominate leaving a nice dry finish.

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Photo of Imstillthegman
4.43/5  rDev +12.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I had this one at the EBF in Boston and had to find some to bring home.

Pours out of the bottle an orange-amber color with a slight chill haze to it. About an inch and a half of frothy white head. Nice lacing cascades down my glass.

The smell is strong citrus and pine hops. Really good, strong aroma for an IPA.

Wow...this is just an IPA? At only 5% I would have never imagined that it could be this hoppy. I have had DIPA that don't compare with this one. Bitter grapefruit and pine dominate the taste. Bitter, tasty treat.

Medium body with good carbonation. Dry, tongue smacking finish. I could drink this everyday if it was available in my area. I should have grabbed another six-pack. Lucky Bostonians. I still can't believe this only a 5% IPA. Freakin' awesome.

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

Chose this as the brew to pair with my dinner at the Sunset Grill and Tap. It arrives in the tulip glass (maybe 12-14 oz.?) a transluscent orangey/amber with an inch of frothy white head that leaves very sticky lacing. It has a big piney and citric aroma (orange, grapefruit) with a matching flavor profile that adds some herbal hops, light malts, and an abrasive bitterness on top of a smooth, medium body that has light carbonation and leaves a long-ass finish. Overall a nice big, intensely bitter IPA that packs a huge amount of flavor into a mere 5 percent. A beer I would definitely revisit.

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Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.83/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle>Mug.

AP: A pale-ish amber color, semi-cloudy, very bubbly and active with a one finger thick, bone-white frothy head that displays some brownish-orange spots on the top of the head, leaves some nice thick lacing dripping down. Displays excellent head retention.

Nose: A pleasant but not overlly aromatic herbal and spicey hop scent with mild citrus and a hearty malt scent way down deep.

Taste: A very hearty flavored malt that is detected undeeneath the an herbalized and slightly spicey and citrus hop dominated flavor. Only a minor bitter effect at the very end. Good balance here though.

MF: A medium to full body, rather hefty and smooth for the style. A nice mellow feeling on the palate.

DA: Very tastey, just above average for the style I feel. Easy to drink.

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Photo of JohnnyM2002
4.35/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled from a 12 oz bottle, poured into a pint glass at 40 degrees. Picked up in a trade from cburian - thanks!!

A - Cloudy, pale orange color with a small-to-medium head that left a white ring atop the glass. Good carbonation.

S - Very fruity hops with a lingering sweetness. Smells like I'm ready for a hop bomb..

T - If I didn't know any better, I'd think I was drinking a lower-ABV DIPA. Extremely well-balanced between sweet malt and overpowering hops...strong bitterness followed. Flavors are very straightforward, no real complexities or subtle tones...just a blast of hops not usually associated with a 5.0 ABV IPA.

M - Medium, creamy body with a strong bitterness upon the finish. Carbonation remains strong.

D - Excellent IPA - when I saw it listed as 5.0 (despite my better judgment...) I assumed it would be lackluster and come across as a slightly hoppier APA...this definitely stands out in the crowd.

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Photo of n0rmann
4.42/5  rDev +12.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beers with 5 percent APV shouldn't be this good. I found my new everyday beer. The bitterness is amazing for such a low alcohol brew, and there's a nice hop character, with a nice citrus taste.

I could easily sit back and drink three, four etc. of these.

It is definitely one of the best American IPAs out there, and perhaps the best beer produced in Massachusetts.

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

Poured at 35F from a 12 oz amber bottle into a standard pint glass.

Rocky tan head leaving plenty of lace over a dark orange, cloudy brew.

Aroma dominated by hops, but a bit malty and yeasty, possibly some higher alcohols.

Taste was grassy, very hoppy with floral and citrus, malty bite and nicely bittered. Mouthfeel was nicely suited. Slightly medicinal, but not bad.

Drinkability was good, good enough to have another. Nice effort from a micro/brewpub, better than many efforts from bigger brewers. If you're looking for an IPA-like session beer this would be it. Fat feel of an IPA at only 5% ABV, it's technically a pale ale--but drinks like an IPA. Lately the trend seems to have been the opposite, set by 3FFF, calling IPAs APAs and DIPAs IPAs--rather than the other way around as in this case.

Edit: the above review was either before they got their process down for this beer, or else the bottle was old/abused. Just had a Leatherlips recently and it is just fantastic. Beat Mojo and Longhammer by a long shot in a side-by-side tasting. There was no medicinal or other off flavor, and it was only slightly hazy. Formerly rated this a solid B, but latest serving was much better.

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Photo of ClockworkOrange
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got in a trade from bjohnson. Thanks. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into my pint glass. Appears a hazy light amber in color with at least three fingers of fluffy off white head. Awesome lacing left in the glass with each sip. Smells of pine needles and grapefruit peel as well as sweet malted grains. The hop bitterness starts as soon as the beer hits your tongue and slowly fades into the finish. Sweet lemon and grapefruit notes come through the bitterness, but only briefly. This beer does not let you forget the bitter bite it delivers. Medium in both body and carbonation. I could drink this all night but not with out a glass of water in between each pint to allow my tongue to spring back into shape.

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Photo of bigone4
4.03/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at Pitcher's Pub in Cumberland, RI. Nice presentation. It poured a hazy straw orange color with a nice off white head. This one smells of grapefruit and citrus tones. Strong hop oil scent with even piney hop goodness in every whiff. This beer packs quite a powerful nose. Great hop flavor throughout the taste. Starts out rather sharp with citrus grapefruit tones followed by a nice smooth hop bite. Rolling subtle hints of orange and pine. Certainly a well hopped beer from start to finish. I would consider this offering for any hop head out there. Good finish and an even better dry hop aftertaste. They really capture the hop essence in this brew. The malt takes a back seat in this beer. Truly a bitter and mouth puckering experience. Its name fits it well. I found this brew to be quite drinkable and very enjoyable. I thoroughly enjoyed drinking this beer and I hope to have a couple more in the next week before the log kicks. This was my first beer from Haverhill Brewery and I hope to try some of there other offerings.

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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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