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

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Reviews: 301 | Ratings: 410
Photo of oregonskibum
3.39/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a small wine glass.

A: Pours a burnt orange color, just a little on the cloudy side. Very thing slightly off-white head. Almost immediately dies down to just a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

S: Huge grapefruit and citrus hops are evident right up front. Some piney hop smells as well, but they are second to the citrus. There is some mineral spiciness there as well. Very faint nutty aromas, similar to a pale ale.

T: Citrus hops definitely dominate up front, but the citrus flavor gradually subsides mid-taste, just leaving some bitterness on the back sides of the tongue that stays around well after the taste is done. Mid-taste, the malts really start to show up with some biscuit or toast like flavors.

M: Light to medium body (basically in-style) with moderate to slightly lower than expected carbonation. A little on the chewy side on the finish.

D: There's nothing wrong with this IPA, but it struggles to break past "average". I would almost classify this as a pale ale based on its grain bill, that got a ton of hops added to hit the 50 IBU mark. Overly bitter on the finish with a nice hop flavor to carry it, I kind of wonder if maybe this is a little past its prime. Or perhaps not.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.73/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine March 2007.

First created and made popular by Dann Paquette back in 2004, Leatherlips IPA is a great example of a brewer packing hops into a highly drinkable beer without feel- ing the need to make it 10 percent ABV. The recipe lives on at this brewpub, and its new brewer, Steve Bernard, has taken it to the next level by bottling and distribut- ing it.

Deep and vibrant golden color shows a really good clarity; we opted to leave the sediment at the bottom of the bottle for this
purpose. A good two fingers of head pillows up from a hard pour. Soon after, the scent of hops permeates our nostrils. An old-school aroma of high-alpha hops shows that this is an IPA before the first sip: pungent, citric and floral all over the place. Hint of lightly toasted grain in the nose as well. Smooth mouthfeel and a moderate body give points to drinkablity. Mild biscuity malt and some yeast upfront. This all gets wiped away from a wall of hops--first the sting of bitterness and then a long, lingering herbal and citric finish.

For hopheads looking for a fix that's also a session beer, here it is--a brew that we'll be frequenting often. Try pairing it with a hot pot of green curry.

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Photo of urwithdave
3.4/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Gtreid shared this one with me. Poured into my cigar city snifter.

A- golden in color like apple juice. Small white head that quickly fades. Little lacing left.

S- pine, hops,hops,and some more hops. There is some citrus in the background. if the taste follows the nose, this is gonna be one bitter brew.

T- yup this sucker is bitter. No presence of any malts or sweetness. I love hops but I prefer a more balanced approach. The citrus is also not very big. There are hints of grapefruit and maybe pineapple, but again, they are overshadowed by the bitterness of the hops.

M- like my mouth has been vaccumed. Very dry. Not in a refreshing way either. Its just not my fav style of an ipa.

D- 6 oz was enough. I don't think I could drink to much of this. It's just too unbalanced for me.

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

Reviewed from notes.

Poured into a Duvel tulip

A: Pours an amber orange color. One finger head.

S: Citrus and a hint of pine hops. A nice sweet malty backbone here too.

T: One of the more unbalanced IPA's I've had. Reminds me of the Smuttynose Findest Kind. Floral and pine hops are favored here. A touch of citrus hops is the only faint sweetness here.

M: Moderate carbonation with a hop presence that lingers.

D: Love this beer. Wish we had it down South. This would be close to a regular in my fridge.

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Photo of Gtreid
3.57/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle thanks to joepais, as part of the Great Beanie BIF. Poured into a standard pint glass.

A: Bright copper orange color. An aggressive pour forced a small white head that quickly vanished and left no evidence of it's existence.

A: Hoppy all the way. I get a small sweetness from the malts, but let's not kid ourselves, this is a West coast IPA brewed in Mass. This one is all about the hops.

T: The Chinook and Centennial hops take center stage. Citrusy and dry. This has to be the driest beer I have ever had. The hops take all the saliva out of my mouth, and actually make me want a glass of water.

M: A little thin here. Decent carbonation levels, but could use a bit more malt to balance out the extreme bitterness from the hops, and give this a little more body.

D and overall impression: Drinkability is just ok. This one's a palate wrecker for sure, so couldn't have too many of these. Overall, I like what Haverhill was trying to do here, it just didn't get executed to it's fullest. The bottle says 50 IBU's. Yeah right, and Miller Lite is my favorite beer. Probably won't seek this out again, but glad I got to try. Skal.

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Photo of sophisticated
4.15/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mmm this was a pleasant surprise!

A) Caramel/Amber/Honey colored with fluffy white sturdy head with good retention

S) Strong nose; citrus hops, a little pine, and some subtle caramel

T) Very hoppy! Strong citrus, pineapple, and bitter pines. Slight soap.

MF) Nice medium body, smooth and soft feeling

D) Excellent! Super bitter hop-blast, pleasantly surprised at the relatively low ABV.

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Photo of ShadesOfGray
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Received as an extra from jmu500...thanks man! Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Lindeman's champaigne flute(haha, had to find a reason to use this glass...IPA's work). Pours a frosty clear golden color, with a nice size white frothy head...about a finger and a half. Head dissapates semi-slow, but remains a creamy thin surface of froth. Leaves nice sticky white frothy lacing.

Aroma is fantastic. Best smelling IPA ever(believe it or not)! Very fruit-up-front, citrus, pear. Very slight bitter piny-hop in the back. Aroma overall is sweet and inviting.

Flavor is a tad of a let down. Hoppy up front, slight fruit...dry, high carbonation(fridge temp...40'ish degrees). The huge hop bite controls most of the flavor and mouthfeel of this beer. The slight sweet fruit taste is in the aftertaste. Light, smooth, and crisp mouthfeel. Overall, a decent IPA.

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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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Photo of GregPearson33
3.64/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The color was a light rusty orange. Smells of strong citrusy orange peel over sweet malts. Tasted was much sweeter than the smell alluded to though. A burnt nuttiness was close behind or even equal to the hop presence. In the end I also tasted a lingering strong bitterness, a piney aftertaste similar to the APA. Great drinkability with a mid-range body but (yes, this is an attribute) a pretty low ABV (5%). I'd say this is one to try, but not I'd choose for a go-to IPA.

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Photo of nelnutter
4.8/5  rDev +22.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured 12 oz. bottle into Sam Adams pint glass.

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of 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 Mora2000
3.95/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to hophead101 for sending me this beer as an extra.

Pours murky yellow with a white head. The aroma is orange and pine. The flavor is strong citrus with hardly any bitterness. Slightly thin, watery mouthfeel with low-medium carbonation. Glad I got to try this one and it didn't disappoint.

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Photo of Ryan011235
3.9/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a snifter on 2/6/10

Many thanks to smutty33 for the chance to try this one

Amber in color with something of a golden sheen about it. Just a faint bit of cloudiness. The color spectrum is pretty much uniform. It poured a head that was just over one finger, though it recedes within a minute or two, leaving patchy bubbles & the start of decent lacing. Thin but consistent retention & ok lacing throughout.

The nose offers a decent amount of floral hop notes, as well as over-ripe citrus - mainly grapefruit with some orange rind. A subtle hint of caramel weaves its way through a reasonably prominent toasted breadiness. For the most part the nose seems content to feature alpha acidity.

Based on the nose the taste isn't too far off from what I would expect, albeit with a greater penchant for quantifiable hoppiness. An even-keeled, dry piney bitterness takes the lead & is most notable from beginning to end. Thankfully this takes precedence over the citric profile which seems almost too ripe & somewhat muddled; this is a minor complaint. Malts appear to stay out of the way; a toastiness lingers in back, while the caramel from the nose is all but absent.

Medium body with moderate carbonation. There is enough resiny grit to help keep things interesting. This is indeed very dry & it finishes as such with a sharp bitterness lingering for a few moments.

This is a beer that certainly seems to improve as it warms. I like it quite a bit. Leatherlips comes across as a stark rendition of the style; at 50 IBUs & 5% abv Haverhill seems intent on doing more with less. If that's so, I'd say they have succeeded.

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Photo of Deuane
4.32/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Slightly hazed, bright golden copper with a medium off-white head that reduces to a thin veil and leaves behind an attractive coating of lacy foam.

S-Up front spicy citrus and some backing pine. Sweet biscuit malt backs up this fairly aggressive hop bill.

T-BAM! A big old blast of orange rind bitterness crashes onto the palate. Resinous pine and an actual leather like dryness builds in behind. Lightly sweet biscuit malt backs all of this hoppy goodness up.

M-Medium-light body, sharp and crisp bitterness and a pleasant astringency.

D-Damn nice! This one really lives up to its name. Amazingly dry in a way that totally works in an IPA. This plus the fact that it clocks in at a sessionable 5% ABV and is loaded with flavour makes this one a go to IPA for sure. If I could get Haverhill fresh and local this beer would definitely have a permanent spot in my beer arsenal!

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Photo of Duhast500
3.34/5  rDev -15%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a clear orange with a nice two fingers of white foamy head with some thick lacing on the glass.

The smell is full with some nice hop flavor. There are some nice wet hop flavor come in late and take hold.

The taste is malty and with a really high hop flavor as well, kicking into the back end of the beer. There is a really nice pine flavor as well.

The feel is light and is light enough to have a nice hoppt presence and not take too much off the typical meal with this beer. Is light but mellow as well.

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Photo of Brez07
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz pour into an imperial pint glass

A: A burnt orange color that pours with a 2 finger white head. There is some spotted lacing left behind

S: Solid hop profile with your typical grapefruit/pine combo for an IPA. There is a bread scent that arrives once it warms

T: A pretty intense dry, hoppy flavor. Citrus and pine present as well

M: Light bodied and carbonated well. A crisp, dry finish

D: A great sessionable beer. Surprisingly flavorful for a 5% beer. For some reason this hasn't made it's way up to Maine yet, otherwise it would be a staple in my fridge

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Photo of BigDank
3.76/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a Matilda glass.

Beer pours a slightly hazy amber color with a somewhat frothy white head that stays for a short while and leaves a pretty decent lacing around the glass. Smell is of moderate hops and slight fruitiness. Nothing too amazing. Hop bitterness is medium and the taste runs along good lines with most average to above average IPAs. Mouthfeel is smooth with the bitterness of the hops rolling across the tongue and making its presence most known at the end. I know they say ABV is not important in a good beer but I could go for a little higher on this one. Good though if it were a regular offering around here. Only recieved the one in a trade not too long ago. Drinkability is definitely high and I could see myself drinking this beer on a regular basis if that were an option. One to be tried if you've never had it. If you have... have another. Only beer tried by this brewery, will have to see about others.

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Photo of Tomdee74
4.85/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Photo of deereless
3.35/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Solid inch and a half of foam on a hard pour, light to medium copper color, cottony and frothy head - 3.75, S: Tons of soft citrusy hop aromas, I recognize the Centennial hops which add a nice grapefruit aroma, some bubblegum and papaya - 4.25, T: Solid hop bite, quite herbal and earthy, grapefruit pith, slight toasty malt - 3.00, M: Silky and smooth - 3.50, D: All-around a good beer, a pretty standard IPA - 3.00

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass

Appearance - Pourd a nice golden color with moderate head. Lacing wasn't too sticky but some bubbles did stick around.

Smell - Strong pine and grapefruit notes. Had that smell of a wet hopped beer, not sure if it is.

Taste - Has a good bitter back end, just the way I like it. The pine resin taste is actually refreshing.

Mouthfeel - Moderate carbonation gives this a slight tingle in the mouth.

Drinkability - This is a good everyday IPA. Easy to drink and very tasty.

Would highly recommend this brew....and I love to support my local breweries.

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Photo of callmescraps
3.33/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Heard about this one for awhile. Decided to pick it up when I came back east.

Appearance- Deep copper color. Over two inches of foamy, almost tan, head. Lots of carbonation even on a gentle pour.

Smell- Starts with a sharp citrus note. Grapefruit peel. Some floral hops. Then a rich maltiness comes through.

Taste- Pretty mellow up front. Not the citrus blast I expected. Grapefruit. It finishes on a huge bitter blast. It's quite dry. Less malt than expected, although it is there. It's got all the hop bitterness, but not as much hop flavor. It's a touch bland, and yet witheringly bitter.

Mouthfeel- The huge head seems to have thinned this out. Needs more carbonation, frankly. It's just thin. Eh.

Drinkability- Pretty decent. Bitterness prevents a desire for much more.

Eh. It's aptly named. But I'd happily trade the bitterness for more flavor. It seems mellow and meh until it dries out the tongue on a harsh finish.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
4.27/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a pale orange with a 1-finger white chunky head. Some bubbles in the beer, and great clarity. Looks thin and watery (looks are deceiving). Absolutely fantasitc lacing rings on every sip.

Big pine and citric hop aroma. Good luck finding anything else.

Wow. What a great surprise. Kick in the teeth hop flavors here. Deep, resinous pine with some light caramel/burnt sugar fighting through. The finish is bitter, but again, a multi-dimensional hop bitterness, with citric and pine coating your mouth. Just friggin great.

Mouthcoating and lingeringly deliciousness. Enough carbonation to help clear the palate, but not too fast.

Bought a single and will grab a six the next chance I get. Saw this for sale at many places for years, and never pulled the trigger. A recent BA thread had multiple people pitching this. So glad i tried it. You could put down a six pack of these easily.

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Photo of Jayli
4.3/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Consumed 12/16

A: This beer pours a hazy copper color with some sediment that is visible. One finger of white head that leaves wispy lacing.

S: Nose is of citrus and pine hops with a considerable malt backbone.

T: Taste starts with a bit of pine and grassy hops and then quickly moves in to a nice toasted malt flavoring. Also present is a hint of caramel malt sweetness and finishes with a nice balance of floral hops.

M: Medium body, medium carbonation, creamy feel with a sticky finish.

D: Nicely balanced IPA that isn't a hop bomb but not underhopped. Tasty and goes down easy - nocely done with the ABV and worthy of sitting with for an evening.

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Photo of mikey711
4.05/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Faded orange with lots of carbonation rising from the bottom of the glass. The head is a little more than a quarter of an inch. The retention could be better but the lacing is excellent. Also there is some sediment in the glass.

S: Very floral smelling with a little bit of soapiness.

T: A good amount of bitterness that is balanced nicely with the sweetness. I would have liked a bit more citrus fruit, but still a nice hoppy ipa

M: Good amount of creaminess and body while still being light

D: This is one that I could enjoy all day and would be happy to have again. It is impressive how hoppy it is for the IBUs and abv. Very enjoyable and sessionable

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Photo of sed777
4.4/5  rDev +12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

I cant much more than whats already been said except for:
This IPA drinks way bigger than 50 IBUs'.
Im a wicked west coast hop head and i'd put this up against some of the best the west could offer.
Mouthfeel was a bit light, but makes it easy to drink alot of it. Aroma could be a bit bigger but none the less and exceptional east coast IPA!

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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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