- posted 13 years ago
There are so many American IPAs in the market, and outside of
trustworthy standards like Harpoon IPA and Sierra Nevada, few stand
out. Those that do tend to be hot-hop-bomb Double IPAs whose sole
intention is to destroy your palate and a few million brain cells.
However, back in early 2004, Dann Paquette, former head brewer of The
Tap brewpub (at Haverhill Brewery), created something truly awesome:
Leatherlips IPA, a highly drinkable IPA with a moderate alcohol
content (5 percent ABV) and a tremendous amount of hop character.
Paquette eventually moved on to brew in England, but thankfully, Steve
Bernard stepped in as head brewer and continued brewing our beloved
Leatherlips. Bernard took things to the next level when Haverhill
Brewery added a bottling line and distribution to their business; and
soon after, he began bottling this hopped-up brew.
Leatherlips IPA (bottled) from The Tap / Haverhill BreweryOut of the
12-ounce brown bottle, Leatherlips pours a deep and vibrant golden
color that offers up a beautiful clarity-prompting us to leave the
sediment at the bottom of the bottle. A good two fingers of head
pillow up from a hard pour. Soon after, the scent of hops permeates
the nostrils. An old-school aroma of high alpha hops reveals this as
an IPA before the first sip: pungent, citric and floral all over the
place. Hints of lightly toasted grain in the nose as well. Its smooth
mouthfeel and moderate body earn drinkability points. Mild biscuity
malt, fruitiness and some yeast up front. This all gets wiped away by
a wall of hops-first the sting of bitterness and then a long-lingering
herbal and citric finish.
Loaded with Centennial, Nugget and Chinook hops, Leatherlips IPA is
without a doubt a hophead's fix, certainly one of those beers we'll
frequently return to. Pair this with spicy food-the more heat the
better. A bowl of chili is the obvious choice, but a hot pot of green
curry and scallops over jasmine rice is even better.
Leatherlips IPA is available now in the Boston area for around $8 per
six-pack, and it's always on tap or available to-go by the growler at
The Tap. (By the way, the commuter rail to Haverhill drops you off
literally across the street from the place.) And if you're lucky, you
might even find Leatherlips on cask-like we did at Deep Ellum (477
Cambridge St., Allston).
For more info: tapbrewpub.com
[ Update: BeerAdvocate has learned that as of April 1, 2007, Steve
Bernard is moving on. The Tap is currently looking for a new head