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Thursday, August 18, 2011

IPA Month Continues with Leatherlips IPA- Haverhill Brewery

I began this entry with great expectations.

Haverhill Brewery's "Leatherlips IPA" came to me highly recommended by an employee of an excellent craft beer store.  I was vacillating between this and another IPA, and the clerk said the Leather Lips was the better brew, so I bought it.

Leatherlips IPA
Haverhill Brewery, Haverhill, MA
5% ABV

Along with several other Haverhill brews, this one has an image of a woman on the bottle. And, once again, it should have been a warning. Specifically, it should bring to mind this warning-

If they need a chick on the bottle to get attention, perhaps the stuff inside isn't quite up to par?


The beer pours a nice amber/orange, clear, with a thin white head.

Smell is very nice- moderate floral hops are intriguing, but not overpowering. It smells like an IPA should, albeit a bit more modestly than some.

Mouthfeel gives me my first warning- it feels... flat, despite the bubbles I can clearly see in the glass. Its got a very light body, with a lack of texture. Its not flat, but it feels that way.

Taste is disappointing. For a brew with such a good hop smell, the hop taste, for me,  is surprisingly meek. They are there- Chinook, Newport, Nugget, Cascade, and Centennia, according to their web site- but its almost as if they've been watered down. You get some grapefruit like citrus bitterness, which is the strongest component, and even that, at 50 IBU's, isn't strong for an American IPA. Finish is mildly bitter.

This beer bummed me out. I just can't reconcile the discrepancy between the nice hop smell and the weak, watery taste. After some thought, I'm thinking that perhaps this is designed to be an entry level beer for non craft drinkers, an attempt to bring them into the craft world and not over whelm them. In that regard, it works very well and makes a lot of sense. Its the only way I can explain how such a hyped brew can be such a downer. I give this beer a 2 out 5, and I give you a warning....

Beware the Red Head...

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