How about an IPA and a Leatherlips?

If I have to choose a particular style of beer, it must be an IPA, and almost always from the US. Do not remember all of them, but my current list of great favorite IPAs looks like below;

1. Pliny The Elder
2. Blind Pig IPA
3. Leatherlips IPA (The Tap)
4. Two Hearted Ale
5. Bell's HopSlam
6. Stone IPA (India Pale Ale)

There are certainly other options, but I have to choose those available for me, and types that I sampled several off.

To mention a very special beer for me and my beer experience and one on the list it must be the Leatherlips IPA from The Tap / Haverhill Brewery.

You could wonder by the choice, the rest of the list is high on sites like beeradvocate and ratebeer, where did then the Leatherlips come from? Well simply because of the experience. Here we found ourselves (me and my girl friend) in a very cold Boston in feb-07 (visiting the extreme beer fest held by beeradvocate), when we find this very tiny pub called Bukowski's Tavern and found a new beer to love.

The great thing with this beer is actually not the taste in first place, a great example of a IPA that you can drink a lot of. No the most important thing about this beer is the alcohol, simply coming with only 5.00% ABV!.

The rest of the great IPAs I have ever tasted and liked has been something like 6.5 and above, for example Stone is 6.90%, blind pig comes with 6 and pliny is even up to 8%. So thats why it is so great, here we have a great example of a US-IPA, with a very big fresh, dry hop aroma and very balanced regarding bitterness.

But drinking it you can not imagine that it is only 5%, it be much more!, its sort of fills your mouth with a very dry finish of hop forever, and it just simply tell you to; drink me, take an other one!

It was surely the winner for us during the weekend, not even the extreme beer fest could out win our experience at Bukowski's, when we returned to have a Leatherlips.

A fun thing is that when we first sampled the beer, we thought Leatherlips IPA from Tap, simply meant that it was on draught, we later understod that the name had to do with the brewery.

Hopefully we will have our new england beer tour next year (or at least in a couple of years) and then The Tap in Haverhill, Massachusetts will be on the short list.

An other fun thing was after we returned from the night of the barrels at the extreme fest we were so filled up with oak flavours and vanilla that we could not distinguish between the leatherlips and a Hercules Double IPA for a couple of minutes (the color help us after a while), that also says a lot about how great the beer is, Hercules IPA comes with 9.1%, but here we could not actually feel the difference at first, just that something was wrong.

So thanks to the brewmaster Mike Labbe at The Tap providing such a great IPA, with the very nice feature, that you can drink a lot of it. Hopefully we will drink "on the tap", next year.

"UPDATED 080806:"

And yes we did! On July 15th 2008 we arrived to Haverhill and could enjoy the place and of course the Leatherlips IPA + a six pack that we brought home almost intact.

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