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Hoppin' Frog Gangster Frog IPA

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My only other Hoppin' Frog beer was a stout that did not impress me. One beer is not enough to decided on a brewer, and this had a cute little frog (okay, it was the same frog as the other bottle, and neither of them was actually "hoppin'") on the front, so I figured - what the hell.

The golden amber beer has quite an impressive head. It's not excessive, but it certainly lets you know it's there. Eventually, it leaves a nice little trail of lacing down to a 1/4 inch of foam on the top. The aroma is a little bit funky, dusty citrus and pine hops. It's not a little smell, but it IS a little bit funky and musty.

First sip is a crisp snap with funk and floral fun chilling under it all. Citrus is all over this thing, and it even re-asserts itself a couple of seconds after I thought the beer was already gone. It's an unusual mix of everything just kind of lounging around, explaining to everyone how cool it is to listen to vinyl records again.

Tip-in is ligh…

Mantra Enlightenment Scottish Style Wee Heavy

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Mantra, you are the Nashville brewery (other than CSB which has pretty much disappeared) that I think I have been waiting for. When I got here, I was told by pretty much everyone that my only option was Blackstone, and they, to put it nicely, were not the best brewery I've ever sampled from.

That is a pretty picture of an opaque red-tinted brown beverage with a nice little head. The head goes almost entirely away, but it leaves me with the tiniest of rings around the side of the glass. The aroma is brown liquor and heavy alcohol that has been aged in wood (which is pretty much what a brown liquor smells like).

First sip is strong alcohol, caramel, toffee, and a kind of heavy grain bread. It's a bit overwhelming, but it gives me the sensation of something really unnecessarily potent. The alcohol is making things really difficult to work around. I've had alcohol-rich beers before, and they can only sometimes deal with it enough to be a good beverage in their own right.

Tip-i…

New Heights IPA

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Another new brewery in the Nashville area. I am loving the choices I have now, and I encourage more. This beer is about as straight-shooting as you can get by not even bothering to add some other name to the beer, and they just call it IPA. I love the attitude, and I hope more brewers follow suit.

The sort of honey-amber beer has a sticky, sticky head that leaves quite a bit of lacing, and I'm loving it. The aroma is exactly the amount of hops that I expect to get, and it is a mixture of pine and floral. If there's something else here, I am not smelling it, but it could just be that the hops are having their way with everything.

First sip is WAY more mild than I expected. I mean, it's not going to be overshadowed by your average red ale or something, but it is gentle and almost smooth - which hoppy beers never are. Crisp? Maybe. Bracing? Frequently. But mild? No, that is one thing they just aren't. Maybe a full swig will explain things.

Tip-in is mild carbonation burn …

Wild Heaven Invocation Belgian-Style Golden Ale

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This beer has a very odd label - it has the name, but I was so distracted by the picture of a blonde lady holding the beer that I didn't bother to turn the words toward the camera. The label would really be better suited to a German Blonde than a Belgian Golden, but this is where we are, so let's rock!

The bright golden beer has a stark white head that leaves a fluffy pillow even after it sits for a bit. The aroma is wheat, spices, and lemons. I keep forgetting that golden ales are basically just wheat beers, but that became self-evident as soon as I could smell it.

First sip is sudden and jarring. I didn't expect the dry smack of the wheat with the tang of the oranges and an unexpected funk from the yeast. It isn't bad, but it is very solidly in my face with the taste from the depths of... Belgium? It's strong and unflinching.

Tip-in is strong wheat blowing in the breeze with a bit of citrus tang added. The middle is oddly smooth - it sports the funky yeast, a bit…

Fat Bottom The Temptress "The Baroness" Bourbon Barrel Stout

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My only Fat Bottom beer so far was not good at all. I'm not going to let that discourage me, as I have really started getting into these bourbon barrel beers, even though I am not a fan of bourbon in general. Maybe my opinion of bourbon is changing, too, and I may go find out one of these days, but I have a fridge full of beer, and I need to clear some out first.

Black as pitch, this sports a very nice brown head, but it goes away quickly, and the remnants mostly grip to the sides of the glass. The aroma is deep liquor, brown sugar, and caramel.

First sip is syrupy, which these all seem to have in common. Even so, it is smooth as all heck, even though the alcohol-heavy bourbon asserts itself well. The oak and even chocolate are making the experience complete, and I could totally see myself just sipping this into the night, but that's not how I do things.

Tip-in is alcohol, oak, chocolate, and carbonation tingle. The middle is heavy with more oak, light spices, caramel, toffee,…

Red Silo Belgian Thong

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Another beer that was on tap at my local beer pusher. I got the small growler, and I don't know that I shouldn't have gotten the big one. Well, there's no use crying over unspilled beer. Instead, let's just concentrate on the new beer from the new brewer that I have to enjoy in front of me.

She's not red at all. Instead, it's a simple clear yellow with a very light orange tint. The head is not really there in the first place, and it doesn't seem to want to generate itself. I'm not sure what I should expect from these growlers, so I'll deal with it the way it is. The aroma is excessively light, and it is little more than grains and sweet malt.

First sip is more peppery and spicy than I expected from the really light aroma. It's playful with a citrus and bread in there to give the beer its meat. The sip is like looking at a mountain range through a porthole. I need to drink this like it was made to be gulped.

Tip-in is a very nice blend of citrus,…

Green Flash Palate Wrecker Imperial IPA

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This is actually my third Green Flash beer. The first one was skunked and terrible to the point that I tried to take it back to the distributor that I had at the time, and they gave me a hassle, and I have not been back since. The second one wasn't great, but even good breweries get one off every now and then. Let's see where the IPA leads us...

The mostly clear copper colored beer has a white-ish head that has just a hint of tan in it. My cousin Paul once had a well thought out post on how color isn't color, so I'm not going to quibble about this - let's say this is light sandstone tan. The aroma is a caramel and floral hops that is effervescent in spite of the settled head; I'm intrigued.

First sip is rich and floral. It has grains and bitterness backing it, but the bitterness is being cut down by the caramel in the hops which carry their sweetness with them. It's a good enough start, but it seems a little harsh and untamed. Let's tame it.

Tip-in is c…