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Old Tempest Ale - Lightning Brewery

Not Rated.
Old Tempest AleOld Tempest Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
85
very good

58 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 58
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.68%
Wants: 3
Gots: 0 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Lightning Brewery visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
Old Ale |  9.00% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Halcyondays on 09-04-2007)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 58 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JCanarecci
4.75/5  rDev +25%

JCanarecci, Mar 30, 2012
Photo of Eriktheipaman
4.47/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ive had 3 Lightning beers and the first two were nothing special but this bottle conditioned beauty is GREAT!

It pours a dark orange/amber and pur careful or youll land some dead yeast. Not much of a head but good carbonation. Smells like plums and slightly roasted malt.

It comes in at 9% ABV but you cant tell at all with all the rich fruity tones and full mouthfeel.

Eriktheipaman, Oct 20, 2010
Photo of Halcyondays
4.45/5  rDev +17.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

On-tap at the Beachwood BBQ, in Seal Beach, CA,

A: Pours an amber orange colour, with a nice, white head, looks good in an over-sized wine glass.

S: Smells of strong fruit, some malt, and a hint of spice.

T: Very tasty, the flavour explodes on the tongue. A mix of strawberry/cherry, malt and orange make for a very interesting mix, it almost feels like it's got a Belgian kick to it.

M: Smooth, surprising light for a 9% beer, a bit phenolic, but not overly so, tasted a bit like a strong English Pale in the mouthfeel, the mineral character was there.

D: A very good beer, my best of the day, very drinkable for 9%, I can't wait to try more from this brewery if the first beer I've had from them is this good.

Halcyondays, Sep 04, 2007
Photo of dwilson01
4.4/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Shared with my buddy, bomber split between my arrogant bastard pint glass and my brewery tours of san diego pint glass. Very little head on the pour, a nice coppery amber-orange body color, thick as hell. There is pretty much zero carbonation in there.

Smells mainly of woody oak and alcohol esters. Also some sweetness from the malt.

Very smooth flavor profile which turns the nose into more of a sweeter vanilla fruity flavor. Generally citrusy, I get apricot, my friend gets more of a banana flavoring and it reminds me of nectar. The alcohol bite is really smoothed out with just a tiny bit present in the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is a little light for how thick the appearance is, in comparison to the old stock it's a little less malt body but has a smooth feeling down my throat.

This brew is quite drinkable, the smoothness of the malt body lend me to believe that a LOT of crystal malt may have been employed. the fruitier flavor and the absence of alcohol bite give it an extra easy drinking character.

dwilson01, May 23, 2010
Photo of Stoneman78
4.38/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Bottle purchased at O'Brien's

Appearance is dark orange/ruby red hue, thin off-white head mostly retains, light lacing on the glass

Smell is syrupy sweet fruits (pears, peaches, raisins), cherries, some oaky wood, honey, and caramel malts

Taste is initially dominated by caramel malts and a range of fruit flavors (pears and raisins mostly), some sour and tart tones, opens to floral hops and spices, some wood, finishes with sweet malt

Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, thick semi-viscous texture, moderate carbonation

Drinkability is moderate, a light and sweet version of the Old Ale style, wide range of fruits, low alcohol presence, i was quite pleased as this was my first beer from Lightning, looking forward to more from this brewery

Stoneman78, Mar 05, 2008
Photo of Reino
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Damn you TheWolfofMibu, you know exactly what I'll like. Thanks for the bottle.

Appearance- Served at cellar temp, if not warmer, out of a 22oz bottle into my New Belgium goblet. Well, I was warned by Wolf to pour this with extreme care because of the tremendous head, and he was right. I drizzled the beer into my goblet and still got an off-white, three finger head. Right as I took my first whiff, my dog threw up twice. I went off and cleaned up the mess, and when I came back I found a head of over four fingers with a beautiful circle crown well over the fill line. At first the head was creamy, but as it settled VERY slowly, it looked like foamy soap water. Giant bubbles gripped the sides and left nice lacing as the head receded. The beer itself is a dense mix of apricot, amber, gold, and a bit of brown. This is a very good looking beer. It's nearly perfect. It is better than a 4.5 but not quite a 5.

Smell- Loads of fruits going on in the nose. Juicy plums (like the individual wrapped ones that Sunkist does), 100% fruit rolls (the ones that are the healthy alternative to Fruit Roll-Ups), apricot, apple cider, grape juice, golden raisins, figs, and some tart/sour cherry, almost kriek-esque. There is a lot of really good fruit action going on. Those are just the ones I'm able to name, but there are definitely more. There is also a bit of heat lurking in there, but the fruit overpowers it.

Taste- A lot of the same shit that was going on in the nose, but with a shift in power. It starts with this flavor that I can't exactly nail down, but I get: sweetened apple juice, white grapes, apricots, and flashes of those juicy plums. It really reminds me of those fruit rolls (I can't remember the name of them for the life of me!). All of this fruitiness is riding on top of some nice maltiness. I'd say about 70% of this beer's taste is like straight up juice. If it weren't for the malty and boozy finish, Michael Jackson could be pumping this into kids without them knowing any better. It's EXTREMELY sweet, but in the right way. Not cloying at all, and I'm very sensitive to sweetness in beers. This beer tastes like what an English BW wishes it were. It knocks all of the juicy flavors out of the park, and hides it's heat very well. It's there, but not in a burdensome amount. This beer is a tricky one to time, though. I started it warm which brought out all these great flavors, but since I was drinking it on the warm side from the start, the last third got too warm and started to taste "off." So, my advice would be to start it at cellar temp, but share it with a buddy, or drink the second half a bit faster (life's short, go crazy).

Mouthfeel- The carbonation is on the low end of medium which is nice. The body is around medium, too, and coats the tongue well. However, the fruit and alcohol heat get to be wearing on the middle of my tongue by my second pour.

Drinkability- After my first glass I thought, "This is going to get a 5 for drinkability." What I didn't realize is that my first pour was only about 6 ounces of beer because of the crazy head. You can drink a bomber by yourself, but if you tried to drink more than one you would probably go into a diabetic seizure or your tongue and teeth would rot out. This beer is awesome, but share it with a friend. San Diego keeps impressing me. Might be time to move south.

Reino, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of scottoale
4.35/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz. bomber into a tulip, a bright apricot hazy liquid with a small off-white head. The head fades quickly leaving some lace, mild carbonation is right for this style.

The nose is mildly sweet and very malty, a slight peatmoss to the fragrance as well. As it warms, some alcohol rises to the occasion in a subtle way.

The flavor as it smells, is very malty. Not overly sweet, just a rich malty flavor with just enough hop to balance things nicely. The alcohol is almost undetectable in the taste...you'ld never guess it was 9% ABV.

Plenty of body, mild carbonation and a good flavor make this ale a very drinkable one indeed.

scottoale, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of Vancer
4.33/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer sent by soloman420 via the NoBSBIF3, thanks guy!

Orangy amber pour, frothy ass ivory head, sticky ring of lace. Big ol' whiff of west coast IPA - pine, citrus and orange. Very smooth and matly quaff of orange - backed by a sturdy pile of hops. Very well balanced, leans toward the sweet side. NO hint of the 9% alcohol.

This is one tasty tart brew, and I'm a better man for having sampled it.

Damn, the west coast BAs are fortunate people!

Vancer, Apr 19, 2008
Photo of Georgiabeer
4.3/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a murky orange leaning towards light brown. Little head, but what there is sticks around as a thin swirl. Lovely aromas of orange marmelade, fresh baked bread, and light citrusy and herbal hops. The taste is also quite nice with a similar bread-with-marmelade flavor and a nicely bitter but balanced with malt finish. Fairly smooth but there is a little bit of woody bitterness there as well. Quite nice, and my first from this brewery.

Georgiabeer, Apr 20, 2008
Photo of heresy22
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

heresy22, Jan 06, 2012
Photo of d0ggnate
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Great beer from a local brewery here. They recently started bottling it and I was lucky enough to grab a few for myself the other day.

A: 3/4" off white, lacey head that lingers in the glass. Amber red to orange in color that is hazy and just barely able to be seen through.

S: Sweet aroma with a malted hint. Notes of caramel complexion stand out.

T: A mild bitter leads off, but taste ends with sweet, caramel complexion continued.

M: Smooth with a light creaminess.

D: Very drinkable. I could enjoy this same glass for hours, but I know it won't last that long.

I beer I can enjoy after a long day's work. Just sit back, relax and taste the hard work that Lightning has put forth. Very enjoyable.

d0ggnate, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of johlac66
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

johlac66, Sep 28, 2014
Photo of Daniellobo
4.25/5  rDev +11.8%

Daniellobo, Sep 25, 2012
Photo of charlzm
4.22/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Consumed at Stone World Bistro, Escondido CA, 05/21/08.

Cloudy pour - reminds me of a mimosa! Some active carbonation replenishes the thin skin of off-white foam.

Sweet, fruity aroma - apricots?

Creamy, thick texture is nice as the beer slides onto the palate. Sweet, dark fruits (raisins, figs) and sweet malts dominate. Slight pepper flavor and burn on finish. A slight sourness - some Bret present? Unmistakable alcohol presence throughout leaves a burning on the tongue for a long while after.

A tasty treat to sip.

charlzm, May 24, 2008
Photo of throwitallaway
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought from South Bay Liquor. Poured from a bomber into a pint glass. Amber color with small off-white head that dissipates quickly. Smells like a couple of dopplebocks I've had recently. Plum/grape is the main aroma, with a touch of alcohol underneath. First taste that hits you is the plum/grape note, as well as pear. Underneath are malts and a touch of hops. The malts fade into a bready/grain note. Maybe a little caramel and alcohol as well. Mouthfeel is on the thicker side, even though this beer is carbonated more than I would expect. I must admit this is a pretty tasty beer, but it would be hard for me to drink more than one or two pints.

throwitallaway, Mar 16, 2008
Photo of Gobzilla
4.15/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy dark orange with amber brown highlights that had a half finger of head and left a little lacing sticking to the glass. The aroma was quite fruit forward probably from the yeast which consisted of apples, some dark fruits like plums, and a hint of tropical fruit notes like papaya. I also was able to detect caramel notes but not any booze that was well hidden in the nose. The taste was also very fruity and even more potent on the palate but the dark fruits were al little bit more mild on the taste, it didi have passion fruit and apple pear accents and what seemed to be a good caramel malty base. The brew was medium in body with a moderate amount of carbonation which had a sweet, fruity, slight grainy, and silky finish; not boozy at all. It drank good even more so than your average old ale. I was very surprised on how drinkable it was and how well the booze was muted especially for the stlye. Probably one of my favorites from the lightning brewery.

Gobzilla, Nov 27, 2010
Photo of HopHead84
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

I've been hearing about this beer from a friend for a while now, saw it at Holiday Wine Cellar last night, and decided to check i out. For being a San Diego Brewery I really haven't had much of what Lightning offers and I'm eager to try this.

A: Looks good. It's lighter than other old ales I've had and appears a dark orange. The beer pours a one finger head with medium lacing.

S: I'm very surprised to smell a slight funk to it, almost a brett like character not unlike a sour. Apricot, spices, sweet malt.

T: Fruity and sweet. A slight bitterness and an almost dry finish.

M: A nice full mouth feel with very good carbonation.

Very enjoyable and dangerously drinkable.

HopHead84, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of brewandbbq
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bottle.

Pours hazy dark copper with a thin, bone head that struggled to settle up. A whisp on the surface and a few dots of lacing remained for the glass.

Aromatics are filled with bannanas, toffee, and caramel. A nice tropical fruitiness runs underneath but the beer is mainly phenolic and malty.

On the thicker side of medium bodied with a tacky, sticky mouthfeel.

Plump malt, drizzeled caramel, bannanas, and a hint of clove starts the palate. Toffee and some butterscotch follow through.

Finishes with some lingering sweet toffee, a hint of booziness, and plump malt.

Pretty tasty. Not sure if I'm sold on the Old Ale moniker, but a nice American strong ale anyways. Lacking the traditional vineous, almost tart note found in the great Old Ales.

brewandbbq, Dec 07, 2010
Photo of DIM
4.1/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a: This was a pale, hazy peach color with golden edges. It poured with a frothy, sticky, off-white head.

s: This was unique and difficult to describe. It smells to me like musty fruit preserves. Peaches, apricots, black cherries, or pears all come to mind. In addition, I found some floral hops and a bit of alcohol as well.

t: I'm not sure how to describe the fruit flavors in this one. It has peaty, dry, sour, and perfumed qualities to it. Specific flavors of apricots and peaches come to mind. The finish has some mild vanilla and floral hops. I could discern a little alcohol as well. There was something else here I can't put my finger on.

m: Decent body and quiet carbonation. Dry, tart fruit flavors linger for quite a while at the back of the tongue.

d: Big thanks to mikesgroove for this via the barleywine BIF. I've never tasted anything like it.

DIM, Jul 18, 2008
Photo of AmericanGothic
4.08/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint.

A: Pours a slightly hazy, amber color with one finger of pale tan head. Good retention but not much lace. Vigorous carbonation.

S: Banana, brown sugar, and butterscotch. Quite nice.

T: Much like the smell-- banana and brown sugar up front, bit of bitter cola on the finish. As the beer warms, some spicy bubble gum and caramel joins in.

M: Medium body, very smooth and oily.

O: A tasty beer. Not a lot of complexity, but good flavors nevertheless. I would buy this beer again. First beer from Lightning, and eager to try their others now.

AmericanGothic, Dec 17, 2011
Photo of Duff27
4.05/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Small head leaves a collar. Translucent light red body. No lacing.

Sweet cherry/fruity aromas.

Yum. Cherry taste as well. Smooth alcohol heat on the tail end, wouldn't guess 9.0%

Low end of carbonation, medium-thick mouthfeel.

Surprise über like here. Cherry flavors and thicker mouthfeel put i kver the top for me. Thanks TATURBO.

Duff27, Jun 20, 2012
Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to slasher007 for sharing this bottle and thanks to kaiser81 for sending it from California.

Pours a murky dark orange with a small white head. The aroma is very fruity and very sweet. You get some alcohol in the aroma. The flavor is more of the same with sweet fruit and caramel malt. Low carbonation and medium mouthfeel. The only criticism that I have is that it is a little too sweet to rank too highly as far as drinkability is concerned. That being said, it is a very good beer.

Mora2000, Jan 21, 2010
Photo of magictrokini
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Tap at Pizza Port, Solana Beach. Pours murky auburn with a short off-white head. Vanilla, wood, yeast, malt, and dates in the aroma. Oily and smooth mouthfeel. More malt and vanilla in the taste, but now with buttery hops, less wood, and a little old yeast. Fruity and sweet finish.

magictrokini, Dec 10, 2008
Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had the chance to enjoy this one with some friends the other night. I had been holding on to this for several months and decided to bust it out for the tasting. Served at cellar temp and consumed on 08/23/2008.

The pour was nice, a bit lighter then I expected, but still very nice. Very hazy and cloudy amber color, which a rich, decadent looking head of white that just sat of the top for what seemed like forever. Decent carbonation coming up from the top, and overall a very good presentation.

The aroma was also very intresting, lots of fruit here, peaches, plums, hints of pear and a nice grain like base to it were all fairly evident. The flavor was a mix of grain like malts, light fruit, almost like a sour grape, but lighter then what I would have thought. Lots of odd flavors running through here, hard to nalil down the style really, but still very good. Smooth, medium bodied profile did wonders to really show it off and the overall presentation was very nice. A little bit easier to sip for me as it went down quite quickly to say the least.

Again overall not bad at all, I really enjoyed it, and while not being the best one of the night, was certaing more then deserving overall. Very solid offering here.

mikesgroove, Sep 01, 2008
Photo of hamilton23
4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours reddish orange with very little head, if any. Cloudy.

S: Apricots, peaches, some caramel malts.

T: Similar to the nose. Dried stone fruits. A fair amount of sweetness.

M: Well carbonated and slightly dry finish.

O: Not bad for the bucks. I will try this one again.

hamilton23, Jun 16, 2011
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Old Tempest Ale from Lightning Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 58 ratings.