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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

56 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 56
Reviews: 37
rAvg: 3.8
pDev: 13.95%
Wants: 3
Gots: 1 | 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: 56 | Reviews: 37 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of jophish17
jophish17

Georgia

2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

01-10-2012 18:47:47 | More by jophish17
Photo of hawkmage
hawkmage

California

2.5/5  rDev -34.2%

12-31-2011 16:10:09 | More by hawkmage
Photo of DarthKostrizer
DarthKostrizer

California

2.55/5  rDev -32.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Thanks to Pat/Richard for sharing this one at a bottle share

Look: Dark brown in color with a 1/8 inch head and no retention

Smell: Burnt sugar and caramel

Taste: This is where the beer went completely bad. It had a very overpowering caramel sweetness that made the beer hard to drink. In the background was notes of toffee and brown sugar but there was just something odd about the flavors. Just bad

Mouthfeel: Medium body and low carbonation and a bit oily

Overall: I will never drink this beer again. The flavor was just bad and damn near undrinkable

Serving type: bottle

02-05-2012 20:45:29 | More by DarthKostrizer
Photo of CrazyMacHarris99
CrazyMacHarris99

Pennsylvania

2.65/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is not an Old Ale but more of a Strong Ale. Their website lists it as a "UK Strong Ale" and a "Winter Warmer."

Pours a hazy orange color with a thin head that leaves oily legs all over the glass. Smell is dominate bananas or as I like to call it, "circus peanuts." The taste is similar with the bananas. It is fruity with some earthy maltsand not really any hops. The mouthfeel is harsh but not to thick or thin. Drinkability is okay but this is not any one style and is pretty much all over the place.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 03:58:07 | More by CrazyMacHarris99
Photo of RashyGrillCook
RashyGrillCook

California

2.75/5  rDev -27.6%

12-12-2012 01:05:08 | More by RashyGrillCook
Photo of 3HovsepiansBrews
3HovsepiansBrews

California

3/5  rDev -21.1%

12-24-2011 18:51:56 | More by 3HovsepiansBrews
Photo of FosterJM
FosterJM

California

3/5  rDev -21.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1046th Review on BA
Bottle to Snifter
22oz (Was told 2010 bottle)

Thanks to Pat/Richard for sharing
Shared at MrHirschybars tasting

App- A semi brown, creamy looking pour with a very small head. A few dots of cling and that was about it. Along the lines of an old ale, but a lot more translucent.

Smell- For an old ale this was very sweet and a bit of putting. I found the nose to be a mix of vanilla, crème and some alcohol.

Taste- I will say I wasn't the biggest fan of this one. Old Ales are a style I am trying to get more into with Adam (semi old ale) and the Anniversary beers from the Bruery. This was way far too forward sweetness with just a weird flavor note.

Mouth- A medium bodied beer with somewhat of a medium carbonation level. Pretty thick malts remain on this one with some vanilla.

Drink- Overall, I think my hopes were a bit dashed by this one. Maybe this bottle is just a bit too old or just lost something. Overly sweet without much balance.

Serving type: bottle

01-23-2012 18:14:50 | More by FosterJM
Photo of ALBuff
ALBuff

Hawaii

3.25/5  rDev -14.5%

03-25-2013 00:06:46 | More by ALBuff
Photo of beveragesampler
beveragesampler

Indiana

3.3/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

22oz Bottle
A: Pours deep cloudy amber with little to no head and no lacing.

S: On the nose is a sweet caramel subtitle ginger and spices.

M: clean, rich and smooth with a subtitle lingering malty sweetness. Medium-heavy body, low carbonation.

T: complexities of butterscotch, caramel, toffee, ginger, spice, bread, dried fruit, banana and some citrus from the hops. Plenty going on here, well done.

F: slightly oily with a nice subtitle citrus that lingers for just a bit. 9%ABV well hidden.

O: reminiscent of a light barley wine style but with a focus on the hops. Good representation of a winter warmer. it should age well over the next few years to become more complex. I would enjoy having this brew again.

Cheers!

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2011 02:13:29 | More by beveragesampler
Photo of number1bum
number1bum

Pennsylvania

3.43/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Got this one quite awhile back from BeerTruth. Never heard of nor had anything from this brewery before. Thanks bitch.

Crack of the cap reveals only a very slight hiss, and the pour produces very little head. The brew is a burnt orange color, pretty thick looking, with just a bubbly head that does not keep any lacing.

Smell is not terribly robust, but does reveal some sweet, bready caramel malt and fruit. Fruity aromas are tropical, like maybe passion fruit, and also some apricot. It does start to open up a bit more as it warms.

Taste starts off with a nice burst of sweet, juicy fruit flavor. It's an interesting fruitiness, like maybe some apricot, as well as mango and papaya, and some citrus. Has a slightly puckering quality to it, not really a sourness but just a slight tartness. There is a slightly astringent graininess to the brew, as well as some caramel malt sweetness. I don't get much in the way of hops, but this has to be at least a year old so who knows what was there when this was fresh. There is a subtle booziness, as well.

Mouthfeel is on the plus side of a medium body but suffers a bit from the previously noted slight astringency. Unsurprisingly, the carbonation is light. It also has a somewhat chalky feel and aftertaste. I find the chalkiness to be rather annoying, in fact.

This is a pretty good brew, a little unpolished perhaps and rough around the edges. Shows some promise in terms of the flavor, though. Not bad. Worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

09-02-2009 02:26:18 | More by number1bum
Photo of zillo043068
zillo043068

New Jersey

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

08-17-2013 02:05:18 | More by zillo043068
Photo of ebrifan
ebrifan

California

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

07-23-2013 06:52:32 | More by ebrifan
Photo of yokken
yokken

Minnesota

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

03-18-2012 05:01:48 | More by yokken
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of JohnCoctosin. Served in a snifter.

Pours a slightly-hazed reddish-copper color with a very thin white head and some light spotty lacing on the way down. The nose carries a slight amount of stone fruits plus a bit of toasted bread and caramel. Flavor has a bit of fruit plus malty sweetness. A bit of brown sugar and toffee. Light body with fairly-light carbonation. Decent enough, but not something I'd come back to.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2011 23:55:25 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of SocalKicks
SocalKicks

California

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

04-08-2012 14:33:25 | More by SocalKicks
Photo of UCLABrewN84
UCLABrewN84

California

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at a tasting at MrHirschybar's place.

Pours a semi-clear amber color with a tan head that settles to a film on the top of the beer. Small dots of lace form on the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, dark fruits, and some candy-like aromas. Taste is pretty much the same with a very sweet finish. This beer has a light level of carbonation with a crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good old ale but nothing too exciting. Very sweet.

Serving type: bottle

01-22-2012 22:03:55 | More by UCLABrewN84
Photo of iatethecloudsfor
iatethecloudsfor

Vermont

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%

05-29-2014 03:30:42 | More by iatethecloudsfor
Photo of BuckeyeNation
BuckeyeNation

Iowa

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Glossy apricot with butterscotch borders. Infrequent bubbles gradually find their way from the bottom of the glass to the underside of a pale golden crown. A short collar of lace and a few splotches of suds don't exactly qualify as eye candy.

The nose needs some sort of a hook for the next highest score to be granted. It's most reminiscent of an aged English barleywine, which isn't a bad thing at all. Sweetish malts and an understated fruitiness are present. Alcohol is not.

Despite being brewed in San Diego County, Old Tempest tastes English. That's what the brewers were shooting for when they used British malts, British hops and British ale yeast. Just because the mission was accomplished doesn't necessarily mean that good beer was the result. This isn't a bad old ale, but it isn't anywhere near special.

The malt side of the equation tastes like a mixture of pale and something earthy, toasted and nutty (like Munich) that makes the beer seem more like a bock than an old ale. Almost no hoppiness doesn't change that impression. The ale yeast adds an apricot fruitiness that is at least one extra flavor facet. An estimated one year in the bottle has ensured smooth edges and no heat.

The mouthfeel keeps pace with the rest of the attributes. It's a little loosey-goosey and isn't as full as it could be, but it makes drinking quickly or slowly equally easy. Better too few bubbles than too many, which is almost always the case.

As the highest rated offering from Lightning Brewery, I expected more out of Old Tempest Ale. For my money, their American malt liquor (Ionizer Lager) is the better bet. With all the outstanding beer coming out of SoCal, it's no wonder these guys get lost in the shuffle.

Serving type: bottle

07-16-2009 21:45:56 | More by BuckeyeNation
Photo of ChainGangGuy
ChainGangGuy

Georgia

3.5/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a hazy, dark orange body with a scant, off-white head.

Smell: Overall, a fruity aroma, with lesser notes of wood, brown sugar, dried grasses.

Taste: Tangy fruitiness, some orange and apricot. Earthy underlying maltiness, lightly sweet, and with a hint of brown sugar. Vague woody taste. Grassy hop character with a medium bitterness. Splash of good, clean alcohol. Another helping of fruit and tang for the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-plus body. Fairly mild carbonation.

Drinkability: Not exactly spectacular, though a fairly tasty beer in general.

Serving type: bottle

06-28-2008 23:23:46 | More by ChainGangGuy
Photo of mentor
mentor

Colorado

3.65/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours almost no head over a murky red-rust liquid. Smells potent fruity, weakly of caramel, vanilla, and also mild clean alcohol. Smells of raisin, plum, cherry, green apple, oranges, sweet tart. Lots going on in regards to the heavy fruity sweetness.

Tastes wet fruity with wet malty sweet and mild alcohol. Tangy fruity, raisin, brown sugar, soured caramel, vanilla, berry, oranges, and apricot stickiness. Despite how wet the beer is in the mouth, it dries out pretty well in the finish leaving a heavy and dusty peach memory.

Thick in the mouth that even hangs on the tongue despite the mild alcohol and weak soda pop carbonation. Overall, it comes across as a bit disjointed. Not quite sticky sweet.

Serving type: bottle

09-09-2010 04:54:52 | More by mentor
Photo of GarretD
GarretD

Minnesota

3.75/5  rDev -1.3%

04-11-2012 03:59:05 | More by GarretD
Photo of rallison
rallison

California

3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Just picked this one up today.

A: Beautiful orange color with a hint of red topped by a nice 1 finger white head that leaves some good lacing. Great looking beer!

S: Toffee, candied fruits and tropical fruits. Smells tasty.

T: Lots of toffee and candied fruits (especially candied oranges) are present. Definitely is a sweeter beer, but just keeps from being too sweet. Distinct old ale flavors going on. Much better balance of flavors than fresh North Coast Old Stock Ale. Slight alcohol presence, but all in all very balanced.

M: Smooth and a bit creamy. Rich flavours, but lighter on the tongue with some delicacy. Very pleasing.

D: Extremely good. Gets easier to drink as you go on.

Highly recommended. This one drinks like I wish North Coast's version would fresh. Very tasty. Wonder how this one will age...

Edit: Another bottle, and I pick up some acetaldehyde. Still good, but not great. Scores lowered to reflect this (original score was 4.5/4/4.5/4.5/4.5).

Further Edit: Just not very good. Too loaded with green apple.

Serving type: bottle

01-16-2008 05:42:59 | More by rallison
Photo of mactrail
mactrail

Washington

3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Sweet at first and last taste. Rich and nutty. Clear amber in the tulip glass. Hop-flavored butterscotch. A total malt experience that is fine for sipping. Fragrance is quite remarkable. Seems to bring together pear brandy with raspberries. Flavors include a little mince meat pie with a touch of rum. But the whole effect is lighter and more buttery than most strong ales.

Personally, I find I prefer barley wines, which this seems to be only with less hops. But I'm glad to see one San Diego County brewery pursuing the brew less traveled.

Serving type: bottle

10-08-2011 04:24:01 | More by mactrail
Photo of srandycarter
srandycarter

California

3.85/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Honey apricot body, small head leaves quickly, thin lacing persists throughout.

S - Sweet, candy fruit dominates nose, under base of solid malt.

T - Reminds me of Winter - candy fruits, I almost think of fruitcake. Toffee malt undercurrent. Bitter hopping finishes, but not completely balanced - still finishes a little cloying and sweet for me.

M - Fills every nook and cranny of the mouth. Small carbonation is nice with this one.

D - As mentioned, a little heavy and cloying. One is nice, though!

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2008 05:05:21 | More by srandycarter
Photo of hoppymeal
hoppymeal

Michigan

3.95/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy, rusty peach in color with a small light cream colored head that recedes to a ring. Aroma is a slittle sweet malt, caramel and raisins, some green apple tartness, a bit of grassy hoppiness and a hint of the alcohol. Taste follows with the green apple flavor being dominant but well balanced by the sweet caramel maltiness. Just a bit of dry grassy hops in the finish though pretty low hop profile overall, fitting for the style. Mouthfeel is medium to heavy in body, somewhat thick and sugary with a nice creamy carbonation that accentuates that. The somewhat tart green apple flavor balances out the large body. A very interesting and unique beer, not at all what I expected, though I was happy with the outcome. Would like to try another with some age. Thanks Carlos for the opportunity.

Serving type: bottle

04-25-2008 02:38:40 | More by hoppymeal
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Old Tempest Ale from Lightning Brewery
85 out of 100 based on 56 ratings.