Old Tempestuous - Lightning Brewery

Not Rated.
Old TempestuousOld Tempestuous

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

38 Reviews
THE BROS
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no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 38
Hads: 63
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 9%
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:
Beer added by: Halcyondays on 09-04-2007

Formerly Old Tempest Ale
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 38 | Hads: 63
Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.5/5  rDev -10%
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. (462 characters)

Photo of Thorpe429
3.5/5  rDev -10%
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. (436 characters)

Photo of brentk56
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 1.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: A crazy gusher and I finally was able to capture some of the liquid in the glass, with very little head left to cap it; the liquid was a hazy amber

Smell: Fruity, with pear, apple, cherry, banana and nectarine tones

Taste: The fruity flavors in the aroma dominate the front end, with a very sweet aspect building through the middle; boozy and somewhat harsh, in the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium to full body with moderate carbonation

Overall: After the gushing I thought this was going to be atrocious but I was pleasantly surprised; not the best thing I have ever tasted but different and not unenjoyable (621 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.5/5  rDev -10%
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. (1,719 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (1,225 characters)

Photo of womencantsail
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A light amber color with some golden notes to it and a very mild white foam.

S: An incredible fruitiness to the nose. A bit of apple, pears, perhaps some mildly tart plums, and a few others that I can't quite identify. A definite sweetness from the malt and no alcohol that I can detect.

T: More of the same as the beer hits the tongue. The fruits seem to be even more intense (if that's possible) especially on the apple and pear front. The plums and perhaps some tropical fruits find their way as well. A slightly sugary and sweet flavor goes along with the fruits, but could be a bit much at times.

M: A medium bodied beer which I would prefer to be a bit heavier. But hey, at least it isn't syrupy. The carbonation is subdued which works well.

D: Overall, this is probably the best beer from Lightning that I've had to date. I'm not sure how they got such a fruity character to it using English yeasts, but I really enjoyed this one. (944 characters)

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.5/5  rDev -10%
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. (568 characters)

Photo of mactrail
3.85/5  rDev -1%
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. (542 characters)

Photo of Mora2000
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
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. (492 characters)

Photo of Halcyondays
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
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. (726 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
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. (442 characters)

Photo of HopHead84
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
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. (677 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to Solomon420 for his generosity on this mofo.

Poured a deep orange with a small white head, good carbonation on this too. Taste is fruits, mostly dark, lots of toffee, like an Enlgish bwine, like raisins, sweet and sugary, caramel, grains, good dose of hops. Mouthfeel is nice and warming, abv is sharp but not overpowering at all. I could not believe it was 9ABV. Could have passed for a English bwine. (412 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (336 characters)

Photo of Gobzilla
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (973 characters)

Photo of FosterJM
3/5  rDev -22.9%
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. (969 characters)

Photo of Vancer
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
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! (447 characters)

Photo of srandycarter
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
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! (507 characters)

Photo of DarthKostrizer
2.62/5  rDev -32.6%
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 (558 characters)

Photo of DIM
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (861 characters)

Photo of charlzm
4.2/5  rDev +8%
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. (524 characters)

Photo of brewandbbq
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
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. (760 characters)

Photo of mentor
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
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. (706 characters)

Photo of magictrokini
4/5  rDev +2.8%
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. (282 characters)

Photo of number1bum
3.42/5  rDev -12.1%
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. (1,471 characters)

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Old Tempestuous from Lightning Brewery
87 out of 100 based on 38 ratings.