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Dark O' The Moon - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Dark O' The MoonDark O' The Moon

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

139 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 139
Hads: 558
Avg: 3.9
pDev: 23.33%
Wants: 98
Gots: 91 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  6.50% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: jletts on 11-06-2007

Stout brewed with pumpkin, and pumpkin seeds with cinnamon added. Spookily smooth and chocolatey with a hint of cinnamon - brewed annually for Elysian's Great Pumpkin Beer Festival.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Reviews: 139 | Hads: 558
Photo of VashonGuy
4/5  rDev +2.6%

First things first: this is not really a pumpkin ale, nothing like Pumking or Punkin or Night Owl, or a host of other pumpkin ales. It's not pumpkin pie in a bottle; it's not sweet, and it's not even very pumpkiny.

This is much closer to a traditional stout, albeit with spices, especially cinnamon. It's full of roasty flavors, and a little bitter. It's on the dry side. The pumpkin is there, but it's in the background, and you'll have to look for it.

Considering this as a slightly unusual stout, I really like this. It's a much better beer than most of the pumpkin ales out there. It doesn't fit a pure style niche, but more power to Dick Cantwell for his originality.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a handsome pitch black with a mocha or chocolate colored head of creamy foam that lasts and adorns the glass. The nose is cinnamon and nutmeg. A faint bit of allspice and a light fragrant ginger to really perk up the nose. The malt on the nose is roasty but biscuity too. Creamy and smooth smelling even on the nose. There is a faint bit of light chocolate and that is a surprise. Pumpkin scent is hard to find but it's there. taste is heavy with cinnamon. The body is creamy adn the malt is impeccable. The roast is deep and flows freely. At the back palate there is a slight bitter from that roast that is so lovely. The spices are all there but I wish I could taste more pumpkin. Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove and ginger. The chocolate flavor seems to smooth out this beer without really taking center stage. The mouthfeel is creamy and silken. There should not be any alcohol on this palate at only 6.5 percent but there is a twinge of it in the finish. There is a slight hop bitterness that takes the tongue for a brief moment before this one finishes dry and with that lovely dry pie crust to linger and that very dominant cinnamon.

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Photo of stratusjeans
3/5  rDev -23.1%

A: Black. Shined a light through it, or tried, because light cannot pass this dark beast. Half a finger of light brown foam. Large bubbles in the foam, definitely more course than smooth. Poured into a snifter. 4.25/5

S: Cinnamon, like I would imagine snorting a pile of cinnamon would be like. The smell has a dryness to it. As the beer warmed up to room temperature, a pit of the pumpkin scent begins to come through. 3/5

M: Very nice, not heavy. 4/5

T: Cinnamon, again, a lot. The flavors dissipates quickly but doesn't completely go away. A tiny amount of it lingers on your tongue. As the beer warms the pumpkin flavor begins to come out as well. Not much sweetness which I think works well for this beer. 3/5

O: I would call this a cinnamon stout and nothing else. The cinnamon was far too strong for my taste, but as the beer warmed it actually smoothed out, both in aroma and taste. Then again my taste buds could have been slowly dying. Bonus tip: pairs quite well with Oreos. Not my favorite beer, but glad I tried it. I'm very much looking forward to Punkuccino tomorrow which I think will be more up my alley. 3.5/5

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Photo of antott0523
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Opaque black coffee with a foamy light brown head that stays. Sticks to the side of the glass a bit as well. No visible carbonation.

S: Cinnamon up the wazoo. They have managed to capture the essence of ground cinnamon. Quote remarkable. Roasted malts and coffee barely sneak through.

T: Cinnamon across the palate and from start to finish. The finish is moderately bitter, with minor notes of coffee and semi-sweet chocolate.

M: Smooth with mild carbonation.

Overall: So how does this stack up against the other Elysian pumkpin beers (except for Owl, which I have not yet tried)? I was disappointed by The Great Pumpkin, which I thought was too bitter, boozy, and had an artificial and chemical-like flavor to it. Dark O' is smooth and natural. The characteristics are different from Punkuccino, but I feel this beer is equally as strong for its own reasons. Both noses are highly spicy. Dark O' provides a burst of cinnamon, while Punku has a broader fall spice profile including nutmeg, allspice, and of course, coffee. This is a great stout, with warming characteristics brought out by the up front notes of cinnamon. One of the more unique pumpkin ales I have had that manages to balance spice nicely with a solid stout base.

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Photo of Bfarr
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Black with thin brown foamy head with okay retention. Rich espresso, cocoa and cinnamon aroma. Coffee and rich dark chocolate, pumpkin pie and roasty notes. Coffee lingers with light warming. Thin and light carbonation

Rich aroma and complex taste accented by pumpkin. It's balanced and enjoyable but the thin feel is slightly distracting.

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Photo of maltlab
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Great stout, cinnamon hits you up front, but it is never overpowering or off-putting. Notes of chocolate and coffee throughout, subtle notes of pumpkin on the finish. It is like drinking coffee, chocolate French toast.

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Photo of Tone
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a black color. 3/2 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of pumpkin, nutmeg, slight all spice, slight ginger, and sweet malt. Fits the style of a Pumpkin Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. Tastes of pumpkin, nutmeg, ginger, sweet malt, roasted malt, and hint of hop. Overall, great appearance, good aroma, body, and blend.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

22oz bottle poured into a goblet glass. It has a black as night body with no head to it. The smell is of chocolate, pumpkin and a hint of cinnamon. The taste has a roasty chocolaty taste up front then a little pumpkin and cinnamon come in near the finish. The mouthfeel is smooth and overall a really good version of a pumpkin and stout.

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Photo of scootny
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This is superb. Elysian does pumpkin better than any brewery I've come across. This has a rich thick head sitting on a clear but opaquely dark brown liquid. Lots of lace and good retention. Superior aromatics bring copious amounts of chocolate and coffee as well as a thick slice of pie topped with cinnamon. The taste is much the same. It's like drinking pie and mocha together. The finish brings a graham cracker crust and earthy hop bitterness that evokes a rich cup of coffee. Not an sweet beer overall and highly sessionable. Feel is perfectly weighted with a light supple caressing of the mouth and tongue. Smoothly carbonated with just enough liveliness. This drinks like a dry Irish stout. Great beer and one to seek out often.

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Photo of taylor714914
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

While Elysian hasn’t impressed me much in the past, I was pleasantly surprised by this.  Deep and Dark, the beer pours a deep black with little to no head.  Smells of pumpkin, cinnamon, and some smokey malts.  Flavor is great.  A smooth balance of pumpkin, baking spice, and a lingering smokiness form the patent malt.  The flavors pass back and forth playing a perfect balance.  The mouthfeel is spot on, smooth and slick, but not oily. 

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Photo of n2185
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 4

A: pours black with a finger of tan head that fades into a frothy ring with little lacing.

S: roasted malts smoke and with semi-sweet chocolate. Some notes of pumpkin spices, but they're subtle.

T: roasted malts, smoke, and cocoa here as well. Notes of pumpkin and spice as well.

M: medium-thick body with lowish carbonation, this beer is just short of watery.

O: a decent beer overall. A bit simplistic, but enjoyable.

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Photo of MNishCT77
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

22 oz. bottle obtained in the greater Washington D.C. area, 2013 vintage but unclear bottling date, poured into my *** snifter glass, drank 11/6-7/13 over an hour

A: 3/3 - dark-brown-to-black, no clarity, poured with a creamy mahogany head that settled into a 1/2 finger glass lacing with some froth on top. moderate carbonation

S: 9/12 - pumpkin spice + malt

T: 17/20 - on the anterior tongue, there's little bitterness supplied by the chocolate and roasted malts; in the middle of the mouth, the pumpkin spice, malts and alcohol arise; surprisingly, little-to-no aftertaste

M: 4/5 - incredibly creamy mouthfeel, especially impressive in the context of moderate carbonation

O: 9/10 - one of the top American pumpkin ales, and I love the admixture of pumpkin and stouts, especially roast maltiness with subtle pumpkin pie and sweetness; definitely recommended for post-Thanksgiving dinner

TOTAL = 42/50

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Photo of zacharrry
4.66/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Love at first sip--an absolute explosion of sweet pumpkin, savory spice, and bitter dark chocolate. I've tried a lot of different pumpkin beers this season (and several others from Elysian) and this is the one I was looking for. The feel is thick without being syrupy, the carbonation is pleasing, and the color is a deep dark autumnal red-brown. After the first few sips the malt and cinnamon dominate the palette until the beer warms up and the pumpkin shines through once more. Great ride and a great finish. Looking forward to having this again next year.

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Photo of superspak
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 ounce bottle into pint glass, 2013 release. Pours nearly opaque black color with a 2 finger dense tan head with great retention, that reduces to a small cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass. Aromas of big pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, gingerbread, raisin bread, toast, chocolate, cocoa, light roast, dark bread, and toasted earthiness. Incredible aromas with great balance and complexity of pumpkin, spice, and bready/roasted malt notes; with good strength. Taste of pumpkin, cinnamon, milk chocolate, cocoa, gingerbread, clove, raisin bread, toast, light roast, dark bread, and toasted earthiness. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, gingerbread, clove, raisin bread, toast, milk chocolate, cocoa, light roast, and toasted earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance, complexity, and robustness of pumpkin, spice, and dark/roasted malt flavors; with a nice malt/spice balance and no cloying flavors after the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a moderately creamy and smooth mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with minimal warming present after the finish. Overall this is an excellent pumpkin stout. All around great complexity and balance of pumpkin, spice, and malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Photo of EBeckett3
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance – Black with a small brown colored head. The head fades relatively quickly leaving just some light foam on the surface of the beer and light laces.

Smell-light vanilla and chocolate/ pumpkin pie.

Taste – dark chocolate flavor androasted malt with vanilla. Pumpkin flavor light, but grows more intense as the base of the glass. It is the core of the stout along with the malt.

Mouthfeel – Medium with a slight vanilla-cinnamon aftertaste. Almost creamy.

Overall – Very tasty. A fine stout. Pumpkin, not pie.

Served in a 16 oz pint glass at the Pourhouse, Westmont, NJ

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Photo of Darkmagus82
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from bottle into a pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours a nearly pitch black color with a small brown colored head. The head fades relatively quickly leaving just some light foam on the surface of the beer and almost no lace on the sides of the glass.

Smell – The aroma is a wonderful blend of milk chocolate aromas mixed with a nice pumpkin pie. The pumpkin pie consists of a brown sugar sweetened, roasted pumpkin smell mixed with a nice showing of cinnamon along with some nutmeg and allspice. Some lighter aromas of a vanilla and a light biscuit nature combined with the chocolate and pumpkin pie, acting as a melding and bridging set of aromas; overall the smell is quite fantastic.

Taste – The taste begins with a darker chocolate flavor mixed with some bready and roasted malt flavors. The pumpkin flavor upfront is rather light, but grows more intense as the flavor advances. The vanilla is strongest upfront with the chocolate with both losing some potency as the taste moves on. While the chocolate and vanilla fade a tad, the pumpkin kicks it up with a more flavors of brown sugar and spices of tons of cinnamon as well as some nutmeg and allspice getting more potent as well. In the end with the increase in the pumpkin pie flavors and a still rather strong presence of the chocolate (even though slightly lightened from the beginning)and roasted flavors a rather nice chocolate and roasted pumpkin pie flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the average to slightly thinner side with a carbonation level that is on the lower side. The lower carbonation is perfect for the mix of pumpkin pie and roasted and chocolate flavors. A little thicker of a body may have helped these flavors along further, but even with that said, the feel was rather nice overall.

Overall – A rather tasty dark pumpkin ale with a great blend of roasted, chocolate, cinnamony, and pumpkin beer flavors. Very tasty.

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Photo of oberon
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours a deep chocolate brown with a creamy dark beige head that left one full ring of dark lace as it settled into a frothy mass.Wow cinnamon and chocolate really jump out at ya in the nose,the cinnamon is spicy and goes well with the chocolate and roasted notes.A nice creamy feel to the beer adds to it's richness and pairs well with the flavors.Mild roast and chocolate that runs into a big dose of spicy sweet cinnamon in the finish.One of the best...if not the best pumpkin beer of any style I have had,Elysian can throw down with some pumpkin beers.

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Photo of garuda
2.72/5  rDev -30.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 2.25 | feel: 2.25 | overall: 2.25

A - Black, tan head has good retention and good lacing.

S - Chocolatey, roasty, touch of cinnamon and pumpkin spices.

T - Takes a turn for the worse here. Touch of roasty chocolate, then it's completely dominated by cinnamon. Tough to get much else out of it, maybe an ambiguous bitterness? Tough to tell if it's bitterness or cinnamon burn.

M - Medium/full body, medium carbonation. Cinnamon burn kills it though.

O - Out of all the recommendations for this beer, I can't believe I never heard anyone remark on the cinnamon bomb this beer is. I barely finished my half of the bottle, and my wife had to drain pour hers. The amount of cinnamon is just rediculous.

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Photo of MDDMD
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-dark brown black color with a nice tan head and good lacing

S-chocolate, pumpkin, cinnamon, light roasted malt

T-pumpkin, cinnamon, chocolate, light coffee, mild bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, creamy, smooth

O-delicious stout with great balance of flavors

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Photo of SFACRKnight
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I drank my body weight of this beer last year, was really excited when I saw it on the shelf this year so I had to jump up on it again, by far my favorite pumpkin beer of the season.
Poured 22oz bomber into NB globe, pours almost black with an edge of brown when held to the light, thick 2 inches of creamy beige foam on top. Cinnamon hits the nose first and mellows into a roasted chocolate and cocoa nibs aroma. Tastes the same as the nose, I get cinnamon up front with a creamy cocoa aftertaste with a bit of roast malt to bring it all together. Smooth drinker, but I wish the mouthfeel was a bit more full. Overall, I was looking forward to this beer for the last month, and am glad I nabbed a bottle. I thought maaybe my palate would have changed from last year, but if anything else thijs years batch was even better than memory served.

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Photo of BeerWizard
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Was really excited to find this one in CO, since I've been wanting to try it for a while and figured it'd never show up down here. Label is awesome, but at 6-something abv don't expect to be turning into a werewolf after drinking it or anything, just a nice, warming stout. Pours black with a cocoa colored head and looks quite tantalizing. Nose gives off a lot of cinnamon and cocoa. Taste is REALLY smoky; wife said it was like drinking a cigar and I said it was like licking an ash tray. Other than that you get cinnamon, and if the pumpkin is in there anywhere (which I'm sure it is), it really takes a back seat to the spice and smoke, which is just all up in your palate. Overall I actually liked it as a seasonal stout and found the flavor really intriguing, but would probably opt for some Night Owl or Great Pumpkin in place of this one if looking for a pumpkin beer. Also didn't think this warranted the ten dollar price tag, but still glad I got to try it.

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Photo of Smurf2055
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark black, little tan head.

Smells like chocolate and spice.

Taste is spicy and a bit sour.

Had this on tap before, and having it on bottle now, I know this doesn’t age well. It is a great beer when it’s first released, and am basing the stats on that. TREAT is still way better for this style, even when DotM is at its peak.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Solid black and a notable amount of sediment that poured out. Espresso colour foam tops out at 1 finger, it crowds the edge of the glass and makes a thin layer of micro bubbles forming a thin gauzy dressing on top.

S: The scent is deeply toasted and dark, with acrid dark coffee, toasted coco beans, toasted yeasty bread and caramelized squash, finishing with wet leaves and earth. It's everything that halloween smells like to me, deeply dark, and burnt by the devils fiery tongue.

T: Surprisingly smooth, with dark caramelized squash notes up front followed with sweet sugars and musky & earthy vegative notes. Follows up quickly with more acrid notes of coffee and coco balanced will with vanilla creaminess. Herb flavours are present, leafy herbs, not sweet spices. Finishes with an acrid taste of coffee, coco beans and burnt toast.

M: Surprisingly more light than what I expected, thin to medium bodied and dry on the finish. Noticeably short longer time, it vaporizes in the mouth and leaves nothing behind.

O: Overall is manages to present the squash smell and flavour exceptionally well and pairs that sweet and musky earthiness with toasted scents and flavours. A fuller mouth feel would enhance the experience, however still and great beer mid year to remind me of halloweens past.

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Photo of Neorebel
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance - Opaque and practically black in color, with very minimal carbonation. The tan head recedes to a thin sliver immediately after a strong poor. A small bit of lacing is left on the glass.

Smell - Very organic pumpkin pie flavors are the most noticeable in the aroma - Sweetened pumpkin, vanilla, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Roasted malts are secondary but present.

Taste - The pumpkin elements don't overpower as the aroma suggests - the toasted malts and dark chocolate aspects are quite strong. This is pretty balanced. One can even pick up some citrus hop flavors, and also some sort of herbal taste... perhaps fennel?

The mouth feel is light to medium. Finish is very crisp, and somewhat dry.

Overall, this is only the second pumpkin stout I have ever had, and the experience has been quite pleasing. I prefer this to the Fisherman's Pumpkin Stout. I am excited to try other Elysian pumpkin ales as well, because they seem to fall nicely in between brewers who may be too extreme with the pumpkin aspect, and those who barely make it detectable in the beer.

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Photo of Scotchboy
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Uber late-season keg tapped at Bittercreek, Boise ID...

A: Nearly opaque black with a pretty good tan head and some lacing.

S: Fairly balanced nose of pumpkin and roasted chocolate malt...pumpkin isn't overwhelming which is nice. Background spices of cinnamon and maybe nutmeg or ginger as well? Only the cinnamon is clear but its in the background and that is a good thing.

T: Follows the nose; roasted malt is moderate, spices and pumpkin are in balance and not overwhelming. The pumpkin character is not vegetable-like either...also a BIG plus. Would like more chocolate and roast IMO.

MF: Thinner medium feel, this is no imperial stout. Fairly quaffable at this abv...dry, spicy-ish finish.

O: Decent pumpkin stout but not in the same class as Pumpkinator or TREAT.

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Dark O' The Moon from Elysian Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 139 ratings.