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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Night Owl Pumpkin AleNight Owl Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
88
very good

326 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 326
Hads: 1,052
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 114
Gots: 165 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  6.70% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-11-2002

Brewed with 150 lbs. of pumpkin in each batch. Made with Pale, Munich and Crystal malts green and roasted pumpkin seeds, pumpkin in the mash, boil and fermenter. Bittered with Horizon hops. Spiced in conditioning with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger and allspice.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 326 | Hads: 1,052
Photo of iamproph
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Unbelievable Pumpkin beer. Had it out of the 22oz bomber, on tap, and now the 16oz bottle. Just the right amount of pumpkin flavor without overpowering it, this is my go-to fall beer. (185 characters)

Photo of KYFriedChildren
4.85/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this bottle of liquid deliciousness at my favorite bottleshop, Pinnochio's Beer Garden in luxurious Media, Pennsylvania.

Appearance- Pours into my pint glass a vibrant dark orange color with a summer soft and creamy off-white head. It is absolutely delicious looking.

Smell- You get pretty much all of the spices that you would expect in a spiced pumpkin ale. The nutmeg is there. The cinnamon is there and the cloves are also there. While those are expected to have those tingle the nostrils there is a cream-like smell that adds to the pumpkin pie-ness of the scent. Divine.

Taste- Everything a pumpkin ale should be. Creamy, spicy perfection. The spices aren't overpowering and ... I don't even know how to say it, it's perfect.

Mouthfeel- The mouthfeel is just as creamy and smooth as the taste and smell would lead you to believe. It's thicker than something like Post Road Pumpkin but not too thick. Like I said, creamy.

Drinkability- I personally could drink many. Because of the spice factor it could turn some off but I found it to be the perfect balance. Very smooth and drinkable.

I know that there is some hate on the pumpkin beer, but anyone who is into pumpkin beer (like I myself am) will find this as the quintessential pumpkin beer (take that Pumking!). Those who don't think they're fans should reconsider with this wonderful iteration on the style. (1,380 characters)

Photo of TheBungyo
4.77/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was surprised to come across this so early. Surprised and very happy. Body is gorgeous orange and head is thick and creamy. Nose is awash in cinnamon, nutmeg and oh yes, lots of pumpkin. Taste is more of the same with additions of buttery notes, and vanilla. Man, this is THE beer when it comes to pumpkin ales ... I've never had one that did it better. I need to buy lots of this! (383 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.75/5  rDev +21.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Appearance - hazy, orange/amber, a finger of yellowish white foam with good stick and good resilience.

Aroma - rich, spicy, pumpkiny aroma, just like I like it.

Taste - huge mouthful of pumpkin and spice. Roasty and delicious, wow! A bit of crustiness in there, clove and allspice on the swallow and into the aftetaste. I'm in heaven. Nutmeg and background ginger make this one hard to leave alone, it's disappearing fast.

Mouthfeel - sturdy body, good weight to it. Low carbonation and easy going down.

Drinkability - the best new pumpkin beer of the season so far, better than Pumking which had an off year IMO. At any rate, one of the best I've *ever* had. Huge thanks to Matt for recommending this one. (710 characters)

Photo of Bookseeb
4.73/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Appearance is a hazy orange amber with a thick head that stays put leaving a nice lace. Smell of sweet malt and pumpkin spice. Taste is well rounded with pumpkin and spice leaving a nice light spicy aftertaste. Mouthfeel is a little light for me in this beer with low carbonation, smooth and creamy making for an easy drink. This has to be one of the best pumpkin ales I've tried and one I'll keep ordering. (407 characters)

Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
4.69/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a nice Brown with orange tones, head dissipates a bit to quickly but does leave nice lacing.

S- Smells of pumpkin spice, bread, brown sugar, perfect.

T- Not as heavy as the nose on the beer, which at first was a bit of a disappointment but as I drank more it actually made it very very nice. Bread (pie crust!), Pumpkin, Cinnamon, Burnt Carmel, Roses.
Man this is a great beer.

M- nice carbonation, not astringent overall goodness.

D- Hands down the best Pumpkin Beer I have had. I could drink this year round. A session Pumpkin Beer. Props to Elysian. (565 characters)

Photo of bcostner1
4.67/5  rDev +19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pumpkin orange, nice head; great autumnal hues.

S: Awesome...fall spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice) and pumpkin.

T: Top notch pumpkin ale. Follows the nose with very pleasant doses of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, minimal clove (good thing...don't like a lot of clove in my pumpkin ales), pie crust, and pumpkin flesh finish.

M: Easy drinker for sure...has enough body to be satisfying but is definitely not overdone. At 5.9%, no booze present at all. Highly sessionable pumpkin ale in my opinion.

Really enjoyed this one. I put it up there with Schlafly, CCB, and Uinta Oak Jacked as my favorites for the style. Would definitely have again. (648 characters)

Photo of mudhoney
4.64/5  rDev +19%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This wonderful autumn ale has all the spices of a harvest ale, and the homebaked flavor of pumpkin pie that add character to a serious fall treat.
This is definitely a beer worth waiting for.
I love autumn, and looking forward to winter beers, but in the early fall to late November my best recommendation will almost always be my favorite pumpkin ales.
The spirit of the season is captured in this beer right up to the hops and flavor constant in the Elysian brews.
Deep copper in color, and laced with a thick white foam, this beer is intimidating.
Hints of nutmeg and pumpkin and it laces the glass.
A beautiful finish as the beer warms. (648 characters)

Photo of vacax
4.62/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Glad to have a new pumpkin ale in SoCal, even if it is a little bit late to the pumpkin season. I have really enjoyed this one in the past, and hope to see more soon from Elysian. Brewed at New Belgium Brewing. Dated best buy 19Feb10.

Pours a dark orange to amber with around an inch of head the color of butternut squash. Decent retention and lacing displayed. Smells of baked spiced pumpkin, candied ginger, and nutmeg for among the absolute best pumpkin beer scents on the market. Tastes of rich pumpkin goodness with a backing of gingerbread and a harmonious mixture of pumpkin pie spices. I'd have to say this is in the running for top pumpkin beer I have had. In the realm of similar beers, the only one definitely better for me is Barrel Aged Autumn Maple. Medium bodied with a smooth medium level of carbonation. Highly recommended, best pumpkin beer out west. (869 characters)

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.61/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Combined reviews from Nov 2010, and Oct 2011.

Pours with 1F head, no real lacing. 2010 bottle had a ton of suspended sediment in a burnt orange body. Not many floaties in 2011 version.

Wow, aroma is the big winner here. Pumpkin pie with crust as it warms; some clove came thru as well, and even somewhat herbal.

Pretty authentic pumpkin flavor - vegetable/squash quality, and good amount of spices, incl cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove - but not overpowering. Decent volume of malty sweetness / richness...touch of campfire as it warms.

Good level of carbonation keeps it clean, and pretty much exactly what you should expect in a 6% ABV Pumpkin Ale.

Outstanding drinkability - this is the most aromatic and flavorful Pumpkin Ale you can buy at this level of ABV. (767 characters)

Photo of Givemebeer
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle to pint glass. Hooray

A: Burnt orange hazy small head minimal lacing

S: Spices - nutmeg cinnamon clove galore with pumpkin

T: Yes there is pumpkin in here. My pet peeve with pumpkin beers is that many of them seem to be loaded with spices and they forget the pumpkin - this is not one of them. Great pumpkin flavor mixed in with the spices perfectly. The nutmeg and cinnamon are perfectly balanced. The hop bitterness comes in at the end and is very mild but a wonderful balancing component.

M: Medium bodied, smooth, creamy, sweet but not overly sweet. Just nice.

O: My favorite pumpkin beer of the many I tried. I could session this and not get tired of it... Overall, its perfectly crafted and it is a must try. (726 characters)

Photo of danotronik
4.57/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Brilliant beer, probably one of the best pumpkin ales I have ever had. Has a very pumpkiny taste to it that is not overpowered by the alcohol like so many other pumpkin ales. It's really standout beer. The looks is beautiful and dark and the smell is just absolutely amazing (although I would say most pumpkin ales smell brilliant) (331 characters)

Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.56/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a orangey-amber color with minimum head, even with a vigorous pour. Head also leaves pretty quickly. Smells like pumpkin pie! Cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon also detected. Delicious pumpkin pie flavor. Oktoberfest like in a sense too. The spices linger in your mouth. Lighter bodied with minimum carbonation. I'm giving my overall a 5 based on a nostalgic factor that I have with this beer and also because this is the one beer I look forward to most when it releases every year. (484 characters)

Photo of leaddog
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a copper colour with a finger of frothy cream coloured head.

Smell - pumpkin pie filling, pumpkin spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, ginger, all spice), bready malts, brown sugar.

Taste - Pumpkin pie like mom used to make. Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices are well balanced and provide a savoury/sweet flavour profile.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with the well-rounded pumpkin flavour.

Overall - Wow, that's some good tasting pumpkin pie beer! I wasn't sure if I needed to grab a glass or a fork for this one. Excellent pumpkin and spice flavours that don't compete with one another. Definitely pick up a bottle if you see it your way! (695 characters)

Photo of cvfish
4.54/5  rDev +16.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a pumpkin orange color that produced a white fluffy head that had good retention and laced the side of the glass nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer were, in short, Grams's pumpkin pie, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, this was a great smelling beer

T - I could say a whole lot about this beer, but the nose says it all, I will say the taste is only second to Pumking

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - This was a very good pumpkin beer, although not enough to dethrone the Pumking from that status (590 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Transcribed from undated notes.

I simply got very little head from my pour before it dissipated into wisps. Color was an orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. It had a great cinnamon-spice nose. Mouthfeel was medium with a sweet spiciness on the tongue, very pumpkin pie-like. Between those of us drinking this one, we guessed nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. The nutmeg was prevalent throughout. The finish was very dry, no doubt from the presence of all of the spices. I would put this as # 3 for me in terms of pumpkin ales, behind Southern Tier's Pumking and Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin. Heady company, indeed! (634 characters)

Photo of superspak
4.52/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 ounce bottle into pint glass; no bottle dating, but was purchased recently. Pours hazy orange amber color with a 1 finger fairly dense off white head with nice retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of big authentic pumpkin, clove, allspice, caramel, gingerbread, toast, cinnamon, nutmeg, and light herbal. Fantastic aromas with great strength and balance; this smells like I opened a can of pumpkin puree, very authentic. Taste of big pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, caramel, toast, allspice, clove, and herbal. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, gingerbread, caramel, toast, allspice, nutmeg, clove, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance of flavors with a ton of authentic pumpkin; awesome malt/spice balance; zero cloying flavors on the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly slick and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible Pumpkin ale. Great authentic pumpkin flavor with well balanced spices; extremely smooth to drink. Easily the best I have had in the pumpkin ale style. (1,247 characters)

Photo of hopsputin
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: dark caramel & orange. darker at the top, lighter towards the bottom. almost a ruby red/amber hue in there as well. 1.5 finger frothy, wavy off white head

s: oh boy. so much pumpkin. pumpkin on pumpkin. loads of sweet brown sugar, cinnamon, rich caramel. something like graham cracker - maybe from the all spice. this smells phenomenal

t: right away your hit with the spice. clove, cinnamon, allspice. its almost like a graham cracker. its not so spicy as to overwhelm though. it then fades into a nice fresh clean pumpkin flavor. tastes like pumpkin cooked with brown sugar and a hint of caramel. finishes with a real nice spice kick. tastes like drinking fucking fall, the season

m: its medium, but fills the mouth nicely. not much carbonation

o: i'm amazed how much flavor is packed into this <6% beer. as mentioned, it is like drinking fall in a glass. it has all the nice spices and pumpkin, and they are harmonized really well. nothing dominates, it all mixes in a real smooth way. if you like pumpkin ales, get this please. (1,041 characters)

Photo of kytashie
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this last night. Pours an orange/ruby somewhat hazy color. Looks very tasty! Finger width head that disappears quickly with minimal lacing. Smells AMAZING. Not overpowered by the spices, they are just detectable, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin..(.i think my stomach growled). Wow this is delicious! Awesome balance of flavors...you can definitely tell you are drinking a pumpkin ale...but so not overpowering. It's tasty! Great carbonation, refreshing, crisp and clean. I could drink this all night. 4.5 across the board on this one and added to my list of fav's. (570 characters)

Photo of heybrewtiful
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spiced with flavors more typical of apple pie than pumpkin--caramel and mild apple notes emerge from the typical spice profile of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg--this beer is smooth, balanced, and a must try for anyone who has a penchant for 'pumpkin' brews. Definitely among my top five for beers with autumnal drinking in mind. (322 characters)

Photo of ladyweapon
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

One of the better pumpkin beers available. On the first taste, my only thought was "This actually tastes like pumpkin!" I may just be used to terrible pumpkin beers, but this is absolutely fantastic - which is par for the course for Elysian. (242 characters)

Photo of SitkaSteve
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Alright, so I've had this most of the time out of a pint glass but decided to switch it up for this review. This is out of a snifter, and honestly, there isn't even a difference.
Anyways, here's my take on this wonderful beer.
In the snifter, hazy dark orange to brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute leaving some light foamy lacing here and there around the glass.
The smell was 30 x better than pumking as this had a slight element of the pumpkin pie - ness but still offering more of a pumpkin spice sampling. Along with that, light ginger, allspice, nutmeg involve themselves in the aroma.
The taste took all of those previously mentioned flavors and combined them wonderfully - spicy yet sweet.
The mouthfeel had a slightly light spicy harshness to eventually allow a sweet gentle softness rolling over my tongue.
Overall, this should be everyone's standard for pumpkin ales, not pumking. (952 characters)

Photo of SnoopBobb
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

This is an awesome pumpkin beer. Very pumpkiny and spicy, but not overwhelming. Also, not too bitter. Also, it's from Seattle which is cool, because Seattle is awesome. Also, it's available in 12oz bottles, so you don't necessarily need to drink a massive pint-sized beer. Also, the label is pretty tight. Highly recommend. (323 characters)

Photo of ccrida
4.49/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Had a pint at Elysian Fields on draught, where it's listed as 6.1% ABV.

Appearance is burnt brown with the slightest haze, a thin khaki collar and light lace.

The smell is sweet, and when colder, is exactly like Pez candies. As it warms, it goes from cotton candy to more sticky, caramel malt and spicy aroma. Weird, but awesome!

The taste is more restrained then the nose, making for an incredibly tasty balance of malt, pumpkin and spice, coming across like a smooth american style ESB or brown. This is the best pumpkin ale I've had (of granted, only maybe 5 or 6 ), and the fact that the emphasis is more on the actual pumpkin rather then the spices is probably the main reason why.

Mouthfeel is very creamy, with a medium body. There is a lager like crispness, although the fruity esters suggest otherwise.

The most drinkable pumpkin beer I've ever had, two pints in this sitting was no problem at all. Very apropos for fall, a great seasonal for sure! (965 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.49/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Warmly glowing rustic orange-bronze with edges of ripe pumpkin. Night Owl is richer and classier looking than the usual garish, bright orange. The head looks good as well, with its contrasting shade of pastel orange and its firm refusal to deflate. The edges of the cap are beginning to resemble a pie crust with what looks like a series of thumb depressions around the entire circumference of the glass. Minimal lace is the only negative.

I was immediately impressed with the nose as soon as beer splashed into glass. That was nothing compared to my first, concentrated, up close and personal sniff. Without question, this ale has the most perfect freshly baked pumpkin pie-like aroma ever. It simply isn't possible for beer to smell more like the classic dessert than this one does. Actually, it's probably more brown sugary than pumpkin pie, but that only makes me love it all the more. Outstanding!

If only the flavor and the mouthfeel could have matched the one-of-a-kind nose, Night Owl would have been something truly special. That isn't to say, however, that it isn't one of the best pumpkin ales that I've ever had. Not surprisingly, it tastes like pumpkin pie, albeit one drizzled with caramel and brown sugar syrup. It's sweeter than most, but that's more than fine with me.

Spices take a back seat to actual pumpkin flavor. Most brewers try to get by with dumping a truckload of spices into the kettle to cover whatever flavor faults might be present. If done right (as this one is), keeping the cinnamon, nutmeg, et al in the background is the way to go. For the record, all of the usual suspects are present... the two mentioned above, as well as allspice, clove and ginger. It's hard to know what was gained by adding green and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Hop flavor is entirely absent, although the Horizon hops provide enough bitterness to keep the sweetness from becoming too candy-like and cloying. The biggest disappointment for me is the mouthfeel. It's far from light, but a more full, chewy mouthfeel would have put this beer into orbit and may have allowed it to be recognized as The King Of All Pumpkin Ales. The flavor demands, and deserves, more.

Even though the aroma is beyond amazing, I still have to give the slight nod to Smuttynose's version as the absolute best. I'm amazed at the quality of this beer and I'm becoming more so with every mouthful. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised since I love Elysian's IPA and ESB. If you like pumpkin ales and you have the chance to obtain Night Owl, you won't be sorry. Trust me. (2,558 characters)

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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.