Night Owl Pumpkin Ale - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Night Owl Pumpkin AleNight Owl Pumpkin Ale

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

321 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 321
Hads: 1,040
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 106
Gots: 154 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.90% 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: 321 | Hads: 1,040
Photo of IronLover
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep copper orange in color with a thick, unfiltered, viscous look. Poured with a short off-white foam that reduced to a wispy cap. Sweet earthy pumpkin aroma with cinnamon, nutmeg and the perfect touch of spice at the back end for balance. Soft, delicate lager-like feel with slightly creamy carbonation. A wonderful balance of spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sweet pumpkin from top to bottom. A light tangy bitter hoppiness in the middle finishes off the spice leaving a clean sweetness at the finish. This is a fabulous pumpkin ale. Very impressive. (549 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured beuatifully with lots of carbonation and a small white head. Nose is big pumpkin and spices right away. Taste carried a strong hint of cinnnamon, nutmeg and allspice but the pumpkin is king and lots of it. Mouthfeel is sweet and warming. Damn good brew. (260 characters)

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Elysian Halloween spectacular. Split all three of these with multiple members of my family over the house on Halloween. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 10/31/2009.
 
The last of the trifecta for the evening, it was really fun going through all of these during the course of the day. Really just fun stuff. Poured out the lightest of the three with a hazy orange tinted amber color and a nice soft off white head that reached a height of around an inch or so before it settled down with some nice lacing on the side that really just surprised me with how well it hung in there to be honest. Really quite the solid look. Nice aroma of pumpkin spice, hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, all the usual characters here with a touch of a west coast hop flair to it, especially as it warms. Crisp and super clean flavor here. Starts with a touch of a light malt note and then swoops in with a big hit of cinnamon and nutmeg which dries out the palate very nicely. Very even consistency I have to admit as it comes together very nice. Light drying of palate leaves a touch of light spice and the lightest hint of hops on the back of the tongue. Super drinkable, in fact out of the whole night I enjoyed this one the most out of all of them.
 
Overall a very solid light beer for the evening. Fit in very well with the rest of the lineup and I would have no problem at all with going after all three of these again. Great job from the boys up north.
  (1,491 characters)

Photo of minterro
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought from a secret stash at Little's Wine and Liquor

Poured into a pint glass, not paired with anything.

A&S: Easily the best smelling pumpkin beer I've had the opportunity to try. Smells like I stuck my nose in pumpkin pie (crust and all). This isn't a store bought pumpkin pie either, it contains all the spices (nutmeg, corriander, and a touch of brown cinnamon) and copious amounts of pumpkin. Lively semi-transparent reddish orange colored beer. With a creamy off-white head that is retained around a half an inch (some lacing).

T&M: The taste isn't nearly as intense as the aroma. Still very enjoyable, and debatably more enjoyable then a super intense pumpkin taste (eg. southern tier pumpking). More malty then the aroma with less pumpkin flavors and a similar amounts of spice. Crisp, but not too much of a bite, smooth as it goes down.

Overall: the best pumpkin beer I have ever had, easily the best. If you can get your hands on one I would highly encourage you. Incredibly affordable less than 5 bucks for a bomber! (1,034 characters)

Photo of Yellolab2010
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%

Fantastic pumpkin ale! Pours a dark amber color with great pumpkin and spice nose. First sip tastes like your drinking a liquid pumpkin pie. Very well priced and well worth seeking out if you enjoy this style. (210 characters)

Photo of msubulldog25
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I've enjoyed this ale both on-tap and from the bottle. This is a 22 oz. bottle pour, early October 2007. "Ale brewed with Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds & Fermented with Spices". Listed currently on the website at 6.1% ABV.

A: Pours a fairly murky-looking amber, a thin veil of cloudiness. Head pours full and fizzy , at one point over two fingers, but fades quickly to a thin ring of tightly-knit bubbles. A few streams of carbonation, but fairly dull otherwise.

S: Nothing artificial or overtly spiced about this one: it's all about the pumpkin. Fleshy, earthy, hinted with nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon, but respectfully subtle. Faint aroma of gingerbread.

T: Quite earthy, even a little sour/tart. This is a pumpkin ale that focuses on the dirty & musty "gourd" taste of pumpkin, rather than on the sweet and spicy taste of pie and spice. Malty in the form of lightly toasted nuts, but with an interesting citrus bite (orange?), tart fruit follow-up. Is that sourness in the finish? Yes, certainly a fruit/tart sourness...

M: A medium-bodied pumpkin ale, subtly carbonated but with a fuller, more-clingy, medium-full mouthfeel. Not quite velvety, but certainly one that sticks on all parts of the mouth...

D: Not too heavily spiced, well-balanced between malty and earthy/hoppy traits, and with some heavier bitter backing notes. All in all, an ale I'll look forward to, year after year. Certainly recommended - although, with a caveat: this is NOT for everyone - will be way too tart and earthy for the spicy-sweet pumpkin ale lover. (1,539 characters)

Photo of scootny
4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stuff is the real deal. A gorgeous reddish amber with good clarity. Two fingers of frothy head with good retention and copious lacing. Beer stays covered as I imbibe. Smell gives a preview of the excellence in the glass. A big slice of pie with a healthy malt backbone that acts like a graham cracker crust to the lovely gourd caressing my nose with sweetness. Taste is full boat wow. This is without a doubt the best "pie style" pumpkin ale I've had to date. Imagine a perfect slice with a light sweetness. Now add the graham in the nose to cradle it as it fills your mouth. The swallow is bittered well by the hops combined with ginger in such a way that the hops never draw attention to themselves. Some how while being the perfect slice in the glass it is dry and quenching. Crisp light feel with a creamy fullness that is satisfying and sessionable at the same time. This is one easy drinking beer that still manages to be a full on "style" beer. No shirking the pumpkin here. At the same time you just keep filling the glass and draining it. You don't get overwhelmed or tired of it. Wish I had another growler. Superb beer. (1,135 characters)

Photo of kirkmichel
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750ml Bottle purchased at Oak Tree Discount Wine & Spirits in S. Plainfield, NJ. Label was not the same as in the photo on BA, but still had Owl and correct title. Date stmp said bbd 29 Jan 2010.

A-reddish amber, suspended sediment, not much head (off white)
S-stupendous spicy pumpkin; just like fresh pumpkin pie filling (not the garbagy canned kind); also sweet and fruity, almost raspberry with a browned sugar
T-wonderful & spicy - lots of cinnamon and clove, and though it is prominent, it is not overpowering. It is also balanced nicely with a lemony citrus tone. I love it.
M-Very Good - evaporates quickly and not overly carbonated.
D-Very well-balanced. I could drink a lot of these, but it is definitely a fall beer. (728 characters)

Photo of loren01
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper color, small white head with slight lace down the glass.
S: Smell is great...reminds me exactly of a pumpkin pie. Nutmeg and clove as well.
T: Slight pumpkin taste but the pumpkin pie spice taste is the part of this beer that is real nice. Slightly sweet, but not too much.
M: Medium bodied, I would say mouthfeel is pretty decent however, could be a bit heavier in my opinion.
D: I normally don't like fruit or veggies or really anything "extra" in my beer but this is very tasty...perfect fall beer. (519 characters)

Photo of Docer
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

MaltBombPete brought a bottle of this...

- Yeasty bubbly amber... really dark copper... half a finger of fizzy fluffy white head.

- Lots of spice and sweet caramel pumpkin goodness... light clove, and grassy spice. Nice amber grain aromas and a banana Belgian-like yeast scent.

- Lovely smooth and balanced pumpkin brew... light pumpkin.. spice, clove and cinnamon.. amber caramel malts... grassy hop... loving the clove and cinnamon touch...

- Light to medium bodied... plenty well carbonated.... watering the palate... not sticky or chewy really.... smooth.

- I am impressed, a very drinkable brew... tasty as all hell, and one I wish I had a keg of. (658 characters)

Photo of AyeMito
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%

Without a doubt one of my favorite pumpkin beers I have tried this year! It has a very ripe pumpkin aroma with softer notes of nutmeg, clove and brown sugar as well. I was so happy to taste it and get those fresh pumpkin flavors up front. It is still flavored with spices but they are there supporting the pumpkin flavor as opposed to overpowering it and covering it up. Truly well done! (387 characters)

Photo of biboergosum
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle. This offering obviously wasn't available when I spent a summer afternoon at the brewpub a few years ago, but today, while generally warm, was blustery enough to engender in me the desire for a well-wrought seasonal ale. Enter stage left.

This beer pours a hazy medium bronzed amber hue, with one flabby finger of tightly foamy, and mostly bubbly ecru head, which leaves some decently chunky iceberg floe lace around the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells of rich, pungent, toasted pumpkin flesh, semi-sweet pie-crust caramel and pale malts, dark turbinado sugar, cinnamon buns, spicy nutmeg, ginger, and clove, a touch of black pepper to taste, and a subdued, perfunctory earthy, leafy hoppiness. The taste is more of the same - a big roasted pumpkin mash sweetness, brown sugar, gingerbread, spicy cinnamon and clove, earthy nutmeg, subtle white and black pepper dust, and some understated citrusy floral hops.

The bubbles are softly ebullient, gently frothy, and little more, the body a heady, enveloping medium weight, genuinely smooth, and more than a tad creamy. It finishes off-dry, the pumpkin and pastry-akin malt doing well to overshadow the heretofore show-stealing spices.

A rather pleasant, and fulfilling pumpkin ale, full stop. Though I'm at a bit of a loss as to what contribution the pumpkin seeds added to the mix, I'm sure it's there, in a dutiful supporting role, under the radar and all that. Everything else simply puts out beyond expectations, providing a stellar drinkability, one irrelevant to seasonal affectation (guilty!). (1,571 characters)

Photo of t8s8l8
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look- a dark cloudy brown with a reddish, amber tint. Decent head retention on this beer that holds together quit well. the lacing held together as especially well for a beer with so many added items.

Aroma- nutmeg, some cinnamon some ginger as well. spices are apparent but refined compared to some other pumpkin ales. slight alcohol aroma and also an interesting vegetal scent. also some bakery scents as well.

Taste- a medium body. a creamy, smooth mouthfeel I get some of the spices but also a beer taste as well. Its not a pie its a beer. A nice tingling sensation on the tongue very sweet, slightly dry in the middle but even after a sip the taste lingers (in a good way).

Overall Experience- a great pumpkin beer, first time and is creeping its way up the ladder. the beer itself was very reasonable. the flavor is not to over the top. The abv is appropriate and just a great tasting beer. (899 characters)

Photo of Metalmonk
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In the spirit of All Hallow's Eve I poured Elysian's Night Owl pumpkin ale. My previous meetings with this have been very good, and this one starts fabulously--it's a beautiful beer. The pour produces a torrent of bubbles swirling around to eventually form a three-finger head (kind of like a nitro-tap does, but not quite that awesome). It's rocky and creamy, on top of a beautiful burnt amber color which appropriately reminds of the dark autumn leaves. And it leaves a good bit of lace as the drink disappears. [By the way, this site currently states the ABV as unlisted/unknown. On this bottle it states 6.5%]

Aroma is musty and faintly spicy, with cinnamon and nutmeg coming out strongest. And it actually smells like pumpkin. Most pumpkin ales smell like pumpkin pie spices exclusively, but there's a sense here of sticking your head right into the guts of the big orange holiday gourd (or is it a squash? or is a squash a gourd? Sorry if I've offended any master-gardeners out there).

Taste? Tasty. Really tasty. The spicy notes are just that, notes...the pumpkin flavor is bold but not too overdone, and it's helped along with a kind of milky creaminess in both the flavor and mouthfeel. The finish lingers long, and it's this aspect of the beer that is most pleasing. The sour/bitter and mildly funky aftertaste adds a few extra layers of complexity and enjoyment.

Mouthfeel is just a little thinner than I'd hoped, but still delivers zest in the carbonation and ample creaminess, which really goes well with this sort of beer.

Perhaps the greatest pumpkin ale yet. Jury's out on that, of course, but so far it's my #1 choice. [Addendum: Southern Tier's Pumking now reigns!!! But Night Owl is still wonderful.] (1,725 characters)

Photo of dsa7783
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Single, twenty-two ounce bomber bottle just purchased from Buy Rite on Oak Tree in South Plainfield...
Appearance: Impressive, deep, dark orange hue with a big, robust, foamy head that deposited a thick film of lacing around the edge of the serving glass...
Smell: Pumpkin-pie, inviting aroma with a host of deep spices, including, but not limited to, allspice, cloves, ginger, and nutmeg...
Taste: As a personal fan of pumpkin ales, this was definitely one of the better ones I've come across this season... Robust pumpkin flavor with all the aforementioned spices noticeable in the nose...
Medium-bodied mouthfeel...
Great level of drinkability...
Very good example of the style...
Highly recommended if you are a fan of pumpkin ales... (738 characters)

Photo of dar482
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in this beautiful strawberry juice color of a deep hazy rich red color.

The aroma is just mind blowing. There’s every spice listed as in the clove, then the ginger, then the nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. It’s wonderful amount of spice with a bit of brown sugar and pumpkin. It’s so sweet, so spicy, it’s the best aroma from any pumpkin ale.

The flavor isn’t as exciting with tons of spice in the front. Not for those who don’t like spice, but for me, spice is what represents fall instead of the pumpkin. There’s some brown sugar and pumpkin following with also fermented fruit flavors. Then there’s also that plain “gourd” flavor. It’s a bit bland, and just tastes like squash/gourd or whatever you may call it. The vessel as in the beer isn’t too brown ale and is quite light and enjoyable.

The finish is a bit rough with some booze and the fermented flavor.

This really is a wonderful brew. Despite its flaws, I do love how drinkable this beer is and how fantastic the aroma is. (1,027 characters)

Photo of pzrhsau
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Nice dark brownish amber color with a tawny colored head. Not to big not too small, very rich colors.
S: Sweet pumpkin aroma, balanced, with a good hint of cinnamon and spice nipping at the end.
T: Crisp and warm flavor. Balanced, while not being too strong. Excellent blend of flavors. Very true to what i expect from a pumpkin beer. That true pie flavor.
D/M: Crisp and filling with great flavors that dont ruin your palate. It gives you a great warming sensation. (469 characters)

Photo of riversider76
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful copper-orange. Fluffy white head with excellent retention and lacing. Aroma is of pumpkin and spice. Body is medium and carbonated. Taste is a near perfect balance of sweet fruits pumpkin and spice. This is one of the better pumpkin ales I've had. (265 characters)

Photo of fo5s
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into my portsmouth tulip.

Pours a deep ruby. Small, creamy head. Good clarity. Looks delicious...

smell is sweet - montage of spices here, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and some clove (as promised on the bottle).

Taste is fantastic - great balance of malts and the variety of spices. None of the spices jump out but they work well together. Smooth.

Slightly creamy, soft on the tongue.

Put back a bomber of this without much difficulty. Drinkability is impressive for a well-spiced pumpkin ale.

Overall I'm impressed - a well balanced and blended rendition of the style. A nice change from some of the extreme / overpowering pumpkin beers. Not one you'll necessary remember, but definitely one I'd like to revisit in the future (assuming it's available). (777 characters)

Photo of Ricelikesbeer
4.31/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A:

Pours slightly hazy with a little bit of head. Plenty of lacing. Burnt orange with golden highlights.

S:

Wow what a festive/holiday nose! Pumpkin pie and cloves jump out of the glass. There is a malty, toasted bread smell there too. I think of graham crackers as well.

T:

Slightly tart up front which gives way to breast maltiness and spice. The spice is fresh and light, but there's plenty of it. There's a light caramel sweetness which is subtle as well. Remarkably well balanced and not cloying for so much going on.

M:

Light to medium body with low carbonation. Has a nice lingering aftertaste.

O:

Probably my favorite pumpkin beer to date, and really blows away most of them out there. Elysian really knows there pumpkins! (741 characters)

Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber shared amongst friends (about 2 1/2 pours).

A- Dark muddy brown color. Think thick iced tea. Cream colored head. Not much lace on this one.

S- Smell was of fresh pumpkin. Pumpkin puree to be exact. Baked pumpkin pie scents. This smelled like autumn in a glass.

T- Nice blend of spices, malts, and pumpkin. I was not blown over by any one spice. There was a very nice balance of flavors on this one. The pumpkin was really spectacular. So tasty. This is what I think of when I want a pumpkin ale.

M- Some burning? Maybe from the spices. Kinda weird. Medium bodied. The brew didn't water down after many sips.

D- I could drink this one over and over. I want to pick up another bottle for sure. If you like pumpkin ales, this is a good one. (758 characters)

Photo of bfields4
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange amber hued body. Nice tight white head. Dissaptes quicky, but nice lacey.

Sweet vanilla pumpkin spices. Cinnamon brown sugar. Very nicely done. All the aromas are spot on.

unexpected light hop leades into a flavor slanted towards the pumpkin and nice smooth malt. Nice complement to the spicy sweet aroma.

Nice complex beer that melds the aroma of a pumkin pie with the chewy velvity smooth pumpkin flavor. I am very impressed by this guy. (449 characters)

Photo of caddybuyer
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

In honor of the 31st.

A-Beautiful rich copper pour with filtered clarity and a dark thick eggshell head.

S-Malts and pumpkin definately present. Great nose, not overpowering with spices like some. Sweet, sugary and natural.

T-Nose carries through to the palate in one of the most sublime versions of pumpkin ale I have ever had. The lightly sweetened front end is all fresh pumpkin, accented by only enough spice to keep it interesting.

M-Mouth feels a bit light for this style, but if that is the worst fault of this beer, it is a minor one.

O-Pumpkin ales are so often great in theory but terrible in execution. Don't get me wrong, I dig a highly spiced ale, but the fact that this carries the day without being overspiced or oversweeted underscores the quality. Well done. (782 characters)

Photo of archyquaffer
4.28/5  rDev +10%

Poured from a longneck into a shaker, producing a two inch frothy, creamy and quite sticky head. The beer is a pale amber, fairly hazy, with visible small particles and swirling effervescence.

Lovely pumpkin pie in the aroma-flavor. Bready, caramelly malts and nutty pumpkin seeds, and earthy pumpkin pith combine with a touch of hop bitterness and a complex balance of spices.

Highly evocative of pumpkin pie, with real pumpkin notes and a well-crafted and balanced blend of spices. This is probably the best pumpkin beer I've tried so far.* I purchased a six pack for about 10 bucks.

*Upon further review I find that I graded "Great Pumpkin" (same brewer) at a whopping three hundredths higher in my review from about a year ago. So, I bumped this one up .03. (770 characters)

Photo of Hoptometrist
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle into a becker glass

A- Poured a really beautiful dark, clear orange color with a small soapy head with some splashly lace

S- Lots of ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin. Nice rich and spicy aroma

T- Tons of ginger and nutmeg, pumpkin, some citrus, and breadiness. Richly flavorful and full of pumpkin pie spices

M- Really creamy and smooth, prickly carbonation, finishes dry, medium to fuller bodied

O- A very drinkable pumpkin ale, the best non-imperial pumpkin ale I have had. (499 characters)

Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 321 ratings.