Night Owl Pumpkin Ale - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Night Owl Pumpkin AleNight Owl Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,036 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,036
Reviews: 332
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.93%
Wants: 106
Gots: 153 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,036 | Reviews: 332
Photo of sholland119
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Received this one from pranaferox in Secret Halloween 2009! Thanks!

A-Cloudy amber with some light brown highlights. Lots of off white head and great retention. Some decent lacing as well.

S-Pumpkin pie! The spice blend is a perfect blend of nutmeg, cinnamon, clove and allspice. I think the allspice makes the aroma so right on.

T-A little flat on the tongue. Mostly nutmeg; all the other spice elements are muted. Some nice malt with a moderate sweetness.

M-Medium bodied with a lot of lingering spice.

D-Nice but a bit of a disappointment after the killer nose.


Photo of scruffwhor
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks go out to n8dietz for picking this brew up for me.

Cloudy, copper, burnt sienna, pumkin color. Can't really make out any bubbling. Good head after the pour, and thick film of foam lasts for all 22 ounces.

Caramel toasted malts, bread, biscuits, pumkin pie spices, and pumpkin meat.

Toasted pumkin biscuits. Flavor gets thin and watery from middle to the finish. I got some more of the spices in teh middle than the pumpkin. The finish is a little thin, but does have a pumpkin meat and bread flavor.

The mouthfeel starts chewy, then finishes a little thin and watery.

Photo of JizackFH
3.65/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - This beer pours a clear ruby orange color. It has a 2-finger off-white head on top. The head has good retention, and it leaves behind a nice web of lace on the glass.

S - It smells of bread malts, pumpkin, and fall holiday spices. There are also some notes of brown sugar, caramel, hops, and a little bit of booze.

T - Taste starts off with some bready malt. There is some pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg flavor, but it is more subdued than the nose suggests. There are also some flavors of caramel, brown sugar, and a mild hop presence. The flavors seem a little bit watered down.

M - This has a medium body and good carbonation. It goes down easy, and has a nice smooth feel to it. There is some tingling from the spices, and just a touch of hop bitterness.

O - This has good drinkability. It has a nice smooth feel and a nice flavor. I wouldn't mind a few glasses of this on a nice fall evening. Overall, I think this is a nice beer, and a good representation of the style. The only thing is that some of the flavors seem to be a tad watered down. Fix that, and I think it would bring this up to another level. It is still a good beer though, and I definitely enjoyed it.

Photo of spinrsx
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bomber from the Potsdam NY IGA for 8$

Appearance - Clear dark copper with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts grassy, all spice, pumpkin

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, malts, and all spice. There is only a little bit of pumpkin and a light grassiness. It ends with a malty caramel and all spice aftertaste.

Overall – A little out of season but it's held up pretty well. The carbonation is a little low and the beer seems a little watery. The spice level is good but it needs more pumpkin. A very drinkable fall beer, but nothing that has the wow factor.

Photo of artoolemomo
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours up about a finger's worth of head that disappears so quickly I barely got a chance to discern its color. The head appeared to be an off-white with light beige notes while the body is a translucent, medium to dark amber which glows medium amber when held up to the light. No lacing at all.

Nose- Whoa! It smells like a spice factory exploded in here. The abundant cinnamon almost burns my nose. Nutmeg is second and I get hints of clove and allspice in the back of my sinuses. I guess there's pumpkin in there somewhere but I wouldn't know- this is olfactory overload. The cinnamon itself almost excludes anything else. I feel like I took a big whiff of Big Red chewing gum.

Taste- Much more mellow than the aroma. This is very fortunate. Mild pumpkin starts the flavor profile, spices fill in the middle (nutmeg and clove seem to occupy the center while the cinnamon hangs around the edges and makes up the linger), and some pumpkin on the finish. Pumpkin seeds seem to play an integral role in the overall taste. There's a slight bitterness on the finish that I'm guessing comes from the cloves and allspice. I can't say that I've noted any real ginger as of yet. Not bad for my first pumpkin beer (I tend to stay clear of the actual gourd itself) but the phenolic nature of the cloves seem to distract. It's a dirty, earthy bitterness that doesn't seem to jive well with the other flavors. Most of the initial flavors seem to subside but that dirty bitterness seems to reside. Linger of pumpkin on the finish as well. Spices start to fade and a mellow pumpkin starts to pervade the palate. Some thinness. Definitely above average but nothing to write home about. Ginger really starts to show itself at the end to the extent I feel like I'm drinking ginger ale.

Mouthfeel- Light bodied to the point of being scrawny. At least, there is a some zip from the carbonation to give it some body.

Drinkability- Not bad. The spices make this desirable. The actual pumpkin seems to be a means of conveyance. I'm okay with that.

Overall- Above average and seems to represent the style. If you like pumpkin beers, you should try it. If you could care less (and would rather have a sweet potato pie), grab another beer.

Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike aka "garagekegger" for sharing his bomber tonight,very nice pumpkin colored deep somewhat hazy pour with a fluffy white head that left a nice sheet of lace behind as it settled.Very spicey aromas cinnamon and clove really stick out in the aromas more in the lines of apple pie but still appetizing.Seemed a bit thin in the mouthfeel department and a little fizzy but the flavors were nice not overly sweet the cinnamon and clove are there there is a decent pumpkin bite in there but the spice outweighs it.Not a bad pumpkin beer to be had flavorful if not a bit thin.

Photo of LunaChick
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours copper with a rich cream head. Good retention and a nicely laced glass. Pumpkin in the aroma along with hints of vanilla and spice--mostly clove but some cinnamon and nutmeg. Flavor is rich with pumkin backed by spices with some nuttiness in the middle. Malts kick in--but not quite enough. A slight balance of hop spice in the end but not a "bite" The abv is just over 6 percent but the alcohol warmth is immediate and becomes more pronounced as the beer warms. Pumpkin flavors become more pronounced with warmth as well. This beer is good but slightly watery in the mouth as it seems to be in need of more malt. Its the alcohol that really gets me on this one. Its not something I can drink more than one of because its so warm. Otherwise I did enjoy it and found it to be better than other pumpkin brews.

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.63/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours out a cloudy brown with a reddish hue. Looks just like apple cider, I like. Off white head that kinda lingers a bit, and some OK lacing to boot.

S: Laid back and chill for the most part, but that might be the cold that I'm trying to kick. The cider comes back into play because i do sense some fermented apple, clove action, cinnamon stick, light malts too. Slight pumpkin in the background.

T: Mild in every aspect, but that mostly what I like about this brew. Its not "In your Face", like some of these pumpkin beers tend to be. Taste more like cider than beer for the most part.

M: Not quite medium in body, some looseness involved, somewhat light in carbonation, ABV blended well throughout the sipping display.

D: One fantastic beer for the foliage season. It resembles everything that goes with the season. Kudos to the brewmaster!

Photo of RoyalT
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance – The deep, orangish-brown color of this liquid promises a malty brew. The head was white and moderate but very creamy.

Smell – The malts were thick and heavy here and mixed with some light citrus hops. It all come together nicely to form a classic, pumpkin nose.

Taste – The pumpkin flavor was solid here with a nice spicy hop compliment.

Mouthfeel – This medium-bodied Pumpkin Ale has some light tingly carbonation to the mouthfeel.

Drinkability – This is a good, solid, very malty ale with a bit of PacNW leafy bitterness to boot.

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared with andrenaline after a haul from B.C., I got the first half of the bomber
A - clear orange with a decent head leaving a solid covering, note that the second half was much hazier
S - pleasant pumpkin with a light maltiness and some sweetness
T - spices donimate with cinnamon, nutmeg, and some ginger, and as a result the pumpkin is a bit overwhelmed
M - medium body, spicy tingle and a little dry
D - it's fairly tasty, but they went the spice route rather than the pumpkin route flavour wise which I am getting tired of with many pumpkin beers, worth drinking but not a stand out

Photo of Smurf2055
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Chuck’s 85th.

Pours dark amber with about a finger of off-white head.

Smells strongly of pumpkin spices. Bready and sweet.

Tastes a bit bitter, small pumpkin flavor, melons and bread.

Very light and a bit watery.

I remembered it being better the last time I had it. It just didn’t seem to have the same kick this time. Still not a bad representation of the style, but obviously not the Great Pumpkin.

Photo of Murchmac
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Scores may be different, but this is the exact review arbitrator gave because I agree with it and am lazy.

A: Pours a hazy amber body that reminds me of an IPA. The bartender brings it with half a finger of cream-colored head; it collapses evenly over a half-minute into a scattered cap and a thick donut on the edges of the glass. Some lacing down the sides.

S: "The Rock likes.... pie." Boom, pumpkin pie right in the nose. Pumpkin is very strong, but so are cinnamon, nutmeg, and brown sugar.

T: Tastes like pumpkin pie, too. The characteristic cinnamon-pumpkin punch dominates, with brown sugar sweetening the mid-taste. Nutmeg and cinnamon once more in the finish, with a pumpkin-y aftertaste. There is an underlying hop bitterness (kind of vague, I know, but I can't pick out a descriptive flavor) that balances it nicely.

M: Medium-bodied... A bit disappointing, as I'd love it to be fuller and thicker. Moderate carbonation.

D: Went down really easily, and I brought a bottle home to share. Nice stuff. (I didnt share any though)

Photo of ItsHammerTime
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pilsner glass. The beer pours a deep auburn body with a significant off-white head that dissipates rapidly, leaving a fine lacing.

The aroma presents with predominant notes of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other such spices, overlying a rich caramel base along with the faint vegetal aroma of the pumpkin. Very appetizing!

While the spice was at the forefront in the smell, it is much more understated in the taste. What dominates is the vegetal pumpkin along with the sweetness of the malt. Hops are not apparent. The vegetable taste lingers and fades to that of roasted pumpkin seeds. There's a bit of an unusual aftertaste, but I attribute this more to the style of beer than any fault on the part of the brewery.

Light-to-medium bodied. I was initially slightly disappointed by the lack of body, but working my way through a bomber I figure that a thicker brew might be a bit cloying on the back end.

Overall, a very decent brew. Let it warm up a bit; otherwise it just tastes like a rather bland ale with a funky aftertaste. Once the the spice aroma unveils itself, however, it is quite nice.

Photo of Mebuzzard
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I heard great things about this beer. it was nice, but not outstanding. I think one reason was the 22oz bottle. a lot of pumpkin beer to drink. Still, the good about this beer is the non-over-the-top taste and nose.
Pours a dull orange, reddish, clear body topped with a dull foamed up head. Looks good.
Pumpkin nose, with hints of brown sugar, toasted bread and faint figs.
Spice isn't bold, but enough to know this would go well with a nice holiday meal.
A bland feel to it. Would like to see more excitement here.
Does not meet expectations. had better, and definitely had worse.

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.6/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A solid pour produces a three-finger thick, light tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is a brilliantly clear, deep amber color that has copper highlights to it, when held up to the light the beer shows a rich copper hue. Ah, the aroma brings a smile to my face, fleshy, caramelized squash aromatics are accentuated by notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. I like that the actual pumpkin is noticeable here in the aroma, certainly the spice notes are a bit more piquant, but the spices are not used too overzealously and the vegetable squash notes add a nice spiciness of its own.

Fairly dry tasting, especially given how sweet the spices make this beer smell. The beer finishes with a bite of nutmeg, a flash of pumpkin meat, a lingering ginger piquancy and a touch of pepper like spice. I could use a touch more body here, but there is a touch of heft to this beer; the holiday season just sees me wanting a bit more richness in this beer (though it has a lot more body than some of the poorer examples of the style, Buffalo Bill I am looking at you). The malt contributes a hint of caramelized sweetness as well as a touch of toasty grain towards the finish, for the most part though this beer is about the spices and the pumpkin. There is enough malt to provide just enough texture and sweetness to support the more dominant flavors. The sweetness is accentuated by the cinnamon notes in the middle.

This is a good example of a "standard" pumpkin ale. The usual base beer style, but it has enough body and the touch of real pumpkin to keep me happy.

Purchased: Liquid Solutions

Photo of Nature777
3.59/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pumpkin's are one of my favorite things in this world. They make amazing pies, ravioli and above all else, beers. This smelled like a pumpkin pie, I swear they brewed it with cinnamon! This was very light with pumpkin in the after taste. I enjoyed it, though it may have been to light. This was a nice beer, definitely worthwhile for the low price. But if you do have the money to spend, go for the Dogfish Head Punkin' Ale instead.

Photo of Mora2000
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to 5000 for sending me this bottle. Reviewed from notes.

The beer pours a hazy orange color with a white head. The aroma has a lot of pumpkin and some cinnamon, as well as a light amount of tartness. The flavor is similar, only there is not tartness. I get some pumpkin as well as some nutmeg and allspice. Thin mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of LambicPentameter
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with no discernible dating for freshness or bottling. Poured into a 16 oz nonic style tumbler. I've heard great things about Elysian's love of pumpkin ales, so open this with much anticipation.

Appearance - Initially translucent orange with amber highlights, with a fine silt of sediment entering the glass like a cloud of fog descending upon emptying the bottle. The head is active and dynamic, getting to about a finger-and-a-half of thickness before fading away rather quickly to leave a thin, sudsy film across the top with absolutely zero lacing.

Smell - Overwhelming notes of pumpkin pie--nutmeg, allspice, cinammon, cassia, as well as a bit more fruity notes like fresh-carved pumpkin flesh and an underlying but almost imperceptible light biscuity element. Very promising indeed, especially with the fresh pumpkin elements that are so often absent from these "pumpkin" beers.

Taste - Many similar elements to the smell, with brown sugar, some faint molasses, clove, pumpkin pie and butternut squash. Some genuine vegetal quality that tastes like real bonafide squash rather than just pie spices. Everything was humming along, until near the finish, a faint metallic twang, reminiscent of pennies, enters the picture. Upon tasting this element, I go take a look at the other reviews on the site and find no mention of anything similar. So perhaps my bottle is off, or old and what I'm tasting is oxidation.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, but with a thinning finish. I think the generous spicing and flavor profiles give the illusion of a heftier beer than it really is. Moderate to low carbonation.

Overall, a beer that started off with such promise, and try as I might, I cannot get past that metallic twinge. It seems to have sullied an otherwise outstanding take on the style. Without any information telling me I should do otherwise, I have no choice but to dock the taste of this beer, however I would encourage others to try it, as my experience seems like an outlier.

Photo of BDTyre
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Decent pumpkin beer from Elysian. This pours a nice coppery-orange and develops and dense white head that leaves rings around the glass as I drink.

Savoury, slightly sweet but definitely spicy scent. Cloves, ginger and allspice.

The spice blend certainly comes through in the flavour, though it is a bit more malty. Not sure of the purpose of adding pumpkin seeds to this, but it certainly doesn't seem to contribute.

Good carbonation, nice seasonal.

Photo of mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 08/16/11 notes. On tap at Meridian Pint. Served in a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark reddish amber brown color with one inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of pumpkin, bready malts, and very light nutmeg. Not too sweet and not a ton going on other than pumpkin.

t - Tastes of pumpkin, light gingerbread, bready malts, nutmeg.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty smooth.

o - Overall a decent pumpkin ale, but not my favorite. Think some others I was with really enjoyed it but I like them a bit sweeter and with more nutmeg/gingerbread to them. Would give it another shot.

Photo of JamesMN
3.57/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pretty typical Pumpkin Ale with a slightly hazy amber body and a thin off-white head that's made up of rather large bubbles.

Aroma: Buttery pumpkin with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. The smell immediately brings back memories of October and the fall season. Real close to the smell of cold pumpkin pie. Actually get a touch of pumpkin seed as well. Would give it a higher grade but it actually isn't all that aromatic.

Taste: Matches the aroma in more ways than one. All the flavors are there but they are very subdued which makes sense given the modest 5.9% ABV. Neither the pumpkin flavor or the blend of spices dominates the palate, instead they trade off taking center stage through the finish. A very drinker friendly Pumpkin Ale.

Mouthfeel: Just above thin in body with too much effervescence. Above average drinkability. The spices are subdued enough that they don't become cloying, which happens to be a positive side effect.

Final Thoughts: It may be a little watery and over carbonated but Elysian Night Owl is not by any means a bad beer. It looks great and hits all the right flavor notes. It's slightly low ABV also makes it very approachable in bomber format and I'd highly recommend it to any BMC drinkers as a way to convert them. Would I drink it again? Probably not. It's also not sold in my state.

Photo of Murrhey
3.57/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bomber into pint glass in high elevation Kalispell, Mont.

A- Very thin khaki head with virtually no retention. Orange-brown color with low clarity.

S- Strong pumpkin aroma, molasses. Warm pumpkin pie smell, without any sort of booziness. Very appetizing beer. Sweet and warm.

T- Pumpkin pie. Molasses, pumpkin, spices and warm flavor. Tasty, albeit sort of bland. Not very rich and alcohol is mediocre.

M- Slightly boozy feel, medium bodied. Slightly wet feel.

O- Above average. Nice tasty, aromatic brew.

Photo of mikey711
3.56/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: clear orange with a thin soapy layer of head about a quarter inch thick. Good amount of carbonation rises from the bottom of the glass.

S: Whoa that is alot of spice. Heavily clovey and cinnamony. Not much punkin or sweetness just spices

T: The spices are not nearly as present for the better. Taste slightly like pumpkin bread.

M: Good amount of body and nice creaminess. There is something about it that I cant really explain that is slightly off.

D: I split the bomber and am glad that I did

Photo of oline73
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into a Chimay goblet.

Appearance: Pours a cloudy orangish amber with a half finger of off white head that fades to a thin ring around the edge of the glass.

Smell: Sweet and malty along with some fruity notes. Pumpkin, bready malt, perhaps some spices.

Taste: Not as oddly fruity as the smell. Pumpkin and a malty nuttiness. The malt flavor is a bit different than other beers, I'm thinking the pumpkin seeds have something to do with that. There is a spice profile, but it is very mild. The finish is malty.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with very smooth carbonation and a slightly dry finish.

Overall: This is a good beer, quite different from other spiced pumpkin beers. They went with a milder approach. Decent beer and I would have it again.

Photo of maddogruss
3.55/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got a bottle of this from the Bottle King in Glen Rock, NJ.

A: Pours an orange-amber body with an off-white head with nice retention and lacing down to the finish.

S: A sweet, malt and spice smells. Cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin, and a minimal amount of clove seemed to be present.

T: A robust, ginger taste with some pumpkin undertones. A decent, malt background with a dry, ginger aftertaste. Ginger is all over this beer.

M: A fairly smooth mouthfeel, but did seem a bit overcarbonated and slightly watery. Overall, a fairly decent feel on the palette.

D: A nice combination of mouthfeel and taste. Unfortunately, the strong ginger taste got to me later on. Would have been nicer if the ginger spices were calmer, allowing the other tastes and spices to come through.

Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,036 ratings.