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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Night Owl Pumpkin AleNight Owl Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
89
very good

1,020 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,020
Reviews: 329
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 12.18%
Wants: 106
Gots: 148 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-11-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Night Owl Pumpkin Ale Alström Bros
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Ratings: 1,020 | Reviews: 329 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of JamesParks
1/5  rDev -74.6%

Photo of poohbearzeccola
1.16/5  rDev -70.6%

Photo of gNasty
1.63/5  rDev -58.6%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Well the beer looked great in the grocery store, promising a hearty ale perfect for the first chilly evenings of fall. Open the beer though and things go downhill...fast, a freefall into mediocrity. First off, the brew is devastatingly under-carbonated, an attribute that contributes to a flat, thin flavor and slightly grainy texture. Second of all, the beer smells like the holiday section of Walgreens, only less saccharine. And for the record, I am not against pumpkin ales, quite the contrary. I love the full, hearty, festive flavor of a well-brewed pumpkin. I am also not against Elysian. They make a fantastic Amber, one of the best. But the Night Owl flew away with all the body and flavor somewhere before bottling...

Photo of bugbear
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of leftoverburrito
2/5  rDev -49.2%

Photo of Bouder32
2.25/5  rDev -42.9%

Photo of soulcougher
2.25/5  rDev -42.9%

Photo of mhaugo
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

Photo of groleau
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

Photo of sharpski
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

Photo of tommyguz
2.5/5  rDev -36.5%

Photo of Beaver13
2.68/5  rDev -32%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

22 oz bottle. Pours a hazy amber bown with a thin head that quickly goes to a thin collar.

The aroma is bready malts, a touch of fruit and some spices (nutmeg, allspice).

The flavor is vegetal malts with spices. It has a bit of an off metallic finish. The mouthfeel is medium to full bodied with a little spritzy carbonation, but is mostly watery.

Overall, it sounded and smelled so good - just didn't taste good to me. I like pumpkin beers but this was a bit off (vegetal and metallic).

Photo of Beerriver
2.71/5  rDev -31.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this cold beer into a pounder glass. Rich in foggy amber fall color. In the bottle it smelled like a seasonal gift store. In the glass it smelled more like a heavily pumpkin spiced beer. The first very cold taste seemed unpalatable. I let it warm close to room temperature and things came around. Flavors married, though flavors were less intense, spices tend to burst around the mouth and are a bit too prominent. Tastes to me as if pumpkin spice was simply shaken into my beer.

Photo of dgeebs07
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of Japple
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of Knobs303
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of newbeeraday
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of TYLY22
2.75/5  rDev -30.2%

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.8/5  rDev -28.9%

12 oz bottle into a wine glass.

Appearance: Pours a hazy burnt copper color. The head is a finger high, with an off-white shade. While the head has a nice creaminess, retention isn't very good. A slender ring of lacing is left on the glass. (3.25)

Smell: Yeah, this one comes off overspiced. I'm picking up a ton of ginger, nutmeg, and allspice, somewhat overpowering the notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, and pie-like sweetness. I have to say, the spice levels here are somewhat offputting. (2.5)

Taste: This works a little better. The harsher spices are toned down, while the notes of gourd, cinnamon, and cream come through. Still, there's too much ginger and nutmeg on the finish - a problem many in the style suffer from. Ah well. (2.75)

Mouthfeel: It's somewhat crisp and dry, giving it solid drinkability. The latter is its crowning feature - even if the flavor profile isn't fully agreeing with me, I can still get it down very easily. Carbonation is restrained nicely. (3.5)

Overall: Not really enjoying this. There is a decent pumpkin pie character, but it's overshadowed by the spicing. More for others, plain and simple. (2.75)

2.8/5: It's not your fault I (generally) dislike this style, Elysian

Photo of microbrewlover
2.83/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This brew pours a cloudy orange color with sediment in the glass. Low carbonation. No head or lacing to speak of.

The smell is initially of strong pumpkin and cardamom but this quickly fades as the beer warms. There is also a wheat smell.

The taste has pumpkin in it however the spices do not shine through at all in the taste. There is also a musty wheat taste.The taste does not improve as the brew warms up.

The mouthfeel is thin, water and flat.

I have found this to be a weak pumpkin ale and I am puzzled by the good reviews it has received. I would put Wyerbacher, Post Road and Smuttynose pumpkin ales before this one.

Photo of kosmoraios
2.98/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange color, with plenty of carbonation visible in the glass. Fizzy white head rises to about a quarter of my finger before settling back down, leaving little top and no lacing.

Aroma is subdued, pumpkin pie and sweet malt.

Taste is of pumpkin pie spices and light, sweet caramel malts. The raw pumpkin is noted, also. Far too light and watery for my taste. Overcarbonated, fizzy and soda-like in the mouth. Not one I'll purchase a second time.

Photo of Domingo
2.98/5  rDev -24.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 1.5

Pours a pretty deep dark burnt orange. It actually has a pretty decent amount of head for the style, and the foam laces really well.
Smells like a boatload of spices. Cinnamon's the main one, with allspice, cloves, nutmeg, and a surprising strong liquorice/anise smell even though I don't believe it contains any. Not much in the way of beer or pumpkins, though.
The flavor mirrors the smell. Lots of cinnamon and anise, but as a beer, I'm just getting a ton of spice. If that's what you want - this one is pretty much the king of heavily spiced pumpkin beers. If you aren't into that - beware.
The body of the beer's great, and pretty ideal for the style.
For me, the first 1/3 of the glass was great. After that, it was like drinking liquid spice mix. Definitely a splitter.

Hmmmm. Lots of talk about this being among the best pumpkin ales. I really enjoyed their Great Pumpkin at the GABF...but this is all spice and very little else. I have to think that Night Owl might be a bit overhyped. Lots of people whine about overspiced pumpkin beers, but this beer (the most spiced one of them all) seems to be getting a free pass.

Worth a shot, and good up-front, but it'll let you down pretty quickly.

(It might be worth noting that this was contract brewed at New Belgium...not sure if there's any difference between this batch and the ones brewed in Seattle)

Photo of Afroman
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of broller
3/5  rDev -23.9%

Photo of robgage
3/5  rDev -23.9%

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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
89 out of 100 based on 1,020 ratings.