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

1,037 Ratings
THE BROS
92
outstanding

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,037
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: 1,037 | Reviews: 332
Photo of asabreed
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a 12 oz. Samuel Smith nonic.

Appearance: A darker chestnut-colored and hazy orange-copper hue, with a surprisingly not only retention-heavy head, but one that leaves thick rings of lacing down the bulb of the glass. Unexpected, and one that lasts and lasts. Haven't seen a version of the style from the bottle like this ever I don't think.

Smell: For all the ingredients, the key here, for this brew, is balance. Too many pumpkin ales seem to be all about "more is more," when in fact the raucous nature of the amalgam of everything makes it too chaotic, but here, the beer is the main factor, whereas the other flavors seem to work more subtly and well with each other. A lot of pumpkin aroma, yes, and a lot of malt yes, but a good balance of spices that, again, work as subtlety rather than cacophony.

Taste: Again, with the aroma, the balance comes through pretty well. It's fairly complex, where the pumpkin and spices -- mostly nutmeg and some ginger -- come through, with some vanilla on the back end, along with those rich pumpkin mash flavors also. Finish is not sweet, but highly malty, with lingering pumpkin pie spice on the tongue, and again, the key here is not the pervasive sweetness you can sometimes find on the over-spiced and under-hopped versions.

Mouthfeel: Seemingly more medium-bodied, but I think that's due to the carbonation, which is the key to providing the fluffy head, as it seems to, somehow, be perfectly complimentary to this beer. It also seems velvety in its softness, which was another surprising variable for me, considering the ABV of the brew.

Drinkability: Color me pretty shocked with this, and this is a brew also that won't break your wallet. I get any new pumpkin ales I can find that I've never had, and though I hoped to enjoy this, I didn't expect the depth of flavor and balance. Definitely try it, and pick up a few if you see it. I will if I can find it again.

Photo of dirtylou
4.18/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, split

appearance: served in a lakefront shaker pint - rich orange-bronze body, nice creamy tan cap with strong retention

smell: pumpkin pie, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, pale malt

taste: solid pumpkin offering - lots of good pumpkin pie spice ala nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cinnamon. Not really an abundance of pumpkin flavor but very nicely spiced and a well rounded pale malt profile.

mouthfeel: medium, creamy. very good for the style which tends to be a little bland

overall: good - looking forward to the other elysian pumpkins

Photo of Magpie14
4.19/5  rDev +6.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A most intimidating label with a wise owl staring back. The body is colored a deep orange with soft caramel accents swirled about, pretty deep color overall with a hint of crimson as well. The cap grew quickly and laid an ecru colored fluff bomb on top with lasting power. A few strong blobs of foam remain nicely attached to the glass

S: I am really questioning if a pumpkin pie is crammed into the bottle? The smell is near perfect! It has all the whiffs required for a fresh made pie. The usual spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, and maybe a few crushed cloves) softly intermingle with a sugar cookie pale malt kind of smell

T: ahh, tasty. I find that the nose gives high expectations for the palate and things are a little weaker than I had hoped for. It's not that I don't like it, far from it. The brown sugar crusted malts make things great and when paired with delicate caramel flavors is banging. The spiciness is in control and in a good way! Pretty balanced overall. If I have any quarrels it is that I find no hops to be tickling the tongue, not a big deal for me though considering the style

M: good marks in the body as well. It has a slight zip to it, somewhat coarse with bubbles. I find the mouthfeel to be medium. Things are moving well

D: what is most commendable about this beer is that things are in harmony. The flavors are locked in well and make drinking easy. I have found over the years that sometimes these seasonal brews can be spice bombs that lend a bad and feeble experience.
Not the best Pumpkin Ale I have had...but darn good! and by far one of the best smelling!

Photo of BeerAdvocate
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine Vol. II Issue IX:

Brewed with 150lbs of pumpkin per batch (in the mash, boil and fermentor), green and roasted pumpkin seeds bittered with Horizon and spiced with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger and allspice.

Slightly hazy tawny color. Lacing surpasses our expectations with a good amount of clinging action. Smells of fermented pumpkin, a little starchy and melon-like, with a tartness that meshes very well with the subtle yet savory spicing. Incredibly smooth, sturdy medium body. Kicks off with a mild tartness of fermented pumpkin. Malt follows right behind with a mellow bread and faint caramel mix. Spicing slowly strolls hand in hand with the balancing hop bitterness. Nutmeg and clove seem to be the more dominant spices in their small world until the ginger comes along and plays king through the aftertaste. A little bready and toasty in the slightly dry finish.

This has to be one of the most complex Pumpkin Ales we've had to date. And there is a bonus in its drinkability, as most of the style are good for on;y one serving. Sip after sip, Night Owl grew on us. Seek this beer. Enjoy.

Photo of nhudson
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is a hazy orange/copper color with about a 2 finger head poured into a pint glass. Smell is of sweet malt with a hint of real pumpkin, not pumpkin spice. As this beer warms up the pumpkin comes to the front with just a hint of nutmeg and malt. I find most pumpkin ales to be overly spiced. This one is right on the money with the pumpkin flavor. Mouthfeel I thought was a bit thin, but for a beer ~6% I wouldn't expect anything else. Overall I could drink this over and over again, very easy to put down a couple of pints.

Photo of DrDemento456
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice clear orange brown with a 1/2 inch of opaque colored head.

S - Smells quite mild yet balanced getting some sweet spices and not very vegital pumpkin. Malts and hops seem level.

T - Wow very nice as other stated it balances the line of pumpkin and beer very well with just the right amount of cinnamon and allspice to keep it from being too vegital. Malt forward is also a plus for the style.

M - Like Fegley's Devious only more sessionable with a light to medium body make for easy drink ability.

Overall it either this or Devious but I am looking to get a case of this stuff. Good pumpkin ale indeed.

Photo of Gavage
4.2/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark orange in color with a 1" head the falls apart slowly.

Smell: pumpkin spices are easy to detect by the nose.

Taste: caramel and big pumpkin pie flavors with some cinammon and nutmeg. Nice bitterness brings the sweetness into check. This beer does not impart the fake pumpkin flavors so many other beers exhibit. Nice bold flavors.

Mouthfeel: crisp to start, less so towards the finish. Aftertaste is short-lived as the spices leave the tongue quickly. Medium bodied beer.

Drinkability: this is probably one of the better tasting pumpkin ales I have had. It goes down easy and several pints could be quaffed in a session.

Photo of Bfarr
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy orange amber and thin tan head with poor retention. Strong pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little nutty aroma. Flavor follows with some sweet clove flavor, nut and spice end with a fairly clean sweet finish. Sharp and full bodied mouthfeel.

This is your everyday pumpkin ale. Full of all the flavor you want but it's not so strong that it becomes overwhelming. No off flavors and fairly clean finish with just a bit of light fuzziness lingering making this one of the few pumpkin beers out there you could drink a few of and not be sick of pumpkin.

Photo of Axnjxn
4.21/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bomber into a Deschutes teku glass. 2013 release.

Pours a dark copper/orange color with a nice inch thick head. The smell is of pumpkin pie...lots of nutmeg and cinnamon and pumpkin flavor. Taste is again right on the money - pumpkin pie flavor. Not overwhelming in any way though, all the spices are very balanced. Not too sweet or too bitter. An exceptional pumpkin flavored beer. Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Overall upper echelon as far as pumpkin beers go.

Photo of JMBSH
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A very dark amber with a fair amount of sediment floating in the liquid. Spices or yeast? A fairly good sized head that shrinkt to a thin coating. No lace left on sides after tasting.

S - No way you can smell this beers pumpkin chassification. The spices are very strong and smell very good. When you get your nose into the glas pumpkin itself is also detected.

T - The spices again but the pumpkin is also there to balance them out. Unlike some pumpkin beers I have had, no one spice commands this beer. A very nice blend.

M - Very smooth. The carbonation is almost perfect.

D - I ordered this beer off the internet. I wish it was availible around here. This was very good! I could open up another bottle right now.

Photo of Act25
4.22/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Bottle into stemless wineglass, after dinner. Compared vs Wolavers Organic from Vermont.

Appearance: Pours a slightly hazed, deep, orangish, amber body with 1 finger, but large bubbled, cream head. Strong lacing all the way. A meditation beer. More pumpkin colored than others.

Smell: WOW! As soon as uncapped, you smell the pumpkins and spice in a very nice, fresh way. Nicely aromatic pumpkin and malt scent, with notes of the ginger, cinnamon, and many spices.

Taste: Follows the taste, with lots of body, almost syrupy, sweet malt flavor with toasted pumpkins and barnyard hay in a good way. Just the right spicy kick. Some hop bitterness. Finishes with a toasty spiciness and flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and, a bit of ginger. Drying. Complex unfolding, a really intersting beer to swirl, sniff, compare. Great fun. A must every autumn.

Mouthfeel: Thick to medium-bodied. Medium carbonation. Good food beer, good with dessert or cheese. Made me reach for smoked cheddar and robusto as great combos.

Drinkability: Pretty decent, the beer improves w warming. Savor it. (I did because I compared it to the much weaker Wolavers)

PS I am not a pumkin ale guy, going for ipas, stouts, porters, belgians. So, this beer really surprised me as a great fall after dinner or cheese course beer. Well done and possibly the best in class.

Photo of alpinebryant
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy copper faded penny, a bit of lacing , still looking in the glass.

S: Aroma is composed of a relatively subdued brown ale with mostly fresh pumpkin, a bit of biscuit and pale malt.

T: Wow, a very complex pumpkin ale that is not over spiced. Being one of my favorite styles, I have had about 15 pumpkin ales in the past two weeks. This definitely did not disappoint. The flavors are mostly well rounded pale malt and brown ale, a bit of brown sugar, tons of fresh wet pumpkin, a bit of salt, ginger, nutmeg and clove. The spices are pretty light but present at the very end after you have had a few sips. Usually the spices hit you right on the first sip, but when they dont; and they slowly hit your tongue after the pumpkin flavors have really made their presence felt, the nutmeg and clove will eventually creep up on you.

M: Unbelievably smooth, slightly light on the carbonation, but extremely easy to drink.

O: Overall, this is probably my number one pumpkin ale right now. I can really enjoy Pumpking from Southern Tier and comparitively , this is clearly more drinkable with a lower abv and slightly more complexity. The big selling point though is that it is more of an authentic pumpkin ale vs an overspiced brown ale. Very well done and highly recommended.

Photo of grittybrews
4.23/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a muddy amber into a pint glass with two fingers of sticky off-white head. Big aroma with lots of pumpkin and nutmeg.

Lowish carbonation and a slightly thin mouthfeel. Spice flavors are prominent up front with lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Pumpkin reemerges on the finish with hints of caramel sweetness and hops.

Nicely complex and drinkable, but probably not my favorite pumpkin ale.

Photo of spokeydonkey
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Got a growler of this filled from draught from Oliver's Brew Crew in Albany, NY.

Poured midnight black with a modest tan head that quickly faded to a thin tan lacing.

Smells strongly of cinnamon with background notes of nutmeg and a slight roasted note. The cinnamon smell dominates, but isn't overpowering--it smells like a cinnamon spiced pie.

Tastes starts off sweet with a tiny bit of tartness, followed up by spice overlaying a malty sweetness. As with the smell, it's dominated by cinnamon with a nice dose of ginger in the background. The cinnamon and ginger spice blends smoothly into the roasty notes of the malt for a lingering finish. Not a subtle beer, but amazingly balanced for what it does: clobber you with spices, sweetness and finish dry and roasty. Like a roasted pumpkin pie!

Mouthfeel - medium bodied. Not too cloying despite its sweetness. Finishes crisp and dry.

Overall an excellent sweet-style pumpkin beer. I really don't like sweet beers, but this really tastes like a roasted pumpkin pie (well without the pumpkin flavor). The balance is awesome and it finished dry enough to keep it very drinkable.

Photo of erikm25
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This pours a heavy burnt orange mixed with an amber and rustic hue. A medium off white fluffy head. The head had a very light orange haze as well. Retention is decent as is the lacing.

S: The pumpkin smell is amazingly strong. Even from the outset of the pour I could pick up the strong aromas of pumpkin pie and nutmeg. Amazing that a beer could actually remind me of opening a piping hot oven on Thanksgiving day. Also, the nutmeg and brown sugar aromas are present giving it a nice sharp smell.

T: The aroma is a lot to live up too. There is a great pumpkin flavor here but I was hoping for just a tad more. I was actually hoping for a real overkill on pumpkin so maybe this expectation was unreal. Regardless, the spices, peppers, cinnamon, and nutmeg add a nice feel to the taste and bring out the pumpkin pie qualities even more. Vanilla slightly appears in the aftertaste.

M: This is medium bodied yet impressively creamy. Great mouth feel and medium carbonation.

D: Overall I found this to be very drinkable. Most likely will jump into a few more before the end of the fall season. At the very least I think having this closer to room temperature is worth a try. The aroma is one of the best I have ever smelled and the taste was quality. Just a little more body and a little more pumpkin taste and this would have been perfect.

Photo of bkilpatr
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a mug. 12/14/08. Best by date of 12/26/08.

Pours a bright orange-copper color with about a finger of soft beige head. Aroma is filled with pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove.

Taste follows the aroma and then some. Lots of pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. Underneath all that is a nice sweet malt base. Tastes like liquid pumpkin pie. Very nice balance between pumpkin and spices.

Feel is smooth with a light-medium body. Carbonation is a bit low. It's not fizzy like most pumpkin beers, it's smooth and creamy. Drinkability is pretty good. Goes down real easily and has a very balanced taste.

Overall, a very good pumpkin beer. It's like pumpkin pie in a bottle.

Photo of craytonic
4.24/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nutmeg and pumpkin in a bottle (in that order)

Appearance: bronze-orange pour with a smallish head, no lacing

Smell: Wow. Go big or go home I suppose. First just pure nutmeg, followed by pumpkin. This smells exactly like fresh pumpkin pie (albeit cold). Behind that I get cinnamon, caramel, brown sugar, perhaps some maple syrup and sweet molasses.

Taste: Similar to the nose, enormous amounts of nutmeg followed by pumpkin pie filling, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, caramel, brown sugar and maple syrup. Very tasty and perfect for thanksgiving.

Mouthfeel: Is good, but with the huge smell and taste you want a big mouth feel as well.

Drinkability: Bit of a novelty, but half a bomber would be perfect. Probably one of the top 2 or three pumpkin ales out there. I'd be curious to have a blend with half of it barrel aged.

Photo of souvenirs
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

I snapped this up at the liquor store yesterday. First pumpkin beer of the season! I'm looking forward to a few weeks from now, when there will be about a dozen different kinds for me to try.

Pours a cloudy brown. Aroma of wet pumpkin plus pumpkin pie spices. Taste is pumpkin pie in a bottle. No pumpkin beer I've tried before tasted this much like pumpkin pie. Very nice!

Photo of Dodo2step
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

P- Wegman's

A- Copper orange color. with a one finger head that is quite cloudy.

S- clove and pumpkin spice. I detect notes of brown sugar as well. Very sweet smell.

F- pumpkin spice pie which flavor is awesome. the clove comes through great and complementary.

M- chewy and pumpkin. smooth and goes down easy.

O- great pumpkin beer. a top 3 pumpkin for me.

Photo of NessaHilling
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Great flavor wonderful soices

Photo of RyanHubbell
4.25/5  rDev +7.9%

Alright, even though I'm not a sweeter her guy; this is a good darker ale. Pallet conquering. Sweet yet not over powering in that aspect. The ice cold transcendence towards the warmer end of a 22oz is my favorite part of the beer. Much like a heavy German beer the flavor changes by the minute. From almost a fruity/citrusy hef to a thick pumpkin ale. Beautiful transition.

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

22 oz. bomber from Liquid Solutions,

A: Pours a beautiful pumpkin orange colour, with a solid, slightly fizzy white head. Some lace which is extremely rare in a Pumpkin Ale.

S: A lot more pumpkin flesh, squash character at first, the spice notes are light in the nose, I get nutmeg and clove distinctly, and a bit of spiced cream.

T: The spice and cream notes from the nose continue in the taste where they are met by the distinct pumpkin. Allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg are clearly evident, the beer ends on a full clove bite. Let it roll over the tongue a couple of times ere the swallow as it continues to evolve with each moment.

M: Nice body for a pumpkin beer, I find that many pumpkin brews are overly light and fizzy, but this has a nice heft to it, yet it's light enough for easy drinking.

D: Very easy to drink, I could have finished the bomber in 5 minutes, it's that drinkable, however, I milked it a bit since this is the only bottle I have of this. Excellent pumpkin ale, I hear Elysian are coming into the Southland soon, this beer made a great first impression.

Photo of LampertLand
4.26/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Elysian"Night Owl"Pumpkin Ale @ 5.9% , served on *cask* @ GCBF'07&'09 , on tap GCBF'11 &'14 and from the 650 ml bottle purchased for $6.50

A-pour is gold from the *cask/tap/bottle to a lovely light orange/amber in the glass with a small tight off-white head leaving fine spotty lace along the pint/sampler glass

S-such a great smell of pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon , ginger , nutmeg , allspice)

T-smell is better than the taste , so smooth & creamy , just damn tasty !!

MF-light/mild carbonation , nice medium body , perfect Pumpkin pie mouthfeel

Ov-one of the sweetest Pumpkin Ales , also one of the best

prost LampertLand

Photo of Hornet2003
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark rudy, tiny head that retains on the edge.

Smell: This is incredibly pumpkiny. Not over-the-top spicy (to be fair, spices are there), but it has such wonderful pumpkin meat aroma that this is truly a pumkiny pumpkin ale (too much pumpkin?)

Taste: Great pumpkin flavour and some nice spices mixed in. The malty backbone isn't as strong as other Pumpkins, but it is still there with it's prominent sweetness. The hops are quite subtle, almost lending their space to the spices.

Mouthfeel: Solid ale feel. Moderate carbonation. the whole beer has a subtly about it with the spices. The pumpkin gives a sweetness that reminds of eating a solid peace of pumpkin pie.

Overall: Great stuff by Elysian. They made a point of showcasing the pumpkin of this ale rather than just the spices associated with pumpkin pie. Price was reasonable (~$5.50/bomber) and it delivered on the flavour front.

Photo of RedDiamond
4.27/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Unlike many pumpkin ales that are really spice beers seasoned with pumpkin, Night Owl is actually a pumpkin beer seasoned with spice. Nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice definitely enhance the flavor, especially the ginger that kicks in towards the end in a manner equivalent to hops bittering.

But Night Owl's taste and aroma are firmly defined by real pumpkin character. The fragrance of fresh pumpkin is refreshing and prominent, and the taste follows suit - no doubt as a result of a triple pumpkin regimen in the mash, boil, and fermenter. The dark auburn body is mostly clear with medium carbonation and modest lather. It's slightly thin though not to the point of distraction.

Real pumpkin flavor makes this a more successful example of the style than is ordinarily seen in our region. A terrific fall seasonal, and Elysian was still selling bombers for just three bucks at their brewpub as of mid-February.

Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,037 ratings.