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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale - Elysian Brewing Company

Night Owl Pumpkin AleNight Owl Pumpkin Ale

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

711 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 711
Reviews: 297
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.08%

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
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Ratings: 711 | Reviews: 297 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of KTCamm

New Jersey

3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Served on tap

Elysian imperial pumpkin
Pours a Light copper bronze. With little foam, fairly clear atop. Sweet pumpkin pie nose, some seasonal spices leak out. Tastes Like liquid pie, very smooth. Nutmeg. Good flavor brings you back for more.. Tasty. 375 375 4 375 375

Serving type: on-tap

11-24-2013 15:06:11 | More by KTCamm
Photo of RandomExile


3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: deep cloudy amber, thin, short-lived head, persistent fine-foamed rim and surface film.
S: Floral, almost fennel nose, spice
T: floral, cloves, cinnamon, fades mostly into pumpkin and cinnamon
M: a bit thin, can be foamed
O: Not bad. Doesn't really fall into the refreshing category, but it not so overly sweet or spiced as to be cloying. For those who want a medium-bodied pumpkin ale distinctively spiced but no overpowering, this could be the one.

Serving type: on-tap

10-21-2013 23:43:42 | More by RandomExile
Photo of spokeydonkey

New York

4.28/5  rDev +10%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2013 01:59:43 | More by spokeydonkey
Photo of Smurf2055


3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2013 23:24:40 | More by Smurf2055
Photo of OWSLEY069


3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange-ish to yellow color, a bit chunky, and a small to no white head. In the aroma, big cinnamon and allspice all the way through. In the taste, big spice, quite heavy on the cinnamon, with nutmeg and allspice, and notes of gourd. A spice bite and a medium to lighter body, with a dry over use of cinnamon and ginger in the aftertaste. Overuse of cinnamon and big spice presence, although, just about average.

Serving type: on-tap

11-23-2012 15:23:13 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of wethorseblanket


3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Hops and Pie.

A: Pours a clear light copper with an initial half-inch white head which fades leaving bits of lace.

N: Faint pumpkin meat with associated spices and nutty notes along with some vegetal quality.

T: Typical pumpkin spices with emphasis on ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Slightly thin. Spices linger on the finish.

O: Nice for the style without the overwhelming spicy profile.

Serving type: on-tap

10-11-2012 18:14:49 | More by wethorseblanket
Photo of Knapp85


3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice looking clear copper color with nearly no head on top. There was just some scattered bubbles on top of this and no lacing. The smell of the beer was spicy very much autumn scented. The taste of the beer was pretty good, balanced between the malts and the spices. The mouthfeel was a little on the watery side in my opinion, it finished very dry also. Overall this beer was decent and I might drink it again one day but I wouldn't see myself running out to buy a case or anything next fall.

Serving type: on-tap

10-06-2012 17:36:10 | More by Knapp85
Photo of vkv822


3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on-tap @ Elysian Brewery.
taster glass.
from notes.

Clear orange with a low, white head.

Clove and pumpkin upfront. Highlight with nutmeg, and a light note of cinnamon in the finish. Malty base.

Average body, medium, prickly, bubbly carbonation.

A well done pumpkin beer. Easy to distinguish the style and pumpkin and spices used, but they were not overwhelming as can easily happen in the style.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2012 06:47:03 | More by vkv822
Photo of johnmichaelsen


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today. Can't believe it's pumpkin beer season already.

The beer pours a copper amber color with fairly good head retention and light lacing. The nose is rather amazing though, as I get considerable pumpkin, clove, alspice and vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose, and the amount of pumpkin flavor is astonishing. It blends well with all the spice, leading to a moderately sweet beer, which end with a dry, spice filled finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and the finish is long and spice infused.

Probably one of the better pumpkin beers out there, but I confess I'm just not a big fan of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2012 20:52:05 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of TheEarl


3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I’m reviewing this from notes I’ve taken throughout numerous pours of this beer. I’ve had Night Owl from 22oz. bottles, on draft at the Elysian pub, and from a horrendously botched growler fill that left the beer completely flat (the bartender filled the growler by pouring from filled pints…).

Appearance: This beer pours an opaque brownish/orange color with a white head and lots of lacing that really sticks around.

Smell: The aroma is dominated by roasted pumpkin and spices but, as some other reviewers have noted, not exactly the pumpkin and spices smell of a pumpkin pie. Rather, Night Owl has a slightly more earthy smell than most pumpkin ales.

Taste: The taste is sweeter and more pie-centric than the aroma suggests. There are initial pangs of brown sugar and cinnamon, fading into pumpkin and a general fruit sweetness, and finishing with ginger spiciness and some crispness.

Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is probably lighter than the average for the style. You definitely don’t get the sense that you’re swallowing a mouthful of pumpkin puree.

Overall: Night Owl is a great seasonal beer that I look forward to every year and, while I appreciate that this isn’t exactly orthodox, Night Owl served from a frosted pint glass is one of the best things about October in Seattle. That said, I have noticed, as have other aficionados I’ve conferred with, that Night Owl exhibits no small degree of quality variance from year-to-year and maybe even batch-to-batch.

Serving type: on-tap

05-18-2012 21:23:07 | More by TheEarl
Photo of BeerCentralWA


4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Rich but not overpowering. Excellent well rounded mouthfeel. Pumkin flavor is present but not overdone or artificial. Warming, rich, satisfying and heavy.
A- orange reddish amber, rich and opaque
S- malty richness, slight spice
T- tasty pumpkin and hearty spice. Pumpkin but not. Tastes life fall. rich musty malt
O- a favorite fall northwest beer.

Serving type: on-tap

02-19-2012 02:27:10 | More by BeerCentralWA
Photo of MADhombrewer


4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Roscoe's

Appearance- Hazy dark orange/copper. Off white head almost cream color. Almost no lacing. 4/5

Smell- Not a very strong aroma but definite pumpkin pie smell. Nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice. 4/5

Taste- Again, not a very strong or overpowering taste. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and all spice. Very balanced and easy drinking. 4/5

Mouthfeel- Medium mouthfeel. I have to say this is close to perfect for what you would expect from a pumpkin beer. 4.5/5

Overall- Well done Elysian. I am not a hard core pumpkin beer drinker, but this is good. Very balanced The spices are not in-your-face, yet you have the main pumpkin flavors. 4/5

Serving type: on-tap

11-09-2011 17:07:12 | More by MADhombrewer
Photo of DaftCaskBC

British Columbia (Canada)

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at St Augustine's in Vancouver.

A: 1/8" white head over deep amber cloudy liquid.

S: Cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin and yeast.

T: Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon up front which transitions to a yeasty pumpkin finish.

M: Medium to thin viscosity and a medium level of carbonation. Some presence of alcohol on the tongue.

O: Very drinkable spiced pumpkin ale that is quite yeasty.

Serving type: on-tap

09-20-2011 06:36:23 | More by DaftCaskBC
Photo of mdfb79

New York

3.58/5  rDev -8%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

08-24-2011 15:39:34 | More by mdfb79
Photo of Rifugium


3.03/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at ?

Poured clear orange-copper with a nice head. Malts in the nose and some pumpkin. Pretty much straight-up malts and the pumpkin and spice is not too spectacular, as opposed to other brews of the style. Like, when I order a pumpkin beer, I want pumpkin and spice...no need for subtlety. Light-medium mouthfeel, a bit watered down. Fairly drinkable, but not worth going out of the way for.

Serving type: on-tap

05-04-2011 16:44:26 | More by Rifugium
Photo of sholland119


3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
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.


Serving type: on-tap

11-01-2009 22:21:20 | More by sholland119
Photo of rfgetz

New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Institute as part of their "Pumpkin Patch" event...

Darker orange with hints of copper. Decent white head and ok lacing. Smell is of pumpkin pie - spices like nutmeg, clove and cinamon - with a little pumpkin puree thing going on. Tast is very good, as close to pumpkin pie as i have had outside of a ST Pumking. Good body, carbonation does not get in the way, creamy without being sticky or heavy. Very good pumpkin beer, one of the best.

Serving type: on-tap

10-06-2009 13:12:17 | More by rfgetz
Photo of Cavalier92

New Jersey

3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not your typical pumpkin ale. A good bit of dryness and hops. Strong nose of ginger and nutmeg. Deep amber brown body with thick off white head. Pumpkin flavor comes through on the finish, but still feels a bit thin in the mouth. 6un because it,s different from the standard pumpkin brew, but nothing to go out of your way for.

Serving type: on-tap

09-24-2009 18:05:17 | More by Cavalier92
Photo of Bookseeb


4.75/5  rDev +22.1%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-31-2008 01:51:04 | More by Bookseeb
Photo of callmemickey


3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber-orange body thin white head with a bit of lacing left on the glass.

S: The allspice comes through, classic pumpkin ale scent..

T: Rich spicy pumpkin flavor.. cinnamon and allspice are present...

M: Smooth, moderately carbonated, thinner finish than i'd like

D: good for one, the overwhelming spice flavor started to grate on me by the last sip

Serving type: on-tap

11-11-2008 06:18:28 | More by callmemickey
Photo of antilogic


3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had it on tap @ the Horsebrass in Portland. Got a free taster from the bar staff.

Aroma of light spicing, but lacking a pumpkin. Head was big, low carbonation, appears a standard "brown" in low bar lighting. Taste was smooth, and some pumpkin was definitely there. It was a lot lighter than I expected, leaving me disappointed.

Serving type: on-tap

11-10-2008 07:44:48 | More by antilogic
Photo of LunaChick


3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2008 05:06:15 | More by LunaChick
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Capitol Hill location. Elysian's original pumpkin ale made with real pumpkin, pale, munich, and crystal malts; green and roasted pumpkin seeds, and with the pumpkin in the mash, boiler, and fermenter. Bittered with magnum hops. Spiced with nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. 6.1%, starting gravity of 14.9 degrees plato. Poured amber with almost no head and lightly carbonated. Smells of vanilla, nutmeg, orange, and fresh pumpkin. Taste also has evidence of real pumpkin being used. Nice to find some creamy slightly slick real pumpkin flavors instead of just extracts and pie spice. Light spice on finish as well as a fruitiness throughout. A little thin and slightly undercarbonated, but still nice.

Serving type: on-tap

12-10-2007 16:32:34 | More by Georgiabeer
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.

Serving type: on-tap

12-06-2007 05:18:27 | More by barleywinefiend
Photo of ccrida


4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

10-03-2007 02:15:42 | More by ccrida
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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 711 ratings.