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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

326 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 326
Hads: 1,053
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 115
Gots: 165 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  6.70% 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: 326 | Hads: 1,053
Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 12 oz bottle. Start of the season so I assume this is pretty fresh.

For once, a pumpkin beer that smells more like allspice and cinnamon than clove. Reminds me of the smell of warm apple butter. Of the main spices on the label, I think the most prominent in the aroma is allspice, with cinnamon taking second. I do actually smell some pumpkin as well, which is sometimes awkwardly absent in "pumpkin beer". Big win here. Awesome aroma.

The flavor is a bit of a trick play, with a sweet pumpkin pie beginning and then a bait and switch towards a more bitter and vegetable-y fall beer. Both are enjoyable, with the bitterness being more unusual. The aftertaste seems a bit muddled to me, with an almost harsh tannic quality (like over-steeped tea). However, all the muddled flavors are good ones, so that is a plus. They just don't stand out clearly like in the fantastic aroma.

The mouthfeel is "wet", if that is possible. Not sweet per se, but medium bodied.

Conclusion: Overall well done. Enjoyable, and the aroma is the clear stand out here. Maybe the best smelling fall beer I have had in recent memory. The flavor of this one seems to be overly muddled, and maybe it just needs some time. If this was a homebrew, I would probably conclude that it is still too young and needs some time in the bottle to settle out. I am searching hard this season to find a beer which can surpass my local favorite, Bristol's Venetucci Pumpkin Ale which is getting harder and harder to acquire. (1,492 characters)

Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours slightly hazy amber with fizzy white head that dissipates to a thin cap. Wonderful aromas of mulled apple cider, pumpkin pie, cinnamon pie crust, clove and allspice. Flavor echoes much of the same with the cinnamon and clove lingering and mixing with a subtle hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but works well with the flavors given There is also a vibrant effervescence that gives the beer a feel of ginger beer. One of the best pumpkin beers I've ever had. (479 characters)

Photo of username
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Actually does have a number of pumpkin pie characteristics that are evident and desirable. Very pronounced pumpkin pie flavor.

Compared to Schlafly Pumpkin Ale (which is also quite fantastic), this I feel has more of a home-cooked, non-commercial, pumpkin pie flavor while Schlafly has a more generic, store-bought pie flavor. Elysian is a bit more savory, while Schlafly is sweet. My preference would be for the Elysian, but honestly it'd be hard to go wrong between the two. (477 characters)

Photo of GilGarp
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served chilled in a shaker pint glass.

Night Owl is a very hazy redish copper color. This head is thin and quick to settle.

Aroma is a little faded since last fall when it was fresh. Still has that pumpkin spice and pumpkin pie sweetness.

Flavor is much the same with pumpkin pie sweetness up front and more of the pie spice from middle to end.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall a very good pumpkin ale with a great balance of sweetness and spice. (476 characters)

Photo of Treyliff
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, poured into a snifter

A- pours a dark copper color with a reddish hue, small creamy white head reduces to a film on top, leaving short lasting lace behind

S- right off I notice that this is one of the few pumpkin beers that smells like pumpkin pie. most have only the spicing element, but this has that aroma of raw pumpkin flesh, perhaps emphasized by the addition of the pumpkin seeds. Cinnamon, clove & nutmeg all come through on the aroma. The malt is sweet, bringing shadows of whipped cream, caramel & pie crust

T- spicing up front with and emphasis on cinnamon and nutmeg, slight resemblence of cola. Raw pumpkin flavor kicks in mid-palate with some nutty notes, perhaps from the pumpkin seeds. Sweet malty notes of brown sugar, toasted pastry and caramel. More pumpkin on the finish with a hint of sweet vanilla cream on the linger

M- medium body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a prickly mouthfeel and a creamy & silky finish

O- very well balanced pumpkin ale that showcases the pumpkin itself, rather than the spicing like most pumpkin ales (1,085 characters)

Photo of draheim
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into a tulip. Pours a clear copper color w/ a thin white head that settles to a sudsy film.

Aroma is fresh pumpkin pie: nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and fresh vegetal pumpkin. Really hits all the right spice notes.

Taste likewise leads off with lots of cinnamon, tastes kind of like a Red Hot. Clean and natural, not artificial tasting like many pumpkin beers.

Nice full mouthfeel.

Overall a tasty, enjoyable, spice-forward pumpkin beer. (445 characters)

Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Dark amber liquid with orange hues. Creamy, oatmeal-colored head a finger thick and dissipates quickly. 4

Spicy and tea-like with the initial smells. Reminds me of chai, just like the Imperial Pumpkin from Dry Dock. Interesting. Sweet and vanilla-like. Not bad. 4

Well, with Dry Dock the pumpkin spiced chai thing worked, as the body was thicker, creamy and felt like a beer. This tastes like chai and feels like it too. Thin-bodied, clove-heavy and teal-like, this just doesn't taste or feel like a beer. The pumpkin flavor is not over the top and the mix of spices all work well, but again, I almost don't feel like this is a beer save the robust carbonation. T- 3.25 F- 3.25

Overall, this is a great chai with some booze, but an okay beer that feels like a pumpkin chai. (817 characters)

Photo of cratez
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%

Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale - 5.9% ABV - Consumed October 14/2014.

A: Dark and cloudy orange hue with a sliver of white foam. Several strands of lacing stick to the nonic glass. Clearly unfiltered, as this is much more opaque than I would expect for a mid-strength pumpkin ale. A good looking beer.

S: Massive pumpkin pie smell with pumpkin filling (a little fleshy), buttery-flaky pie crust, all spice, nutmeg, hint of clove, and cinnamon. Ginger is undetectable to my nose. Straightforward aromas but appealing and style-appropriate nonetheless. Very good.

T: Big pumpkin pie filling, nutmeg, buttery crust, cinnamon, vanilla, table cream, and allspice with more cinnamon, vanilla, and pumpkin flavours on the cough. Ginger and clove ingredients are not apparent in the taste. More flavourful and robust than your typical pumpkin ale, and a great example of the style.

M: Full side of medium-bodied, creamy carbonation, smooth middle, semi-spicy and mildly drying finish with cinnamon, vanilla, and pumpkin on the cough. Solid palate.

O: A remarkably good take with the intensity of an imperial pumpkin ale. Well-crafted and worth buying. (1,150 characters)

Photo of logicalparadox
4/5  rDev +2.6%

Good pumpkin beer. A little more of the "pumpkin pie" thing, than I prefer and less well done than some others that do that particular interpretation particularly well, but this is a good choice, and once I've not seen available as much.

7 Pounds of pumpkin per barrel? Brewed with pumpkin seeds? That makes me think. Pumpkins are heavy. How much is 7 pounds, really? And with seeds makes me wonder if they are brewing with all the pulp. Not saying that's a bad thing, but obviously has a higher return than using just the meat of the gourd and not all the guts.

I was less impressed with this than I should be by the ratings, but I did enjoy it quite a bit. I'd put it toward the top of my pumpkin beer selection, but I will need to try it a few more times to judge it better. (780 characters)

Photo of Stinkypuss
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an orangish amber with a white head and some lacing. The aroma is inviting and has big notes of pumpkin, fruit, spice and hops. The flavor is well balanced with fruity notes and pumpkin, vanilla, caramel, cream and subtle cinnamon like spice. Full bodied ale with ample carbonation. Overall, an above average pumpkin ale. (331 characters)

Photo of VashonGuy
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%

Elysian does so many pumpkin beers - Dark o’ the Moon, Great Pumpkin, Punkuccino - and a jillion one-offs, that it’s easy to skip over Night Owl. I hadn’t had a Night Owl bottle for a few years until I picked up an $8 six pack at the grocery yesterday.

Well, what a great beer! Full of pumpkin flavor. Sweet but not too sweet . Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Spices in balance with everything else.

This is not a beer for those who don’t like pumpkin ales. This is not a beer for those who really want a stout, or a coffee ale, or something else. This is a beer for those who enjoy pumpkin flavor in a well made ale. And it’s a terrific bargain. (671 characters)

Photo of RyanHubbell
4.25/5  rDev +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. (373 characters)

Photo of buschbeer
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a pokal glass

L - It is burnt orange in color with amber highlights. It is topped with two inches of tan head that leaves a little lacing.

S - A big pumpkin aroma wafts from this beer. I get nutmeg and cinnamon. The smell very closely resembles that of pumpkin pie.

T - The taste is loaded with pumpkin and spices. Cinnamon stands out the most.

F - Medium and lower carbonation.

O - This is a fine example of a pumpkin beer. I put it right up there behind Pumking along with Schafly Pumpkin Ale. Great Flavor. Great aroma. (557 characters)

Photo of archyquaffer
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%

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 leaddog
4.55/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a copper colour with a finger of frothy cream coloured head.

Smell - pumpkin pie filling, pumpkin spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, ginger, all spice), bready malts, brown sugar.

Taste - Pumpkin pie like mom used to make. Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices are well balanced and provide a savoury/sweet flavour profile.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with the well-rounded pumpkin flavour.

Overall - Wow, that's some good tasting pumpkin pie beer! I wasn't sure if I needed to grab a glass or a fork for this one. Excellent pumpkin and spice flavours that don't compete with one another. Definitely pick up a bottle if you see it your way! (695 characters)

Photo of Greywulfken
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep amber, orange highlights... two fingers of tan head

S: solid pumpkin ale aromas - seasonal spice and sweetness atop hearty ale malts

T: pumpkin flavors nicely balanced between the sweet and vegetal - molasses and brown sugar sweetness, clove, nutmeg, allspice, and the like are all suggested

M: medium-light weight, modest carbonation, somewhere between brisk and chewy - attractive feel

O: a straight-forward but well-executed pumpkin ale (452 characters)

Photo of Bfarr
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
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. (558 characters)

Photo of SnoopBobb
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

This is an awesome pumpkin beer. Very pumpkiny and spicy, but not overwhelming. Also, not too bitter. Also, it's from Seattle which is cool, because Seattle is awesome. Also, it's available in 12oz bottles, so you don't necessarily need to drink a massive pint-sized beer. Also, the label is pretty tight. Highly recommend. (323 characters)

Photo of seedyone
3/5  rDev -23.1%

From growler at home. I used to be a big fan of So. Tier's Pumpking but it seems to have shifted towards a drier, hop forward brew which has left me behind. I picked up this from Elysian because many reviews claimed it was a bit sweet. Not for my tastes.

It pours nicely & the slight cooper tone of the head bode well of the very nice warm spice blend. The taste was just OK by me. Not as dry or hoppy as this year's (2014) So Tier effort but still 2 bases short of a home run. (480 characters)

Photo of iamproph
5/5  rDev +28.2%

Unbelievable Pumpkin beer. Had it out of the 22oz bomber, on tap, and now the 16oz bottle. Just the right amount of pumpkin flavor without overpowering it, this is my go-to fall beer. (185 characters)

Photo of souvenirs
4.25/5  rDev +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! (374 characters)

Photo of ladyweapon
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

One of the better pumpkin beers available. On the first taste, my only thought was "This actually tastes like pumpkin!" I may just be used to terrible pumpkin beers, but this is absolutely fantastic - which is par for the course for Elysian. (242 characters)

Photo of Dodo2step
4.25/5  rDev +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. (366 characters)

Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.8/5  rDev -28.2%

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 (1,208 characters)

Photo of AyeMito
4.38/5  rDev +12.3%

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)

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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.