Night Owl Pumpkin Ale - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Night Owl Pumpkin AleNight Owl Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

321 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

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Reviews: 321
Hads: 1,040
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 10.54%
Wants: 106
Gots: 154 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 321 | Hads: 1,040
Photo of cvfish
4.54/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - This beer poured a pumpkin orange color that produced a white fluffy head that had good retention and laced the side of the glass nicely

S - The aromas produced by this beer were, in short, Grams's pumpkin pie, pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, this was a great smelling beer

T - I could say a whole lot about this beer, but the nose says it all, I will say the taste is only second to Pumking

M - The mouthfeel of this beer had a medium body with a light to moderate amount of carbonation

D - This was a very good pumpkin beer, although not enough to dethrone the Pumking from that status (590 characters)

Photo of drumrboy22
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz. bottle into Shipyard Pumpkin Ale pint glass. Beer was a dark orange color, with a one-finger, tan head. Moderate carbonation and lacing around the glass.

Aroma was clove, allspice, cinnamon and licorice.

Taste was allspice, clove and pumpkin pie.

Heavily spiced, but pretty good for the style. Good drinkability. (335 characters)

Photo of mikey711
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
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 (501 characters)

Photo of nickd717
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Taking my review from RB after prior BA review was deleted...

On tap at City Beer in SF. Cloudy dark amber-brown color with a small off-white head. Aroma is decent with good pumpkin spices, pumpkin, and sweet malt. Flavor is not bad but a little harsh. Lots of spices - cinnamon and nutmeg stand out. Also some pumpkin and caramel and roasted malt. Could use a little better malt balance, but it's still better than most pumpkin ales. A little astringent on the palate with medium body and some spicy zing. Above average overall. Drinkability decent. (551 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a medium-dark sunset orange with a 2 finger foamy pie crust colored head that quickly gave way leaving splotchy broken arches for a lacing. Visible carbonation was strong with a stead-fast showering display of micro bubbles that remained so throughout the course of the drink.

S: The nose emitted a strong sense of fresh cinnamon and pumpkin pie along with a sweet toasted malting. There is as well a good sense of cloves, ginger and hints of French toast (as odd as that my sound). Overall the scent was a dry pumpkin spiciness that was never overbearing, but subtle with a good backing of toasted malt and pie crust.

T: The flavor was strong with cloves, ginger and sweet toasted grains and cinnamon being very pronounced, yet much like the nose was dry and came off as fresh baked pumpkin pie and not as a spice rack. A big toasty sweet malting and warm-baked pumpkin fresh from the oven smoothers the taste buds upon the swallow. The spicing compliments and never over shadows the toasted malting and baked pumpkin toast dryness which is the backbone and highlight of this drink.

M: light, smooth in character and slides off the tongue leaving a dry toasted malt and pumpkin coating.

D: Per style this was a very easy drinking pumpkin that didn't go overkill on the spices, but instead opted for a dry homegrown nature. Good drinkability as well good enjoyability with a great dry toasted nature that would fair perfect around a campfire on a chilly October evening. You could easily drink several of these, a bomber is spot on, without being overwhelmed spice wise. A solid recommend per style. (1,617 characters)

Photo of dborginis
3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 22 oz bomber to pint glass.

Appearance is a somewhat opaque amber, like looking through a rod of plastic. Interesting.

Smell is very lightly of pumpkin. Can't get too much else.

Taste is a little bit of spices, a little darker smoky malt with a little bit of a carbonation bite. The aftertaste though, is very watery, almost like a lowfat milk. The more I drink it, the more I feel it is watered down, with the above mentioned flavors hiding out and creating a quick sensation, then dying out quickly.

It is drinkable, but I think I'd rather spend my time drinking something with a little more flavor going on.

Nothing against Elysian, but their two offerings I have tried, this and the Jasmine IPA, have been a little too subtle for me, almost watered down. Probably just me, as I have had friends who really enjoy Elysian. Maybe its the coast to coast trip? (877 characters)

Photo of GarrisWH
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz bomber - Brewed by New Belgium for Elysian

A - Pours a hazy brownish orange color with a two-finger, off-white head that slowly drops down leaving some decent, spotty lacing.

S - A spicy, inviting aroma with a pronounced pumpkin presence. The nice, fairly complex spice aromas have hints of nutmeg, cloves, and a bit of cinnamon. There is also a bit of biscuity malt in the aroma as well.

T - The taste is a little bit disappointing compared to the aroma. Starts off with flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon and biscuity malts. This leads into more spice flavors, with some nutmeg, clove, and allspice coming through. Finish is slightly dry and leaves a lingering roasted pumpkin seed flavor into the aftertaste. I like how the pumpkin flavors are very noticeable in this brew. I do wish the flavor was just a little more powerful on the palate, as it somewhat muted for my liking.

M - Medium bodied with a moderate carbonation. Nice body for the style.

D - Overall, I enjoyed this quite a bit, although the aroma got my hopes way up, and it just fell a little bit short in the actual flavor. The pumpkin flavor is definitely well done, it's just missing a little something that could make this one great. I feel like a bit more spice in the flavor to round it out might have made it that much better for me. (1,311 characters)

Photo of Domingo
3.01/5  rDev -22.6%
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) (1,363 characters)

Photo of mulder1010
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

750 ml poured into a pint glass.

A-- Poured an orangeish brown color, gee pumpkin. Settled well with a 2 finger head with nice sticky lacing.

S-- Pumpkin, allspice,nutmeg, clove and cinnimon. Very nice smell and smells like a warm pumpkin pie.

T-- Spices are much more apparent in the taste. Not the pumpkin. A little bit more of the allspice and ginger.

M-- Good carbonation, good mouthfeel. I just get a lot of the spices in my mouth and am not a big fan of ginger and I do get a fair share of it. Get a bit of pumpkin in the finish.

D-- Interesting beer. A very nice Pumpkin Ale and something off the radar. Pumpkin Ales are very hit or miss and this is a hit. Lighter style being just under 6% and lets the spices do most of the talking here. Could do 2 330's easily. One 750 is solid. (796 characters)

Photo of Magpie14
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
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! (1,595 characters)

Photo of philbe311
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Three fingers of worth of tan head comprised of big chunky bubbles... Excellent retention... Head slight recedes to one finger of rich creamy frothy foam... Dark copperish bronze color... Some small carbonation bubbles rise in the middle of the glass... A minor haze permeates throughout... Leaves a jagged pattern of foam clinging to the sides of the glass...

S - A wonderful aroma the encompasses all things autumn... Loads of spices in the form nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and all spice... Pumpkin... Crisp autumnal air... Absolutely fantastic...

T - The taste mirrors the nose close... The spices and pumpkin alternate on the palette... A hint of caramel... Perhaps a slight hint of burnt crust...

M - Just the slight tingle of carbonation on the tongue... On the lighter side of medium bodied... Lush and creamy... Turns dry as the spiciness kicks in... Subtle, but very well crafted... A slight warmth of alcohol as part of the aftertaste...

D - A stellar pumpkin ale, that in my opinion should be the one that all others are measured by... Terrific in all facets... It truly leaves you wanting more sip after sip... (1,139 characters)

Photo of ProudGreen89
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

wow, what a hard drink to track down! finally got my hands on a bottle, heard it was one of the better pumpkin ales so i tried it.

Served poured from the bottle into a pint mug.

A-dark for a pumpkin ale, almost a mocha brown, somewhat hazy, thin head but leaves whispy lacing.

S-a lot going on here but its all good, pumpkin and spices are very present and hit the nose with a very spirited aroma of cinnamon, nutmeg, some hops and maybe malts? its hard to detect the malts for sure with all the spices and pumpkin in there but it is a very welcoming smell.

T-its what you would expect from the nose and it doesnt dissapoint, a nice bouqet of lightly spiced hops, a hint of pine, the spices roll around and only just hint that theyre there until you finish it and the aftertaste is surprisingly pleasent, cinnamon is there and so is allspice and the pumpkin is present the whole time which is nice.

M-its a little light for my taste, especially for a fall ale that should warm you up but its not bad either, goes down smooth and is rather refreshing and filling at the same time.

D-a very drinkable dark ale, its not an overpowering beer but has plenty of spice and flavor. overall a very nicely brewed pumpkin ale. (1,221 characters)

Photo of boogyman
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured into a Tulip. Brown in color with a bit of head that had some decent lacing.

S- Wow, pumpkin and spices are quite powerful in this brew and I love it! Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, slight hops and malts. Pumpkin and spices take over all other smells.

T- Reminds me of pumpkin pie. The spices are most definitely there and it is nice.

M- The spices and carbonation has a nice bite and it goes down pretty smooth.

D- Paired with some thanksgiving food this could be beer I could have a few of. Will be picking up more of this through Thanksgiving if its available till then. (584 characters)

Photo of rfgetz
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
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. (454 characters)

Photo of Rayek
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a Becker.

A: Slightly hazy amber with mild carbonation. A fizzy eggshell cap comes and goes fairly quickly as it retreats to a ring at the edge of the beer. Leaves bits of lace.

S: The aroma of this beer is quite strong. Pumpkin pie spices dominate. Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and anise all vie for predominance. The clove wins out in the end. The pumpkin can be sensed, but only slightly.

T: The pumpkin pie theme continues. A raw pumpkin flavor starts things. It's backed up by a mild toasted malt flavor. The aforementioned spices come on strong in the middle and linger through the finish. The clove continues to stand out as it combines with ginger to clear the sinuses.

M: The medium body is dry and could stand having the carbonation turned down a notch.

D: Pumpkin beers are a style I'm slowly getting into. Overall, this seems a nice example. (866 characters)

Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
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! (884 characters)

Photo of Cavalier92
3.26/5  rDev -16.2%
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. (327 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Capone's - Thanks to witbier for his generosity! Shared w/ my bro tenderbranson69. Poured chilled into my DFH signature glass from the 22oz bomber.

A - Slightly hazy light bronze w/ 2 1/2 fingers of custard like smooth head. Sporadic lace collects like creamy camouflage, the bead is fine

S - Very aromatic w/ lots of clove and other pumpkin pie spices. Mild vegetal notes w/ cinnamon and vanilla-like accents w/ subtle nutmeg, allspice ginger in there as noted on the label

M - A creamy texture w/ moderate carbonation and spicy, but not really phenolic textures, more sugary and slightly warm from spice w/ a semi-sweet finish and medium body

T - A malty fruity ale taste w/ yeast + malt cohesion upfront followed by a nutmeg, allspice and clove flavor w/ subtle ginger and cinnamon. The pumpkin gives a nice texture/flavor w/ creamy maltiness and light cinnamon in the residual taste. A light pumpkin butter-like tang in the last few sips as a gentle zest from the ginger seems more pronounced -w/ a nice spiced sweet finish

D - This does not taste like any average pumpkin ale, very spiced and has good drinkability, but not something I would want more than a bomber of - splitting this seemed just right. (1,234 characters)

Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A 22 ounce bomber bottle poured into a shaker glass. The ale appears a clear copper color with about a finger of quickly fading rust colored foam. Nose and flavor consist of roasted pumpkin, allspice, nutmeg, ginger, brown sugar, caramel, cinnamon, toasted biscuits. Thin bodied with decent carbonation and a lingering spiciness. Worth a try if you dig pumpkin ales. (366 characters)

Photo of corby112
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a dark golden amber/copper color with some hazy golden orange hues when held to a light source and a one finger off-white frothy head that slowly fades into a lasting ring.

Nice spicy pumpkin pie aroma with hints of clove, brown sugar, cinnamon, pureed pumpkin, nutmeg and a nice caramel malt. Kind of smells like liquid pumpkin pie with very subtle hops.

Very spicy up front with a lot of cloves, cinnamon and brown sugar with a medium creamy malt backbone and some nice pumpkin pie spice, nutmeg, subtle hops and ginger in the dry finish. Alcohol is well-hidden and pretty much undetectable. This beer is slightly watered down with a lot of the pumpkin pie notes coming through in the aftertaste. (706 characters)

Photo of ckeegan04
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Lightly hazy golden orange. One finger of bubbly off-white head. Head fades pretty quickly but does live rings of lace down the glass.

S - Liquid pumpkin pie here. Lots of pumpkin, nutmeg, ginger, and a little cinnamon. Another outstanding aroma on a pumpkin beer...wonder if it will actually carry through to the taste.

T - Very sweet with alot of baking spices. Nutmeg, ginger and allspice are the most domiant with a little bit of cinnamon and even a touch of pepper mixed in. Pumpkin taste provides the backbone. A little cleaner than some other pumpkin ales I have had, but still just too many flavors not coming together very well.

M/D - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. The tastes just dont line up for me which brings the drinkability down a notch. (771 characters)

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

A few years ago I tried a handful of pumpkin ales. It didn't end up being my favorite style, but this beer stood out as the best. I picked up a few bombers at the end of the year when they went on clearance after not moving quickly enough. Finally getting around to drinking and reviewing this one.

Nice looks from this beer, a healthy amber-orange color, a medium head with just a bit of orange that has decent lasting power but leaves no lace. Holding it up to light, I'm seeing quite a bit of sediment.

Good aromas that have a mix of beer, pumpkin and spices. Most prominent to me is roasted pumpkin, followed by nutmeg, maybe cinnamon and clove, with muted bready malts. It's hard to tell whether any hops are present in the aromas.

No surprises with the flavor after the smells. I like the intensity and balance of flavors. Elyisian manages to pack the most pumpkin flavor in their offering that I've had; spices seem to be the more dominant flavor. In fact, right now I'm more reminded of pumpkin bread than pumpkin pie.

Mouthfeel is well balanced for the beer. Not too fizzy, but smooth and semi-full. Well done, Elysian! I wish I could always find excellent beer at clearance prices. I'll be coming back to this beer by the next fall. (1,246 characters)

Photo of JohnQVegas
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle into Sam Adams Lager glass.

Pours a clear copper with a creamy off-white one-finger head.

Nose is pumpkin pie - pumpkin, heavy on the nutmeg and cinnamon, sweet caramel malt.

Taste a nice sweet malt body up front, followed by a dry, spicy, pumpkin-filled finish, packed with nutmeg and cinnamon. Slight floral hop not on the finish to balance. Never gets weird or vegetal as some pumpkin beers tend to do.

Light body and moderate to light carbonation.

Really nice go for the style, probably my favorite pumpkin beer. (532 characters)

Photo of RedDiamond
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
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. (930 characters)

Photo of t0rin0
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Liquid Solutions or Bottletrek or somewhere in OR and then shared by azagthoth. Possibly the highlight of the night, especially coming off that Sheaf Stout.

Pours a clear-ish orange color, small fluffy white head, not much lacing.

Aroma is spicy and pumpkiny. I catch cinnamon, ginger, and possibly clove. Real pumpkin meat smell, which is a nice change from the usual pumpkin beer.

Flavor is cinnamon, ginger, and clove in the aftertaste. Roasted pumpkin flavor as well. Complex and balanced for sure.

Medium body, medium/low CO2, balanced, very enjoyable. (576 characters)

Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 321 ratings.