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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.
very good

342 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 342
Hads: 1,137
Avg: 3.91
pDev: 21.99%
Wants: 133
Gots: 213 | FT: 1
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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Night Owl Pumpkin Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 342 | Hads: 1,137
Photo of Stinkypuss
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
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.

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%

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.

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Photo of RyanHubbell
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

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.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of archyquaffer
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%

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.

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Photo of leaddog
4.55/5  rDev +16.4%
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!

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
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

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Photo of Bfarr
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
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.

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Photo of SnoopBobb
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

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.

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Photo of seedyone
3/5  rDev -23.3%

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.

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Photo of iamproph
5/5  rDev +27.9%

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.

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Photo of souvenirs
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

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!

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Photo of ladyweapon
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

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.

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Photo of Dodo2step
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

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.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
2.8/5  rDev -28.4%

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

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Photo of AyeMito
4.38/5  rDev +12%

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!

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Photo of fourstringer
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Brewer's Art goblet. Moderate hand. No identifiable date on the label.

A: 3.75 Ruby red-orange body with a slight haziness. 1/2 finger of off-white head, below average retention. Light lacing.

S: 4.0 Cinnamon and nutmeg, strongly. Followed by pumpkin flesh & ginger. Raisin. Indistinct herbal notes.

T: 3.5 Spices fire first, followed by some malts and pumpkin. Tea-like tannins and herbal notes appear midway. Hops build to a fairly dry finish. Lingering hop bitterness and slightly astringent herbal spice in the aftertaste. Minimal alcohol presence.

M: 3.75 Moderate carbonation, slightly prickly. Moderate body. Good, if not a touch thinner than expected.

O: Not a bad pumpkin, although by the end I was getting more tea flavors than pumpkin or pie spice. Interesting.


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Photo of Yellolab2010
4.42/5  rDev +13%

Fantastic pumpkin ale! Pours a dark amber color with great pumpkin and spice nose. First sip tastes like your drinking a liquid pumpkin pie. Very well priced and well worth seeking out if you enjoy this style.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.43/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Does this beer make me think of pumpkin pie or pumpkin? Amber and syrupy, no head, red rooibos tea comes to mind. Slimy on mouth like a pumpkin. Spicy cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and ginger are balanced by woody hops. Sage, floral lemon zest, coffee and caffeine. Light vanilla and peach combine with spices to give impression of herbaceous squash, earthy and metallic. Metal on palate with lemon verbena bitterness. Overall, I think the malt presence is too weak in this beer at the moment. Bitter, nutty, astringent, not yet ripe squash that is compensated by heavy spicing, served without butter, lacking decadence and fullness. In the end, this is decidedly just a pumpkin beer masked by hops, spices, and lacking the an integral maltiness. I didn't imagine myself in James's pumpkin version of the giant peach.

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Photo of SitkaSteve
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Alright, so I've had this most of the time out of a pint glass but decided to switch it up for this review. This is out of a snifter, and honestly, there isn't even a difference.
Anyways, here's my take on this wonderful beer.
In the snifter, hazy dark orange to brown color with a one finger white foamy head that dissipated within about a minute leaving some light foamy lacing here and there around the glass.
The smell was 30 x better than pumking as this had a slight element of the pumpkin pie - ness but still offering more of a pumpkin spice sampling. Along with that, light ginger, allspice, nutmeg involve themselves in the aroma.
The taste took all of those previously mentioned flavors and combined them wonderfully - spicy yet sweet.
The mouthfeel had a slightly light spicy harshness to eventually allow a sweet gentle softness rolling over my tongue.
Overall, this should be everyone's standard for pumpkin ales, not pumking.

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Photo of Samp01
3.7/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cloudy burnt orange caramel with a medium beige head. Aroma and taste is of sweet pumpkin pie, nut meg, some fruity notes with some toasted malt and caramel malt. Palate is a medium body, good carbonation and slightly crisp mouth feel. Finishes with a sweet pumpkin pie nutmeg flavor with some toasted grains and caramel and mild hops bitter notes for balance. This brew was quite good not overly sweet for pumpkin ale and nicely balanced, a good drinking brew.

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Photo of SpeedwayJim
3.78/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

An old pumpkin beer. 12oz. bottle into a Pizza Boy pint.

Pours a foamy 1 finger white head with moderate retention. Beer is a clear, dark mahogany. Lacing is thick and stringy with excellent stick. A real nice looking brew.

Nose is cinnamon, sugar cookie, brown sugar, and sweet pumpkin spice. Mellow. Actually pretty nice.

Opens cinnamon, pumpkin spice and a slight yeast. More of the same with sugar cookie, oatmeal and spice in the middle. Ends sweet with the same aftertaste. Decent.

Light bodied with ample carbonation. Prickly and lively in the mouth and goes down easy and crisp. Finishes clean with a barely lingering aftertaste. Quite drinkable.

Seems pumpkin beers don't age at all. I don't think the flavor in this one has changed in the past 7-8 months. Still solid as ever!

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Photo of CrazyDavros
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Pours hazy pale copper with a fading head.
Nose shows currants, fruit cake, candied fruit, golden syrup and soft pumpkin.
Pretty similar flavours, although the pumpkin is more prominent and there's less sweetness. Still a lot of the christmas pudding-like spices. Finishes a little short, could use a longer lasting malty finish.
Nice moderately high carbonation.

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Photo of RickS95
3.54/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Doesn't look like much body from the pour. Mostly a dark copper color, but a bit clear for my liking. The head is a dingy white and a finger thick. Small bubbles in the middle and larger bubbles around the edge. Little to moderate, closer to little, retention. The tiniest of spotty lacing.

Smells pretty bitchin'. Caramel malts, smothered in a variety of pumpkin spices...heavy on the cinnamon and ginger. Nothing else is remotely noticeable.

Extremely spice forward taste. All pumpkin spices and little else.

So much potential, but it just misses. There's little body, it needs more as it feels like a spicy light beer. Very spicy, just not enough body to chew on. More than anything, it feels like a spiced tea or something wassail-like. Spicy bitter finish, but it leaves you wanting more.

It's not bad, it's just got too many things missing. It needs more body and more alcohol. If you're into the lighter end of the spectrum, you need to try this.

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Photo of n2185
3.68/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Pours a clear orange with a finger of white head that fades into a frothy ring with decent lacing.

S: Light pumpkin spice aromas along with some squash-like notes and sweet breads. There are also some notes of ginger.

T: Pumpkin spices are a bit more present here with hearty bread flavors following. The finish is slightly bitter and bready.

M: Body is on the lower side of moderate with lowish carbonation, this beer just avoids being watery.

O: A solid pumpkin ale overall, though lacks depth. The spices aren't too heavy-handed, but there's little else going on.

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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 342 ratings.