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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

328 Reviews
THE BROS
94
outstanding

(Read More)
Reviews: 328
Hads: 1,058
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 10.77%
Wants: 117
Gots: 170 | 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
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Night Owl Pumpkin Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 328 | Hads: 1,058
Photo of ClockworkOrange
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
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 -0.8%
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 -4.6%
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 +2.6%
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 +1.8%
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 +9.5%
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 +5.1%
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)

Photo of Viggo
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle purchased at Premier Gourmet in Buffalo.

Pours a clear amber, a little rough looking, some orange hues, thick off white head forms, drops some decent lacing, good retention, and settles to a thin collar. Smell is neat, lots of spicing, cloves and cinnamon, nutmeg, rich pumpkin aroma, caramel and honey, some toasty pumpkin seeds, biscuit, corn syrup, smells pretty nice. Taste is very malty, pumpkin, caramel, honey sweetness, very biscuity, light toast, slight lemony sourness, and the spices come through in the finish, light spicy bitterness and big biscuit flavour, nice. Mouthfeel is light to medium bodied with medium carbonation, pretty drinkable. Spices are there but not too much, maybe because its an older bottle. A pretty nice pumpkin ale, I like. (774 characters)

Photo of AltBock
3.36/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber bottle with a pumpkin orange label that has an up close head shot picture of an owl. This owl is serious! He has that look in his eyes that he wants to scratch the eyes out out of everybody that looks at him. Behind the serious owl is big red full moon. To the left of the owl is is the mandatory US information and on the owl's right side are two paragraphs. One talks about all the ingredients that went into this beer and the second one talks about the Brewhouse. Below the paragraphs is the brewmaster's signature and if you have a magnifying glass handy, a best before date. It said best before December 26th, 2008. OOPS!

When poured into a Sly Fox Imperial pint glass, this Pumpkin Ale almost poured a solid pumpkin orange. If it wasn't for that small tint of amber, this beer would have shared the same shade of orange that a Pumpkin has. On top of this beer was a creamy 3/4 of an inch head of pure white foam. This head of foam never receded. It was one of those heads of foam where the only time it receded was when I took some sweet liquid out of the glass. When the head of foam receded, it left behind plenty of milky white streaks of lace around the glass.

This beer smelled like baked pumpkin. Not a baked pumpkin pie, it was more like an aroma you'd get if you threw a whole pumpkin into a oven. Right behind the baked pumpkin was a hint of nutmeg, a dash of sweet ginger, a pinch of cinnamon, and a subtle speck of cloves. This aroma had a surprise, but it only came out when it was swirled around. When it was swirled around, out comes the scent of over ripe cantaloupe. What that was doing in a Pumpkin Ale is beyond me. The cantaloupe completely took over the aroma. When it settled down, it comes the baked pumpkin aroma again. Take my advice, don't swirl this beer around.

Most of the Pumpkin Ales I've had in the past tasted like pumpkin pie. This one tasted a little bit like pumpkin cheesecake. But this beer only tasted like cheesecake at the very end of the taste. This beer started off with the baked pumpkin and then that was quickly followed by cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. That would have been great, it they didn't water down the pumpkin pie spices. I honestly don't know if they were watered down, but I do know that something was holding them back. I don't like my Pumpkin Ales overly spicy, but this one was holding back the spices. It was the pumpkin cheesecake at the end that saved this beer. if it didn't come in, this beer would have been nothing but baked pumpkin and watered down spices.

This was a light bodied Pumpkin Ale with a dry baked pumpkin aftertaste of baked pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. The baked pumpkin was the only taste that stuck around after the liquid was long gone.

I don't know what to say about this Pumpkin Ale. It had the taste of pumpkin in it, but it was holding back the spices for some reason. I guess the baked pumpkin was scared that the spices would over run the taste so that it beat the spices down. Overall, it's not a bad Pumpkin Ale. It's just not my favorite one and it's definitely not my favorite beer from Elysian. (3,127 characters)

Photo of Gueuzedude
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A solid pour produces a three-finger thick, light tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is a brilliantly clear, deep amber color that has copper highlights to it, when held up to the light the beer shows a rich copper hue. Ah, the aroma brings a smile to my face, fleshy, caramelized squash aromatics are accentuated by notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. I like that the actual pumpkin is noticeable here in the aroma, certainly the spice notes are a bit more piquant, but the spices are not used too overzealously and the vegetable squash notes add a nice spiciness of its own.

Fairly dry tasting, especially given how sweet the spices make this beer smell. The beer finishes with a bite of nutmeg, a flash of pumpkin meat, a lingering ginger piquancy and a touch of pepper like spice. I could use a touch more body here, but there is a touch of heft to this beer; the holiday season just sees me wanting a bit more richness in this beer (though it has a lot more body than some of the poorer examples of the style, Buffalo Bill I am looking at you). The malt contributes a hint of caramelized sweetness as well as a touch of toasty grain towards the finish, for the most part though this beer is about the spices and the pumpkin. There is enough malt to provide just enough texture and sweetness to support the more dominant flavors. The sweetness is accentuated by the cinnamon notes in the middle.

This is a good example of a "standard" pumpkin ale. The usual base beer style, but it has enough body and the touch of real pumpkin to keep me happy.

Purchased: Liquid Solutions (1,597 characters)

Photo of nhudson
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (533 characters)

Photo of Bookseeb
4.73/5  rDev +21.3%
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. (407 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a hazy pumpkiny amber color with a thick, foamy head that sticks and laces nicely

Smell: Lots of real pumpkin smell in this one, with the spice elements discreetly in the rear; it's the more subtle pie smells, too, such as brown sugar, mace and allspice; perhaps a touch of nutmeg

Taste: Opens with a solid pumpkin flavor, with the spices arriving by mid-palate, with perhaps just a nuance of chocolate, too; after the swallow, the pumpkin takes on a bit of a gingery flavor

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: A very nice pumpkin, one of the best

Thanks, cannabanaceae, for the opportunity (640 characters)

Photo of Sammy
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Very fragrant and pumkin-like, this is see-through yellow body with lots of lace. The carbonation is above average. The taste is primarily nutmeg and peppery, with less clove and ginger and so more enjoyable to me. Was great on winter night.Average mouthfeel. (259 characters)

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed on 9/14/08. Bottle, best by 12/26/2008. Pours a deep orange/brown with a thick. huge white head that leaves nice lacing on the glass. Aroma of baked pumpkin, light spices. Flavor is sweet, light pumpkin and spices. Pretty tasty, but relatively light in the pumpkin. Decent pumpkin, not my favorite.
7/4/7/4/14 (3.6/5) (326 characters)

Photo of bkilpatr
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
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. (697 characters)

Photo of Gavage
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
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. (642 characters)

Photo of PretzelCity
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber a cloudy almost pumpkin orange with a decent one inch head. The smell wasn't as impressive. Reminded me of a cheap big brewery lager with some spices thrown on top. But to my surprise this turned out to be on of the better pumpkin beers I've had. Not too crazy or overwhelming with the spices, which tends to be the case more often then not, and you could actually taste some pumpkin. Not a great beer by any means but when the season comes and you're looking for a pumpkin brew, this is one of the better ones. (537 characters)

Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear coppery looking amber with 2 fingers of foamy eggshell white colored head. A pretty solid looking 1/2 finger of retention leaves a nice and sticky latticework of lace behind. The aroma is a lively smelling waft of pumpkin spices, pumpkin meat, floral hops, and a splash of citrus, with some other residual notes of sweetness behind it.

The taste is a tasty and well balanced blend of spicy and sweet tanginess, with spices, citrus, and pumpkin pie tasting sweetness delivering a tangy feel with a tingle of floral hop bitterness in the back to help even things out. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamier carbonation that possesses a bit of a sharp edge to the outside of it.

With was just a solid all-around Pumpkin Ale with well rounded flavors that really in popped in the mouth at times. This was definitely one of the better Pumpkin Ales that I've had in the bottle. (931 characters)

Photo of kosmoraios
2.97/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a clear orange color, with plenty of carbonation visible in the glass. Fizzy white head rises to about a quarter of my finger before settling back down, leaving little top and no lacing.

Aroma is subdued, pumpkin pie and sweet malt.

Taste is of pumpkin pie spices and light, sweet caramel malts. The raw pumpkin is noted, also. Far too light and watery for my taste. Overcarbonated, fizzy and soda-like in the mouth. Not one I'll purchase a second time. (461 characters)

Photo of Lexluthor33
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orange color with a small head and lace.
The aroma of pumpkins,spices and some malt.
This beer tasted of sweet pumpkin pie,nutmeg and a good dash of cinnamon. I tasted the hops as well as the malts in the background,but the it was all well balanced.
It felt smooth,creamy and had a medium body with medium carbonation. The finish had some grains,but went down quite well.

Notes: No complaints here as it was not only well balanced,but had very good drinkability. (475 characters)

Photo of russpowell
3.51/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent amber/caramel with 2 fingers of fluffy cream colored head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Nutmeg, cinnamon & some pumpkin

T: Nutmeg, cinnamon, & pumpkin up front. Dryness & more of the same as this warms, plus a bit booze on the edges. Finishes with cinnamon, a hint of grain & a bit of caramel

MF: Light/medium body, slightlty over carbonatnated

Drinks okay, was hoping for more flavor & malt depth from these guys. This is still a style with more misses than hits for me (505 characters)

Photo of djeucalyptus
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant orange copper amber hue, near clear with some suspended translucent particulate that gives it just a touch of haze and sparkle. A fair finger thick sand colored head recedes to a crumpet-like foam collar that leaves a fair bit of sticky lacing.

Aroma is fairly mild, with pumpkin pie spices coming through along with some decent bready malt aroma. Some caramel sweetness, yet not overwhelmingly sweet. Hints of pumpkin guts intermingle with clove and pepper spice to give it a bit of character.

Taste is unbelievably pleasant. Not overly squashy yet there's a definite but subtle pumpkin quality to it. The spices come through fairly well, although they're not overbearing and blend in to the caramel and bread malt to create an interestingly even flavor profile with a bit of greenness, a bit of veggie, and a bit of pie sweetness. A definite earthy malt backbone keeps everything in place.

The earthy and sweet notes translate pretty closely into the mouthfeel, with a syrupy sweetness gliding over the tongue. This one lacks any noticeable bitterness which is a nice change. A bit high on the carbonation, which does yield a fairly full and creamy body, but also makes it a bit prickly and soda gassy.

This is one of my go-to pumpkin beers, and it rarely dissapoints. It's not overwhelmingly pumpkin pie spiced, nor is it too vegetable and squashy. It's smooth, malty and creamy. Definitely worth trying if pumpkin beers are at all of interest to you. (1,477 characters)

Photo of froghop
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

pours a semi-clear burnt auburn with little to no head, some lacing.

smell of spice, pumpkin, baked crust, just like a pumpkin pie.

taste is of spice, pumpkin, malt, some cinnamon.

overall an okay beer, i really don't care for the taste of the pumpkin brews that come out in the fall, but this one is better than most. (321 characters)

Photo of jwc215
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22 oz. bottle:

Pours orange amber with a thin off-white head that disappears after a bit. Some dots of lacing stick.

The smell is of pumpkin pie spices with an amber maltiness background.

The taste is of cinnamon, ginger and all the other usual spicings that make up a pumpkin beer - spicy, but not overly done - with a firm backdrop of amber maltiness. Sweet and spicy with a hop bitterness in the back that keeps it well-balanced, though not interfering with the taste.

The body hits medium-bodied (barely), but is smooth. The lightness of the body adds to the drinkability, but could use some heft/chewiness.

A very drinkable pumpkin ale, as the spices are there, but not overwhelming, with a nice balance to it. (720 characters)

Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 328 ratings.