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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: 1,136
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: 1,136
Photo of scootny
4.41/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This stuff is the real deal. A gorgeous reddish amber with good clarity. Two fingers of frothy head with good retention and copious lacing. Beer stays covered as I imbibe. Smell gives a preview of the excellence in the glass. A big slice of pie with a healthy malt backbone that acts like a graham cracker crust to the lovely gourd caressing my nose with sweetness. Taste is full boat wow. This is without a doubt the best "pie style" pumpkin ale I've had to date. Imagine a perfect slice with a light sweetness. Now add the graham in the nose to cradle it as it fills your mouth. The swallow is bittered well by the hops combined with ginger in such a way that the hops never draw attention to themselves. Some how while being the perfect slice in the glass it is dry and quenching. Crisp light feel with a creamy fullness that is satisfying and sessionable at the same time. This is one easy drinking beer that still manages to be a full on "style" beer. No shirking the pumpkin here. At the same time you just keep filling the glass and draining it. You don't get overwhelmed or tired of it. Wish I had another growler. Superb beer.

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Photo of KTCamm
3.85/5  rDev -1.5%
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

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Photo of Omnium
3.82/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle > Pint Glass

A - Pours a hazy orange color, 1 finger off off white head, mild lacing.
S - Aroma is really good, lots of warm inviting spices, not a sensory overload. Vanilla and cinnamon, with some nice pie crust scents, sweet pumpkin puree.
T - This is where things fall short for me, you get a little bit of spice up front, but there's so little pumpkin, it gets watery.
M - Thin metallic and watery.
O - The aroma on this pumpkin beer is outstanding, but the flavors are really a big let down.

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Photo of bizweasel
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Of the many and myriad Elysian pumpkin beers this is like the flagship, the standard, the rock on which all the other ones rest. Right in the good middle of several possible continuums: sweet vs bitter, dark vs light, spice vs malt, and the better for it. Have been stockpiling it to hopefully last a few more weeks as it is now almost gone from stores for 2013.

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Photo of LampertLand
4.26/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Elysian"Night Owl"Pumpkin Ale @ 5.9% , served on *cask* @ GCBF'07&'09 , on tap GCBF'11 &'14 and from the 650 ml bottle purchased for $6.50

A-pour is gold from the *cask/tap/bottle to a lovely light orange/amber in the glass with a small tight off-white head leaving fine spotty lace along the pint/sampler glass

S-such a great smell of pumpkin pie spices (cinnamon , ginger , nutmeg , allspice)

T-smell is better than the taste , so smooth & creamy , just damn tasty !!

MF-light/mild carbonation , nice medium body , perfect Pumpkin pie mouthfeel

Ov-one of the sweetest Pumpkin Ales , also one of the best

prost LampertLand

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Photo of ckollias
4.03/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a copper hue with a thin white head that slowly dissipates leaving a great trail and wispy lace.

S: Cinnamon and pumpkin aroma.

T: Cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, all-spice, pumpkin, and cloves with a good malt background.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Pretty good pumpkin brew – pumpkin pie in a glass.

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.56/5  rDev +16.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Pours a orangey-amber color with minimum head, even with a vigorous pour. Head also leaves pretty quickly. Smells like pumpkin pie! Cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon also detected. Delicious pumpkin pie flavor. Oktoberfest like in a sense too. The spices linger in your mouth. Lighter bodied with minimum carbonation. I'm giving my overall a 5 based on a nostalgic factor that I have with this beer and also because this is the one beer I look forward to most when it releases every year.

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Photo of Flounder57
3.94/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a copper color with great clarity and vision of bubbles coming up through the glass.

Smell: Caramel, bready malts, pumpkin, spices, and brown sugar. Smells good.

Taste: Definitely pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, allspice, pale and bready malts, and brown sugar.

Mouthfeel: Smooth, a little chewy, pumpkin spiciness, low to medium carbonation, and medium bodied.

Overall: This is a pretty solid pumpkin beer and I can't believe there is actually 7 lbs of pumpkin per barrel. Awesome.

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

22 oz bottle from"Lifesource" in Salem. $3.99 Pours a slight murky amber colour, largish creamy/bubbly off white head. Wow very fresh pumpkin pie aroma!! pumpkin clove and cinnamon..i can even ( probably in my mind) small some whipped cream on top!.Great stuff. Taste is very similar like drinking a pumpkin pie smoothie with a dash of alcohol..lovely. Nice mouth feel.. smooth and low carbonation. Overall one of the best if not THE best Pumpkin Ale i have had..though even with that recommendation one would be enough!

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Photo of PA-hunter
4.09/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Purchased a case recently, then poured bottle into a glass. Awesome artwork on the label!

Appearance- Light to medium orange. Moderate carbonation with somewhat thin head.

Smell- Very aromatic and complex. Pumpkin is easily recognized, as well as the wide variety of spices.

Taste- Strong character of pumpkin at first followed by spices. Very much like a pumpkin pie in a bottle. This beer contains 5 spices, the cloves and cinnamon were apparent. The 7lbs of pumpkin brewed per barrel was an evident point as this was much more "pumpkiny" than some other pumpkin ales I tried.

Mouthfeel- Light to moderate but not thin or watery. Very easy drinking ale. Quite agreeable.

Overall- I thought this was a great example of the style and an outstanding seasonal pick. This was my first Elysian brew, and can say they did it right. The 5.9% was decent for the abv. Though a bit pricey, I would definitely buy this great seasonal brew again. If you are not a fan of spice flavors, or just don't like pumpkin pie, I could see why that person would rate lower. But if you like pumpkin, you'd be happy with this pumpkin ale.

*** I re-reviewed this beer after the InBev aquisition. I noticed the abv has been raised to 6.7 %

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 6.7% abv.

Appearance- Pours a dark orange, almost being a burnt brown color. Moderate carbonation.

Smell- Freshly ground pumpkin mask with spice notes of nutmeg and cinnamon dominant. Pumpkin pie like.

Taste- A sweet malt followed up by a pumpkin flavor that is quite real and fresh. The spices come later, and linger in the palate for a good bit. Some bitterness too in the end.

Mouthfeel- Medium heavy in body with active carbonation.

Overall- Just as good as I remembered it to be. The difference being it is now more heavier in body, darker, has higher abv......and....technically a product of AB. Still an out of this world pumpkin ale worthy of being among the top of the style. I'd put it in the top ten of pumpkin ales.

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Photo of MNishCT77
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle purchased recently at Franklin's, 2013 vintage but unclear bottling date, poured into my FFF Teku glass, drank 10/22/13 over an hour.

A: 2/3 - amber-red coloration, solid clarity (surprisingly though could not read or see through), one finger head resolves into a subtle glass lacing persisting throughout pour, minor alcohol legs

S: 8/12 - lots of pumpkin, all-spice, etc....nice at first but kinda pussy

T: 14/20 - on the anterior tongue, there's a strong spiciness that bounces around but unfortunately does not resolve, the flavors continue to bounce, and, towards the end, the malt background starts emerging but not overwhelming - too much spice and too little complexity!

M: 3/5 - moderate-to-high bodied; appropriate carbonation; little alcohol aroma

O: 7/10 - I don't understand the appeal of this beer straight; might be better with food but the spice is really overwhelming to the point of being cloying; admittedly, it might be better with some pumpkin pie or even a Thanksgiving meal, but, otherwise, I would pass unless you love a varietal of spices

TOTAL = 34/50

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Photo of RandomExile
3.37/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

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Photo of LambicPentameter
3.58/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed out of a 12 oz brown bottle with no discernible dating for freshness or bottling. Poured into a 16 oz nonic style tumbler. I've heard great things about Elysian's love of pumpkin ales, so open this with much anticipation.

Appearance - Initially translucent orange with amber highlights, with a fine silt of sediment entering the glass like a cloud of fog descending upon emptying the bottle. The head is active and dynamic, getting to about a finger-and-a-half of thickness before fading away rather quickly to leave a thin, sudsy film across the top with absolutely zero lacing.

Smell - Overwhelming notes of pumpkin pie--nutmeg, allspice, cinammon, cassia, as well as a bit more fruity notes like fresh-carved pumpkin flesh and an underlying but almost imperceptible light biscuity element. Very promising indeed, especially with the fresh pumpkin elements that are so often absent from these "pumpkin" beers.

Taste - Many similar elements to the smell, with brown sugar, some faint molasses, clove, pumpkin pie and butternut squash. Some genuine vegetal quality that tastes like real bonafide squash rather than just pie spices. Everything was humming along, until near the finish, a faint metallic twang, reminiscent of pennies, enters the picture. Upon tasting this element, I go take a look at the other reviews on the site and find no mention of anything similar. So perhaps my bottle is off, or old and what I'm tasting is oxidation.

Mouthfeel - Medium-bodied, but with a thinning finish. I think the generous spicing and flavor profiles give the illusion of a heftier beer than it really is. Moderate to low carbonation.

Overall, a beer that started off with such promise, and try as I might, I cannot get past that metallic twinge. It seems to have sullied an otherwise outstanding take on the style. Without any information telling me I should do otherwise, I have no choice but to dock the taste of this beer, however I would encourage others to try it, as my experience seems like an outlier.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.37/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

22oz bottle. This offering obviously wasn't available when I spent a summer afternoon at the brewpub a few years ago, but today, while generally warm, was blustery enough to engender in me the desire for a well-wrought seasonal ale. Enter stage left.

This beer pours a hazy medium bronzed amber hue, with one flabby finger of tightly foamy, and mostly bubbly ecru head, which leaves some decently chunky iceberg floe lace around the glass as it genially recedes.

It smells of rich, pungent, toasted pumpkin flesh, semi-sweet pie-crust caramel and pale malts, dark turbinado sugar, cinnamon buns, spicy nutmeg, ginger, and clove, a touch of black pepper to taste, and a subdued, perfunctory earthy, leafy hoppiness. The taste is more of the same - a big roasted pumpkin mash sweetness, brown sugar, gingerbread, spicy cinnamon and clove, earthy nutmeg, subtle white and black pepper dust, and some understated citrusy floral hops.

The bubbles are softly ebullient, gently frothy, and little more, the body a heady, enveloping medium weight, genuinely smooth, and more than a tad creamy. It finishes off-dry, the pumpkin and pastry-akin malt doing well to overshadow the heretofore show-stealing spices.

A rather pleasant, and fulfilling pumpkin ale, full stop. Though I'm at a bit of a loss as to what contribution the pumpkin seeds added to the mix, I'm sure it's there, in a dutiful supporting role, under the radar and all that. Everything else simply puts out beyond expectations, providing a stellar drinkability, one irrelevant to seasonal affectation (guilty!).

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Photo of hopsputin
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

a: dark caramel & orange. darker at the top, lighter towards the bottom. almost a ruby red/amber hue in there as well. 1.5 finger frothy, wavy off white head

s: oh boy. so much pumpkin. pumpkin on pumpkin. loads of sweet brown sugar, cinnamon, rich caramel. something like graham cracker - maybe from the all spice. this smells phenomenal

t: right away your hit with the spice. clove, cinnamon, allspice. its almost like a graham cracker. its not so spicy as to overwhelm though. it then fades into a nice fresh clean pumpkin flavor. tastes like pumpkin cooked with brown sugar and a hint of caramel. finishes with a real nice spice kick. tastes like drinking fucking fall, the season

m: its medium, but fills the mouth nicely. not much carbonation

o: i'm amazed how much flavor is packed into this <6% beer. as mentioned, it is like drinking fall in a glass. it has all the nice spices and pumpkin, and they are harmonized really well. nothing dominates, it all mixes in a real smooth way. if you like pumpkin ales, get this please.

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Photo of Siriusfisherman
4.08/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 2.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L: Bright, hazy orange with an off-white head that dissipates very quickly. Leaves almost no lacing.

A: Rich cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, and some caramel/bisciut malt. Light on the hops notes and very neutral in terms of yeast character. Smells like pumpkin pie with graham cracker crust.

T/M: Modest bitterness upfront, swells into pumpkin pie, graham cracker and slightly herbal and vegetal notes. Mouthfeel is smooth as silk, with a subtle carbonation bite. Superb balance.

Overall, this is hands down the best non-imperial pumpkin ale I have come across. The balance is just about perfect, exceeds everything I thought possible of the style. I always thought of pumpkin beers as a kind of novelty, but this one goes to prove they can be just as delicious as they are festive.

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Photo of minterro
4.42/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought from a secret stash at Little's Wine and Liquor

Poured into a pint glass, not paired with anything.

A&S: Easily the best smelling pumpkin beer I've had the opportunity to try. Smells like I stuck my nose in pumpkin pie (crust and all). This isn't a store bought pumpkin pie either, it contains all the spices (nutmeg, corriander, and a touch of brown cinnamon) and copious amounts of pumpkin. Lively semi-transparent reddish orange colored beer. With a creamy off-white head that is retained around a half an inch (some lacing).

T&M: The taste isn't nearly as intense as the aroma. Still very enjoyable, and debatably more enjoyable then a super intense pumpkin taste (eg. southern tier pumpking). More malty then the aroma with less pumpkin flavors and a similar amounts of spice. Crisp, but not too much of a bite, smooth as it goes down.

Overall: the best pumpkin beer I have ever had, easily the best. If you can get your hands on one I would highly encourage you. Incredibly affordable less than 5 bucks for a bomber!

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Photo of Beerriver
2.75/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured this cold beer into a pounder glass. Rich in foggy amber fall color. In the bottle it smelled like a seasonal gift store. In the glass it smelled more like a heavily pumpkin spiced beer. The first very cold taste seemed unpalatable. I let it warm close to room temperature and things came around. Flavors married, though flavors were less intense, spices tend to burst around the mouth and are a bit too prominent. Tastes to me as if pumpkin spice was simply shaken into my beer.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

bomber into a Deschutes teku glass. 2013 release.

Pours a dark copper/orange color with a nice inch thick head. The smell is of pumpkin pie...lots of nutmeg and cinnamon and pumpkin flavor. Taste is again right on the money - pumpkin pie flavor. Not overwhelming in any way though, all the spices are very balanced. Not too sweet or too bitter. An exceptional pumpkin flavored beer. Medium bodied, medium carbonation.

Overall upper echelon as far as pumpkin beers go.

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Photo of Cubatobaco
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I got an opportunity to try this at "The Great Pumpkin Debate" in Wilmington, DE this past weekend. First. let me say that I am one that does not like a lot of pumpkin beer. I decided to walk the tables and see if there was one that actual appealed to me.

I came across Elysian Night Owl on the second table and was blown away. This had beautiful clarity and nice carbonation with a gorgeous nose that reminded me of Thanksgiving. I am mostly turned off by these beers because of the over use of spices. The flavors were in perfect harmony! Just the right amout of spice, pumpkin, and cinnamon to keep you wanting more. The carbonation danced on your palate, keeping things lively.

I would definitely recommend this beer if you are leary about pumpkin beers like me. This will be my choice this Halloween!

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Photo of ssteakley
3.87/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

What a great Brew for October Fun. The pumpkin hits as soon as you pop the top and stays all the way through the taste, smell,color. The pumpkin stays after till you go to bed. Gotta have it to share at all the Halloween activities. Could Cary over to Thansgiving but That's It!

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Photo of ChugMan
3.95/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Food Pairing: Had this one with ground beef tacos. A surprisingly interesting combination! The earthyness of each played well off one another in unexpectedly complimentary ways.

This beer manages to replicate the flavor of a slice of fresh pumpkin pie. Earthy, spicy, warm and inviting. Satisfying aftertaste Very tasty, definitely worth having again while it's around!

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

From a 650 ml bottle (undated) to a nonic.

A-An aggressive pour produces about one and one-half fingers of short-lived, off-white foam. The head fades quickly to a fat collar and leaves a stray bit of lacing on the glass. The beer is orange-tinted amber and mostly clear.

S-There are a ton of pie spices here: clove, cinnamon, allspice, and a huge nutmeg scent, as well as gingerbread and a little bit of pumpkin flesh/puree. I also get some caramel and a fair bit of brown sugary sweetness. Nutmeg is really dominant, however.

T-The taste follows the pie-like smell for the most part. Lots of baking spices and gingerbread up front, but the spices, pumpkin, and sweetness taper slightly towards the dryer end on the finish. There is a bit of nutty flavor that runs throughout, which I suspect is from the pumpkin seeds.

M-The feel is lighter and less syrupy than the spiced flavors would suggest. Still, it is medium body with a moderately active, fine carbonation.

O-This is a pretty good example of the style, and an especially good example of sweeter, more pie-like traditional pumpkin beers. I am not sure that I would drink this beer year-round, but it will easily go head-to-head with my other favorite pumpkin beers, e.g., Dogfishhead and Upslope. If you want a beer that tastes like pie, and sometimes I do, this is a good choice.

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Photo of BeerMeColorado
3.69/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Seriously...aroma is that of classic pumpkin pie spices - nutmeg, clove, allspice and cinnamon. Possibly too much? No malt or hop aroma to speak of. Appearance...pale burnt orange, slightly murky. Head fades quickly. Flavor...those spices come fast and furious with a hint of bitterness, giving way to a sweet malt finish. Not sure about any pumpkin coming through but those spices still convince you there’s a pie in there somewhere. Mouthfeel...low to moderate carbonation with medium body. Overall impression? If your idea of a solid pumpkin ale is that of classic pumpkin pie spices yet with a definite "this is still a beer" ale finish, then you’ll really enjoy this pumpkin ale. I know I did!

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Photo of dar482
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer comes in this beautiful strawberry juice color of a deep hazy rich red color.

The aroma is just mind blowing. There’s every spice listed as in the clove, then the ginger, then the nutmeg, allspice, and cinnamon. It’s wonderful amount of spice with a bit of brown sugar and pumpkin. It’s so sweet, so spicy, it’s the best aroma from any pumpkin ale.

The flavor isn’t as exciting with tons of spice in the front. Not for those who don’t like spice, but for me, spice is what represents fall instead of the pumpkin. There’s some brown sugar and pumpkin following with also fermented fruit flavors. Then there’s also that plain “gourd” flavor. It’s a bit bland, and just tastes like squash/gourd or whatever you may call it. The vessel as in the beer isn’t too brown ale and is quite light and enjoyable.

The finish is a bit rough with some booze and the fermented flavor.

This really is a wonderful brew. Despite its flaws, I do love how drinkable this beer is and how fantastic the aroma is.

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