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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale - Elysian Brewing Company

Night Owl Pumpkin AleNight Owl Pumpkin Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

710 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 710
Reviews: 297
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.08%

Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company visit their website
Washington, United States

Style | ABV
Pumpkin Ale |  5.90% ABV

Availability: Fall

Notes/Commercial Description:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-11-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 710 | Reviews: 297 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of metter98

New York

3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer is hazy amber in color and has a light amount of carbonation along with some visible particles floating in suspension—these don't look like the yeast you may be accustomed to seeing in other ales but instead resemble small irregular pieces of flesh, possibly from the pumpkins. It poured with a short off white head that quickly died down, leaving thin foam covering the surface and a collar of large bubbles around the edge of the glass.
S: Light aromas of pumpkin and pumpkin spices are present in the nose, which also has some hints of sweetness.
T: The taste is similar to the smell and has a slight amount of sweetness. The flavors of pumpkins and spices are subtle.
M: It feels light- to medium-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: I found this pumpkin beer to be enjoyable because it didn't taste artificial and there was a nice balance between flavors of pumpkins and pumpkin spices.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2012 02:41:14 | More by metter98
Photo of Flip2006

4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz Bomber. Poured into my Dogfish Head Snifter.

A: Dark Orange, Hazy. A good one finger head that dissipated fairly quickly.

S: Pumpkin, Cinnamon, All Spice, Roasted Malts.

T: Maltiness and Spice upfront. The spice gives way to the roasted pumpkin flavor with underlines of caramel. Maybe a bit too carbonated but the flavors of the beer are balanced wonderfully.

MF: Medium body with malts and kind of a pumpkin pie crust taste. The lingering taste is very enjoyable.

O: A very enjoyable Pumpkin Ale. Probably one of the best that I have had. I really enjoyed this beer and is great for a nice fall day.

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2012 22:24:51 | More by Flip2006
Photo of Ricelikesbeer


4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5


Pours slightly hazy with a little bit of head. Plenty of lacing. Burnt orange with golden highlights.


Wow what a festive/holiday nose! Pumpkin pie and cloves jump out of the glass. There is a malty, toasted bread smell there too. I think of graham crackers as well.


Slightly tart up front which gives way to breast maltiness and spice. The spice is fresh and light, but there's plenty of it. There's a light caramel sweetness which is subtle as well. Remarkably well balanced and not cloying for so much going on.


Light to medium body with low carbonation. Has a nice lingering aftertaste.


Probably my favorite pumpkin beer to date, and really blows away most of them out there. Elysian really knows there pumpkins!

Serving type: bottle

10-03-2012 03:00:24 | More by Ricelikesbeer
Photo of Darkmagus82


3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass

Appearance – The beer pours an orange color with a two finger white head. The head is rather billowy, but fades relatively fast to a persistent cap on the top of the brew. Once faded, the head leaves only a lighter level of lacing.

Smell – The aroma is a nice pumpkin pie aroma. There is a good presence of caramel sweetened pumpkin with pumpkin spices. The heaviest of the spices are of cinnamon and nutmeg, but aromas of allspice and clove are there as well.

Taste – The taste hits heavily upfront of roasted pumpkin and some flavors of cinnamon and allspice. As the taste advances, a light brown sugar sweetness mixed with clove and ginger come to the tongue. The sweetness then fades as more roasted pumpkin comes to the tongue, and in the end, a dry roasted spiced pumpkin flavor is left to linger on the tongue.

Mouthfeel – The body of the beer is on the chewier side with a carbonation level that is on the slightly above average side. While traditionally I like smoothness with a pumpkin brew, the more chewy nature of this body is actually quite nicely compliments the more average to above average carbonation level.

Overall – A more roasty and dry pumpkin brew with a very interesting feel. Give it a go if you have a chance!!

Serving type: bottle

10-02-2012 01:08:09 | More by Darkmagus82
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy dark copper to garnet red in color with moderate amounts of yeast in suspension near the surface of the beer. The beer has a finger tall beige head that reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: This beer has a moderate to strong aroma of pumpkin along with pumpkin pie spices - cinnamon, cardamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.

T: The beer has a light amount of sweetness with a faint hint of caramel malts and wheat. After that, there are moderately strong flavors of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices - cinnamon, cardamon, clove, nutmeg, and hints of ginger.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Very enjoyable and easy to drink, a very good pumpkin beer with great pumpkin flavors and lighter pumpkin pie spices - nice complexity and not overly sweet.

Serving type: bottle

09-27-2012 23:54:26 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of Cylinsier


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

12 oz.

Pours a yellowish amber color with an off-white lacing.

Smells of pumpkin, cinnamon, sugar and a vegetable tartness.

Tastes strongly of fresh pumpkin and more subtly of pie spices like cloves and cinnamon.

Medium but robust body with light tingly carbonation on the roof of the mouth.

This is the first pumpkin beer that I've had that tastes like actual fresh pumpkin. It's different, in a good way. I still prefer sweeter pumpkin ales as I think of it as a dessert-like beer, but this works pretty well and is definitely worth having.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2012 22:41:20 | More by Cylinsier
Photo of ksimons

New York

3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-a hazy orange with a thin layer of white head that quickly disappears to leave some lacing around the top

S-lots of spices-cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, pumpkin, vanilla, and light alcohol

T-pumpkin with a very strong squash/vegetable taste that I am finding a little off putting, not as much spice as the smell would suggest, and a light bread like malt backbone. Sometimes pumpkin beers can be too sweet, unfortunately this one is not sweet enough and there is too much of a veggie taste in it.

M-medium body, light to medium carbonation

Overall the smell started off strong but I am not a fan of the squash like taste of the beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-23-2012 21:49:32 | More by ksimons
Photo of Hoptometrist


4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from the bottle into a becker glass

A- Poured a really beautiful dark, clear orange color with a small soapy head with some splashly lace

S- Lots of ginger, nutmeg, and pumpkin. Nice rich and spicy aroma

T- Tons of ginger and nutmeg, pumpkin, some citrus, and breadiness. Richly flavorful and full of pumpkin pie spices

M- Really creamy and smooth, prickly carbonation, finishes dry, medium to fuller bodied

O- A very drinkable pumpkin ale, the best non-imperial pumpkin ale I have had.

Serving type: bottle

09-22-2012 02:35:56 | More by Hoptometrist
Photo of microbrewlover


2.83/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This brew pours a cloudy orange color with sediment in the glass. Low carbonation. No head or lacing to speak of.

The smell is initially of strong pumpkin and cardamom but this quickly fades as the beer warms. There is also a wheat smell.

The taste has pumpkin in it however the spices do not shine through at all in the taste. There is also a musty wheat taste.The taste does not improve as the brew warms up.

The mouthfeel is thin, water and flat.

I have found this to be a weak pumpkin ale and I am puzzled by the good reviews it has received. I would put Wyerbacher, Post Road and Smuttynose pumpkin ales before this one.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2012 20:12:51 | More by microbrewlover
Photo of beerandcycling88


4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a mug from a 22oz bomber.

A Pours a hazy orangish amber topped off with a white head.

S Smells like pumpkin pie with lots of cinnamon, allspice, and what I think might be cloves.

T The taste follows the nose with lots of cinnamon, allspice, cloves, a hint of ginger and lots of pumpkin. Not overly sweet though, and very drinkable.

M Medium body with medium carbonation.

Overall this is another excellent pumpkin beer by Elysian. Almost as good as the Great Pumpkin and better then Dark O the Moon. Plus its easy to find and fairly cheap which combined with the great flavors and easy drinkablity means I will be drinking this one all fall.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2012 17:38:24 | More by beerandcycling88
Photo of alpinebryant


4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a hazy copper faded penny, a bit of lacing , still looking in the glass.

S: Aroma is composed of a relatively subdued brown ale with mostly fresh pumpkin, a bit of biscuit and pale malt.

T: Wow, a very complex pumpkin ale that is not over spiced. Being one of my favorite styles, I have had about 15 pumpkin ales in the past two weeks. This definitely did not disappoint. The flavors are mostly well rounded pale malt and brown ale, a bit of brown sugar, tons of fresh wet pumpkin, a bit of salt, ginger, nutmeg and clove. The spices are pretty light but present at the very end after you have had a few sips. Usually the spices hit you right on the first sip, but when they dont; and they slowly hit your tongue after the pumpkin flavors have really made their presence felt, the nutmeg and clove will eventually creep up on you.

M: Unbelievably smooth, slightly light on the carbonation, but extremely easy to drink.

O: Overall, this is probably my number one pumpkin ale right now. I can really enjoy Pumpking from Southern Tier and comparitively , this is clearly more drinkable with a lower abv and slightly more complexity. The big selling point though is that it is more of an authentic pumpkin ale vs an overspiced brown ale. Very well done and highly recommended.

Serving type: bottle

09-21-2012 01:00:13 | More by alpinebryant
Photo of gNasty

1.63/5  rDev -58.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 1.5

Well the beer looked great in the grocery store, promising a hearty ale perfect for the first chilly evenings of fall. Open the beer though and things go downhill...fast, a freefall into mediocrity. First off, the brew is devastatingly under-carbonated, an attribute that contributes to a flat, thin flavor and slightly grainy texture. Second of all, the beer smells like the holiday section of Walgreens, only less saccharine. And for the record, I am not against pumpkin ales, quite the contrary. I love the full, hearty, festive flavor of a well-brewed pumpkin. I am also not against Elysian. They make a fantastic Amber, one of the best. But the Night Owl flew away with all the body and flavor somewhere before bottling...

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2012 06:10:49 | More by gNasty
Photo of Brenden


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

This beer is a slightly hazed, opaque, ruddy sort of brown. On top grows a light tan head that sets up just over a finger high, displays good retention, and leaves good lacing mostly in patches as the beer falls.
The aroma shows depth and promise, offering all the balance of plenty of pumpkin flesh with moderate spicing at a good level, enough to satisfy without going overboard. There's just a bit of sweetness with a bready back and even a touch of peppery spiciness underneath.
The flavor is nearly as good, just shy of the level the aroma's on. The breadiness takes over a bit, though the spicing certainly isn't lost. There's even a noticeable touch of hops sitting beneath it all. The focus is clearly lots of pumpkin, both meaty and almost nutty.
The medium body supports it all well. It smooth enough with a nippy crispness that doesn't fade. Neither too sweet nor too dry, the feel works well in this beer.

Serving type: bottle

09-18-2012 03:06:29 | More by Brenden
Photo of mdaschaf


4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright orange color with a small white head with moderate retention, leaving a thin ring on top. Little bits of lacing.

S: Very fragrant, lots of pumpkin meat along with spice. Lots of nutmeg, ginger, and clove and less cinnamon, which usually dominates pumpkin beers.

T: A continuation of the aroma, very nice combination of spices, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Plenty of pumpkin flavor and some slightly sweet malt, a touch of sugar, and a little caramel.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation, has a slightly slick feel to it.

O: Very impressed. After a string of disappointing pumpkin beers, this one hits the mark. Extremely fragrant with a ton of flavor and not fake at all.

Serving type: bottle

09-16-2012 01:47:51 | More by mdaschaf
Photo of 57md


3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours a cloudy copper with a honey colored hue. Two big fingers of head, but it dissipates quickly leaving only a trace of lacing. The nose certainly has pumpkin notes to it. The taste is pretty straight-forward pumpkin-like.

The bottle claims the presence of various pie spices, but they are hardly noticeable other than the definite clove notes on the finish. The finish is also semi-dry.

As a special treat, a very subtle touch of sweetness begins to come out as this offering warms.

A solid straight-up pumpkin ale.

Serving type: bottle

09-13-2012 03:03:11 | More by 57md
Photo of wattoclone


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I have been drinking Night Owl since 2010 and have sought it out as one of my favorite pumpkin ales. This was my review from last year: dark orange cloudy amber color, strong and pleasant aroma of pumpkin with spices. Tastes like roasted pumpkin with all of the pumpkin pie spices, but not overwhelming. A very mellow hop finish and the roasted pumpkin lingers on. A complex yet balanced and rich pumpkin ale. I even kept a couple of bottles of the 2012 vintage in my fridge for comparison. Kept in the cold, they were every bit as good as last year.

This year (2013) was a big disappointment. Substantially less sediment than previous years and the taste is not as rich or sweet. The aroma is similar, but overall it is at best a bland pumpkin beer with an unfortunate bitter finish. Every year for the past three years I have had friends visit to try the Elysian Night Owl. They cleaned me out of 2 cases in past years but this year one bottle and they were ready to try something else. Good thing I tried a six pack before committing to a case. One thing I have learned since I began drinking pumpkin ales over 10 years ago, since they are a craft brew they vary substantially from year to year. Best to sample a couple bottles before choosing one to buy in quantity. It looks like Harpoon UFO is a winner this year.

Serving type: bottle

09-12-2012 13:32:36 | More by wattoclone
Photo of RenzoD


3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

FYI: My rating of this beer is specifically relative to other pumpkin ales

Bought a six pack of this stuff. Poured from a bottle into a pounder glass. The beer is a nice looking dark orangish color which is perfect if you are feeling festive for Autumn. Quite a bit of cloudiness as you get to the bottom with sediments, not in a bad way but in a way that makes you look forward to a brew with lots of flavor. Nice small to medium head leaving a nice lace on the glass. The smell is probably what most impressed me. Pumpkin pie, pumpkin seeds, chai teaish scents with some cinnamon and nutmeg. This thing smells like the real deal. My first drink was a bit bland and dissapointing but it had been sitting in my fridge all day while i was at work so i allowed the temperature of the brew to warm a bit to bring out its flavors a bit more. Im glad i did. It progressively got better and better. Good flavors of pumpkin seed, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. There was something just slightly flat about the mouth feel which kind of throws off the aftertaste but if you get past that its a great beer and as a puget sound native I am happy to say that Elysian has made my favorite pumpkin ale yet.

Serving type: bottle

09-11-2012 07:24:27 | More by RenzoD
Photo of ArrogantB


3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked up a 12oz bottle which was good because a bomber or a sixer would be way too much. Orange color with good lacing but it also has a lot of particulate floating throughout. Strong smell of the typical pumpkin pie spices. Flavor is pumpkin, nutmeg, spicy. This is good but I really don't want too much of it, kind of overpowering.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2012 21:51:16 | More by ArrogantB
Photo of mfavoino


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

Picked up a bomber poured into a pin glass.

Appearance: Amber-orange color with a fizzy 1 finger head that settled quickly.

Smell: Nutmeg, licorice, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Smells sweet.

Taste: Sweet, but not overwhelming pumpkin flavor. Gets more spicy and herbal with noticeable cinnamon and nutmeg. Finishes with spicy flavor that I can't quite put my finger on.

Mouthfeel: Medium body with just a touch of carbonation. Nice mouthfeel.

Overall: Good pumpkin ale that is not quite on par with Elysian's Great Pumpkin and Schlafly's Pumpkin Ale. Looking forward to opening a bottle of Great Pumpkin soon to compare.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2012 04:55:07 | More by mfavoino
Photo of DrDemento456


4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a nice clear orange brown with a 1/2 inch of opaque colored head.

S - Smells quite mild yet balanced getting some sweet spices and not very vegital pumpkin. Malts and hops seem level.

T - Wow very nice as other stated it balances the line of pumpkin and beer very well with just the right amount of cinnamon and allspice to keep it from being too vegital. Malt forward is also a plus for the style.

M - Like Fegley's Devious only more sessionable with a light to medium body make for easy drink ability.

Overall it either this or Devious but I am looking to get a case of this stuff. Good pumpkin ale indeed.

Serving type: bottle

08-31-2012 02:24:01 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of jtierney89

New Jersey

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

nice clear sappy hue with a bit of off white head. smells like heaven, like fresh pumpkin pie.

Wow good show! combines drinkability with amazing pumpkin flavor. Body remains consistent and doesnt water down at all, evenly spiced with some pumpkin flavor remaining. Medium bodied, high enough in ABV to catch a buzz but low enough to session. A pumpkin beer thats a bit heavier on cinnamon than others but it's a rather good beer. This beer has a good reputation for a reason.

combines the flavor of the imperial pumpkin ales with the drinkability of the session pumpkin ales.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2012 23:49:46 | More by jtierney89
Photo of bstave


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

12 oz bottle poured into Dogfish Head Tulip Pint Glass

Pours a brilliant orange leaving little head and minimal lacing. This beer smells like pumpkin pie. Big allspice and nutmeg on the nose. Taste doesn't quite live up to the smell, but pulls through quite nicely. Mouthfeel is medium. Slight bitterness in the back end. Overall, this is a nice pumpkin beer and probably one of the best examples. I like the new six pack option. Seek out for those who enjoy the style.

Serving type: bottle

08-23-2012 03:23:05 | More by bstave
Photo of vkv822


3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

on-tap @ Elysian Brewery.
taster glass.
from notes.

Clear orange with a low, white head.

Clove and pumpkin upfront. Highlight with nutmeg, and a light note of cinnamon in the finish. Malty base.

Average body, medium, prickly, bubbly carbonation.

A well done pumpkin beer. Easy to distinguish the style and pumpkin and spices used, but they were not overwhelming as can easily happen in the style.

Serving type: on-tap

08-13-2012 06:47:03 | More by vkv822
Photo of johnmichaelsen


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Max's today. Can't believe it's pumpkin beer season already.

The beer pours a copper amber color with fairly good head retention and light lacing. The nose is rather amazing though, as I get considerable pumpkin, clove, alspice and vanilla. The flavor profile replicates the nose, and the amount of pumpkin flavor is astonishing. It blends well with all the spice, leading to a moderately sweet beer, which end with a dry, spice filled finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, and the finish is long and spice infused.

Probably one of the better pumpkin beers out there, but I confess I'm just not a big fan of the style.

Serving type: on-tap

08-10-2012 20:52:05 | More by johnmichaelsen
Photo of LiquidAmber


3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 10/2010 notes. Poured into a Nostradamus flute glass. Pours a red-orange amber with a slight off-white head. Light lager aroma with light malt. A light malt flavor with a distinct pumpkin finish. Not too complex, but a nice spicy, light flavor and pleasant pumpkin aftertaste. A nice, light pumpkin ale.

Serving type: bottle

07-31-2012 20:29:50 | More by LiquidAmber
Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
87 out of 100 based on 710 ratings.