Night Owl Pumpkin Ale - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Night Owl Pumpkin AleNight Owl Pumpkin Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,036 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 1,036
Reviews: 332
rAvg: 3.94
pDev: 11.93%
Wants: 106
Gots: 153 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,036 | Reviews: 332
Photo of dbossman
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Copper hue with a 1/2 inch, steady head and beautiful lacing

S: Very pumpkin heavy with subtle ginger, allspice, cloves, and nutmeg, but I like that the pumpkin is at the forefront; some bready toasted cookies--like gingerbread--at the base

T: I really taste pumpkin seeds in the flavors to go along with the pumpkin cookie aromas I was getting; some spice but the pumpkin is the show

F: Medium body; good even mouth feel

O: This, in my book, sets the standard for what a normal, session pumpkin ale should be like--great beer!

Photo of Neorebel
3.12/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a ruddy amber hue, carbonated, with some minute sediment present. Bubbly head dissipates quickly, leaving no lacing in its wake. The aroma is nice, with sugary malts, graham cracker, nutmeg, pumpkin, and citrusy hops. I find the flavor to be rather straight forward... it's an APA with subtle pumpkin/spice characteristics in the finish. It's a bit watery and thin. I would recommend if you are looking for a good APA based session beer, otherwise, there are far better tasting beers of the pumpkin persuasion...

Photo of spinrsx
3.64/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Bomber from the Potsdam NY IGA for 8$

Appearance - Clear dark copper with an average size fizzy beige coloured head. There is an average amount of carbonation showing and there is some decent lacing. The head lasted for around 3-4 minutes.

Smell - Hops, malts grassy, all spice, pumpkin

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste caramel, malts, and all spice. There is only a little bit of pumpkin and a light grassiness. It ends with a malty caramel and all spice aftertaste.

Overall – A little out of season but it's held up pretty well. The carbonation is a little low and the beer seems a little watery. The spice level is good but it needs more pumpkin. A very drinkable fall beer, but nothing that has the wow factor.

Photo of Smurf2055
3.62/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.75

On tap at Chuck’s 85th.

Pours dark amber with about a finger of off-white head.

Smells strongly of pumpkin spices. Bready and sweet.

Tastes a bit bitter, small pumpkin flavor, melons and bread.

Very light and a bit watery.

I remembered it being better the last time I had it. It just didn’t seem to have the same kick this time. Still not a bad representation of the style, but obviously not the Great Pumpkin.

Photo of magine
3.75/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a pint glass.

Pours a dark amber tea like color. Has a white almost yellowish thick fluffy head. Head settles to a nice wisp layer on top that fades after it sits. Good carbonation and nice tight bubbles. Pretty good looking brew.

Brew smells of spice; pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg and a subtle malty backbone. Pretty good nose.

Brew is a bit thin and not as malty as I had hoped. Decent flavors albeit muted a bit. Slight pumpkin, and the maltiness is faint as the spices and peppery carbonated taste and feel are in the forefront. Some caramel as well. Brew is crisp and drinks easy and finishes slightly hopped and a little dry. A pretty good brew.

This is a pretty good Pumpkin brew, I am just not tasting much pumpkin. Very drinkable, a decent very sessionable brew though.

Photo of JamesMN
3.57/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pretty typical Pumpkin Ale with a slightly hazy amber body and a thin off-white head that's made up of rather large bubbles.

Aroma: Buttery pumpkin with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg. The smell immediately brings back memories of October and the fall season. Real close to the smell of cold pumpkin pie. Actually get a touch of pumpkin seed as well. Would give it a higher grade but it actually isn't all that aromatic.

Taste: Matches the aroma in more ways than one. All the flavors are there but they are very subdued which makes sense given the modest 5.9% ABV. Neither the pumpkin flavor or the blend of spices dominates the palate, instead they trade off taking center stage through the finish. A very drinker friendly Pumpkin Ale.

Mouthfeel: Just above thin in body with too much effervescence. Above average drinkability. The spices are subdued enough that they don't become cloying, which happens to be a positive side effect.

Final Thoughts: It may be a little watery and over carbonated but Elysian Night Owl is not by any means a bad beer. It looks great and hits all the right flavor notes. It's slightly low ABV also makes it very approachable in bomber format and I'd highly recommend it to any BMC drinkers as a way to convert them. Would I drink it again? Probably not. It's also not sold in my state.

Photo of Oakenator
4.03/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours amber with a healthy amount of yeast at the bottom of the bottle. Good head at pour - eggshell in color and easily 1 finger on a good 12 oz pour. Not much in terms of lacing. Nutmeg and clove present on the nose - slightly sour style. Tastes reveals cinnamon and some bready heartiness.

Photo of thecheapies
3.74/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Elysian Night Owl.

A much-too-vigorous pour yielded a two-inch head and a hell of a lot of floaties. The foam is sitting pretty, for now, audibly crackling away. The particles in the beer are suspended, leading me to have to drink them along the way. Color - pumpkin orange.

Smells like pie spices, some orange-y citrus, and pumpkin flesh. The spicy aroma is strong in the ginger and allspice department. Nothing to write home about, it smells like a carefully-crafted pumpkin ale.

Light pumpkin flavor comes through behind a crisp spice and hop duo of nutmeg, ginger, pine, and citrus. Toasted pumpkin seeds play along with the flavors of the malt, which are equally toasty and lightly grassy. Some very light caramelization in effect, also. Very drinkable with a cleansing and busy carbonation level. The body is smaller than I'd anticipated, which helps bring out some of the other spices (cinnamon and clove) in a delicate manner. Exposes complexity in very small doses and does well when it almost reaches room temperature.

One of my last pumpkin beers of the year, it's about time I got around to this one. Not among my favorite Elysian pumpkins, it's still a satisfying brew for the fall season. I enjoyed this one more than a good handful of other craft interpretations of the style.

Photo of Gobzilla
3.2/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: poured a translucent golden orange in color with yellow highlights and a finger of head that left good bubbly lacing sticking to the glass.

S: noticeable grainy aroma upfront in the nose with very light spice notes such as ginger, cinnamon and all spice.

T: the cinnamon, ginger, all spice and clove were a tad more potent on the taste alongside plenty of grainy flavor a touch of pumpkin character a mild citrus notes.

M: the beer was light in body with a fair amount of carbonation which had a spice, semi sweet, mildly fruity and crisp finish.

O: not really big on pumpkin flavor and was my least favorite in the pumpkin beer series.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.32/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy orange-ish to yellow color, a bit chunky, and a small to no white head. In the aroma, big cinnamon and allspice all the way through. In the taste, big spice, quite heavy on the cinnamon, with nutmeg and allspice, and notes of gourd. A spice bite and a medium to lighter body, with a dry over use of cinnamon and ginger in the aftertaste. Overuse of cinnamon and big spice presence, although, just about average.

Photo of superspak
4.52/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

22 ounce bottle into pint glass; no bottle dating, but was purchased recently. Pours hazy orange amber color with a 1 finger fairly dense off white head with nice retention, that reduces to a thin cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings down the glass. Aromas of big authentic pumpkin, clove, allspice, caramel, gingerbread, toast, cinnamon, nutmeg, and light herbal. Fantastic aromas with great strength and balance; this smells like I opened a can of pumpkin puree, very authentic. Taste of big pumpkin, cinnamon, nutmeg, gingerbread, caramel, toast, allspice, clove, and herbal. Minimal bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of pumpkin, cinnamon, gingerbread, caramel, toast, allspice, nutmeg, clove, and herbal on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic balance of flavors with a ton of authentic pumpkin; awesome malt/spice balance; zero cloying flavors on the finish. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly slick and lightly syrupy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with nearly zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an absolutely incredible Pumpkin ale. Great authentic pumpkin flavor with well balanced spices; extremely smooth to drink. Easily the best I have had in the pumpkin ale style.

Photo of MDDMD
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-translucent orange amber color with an off-white head and good lacing

S-pumpkin, spice, faint sweetness

T-nutmeg, cinnamon, pumpkin, slight sourness that compliments the flavor profile nicely

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, tart and crisp

O-I was surprised with how much I enjoyed this beer, not a huge pumpkin fan but the blend of flavors was very tasty. Will definitely drink this again.

Photo of bcostner1
4.67/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pumpkin orange, nice head; great autumnal hues.

S: Awesome...fall spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice) and pumpkin.

T: Top notch pumpkin ale. Follows the nose with very pleasant doses of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, minimal clove (good thing...don't like a lot of clove in my pumpkin ales), pie crust, and pumpkin flesh finish.

M: Easy drinker for sure...has enough body to be satisfying but is definitely not overdone. At 5.9%, no booze present at all. Highly sessionable pumpkin ale in my opinion.

Really enjoyed this one. I put it up there with Schlafly, CCB, and Uinta Oak Jacked as my favorites for the style. Would definitely have again.

Photo of angrybabboon
3.97/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cheers to Goblinmunkey7 for giving me a bottle of this

Appearance: Hazy, cloudy - burnt orange at its core, with some light orange around the edges - small, off-white head, rapidly fades to nothing except a bubbly ring that actually leaves a few streaks of lacing

Smell: Wet pumpkin flesh - fresh pumpkin guts with some squash - spices come next, with nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, and some clove - a base of biscuity, lightly toasted malts - some sweetness

Taste: Pumpkin flesh, pumpkin seeds, squash, and an overall vegetal flavor - lightly sweet, lightly earthy, lightly bitter - nutmeg and ginger seem to be the most prominent spices, with cinnamon next, and then clove - very flavorful spice profile, but not overdone - nicely balanced - nice malts, with toasty biscuits and some spice bread

Mouthfeel: Medium, smooth, minimal carbonation

Overall: A well-rounded pumpkin ale

Lots of pumpkin flavor with a nice spice profile and a good malt base. What else could one want? This didn't particularly blow me away in any category, but it's solid.

Photo of mooseo
3.8/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into goblet.

A - Orange brown in color with a thin bubbly white head.

S - Sweet pumpkin pie crust. Mild fall spices of cinnamon, clove and nutmeg are most prominent.

T - Less sweet than the nose with a strong bready malt backbone. Raw pumpkin, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg combine to create liquid pumpkin pie crust. The spices are just right - not overwhelming but definitely there to enhance.

M - Extremely smooth, light-medium body. A little thinner than expected with crisp carbonation.

O - A highly drinkable and flavorful pumpkin ale. Not the best example but still very good. Well blended with just the right amount of sweetness/spice ratio.

Photo of Toddzillamz
3/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Mecca lecca hi, mecca hiney ho. I know something you don't know. That's right y'all, Toddzilla is back! Ready to drop some knowledge on you wannabe beer guzzlers. You probably some other kind of guzzler, if ya know what I mean.

This beer leaves me saying, "I don't know." And maybe it's not just this particular beer, but the overall feeling I get from a pumpkin ale. Football starts, the leaves turn, and the days grow shorter. This is when the brewers turn their focus to this niche of pumpkin style brews. We all wait for it to happen, and jump in head first, only to be disappointed. But, then again, I don't know. Maybe we should try other gourds. Well, here's the quick and dirty:

A: The color of urine when you drink nothing but beer.
S: The standard selection of fall spice. Nutmeg, allspice, cinnamon. Not too strong though. Not the warm feeling you get when sniffing a Pumking, that's for sure.
T: It was definitely better the night before, when I first opened the bottle. Things happen. You get a call/text and you take care of business. The usual suspects are here.
M: Dry, clean, crisp. Like listerine without the burn.
O: I don't know. It's a smooth, drinkable brew, but these pumpkin ales just rub me the wrong way. Like a sandpaper handjob, or a farmgirl with roughened, callous hands. All the same to me. They don't live up to the hype of "autumn beers". Not that a sandpaper handjob lives up to the hype, but you know what I mean.

This unnerving feeling takes me back to a time in Rome. Not that I was time traveling back to the glory days of gladiator fights and chariot races, but a trip I had where an experience left me guessing, forever. So, I'm back at the hostel with a slew of two euro bottles of wine, and run into the other cast members of that week. I happily share my wealth, and drinking breeds more drinking, so we all wander off to a club. This is where somebody drugged me. When I come to, I'm back in my room and see this smokin' girl from Israel right in my face. My shirt is being pulled off. I black out. I wake up in the morning with three chinese girls across the room staring at me and giggling. I was in my bed with nothing on but my underwear halfway up. There was what seemed like dried blood all over the place. All over me, the bed, and the floor. I later found out that this was wine, which was puked up. And, I puked all over the girl and her belongings. What I never found out is what happened. Did she take advantage of me and sex me up without me knowing? I don't know. Where did my clothes go? I don't know. Similar feeling with all these pumpkin beers. I don't know. Don't love em. Don't hate em. Just don't know.

Photo of darktower
4.05/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Best pumpkin ale I've had to date. EXTREMELY smooth, goes down easy and very well rounded brew. There's a pumpkin flavor and good spice qualities but they're not overwhelming. The color, smell and mouth feel are nothing spectacular so the greatness of this beer really is in the details of the taste.

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

A: The rich and deep orange amber colour is striking and bold, speckled with sediment the brew is otherwise crystal clear. A scant trail of bubbles is all that remains of the original 2 fingers of head.

S: Full bouquet of spices, cloves, all spice, nutmeg, & cinnamon followed with a sweet brown sugar on baked squash. There's as a faint hint of chocolate after the brew warmed, like a pumpkin chocolate truffle.

T: Less sweet than the smell the first sip is thick with pumpkin pie spices and fresh pumpkin flavour, all the while calling back to the ale flavour. Ginger follows along with notes of bread yeast. An after taste of sweet chocolate with lingering pumpkin.

M: Low carbonation and thin to medium viscosity, overall I wished this was a thicker mouth feel.

O: The scent and flavour are both incredibly bold and do well to represent the flavours and scents of the fall season. The mix of pumpkin, spices, ginger and the hints of chocolate don't mask the fact that this definitely an ale. Worth trying at least once.

Photo of sukwonee
3.73/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber orange body with 1 finger head

S: Cinnamon, cola, sugar

T: Spice, Cinnamon, ginger. It's not as sweet as in the nose. It tastes like watered down cola with cinnamon spice added.

M: Good amount of carbonation, dry, clean finish.

O: It's pretty good. I am not a huge fan of pumkin beers in general (usually too sweet and artificial) but I finished and enjoyed this bottle.

Photo of heybrewtiful
4.5/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spiced with flavors more typical of apple pie than pumpkin--caramel and mild apple notes emerge from the typical spice profile of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg--this beer is smooth, balanced, and a must try for anyone who has a penchant for 'pumpkin' brews. Definitely among my top five for beers with autumnal drinking in mind.

Photo of ujsplace
3.95/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a becker.

Pours a deep orange color with plenty of floaters suspended throughout. I love seeing that. The head is about one finger thick initially, but quickly dissipates leaving a thin layer on top and along the sides of the glass.

Smells of pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and a hint of ginger.

Tastes of pumpkin and spices. The flavors are all blended well together with the pumpkin being the backbone and the spice notes all rounding out the flavor very nicely. Nothing too overpowering, but there is plenty going on here. Overall, nice pumpkin flavor, spicing, yeastiness and malts. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel is light medium with modest carbonation.

First brew from Elysian and I am not disappointed in the least. I love the different takes on pumpkin brews and this one is unique in its own right. I'd look for this one again.

Photo of chefhatt
3.38/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I poured this beer into a pint glass, it has a copper color body and don't have any head or lace to it. The smell is strong of cinnamon and ginger with a hint of nutmeg. The taste is very spicy of the the spicies from the smell with just a hint of pumpkin peeping through on the finish. The mouth feel is good and overall a good pumpkin beer, i have had better and worse, it is aboe average but exceptional.

Photo of Immortale25
4/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Mad props to SatlyMalty for this brew! Poured into a Ninkasi Brewing pint glass. No freshness date.

First pour from 22 oz. bomber:

A- Pours a medium amber color with a 1/4 inch head that fails to retain long before becoming a thin ring outlining the glass and fleeting surface foam. Below-average lacing.

S- Heavy fragrance of pumpkin and nutmeg. It's non-sweet, more of the vegetal type of pumpkin aroma which makes sense given the 150 lbs. of pumpkin used per batch.

T- Plain pumpkin flavor with a kick of nutmeg and not much else. Toasty malts keep things a bit interesting. Trace notes of cinnamon and clove.

M- Thin and watery. Barely any snap from the spices. Medium-low carbonation and a body that's on the lighter side for the style.

Second pour:

A- Wow. The bottom layer of this beer contains copious amounts of pumpkin sediment which is made evident by the numerous white specks suspended in the body of the beer.There's a collection of white sediment that's formed which is visible through the bottom of the glass.

S- Not much different. Just a slight bit more yeast.

T- Much more spice and a much heartier flavor of raw pumpkin gourd and seed. Very earthy and yeasty which I attribute to the bottle conditioning

M- Stickier afterfeel with a tad more bite from the spices. The body is also upped slightly.

O- A completely different beer from first pour to second. The second pour is much better.

Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.15/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Mildly hazy burnt orange. Head is white and drops to a wispy cap rather quickly. Some carbonation sneaks through the slightly thicker collar. Loose and barely there.

Smell: Nutmeg buried in the back. Nice compliment of roasted and toasted malts. Some bready sweetness in the back. Nice pumpkin. Squashy, vegetal, earthy, and fresh. The usual spices make an appearance, but it's not the first thing to jump out. Cinnamon and clove in particular. Ginger jumps as the beer warms. Nicely layered.

Taste: Sweet cinnamon spice laced with nutmeg. Big squashy pumpkin flavor is incredibly delicate given how big it is. A big scoop of fresh pumpkin sprinkled with spices. Bready malts balance it out a touch. Some malty sweetness. Nice roasted character in the back, and I swear I can taste the earthy flavor of pumpkin seeds. Vaguely floral at times. Clove and ginger make up a big part of the spice profile as it warms. Falls apart a little when warm, giving the spice more headway. More like a crispy pumpkin cookie.

Mouthfeel: Minimal carbonation. Body runs on the lighter side of medium. Incredibly clean and smooth. So very smooth. Vague notions of creaminess.

Overall: I'll take another x6.

Solid pumpkin mixed in to an easy drinking ale is always a good time. Spices get a little overbearing at times, but it's quickly made up for with another sip of squashy goodness. Each sip makes it better and that's hard to do with the style.

Photo of Dieseldynamo
3.34/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A-Poured from a bomber with little head and no lacing, plenty of (what I'm guessing is) pumpkin residue floating in the glass from adding it to the fermenter!

S-Light ginger and cinnimon over biscuit malt. Almost a bit perfumey...

T-Similar to smell but with beer bitterness (as to be expected) and no apparent pumpkin flavors despite the intense additions. The spices are nicely displayed however a bit strong on the ginger perhaps.

M-Nice and medium-full bodied for a 6 % abv beer, great texture and consistency.

O-Not the best (certainly not the worst) example of the style I've had, I think they put too much emphasis on getting pumpkin flavor into the beer and missed the balance of spices that should compliment the type of texture that comes with adding pumpkin to a beer. It does make a nice fall beer however.

Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 1,036 ratings.