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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale - Elysian Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Night Owl Pumpkin AleNight Owl Pumpkin Ale

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

845 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 845
Reviews: 308
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.02%
Wants: 106
Gots: 99 | FT: 1
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: 845 | Reviews: 308 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev +5.6%
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

brentk56, Dec 29, 2008
Photo of Sammy
3.8/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Sammy, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
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)

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 26, 2008
Photo of bkilpatr
4.25/5  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.

bkilpatr, Dec 15, 2008
Photo of Gavage
4.22/5  rDev +7.9%
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.

Gavage, Dec 14, 2008
Photo of PretzelCity
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
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.

PretzelCity, Dec 03, 2008
Photo of Kegatron
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Kegatron, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of kosmoraios
2.98/5  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.

kosmoraios, Nov 30, 2008
Photo of Lexluthor33
4/5  rDev +2.3%
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.

Lexluthor33, Nov 29, 2008
Photo of russpowell
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%
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

russpowell, Nov 27, 2008
Photo of djeucalyptus
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
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.

djeucalyptus, Nov 25, 2008
Photo of froghop
3.05/5  rDev -22%
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.

froghop, Nov 23, 2008
Photo of jwc215
3.93/5  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.

jwc215, Nov 14, 2008
Photo of callmemickey
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Amber-orange body thin white head with a bit of lacing left on the glass.

S: The allspice comes through, classic pumpkin ale scent..

T: Rich spicy pumpkin flavor.. cinnamon and allspice are present...

M: Smooth, moderately carbonated, thinner finish than i'd like

D: good for one, the overwhelming spice flavor started to grate on me by the last sip

callmemickey, Nov 11, 2008
Photo of antilogic
3.33/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Had it on tap @ the Horsebrass in Portland. Got a free taster from the bar staff.

Aroma of light spicing, but lacking a pumpkin. Head was big, low carbonation, appears a standard "brown" in low bar lighting. Taste was smooth, and some pumpkin was definitely there. It was a lot lighter than I expected, leaving me disappointed.

antilogic, Nov 10, 2008
Photo of WesWes
4.15/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours an amber color with a thick frothy offwhite head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is good. It has a bisquity pumpkin scent along with an array of spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, etc.. The taste is good as well. It has a solid grist of pale, crystal, and bisquit malts along with a large pumpkin and spice flavor. It's a smooth drinking beer with little to no pumpkin bitterness. The mouthfeel is great. It is a full bodied beer with adequate/good carbonation. This is a very well done pumpkin beer. Some of these are too malty. Some are too spicey. Some are really dry and pumpkin filled. This is a well rounded, highly drinkable beer.

WesWes, Nov 07, 2008
Photo of DaggerEyes
3.1/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle
poured an amber orange, off-white head, patchy but abundant lacing clinging to the glass.

Sweet pumpkin pie, kind of like pumpkin pie out of the can. lots of spice, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.

The taste at times reminds me of ginger bread, though the pumpkin is undoubtedly there. Not much in the way of carbonation, smooth and slick mouthfeel, with a watery body. The body is a real turn off for me I like my pumpkin ales heartier than this one. There is also a strange and somewhat awkward off-dry quality on the finish.

DaggerEyes, Oct 28, 2008
Photo of maddogruss
3.53/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Got a bottle of this from the Bottle King in Glen Rock, NJ.

A: Pours an orange-amber body with an off-white head with nice retention and lacing down to the finish.

S: A sweet, malt and spice smells. Cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin, and a minimal amount of clove seemed to be present.

T: A robust, ginger taste with some pumpkin undertones. A decent, malt background with a dry, ginger aftertaste. Ginger is all over this beer.

M: A fairly smooth mouthfeel, but did seem a bit overcarbonated and slightly watery. Overall, a fairly decent feel on the palette.

D: A nice combination of mouthfeel and taste. Unfortunately, the strong ginger taste got to me later on. Would have been nicer if the ginger spices were calmer, allowing the other tastes and spices to come through.

maddogruss, Oct 27, 2008
Photo of Halcyondays
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

22 oz. bomber from Liquid Solutions,

A: Pours a beautiful pumpkin orange colour, with a solid, slightly fizzy white head. Some lace which is extremely rare in a Pumpkin Ale.

S: A lot more pumpkin flesh, squash character at first, the spice notes are light in the nose, I get nutmeg and clove distinctly, and a bit of spiced cream.

T: The spice and cream notes from the nose continue in the taste where they are met by the distinct pumpkin. Allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg are clearly evident, the beer ends on a full clove bite. Let it roll over the tongue a couple of times ere the swallow as it continues to evolve with each moment.

M: Nice body for a pumpkin beer, I find that many pumpkin brews are overly light and fizzy, but this has a nice heft to it, yet it's light enough for easy drinking.

D: Very easy to drink, I could have finished the bomber in 5 minutes, it's that drinkable, however, I milked it a bit since this is the only bottle I have of this. Excellent pumpkin ale, I hear Elysian are coming into the Southland soon, this beer made a great first impression.

Halcyondays, Oct 23, 2008
Photo of TheycallmeTim
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

A--Reddish-orange sunset body with a small, one finger, foamy eggshell head that receded to a skim and left decent lacing. This is the most amber/russet pumpkin ale I've tried from an admittedly limited sample size (maybe half a dozen).

S--One of the most standout characteristics of this beer. Lots of nutmeg and allspice with hints of clove, too--much more spice than pumpkin or ale in the nose, although the squash makes itself apparent subtly toward the end of the sniff.

T--Copies the nose almost to a T, right down to the aftertaste, which leave a full roasted pumpkin taste on the tongue. Only difference may be that the clove and allspice mostly give way to the nutmeg and a tad of hot spice must be the ginger. Very little malt and only a hint of hops right after you swallow--not much citrus or floral or pine linger, though, as the pumpkin really eats this up. Bottle says there are pumpkin seeds in the mash--I think they could have left them out as they aren't traceable in the flavor.

M&D--Too rough, too astringent, especially with such a dull thud roundness of pumpkin on the palate. Let the spice give us a rocky ride, not a lack of balance. Drinkability is superb, though, I would say, as the alcohol doesn't really show up and the ABV is pretty much sessionproof.

Definitely falls into the "traditional" pumpkin ale category, in that it resembles what I imagine the real thing back in colonial days must have tasted like when they really had to substitute squash for grain. For my money, though, I prefer the updated, non scarcity based approach of, for instance, Smuttynose, that provides a firm pale ale stage on which the spice and vegetable can perform. Still, an accomplished beer.

TheycallmeTim, Oct 22, 2008
Photo of riversider76
4.35/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful copper-orange. Fluffy white head with excellent retention and lacing. Aroma is of pumpkin and spice. Body is medium and carbonated. Taste is a near perfect balance of sweet fruits pumpkin and spice. This is one of the better pumpkin ales I've had.

riversider76, Oct 20, 2008
Photo of ColForbinBC
3.93/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

22oz bomber poured into a pint

Pours a slightly hazy brown/burnt orange with a good amount of lacing for a pumpkin beer. A off-white head rises and fades rather quickly.

This might be the most pumpkin smelling pumpkin beer out there. Alcohol infused pumpkin rounded out by allspice, ginger, nutmeg and clove.

Slightly bitter alcoholy pumpkin body with nutmeg and allspice and caramel malt. A bready, ginger finish on top of all of the pumpkin flavors out there.

Medium body and pretty complex flavor profile.

This might be one of the more drinkable pumpkin ales out there. The spices are all in check, nothing over the top, making it an easy, enjoyable sipper.

ColForbinBC, Oct 18, 2008
Photo of HopDerek
3.83/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a rich coppery orange color with 2+ fingers of foamy eggshell colored head. Good retention and nice sticky lacing clumps. Smells of honey, grain, floury dough, pumpkin meat, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Tastes of lightly sweetened bread malt, and caramel up front followed by a touch of pumpkin, cinnamon, and all spice and lots of nutmeg. Finishes with some lightly toasted grain and a touch of floral hops. Medium light in body with good carbonation. Malty and smooth with a crisp, semi-dry finish. A good pumpkin ale low in ABV and easy to drink, but the pumpkin and other spices are a little masked by the heavy nutmeg.

HopDerek, Oct 14, 2008
Photo of JMBSH
4.2/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A very dark amber with a fair amount of sediment floating in the liquid. Spices or yeast? A fairly good sized head that shrinkt to a thin coating. No lace left on sides after tasting.

S - No way you can smell this beers pumpkin chassification. The spices are very strong and smell very good. When you get your nose into the glas pumpkin itself is also detected.

T - The spices again but the pumpkin is also there to balance them out. Unlike some pumpkin beers I have had, no one spice commands this beer. A very nice blend.

M - Very smooth. The carbonation is almost perfect.

D - I ordered this beer off the internet. I wish it was availible around here. This was very good! I could open up another bottle right now.

JMBSH, Oct 06, 2008
Photo of DavidSeanNJ
4.33/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22 oz. bomber shared amongst friends (about 2 1/2 pours).

A- Dark muddy brown color. Think thick iced tea. Cream colored head. Not much lace on this one.

S- Smell was of fresh pumpkin. Pumpkin puree to be exact. Baked pumpkin pie scents. This smelled like autumn in a glass.

T- Nice blend of spices, malts, and pumpkin. I was not blown over by any one spice. There was a very nice balance of flavors on this one. The pumpkin was really spectacular. So tasty. This is what I think of when I want a pumpkin ale.

M- Some burning? Maybe from the spices. Kinda weird. Medium bodied. The brew didn't water down after many sips.

D- I could drink this one over and over. I want to pick up another bottle for sure. If you like pumpkin ales, this is a good one.

DavidSeanNJ, Oct 05, 2008
Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 845 ratings.