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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

824 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 824
Reviews: 307
rAvg: 3.91
pDev: 12.28%
Wants: 104
Gots: 93 | 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: 824 | Reviews: 307 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of spoony
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

spoony, Sep 26, 2013
Photo of vande
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

vande, Apr 22, 2012
Photo of LambicPentameter
3.54/5  rDev -9.5%

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.

LambicPentameter, Oct 21, 2013
Photo of Jason1337
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Jason1337, Apr 20, 2013
Photo of 57md
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%

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.

57md, Sep 13, 2012
Photo of NickThePyro
4/5  rDev +2.3%

NickThePyro, Dec 24, 2012
Photo of jmccraney
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

jmccraney, Oct 26, 2013
Photo of AKBelgianBeast
3.95/5  rDev +1%

This years night owl pours a deep orange rubyish brew with a good fluffy white head that leaves great lacing.

Nose is nutmeg, allspice, pumpkin. Some marzen like graininess and a bit of clove.

Taste follows. Spices, pumpkin, very marzeny actually, sort of weak. Stronger in the nose than it is here. Thin.

Mouthfeel is too thin, but ok all around. Would like a little more body on this one, this is probably part of the reason this seems so marzen like to me. Really it is like a beefed up marzen.

Drinkability is quite good, a good choice for an oktoberfest brew, as it is like a marzen with a bit more body and harsher spice flavoring.

Overall a good pumpkin ale, but i would much rather drink a few of the locals here. There is something about bottled pumpkin ales that just dont do the trick for me. (Unless of course the pumpkin is mixed in with an imperial chocolate porter) haha. Still a good sessionable fall brew. This beer is much better on tap, but even then it can't touch the quality of their "Great Pumpkin" try some!

AKBelgianBeast, Sep 30, 2008
Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.1/5  rDev +4.9%

On tap at St Augustine's in Vancouver.

A: 1/8" white head over deep amber cloudy liquid.

S: Cinnamon, ginger, pumpkin and yeast.

T: Ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon up front which transitions to a yeasty pumpkin finish.

M: Medium to thin viscosity and a medium level of carbonation. Some presence of alcohol on the tongue.

O: Very drinkable spiced pumpkin ale that is quite yeasty.

DaftCaskBC, Sep 20, 2011
Photo of PHBoiler
4.25/5  rDev +8.7%

PHBoiler, Jan 06, 2014
Photo of JoelClark
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

JoelClark, Aug 03, 2014
Photo of doughanson78
3.4/5  rDev -13%

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. My first Pumpkin Ale. I'm glad it's a Local brewery.

A: Medium to dark brown and dark amber/orange when held to the light. Super clear. One and a half finger, slightly off white head with pretty good retention. Awesome lacing. Some larger bubbles in the head.

S: Nutmeg is the biggest aroma. Lots of cinnamon. Pumpkin. Smells like a baking pumpkin pie crust. Very light clove.

T: Very light taste. Again nutmeg is the biggest taste (if you can call it big). Some cinnamon and pumpkin. Lots of caramel malts coming through towards the end. An overall watery taste.

M: Light to medium bodied. Seems like it should be thicker. Medium carbonation. Definitely needs more creaminess.

O: A decent beer. Nice change in style. This only leaves me jonseing for the likes of Pumpking and the Dogfish Head releases. Wish the local brewery would've hit it out of the park.

doughanson78, Aug 16, 2011
Photo of PaBeerLover
4/5  rDev +2.3%

PaBeerLover, Dec 09, 2011
Photo of gillagorilla
3.5/5  rDev -10.5%

gillagorilla, Jan 29, 2014
Photo of jtierney89
4/5  rDev +2.3%

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.

jtierney89, Aug 23, 2012
Photo of Spikester
3.95/5  rDev +1%

Clear red amber with two fingers of cream white pillowy head. great lacings for a veggie beer. head lasts until the halfway point. Smell is nice pumpkin presence with spices that have faded. Like pumpkin not pumpkin pie. Taste is like a nice Pale Ale drank from a pumpkin. Not too sweet like most of the style. Mouthfeel is fine with just the right amount of carbonation. Finish is slightly wet with minimal bitterness. Well balanced. I think I could drink a lot of these and not get tired of the pumpkin flavor. Well done Elysian, a sessionable pumpkin ale.

Spikester, Oct 01, 2011
Photo of alpinebryant
4.28/5  rDev +9.5%

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.

alpinebryant, Sep 21, 2012
Photo of carteravebrew
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

carteravebrew, Aug 25, 2012
Photo of cestlavie
4/5  rDev +2.3%

cestlavie, Nov 17, 2011
Photo of DOCRW
4/5  rDev +2.3%

DOCRW, Feb 15, 2014
Photo of thampel09
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

thampel09, May 31, 2013
Photo of Proclarush
3.25/5  rDev -16.9%

Proclarush, Oct 06, 2013
Photo of Yeti1979
4/5  rDev +2.3%

Yeti1979, Nov 03, 2013
Photo of Eighty
3.75/5  rDev -4.1%

Eighty, Dec 05, 2013
Photo of Erik-P
4.5/5  rDev +15.1%

Erik-P, Nov 08, 2013
Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
88 out of 100 based on 824 ratings.