Night Owl Pumpkin Ale | Elysian Brewing Company

very good
368 Reviews
Night Owl Pumpkin AleNight Owl Pumpkin Ale

Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company
Washington, United States

Style: Pumpkin Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.70%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 11-11-2002

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Reviews: 368 | Ratings: 1,250
Photo of VaTechHopHead
3.23/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A - typical pumpkin brown, nice head and lace that lasts

S - much spicer than pumpkin aroma, lots of nutmeg and cinnamon and some brown sugar

T - Not a lot of pumpkin flavor but lots of nutmeg and cinnamon. Weird blend of spices. Would like to have tasted more pumpkin, a little watered down

M - Medium body and a little under carbonated. Spicy finish but doesn't last very long

O - Not one of the best pumpkins I've had but if one likes more spice in their beer than this is for you

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at our pumpkin beer tasting. Thanks to Pete for bringing this one.

Pours an orange copper color with a bit of haze. Smell brings loads of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. A bit of roasted pumpkin. The taste layers on the spice even more. A bit of toasted bread as well. Feel is strange, as the my entire palate is overcome with pumpkin spices. Drinks okay, but a bit lopsided in balance.

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Photo of Cavalier92
3.26/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Not your typical pumpkin ale. A good bit of dryness and hops. Strong nose of ginger and nutmeg. Deep amber brown body with thick off white head. Pumpkin flavor comes through on the finish, but still feels a bit thin in the mouth. 6un because it,s different from the standard pumpkin brew, but nothing to go out of your way for.

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Photo of boilermakerbrew
3.31/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Deep golden in the glass with a bit of an orange hue in there as well. The smell wafting out of the glass is strong and rich, with a huge pumpkin pie impression. Big nutmeg and cinnamon scents are prominent with pumpkin taking somewhat of a backseat. The smell translates directly to the taste, especially in regards to the spices, which seem to strengthen. Spices dominate the front end of the drink with pumpkin being an afterthought and barely there in comparison. It ends with just a bit bitterness that is somewhat off-putting. On the tongue this one is very middle of the road in terms of weight. It is fairly highly carbonated for the style as well.

Overall, this one was a bit of a letdown. If I am drinking a pumpkin beer, the pumpkin should at least be noticeable. In both the taste and smell of this beer, pumpkin is hard to find at all.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.32/5  rDev -15.3%
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.

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Photo of JoeAmerican77
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The darkest pumpkin beer I've reviewed yet. A lovely deep amber hue with some cream on the top...Sweet brown sugar, pumpkin flesh and allspice on the nose. Beautiful template for flavor. Cinnamon and clove mesh on the tongue with sweet brown sugar. Medium light body has a load of miniature carbonation to hail in the nectar of the fall.

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Photo of MNishCT77
3.33/5  rDev -15.1%
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 RonaldTheriot
3.34/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Night Owl has a thin, off-white, crackling head, a semi-clear, very orange appearance, with lots of suspended sediment, fierce bubble streams, and a bit of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is of pumpkin pie spices, pie crust, and pumpkin pulp. Taste is of pumpkin pie and graham cracker. Mouthfeel is high medium & chewy, and Night Owl finishes semi-dry.


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Photo of Dieseldynamo
3.34/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

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Photo of AltBock
3.36/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

22 oz. bomber bottle with a pumpkin orange label that has an up close head shot picture of an owl. This owl is serious! He has that look in his eyes that he wants to scratch the eyes out out of everybody that looks at him. Behind the serious owl is big red full moon. To the left of the owl is is the mandatory US information and on the owl's right side are two paragraphs. One talks about all the ingredients that went into this beer and the second one talks about the Brewhouse. Below the paragraphs is the brewmaster's signature and if you have a magnifying glass handy, a best before date. It said best before December 26th, 2008. OOPS!

When poured into a Sly Fox Imperial pint glass, this Pumpkin Ale almost poured a solid pumpkin orange. If it wasn't for that small tint of amber, this beer would have shared the same shade of orange that a Pumpkin has. On top of this beer was a creamy 3/4 of an inch head of pure white foam. This head of foam never receded. It was one of those heads of foam where the only time it receded was when I took some sweet liquid out of the glass. When the head of foam receded, it left behind plenty of milky white streaks of lace around the glass.

This beer smelled like baked pumpkin. Not a baked pumpkin pie, it was more like an aroma you'd get if you threw a whole pumpkin into a oven. Right behind the baked pumpkin was a hint of nutmeg, a dash of sweet ginger, a pinch of cinnamon, and a subtle speck of cloves. This aroma had a surprise, but it only came out when it was swirled around. When it was swirled around, out comes the scent of over ripe cantaloupe. What that was doing in a Pumpkin Ale is beyond me. The cantaloupe completely took over the aroma. When it settled down, it comes the baked pumpkin aroma again. Take my advice, don't swirl this beer around.

Most of the Pumpkin Ales I've had in the past tasted like pumpkin pie. This one tasted a little bit like pumpkin cheesecake. But this beer only tasted like cheesecake at the very end of the taste. This beer started off with the baked pumpkin and then that was quickly followed by cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. That would have been great, it they didn't water down the pumpkin pie spices. I honestly don't know if they were watered down, but I do know that something was holding them back. I don't like my Pumpkin Ales overly spicy, but this one was holding back the spices. It was the pumpkin cheesecake at the end that saved this beer. if it didn't come in, this beer would have been nothing but baked pumpkin and watered down spices.

This was a light bodied Pumpkin Ale with a dry baked pumpkin aftertaste of baked pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger. The baked pumpkin was the only taste that stuck around after the liquid was long gone.

I don't know what to say about this Pumpkin Ale. It had the taste of pumpkin in it, but it was holding back the spices for some reason. I guess the baked pumpkin was scared that the spices would over run the taste so that it beat the spices down. Overall, it's not a bad Pumpkin Ale. It's just not my favorite one and it's definitely not my favorite beer from Elysian.

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Photo of JackieKu
3.37/5  rDev -14%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.25

12 oz bottle. 2015 batch.

A: Hazy amber. Thin foam.
S: Intense cinnamon and spices.
T: Spices. Moderate caramel. Moderate bitterness. Slightly citrus (lemon). Dry. Short finish.
M: Light bodied. Crispy carbonation.
O: I dislike the strong cinnamon candy smells. The flavor and mouth feel are lighter making me able to drink it.

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Photo of antilogic
3.37/5  rDev -14%
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.

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Photo of RandomExile
3.37/5  rDev -14%
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 micromaniac129
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A deep amber beer with ruby high lights. It has a pretty decent foamy head, quite dense and pocked with large bubble holes. Good lacing.

Aroma is mostly malts with little to no pumpkin or spice aromatics.

Taste is rich caramel maltswith just hints if any of pumpkin and/or spices.

Nice medium body feel and smooth.

According to thier website they use an abudence of pumpkin and spices throughout thier brewing process but to me this is a very weak flavored pumpkin ale. Beer wise its pretty good just lacks.

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Photo of chefhatt
3.38/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

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Photo of scootpolute
3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 Pint, 6 FL OZ. bottle into tulip glass.

A - Pours dark-amber, with a full, cloudy-light-brown head...-some great lacing!

S - Hops and hints of a combination of spices; pumpkin, clove, cinamon & ginger!

T - A bit bland...The combo of spices is weak (which I think is 'good,' rather than over-doing the flavor), but...something is missing. Perhaps more hops would have helped, eh?!

M - Good carbonation! The carbination disappears quickly to the combo of bland flavors.

O - At the top, there's a feel like your're going to get (with flavor) much more than you actually 'get!' The bland combo of flavors kind of go all over, then, die off to a relatively 'weird' place...sort of a soapy-cinamon ending..?

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Photo of Knapp85
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out as a nice looking clear copper color with nearly no head on top. There was just some scattered bubbles on top of this and no lacing. The smell of the beer was spicy very much autumn scented. The taste of the beer was pretty good, balanced between the malts and the spices. The mouthfeel was a little on the watery side in my opinion, it finished very dry also. Overall this beer was decent and I might drink it again one day but I wouldn't see myself running out to buy a case or anything next fall.

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Photo of morebeergood
3.42/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

This was the third beer that my wife brought back for me from Seattle. Thought it was a good idea to crack it open on Halloween. Poured it into pint glasses. Had the typical look and smell of pumpkin ales. Did not have a lot of carbonation (a bit of a let down) so not much head. Had a nice taste, but differed from most other brands, as the taste was more pumpkin than spice. The more subtle flavor made this beer very drinkable. This is a great example of the style, but not the best I've ever had.

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Photo of orcrist_cleaver
3.43/5  rDev -12.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Does this beer make me think of pumpkin pie or pumpkin? Amber and syrupy, no head, red rooibos tea comes to mind. Slimy on mouth like a pumpkin. Spicy cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and ginger are balanced by woody hops. Sage, floral lemon zest, coffee and caffeine. Light vanilla and peach combine with spices to give impression of herbaceous squash, earthy and metallic. Metal on palate with lemon verbena bitterness. Overall, I think the malt presence is too weak in this beer at the moment. Bitter, nutty, astringent, not yet ripe squash that is compensated by heavy spicing, served without butter, lacking decadence and fullness. In the end, this is decidedly just a pumpkin beer masked by hops, spices, and lacking the an integral maltiness.

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Photo of stevoj
3.44/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Strong aroma of pumpkin pie and cinnamon, Pours dark amber with thin beige head. taste again is pumpkin pie, Finish is abrupt and slightly metallic. A good seasonal dessert beer.

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Photo of nickd717
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Taking my review from RB after prior BA review was deleted...

On tap at City Beer in SF. Cloudy dark amber-brown color with a small off-white head. Aroma is decent with good pumpkin spices, pumpkin, and sweet malt. Flavor is not bad but a little harsh. Lots of spices - cinnamon and nutmeg stand out. Also some pumpkin and caramel and roasted malt. Could use a little better malt balance, but it's still better than most pumpkin ales. A little astringent on the palate with medium body and some spicy zing. Above average overall. Drinkability decent.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark, cloudy, orange copper brew. Two fingers of fluffy cream colored head rise up in the glass and slowly subside to a half finger. A nice thick ring of head rests atop this pumpkin ale with good lacing washing down the sides of the glass. I'm excited to try this.

S: Fairly standard, but good nonetheless. Strong pumpkin pie scents of nutmeg, allspice, and maybe just a touch of cinnamon. Faint roasted pumpkin notes as well. Smells tasty.

T: Surprisingly malty with a sweet, cloying profile. The nutmeg and cinnamon is surprisingly subtle until the the finish. A little bit of a funky aftertaste, just a bit tart. Overall, pretty well done, but could have used more spice to balance out the malt.

M: A little too heavily carbonated, to the point where the flavor profile of the brew suffers as it is masked by the bubbly mouthfeel.

O: Elysian Night Owl is a solid Pumpkin Beer, if not somewhat forgettable. The appearance and nose are very good but the taste and overly carbonated mouthfeel were a bit of a letdown. Try it if you see it, but a Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin will do just as well.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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.

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Photo of ksimons
3.45/5  rDev -12%
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.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.46/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 22oz bomber to Bruges hybrid glass on 12/27/11
*From notes

A: It looks like a ruby hued pumpkin. Clean. A good pour yields a three finger head. Solid retention and lacing.

S: Another all-spice bomb (que rolling of eyes).

T: Shocking. More all-spice with minimal pumpkin qualities to it. Not that it's a bad thing, just not the most creative venture.

M: Packs the proverbial punch, as it's big and bold.

O: Elysian's Night Owl is yet another in a long line of decent yet unspectacular pumpkin ales. Though it isn't a bad beer, it's nothing to get worked up about, and not something I'll seek out again.

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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,250 ratings.
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