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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale | Elysian Brewing Company

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very good
361 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: 361 | Ratings: 1,235
Photo of BB1313
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

2016 vintage. Bottled on 7/15/16. 12oz bottle poured into a tulip. Pours a hazy glowing burnt orange with a light tan head that fades leaving decent retention and lacing. The aromas are very nice. Tons of spices. Lots of cinnamon and ginger. Some clove in the mix. Malts are there. The spice profile is really nice and shines. The flavors seem to follow the nose for the most part. The spice notes are clean and don't overwhelm. The cinnamon and ginger lead the way with some hints of nutmeg. The allspice does its thing. Some caramel in the mix. Malts are there, but don't seem dominant. Alcohol goes unnoticed. Mouthfeel is light and thin with active carbonation. It's very smooth and easy to drink.

This is a very nice pumpkin ale. I know it's still summer and pumpkin ales taste better when the leaves are falling, but I've never had this and I wanted to try it relatively fresh. It's very enjoyable and the spice notes are on point. Well done.

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Photo of philbertk
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Night Owl Pumpkin Ale--22 oz. Bottle 2002 Release. 5.50% ABV? (4.5 / 5.0) Clear rich amber red orange color. Light lacy head .Rich spicy pumpkin hop front. Thick sweet rich malty spicy caramel body. Smooth big pumpkin flavor from pumpkin and seeds. Spicy smooth end. Sampled 10/20/2002.

2003 Release. 5.50% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) Clear dark amber red bronze color. Light lacy head. Pumpkin nutmeg spice mild hop front. Smooth tangy spiced toasted mild sweet fruit rich caramel body. Creamy spicy earthy nutmeg mild hop end. Balanced. Sampled 10/5/2003.

2004 Release. 6.50% ABV.--40 IBU's.? (4.25 / 5.0) Mild lacy head. Clear rich dark amber color. Floral pumpkin nutmeg hop front. Crisp dry sweet toasted spicy mild fruit biscuit caramel malt body. Balanced creamy pumpkin pie hop spice end. Tangy smooth. Sampled 10/3/2004.

2005 Release. 6.50% ABV--45 IBU's.? (4.5 / 5.0) Mild lacy head. Clear thin bright amber red color. Rich nutmeg cinnamon pumpkin mild hop front. Dry sweet mild caramel thin body. Crisp tangy mild hop end. Rich flavor! 9/10/2005.

2006 Release. 6.50% ABV--45 IBU's.? (4.25 / 5.0) Lacy mild foamy head. Clear dark thin amber red color. Rich pumpkin nutmeg spice front. Crisp dry sweet pumpkin caramel rich smooth body. Tangy nutmeg hop spice hot end. Spicy but needs Great Pumpkin malt. Sampled 9/27/2006.

2007 Release. 6.50% ABV--45 IBU's.? (4.5 / 5.0) Mild lace head. Clear bright dark amber color. Rich pumpkin nutmeg mild hop front. Creamy malty mild sweet toffee pumpkin body. Mild tangy gentle hop coarse nutmeg clean smooth end. Rich. Well blended spice. Sampled 8/28/2007.

2008 ELYSIAN Release. 5.90% ABV--35 IBU's.? (4.0 / 5.0) Lacy white head. Clear bright amber color. Mild nutmeg cinnamon pumpkin spice front. Crisp mild dry sweet pumpkin caramel mild fruit body. Crisp hop spice refreshing mild pumpkin spice dry sweet end. Dead Buds, but still good. Sampled 9/6/2008. 4 @ $5.49 Each.

2009 ELYSIAN Release. 5.90% ABV.--35 IBU's.? (4.5 / 5.0) Lacy off white mild head. Clear rich bright pumpkin amber color. Rich nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger, all spice, mild hop pumpkin front. Crisp smooth malty pumpkin pie infused caramel malt body. Smooth lingering spice rich tasty balanced end. Quenching PIPA. Sampled 9/6/2009. 4 @ $4.49 Each.

Elysian Brewing Company, Inc.--ELYSIAN Night Owl Pumpkin Ale--Ale Brewed With Pumpkin & Pumpkin Seeds & Fermented With Spices--2010 22 oz. Bottle. 5.90% ABV. 20 IBU's. (4.25 / 5.0) Amber Ale--Pumpkin. Dense foamy lacy off white head. Clear bright fizzy dark amber roasted red pumpkin color. No sediment. Mild pumpkin hop nutmeg all spice front. Dry sweet crisp CO2 toasted pumpkin spice infused caramel fruit malty body. Lingering spice mild hop end. Smooth. Sampled 8/21/2010. 2 @ $4.89 Each

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Photo of t0rin0
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased from Liquid Solutions or Bottletrek or somewhere in OR and then shared by azagthoth. Possibly the highlight of the night, especially coming off that Sheaf Stout.

Pours a clear-ish orange color, small fluffy white head, not much lacing.

Aroma is spicy and pumpkiny. I catch cinnamon, ginger, and possibly clove. Real pumpkin meat smell, which is a nice change from the usual pumpkin beer.

Flavor is cinnamon, ginger, and clove in the aftertaste. Roasted pumpkin flavor as well. Complex and balanced for sure.

Medium body, medium/low CO2, balanced, very enjoyable.

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Photo of Brenden
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of daliandragon
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a handsome orange color with plenty of sediment but the head checks out a little soon. Nose is cinammon and nutmeg and pumpkin pie. The flavor is interesting, with pumpkin and spice up front and some funky yeastiness on the back end. Some relatively low bitterness hops and some fruity booziness also appears. Definitely distinctive for me, if not quite my favorite pumpkin of the season.

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Photo of bstave
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of DaftCaskBC
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Ruger_44-Redhawk
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I love when the pumpkin beers start slowly dotting the beer aisle at the store to mark the fall season. About 7 or 8 years ago my wife was the catalyst for getting me into pumpkin beers. We would then gather any pumpkin beers from John's Market in Portland and do a tasting of the various offerings of this style. I have to say the more I have Night Owl the more I move it up the list of pumpkin beers. This is a great overall spiced yet balanced pumpkin beer. I still think the Great Pumpkin by Elysian takes no. 1, but this isn't far behind.

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Photo of beerandcycling88
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
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.

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Photo of CHADMC3
4.12/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a walnut colored body beneath a foamy tan head that quickly dissolves leaving only thin hints of lacing behind.

Generous pumpkin aromas float from the glass with the focus being much more on the pumpkin than the spices. As it warms, the spices really show up featuring cinnamon, clove, and ginger. There is also a nice, sweet malty backbone to this beer as well.

Toasted pumpkin flavor with more cinnamon, clove, and ginger and toasted malt as well. The spices are a bit subtler than the aroma. The flavor is also a touch bready.

Medium in body and carbonation, it is smooth yet flavorful.

All around this is very impressive pumpkin ale with plenty of true to style character. The only room for improvement I see is a bit more pronounced spice in the flavor.

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Photo of dkoehler42
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This pumpkin beer features a cooked pumpkin taste as opposed to pumpkin pie taste. The color looks as though someone dropped a pumpkin into the glass/bottle. The smell and taste are consistent with the cooked pumpkin theory. This is one true American style beer picking up.

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Photo of Cubatobaco
4.13/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I got an opportunity to try this at "The Great Pumpkin Debate" in Wilmington, DE this past weekend. First. let me say that I am one that does not like a lot of pumpkin beer. I decided to walk the tables and see if there was one that actual appealed to me.

I came across Elysian Night Owl on the second table and was blown away. This had beautiful clarity and nice carbonation with a gorgeous nose that reminded me of Thanksgiving. I am mostly turned off by these beers because of the over use of spices. The flavors were in perfect harmony! Just the right amout of spice, pumpkin, and cinnamon to keep you wanting more. The carbonation danced on your palate, keeping things lively.

I would definitely recommend this beer if you are leary about pumpkin beers like me. This will be my choice this Halloween!

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Photo of WesWes
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of czechsaaz
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very malty aroma. Some brown sugar and slight hint of pumpkin.

Brown colored, clear, think head with lots of persistant lace on the side of the glass.

Really nice pumpkin flavor and spicy. I get cinnamon and I think nutmeg. Nice malty backbone. Hops take a back seat to the spice and pumpkin.

Full bodied, but remarkably refreshing.

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Photo of Goblinmunkey7
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
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

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Photo of Wetpaperbag
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Nice clear dark copper color. Finger width head, with good lacing. Looks good.

S- Great spice smell, creamy pumpkin mixed with a nice dash of nutmeg. This smells very creamy, like a good pumpkin pie should be. There is also a toasty smell that comes from the pumpkin seeds that are used in the brewing process.

T- Nutmeg is very present, at first, then the pumpkin taste comes through with the spices and creaminess. Then the roasted/toasted pumpkin seed taste. Very tasty, nice and hearty. Not too sweet, but also a good amount of savory.

M- Feels good in the mouth like a beer should.

D- Drinks easy and goes well with hearty foods.

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Photo of tavernjef
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Blurry dark orange shade. Husky firm top of light tanned foam sits for a stay before dropping to a solid skim and a firm collar ring. Drippy lacing with a minimal amount sticking; only a few big globs closer to the top.

Aroma is quite nice, very cookie, bakery-like with a snappy cinnamon sprinkled pumpkin pie spice with a slim candied malt undertow. Nice.

Flavor is pretty good, as a steady stream of flavor begins in a pumpkin pie pond and ends in a small lake of Thanksgiving dessert spices. Well rounded pumpkin tone sets the stage with great additional spices of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger to round off little cookie-like delights as it roams around the palate at good length.

Feel is just shy of medium, perhaps a tad thin in the front and middle. Gains a nice firm malting and tender fluffyness as it goes. Finish lingers with a very nicely held spice of pumpkin pie.

Another solid offering from the folks at Elysian, and another big thanks to cvschaller for the many samples! This was a hoot!

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Photo of DMXLOX22
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a single of this at my local beer spot. I have heard good things about this brew. Let's hope this lives up to the hype.

Appearance: Pours a nice, dark orange glow. The head is about an inch in thickness, but dissipates pretty quickly. Presents a nice, autumn, evening.

Smell: Presented first is a nice hint of pumpkin-pie like type of aroma. Has notes of some spices like nutmeg, some cinnamon, and maybe a slight hint of ginger. Really enjoyed how this beer's aroma presents itself. Makes me wanna dive in almost immediately.

Taste: Has a nice, sweet texture at first sip. Reminds me of toasted pumpkin-pie with a dash of maple syrup and some brown sugar. The spices compliment the palate overall. There is a subtle hint of hops that give it that sweet texture, but theres a balance of bitterness that really brings this beer together. Something that to me is very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation that lives a nice, dry finish. I actually enjoyed this part and would give it above average. One thing may be a little too dry to the finish.

Overall: Was not disappointed with this brew at all. At first tasting, it was an instant hit with my beer expectations. I was very impressed and the more that I sipped, the more I noticed something different with this brew. It's something that leaves you craving more and if your a fan of pumpkin beers, I strongly recommend this one. Enjoyable to the fullest! Cheers!

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Photo of rfgetz
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Institute as part of their "Pumpkin Patch" event...

Darker orange with hints of copper. Decent white head and ok lacing. Smell is of pumpkin pie - spices like nutmeg, clove and cinamon - with a little pumpkin puree thing going on. Tast is very good, as close to pumpkin pie as i have had outside of a ST Pumking. Good body, carbonation does not get in the way, creamy without being sticky or heavy. Very good pumpkin beer, one of the best.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4.17/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to holden303 for sending me this one as part of the N00B BIF 6!

Pours a clear copper orange with a 2 inch puffy orange-white head that settles to a thin cap. Thin broken rings of lace line the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, pumpkin puree, roasted pumpkin seeds, and some subdued pumpkin pie spices. Taste is of bread-like malt, pumpkin and pumpkin seeds, and a very nice balance of the typical pumpkin pie spices. This beer is not overpowering with the spices as others I have tried before. This beer has a crisp and prickly mouthfeel and goes down very smooth. Overall, this is a good pumpkin ale that doesn't beat you over the head with spices. This is in my top 3 pumpkin ales I have had thus far in my beer drinking "career".

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Photo of asabreed
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bomber into a 12 oz. Samuel Smith nonic.

Appearance: A darker chestnut-colored and hazy orange-copper hue, with a surprisingly not only retention-heavy head, but one that leaves thick rings of lacing down the bulb of the glass. Unexpected, and one that lasts and lasts. Haven't seen a version of the style from the bottle like this ever I don't think.

Smell: For all the ingredients, the key here, for this brew, is balance. Too many pumpkin ales seem to be all about "more is more," when in fact the raucous nature of the amalgam of everything makes it too chaotic, but here, the beer is the main factor, whereas the other flavors seem to work more subtly and well with each other. A lot of pumpkin aroma, yes, and a lot of malt yes, but a good balance of spices that, again, work as subtlety rather than cacophony.

Taste: Again, with the aroma, the balance comes through pretty well. It's fairly complex, where the pumpkin and spices -- mostly nutmeg and some ginger -- come through, with some vanilla on the back end, along with those rich pumpkin mash flavors also. Finish is not sweet, but highly malty, with lingering pumpkin pie spice on the tongue, and again, the key here is not the pervasive sweetness you can sometimes find on the over-spiced and under-hopped versions.

Mouthfeel: Seemingly more medium-bodied, but I think that's due to the carbonation, which is the key to providing the fluffy head, as it seems to, somehow, be perfectly complimentary to this beer. It also seems velvety in its softness, which was another surprising variable for me, considering the ABV of the brew.

Drinkability: Color me pretty shocked with this, and this is a brew also that won't break your wallet. I get any new pumpkin ales I can find that I've never had, and though I hoped to enjoy this, I didn't expect the depth of flavor and balance. Definitely try it, and pick up a few if you see it. I will if I can find it again.

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Photo of dirtylou
4.18/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22oz bomber, split

appearance: served in a lakefront shaker pint - rich orange-bronze body, nice creamy tan cap with strong retention

smell: pumpkin pie, ginger, allspice, cinnamon, pale malt

taste: solid pumpkin offering - lots of good pumpkin pie spice ala nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cinnamon. Not really an abundance of pumpkin flavor but very nicely spiced and a well rounded pale malt profile.

mouthfeel: medium, creamy. very good for the style which tends to be a little bland

overall: good - looking forward to the other elysian pumpkins

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Photo of Magpie14
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: A most intimidating label with a wise owl staring back. The body is colored a deep orange with soft caramel accents swirled about, pretty deep color overall with a hint of crimson as well. The cap grew quickly and laid an ecru colored fluff bomb on top with lasting power. A few strong blobs of foam remain nicely attached to the glass

S: I am really questioning if a pumpkin pie is crammed into the bottle? The smell is near perfect! It has all the whiffs required for a fresh made pie. The usual spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, and maybe a few crushed cloves) softly intermingle with a sugar cookie pale malt kind of smell

T: ahh, tasty. I find that the nose gives high expectations for the palate and things are a little weaker than I had hoped for. It's not that I don't like it, far from it. The brown sugar crusted malts make things great and when paired with delicate caramel flavors is banging. The spiciness is in control and in a good way! Pretty balanced overall. If I have any quarrels it is that I find no hops to be tickling the tongue, not a big deal for me though considering the style

M: good marks in the body as well. It has a slight zip to it, somewhat coarse with bubbles. I find the mouthfeel to be medium. Things are moving well

D: what is most commendable about this beer is that things are in harmony. The flavors are locked in well and make drinking easy. I have found over the years that sometimes these seasonal brews can be spice bombs that lend a bad and feeble experience.
Not the best Pumpkin Ale I have had...but darn good! and by far one of the best smelling!

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Look is hazy brownish with orange yellow highlights. Little to no head.

Aroma is straight pumpkin pie, but no just pumpkin pie but meaty awesome pumpkin.

Taste is kinda thin but full of pumpkin spice flavor. Maybe a little pumpkin sour taste at the end.

Really excellent, I just wish the body held up to the flavor.

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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,235 ratings.
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