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: 1,251
Photo of cbutova
4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Chunky medium copper body from the bomber to a few becher glasses. A small off-white head rises up to half a finger high with decent retention and a foamy texture. Lacing is rare but a few small sheets and spots form.

S- A Pumpkin Ale aroma with both big spices and big pumpkin; the balance is spot on and the individual aromas all shine. Cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, clove, ginger, pumpkin, pie crust and a moderate sweetness.

T- A strong start with the spices specifically the ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg leading the way with clove and allspice just beyond that. Balances in with pie crust, pumpkins and caramel sweets.

MF- Silky and certainly smooth medium body. The carbonation is fluffy and extremely smooth at a medium-high level. It finishes with spice flavors lingering on the palate for a long time. Really suits the flavor.

Had this on draft some time ago and was really impressed. This bottle serving has only backed that up and this is really one of the best heavily spiced Pumpkin Ales out there. A style that many hate but this one showcases great spices, pumpkin flavor and an amazingly smooth body.

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Photo of spursfaninla
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the best of the pumpkin ales that i tried this year. they made the background flavors stand out, and it had a really nice pumpkin and spice smell, which made it more interesting for me.

otherwise, a typical pumpkin ale-mild, pumpkin-y, with a moderate

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Photo of JeffBlue
2.5/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

12/15/16, 22oz bomber, San Mateo, Night Owl Pumpkin Ale, obvious smell of pumpkin pie, not much of a head, first taste is unlike that of a beer, not much hop character, get a tad better after half the beer but mouthfeel is thin/lacking, 2.5

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Photo of Nugganooch
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

22oz bottle with a Stone IRS snifter glass
Last noted on 10/18/15

It’s some pretty standard holiday fair. Nicely balanced I would say.

Pours a burnished golden amber body with a small fingers worth of bone white foam sudwork over top. Light and minimal in lacing.
Pumpkin flesh is there albeit a little subdued for me. Lightly toasted grains. Holiday spices are present and mostly made up of ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Some understated doughy pie crust and vanilla-caramel like sweetness. Flavors present in much of the same fashion with a moderate-low amount of bitterness and some nice drying in the finish. The pumpkin I find is not as intense as I would prefer but it is flavorful and natural giving off a more squashy flavor. Not vegetal which is nice. Quality pie crust and graham cracker notes. Appropriate spicing just not all that plentiful which is probably a good thing here. Somewhat dry and lighter on the palate. Easy to put down and good for the season.

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Photo of BeerDawgs
4.27/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

L - Copper, with 1/2 a finger of head

S - Pumpkin, spices, cinnamon. Great aroma

T - Pumpkin, and lots of it! Nutmeg, cinnamon

F - Medium body and carbonation.

O - One of the best Pumpkin beers out there. Pumpkin combined with spices is a great combination

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Photo of Franziskaner
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Amber hues with some serious sediment floating throughout the body. There's a fingernail of dishwater white around the rim and covering half of the top. The aroma is chock full of cinnamon,nutmeg,and pumpkin pie spice. I'm tasting an aggressive amount of spices including nutmeg,pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon. The mouth is moderately carbonated and a bit thick from all of the spices.

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Photo of barczar
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Lots of ginger and nutmeg in aroma, touch sweet, bit of cinnamon.

Flavor is nutmeg, ginger dominant, slightly sweet, with a toasted malt backbone and dry finish. Pretty spicy.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Cloudy amber pour with normal head volume, outstanding lacing and world class retention.

Outstanding nose of pumpkin, a light sweetness and mixed spices (clove, cinnamon, nutmeg) as an undercurrent.

Outstanding body that is heavy medium and slightly slick. World class carbonation / body balance that delivers an effervescent middle and a nice prickly burst in the finish.

Borderline world class flavor profile that strikes the perfect balance of pumpkin and spice. It begins with a mixed spice that begins as nutmeg then flows to cinnamon and ginger by the middle. Underneath is a subtle sweetness that has caramel notes. The middle is also where pumpkin makes the strongest appearance that ebbs into the finish. From the middle on, spice becomes more pronounced with clove and allspice taking center stage. The finish yields a lingering pumpkin and spice note. One of the best pumpkin ales I've had.

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Photo of iheartmyTHO
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

More "pumpkin spice" than pumpkin in regards to the flavor of this beer. Which is kind of OK with me. For an ale, it's quite a bit drier than I would have expected.

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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 mvanaskie13
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a narrow pint glass: color is amber, a little dense looking, head is off white with fine bubbles, moderate lacing on the glass sides.

Smell is essentially your mindset for pumpkin pie: pleasant spice, light bread/graham cracker, with some malt or toast flavor. Spice blend is not heavy in one way or another, but reminiscent of straight up pumpkin pie.

Taste is similar to the aroma: moderate to strong bread/cracker with toast, then moderate spice.

Mouthfeel is moderate, a little dry, mild carbonation.

Overall, a good pumpkin ale with spice and bread/biscuit character that literally tastes like pumpkin pie.

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Photo of hman43
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look: It pours copper with an off white copper tinted head.

Smell: There are aromas of pumpkin, yams, a bit of apple, cinnamon, ginger, all spice and nutmeg.

Flavor: It has flavors of pumpkin, cinnamon, and nutmeg which are the predominant flavors. There are also additions of slight apple, all spice, and hints of floral.

Feel: It has a moderate body with a spicy bitter aftertaste.

Overall, this beer reminds me of pumpkins and slight apple pie. It is extremely aromatic and flavorful.

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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.

 849 characters

Photo of OregonMike
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Bottled 7/11/16Poured from a 12oz bottle into a stein type glass.

L: Pours a very nice opaque amber color. There is a lot of sediment in the glass. Which goes right along with the unfiltered nature of the beer. The sediment remains suspended in the glass throughout the duration of enjoying the beer. Has very little head when poured cold, and recedes to a thin ring within a minute.

S: Pumpkin, chopped pecans, and spices. Much like eating day old pumpkin pie the morning after thanksgiving at my mom's house.

T: Initial taste is much like eating a bite of canned pumpkin, with nutmeg, cinnamon, and brown sugar sprinkled on top of your spoon. It fades quickly to a watered down raw pumpkin taste. There is a refreshing pumpkin taste that remains in your mouth for awhile.

F: Wet, light bodied, with light carbonation. Leaves your mouth feeling creamy, yet dry. Not necessarily my favorite mouth feel, but it does feel like a typical fall beer.

O: It is a tasty beer to enjoy on a nice rainy fall afternoon. I feel like the taste is more like that of raw pumpkin and spice, than that of pumpkin pie like the smell leads you to believe. But the pumpkin spice taste is most likely what Elysian was going for. It is a very nice fall beer, and hit the mark of this style. I will definitely recommend this beer to anyone I think might enjoy it.

NOTE: They say 150lbs of pumpkin per batch but the bottle I have says 7lbs of pumpkin per barrel. I'm not sure what the conversion is there. But they have changed the description on their packaging for sure.

 1,556 characters

Photo of Fear4Beer
3.66/5  rDev -6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

I like a good pumpkin beer! Fortunately I've tried the best that exist, so I know what excellence tastes like.

Look: This beer looks outstanding when poured out. The color screams "fall" to me. That golden/orange/tan color looks great.

Smell: Just beautiful! You get that crust/graham cracker, then pumpkin, and the spices!

Taste: This is where this beer loses me. It is incredibly watery and that to me ruins it. You can taste the components that you smell, but it is to the point of watered down crust, pumpkin, and spices. There's this VERY slight sourness to the beer too which confuses me.

Feel: It has a decent mouth feel but its a bit too watery. I like how this beer has 6.70%abv which is lower than a lot of other pumpkin beers. You don't feel alcohol warmth or taste alcohol. That's a plus in my opinion.

Overall: I'm not impressed with this pumpkin beer. It has the look of a good beer, the smell of a good pumpkin beer, but the taste falls flat (literally). I have to say I'm quite disappointed in the reviewers on Beer Advocate on this beer. They get this one very wrong. Maybe they made a new recipe for this season? Let this beer warm up, don't drink it too cold. Regardless, I thought by these reviews that it could be a good go to beer when I don't feel like paying too much for a Pumpkin beer. The positive is that a 6 pack was cheap. If you want the VERY BEST pumpkin beer in existence try Schlafly's Pumpkin Ale. Once you try that then you know the standard of what a Pumpkin beer can be. That brew knocks it out of the park. I was really hoping that this brew was as good as that. Its not even close. This is just an average beer while Schlafly's Pumpkin Ale is a "world class beer".

The bottle I drank says it was bottled on 08/4/16 and I drank it on 10/5/16.

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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 mbrando33
4.56/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

I'd put this right up with my favorite pumpkin beers. Has a great pumpkin flavor, not too sweet, not too spicy. The look and feel are solid and the after taste has strong hints of clove and autumn spices. If you're into the whole pumpkin beer niche, you will enjoy this wonderful Fall treat.

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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 Jolieannh
4.88/5  rDev +24.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Call me basic but I do love pumpkin beer. I have tried a lot of them and this one has by far the best flavor. Quite a bit of pumpkin flavor with just enough cinnamon and nutmeg. Also the 6.7% ABV makes it the perfect level of buzz from one or two. I look forward to this beer every year.

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Photo of POOGMAN
4.62/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

I will keep this simple:

Would be 5/5 taste, but there is a detectable watery quality to it. Note, I gave it a 4.5 for a reason. This is a knock-out autumnal beer. It will be in my fridge throughout the season. Please try it and buy it.

Pumpkin pie in a glass with a spice balance better than grandma's.

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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 Collectinguru
1.06/5  rDev -73%
look: 2 | smell: 1 | taste: 1 | feel: 1 | overall: 1

This beer was good at first. The color of the amber ale was what i expected with most beers. The foam quickly disappears and it smelled good at first. It smelt like a pumpkin ale. I quickly found out I was allergic to this beer though. I read some other reviews online and they said it had lemongrass in it. I am allergic to lemongrass so I won't be purchasing this beer again.

When it hit my mouth, I also found it had lots more cinnamon in it then i expected. It also didn't have a good after taste like most of the non-lemongrass beers I try. After the cinnamon taste left, then came the spices and man did they pack a punch to your taste buds. I do not like spicy foods so this was a real disappointment. I thought they were going to go light on the spices which would have been okay. I was able to finish the beer and then noticed I didn't feel good at all. That's when I found out I was allergic to lemongrass.

One thing I do want to stress is if you try this beer, the taste of the beer stays in your mouth overnight and it is really gross. Most beers don't stay in your mouth overnight and quickly disappear. I will be sticking to fat tire and mens room original red from now on.

 1,192 characters

Photo of Mooslerfitness
4.84/5  rDev +23.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Yum this is a fantastic pumpkin ale

So much flavor this is better than desert pumpkin roll

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Photo of BB1313
4.15/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

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.

 950 characters

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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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,251 ratings.
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