Night Owl Pumpkin Ale | Elysian Brewing Company

BA SCORE
88
very good
1,256 Ratings
Night Owl Pumpkin AleNight Owl Pumpkin Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company
Washington, United States
elysianbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,256
Reviews:
369
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
12.24%
 
 
Wants:
138
Gots:
272
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 1,256 |  Reviews: 369
Photo of philbe311
4.04/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A - Three fingers of worth of tan head comprised of big chunky bubbles... Excellent retention... Head slight recedes to one finger of rich creamy frothy foam... Dark copperish bronze color... Some small carbonation bubbles rise in the middle of the glass... A minor haze permeates throughout... Leaves a jagged pattern of foam clinging to the sides of the glass...

S - A wonderful aroma the encompasses all things autumn... Loads of spices in the form nutmeg, cinnamon, ginger, clove, and all spice... Pumpkin... Crisp autumnal air... Absolutely fantastic...

T - The taste mirrors the nose close... The spices and pumpkin alternate on the palette... A hint of caramel... Perhaps a slight hint of burnt crust...

M - Just the slight tingle of carbonation on the tongue... On the lighter side of medium bodied... Lush and creamy... Turns dry as the spiciness kicks in... Subtle, but very well crafted... A slight warmth of alcohol as part of the aftertaste...

D - A stellar pumpkin ale, that in my opinion should be the one that all others are measured by... Terrific in all facets... It truly leaves you wanting more sip after sip...

 1,139 characters

Photo of JerzDevl2000
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Picked this up in Totowa via the single bottle. Hadn't tried this before and I wanted to give a Seasonal beer like this a go before things cooled off too much. I'm not a huge fan of this style since there are so many examples of this out and I never seem to warm up to any of them that I try. This one was quite good and almost won me over but in short, this was a beer that is a good example of the style and quite easy to enjoy.

This poured decently with a fair amount of head, a somewhat radiant pumpkin hue, and no lacing to be seen. Not quite clear either as there was a bit of sediment to be seen in the beer. The aroma was good with a nice amount of pumpkin that was repeated in the mouthfeel. A good but not overwhelming amount of cinnamon, nutmeg, and walnut were here too but this never felt too spicy or complex. The balanced was nice but if I had to do this over again, I'd tone the carbonation down a bit. This was quite sharp and not as easygoing and filling as other Pumpkin Beers that I've had before, with the bubbles clearing out too much of the heavier notes after each sip.

The alcohol was a bit strong here too but it never felt that way as took my sips down my pint glass. This would go great with a big slice of Pumpkin Pie and Cool Whip on top and for anyone looking for a good beer to celebrate the changing of the seasons with, this would easily suffice.

 1,384 characters

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

2011
This years batch is 5.8% ABV

A: Pours rusty orange with a creamy finger of tannish foam over the top of excellently clear beer. cobweb lace.

S: This beer is set apart from many of the pumpkins I've had based solely on the addition of ginger. This assures the beer has a baked tone on the nose for me. There's of course the clove, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon and semi sweet malts.

T: The beer is dominated a little more than would be preferred, and makes it a bit spicy. There is an interesting vanilla profile on the finish.

M: Medium bodied with lively carb and a semi dry finish.

O: This is a totally different take on the style, and I like it. I think they need to dial back the ginger just a bit, and help bring the body into coordination with the flavors.

 771 characters

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 Ohiovania
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

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

Photo of JohneHoodlum
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of Metalmonk
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

In the spirit of All Hallow's Eve I poured Elysian's Night Owl pumpkin ale. My previous meetings with this have been very good, and this one starts fabulously--it's a beautiful beer. The pour produces a torrent of bubbles swirling around to eventually form a three-finger head (kind of like a nitro-tap does, but not quite that awesome). It's rocky and creamy, on top of a beautiful burnt amber color which appropriately reminds of the dark autumn leaves. And it leaves a good bit of lace as the drink disappears. [By the way, this site currently states the ABV as unlisted/unknown. On this bottle it states 6.5%]

Aroma is musty and faintly spicy, with cinnamon and nutmeg coming out strongest. And it actually smells like pumpkin. Most pumpkin ales smell like pumpkin pie spices exclusively, but there's a sense here of sticking your head right into the guts of the big orange holiday gourd (or is it a squash? or is a squash a gourd? Sorry if I've offended any master-gardeners out there).

Taste? Tasty. Really tasty. The spicy notes are just that, notes...the pumpkin flavor is bold but not too overdone, and it's helped along with a kind of milky creaminess in both the flavor and mouthfeel. The finish lingers long, and it's this aspect of the beer that is most pleasing. The sour/bitter and mildly funky aftertaste adds a few extra layers of complexity and enjoyment.

Mouthfeel is just a little thinner than I'd hoped, but still delivers zest in the carbonation and ample creaminess, which really goes well with this sort of beer.

Perhaps the greatest pumpkin ale yet. Jury's out on that, of course, but so far it's my #1 choice. [Addendum: Southern Tier's Pumking now reigns!!! But Night Owl is still wonderful.]

 1,725 characters

Photo of rydev24
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of BigMike
3.08/5  rDev -21.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Best by 3-6-11

A: Pours a crystal clear copper penny color. Topped with a thin soapy eggshell colored head.

S: smells alot like Ginger bread. Nutmeg clove ANd allspice too. Pretty good pumpkin aroma. Doesn't smell fake.

T: Man, what a let down. There's almost a sour like quality to this and not in a good way. Almost non of the aroma transfers over to the taste. Very watery and plain.

M: Light bodied. Pretty easy to drink but not very enjoyable.
Smooth.

Overall: I want to love pumpkin beers. I love all pumpkin flavored pies, cakes, coffee ect. I have yet to find a beer that captures the real pumpkin pie essence. Does such a beer exsist? Possibly. I haven't found it yet. Alot of times the nose is promising only to be a let down once tasted. This beer suffers from that. It's really not a good pumpkin beer at all.

 831 characters

Photo of CoryR
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

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.

 511 characters

Photo of Jspriest
3/5  rDev -23.5%

Photo of jvillefan
4/5  rDev +2%

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

Photo of KevMo84
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

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

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.

 1,344 characters

Photo of Iamjeff6
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of DOCRW
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of leroybrown10
3.89/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

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

Currently ranked #19 on BA in the Pumpkin Ale category.

A: Mildly murky, yet dark orange-brown, with a foamy 1/3 finger head that retained itself very well.

S: Soft, yet present pumpkin pie spices, with a big upfront yeasty quality that was reminiscent of a pumpkin spice bread.

T: I got the same yeasty quality that I got on the nose. While this is definitely not a "pumpkin pie" brew, I think this one has more of a "beer" taste to it that non-pumpkin ale lovers make totally dig.

M: Very creamy, and very disciplined in its use of the sweeter elements.... kind of on the natural, organically sweet side, which I appreciated. The lacing was at used car wash stuff.

O: It took me a couple of sips to warm up to this one, but I see what Elysian was going for here. Really nice. Now.... to get my hands on "The Great Pumpkin!"

 831 characters

Photo of Furley80
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of BcOneSeven
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Photo of jsanford
3.7/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a Pint Glass.

A - Pours a slightly hazy burnt orange with a creamy khaki head that settles to a slight ring and haze.
S - Sweet aromas of pumpkin, toffee, and spices (typical blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove).
T - More sweet pumpkin, toasted brown bread, toffee, and spices make up the flavor profile. Nicely balanced between the pumpkin and the spice, and quite drinkable.
M - Smooth and a touch creamy, with a medium mouthfeel and decent carbonation.
O - A solid Pumpkin Ale that does everything right, but doesn't stand out from the crowd much.

 576 characters

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

Elysian- Night Owl Pumpkin Ale

A- Clear golden dark orange with a thick good lacing frothy head.
S- Spicy vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg malt with a hint of vanilla.
T- Sweet caramel malt with a good infusion of spicy vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and graham cracker.
M- Sweet thick malt dominates with a spicy dry finish.

Overall- Very tasty and 1 of the best I've had in 2008.

 376 characters

Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,256 ratings.
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.