Night Owl Pumpkin Ale | Elysian Brewing Company

very good
367 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: 367 | Ratings: 1,248
Photo of archyquaffer
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%

Poured from a longneck into a shaker, producing a two inch frothy, creamy and quite sticky head. The beer is a pale amber, fairly hazy, with visible small particles and swirling effervescence.

Lovely pumpkin pie in the aroma-flavor. Bready, caramelly malts and nutty pumpkin seeds, and earthy pumpkin pith combine with a touch of hop bitterness and a complex balance of spices.

Highly evocative of pumpkin pie, with real pumpkin notes and a well-crafted and balanced blend of spices. This is probably the best pumpkin beer I've tried so far.* I purchased a six pack for about 10 bucks.

*Upon further review I find that I graded "Great Pumpkin" (same brewer) at a whopping three hundredths higher in my review from about a year ago. So, I bumped this one up .03.

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Photo of ujsplace
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a becker.

Pours a deep orange color with plenty of floaters suspended throughout. I love seeing that. The head is about one finger thick initially, but quickly dissipates leaving a thin layer on top and along the sides of the glass.

Smells of pumpkin, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice and a hint of ginger.

Tastes of pumpkin and spices. The flavors are all blended well together with the pumpkin being the backbone and the spice notes all rounding out the flavor very nicely. Nothing too overpowering, but there is plenty going on here. Overall, nice pumpkin flavor, spicing, yeastiness and malts. Good stuff.

Mouthfeel is light medium with modest carbonation.

First brew from Elysian and I am not disappointed in the least. I love the different takes on pumpkin brews and this one is unique in its own right. I'd look for this one again.

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Photo of TheBungyo
4.77/5  rDev +21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I was surprised to come across this so early. Surprised and very happy. Body is gorgeous orange and head is thick and creamy. Nose is awash in cinnamon, nutmeg and oh yes, lots of pumpkin. Taste is more of the same with additions of buttery notes, and vanilla. Man, this is THE beer when it comes to pumpkin ales ... I've never had one that did it better. I need to buy lots of this!

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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 bfields4
4.3/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Orange amber hued body. Nice tight white head. Dissaptes quicky, but nice lacey.

Sweet vanilla pumpkin spices. Cinnamon brown sugar. Very nicely done. All the aromas are spot on.

unexpected light hop leades into a flavor slanted towards the pumpkin and nice smooth malt. Nice complement to the spicy sweet aroma.

Nice complex beer that melds the aroma of a pumkin pie with the chewy velvity smooth pumpkin flavor. I am very impressed by this guy.

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Photo of drinkin-beeers
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

My first pumpkin beer. The nose on this was pretty spectacular. Nutmeg, cinnamon are very noticeable like pumpkin pie obviously. Pretty light body and as it warms the flavor balances out. I enjoyed this and am looking forward to other Elysian pumpkin beers.

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Photo of olympicgatorade
3.74/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep amber orange with delicate lacing.

S: Excellent. Pumpkin seed, melon, lemon zest, bready malt, faint spice.

T: Pretty interesting. Few different things going on here, but all seems very well in balance. Very subtle and nuanced. Definitely no "wow factor" but it grows on you.

M: Smooth and soft. The pumpkin leaves a powdery coating in your mouth. An easy drinker.

O: Hmm. This one works best for its subtleties. Nothing fantastic or "big" here, but an enjoyable example of a non-imperial pumpkin.

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Photo of drumrboy22
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz. bottle into Shipyard Pumpkin Ale pint glass. Beer was a dark orange color, with a one-finger, tan head. Moderate carbonation and lacing around the glass.

Aroma was clove, allspice, cinnamon and licorice.

Taste was allspice, clove and pumpkin pie.

Heavily spiced, but pretty good for the style. Good drinkability.

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Photo of microbrewlover
2.83/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

This brew pours a cloudy orange color with sediment in the glass. Low carbonation. No head or lacing to speak of.

The smell is initially of strong pumpkin and cardamom but this quickly fades as the beer warms. There is also a wheat smell.

The taste has pumpkin in it however the spices do not shine through at all in the taste. There is also a musty wheat taste.The taste does not improve as the brew warms up.

The mouthfeel is thin, water and flat.

I have found this to be a weak pumpkin ale and I am puzzled by the good reviews it has received. I would put Wyerbacher, Post Road and Smuttynose pumpkin ales before this one.

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Photo of B967ierhunter177
3.72/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This beer pours a slightly hazy orange with a thin head and no lace. The aroma is of pumpkins with spices and a hint of toast. The flavor begins with pumpkins followed through with lots of ginger and mild bread crust notes. There's a good balance between the pumpkin and ginger. It's mouthfeel is medium and very smooth. Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale is a good brew, great on a cool fall evening, recommended!

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Photo of fourstringer
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Brewer's Art goblet. Moderate hand. No identifiable date on the label.

A: 3.75 Ruby red-orange body with a slight haziness. 1/2 finger of off-white head, below average retention. Light lacing.

S: 4.0 Cinnamon and nutmeg, strongly. Followed by pumpkin flesh & ginger. Raisin. Indistinct herbal notes.

T: 3.5 Spices fire first, followed by some malts and pumpkin. Tea-like tannins and herbal notes appear midway. Hops build to a fairly dry finish. Lingering hop bitterness and slightly astringent herbal spice in the aftertaste. Minimal alcohol presence.

M: 3.75 Moderate carbonation, slightly prickly. Moderate body. Good, if not a touch thinner than expected.

O: Not a bad pumpkin, although by the end I was getting more tea flavors than pumpkin or pie spice. Interesting.


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Photo of tayner
3.67/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22 oz bottle that has been in my DBF for about 4 months as i was afraid to try it.

Poured a crystal clear amber color with a with whispy head that dissipated to nothing and left no lacing. Some head retention would have made this much nicer to look at, perhaps due to age though.

Smell was of nutmeg and cloves, perhaps some allspice, and roasted pumpkin seeds too.

Taste was like a pumpkin pie smoothie that was strained as the texture was a bit watery. It had all the tastes of pumpkin pie without all the over the top sweetness a real pie has. I cant believe how it tastes like real pumpkin and not pumpkin 'flavored'. nice

Mouthfeel was a bit watery on this one which maybe is good since i have to drink 22 oz of it. I think for drinkability factor if it were a bit thicker and bottled in 12 oz bottles it would be nicer.. or thicker in 22 oz bottles you could pass around after thanksgiving dinner instead of pie!

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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 PA-hunter
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Purchased a case recently, then poured bottle into a glass. Awesome artwork on the label!

Appearance- Light to medium orange. Moderate carbonation with somewhat thin head.

Smell- Very aromatic and complex. Pumpkin is easily recognized, as well as the wide variety of spices.

Taste- Strong character of pumpkin at first followed by spices. Very much like a pumpkin pie in a bottle. This beer contains 5 spices, the cloves and cinnamon were apparent. The 7lbs of pumpkin brewed per barrel was an evident point as this was much more "pumpkiny" than some other pumpkin ales I tried.

Mouthfeel- Light to moderate but not thin or watery. Very easy drinking ale. Quite agreeable.

Overall- I thought this was a great example of the style and an outstanding seasonal pick. This was my first Elysian brew, and can say they did it right. The 5.9% was decent for the abv. Though a bit pricey, I would definitely buy this great seasonal brew again. If you are not a fan of spice flavors, or just don't like pumpkin pie, I could see why that person would rate lower. But if you like pumpkin, you'd be happy with this pumpkin ale.

*** I re-reviewed this beer after the InBev aquisition. I noticed the abv has been raised to 6.7 %

Poured 12oz bottle into snifter glass. 6.7% abv.

Appearance- Pours a dark orange, almost being a burnt brown color. Moderate carbonation.

Smell- Freshly ground pumpkin mask with spice notes of nutmeg and cinnamon dominant. Pumpkin pie like.

Taste- A sweet malt followed up by a pumpkin flavor that is quite real and fresh. The spices come later, and linger in the palate for a good bit. Some bitterness too in the end.

Mouthfeel- Medium heavy in body with active carbonation.

Overall- Just as good as I remembered it to be. The difference being it is now more heavier in body, darker, has higher abv......and....technically a product of AB. Still an out of this world pumpkin ale worthy of being among the top of the style. I'd put it in the top ten of pumpkin ales.

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Photo of caddybuyer
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

In honor of the 31st.

A-Beautiful rich copper pour with filtered clarity and a dark thick eggshell head.

S-Malts and pumpkin definately present. Great nose, not overpowering with spices like some. Sweet, sugary and natural.

T-Nose carries through to the palate in one of the most sublime versions of pumpkin ale I have ever had. The lightly sweetened front end is all fresh pumpkin, accented by only enough spice to keep it interesting.

M-Mouth feels a bit light for this style, but if that is the worst fault of this beer, it is a minor one.

O-Pumpkin ales are so often great in theory but terrible in execution. Don't get me wrong, I dig a highly spiced ale, but the fact that this carries the day without being overspiced or oversweeted underscores the quality. Well done.

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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 cbarrett4
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The yardstick I measure all pumpkin ales with.

Poured two bottles, one from 2010 (that I didn't know I had unti lI went through my beer cellar), the other from 2011 purchased fresh from Whole Foods as well as a couple of Dogfish Punkin for comparison.

Pours a copper hue with a light white head that quickly fades into a persistent lace. Great carbonation. Very pretty.

Smells of spices, mainly cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. Some notes from the yeast and malts coming through as well. Smells like a beer brewed with pumpkin spices. A hint of brown sugar, caramel, and (at last) some pumpkin.

Tastes of pumpkin pie, though less intense than other examples of this style. This is the one area that I feel this beer is lacking. Compared with the Dogfish Head at least (which lacks the aromatics, but has the better taste).

Texture is nice, medium bodied. Alcohol is present but well integrated. Nice, medium length, but mellow finish.

Overall a wonderful holiday/pumpkin/spiced beer. Though it doesn't scream pumpkin, it has all those nice little touches that make it a good beer with the addition of some wonderful pumpkin pie spices.

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

Bottle bought today at Whole Foods in Bellevue, WA. Shared with a non-BA friend.

A: Completely clear golden pale amber color with very minimal head that quickly disappears.

S: Aroma is dominated by pumpkin and nutmeg...and not much else.

T&M: Taste is mostly dominant of pumpkin flavors. Spices include the ever present nutmeg, some clove and mild cinnamon taste, there's also a ginger presence that balances out the sweetness from the malt and pumpkin flavors.

D: Pretty good. For a seasonal, local pumpkin ale this is pretty good but these speciality flavored beers are only good in small doses.

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

A: Nice dark brownish amber color with a tawny colored head. Not to big not too small, very rich colors.
S: Sweet pumpkin aroma, balanced, with a good hint of cinnamon and spice nipping at the end.
T: Crisp and warm flavor. Balanced, while not being too strong. Excellent blend of flavors. Very true to what i expect from a pumpkin beer. That true pie flavor.
D/M: Crisp and filling with great flavors that dont ruin your palate. It gives you a great warming sensation.

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Photo of BuffaloTapHugger
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bomber poured into a pint glass.

A: Pours out a cloudy brown with a reddish hue. Looks just like apple cider, I like. Off white head that kinda lingers a bit, and some OK lacing to boot.

S: Laid back and chill for the most part, but that might be the cold that I'm trying to kick. The cider comes back into play because i do sense some fermented apple, clove action, cinnamon stick, light malts too. Slight pumpkin in the background.

T: Mild in every aspect, but that mostly what I like about this brew. Its not "In your Face", like some of these pumpkin beers tend to be. Taste more like cider than beer for the most part.

M: Not quite medium in body, some looseness involved, somewhat light in carbonation, ABV blended well throughout the sipping display.

D: One fantastic beer for the foliage season. It resembles everything that goes with the season. Kudos to the brewmaster!

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Photo of bkilpatr
4.24/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22 oz bottle into a mug. 12/14/08. Best by date of 12/26/08.

Pours a bright orange-copper color with about a finger of soft beige head. Aroma is filled with pumpkin, nutmeg, cinnamon, clove.

Taste follows the aroma and then some. Lots of pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg. Underneath all that is a nice sweet malt base. Tastes like liquid pumpkin pie. Very nice balance between pumpkin and spices.

Feel is smooth with a light-medium body. Carbonation is a bit low. It's not fizzy like most pumpkin beers, it's smooth and creamy. Drinkability is pretty good. Goes down real easily and has a very balanced taste.

Overall, a very good pumpkin beer. It's like pumpkin pie in a bottle.

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Photo of bcostner1
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: pumpkin orange, nice head; great autumnal hues.

S: Awesome...fall spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice) and pumpkin.

T: Top notch pumpkin ale. Follows the nose with very pleasant doses of nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, minimal clove (good thing...don't like a lot of clove in my pumpkin ales), pie crust, and pumpkin flesh finish.

M: Easy drinker for sure...has enough body to be satisfying but is definitely not overdone. At 5.9%, no booze present at all. Highly sessionable pumpkin ale in my opinion.

Really enjoyed this one. I put it up there with Schlafly, CCB, and Uinta Oak Jacked as my favorites for the style. Would definitely have again.

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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 DaggerEyes
3.11/5  rDev -20.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle
poured an amber orange, off-white head, patchy but abundant lacing clinging to the glass.

Sweet pumpkin pie, kind of like pumpkin pie out of the can. lots of spice, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg.

The taste at times reminds me of ginger bread, though the pumpkin is undoubtedly there. Not much in the way of carbonation, smooth and slick mouthfeel, with a watery body. The body is a real turn off for me I like my pumpkin ales heartier than this one. There is also a strange and somewhat awkward off-dry quality on the finish.

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

Had on tap at Roscoe's

Appearance- Hazy dark orange/copper. Off white head almost cream color. Almost no lacing. 4/5

Smell- Not a very strong aroma but definite pumpkin pie smell. Nutmeg, cinnamon, all spice. 4/5

Taste- Again, not a very strong or overpowering taste. Nutmeg, cinnamon, and all spice. Very balanced and easy drinking. 4/5

Mouthfeel- Medium mouthfeel. I have to say this is close to perfect for what you would expect from a pumpkin beer. 4.5/5

Overall- Well done Elysian. I am not a hard core pumpkin beer drinker, but this is good. Very balanced The spices are not in-your-face, yet you have the main pumpkin flavors. 4/5

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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,248 ratings.
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