Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Night Owl Pumpkin Ale | Elysian Brewing Company

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
88
very good
361 Reviews
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
Reviews:
361
Ratings:
1,235
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
22.45%
 
 
Wants:
140
Gots:
262
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Reviews: 361 | Ratings: 1,235
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.

 913 characters

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.

 166 characters

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.

RJT

 359 characters

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.

 628 characters

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.

 495 characters

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.

 1,788 characters

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.

 398 characters

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.

 294 characters

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.

 178 characters

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.

 287 characters

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.

 306 characters

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.

 548 characters

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

 166 characters

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.

 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.

 328 characters

Photo of vladdswrath
3.07/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours orange and opaque, little if any head. Aroma is pumpkin spices, obviously. Nice, but not necessarily appetizing, for whatever reason. Taste is unique and hits the pumpkin pie mark better than just about any other pumpkin beer I've tried. Mouthfeel is light, which is a good thing, as a thick gooey pumpkin sludge would be a bit off-putting. I don't love the pumpkin ales, but if you forced my hand, this is the one I'd drink.

 431 characters

Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L : Festive orange glow with strikes of apricot. 80% opaque. The head is 2 fingers and creamy, off-white. It stays for a little while and then recedes to a ring.

S : Pumpkin and chopped pecans and nuts, in that order, with slight spice and malt. Quite a bit like opening a can of Pumpkin filling.

T : Roast malts infused with clove and allspice. A slight sour character also accompanies it, giving way to a sort of lambic/orange juice quality. Quite a bit of pleasant acidity. It ends with pumpkin scrapings.

Feel : Medium bodied and well-lit carbonation. Ends semi-dry.

Overall : I'd have it again, if I ever saw it in these parts. A good solid pumpkin ale.

 665 characters

Photo of jooler
4.02/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Looks is dark with basically no head. There also seems to be alittle bit of sediment in the beer. Maybe pumpkin bits? Taste is pretty damn good. A lot better than the Coronado pumpkin ale. Really velvety texture and creamy taste.

 230 characters

Photo of DonnieHops
4.9/5  rDev +25%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 5

For my money the best, most balanced, pumpkin beer...

Had in a bottle and on draft. Outstanding pumpkin pie flavor. Nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon, pie crust.....Darker brown in color than Pumking and Elysian Great pumpkin and less boozy. But at 6.7 it's the perfect punch.

Bartending in NYC, this beer is a constant hit. I give to chicks and people who "normally don't like pumpkin beers" and they love it... People come back just for it.... Pumpkin beers are either too light, soda-Y, not pumpkin-y, or too strong and syrupy.... This one nails it..... If you wanted to show an alien what a pumpkin beer was, this one is the one...... Absolutely delicious!!

 656 characters

Photo of kojevergas
2.83/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 2.75

Brief impressions from a 12 fl oz BOTTLE:

A: Head is about a finger wide. Off-white colour. Nice frothiness and creaminess. Good consistency and complexion.

Body is a translucent copper of average vibrance with abundant floating yeast particles plainly visible. Appears lively and inviting.

Seems well-carbonated. Not unique or special for a pumpkin ale, but generally appealing.

Sm: Pumpkin gourd, allspice, nutmeg, amber & copper malts. The pumpkin gourd is vivid and expressive - a surprisingly rare characteristic in a pumpkin ale.

A highly appealing aroma of moderate strength. Suggests a balanced pumpkin-forward brew, though the ostensible spices aren't really coming through.

T: Pumpkin gourd, traces of brown sugar, copper & amber malt-induced sweetness, some allspice. Decently balanced. Could be deeper and expressive.

Mf: Medium-bodied. Smooth, wet, well-carbonated, and unrefreshing. Overcarbonated.

There's no harmony of texture and taste here.

O: Not a gestalt build, nor a remarkable brew. But it's drinkable and satisfies style conventions. I don't dislike it, but it leaves a lot to be desired. That said, I'm satisifed enough that it brings actual pumpkin gourd in its flavour profile; why do so many pumpkin beers get away without actually delivering pumpkin?

C (2.83)

 1,298 characters

Photo of the_awesometeer
4.01/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy orange color with a nice white head that laces the glass. Lots of visible carbonation. Strong smell of the spices with a hint of pumpkin. I really enjoyed this medium bodied beer. I felt there was a nice balance between the spice and the malty flavor of the ale. Wish for a little more pumpkin.

 306 characters

Photo of JamieDuncan
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

My first observation is that there is a lot of muck in this beer, not that that is a bad thing. Very nice pumpkin aroma. Excellent taste, the pumpkin is there but not overwhelming, the beer is clean, smooth, and refreshing. Overall, this is an excellent example of pumpkin beer and will be one of my favorites.

 313 characters

first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,235 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer FestĀ® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe