Night Owl Pumpkin Ale | Elysian Brewing Company

very good
366 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: 366 | Ratings: 1,246
Photo of russwbeck
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Clear orange pour with a fluffy white head. Great retention and lacing. Bready pumpkin smell with tons of spices and vanilla. Very light taste. Pumpkin and caramel. A slight spiciness. Really muted. Light body and a bit under carbonated. No hint of alcohol. Was expecting a bit more from this. Really average taste. Very
drinkable though.

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Photo of mtalley999
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 22oz bottle into a Duvel tulip.

Color is a very deep orange that appears translucent when held to the light, almost cloudy. Pour resulted in about one finger of off-white head that dissipated very slowly leaving some lacing.

Aroma is fresh and roasted pumpkin, with a little citrus from the hops coming through at the end.

The flavor is very smooth with the pumpkin coming through first, then the malts, with a little hop bitterness on the finish that lingers a bit. I also get a slight bit of sweetness, and maybe a very faint vanilla flavor.

Mouthfeel is smooth, not thick, but also not watery at all.

I am a huge fan of pumpkin ales, and this beer is now easily one of my top 2 or three of the style. I can't believe I haven't tasted this until now. I only hope I can pick up another bomber or two.

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Photo of scootpolute
3.39/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

1 Pint, 6 FL OZ. bottle into tulip glass.

A - Pours dark-amber, with a full, cloudy-light-brown head...-some great lacing!

S - Hops and hints of a combination of spices; pumpkin, clove, cinamon & ginger!

T - A bit bland...The combo of spices is weak (which I think is 'good,' rather than over-doing the flavor), but...something is missing. Perhaps more hops would have helped, eh?!

M - Good carbonation! The carbination disappears quickly to the combo of bland flavors.

O - At the top, there's a feel like your're going to get (with flavor) much more than you actually 'get!' The bland combo of flavors kind of go all over, then, die off to a relatively 'weird' place...sort of a soapy-cinamon ending..?

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Photo of phichifiji00
3.88/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into tulip glass.

Appearance: Dark Amber with a reddish hue. Pours about 1 finger of off white head that fades slowly. Moderate lacing.

Smell: Pumpkin, spices, cinnamon, allspice. A bit boozy as it warms which was surprising considering the relatively low abv.

Taste: Pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, vanilla.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied, good carbonation.

Overall: A good pumpkin beer. Nothing terribly exciting going on, but well executed. Very drinkable.

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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!"

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

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.

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Photo of bum732
4.06/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

S: Rich, pumkin pie like spices.

L: Burnt orange, creamy off-white head with amazing retention.

T: Sweet pumpkin pie like malt with a toasty malt background. Low bitterness with just enough to counter the sweetness. Finishes semi-sweet, but fairly clean.

M: Medium full, creamy body, medium low carbonation.

Really solid, pumpkin pie sweetness, without being overbearing. Loved the look and mouthfeel. One of my favorites.

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

Clear red amber with two fingers of cream white pillowy head. great lacings for a veggie beer. head lasts until the halfway point. Smell is nice pumpkin presence with spices that have faded. Like pumpkin not pumpkin pie. Taste is like a nice Pale Ale drank from a pumpkin. Not too sweet like most of the style. Mouthfeel is fine with just the right amount of carbonation. Finish is slightly wet with minimal bitterness. Well balanced. I think I could drink a lot of these and not get tired of the pumpkin flavor. Well done Elysian, a sessionable pumpkin ale.

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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 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 BeerFiend2002
3.68/5  rDev -6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into tulip glass

Dark copper in color, with a light one-finger frothy tan-colored head.

Nose is a lot of cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, and allspice. Very inviting.

Tastes pumpkiny as it should given the amount per barrel used, but the spices do not stand up very well against it. Dull bland taste.

Medium-light mouthfeel, kind of watery for my taste.

Decent pumpkin beer. Its not outstanding, but there are worse. Solid, but not spectacular. Its a step below the DFH Punkin and the Weyerbacher Imperial Pumpkin.

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

A - Pours a hazy, deep orange. Cream-colored cap leaves some decent lacing.

S - Huge pumpkin scent. Sweet malts and cloves are pretty strong. Small hints of nutmeg and cinnamon.

T - Taste is pretty similar. Caramel malt, sweet pumpkin meat and spices.

M - Light to medium-bodied with good amount of carbonation.

O - First pumpkin brew of the season. This one came through pretty much as expected. I'm really quite interested in their "bigger" offerings.

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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.

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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 JAXSON
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bronze pour with a white head. Nose is a nice soft pumpkin meat with light cinnamon and autumn spices, pumpkin pie. Mouth is more dry than I expected, a fairly assertive hop presence. Some pumpkin meat and spices in the finish but not as well-expressed as in the nose. Nice nose, decent beer.

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Photo of siege06nd
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: A dark, cloudy, orange copper brew. Two fingers of fluffy cream colored head rise up in the glass and slowly subside to a half finger. A nice thick ring of head rests atop this pumpkin ale with good lacing washing down the sides of the glass. I'm excited to try this.

S: Fairly standard, but good nonetheless. Strong pumpkin pie scents of nutmeg, allspice, and maybe just a touch of cinnamon. Faint roasted pumpkin notes as well. Smells tasty.

T: Surprisingly malty with a sweet, cloying profile. The nutmeg and cinnamon is surprisingly subtle until the the finish. A little bit of a funky aftertaste, just a bit tart. Overall, pretty well done, but could have used more spice to balance out the malt.

M: A little too heavily carbonated, to the point where the flavor profile of the brew suffers as it is masked by the bubbly mouthfeel.

O: Elysian Night Owl is a solid Pumpkin Beer, if not somewhat forgettable. The appearance and nose are very good but the taste and overly carbonated mouthfeel were a bit of a letdown. Try it if you see it, but a Sam Adams Harvest Pumpkin will do just as well.

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Photo of yesyouam
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Elysian Night Owl is a solid, copper ale with a few tiny particles and a thick, yellowish foam that lasts all night and leaves thick lacing on the glass. It has a very spicy aroma with lots of nutmeg, cinnamon and probably pumpkin is the nose. There's a sweet, brown sugar type of smell. It's incredibly soft and smooth. It's full bodied and it kind of leaves the mouth grudgingly. Afterwords, my tongue feels kind of grainy, but it's very silky while the beer is still in my mouth. Tart, caramelly malt with some medicinal hops and pumpkin pie spices all are tied up pretty evenly to make a well balanced flavor. At the finish, there's a sort of green apple sourness. Some parts of the flavor seem Belgian to me, but I can't narrow down why. This is a pretty interesting beer that's difficult to pin down stylistically. It's here to deliver pumpkin and spice and it does so. This beer is filling. Drinking this bottle feels like eating a loaf of bread.

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Photo of birchstick
3.97/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks to KevSal for sending this one my way!

A - pours a copperish orange with a white head that forms a small lacing around the rim of the glass

S - canned pumpkin is the first thing to hit my nose; underneath the pumpkin is a spicy mixture of cinnamon, all spice, & nutmeg.

T - the palate mirrors the nose almost identically. Pumpkin flavor opens this on up - you can tell real pumpkins are used in this, which is a plus. The pumpkin flavor is then pushed aside by a combination of allspice and cinnamon with a touch of nutmeg. Solid flavor!

M - medium body that goes down smoothly; the spices give it a dry finish

D - Very solid pumpkin ale that had a nice mixture of actual pumpkin and spice. I feel most pumpkin ales overdue one or the other, but this one struck a nice balance between the two.

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Photo of t8s8l8
4.37/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Look- a dark cloudy brown with a reddish, amber tint. Decent head retention on this beer that holds together quit well. the lacing held together as especially well for a beer with so many added items.

Aroma- nutmeg, some cinnamon some ginger as well. spices are apparent but refined compared to some other pumpkin ales. slight alcohol aroma and also an interesting vegetal scent. also some bakery scents as well.

Taste- a medium body. a creamy, smooth mouthfeel I get some of the spices but also a beer taste as well. Its not a pie its a beer. A nice tingling sensation on the tongue very sweet, slightly dry in the middle but even after a sip the taste lingers (in a good way).

Overall Experience- a great pumpkin beer, first time and is creeping its way up the ladder. the beer itself was very reasonable. the flavor is not to over the top. The abv is appropriate and just a great tasting beer.

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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 mdfb79
3.58/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From 08/16/11 notes. On tap at Meridian Pint. Served in a pint glass.

a - Pours a dark reddish amber brown color with one inch of off white head and light carbonation evident.

s - Smells of pumpkin, bready malts, and very light nutmeg. Not too sweet and not a ton going on other than pumpkin.

t - Tastes of pumpkin, light gingerbread, bready malts, nutmeg.

m - Medium body and low carbonation. Pretty smooth.

o - Overall a decent pumpkin ale, but not my favorite. Think some others I was with really enjoyed it but I like them a bit sweeter and with more nutmeg/gingerbread to them. Would give it another shot.

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Photo of ItsHammerTime
3.6/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pilsner glass. The beer pours a deep auburn body with a significant off-white head that dissipates rapidly, leaving a fine lacing.

The aroma presents with predominant notes of ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and other such spices, overlying a rich caramel base along with the faint vegetal aroma of the pumpkin. Very appetizing!

While the spice was at the forefront in the smell, it is much more understated in the taste. What dominates is the vegetal pumpkin along with the sweetness of the malt. Hops are not apparent. The vegetable taste lingers and fades to that of roasted pumpkin seeds. There's a bit of an unusual aftertaste, but I attribute this more to the style of beer than any fault on the part of the brewery.

Light-to-medium bodied. I was initially slightly disappointed by the lack of body, but working my way through a bomber I figure that a thicker brew might be a bit cloying on the back end.

Overall, a very decent brew. Let it warm up a bit; otherwise it just tastes like a rather bland ale with a funky aftertaste. Once the the spice aroma unveils itself, however, it is quite nice.

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Photo of doughanson78
3.45/5  rDev -12%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

22oz bottle poured into a snifter. My first Pumpkin Ale. I'm glad it's a Local brewery.

A: Medium to dark brown and dark amber/orange when held to the light. Super clear. One and a half finger, slightly off white head with pretty good retention. Awesome lacing. Some larger bubbles in the head.

S: Nutmeg is the biggest aroma. Lots of cinnamon. Pumpkin. Smells like a baking pumpkin pie crust. Very light clove.

T: Very light taste. Again nutmeg is the biggest taste (if you can call it big). Some cinnamon and pumpkin. Lots of caramel malts coming through towards the end. An overall watery taste.

M: Light to medium bodied. Seems like it should be thicker. Medium carbonation. Definitely needs more creaminess.

O: A decent beer. Nice change in style. This only leaves me jonseing for the likes of Pumpking and the Dogfish Head releases. Wish the local brewery would've hit it out of the park.

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Photo of Rifugium
3.03/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

First had: on tap at ?

Poured clear orange-copper with a nice head. Malts in the nose and some pumpkin. Pretty much straight-up malts and the pumpkin and spice is not too spectacular, as opposed to other brews of the style. Like, when I order a pumpkin beer, I want pumpkin and need for subtlety. Light-medium mouthfeel, a bit watered down. Fairly drinkable, but not worth going out of the way for.

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Photo of billab914
4.05/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 22oz bottle into m Southern Tier tulip. It poured a dark copper color with a bubbly white head filling the top inch of the glass. Pretty nice lacing on the glass as i drank it as well.

The aroma has a very nice pumpkin pie spice mixture to it. I get some nutmeg and cinnamon and some pumpkin puree as well. It doesn't feel overly spicy, which a lot in the style seem to do for me. Pretty nice aroma for the style overall.

The taste also shows a nice mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon and pumpkin puree. It's got a pleasant sweetness that helps balance out the spices. Very smooth and flavorful pumpkin beer.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with carbonation being moderate. Overall it was a very good beer for the style. It actually tasted more like pumpkin to me instead of a spice bomb. The sweetness also really helped balance out those spices. Probably one of the best pumpkin beers I've had, top 5 maybe.

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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,246 ratings.
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