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.
very good
357 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

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 357 | Ratings: 1,210
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.

 509 characters

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.

 518 characters

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.

 457 characters

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 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.

 381 characters

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.

 292 characters

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.

 1,103 characters

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.

 953 characters

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.

 805 characters

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.

 899 characters

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

 548 characters

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.

 615 characters

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.

 1,137 characters

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.

 899 characters

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 spice...no need for subtlety. Light-medium mouthfeel, a bit watered down. Fairly drinkable, but not worth going out of the way for.

 410 characters

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.

 919 characters

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

Nutmeg and pumpkin in a bottle (in that order)

Appearance: bronze-orange pour with a smallish head, no lacing

Smell: Wow. Go big or go home I suppose. First just pure nutmeg, followed by pumpkin. This smells exactly like fresh pumpkin pie (albeit cold). Behind that I get cinnamon, caramel, brown sugar, perhaps some maple syrup and sweet molasses.

Taste: Similar to the nose, enormous amounts of nutmeg followed by pumpkin pie filling, cinnamon, allspice, ginger, caramel, brown sugar and maple syrup. Very tasty and perfect for thanksgiving.

Mouthfeel: Is good, but with the huge smell and taste you want a big mouth feel as well.

Drinkability: Bit of a novelty, but half a bomber would be perfect. Probably one of the top 2 or three pumpkin ales out there. I'd be curious to have a blend with half of it barrel aged.

 824 characters

Photo of joemcgrath27
3.62/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shared with andrenaline after a haul from B.C., I got the first half of the bomber
A - clear orange with a decent head leaving a solid covering, note that the second half was much hazier
S - pleasant pumpkin with a light maltiness and some sweetness
T - spices donimate with cinnamon, nutmeg, and some ginger, and as a result the pumpkin is a bit overwhelmed
M - medium body, spicy tingle and a little dry
D - it's fairly tasty, but they went the spice route rather than the pumpkin route flavour wise which I am getting tired of with many pumpkin beers, worth drinking but not a stand out

 589 characters

Photo of kytashie
4.5/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this last night. Pours an orange/ruby somewhat hazy color. Looks very tasty! Finger width head that disappears quickly with minimal lacing. Smells AMAZING. Not overpowered by the spices, they are just detectable, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, pumpkin..(.i think my stomach growled). Wow this is delicious! Awesome balance of flavors...you can definitely tell you are drinking a pumpkin ale...but so not overpowering. It's tasty! Great carbonation, refreshing, crisp and clean. I could drink this all night. 4.5 across the board on this one and added to my list of fav's.

 570 characters

Photo of andrenaline
3.87/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Cheers to joemcgrath27 for the variety from his latest BC haul and for sharing this bomber with me.

A - Pours a slightly hazy golden orange colour, finger of head with decent retention and no real lacing.

S - Some light pumpkin and leafy hops off the top, but the spices tend to dominate with nutmeg and cinnamon coming through.

T - Much like the scent, the nutmeg and cinnamon dominate the flavour with the fresh cut pumpkin coming through on the finish. A bit of a buttered caramel flavour lingers on the palette.

M - Medium bodied ale the goes down smooth and finishes nice and wet.

D - The flavours are quite tasty, but the spice presence is a little too strong and takes away from the drinkability of this particular one. A worthy offering to any Pumpkin Ale fan and I'm glad I was able to try it.

 807 characters

Photo of BeerImmediately
4.61/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Combined reviews from Nov 2010, and Oct 2011.

Pours with 1F head, no real lacing. 2010 bottle had a ton of suspended sediment in a burnt orange body. Not many floaties in 2011 version.

Wow, aroma is the big winner here. Pumpkin pie with crust as it warms; some clove came thru as well, and even somewhat herbal.

Pretty authentic pumpkin flavor - vegetable/squash quality, and good amount of spices, incl cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove - but not overpowering. Decent volume of malty sweetness / richness...touch of campfire as it warms.

Good level of carbonation keeps it clean, and pretty much exactly what you should expect in a 6% ABV Pumpkin Ale.

Outstanding drinkability - this is the most aromatic and flavorful Pumpkin Ale you can buy at this level of ABV.

 767 characters

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

Thanks to hopsbreath for this! This is the best Pumpkin Ale I have ever had!! Tastes exactly like pumpkin and spices. has a big head which dissolves pretty quickly. Does not really smell like much, but with the first sip you can tell you are drinking a Pumpkin Ale. Drinkabilty is excellent, a lot of pumpkin ales I have tasted are way to sweet and this one balances out just right. Literally tastes like your drinking a Pumpkin Pie!

 433 characters

Photo of fo5s
4.33/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz bottle poured into my portsmouth tulip.

Pours a deep ruby. Small, creamy head. Good clarity. Looks delicious...

smell is sweet - montage of spices here, nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and some clove (as promised on the bottle).

Taste is fantastic - great balance of malts and the variety of spices. None of the spices jump out but they work well together. Smooth.

Slightly creamy, soft on the tongue.

Put back a bomber of this without much difficulty. Drinkability is impressive for a well-spiced pumpkin ale.

Overall I'm impressed - a well balanced and blended rendition of the style. A nice change from some of the extreme / overpowering pumpkin beers. Not one you'll necessary remember, but definitely one I'd like to revisit in the future (assuming it's available).

 777 characters

Photo of flagmantho
3.92/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass. Bottle indicates 5.9% ABV, rather than the above-mentioned 6.1%.

Appearance: rich orange hue with a light haze and a light, languid carbonation. Head is one finger of frothy ivory foam. Not too bad.

Smell: light pumpkin pie aroma with cinnamon and nutmeg. Quite festive and autumnal; I rather like it.

Taste: very light pumpkin flavor mixed in with a slightly bready, slightly caramelly malt. The pie spices persist, but are somewhat milder than in the aroma. I usually am not a fan of pumpkin beer, but I like this in spite of myself.

Mouthfeel: medium-light body with a decent carbonation. Not bad, but nothing special.

Drinkability: this beer holds up as a session drink! I could probably quaff quite a few of these without getting bored of it. Kudos!

 802 characters

Photo of BDJake
3.83/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- very good looking translucent copper-ish amber with a crown of beige head that laced and retained well

S- aside from the obvious pumpkin, nutmeg and ginger came out at first, followed by cinnamon and bready malts

T- more subdued than the aroma, but very much the same flavor notes- very low hop presence to accentuate the pumpkin and spice, and low alcohol warmth

M- medium body with ample carbonation and a bittersweet finish

D- easily the best pumpkin ale I've ever had- admittedly a style I do not always care for, but Elysian did very well with this one

 564 characters

Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,210 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
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!