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: 1,247
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.

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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

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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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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).

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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!

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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

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Photo of bminor7
4.47/5  rDev +14%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

22 from Half Time. Reviewed on 11/17/09. Bottle expiry was 29JAN10.

A - deep mahogany brown. no head remains. cloudlike lacing across the top.

S - best smelling pumpkin ale for me. tons of spice, and fresh malt.

T - fluffy malt, sweet clove spice. pumpkin. a good balance of the three. sweeter and more accessible than pumking but not as bready.

M - light on the carbonation, thickness is good

D - good, could drink 2 more. alcohol virtually undetectable

a highly rated pumpkin ale that is worth trying if you can find it

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

Aroma is of baked spiced pumpkin, candied ginger, and nutmeg. Some breadiness and sweet caramels mixed in as well.

The taste is like Thanksgiving dessert. Rich pumpkin goodness with a some gingerbread and a harmonious mixture of pumpkin pie spices. Medium bodied with a smooth medium level of carbonation.

Overall this is a great pumpkin beer. Definitely top 5 in my book.

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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.

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.

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

Great timing to find this in the BC Government store as it really tastes like a spicy Winter Warmer. Pours an orange dark brown colour and a spicy malty nose. The beer offers a well rounded mouthfeel that combines the spice and pumpkin with a decently hopped beer that has a lot of malt to back it up. Good finish that maintains the drinkability right up to the end

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

Decent pumpkin beer from Elysian. This pours a nice coppery-orange and develops and dense white head that leaves rings around the glass as I drink.

Savoury, slightly sweet but definitely spicy scent. Cloves, ginger and allspice.

The spice blend certainly comes through in the flavour, though it is a bit more malty. Not sure of the purpose of adding pumpkin seeds to this, but it certainly doesn't seem to contribute.

Good carbonation, nice seasonal.

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Photo of SeattleBeerBlog
4.69/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A- Pours a nice Brown with orange tones, head dissipates a bit to quickly but does leave nice lacing.

S- Smells of pumpkin spice, bread, brown sugar, perfect.

T- Not as heavy as the nose on the beer, which at first was a bit of a disappointment but as I drank more it actually made it very very nice. Bread (pie crust!), Pumpkin, Cinnamon, Burnt Carmel, Roses.
Man this is a great beer.

M- nice carbonation, not astringent overall goodness.

D- Hands down the best Pumpkin Beer I have had. I could drink this year round. A session Pumpkin Beer. Props to Elysian.

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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 drabmuh
3.52/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Recently attended a pumpkin beer tasting at Mike's place. The two pumpkin beers from Elysian were the best IMO. This one slightly under the other.

Beer is orange and nearly clear, slightly darker than the Great Pumpkin but is moderately carbonated. Not much of a head on this one and not much lacing as a result.

Aroma is moderately spicy with a definite pumpkin presence. More nutmeg and less cinnamon than the Great Pumpkin.

Beer is light in body and a little sweet. The spices come through but the pumpkin doesn't take center state here. Drinkability is OK, better if you like nutmeg and allspice, but I'm not really feeling this one all that much.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Consumed at our pumpkin beer tasting. Thanks to Pete for bringing this one.

Pours an orange copper color with a bit of haze. Smell brings loads of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. A bit of roasted pumpkin. The taste layers on the spice even more. A bit of toasted bread as well. Feel is strange, as the my entire palate is overcome with pumpkin spices. Drinks okay, but a bit lopsided in balance.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.98/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Received this one from screamforme in a recent trade... Thanks, Mark!

Pours a beautiful burnished copper into my Sam Adams Perfect Pint with a creamy 2 inch head and awesome active carbonation throughout... Awesome looking pumpkin ale... Very autumn like...

Aromas of graham crackers, roasted pumpkin, pumpkin pie spices and toasted malts... The spices aren't overdone or phony here.. Very subtle and nice letting the pumpkin take the lead... The graham cracker malts are terrific here and really give this the pie aspect instead of all cinnamon and nutmeg...I'm digging this one...

Warm toasted maltiness followed by the graham cracker aspects mentioned in the aroma and a slight cinnamon-nutmeg aspect that lingers in the background but never dominates here... Nicely balanced between warm maltiness and seasonal spices...

This could have been a touch creamier and it would have been perfect... Medium bodied but slightly thin on the finish...

Overall, a top notch pumpkin ale here....its subtle in its spiciness while showcasing the pumpkin and malts as a good pumpkin ale should... Very drinkable and one of the few pumpkin ale that I could have more than 1-2 of...

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Photo of loren01
4.39/5  rDev +12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a copper color, small white head with slight lace down the glass.
S: Smell is great...reminds me exactly of a pumpkin pie. Nutmeg and clove as well.
T: Slight pumpkin taste but the pumpkin pie spice taste is the part of this beer that is real nice. Slightly sweet, but not too much.
M: Medium bodied, I would say mouthfeel is pretty decent however, could be a bit heavier in my opinion.
D: I normally don't like fruit or veggies or really anything "extra" in my beer but this is very tasty...perfect fall beer.

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

Clear copper with pumpkin guts highlights. Small Beige head that dissipated quickly. No Laces.

Pumpkin pie. Earthy sweet pumpkin and all of the standard spices: nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, some ginger. Sweet, nutty, and caramel.

Rich earthy sweet pumpkin. Fruity, nutty. caramel. Spices: clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger. mild earthy bitterness.

Rich, semi-smooth, med-light body, decent carbonation. Would like a bit more body here.

Very good pumpkin brew. Very Drinkable. Nice N Pumpkiny.
One of the top 6 best pumpkin brews I've had. Elysian can make a good pumpkin brew. The Great Pumpkin and Dark O The Moon are both superior, but this one is still great and more accessible and probably appeals to more people.

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Photo of Docer
4.38/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

MaltBombPete brought a bottle of this...

- Yeasty bubbly amber... really dark copper... half a finger of fizzy fluffy white head.

- Lots of spice and sweet caramel pumpkin goodness... light clove, and grassy spice. Nice amber grain aromas and a banana Belgian-like yeast scent.

- Lovely smooth and balanced pumpkin brew... light pumpkin.. spice, clove and cinnamon.. amber caramel malts... grassy hop... loving the clove and cinnamon touch...

- Light to medium bodied... plenty well carbonated.... watering the palate... not sticky or chewy really.... smooth.

- I am impressed, a very drinkable brew... tasty as all hell, and one I wish I had a keg of.

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

Jerriko sent me this tasty treat a little while ago, thanks man!

A- Pours a dark copper color with a generous amount of fizzy white head sitting on top. Bubbles slowly rise to the top resulting in good head retention and lacing.

S- Good doses of spice and pumpkin. This beer really comes alive as it warms up. The ginger really begins to stick out as well as the pumpkin. Pretty close representation of pumpkin pie.

T- Extremely similar to the smell but the flavors don't come through quite as good as the aromas. Still has nice amounts of spices, once again ginger seems to stick out more than anything. Pumpkin comes through nicely, has a touch of sweetness to it as well.

M- A little watery, but good amounts of carbonation. Appropriate for the style.

D- Pretty easy drinker. I'm still pretty new to Pumpkin Ales but this one definitely seems to be a good one. Thanks again Evan!

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Photo of KYFriedChildren
4.85/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bought this bottle of liquid deliciousness at my favorite bottleshop, Pinnochio's Beer Garden in luxurious Media, Pennsylvania.

Appearance- Pours into my pint glass a vibrant dark orange color with a summer soft and creamy off-white head. It is absolutely delicious looking.

Smell- You get pretty much all of the spices that you would expect in a spiced pumpkin ale. The nutmeg is there. The cinnamon is there and the cloves are also there. While those are expected to have those tingle the nostrils there is a cream-like smell that adds to the pumpkin pie-ness of the scent. Divine.

Taste- Everything a pumpkin ale should be. Creamy, spicy perfection. The spices aren't overpowering and ... I don't even know how to say it, it's perfect.

Mouthfeel- The mouthfeel is just as creamy and smooth as the taste and smell would lead you to believe. It's thicker than something like Post Road Pumpkin but not too thick. Like I said, creamy.

Drinkability- I personally could drink many. Because of the spice factor it could turn some off but I found it to be the perfect balance. Very smooth and drinkable.

I know that there is some hate on the pumpkin beer, but anyone who is into pumpkin beer (like I myself am) will find this as the quintessential pumpkin beer (take that Pumking!). Those who don't think they're fans should reconsider with this wonderful iteration on the style.

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Photo of grittybrews
4.23/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Poured a muddy amber into a pint glass with two fingers of sticky off-white head. Big aroma with lots of pumpkin and nutmeg.

Lowish carbonation and a slightly thin mouthfeel. Spice flavors are prominent up front with lots of cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove. Pumpkin reemerges on the finish with hints of caramel sweetness and hops.

Nicely complex and drinkable, but probably not my favorite pumpkin ale.

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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,247 ratings.
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