Night Owl Pumpkin Ale | Elysian Brewing Company

very good
368 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: 368 | Ratings: 1,251
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.

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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.

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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.

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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!!

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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)

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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.

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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.

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Photo of tigg924
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours hazy, orange-brown with minimal head. Taste is ginger, white sugar crystals, and nutmeg. Very nice and sweet and clean. Elysian is becoming my favorite brewer of this style and this one is right up there with the best in the style.

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Photo of J30wang
4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Heavy cloves when you take a whiff of the bottle lips. Smells a little burnt, but in a good way. Pours a brilliant brown with an amber/reddish tint, this beauty is a lot more spice than pumpkin. Cloves, cloves, cloves, all the cloves! The pumpkin appears when you breath out after the actual drink--the purest pumpkin flavor, none of the modified stuff. This is a great pumpkin ale, very grounded and without all the fluff like the Pumpking from Southern Tier (which tasted quite like medicine, by the way; not a hater here). It essentially captures what a hearty, grounded pumpkin ale should taste like.

I'd recommend this as a solid pumpkin ale alongside Greenport's Leafpile Ale.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
3.05/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Trying to get into spirit and try a "local" brew and a pumkin ale.

Beer smells ok. Some pumpkin with lots of spice.

Tastes mirrors the smell, but comes up short in the malt balance. Beer is light and watery, all I can taste is spice--specifically the ginger is sticking out (not good). This beer really could have used some malt complexity and residual sweetness to round out the spices. Unfortunately I bought a 6 pack of this. Not looking forward to the rest of the pack. Not impressed with this beer.

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Photo of Furlinator
3.61/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Black Horse Tavern, Norco, Ca.

Pours a murky rust orange with a half-inch cream head and strings of lace. Pumpkin and Fall spices abound. A fairly straightforward but, well done pumpkin ale.

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Photo of Marraybay
3/5  rDev -23.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This one seems to deliver more of what's promised on the label, as compared to some other pumpkin beers I've tasted; Mainly that it smells and tastes like pumpkin! The question of course is whether that's a good thing!

A pretty lively pour that's copper-orange in color, with a decent +1/2 inch of white foam. A bit thinner overall than I imagined and a bit cloudy. The pumpkin-pie spice potpourri is definitely front in center in the nose. The taste has a little of that pumpkin pie spice involved, including a touch of sweetness, but I felt like I was getting more of a plain or roasted pumpkin note. A little bitterness and alcohol burn in the finish. Overall, a little undecided as to whether this was a success for me or not. Would probably need to resample. (Food Pair note: I thought the addition of ketchup in the meal I was eating, somehow accentuated what the brewer was trying to deliver.)

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Photo of Eamonn-Cummings3
4.19/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.25

Look is hazy brownish with orange yellow highlights. Little to no head.

Aroma is straight pumpkin pie, but no just pumpkin pie but meaty awesome pumpkin.

Taste is kinda thin but full of pumpkin spice flavor. Maybe a little pumpkin sour taste at the end.

Really excellent, I just wish the body held up to the flavor.

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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 lastmango
4/5  rDev +2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a hazy burnt orange into a pint glass with thin head that dissipated quickly. No lacing. Nose was a very mild pumpkin pie. Light carbonation. Malty with a more pronounced allspice taste further on while sipping. I have not had too many pumpkin ales but this is nice and well balanced.

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Photo of Pete_2112
4.67/5  rDev +19.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

The Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale is a truly tasty beer. The first smell you get is pure pumpkin pie. You can even smell that toasted crust aroma. The look of it is a nice dark Amber color, looking almost exactly the color of a pumpkin. The taste is really nice. Delicious spices and a lot of pumpkin flavor come through. The mouthfeel is alright. Carbonation is just a bit too light for my liking, but that does not stop this beer from being excellent. As the beer warms up, the pumpkin really starts to show itself even more. This beer is one of the best pumpkin beers I've had. A VERY close second to Schlafly Pumpkin Ale, which as of right now, reigns over all other pumpkin beers. But Elysian has got something special here.

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Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.86/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

From 12 oz bottle. Start of the season so I assume this is pretty fresh.

For once, a pumpkin beer that smells more like allspice and cinnamon than clove. Reminds me of the smell of warm apple butter. Of the main spices on the label, I think the most prominent in the aroma is allspice, with cinnamon taking second. I do actually smell some pumpkin as well, which is sometimes awkwardly absent in "pumpkin beer". Big win here. Awesome aroma.

The flavor is a bit of a trick play, with a sweet pumpkin pie beginning and then a bait and switch towards a more bitter and vegetable-y fall beer. Both are enjoyable, with the bitterness being more unusual. The aftertaste seems a bit muddled to me, with an almost harsh tannic quality (like over-steeped tea). However, all the muddled flavors are good ones, so that is a plus. They just don't stand out clearly like in the fantastic aroma.

The mouthfeel is "wet", if that is possible. Not sweet per se, but medium bodied.

Conclusion: Overall well done. Enjoyable, and the aroma is the clear stand out here. Maybe the best smelling fall beer I have had in recent memory. The flavor of this one seems to be overly muddled, and maybe it just needs some time. If this was a homebrew, I would probably conclude that it is still too young and needs some time in the bottle to settle out. I am searching hard this season to find a beer which can surpass my local favorite, Bristol's Venetucci Pumpkin Ale which is getting harder and harder to acquire.

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Photo of BowWowWowYippyYoIPA
4.43/5  rDev +13%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Pours slightly hazy amber with fizzy white head that dissipates to a thin cap. Wonderful aromas of mulled apple cider, pumpkin pie, cinnamon pie crust, clove and allspice. Flavor echoes much of the same with the cinnamon and clove lingering and mixing with a subtle hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is somewhat thin, but works well with the flavors given There is also a vibrant effervescence that gives the beer a feel of ginger beer. One of the best pumpkin beers I've ever had.

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

Actually does have a number of pumpkin pie characteristics that are evident and desirable. Very pronounced pumpkin pie flavor.

Compared to Schlafly Pumpkin Ale (which is also quite fantastic), this I feel has more of a home-cooked, non-commercial, pumpkin pie flavor while Schlafly has a more generic, store-bought pie flavor. Elysian is a bit more savory, while Schlafly is sweet. My preference would be for the Elysian, but honestly it'd be hard to go wrong between the two.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served chilled in a shaker pint glass.

Night Owl is a very hazy redish copper color. This head is thin and quick to settle.

Aroma is a little faded since last fall when it was fresh. Still has that pumpkin spice and pumpkin pie sweetness.

Flavor is much the same with pumpkin pie sweetness up front and more of the pie spice from middle to end.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and nicely carbonated.

Overall a very good pumpkin ale with a great balance of sweetness and spice.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

22oz bottle, poured into a snifter

A- pours a dark copper color with a reddish hue, small creamy white head reduces to a film on top, leaving short lasting lace behind

S- right off I notice that this is one of the few pumpkin beers that smells like pumpkin pie. most have only the spicing element, but this has that aroma of raw pumpkin flesh, perhaps emphasized by the addition of the pumpkin seeds. Cinnamon, clove & nutmeg all come through on the aroma. The malt is sweet, bringing shadows of whipped cream, caramel & pie crust

T- spicing up front with and emphasis on cinnamon and nutmeg, slight resemblence of cola. Raw pumpkin flavor kicks in mid-palate with some nutty notes, perhaps from the pumpkin seeds. Sweet malty notes of brown sugar, toasted pastry and caramel. More pumpkin on the finish with a hint of sweet vanilla cream on the linger

M- medium body with moderate-low carbonation leads to a prickly mouthfeel and a creamy & silky finish

O- very well balanced pumpkin ale that showcases the pumpkin itself, rather than the spicing like most pumpkin ales

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Photo of draheim
3.99/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

22oz into a tulip. Pours a clear copper color w/ a thin white head that settles to a sudsy film.

Aroma is fresh pumpkin pie: nutmeg, cinnamon, allspice, and fresh vegetal pumpkin. Really hits all the right spice notes.

Taste likewise leads off with lots of cinnamon, tastes kind of like a Red Hot. Clean and natural, not artificial tasting like many pumpkin beers.

Nice full mouthfeel.

Overall a tasty, enjoyable, spice-forward pumpkin beer.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
3.48/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

From a 12 ounce bottle into a snifter.

Dark amber liquid with orange hues. Creamy, oatmeal-colored head a finger thick and dissipates quickly. 4

Spicy and tea-like with the initial smells. Reminds me of chai, just like the Imperial Pumpkin from Dry Dock. Interesting. Sweet and vanilla-like. Not bad. 4

Well, with Dry Dock the pumpkin spiced chai thing worked, as the body was thicker, creamy and felt like a beer. This tastes like chai and feels like it too. Thin-bodied, clove-heavy and teal-like, this just doesn't taste or feel like a beer. The pumpkin flavor is not over the top and the mix of spices all work well, but again, I almost don't feel like this is a beer save the robust carbonation. T- 3.25 F- 3.25

Overall, this is a great chai with some booze, but an okay beer that feels like a pumpkin chai.

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Photo of cratez
3.95/5  rDev +0.8%

Elysian Night Owl Pumpkin Ale - 5.9% ABV - Consumed October 14/2014.

A: Dark and cloudy orange hue with a sliver of white foam. Several strands of lacing stick to the nonic glass. Clearly unfiltered, as this is much more opaque than I would expect for a mid-strength pumpkin ale. A good looking beer.

S: Massive pumpkin pie smell with pumpkin filling (a little fleshy), buttery-flaky pie crust, all spice, nutmeg, hint of clove, and cinnamon. Ginger is undetectable to my nose. Straightforward aromas but appealing and style-appropriate nonetheless. Very good.

T: Big pumpkin pie filling, nutmeg, buttery crust, cinnamon, vanilla, table cream, and allspice with more cinnamon, vanilla, and pumpkin flavours on the cough. Ginger and clove ingredients are not apparent in the taste. More flavourful and robust than your typical pumpkin ale, and a great example of the style.

M: Full side of medium-bodied, creamy carbonation, smooth middle, semi-spicy and mildly drying finish with cinnamon, vanilla, and pumpkin on the cough. Solid palate.

O: A remarkably good take with the intensity of an imperial pumpkin ale. Well-crafted and worth buying.

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Photo of logicalparadox
4/5  rDev +2%

Good pumpkin beer. A little more of the "pumpkin pie" thing, than I prefer and less well done than some others that do that particular interpretation particularly well, but this is a good choice, and once I've not seen available as much.

7 Pounds of pumpkin per barrel? Brewed with pumpkin seeds? That makes me think. Pumpkins are heavy. How much is 7 pounds, really? And with seeds makes me wonder if they are brewing with all the pulp. Not saying that's a bad thing, but obviously has a higher return than using just the meat of the gourd and not all the guts.

I was less impressed with this than I should be by the ratings, but I did enjoy it quite a bit. I'd put it toward the top of my pumpkin beer selection, but I will need to try it a few more times to judge it better.

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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,251 ratings.
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