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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale | Elysian Brewing Company

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very good
361 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: 361 | Ratings: 1,235
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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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.82/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours an orangish amber with a white head and some lacing. The aroma is inviting and has big notes of pumpkin, fruit, spice and hops. The flavor is well balanced with fruity notes and pumpkin, vanilla, caramel, cream and subtle cinnamon like spice. Full bodied ale with ample carbonation. Overall, an above average pumpkin ale.

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Photo of VashonGuy
4.1/5  rDev +4.6%

Elysian does so many pumpkin beers - Dark o’ the Moon, Great Pumpkin, Punkuccino - and a jillion one-offs, that it’s easy to skip over Night Owl. I hadn’t had a Night Owl bottle for a few years until I picked up an $8 six pack at the grocery yesterday.

Well, what a great beer! Full of pumpkin flavor. Sweet but not too sweet . Smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Spices in balance with everything else.

This is not a beer for those who don’t like pumpkin ales. This is not a beer for those who really want a stout, or a coffee ale, or something else. This is a beer for those who enjoy pumpkin flavor in a well made ale. And it’s a terrific bargain.

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Photo of RyanHubbell
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Alright, even though I'm not a sweeter her guy; this is a good darker ale. Pallet conquering. Sweet yet not over powering in that aspect. The ice cold transcendence towards the warmer end of a 22oz is my favorite part of the beer. Much like a heavy German beer the flavor changes by the minute. From almost a fruity/citrusy hef to a thick pumpkin ale. Beautiful transition.

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Photo of buschbeer
4.08/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a pokal glass

L - It is burnt orange in color with amber highlights. It is topped with two inches of tan head that leaves a little lacing.

S - A big pumpkin aroma wafts from this beer. I get nutmeg and cinnamon. The smell very closely resembles that of pumpkin pie.

T - The taste is loaded with pumpkin and spices. Cinnamon stands out the most.

F - Medium and lower carbonation.

O - This is a fine example of a pumpkin beer. I put it right up there behind Pumking along with Schafly Pumpkin Ale. Great Flavor. Great aroma.

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Photo of archyquaffer
4.28/5  rDev +9.2%

Poured from a longneck into a shaker, producing a two inch frothy, creamy and quite sticky head. The beer is a pale amber, fairly hazy, with visible small particles and swirling effervescence.

Lovely pumpkin pie in the aroma-flavor. Bready, caramelly malts and nutty pumpkin seeds, and earthy pumpkin pith combine with a touch of hop bitterness and a complex balance of spices.

Highly evocative of pumpkin pie, with real pumpkin notes and a well-crafted and balanced blend of spices. This is probably the best pumpkin beer I've tried so far.* I purchased a six pack for about 10 bucks.

*Upon further review I find that I graded "Great Pumpkin" (same brewer) at a whopping three hundredths higher in my review from about a year ago. So, I bumped this one up .03.

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Photo of leaddog
4.55/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - Pours a copper colour with a finger of frothy cream coloured head.

Smell - pumpkin pie filling, pumpkin spices (nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, ginger, all spice), bready malts, brown sugar.

Taste - Pumpkin pie like mom used to make. Pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spices are well balanced and provide a savoury/sweet flavour profile.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Finishes with the well-rounded pumpkin flavour.

Overall - Wow, that's some good tasting pumpkin pie beer! I wasn't sure if I needed to grab a glass or a fork for this one. Excellent pumpkin and spice flavours that don't compete with one another. Definitely pick up a bottle if you see it your way!

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Photo of Greywulfken
3.9/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: deep amber, orange highlights... two fingers of tan head

S: solid pumpkin ale aromas - seasonal spice and sweetness atop hearty ale malts

T: pumpkin flavors nicely balanced between the sweet and vegetal - molasses and brown sugar sweetness, clove, nutmeg, allspice, and the like are all suggested

M: medium-light weight, modest carbonation, somewhere between brisk and chewy - attractive feel

O: a straight-forward but well-executed pumpkin ale

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Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,235 ratings.
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