Night Owl Pumpkin Ale | Elysian Brewing Company

BA SCORE
88
very good
1,253 Ratings
Night Owl Pumpkin AleNight Owl Pumpkin Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Elysian Brewing Company
Washington, United States
elysianbrewing.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
1,253
Reviews:
369
Avg:
3.92
pDev:
12.24%
 
 
Wants:
137
Gots:
271
For Trade:
1
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 1,253 |  Reviews: 369
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.

 393 characters

Photo of oberon
3.63/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Mike aka "garagekegger" for sharing his bomber tonight,very nice pumpkin colored deep somewhat hazy pour with a fluffy white head that left a nice sheet of lace behind as it settled.Very spicey aromas cinnamon and clove really stick out in the aromas more in the lines of apple pie but still appetizing.Seemed a bit thin in the mouthfeel department and a little fizzy but the flavors were nice not overly sweet the cinnamon and clove are there there is a decent pumpkin bite in there but the spice outweighs it.Not a bad pumpkin beer to be had flavorful if not a bit thin.

 582 characters

Photo of Kurmaraja
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

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

A: Pours a hazy dark copper to garnet red in color with moderate amounts of yeast in suspension near the surface of the beer. The beer has a finger tall beige head that reduces to a thin film covering the majority of the surface of the beer and a slightly thicker ring at the edges of the glass. Moderate amounts of lacing are observed.

S: This beer has a moderate to strong aroma of pumpkin along with pumpkin pie spices - cinnamon, cardamon, clove, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.

T: The beer has a light amount of sweetness with a faint hint of caramel malts and wheat. After that, there are moderately strong flavors of pumpkin and pumpkin pie spices - cinnamon, cardamon, clove, nutmeg, and hints of ginger.

M: Medium bodied with light to moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Very enjoyable and easy to drink, a very good pumpkin beer with great pumpkin flavors and lighter pumpkin pie spices - nice complexity and not overly sweet.

 938 characters

Photo of ygtbsm94
3.25/5  rDev -17.1%

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

22 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear coppery looking amber with 2 fingers of foamy eggshell white colored head. A pretty solid looking 1/2 finger of retention leaves a nice and sticky latticework of lace behind. The aroma is a lively smelling waft of pumpkin spices, pumpkin meat, floral hops, and a splash of citrus, with some other residual notes of sweetness behind it.

The taste is a tasty and well balanced blend of spicy and sweet tanginess, with spices, citrus, and pumpkin pie tasting sweetness delivering a tangy feel with a tingle of floral hop bitterness in the back to help even things out. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with a creamier carbonation that possesses a bit of a sharp edge to the outside of it.

With was just a solid all-around Pumpkin Ale with well rounded flavors that really in popped in the mouth at times. This was definitely one of the better Pumpkin Ales that I've had in the bottle.

 931 characters

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

On tap at Hops and Pie.

A: Pours a clear light copper with an initial half-inch white head which fades leaving bits of lace.

N: Faint pumpkin meat with associated spices and nutty notes along with some vegetal quality.

T: Typical pumpkin spices with emphasis on ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon.

M: Medium body and carbonation. Slightly thin. Spices linger on the finish.

O: Nice for the style without the overwhelming spicy profile.

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

Photo of XmnwildX12
3.5/5  rDev -10.7%

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 Gagnonsux
3.73/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Photo of smithj4
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.85/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a clear, deep, dark amber body with small, scant white head.

Smell: Nicely aromatic pumpkin and crystal malt scent, with notes of ginger and spices.

Taste: Syrupy, sweet malt flavor with toasted pumpkins and that squasy/vegetal twang you always seem to find in these things. Spicy kick. Mild hop bitterness. Finishes with a toasty spiciness and flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg, and, much to my dismay, some ginger.

Mouthfeel: Just barely medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Pretty decent, the beer improves quite a bit upon warming.

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Photo of russpowell
3.51/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an effervescent amber/caramel with 2 fingers of fluffy cream colored head. Very good head retention & lacing

S: Nutmeg, cinnamon & some pumpkin

T: Nutmeg, cinnamon, & pumpkin up front. Dryness & more of the same as this warms, plus a bit booze on the edges. Finishes with cinnamon, a hint of grain & a bit of caramel

MF: Light/medium body, slightlty over carbonatnated

Drinks okay, was hoping for more flavor & malt depth from these guys. This is still a style with more misses than hits for me

 505 characters

Photo of mdaschaf
4.09/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a bright orange color with a small white head with moderate retention, leaving a thin ring on top. Little bits of lacing.

S: Very fragrant, lots of pumpkin meat along with spice. Lots of nutmeg, ginger, and clove and less cinnamon, which usually dominates pumpkin beers.

T: A continuation of the aroma, very nice combination of spices, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. Plenty of pumpkin flavor and some slightly sweet malt, a touch of sugar, and a little caramel.

M: Medium bodied with medium carbonation, has a slightly slick feel to it.

O: Very impressed. After a string of disappointing pumpkin beers, this one hits the mark. Extremely fragrant with a ton of flavor and not fake at all.

 701 characters

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.49/5  rDev +14.5%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Warmly glowing rustic orange-bronze with edges of ripe pumpkin. Night Owl is richer and classier looking than the usual garish, bright orange. The head looks good as well, with its contrasting shade of pastel orange and its firm refusal to deflate. The edges of the cap are beginning to resemble a pie crust with what looks like a series of thumb depressions around the entire circumference of the glass. Minimal lace is the only negative.

I was immediately impressed with the nose as soon as beer splashed into glass. That was nothing compared to my first, concentrated, up close and personal sniff. Without question, this ale has the most perfect freshly baked pumpkin pie-like aroma ever. It simply isn't possible for beer to smell more like the classic dessert than this one does. Actually, it's probably more brown sugary than pumpkin pie, but that only makes me love it all the more. Outstanding!

If only the flavor and the mouthfeel could have matched the one-of-a-kind nose, Night Owl would have been something truly special. That isn't to say, however, that it isn't one of the best pumpkin ales that I've ever had. Not surprisingly, it tastes like pumpkin pie, albeit one drizzled with caramel and brown sugar syrup. It's sweeter than most, but that's more than fine with me.

Spices take a back seat to actual pumpkin flavor. Most brewers try to get by with dumping a truckload of spices into the kettle to cover whatever flavor faults might be present. If done right (as this one is), keeping the cinnamon, nutmeg, et al in the background is the way to go. For the record, all of the usual suspects are present... the two mentioned above, as well as allspice, clove and ginger. It's hard to know what was gained by adding green and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Hop flavor is entirely absent, although the Horizon hops provide enough bitterness to keep the sweetness from becoming too candy-like and cloying. The biggest disappointment for me is the mouthfeel. It's far from light, but a more full, chewy mouthfeel would have put this beer into orbit and may have allowed it to be recognized as The King Of All Pumpkin Ales. The flavor demands, and deserves, more.

Even though the aroma is beyond amazing, I still have to give the slight nod to Smuttynose's version as the absolute best. I'm amazed at the quality of this beer and I'm becoming more so with every mouthful. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised since I love Elysian's IPA and ESB. If you like pumpkin ales and you have the chance to obtain Night Owl, you won't be sorry. Trust me.

 2,558 characters

Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +2%

Photo of mikesgroove
4.42/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Part of the Elysian Halloween spectacular. Split all three of these with multiple members of my family over the house on Halloween. Served cold and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 10/31/2009.
 
The last of the trifecta for the evening, it was really fun going through all of these during the course of the day. Really just fun stuff. Poured out the lightest of the three with a hazy orange tinted amber color and a nice soft off white head that reached a height of around an inch or so before it settled down with some nice lacing on the side that really just surprised me with how well it hung in there to be honest. Really quite the solid look. Nice aroma of pumpkin spice, hints of cinnamon and nutmeg, all the usual characters here with a touch of a west coast hop flair to it, especially as it warms. Crisp and super clean flavor here. Starts with a touch of a light malt note and then swoops in with a big hit of cinnamon and nutmeg which dries out the palate very nicely. Very even consistency I have to admit as it comes together very nice. Light drying of palate leaves a touch of light spice and the lightest hint of hops on the back of the tongue. Super drinkable, in fact out of the whole night I enjoyed this one the most out of all of them.
 
Overall a very solid light beer for the evening. Fit in very well with the rest of the lineup and I would have no problem at all with going after all three of these again. Great job from the boys up north.
 

 1,491 characters

Photo of millerbuffoon
3.75/5  rDev -4.3%

Photo of Slatetank
4.07/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I picked this up at Capone's - Thanks to witbier for his generosity! Shared w/ my bro tenderbranson69. Poured chilled into my DFH signature glass from the 22oz bomber.

A - Slightly hazy light bronze w/ 2 1/2 fingers of custard like smooth head. Sporadic lace collects like creamy camouflage, the bead is fine

S - Very aromatic w/ lots of clove and other pumpkin pie spices. Mild vegetal notes w/ cinnamon and vanilla-like accents w/ subtle nutmeg, allspice ginger in there as noted on the label

M - A creamy texture w/ moderate carbonation and spicy, but not really phenolic textures, more sugary and slightly warm from spice w/ a semi-sweet finish and medium body

T - A malty fruity ale taste w/ yeast + malt cohesion upfront followed by a nutmeg, allspice and clove flavor w/ subtle ginger and cinnamon. The pumpkin gives a nice texture/flavor w/ creamy maltiness and light cinnamon in the residual taste. A light pumpkin butter-like tang in the last few sips as a gentle zest from the ginger seems more pronounced -w/ a nice spiced sweet finish

D - This does not taste like any average pumpkin ale, very spiced and has good drinkability, but not something I would want more than a bomber of - splitting this seemed just right.

 1,234 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 woodychandler
4.52/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Transcribed from undated notes.

I simply got very little head from my pour before it dissipated into wisps. Color was an orangish-amber with NE-quality clarity. It had a great cinnamon-spice nose. Mouthfeel was medium with a sweet spiciness on the tongue, very pumpkin pie-like. Between those of us drinking this one, we guessed nutmeg, clove, cinnamon, ginger, and allspice. The nutmeg was prevalent throughout. The finish was very dry, no doubt from the presence of all of the spices. I would put this as # 3 for me in terms of pumpkin ales, behind Southern Tier's Pumking and Weyerbacher's Imperial Pumpkin. Heady company, indeed!

 634 characters

Photo of ZEB89
4.25/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Gkruszewski
3.94/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Night Owl Pumpkin Ale from Elysian Brewing Company
3.92 out of 5 based on 1,253 ratings.
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