BeerGestapo (754) - Mt.Joy, Pennsylvania, USA - FEB 28, 2009
3.5 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Brewed in the USA...... Courtesy of my High School friend Woody, thanks. Pours a amber / orange color with a thin white head. Aroma of spices, pumpkins, and ginger. Taste is of pumpkins, nutmeg, spices and a hint of cinnamon. Mouthfeel is pleasant, sweet and very enjoyable. I thought the pumpkin ale from Weyerbacher was my favorite, but i think this one is slightly better.
StFun (567) - Indiana, USA - FEB 18, 2009
3.1 AROMA 5/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
Another beer sampled at FootSex. An odd beer, thatís for sure. Pours an dark orange with a brown hue. Aroma was pumpkin, but more like a pumpkin syrup than actual pumpkin, with a bit of musk thrown in. Flavor was better, but still syrupy. Lots of spice as well. Each sip was a bit different, with the spices coming in and out and the pumpkin laying back a bit. Medium mouthfeel. More akin to Dogfish Headís pumpkin beer than Souther Tiers, and Iím much more a fan of the latter.
GarrettB (1096) - San Diego, California, USA - FEB 12, 2009
3.8 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
It felt somehow wrong to drink a pumpkin ale in January, but I was too eager to pick up as many bottles from Elysian as possible, especially after I enjoyed the Winter Bifrost so much. Iíve got strong opinions on pumpkin ales, too, so this was something of a trial-in-a-glass. It pours with very little head, but by going lidless it immediately effuses with a fresh and creamy smell, sweet, with tons of pumpkin pie spices, all-spice and, of course, pumpkin pie itself. Iím already entranced, but still cautious. Iíve been attracted by a flirtatious and sweet pumpkin ale aroma only to get a raw and vegetable flavor later, and thatís typically not the pumpkin ale Iím looking for. But the Elysian Night Owl follows up on its aromatic advertisement with a full guarantee of delicious flavor. There is a vegetal quality - donít misunderstand me. But it nicely fits into the contours of a greater, pumpkin pie paradigm. Brown sugar, all-spice, and a bright flavor deliver a toothsome pumpkin treat. I also catch some glazed carrot flavor, and apples too. Iíd say this is one of my favorite pumpkin ales to date, and makes me even more eager to try other Elysian brews down the product line. If they can tread the fine line between pumpkin pie sugars and unspoiled pumpkin flavor, surely the other beers hold promise.
JCB (3999) - Durham, North Carolina, USA - FEB 9, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Much thanks to whomever shared this at Pre-Sex. Handsome amber pour with a modest head thatís a bit prickly. Pleasant aroma of the guts of the pumpkin, hearty and earthy in a way that complements the malt in the beer. The spices arenít overpowering or overly slick and sweet. Subtle.
emacgee (4146) - Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA - FEB 8, 2009
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 16/20
Shared at the Pre Sex gathering. Pours a translucent copper with a translucent off white head. The nose shows pumpkin and spice, nicely done on the pumpkin aspect, some sweet spice coming through, nutmeg and allspice. Flavor is pumpkin meat, spice, earthy malt, meaty pumpkin flavor. Nicely done.
Lumpy (1802) - Carrollton, Texas, USA - FEB 1, 2009
3.6 AROMA 4/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Bottle. Body-nice amber, thick ring of bubbles, medium film of bubbles, very nice looking. Taste-pumpkin pie, whip cream, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace. A great pumpkin beer.
jsquire (3562) - St. Marys, Ohio, USA - JAN 28, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 2/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 15/20
Tap sample at the í09 Great Alaska Beer and Barley Wine Festival. Murky amber color with minimal bubbles. Nose of homemade pumpkin bread with even more pie spice. There is no mistaking this for anything other than a pumpkin spice beer. Tons of nutmeg, cinnimon, clove, and the other pie spices. It reminds me of my motherís pumpkin cookies, raisens and walnuts and all. Almost too much, actually.
nbutler11 (1267) - Phoenix, Arizona, USA - JAN 24, 2009
2.9 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 11/20
Pours a dark amber color from the bomber with a trim beige head. More savory than sweet, to a fault. Smells of pie spices, especially ginger. Tastes of mince meat and roasted pumpkin. Meh.
juiceisloose (1055) - Windermere, Florida, USA - JAN 24, 2009
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
This one poured a deep amberish orange color with a thick off white head that slowly fades to a thin film. The aroma shows notes of fresh pumpkin flesh along with the typical spices of nutmeg, cinnamon, and clove. I like how the spices donít overpower the pumpkin. The flavor follows with the pumpkin spices up front cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove to go with some pumpkin flesh. Some toasted caramel malt comes through in the back to add some sweetness. Nice sweet flavor with the pumpkin showing through. I like my pumpkin beers less on the spice side and this one did that pretty well. Medium bodied, smooth, and very easy to drink with some spice on the finish. A pretty pumpkin beer that I wouldnít mind drinking again.
FlacoAlto (3810) - Tucson, Arizona, USA - JAN 16, 2009
3.4 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 14/20
A solid pour produces a three-finger thick, light tan colored head in my 25cl tulip glass. The beer is a brilliantly clear, deep amber color that has copper highlights to it, when held up to the light the beer shows a rich copper hue. Ah, the aroma brings a smile to my face, fleshy, caramelized squash aromatics are accentuated by notes of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. I like that the actual pumpkin is noticeable here in the aroma, certainly the spice notes are a bit more piquant, but the spices are not used too overzealously and the vegetable squash notes add a nice spiciness of its own.
Fairly dry tasting, especially given how sweet the spices make this beer smell. The beer finishes with a bite of nutmeg, a flash of pumpkin meat, a lingering ginger piquancy and a touch of pepper like spice. I could use a touch more body here, but there is a touch of heft to this beer; the holiday season just sees me wanting a bit more richness in this beer (though it has a lot more body than some of the poorer examples of the style, Buffalo Bill I am looking at you). The malt contributes a hint of caramelized sweetness as well as a touch of toasty grain towards the finish, for the most part though this beer is about the spices and the pumpkin. There is enough malt to provide just enough texture and sweetness to support the more dominant flavors. The sweetness is accentuated by the cinnamon notes in the middle.
This is a good example of a "standard" pumpkin ale. The usual base beer style, but it has enough body and the touch of real pumpkin to keep me happy.
Purchased: Liquid Solutions