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Levitation Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Levitation AleLevitation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,668 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,668
Reviews: 1,184
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 133
Gots: 298 | FT: 3
Brewed by:
Stone Brewing Co. visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Amber / Red Ale |  4.40% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: xlperro on 09-27-2002)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,668 | Reviews: 1,184 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MJR
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz. bottle.

Pours a deep reddish-orange with great clarity. A small tan head starts out well, then disappears almost completely, save for a ragged ring of bubbles around the edge. Lots of citrusy and piney hops on the nose. Chinook? A bit of sweet, caramelly malt adds a sharp undercurrent. The flavor starts out firmly bitter, with a lot of citrus (grapefruit rind) and pine, before the malts show up and add a bit of balance. Some fruitiness. High Lovibond crystal malt caramel sweetness is resigned to play second fiddle to the hops. A bit thin and light-bodied, with a slighty weak carbonation level which helps by adding a tiny hint of a syrupy mouthfeel. Ends with a touch of dryness, which adds to drinkability. Highly quaffable at 4.4%abv, this would make a good session brew if I could get it here in Missouri.

Thanks to winomark for bringing me Arrogant Bastard Ale's milder, little brother!

MJR, Sep 06, 2003
Photo of rlee1390
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A-Clear ruby amber, not much carbonation, one finger head.

S-Caramel, grass, pine, malt, good deal of hops and balance in the nose.

T-Starts with caramel and other malts. Grass, citrus hops flavors take over and ends with mild bitterness.

M-Medium bodied, some carbonation, almost watery but not quite though.

O-Was expecting more from Stone, with Red Ales such as Nugget Nectar and Red Rye PA from Founders there are better examples out there.

rlee1390, Sep 25, 2012
Photo of meathookjones
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz attractive silk screen bottle. Reddish amber body with a small light tan head that stayed around. Light aroma all around with some caramel malt and light hoppy notes. Not too much else was there. Sweet malty taste with a light bitterness and some earthy hops. Mild notes of pine and nuttiness appeared at times. Light bittersweet finish. Pretty smooth and a bit lighter than medium, which works for this. I could make a session of this. Solid all around.

meathookjones, Aug 08, 2005
Photo of Spidey13
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stone Levitation pours an amber/copper color with a small off-white head. The nose is great, with all kinds of citrussy hops and caramel. Yummy.

The front of the flavor is a bit watery. Not much there besides of hint of sweetness. This is followed by a big pop of hop bitterness that sticks around for a short while but then fades away. The mouthfeel is a bit thin but is to be expected for this style of bit at this ABV.

Overally, this is a real nice drinker with a lot more flavor (mostly hops) from such a low ABV beer.

Spidey13, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of scoot1979
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The head is a white yellowish color and it has a good stickyness to it. The head is still half the way up my glass and the beer is all most gone. It has a nice hoppy taste to it with a rich malt flavor. The color is a lot dark amber then other amber beers I have drank and the mouthfeel is very light. It is a very drinkable beer and it is a good year around beer but it is not as complex as most other stone brews but very good and highly recommended.

scoot1979, Oct 04, 2006
Photo of mtnbikerpa
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into pint glass, best buy Sept. 09 date. Not to much head but did leave quite a considerable amount of sticky web like lacing on the glass. After it warms it has a dark fruity smell. The ale is a nice lighter addition from Stone but full of flavor. Very drinkable and mild mouth feel although slighty chewy and malty.

mtnbikerpa, Jul 17, 2009
Photo of nhindian
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a Stone pairing glass.

A - Pours a dark amber, with shades of crimson streaked throughout. It's pretty clear as well which makes it look that much better. There's only about a finger's worth of eggshell-colored head, but it has okay retention despite that. Nice lacing as well.

S - Floral and pine hops are the main presence in the nose. Definitely not the extreme hoppiness that was in Ruination, but they are still clean hops. Along with this, it has a lot more malts, with a strong backbone of toffee and brown sugar. Citrus fruits come across later, but aren't the focal point.

T - Right off the bat, I am getting a supportive malt bill that gives it a nice sweetness that will help to combat the hop bitterness from the hops. Again, caramel and toffee at the start. It actually is quite sweet for a Stone beer, but the hops don't hesitate to come across as bitter in the mid-palate. The citrus note comes across stronger here, but I still find it being more piney and floral than fruity. A touch of alcohol in the finish.

M - Mouthfeel is medium-bodied with lowish carbonation. I was expecting something that had a bit more pop to it, as my only experience with Levitation thus far has been on-tap, but it still is full-bodied. Fairly smooth and creamy.

D/O - Drinkability is moderate. I have to say that on-tap, this is one of my favorite hoppier beers that I can regularly get without much trouble, but it seems to lose something out of the bottle. It's still a pretty good beer, and it still have about a week to go until its Best by date (yeah, not the freshest but it's better than it being well past), and I could see this being a great transition into IPAs given the lower ABV and IBU and cleaner feel.

nhindian, Nov 16, 2011
Photo of Cheshire_Crew_Al
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Hoppy beer, not usually my taste but very, very good, although a little one-dimensional

I drank it from a pint glass, as expecting a bit of a darker tinge to the beer. I overall really enjoyed it, although not my personal preference.

The pros - good, strong hoppy aftertaste for those who enjoy it, but not overpowering, and not a heavy beer at all, easily great if cold.

Cons - was expecting a little more complexity to the beer's flavor

Cheshire_Crew_Al, Sep 18, 2013
Photo of biegaman
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Lucid pomegranate with a fiery, lava-like flare when held into the light. Speaking of which, its head is also a little like magma - it rose to the surface, bubbled up and begun encrusting the sides of the glass. It has a nice shine and very appreciable clarity. If the depth of its colour is any indication this should be jammed packed with flavour.

The aroma is drenched in pungently piny hops just as bacon is drenched in grease; Stone always has a heavy hand when it comes to the hops. This is a budding bouquet, one boasting scorched caramel, rye bread, peaty smoked malts and a fragrantly green, herbal, ganja-like potpourri. It's a forest worth of resins coated in a light citrus spritz.

The flavour is definitely less aggressive, less ballsy, less brazen than the rest of the Stone lineup but it is equally less conventional, less timid and less lifeless than the vast majority of beers on the market. I'll gladly take this spongy toffee cake, pine resin drenched flavour over the bland (if not offensive) corn-saturated taste of mainstream beers.

Clearly the guys at Stone missed the memo saying "light" beers were supposed to be less characterful. This may fall short on the alcohol percentage but not on the IBUs - there is a peaty, pine-saturated fabric that vehemently sticks to the palate. The strangling, vinous aftertaste it imparts is appreciated. I'll gladly have another - or five.

Stone Levitation Ale is a great offering for those who - for whatever reason - choose or are limited to drinking lower alcohol beers. This doesn't really taste any lighter than standard offerings and is still at least doubly hoppy (read: flavourful) than most commercial beers. Levitation definitely raises the bar way up for lower strength, easily quaffable beers.

biegaman, Oct 15, 2009
Photo of xnicknj
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at kyhber in philly

Pours a brilliant amber and cherry red color, fluffy crop of white head, tons of film and cloudy retention all over the glass.

Bready malt in the nose with some juicy hops, touches of caramel and bread crust.

Slightly bitter up front with pine hop notes. A bit sticky and resiny, touches of citrus too. Nice backbone with caramel and bread crust. Well balanced, finishes clean with some lingering hop bitterness.

Medium body and carbonation, dry and lingering on the tongue. Exceptionally drinkable, nice flavor, a solid west coast take on the amber ale.

xnicknj, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12-ounce bottle into an SA pint glass.

A: Poured a reddish amber color with a frothy, two-finger head of off-white foam. Carbonation was nice and lacing was average.

S: Smells a bit hoppy and skunky, actually. Some sweet malts rise in the aroma of floral, piney hops.

T: Flavor is mildly sweet with a medium hop backbone. The caramel malts are light and through a slight roasted sweet flavor into the brew. Hopping is a little more aggressive than a typical red ale and lends drying finish to the brew.

M: Mouthfeel is medium bodied, fairly crisp, dry and smooth enough.

D: As Stone put it themselves, this is probably their one and only session ale. At 4.4% ABV and with a well-represented hop profile in the flavor, this is a very drinkable red ale.

However, I can't get over the stigma that it's basically an Arrogant Bastard Light and at $11/6-pack, I'd hope for something a little more worthwhile. Still a solid ale, but not something I'd pick up regularly or order on-tap if other Stone offerings were available.

Gambrinus1184, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of KingSlender
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stone's Levitation Ale is a very good beer with the perfect combination of roated malt and hops. The beer pours a very dark amber color and has a nice creamy light-brown head. The nose comes off smokey with bit of a floral bouqett. The taste is the strong point of this beer with robust malt overtones and a surprising hop bite. With only a 4.4% abv you can enjoy more than a few of these and still be able to drive home.

The King recommends drinking this beer with smoked tri-tip.

KingSlender, Feb 20, 2004
Photo of mattbk
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Pours a deep, dark red, in fact more of a brown ale almost, which is a surprise to me. Nice head, appears well carbonated, very clear.
S- Citrus, mostly grapefruit. Maybe just a slight hint of caramel in the background. Present, very clean, not overpowering. I kind of like the simplicity in it.
T- Hmm, pretty interesting. Certainly bitter, sharp hoppiness, flavor hops as well, which is a mix of fresh pine and grapefruit. Some caramel, almost roastiness, which adds to the bittering quality of this beer. The hops in this beer nearly overwhelm the back of my throat. It is a good tasting beer, but somewhat overpowering for the malt base.
M- Mouthfeel pretty thin in this beer, which makes sense with the low abv. My belief is that this is intended to be a high flavor / easy drinking beer - but instead it's a bit odd, with a beer with this much flavor and almost no body.
O- I like this beer, and would recommend it. But I think the intent of this beer was missed - the low malt backbone makes the hop flavor and slight roast flavors so high that it makes the beer fairly unsessionable and to me (right now) borderline undrinkable.

mattbk, Nov 12, 2012
Photo of Kelly88
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from bottle into perfect pint glass

A- great dark amber with huge frothy off white head. Required a two stage pour. Lacing around the head is nice as is a nice retention of the head

S- to me this smells like hops with citrus and floral very noticeable despite its malty appearance

T- muted hops and some delicate malt. Maybe an old bottle. Flavors seem toned down

M- medium to light. Very dry finish

D- all day.

Kelly88, Jun 19, 2010
Photo of brewskifan55
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a plastic go-cup at Sydney's in the middle of French Quarter Fest.

A: clear amber with a tan, one finger head that settles.

S: light malts, toffee, citrus. Plus that famous Stone hop presense. A nice mix

T: Now this is what I've been looking for in a Stone. Hops and malts waltzing together in a perfect taste blend. Malts on the outset, with a whisper of hops that don't bite. Toffee and citrus done just right. A light feel that drinks like a full bodied brew.

M: medium, creamy. Frothy carbonation.

O: A very sessionable Stone-r. One I will require more of. Levitate me, little gargoyle!

brewskifan55, Apr 17, 2012
Photo of CrellMoset
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle shared at a tasting with fellow BAer proteus93. Poured into a tasting glass.

Appearance: Brown-red clear body, a thin, off-white head with decent retention and stickiness.

Aroma: Dry-hopesque vegetal hopping (grass, leaves), mild sweet, grainy malts.

Taste: Roasted malts come through - doughy, earthy toast and buttery caramel, about half a dozen hoppy notes, grassy, vegetal notes being prominent. Good balance struck.

Mouthfeel: Very fine, even, smooth, and thin-bodied.

Drinkability: Decent, but in my opinion a little one-dimensional. Maybe I'm being unfair, as it's not really my style. Still, definitely worth a try - one of Stone's most award-winning beers, if I'm not mistaken.

CrellMoset, Jul 22, 2008
Photo of DanU
3.83/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: color is almost chestnut. Very nice, almost tan head with good lacing.

S: A hop dominant aroma, slightly citrusy, a little caramel malt.

T: Pretty close to the aroma. Slight caramel malt up front followed by earthy, slightly citrusy hops. The hop flavor is big for this style and ABV, which is to be expected from Stone.

M: Smooth, good carbonation, a little frothy as it warmed.

O: This beer has a good hop flavor. I would prefer some more presence from the malt, but that would most likely push this beer farther from session territory. If you want a beer with a low abv and big hop presence, this is exactly that. For me personally, with this amount of hops, the lack of body from the lower abv takes away from this one.

DanU, Mar 26, 2014
Photo of Johnroby
3.82/5  rDev -1%

Johnroby, Sep 05, 2014
Photo of Chlsyhawkins
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

Chlsyhawkins, Aug 22, 2014
Photo of augustgarage
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hand pulled cask at Blue Palms Brewhouse in Hollywood. Served in a nonic.

Hazy copper body with amber highlights. Two fingers of beige foam with superior retention and thick sudsy lacing. No legs.

Very light caramel, toast, grassy hops, not much else...

Digestive biscuits, earthy hops, mild wheat bread flavors. Faint citrus and more malt in the finish. Mild bitterness throughout.

Pillowy, ethereal body (as expected by the name!).

Low ABV and a mild pleasant flavor coupled with a soft yet just-substantial-enough body makes this immensely sessionable.

augustgarage, Jan 22, 2010
Photo of BrewIndy
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a nice dark red amber color with about a fingers worth of head.

S: This has a nice citrus flavor although it is light as in it took a pretty deep breath to take it in.

T: This is a bit difficult to describe. Very good. Great caramel malty flavoring finishing off with a hoppy bitterness and citrus taste. I'm very surprised to get this taste out of something with such a low ABV. Hence the name right?

D: I could totally sit down to a few of these. One of these hot summer nights I'll have to pick up a few of these.

BrewIndy, May 30, 2009
Photo of SamuelJackson45
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark red amber color.

S- Hoppy very woody smoky scent as well.

T- Taste of settle hops and a earthy woody ending.

M- Mild semi-dry. A real smooth finish.

D- My first Stone beer. Not to bad I must say. Very good amber ale very tasty worth another buy.


SamuelJackson45, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of PhillyStyle
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The poured a darker red than expected, but produced a nice off-white head that was well retained and left some lacing. A nice cap remained throughout the beer.

The smell was bready with a stronger than expected piney hops aroma to it.

The taste was good, but I think that the pine hops were a bit overwhelming. Seemed to be overly hoped for an amber/red ale.

The beer had a medium feel to it, good carbonation, clean, crisp and very easy to drink. Overall, while I thought it was a bit hoppy for the style, still a very good beer.

PhillyStyle, Jan 17, 2012
Photo of GarrisWH
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Very Nice, clear, dark reddish-amber color. About one finger of somewhat thin head that retains pretty well. Leaves pretty nice lacing.

S - Bready malts matched with some citrus hoppiness

T - Slightly bitter , citrus hoppiness up front with sweet, bread malt in the finish. Nicely balanced.

M - Fairly light bodied, slightly more watery than I generally like, but I guess I should've expected this from a 4.4% brew.

D - Could definitely be a session beer. Nice and refreshing, lower on the abv level, and has a nice balance of flavors.

GarrisWH, Jun 04, 2009
Photo of Faroveryonder
3.8/5  rDev -1.6%

Faroveryonder, Oct 03, 2014
Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,668 ratings.