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Levitation Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Levitation AleLevitation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,753 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,753
Reviews: 1,198
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 144
Gots: 355 | 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:
Beer added by: xlperro on 09-27-2002

No notes at this time.
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,753 | Reviews: 1,198 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of sulldaddy
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Split a cellar temp 12 oz bottle with Stopper. Poured into a tulip snifter the beer exhibits a clear amber to chestnut hue.
A soft fluffy off white head of 2.5 cm foams up easily and recedes slowly to a sturdy surface layer. Aroma is mild with some piney hops and caramel intertwined.
First sip reveals a lite body and fine spacious carbonation. The beer has a soft smooth textured average body.
Flavor is some caramel and citrusy hops that finish with a crisp bite. Very easy to drink. Seems almost like a mild ale not a red ale. Easy session beer. Wouldnt mind having a few of these in a sitting.

Photo of williamherbert
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance is cloudy red-orange. Thick, slushy head. Lots of carbonation.

The smell is pale, crystal malts. Tremendous citrusy West Coast hops. Hint of chlorine, but not one that's intrusive. Malt turns roasted and nutty. Nearly perfect aroma, beautifully balanced.

The taste is heavily roasted, dark caramel malt at first, then a lemony, herbal hop. Malts are borderline amber, sitting like a burnt English/rye. Heavy yeast presence; meshes great with the more flowery hop notes.

The feel is medium body, a little dry and bready. That yeast helps. It's like an English Bitter, loaded with yeast and a flowery, citrus hop. A damn fine selection.

Photo of TheKtulu7
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Poured this beer into a glass and admired the dark, rich color. Somewhat red/brownish, smooth dark tint. The head was thick and held up for quite some time.

S - A rather fruity smell without overpowering the grains.

T - The smell and taste are well matched with this beer. A great first beer (yes, this was my first beer, and I'm quite happy with it!)

M - Not too thin, not too course. Smooth.

D - I wanted to keep drinking it, but held off to let the experience linger. How does that sound for drinkability?

Photo of Pintofbrown
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The beer was served in a glass stein.

Appearance- This beer foamed to two-fingers of off-white and orange head. The body is a nice golden-toffee with amber highlights. The head left behind a smattering of soapy lace.

Smell- That is a LOT of hop character for an amber ale. It works great though as it is. It is mostly a grapefruit-citrus impression and some pine oil. The crystal malt and grain is noticeable but well under the hops.

Taste- Interestingly enough, it is the malt and grain that starts the drink off, but by mid-drink the citrus hops are starting to assert themselves. The finish is a nice mix of biscuit malt, with the pine oil really sticking around.

Mouth feel- For an amber, it may be a little light, but I think it is appropriate. And the smooth factor is ridiculous. The carbonation was handled very well.

Overall- This is probably the most hopped an amber ale will ever be, and I'm sure Stone has no regrets about that. It's true that scores are not going to be mind blowingly high on this amber, but damn is it a good, easy drinker.

Photo of hsway
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap into a pint glass.

a: Ambery, medium brown, with a slightly off-white head. Some lacing

s: Sweet, malty.

t: A bit hoppy with a hint of citrus at the front. Well-rounded flavors make for an interesting yet not overpowering brew.

m: Very smooth and full-bodied. Nice.

d: Super easy going down due to the low ABV (or at least low by Stone standards).

Photo of mdcrouser
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A deeper red than many other ambers out there. Nearly somewhere between a brown and a red. Incredibly creamy sandy tan head, running up the sides of the glass, almost like a bowl atop the beer. Fluffy rings all the way down.

Hoppy with big citrus notes - grapefruit, oranges. Not finding any hint of malt though. Still completely refreshing.

Light, effervescent, with a tingling citrus - like a muted grapefruit. Lingering bitterness, stays long after the beer is gone.

Creamy in the mouth, resembles the look of the head.

The most enjoyable red/amber I've had - far hoppier than most. Almost like RIPA - red IPA.

Photo of gory4d
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Fruits of my first trade -- thanks, webhank.

Pours deep russet, quite clear, with an off-white two finger head. The smell is pine, moss, and toffee. The taste is eucalyptus, leatherwood honey, smoke, and tangelo -- very complex, with a dry finish. The mouthfeel is excellent, finely carbonated but robust, with a medium body. It's powerful for such low-alcohol beer, but the drinking is rich, full, and easy.

Photo of TrevorGW
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Stone World Bistro and Gardens. Decided to give it a try since I had never heard of a Stone beer being below 6% ABV.

A dark copper color with a bit of a chill haze.

Smells of sharp hops and grainy malts, similar to arrogant bastard.

Taste is woody and grassy with a distinct caramel flavor along for the ride. Hints of roasted nuts. Complex and delicious for the palette from top to bottom, without having to work too hard to appreciate it.

Highly drinkable. This is Arrogant Bastard Jr. for sure.

Just like Sam Adams Boston Lager and Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, this beer shows the brilliance of the craft beer movement. A crisp, flavorful and versatile session beer. I would love to see this become their flagship session beer and available nationally.

Photo of irishking1977
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I thought I had tried Levitation. Apparently, I always seem to pass it up, in part because if I'm going to grab a brew from Stone, it's usually Ruination, Arrogant Bastard, or the RIS. Going for something a little less intense this time around:

A: Dark, yet clear ruby red in color, with a less than average head that leaves a bit of lacing. Yep, this is your basic looking amber ale.

S: Quite piney and hoppy, but that's what i expect from Stone, for the most part. Not nearly as intense as say Ruination, but still grapefruit and pine galore in the aroma.

T: Scent is deceiving in that it doesn't taste nearly as hoppy as it smells. Hops, lemons, pine, citrus grapefruit and a hint or two of caramel and malt are all in there. Pretty balanced brew, with a surprisingly abrupt finish with virtually no hops lingering finish.

M: This one is all about balance. But so are most of Stone's brews, with the exception of a few. (Ruination, Old Guardian - hopped focus beers) Otherwise, this one is pretty well carbonated, with a prickly hops sensation during each sip, but it does not linger too long, and the finish is dry.

D: This is a true session beer. Easy to drink, light but with a well balanced flavor. This is the kind of beer you should find in most traditional bars, as opposed to BMC. But were a long way from those large, macro conglomerates taking a back seat to any beers that are actually good, since the majority of beer drinkers drink beer for the alcohol, not the taste. Too bad. Nonetheless, this is a solid beer.

Photo of Mitchster
4.15/5  rDev +7.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$2.20 for a single at Jacks. 4.4% ABV, 45 IBU. Hopped with Columbus, Amarillo, Simcoe, and Crystal. Dry hopped with Amarillo.

Pours out to a slightly hazy garnet, forming a tall light tan head with yellow accents, with cery good retention and solid sheets of lacing. Moderately carbonated. The aroma is wonderful, full of fresh spicy green hops with tropical fruit overtones of mango, pineapple, pine and skunkweed up front, followed by nice toasted malts, grainy malt husk, and when swirled, I get light roast coffee and milk chocolate. Wonderful nose. The mouthfeel is fresh, crisp, light bodied, with a dry finish and hoppy acidity. The taste is essentially a recap of the aroma with a big hop profile up front carried through nicely by the malts. Certainly more hoppy than malty, but still with nice malt character. The coffee and chocolate in the nose is overwhelmed by the hops, so I'm not tasting it, sadly. Again, the finish is dry, and the aftertaste is one of pine, toast, and subtle tobacco.

This is a very good beer. It will be great during the summer when you want something crisp, light, and without much alcohol, but also full flavored and hoppy. I would buy this again for sure. Recommended.

Photo of hophead81
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%

Photo of JAZwara
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

After reading the typical Stone description on the bottle I had to review this one...a beer this tasty and complex at only 4.4% absolutely blew my mind.

Poured a 12oz bottle into a goblet.

Sturdy head atop a a cherry brown body. The smell is mostly malt, caramel and some chocolate. Initially malty on the taste, however a surprisingly big hop profile, although honestly that's what I've come to expect from Stone, they could hop up absolutely any style.

Enjoy the mouth feel, pretty smooth and malty, but just sharp enough to remind you you're drinking a Stone.

Love this one, might have to start picking up sixers just to keep in the back of the fridge.

EDIT: oh yea, also drinking it with a snack of swiss cheese and wheat crackers...certainly a great night snack

Photo of colts9016
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a samuel smith glass at 43 degrees.

Appearance: A monster three finger head that has really good retention. The color of the head is a light tan color that is foamy creamy, and bubbly. The color of the beer is a deep reddish cherry hue with garnet highlights. The clarity of the beer is near opaque, except there is some visibility. The head left a lot of lacing on the glass.

Nose: A very rich grapefruity, floral and lemon aromas. There are other aromas of toasted malt, phenols, and pine.

Taste: A very balanced rich grapefruity, floral bouquet, lemons, orange, toasted malt, and pine. There are notes of alcohol yeast, and phenols.

The mouth feel is astringent, carbonated, and coating.

Overall: The body of the beer is medium and the finish is medium full. This Stone beer is done really well. Great flavor well balanced and very easy to drink. This is why I am a loyal Stone follower, no real let downs in their brews.

Photo of simpliciter
4.16/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

A - deep copper w/ thick creamy head from the nitro pump. it takes strong arms to run a cask...
S - very piney, but pleasantly so.
T - pine transitions to citrus and sour flavors
M - well balanced and smooth, fits the hop character. as good when not on cask?
D - dangerously so! :)

Photo of WoodBrew
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone Levitation Ale is a very good amber/red ale. a great balance of malt and hops. The beer got docked a 0.5pt due to floaties....I hate floaties. I even cut the beer off early. The color is a nice rich red with good off-white head that is lacing. The smell includes some spice and bitter citrus. The taste is a great blend of malt with hops that cleans and tingle the pallate. The mouthfeel is good, nice carbonation and good balance. Overall it is decent...could session this one, especially with the lower ABV.

Photo of titosupertramp
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark amber brown. About as dark as it gets for an amber. About a finger of white head. Slow to recede.

S: Nice caramel smell. Accented with floral and piney hops.

T: Sweet caramel is, for me, the dominate flavor. The floral and pine add a zesty flavor that's pretty enjoyable.

M: Not a lot to say about this. Kind a of thin really.

D: Pretty high. Nice taste and low ABV make this go down pretty easy.

Photo of PhiloPsych
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

This is one of my favorite "everyday" beers. Great flavor, as drinkable as can be, very pretty. Perfect amber color, slightly thin, bubbly head. The aroma is not strong, but there is plenty of roasty, hoppy flavor. At 4.4% it could be a bit stronger. The taste is mostly up front, though the aftertaste is nice, too. Not a strong beer, but a very good, high quality beer.

Photo of toweringpoo
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

A normal beer from stone... hmm while this beer certainly is quite good I can't help but compare it to some of stone's 'bigger' beers.

The appearance is nice, very dark amber. Almost like maple sugar. Head dissipates quickly, with a good amount of lacing down the glass.

Smell is the best part of the beer. Nice sharp hops with a hint of malty sweetness in the background. Smells just like one of stone's 'bigger' beers.

Taste is definitely more subdued than most of stone's offerings. Not a bad thing at all though. Good hop presence which is balanced well with the It doesn't linger on the palate long. Which makes it a good session beer, not as good for a one or two beer night though; which are way more common for me nowadays.

This is a solid brew, as expected from stone.


Photo of buffettfan
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass.

Looks impressive, a nice, dark amber almost ruby color. Smells mostly of hops, with some fruity citrus notes. Taste was very good, much like the aroma, mostly hops with some orangy citrus flavor. Nice bitter finish. I like to have a 6 pack of this in the fridge most of the time. One of my everyday beers. I like it a lot.

Photo of budsboy
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Very rich red-brown color, clear, with a white head that falls back to an oil spill of foam on the surface.

Very pleasing burnt pine cone hop smell. Really interesting wafts of sugary malt, pine-cone hops, garden soil, and dark fruit.

Very hoppy. All piney hops. Not really well balanced, much more hop bitterness than malt flavors. Finish is dry and bitter, and the pine aftertaste lasts.

Almost light bodied, well carbonated and a wee oily in the mouth.

Exceedingly drinkable. A session beer for the hop lover. Big hop flavor and bitterness and low alcohol. This is a hoppier if not the hoppiest version of an amber/red. I find it wonderfully easy to drink and thoroughly enjoyable.

Photo of Crosling
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Reddish burgundy. The head is light, frothy, mostly diminishing and leaves sheets of lacing all down the glass.

Quite fragrant. Butter toffee, caramel, mango and floral notes.

Well balanced flavor. It is refreshing for a low alcohol beer to have such a nice hop character. Light roasted malts, butter, caramel and floral and grassy hop notes.

The finish is clean and leaves an excellent sweetness on the palate.

Photo of SDtastentune
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Darker amber/brown/red, no head, some lacing.

S - Slight hops and malt, nothing over the top but a great balanced thing.

T - Minimal malts & hops, nothing too crazy but nice flavor.

M - Medium body to heavy, medium carbonation, good aftertaste.

D - Drinks just fine for an ale, very balanced and can be had with pizza just fine, I had 2 of these at Sammys pizza.

Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Dusky orange-copper that becomes bright, blood orange when viewed through the rays of the morning sun. Up top is a lovely looking crown of light buttery orange that complements the beer beneath in an engaging fashion. An uneven descent is accompanied by an acceptable amount of chunky lace. Not one of Stone's best, but it's still a nice look.

This may be the single hoppiest nose of any amber ale on the planet. I love it. There's an underlying hint of mini-roastedness that is more reminiscent of oven-toasted pecans than anything else. I can also appreciate a spiciness that is probably hop-related (Chinook?). Levitation smells like a brown ale-amber ale hybrid.

Upon tasting... this is as hoppy as it gets for the style. The flavor isn't quite as complex or as wonderful as the nose, but Levitation is still wonderful beer. Even though the amount of malt is sufficient and delivers a firm caramel presence, I'd like to see even more flavor and more body. I'm sure the idea was for the brewery to have at least one session ale though, so I'll shut up now.

The beer is balanced (as far as your average hophead is concerned), but many will probably find it to be too hoppy and not to style. Screw style. This is Stone, and if you don't like hops, then don't crack the top! Each mouthful is citrusy and spicy and piney and tongue tweakingly bitter. The mouthfeel is surprisingly light (given the brewery), but some conciliatory gestures must be made to the style Nazis.

Levitation Ale is the only Stone beer to come (exclusively) in 12 ounce bottles and is the only regular offering to score less than 4.0 on this site. Don't be misled, however; this is excellent beer. Doubly so if you love hops. Beefing up the body would do wonders, but then the Stone gargoyle would have a more difficult time levitating on the front of the classy, silk-screened bottle. Lean and mean and hoppy as hell. Recommended.

Photo of babaracas
4.17/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear ruby with fading two finger whitish head. Smell: caramel, pine and citrus hops. Stone yeast character. Taste: leafy, green tea, lemon and grapefruit peel, caramel, slightly buttery. An enjoyable change of pace from Stone. Best by 2/9/10.

Photo of Farrell
4.18/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

Poured cold into a pint glass at one of my local bars, Stone Levitation sports a surprising pleasant head with nice ruby amber appearance that gives off a nice hop aroma.

Flavors consist mostly of a hoppy toastiness which is very reminiscent of DFH 60 minute IPA, although this beer is much much lighter bodied in comparison. Citrus notes round off the flavor as well.

For a beer that is only 4.4% ABV, it packs a tremendous amount of flavor while retaining the drinkability that you would expect from this kind of offering. If I had but one complaint, I would say I found the mouthfeel to come off as a bit thin.

Overall, this is hands down one of the best beers I have ever drank that was under 5% ABV.

Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,753 ratings.