Levitation Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Levitation AleLevitation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,839 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,839
Reviews: 1,211
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 150
Gots: 446 | FT: 4
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: 3,839 | Reviews: 1,211
Photo of beertunes
3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in straight pint glass. Poured a semi-cloudy reddish-amber color with about 3/4 of an inch of tan head that decent retention and lacing.

A very hoppy (for the style) scent hits the nose, there's a slight spice in the background, but none of the expected solid malt foundation. The flavor was also very hop forward. That spice lingered at the back of the tongue and there was no noticeable malt presence.

The body was very light for this style. Drinkability was good, I could see having several of these without a problem. Overall, a very good beer that I like a lot, but as a red ale it's lacking. Perhaps if they called this "Red IPA", or something along those lines, it would give people a clearer idea of what to expect.

Photo of mschantz
3.13/5  rDev -18.9%
look: 2.75 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Sampled from bottle. Rich brown with a whisper of head. Cloudy with sediment floaties. Nose is very vegetal, celery smell rushes from the glass. Behind the celery, malt and hazelnut are apparent. Taste is that of rich malty brown bread with a brown sugar sweetness. All in all solid but not at all special.

Photo of TheBrewo
3.14/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

We pour a deep copper colored brew. It holds a one finger tall mocha colored head. This recedes quickly, leaving spotted lacing and big islands of bubbles. There is thick haze, but no sediment. Carbonation appears light, and the bubbles rise slowly in this semi-syrupy brew. The nose explodes with massive hops. These are citric, resiny, and fruity. There is a tart sourness and sweetness of additional citric fruits and melon. There are lactics and muddy malts with a slight toast. There are minerals and a faint grapey wine quality on the far back. The taste begins with bitterness of grain and yeast. Hops also start immediately, and these are intense with souring citrus. The middle continues with wet grain and more hops, but they are now earthy and piney. The finish is with medicinal phenols that are bittering and plastic. Further bitterness seeps in from the yeast, with a spice of booze to round things out. The aftertaste is of darker grain, coiny bitterness and metallics, barley toast, muddy water, and booze. The body has a lighter feel and is, at times, watery. The carbonation is lighter as well. Each sip offers little froth or smack. The mouth is left wet and partially coated, but mostly dried. The abv is lower end and the beer drinks decently.

Overall, what we enjoyed most about this brew was the nose. The hoppiness was excellent, with fruit and sweetness, to make is nicely inviting. We must have fallen off the trail somewhere between the nose and the mouth. The flavors were flat throughout, and the heavy bitterness made the taste seem detached from what was set up for by the aroma. Additionally, there was a flattish feel to the palate, leaving not only the taste buds board, but the mouth bored as well.

Photo of BeerManDan
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

After awhile, all of Stone's ale taste about the same. This one was no different. Poured a medium dark brown with some white foam. The smell of Piney hops was all I could get out of the aroma. As far as the taste, it was average with the tart piney flavor of the hops and that was about it. Not impressed, just average at best.

Photo of mithrascruor
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a fairly bright & clear amber color. Lots of visible carbonation. Has a foamy off-white head that eventually lingers as a foam, but laces the glass a bit.

Smell: A fairly sweet scent of malts, bread; some hops and grasses become more noticable later on. Rather different; I'm not sure if I like it, but it's interesting.

Taste: The hops are more noticable here, together with citrus, but there's also a lot of malts -- they seem to switch off as far as which is the most dominant flavor. But there's nothing really interesting in the taste, and it's a bit monolithic.

Mouthfeel: Semi-smooth and medium bodied, but a bit too grainy (in a slightly grating way) and carbonated.

Drinkability: No problem drinking one of these (unless you're averse to strong hops), but it feels like one is enough and two would be too many (as far as the taste, etc. goes).

As usual, Stone goes for an over-the-top beer, rather than an interesting beer. I'd rather get their pale ale and skip the malts here that are a bit too sweet. (This almost seems like their pale ale with malts dumped in.) It's not a bad beer, but I can't think of a good reason to get this again.

Photo of Norfawkers
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A rare miss for Stone; a servicable ale but nothing to write home about

Appearance: Deep amber, little head

Smell: Sweet oats

Taste: A bit bland, somewhat malty

Mouthfeel: Noticeable carbonation but smooth overall

Drinkability: Carbonated malty water, perhaps a meal would bring out more flavors; a bit disappointing

Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I originally tried this on tap at a beer festival. At the time I thought it was great. However, after three beers now I'm thinking it is not so great.

Dark brown with decent head and lacing.

Smells of citrus hops which isn't bad, just I've experienced this before to mean a very bitter.

Tastes of bitter toasted malts. Some hoppiness buried deep insight, but does help the bitter envelope.

Easy drinking with light alcohol as promised, but I'm not fond of the bitterness at all.

Overall this is a bitter bomb.

Photo of ndillon45
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark, crisp amarillo with a nice thick head. Weak aroma had me inhaling a bit too much. Hints at something good, but is never found with the delivery. Taste is okay for an ale I suppose. Less than desirable feel. All things considered, I wouldn't complain if offered, but wouldn't be high on my purchase list.

Photo of MysticRuler
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark amber color with a loose foamy head. Nose hints at a hoppy bitterness which appears at the first sip; however, it is a less than satisfying, one dimensional hoppiness which predominates. The prevailing flavor is ephemeral, leaving a mere intimation of what might have been. Could drink more than one, but it's not an ale to savor.

Photo of RussBecker1
3.16/5  rDev -18.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Fascinating layering of colors in this brew. Almost looks like a black and tan with a much darker juxtaposition of the top vs the bottom half of the pint. Very unique and intriguing.

S- Pretty much all malt and hops here. Balanced very well with maybe some refreshing melon and earthy undertones.

M- Frankly the mouth did not sit right with me and it proceeded to ruin the beer. the viscosity rushes towards the back of the throat and clings to your palate coating it to a good degree. This would be fine if the beer were a stout or even a porter, but in the case the ale contradicts itself as the feel masks a number of the flavors that the beer presumably has to offer.

T-Much like the nose there is a balance of darker caramel like malts with a smooth rush of hops to accompany it, but due to the mouth my palate was not really able to pick out many of the flavors that may be included.

O-One of my least favorite Stone's...that says a lot about the brewery, but not too much about the beer.

Photo of AMiz602
3.17/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice, strong, mildly yellow head that is quite thick and frothy.

Is a very nice pale amber-reddish color and smells like a very strong IPA. Smells hoppy and tangy almost.

Is actually not too hoppy, a light Chinook (?) hops taste will a dry, burnt flavor. Very little sweetness in this beer. Has a nice mouthfeel to it that is heavy, easy on the tongue, and not the consistency of some lesser amber ales.

For an amber ale that defies tradition and tastes like an IPA, it is a low key tasting beer that doesn't overpower, yet keeps its flavor throughout.

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Clear amber orange color. Two fingers of frothy head with good retention and some lacing.

3.5 S: Nose is full of toasty and crystal malts. Plenty of floral hops as well. Nothing special, but good nonetheless.

3.0 T: Unlike Stone's other brews, this one seems empty. There isn't a lot of maltiness going on, much less than I expected. There's a decent amount of earthy hop flavor and a good punch of bitterness, but it doesn't make up for the lack of maltiness.

3.0 M: Light-medium (more light than medium) body, which is lighter than I'd prefer in an amber. Otherwise smooth with good carbonation. Could be creamier.

3.0 D: Body is too light and not complex enough in terms of malts for me to want another.

Photo of Mardukk
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark toffee color with some lacing and a quickly dissapating head.

Smells of piney leafy hops.

A significant amount of hop bitterness. Very piney tasting with little to no malt taste. Tastes like ruination light, kind of off putting but not bad.

The taste is almost too much for it to be infinitely drinkable, it's still quite drinkable though.

Not my cup o tea. Light beer feel with super strong hop flavors.

Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
3.18/5  rDev -17.6%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dark copper, clear and good lacing
Strong citrus and fruit aroma
Medium mouthfeel, fruity and hoppy
Its good, try it by all means but honestly.. get yourself an Pegagus, Lagunitas, or Dogfish Head. If I’m going to pay Stone money, I want more than 4% ABV


Photo of DougT
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Clear reddish copper color with a 1 finger light tan foamy head. As it dissipates it clings to the glass and leaves some lace.

Smells hoppy, but not excessively. Not much else in the nose. Somewhat one dimensional.

Some grain bitterness, some hop bitterness, dry, a little watery. Mostly just hop flavors, not much else going on.

First impression is medium body, but as the carbonation fades things get a little thin. The sparkle from the bubbles lingers which helps a lot.

I'm not thrilled. It's just OK. I don' think I'll get any more. I find the watery lightness is not completely compensated by the sparkle. There's a bit too much grain bitterness for my taste. A larger proportion of a lighter carmel grain would help remove some of the grain bitterness, boost the alcohol and add some body.

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium snifter. The pour is a nice clear dark reddish-amber with a thin head and a bit of lacing. The nose is pretty hop-forward with sweetish floral notes (almost like a barleywine). Mostly, I get pine, caramel, and a hint of cherry.

The beer is medium-bodied with a firm mouthfeel. There are some sweet caramel-like notes up front and a not-so-subtle hop assault that somehow just doesn't work for me. Perhaps it's the varieties used, but they contribute a strong lemon-like character that gives the beer an almost acidic flavor. At mid-palate, the acidic flavors come in and carry you to the finish, which is watery, lemony, and rather unpleasant.

This style is hit or miss with me and this time it definitely was a miss. I did not find this beer enjoyable or flavorful, but that doesn't mean I'm ready to turn in my Stone Fan Club pin just yet. This brewer has several outstanding beers. In my opinion, this isn't one of them.

Photo of brystmar
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

True to the style, this pours an amber/red body with minimal white head. Smells of hops and malt, leaning on the sweeter, maltier side. Toasty malts and minimally intrusive hops comprise the flavor profile. Bready. A kiss of hoppy bitterness at the end before a clean, dry finish. Body is slightly more viscous than expected, which is great.

There's nothing particularly captivating about the anything here. If you want a session beer that's an amber ale, you could choose far worse brews -- in both the craft and macro worlds -- than Levitation. You can also do much better.

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I should have tried this before the Arrogant Bastard, IPA and Ruination...

Looks like an amber ale... amber!

Smells like malt, not much hop aroma.

It tastes ok, I won't call all my friends, but I think it's all right.

it's cold, it has alcohol, it's a beer... average beer.

well, regardless of the taste, appearance, smell or mouthfeel, 'overall', I think it's an average beer, but then again, 'overall', I think my boss (Ray) is an asshole!*

*NOTE: my co-workers (former and present) also think Ray is an asshole...

Photo of mickeymac
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It looks much like many APAs on the market: brownish-red with an off-white head that dimishes but sticks on top to the end. The smell is pretty much all hops with just a trace of malt sweetness and slight notes of citrus. The taste is almost all hop bitterness. I kept searching for more as I emptied the glass but was left disappointed. It tastes like someone was making a pale ale and accidentally dropped in a triple dose of hops. Any underlying flavors disappear almost on hitting the mouth. Even at 4.4%, I'd have a hard time putting away more than two of these in a sitting.

Photo of JamesBondGA
3.2/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark amber color. VERY Hoppy, with the pine and grapefruit flavors being very prominent. Not one of the better ones by Stone I've had but that's because of the style of this brew.

Photo of humanawho
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- clear light red color with a good white head

S- very light sweet grapfruit aroma and an odd tangyness

T- light sweetness with a light bitter finish not much going on for me clean but not exciting

M- even for a clean light beer it is too watery for me

D- light and clean but the bitter finish hurts the refeshing quality

Photo of darkmartin
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours to a dark brown with strong crimson tones. Nice big, fluffy tan head. Thick layers of lacing.

Smell: Smells predominantly of citrus hops, maybe some grapefruit?

Taste: All citrus up front, quite bitter. Finishes fairly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp. Moderate amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Admittedly my distaste for red ale clouds my decision, however this one really was not terrible. Better than most red ales I've had.

Photo of 9InchNails
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A tan white head that disappears quite quickly.
It seems quite carbonated as the bubbles seem to start off tiny and slow, then bigger and rushing to the surface. The head that dissipated quickly is forming a new foamy head from bubbles that are reaching the top. Is this why they call it Levitation Ale?

A smell hops and barley upfront. A piney citrus smell is noticable.

Creamy smooth medium in body. Not as carbonated as it looks. It leaves the mouth feeling like I swallowed a pill giving me dry mouth but yet my mouth isn't dry.

The taste is a piney bitterness of hops and barley leaving with a metalic taste as it finishes. It's not bad but it's not great. It's a little better than average.

Drink ability is okay. I can't see myself wanting more than two of these. The aftertaste is what ruins it. It tastes like I swallowed a bitter pill. While drinking it, it tastes good but the lingering taste deters me away.

Photo of katan
3.21/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz undated bottle - 2007 gold medal winner it says

A - Pours a brown to almost amber hue. Very "red ale"ish. Head formation is moderate, with about a millimeter of pearly white foam hanging out on top. Carbonation overall appears light however.

S - Incredibly hoppy nose on this beer - took me completely by surprise. I would estimate this to be some nice Amarillo hops. Pretty much dominates the smell. Some phenolic impressions hit me - but how can that be with this low octane beer?

T - Starts off with some sweetness, but only for a split second. Develops a floral hop note mid-stream, very assertive. Finishes with an incredible bitter bite. Very strong. Perhaps not to style, but I guess this is a west coast red eh? Aftertaste is grassy from some kind of dry hopping.

M - moderate body - not thick and not thin. Some sting sourced from the higher carbonation levels. The oily hop residue is pronounced on the tongue in the leftovers.

D - Very light abv makes it very easy to drink. However, like the porter I had last week, I find that the hops run so against the grain that I can't find it to be more than a one or two at a time beer.

I was going to save my hoppy beer for the finale tonight - guess it sneaked on me early. Clearly Stone is a good go to for delivery of the ol' Alpha acid, but I have to say if I would want it in every beer I would always order a ruination.

Photo of mentor
3.22/5  rDev -16.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oh man, I just moved to Colorado and they have lotsa *wicked* beers out here. Picked up this bottle down the street from Total Beverage and consumed it the next evening in July 2005. Pours a fluffy/clingy finger and a half light tan head over a crystal clear dark rust brownish liquid. Smells are almost imperceptable. Some piney citrus hops and weak caramel, but only with searching. Tastes weakly piney with some grapefruit pith. Hardly hop bitter. The aftertaste is smooth with faint chocolate and nut. Md-light body and mildly carboanted. The carbonation is a bit sharp, so I will swirl to release it...loosing the acrid sting usually lets me pull other flavors out of a beer.

Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,839 ratings.