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Levitation Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Levitation AleLevitation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,199 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,199
Hads: 3,867
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 21.39%
Wants: 159
Gots: 474 | 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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Levitation Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,199 | Hads: 3,867
Photo of Phyl21ca
2.8/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Naven: Poured a deep amber color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention. Aroma of light piney hops with some caramel malt. Taste is somewhat hoppy with some light caramel malt notes also noticeable. Body is fuller then average with some medium carbonation. I understand that the brewer wanted to have a session beer with limited alcohol but there also too much limited taste – not something I thought I was going to be saying about Stone someday.

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Photo of largadeer
4.01/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Transparent amber-red; has a sort of glow to it when struck by the light. Minimal but long-lasting head that sticks all over the walls of the glass. Nice looking stuff.

Smell: Caramel malts and floral hops, slightly grassy. The aroma is pretty light, and only hints at the flavor.

Taste: Semi-sweet caramelly, bready, even slightly roasty malts eventually give way to a floral, mildly tangy hop finish with a very mellow but long-lasting aftertaste. This is like Arrogant Bastard Jr - it's hard to believe this is only 4.4% ABV; it's rich in flavor and surprisingly complex for such a light beer.

Mouthfeel: Light, crisp and refreshing.

Drinkability: This is Stone's most sessionable brew. Easily one of the most drinkable and sessionable beers I've had, and probably the most overlooked and underrated beer in the Stone repertoire.

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Photo of biboergosum
4.12/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Grabbed a bottle of this while in Buffalo recently.

This beer pours a slightly hazy medium auburn hue, with a bunch of creamy, puffy, off-white head, which leaves monstrous, thick lace around the glass as it recedes. It smells strongly of green grapefruit hops, and mild caramel malt. The taste is much more tame - mild grapefruit and orange citrus hops, biscuity caramel malt, and some general fruitiness. The carbonation is on the low side, the body a bit light and thin, and it finishes dry, with a muted hoppiness.

I guess I've come to expect a thwack over the head from Stone's brews. This particular beer has the appearance and aroma of their big hitters, but mellows out considerably in the follow through, which would make this their de facto session ale. And as far as lower-alcohol, relatively milder session ales go, this is stellar. It does indeed defy the law of (specific) gravity...

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Photo of emerge077
4.15/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

BBD 10-21-10

Poured into a small Hamms goblet, Levitation has a tawny amber tone, fairly bright clarity and specked with barely visible micro sediment throughout. A slim one finger cap of foam rests on top, and it leaves a tan collar as it deflates. Retention is good, and a ring of lacing remains in the glass.

Toasty, nutty malts in the nose with a hint of citrus peel from the hops. Seems like an American take on an English Mild.

Dense with malt flavor, there's a concentrated grapefruit bitterness from the hops that is very refreshing, receding into a long bitter aftertaste. Feel is light, with ample carbonation to carry it. Stone definitely puts their west coast stamp on a Bitter here.

It's light enough to session, and is packed with toasty malt flavor with Stone's trademark hoppiness. Definitely has it's place in their lineup, this is what i'll reach for when i'm thirsty and don't want a huge DIPA or Imperial Stout...

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Photo of zeff80
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A - Beautiful looking beer. Clear amber color with a three-finger, tan head of thick foam that slowly receded. It took me several pours to empty the 12oz bottle into my pint glass. It left behind sheets of intricate lace patterns on the sides of the glass.

S - Is this an IPA? It smelled of pine and citrus. Very little maltiness or caramel that you would expect in an amber ale.

T - Spicy upon first sip with bready malt flavors. The bitterness is tame compared to the hoppy aroma but still pack a good bite with some citrus flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and finish very dry. A light to medium bodied beer.

D - The perfect session beer and possibly the best amber that I've ever had.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I finally got around to buying this ale,it had been long enough.Poured into a standard pint glass a lighter shade of amber with a thinner but well retained clingy white head.Almost all pine and grapefruit rind in the nose wich is fine by me,just a faint whif of sweet caramel is there as well.Lighter mouthfeel with hop dominated flavors,quite citric with some lighter pine notes,the caramel base gives off some blancing sweetness.A easy drinking hopped up amber ale,nice.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

amazingly enough i have never had this one before, lol. decided to order up a pint at mezzaluna last night and roll with it. served cold and into a stone pint glass, this one was consumed on 10/09/2010.

really a very rich and very well done look here, deep garnet color with a huge head of white foam on top that reached a height of around three inches before settling down and coating the entire inside of the glass, very well done indeed.

aroma is rich and sweet malts right up front followed by a light and well done earthy hop note that seemed to balance it very well without taking over from the sweet caramel notes. really full bodied, this is what a red ale should feel and taste like. medium to full creamy feel with sweet malts cut by light piney hops. its stone and they do what they do damn, damn well. drinkability is off he charts and it goes down smooth and clean.

dont know why i have missed this one in the past but it was stellar no doubt.

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Photo of nickfl
3.95/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - One finger of light brown head on a slightly hazy reddish-brown body. Good retention and lace.

S - Strong citrus hop aroma, particularly of lemons. Some malt in the background and a hint of caramel.

T - Big hoppy flavor up front with lots of lemon and orange. Malt in the middle, caramel and toast. More citrus hops in the finish with increasingly dark malt character that begins to show a bit of roast and carbon.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a dry finish.

D - A drinkable, hoppy example of the style. The lemony hops are kind of sharp, but that seems to be typical of stone beers. I think drinkability and balance would improve if the finish was a bit sweeter, but there is a lot of character here for a low ABV session beer.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.56/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: A dark amber/copper color with a thin whitish head.

S: Light grapefruit and caramel malts.

T: Initially a decent citrus flavor followed by caramel maltiness and a floral and bitter finish.

M: Medium body, smooth mouthfeel, not much carbonation.

D: The lightest of all the Stone brews, but not my favorite taste-wise.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

16 ounce pint - $5.75 at Taco Mac in Kennesaw, Georgia.

Appearance: Clear, dark brownish-amber body with a smallish, fizzy, off-white head.

Smell: Lightly toasted malt aroma and meager hint of dark caramel ushers in a pervasively earthy hop scents of citrus and even pine.

Taste: Brief, fleeting upfront maltiness tasting of toast and dark caramel. Of note is the high attenuation, leaving essentially no sweetness remaining in the beer. Earthy hop profile along with tastes of citrusy grapefruit and pine (though only lightly). Medium-plus bitterness. We meet back up with the toast after the initial burst of bitterness as well as a vague nuttiness. Finishes expectantly dry with a light, lingering bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: Well, it's definitely a hop-forward West Coast amber. Personally, I'd have preferred more (well, any) malt sweetness to temper the hop character. However, the 4.4% ABV is most appreciated!

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Photo of jlindros
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

OK, re-review time. Got a fresh bottle that states to drink by 05-09-10 so I'm in time this time.

A: The head is so large in my tulip glass I have to stop pouring about 3/4 of the way through. It's rich and creamy lookin and fades slowly. A hazy dark reddish brown color like caramel.

N: Lots of fresh hop aromas, some citrus, touch of pine, little musty, touch of grassy and spicy even. Not really any malts that I can get through all the hops.

T: Fresh hops again, lots of orange and tangerine, citrus hops with a touch of pine and spicy hops. Again no real malt to find. A slight earthy chewy hops comes through with more fresh musty hop flavors. Juicy and refreshing, very drinkable.

M: Medium to lighter body with tons of carbonation.

F: Pretty dry but leaves a slight juiciness. Semi bitter as the hops climax on the finish but not over bearing. SOme lingering citrus, a little pine, earthy and fresh musty hops start to come through more and more. A touch of tangerine and orange too.

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Photo of Kegatron
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Pours a clear coppery amber with 2 fingers of foamy off-white head. Retains with a 1/2 finger of creamy froth, which just slathers the sides of the glass with thick lace. The aroma is fresh and floral in the nose, with hints of light spice and citrus. Some bready pale activity adds some sweetness to this. I liked the fresh crispness here but it seems to lack just a bit of depth.

The taste starts with a prickly feeling spicy hop character, which is backed by the tang of fruity citrus and toasted caramel. This profile is really about the hops though, which are surprisingly aggressive here, putting out an even spicy and drying bitterness that lasts past the finish. The mouthfeel is medium bodied for the most part, with an almost bubbly feel to the carbonation that makes this maybe a little too easy in the mouth. It definitely helps make things go down smoothly but I think that a bit more presence would have been helpful here.

Better than average Amber Ale from Stone here. Shore up the nose and body a bit and this would be damn good.

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Photo of TMoney2591
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a Gale Sayers shaker pint glass.

"How 'bout the power of flight? That do anything for ya? That's levitation, homes." It pours a clear sunrise russet topped by a finger of staunch light cream foam. The nose comprises pine, oregano, grapefruit peel, light toffee, and red pepper. The taste holds notes of pine, grapefruit, light caramel, honeydew, and a small pinch of pepper. The body is a very light medium, with a light moderate carbonation and a slightly drying finish. Overall, a very nice hoppy red, one that pleasantly runs the gamut from spicy to piny in terms of the hops involved. Good times. Now they need to make a new one called Telekinesis (something about mind bullet killing a yak from long distances is floating around in my head for some reason)...

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I told Greg back in 2002 that I wasn't fond of the Levitation Ale, he told me to try it again because it had just been reformulated. Well, I'm finally getting around to it now!!!

As I remember it (but it has been close to 3 years), it's pretty much the same beer with the IBU's dropped a bit; a little less citrusy hops in the flavor; and some added chocoate notes in the malt.... and it's improved!

It still has a great appearance with it's chestnut-brown and ruby-cast body topped by a creamy dollop of ivory foam. There's still a very nice caramel maltiness with an added, delicate touch of chocolate to the malt; and its bristling touches of hops spice it up. It still finishes dry to be sure, but the bitterness doesn't linger quite as strong as it used to.

For fans of brown ale (such as myself), and mild beers (such as myself), this is a really interesting and enjoyable take on the brown ale style. Very nice!

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Photo of mactrail
3.66/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Handsome dark amber color in the tall Weissbier glass with ample foam and nice lacing. Quite sudsy in the mouth, a real pleasure for drinkability.

Some caramel notes and a pleasant malty tang. Toasty, resiny, some pine notes. A little back of the throat darkness with a zingy tang. Watery mouthfeel but quite refreshing. Totally quaffable. A nice balance between the light weight and the hop flavors. Just enough aromatics and a moderately bitter finish.

Somehow I've avoided this, but it's a nice change from the usual Stone blunt hop instruments. From the 12 oz bottle purchased at Von's supermarket in San Clemente, a decent place for single beers.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.4/5  rDev -12.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

***This review will be replaced ASAP, as it is not up to my QC standards.***

Served on-draught into a pilsner glass in low altitude downtown Los Angeles, California. Reviewed from notes. My expectations were moderately high.

A: Pours a one finger head of fair cream, good thickness, and great retention. Colour is a semitransparent copper-amber.

Sm: Cherry-raspberry ester fruit hops, cream, and barley. A mild strength aroma.

T: A complex berry hop blend over top a subtle barley foundation with nice cream and brilliant toasted malt underneath. Built quite nicely and very well balanced.

Mf: Coarse and wet. A bit too coarse for the flavour, but it gets the job done.

Dr: Drinkable and refreshing, if a bit full-bodied. Not sessionable, but certainly worth a go for any beer fanatic. I do wish it weren't so coarse.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.1/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone finally gets to CT... and man this was a solid beer right here. I was surprised they made a beer with 4.4% ABV but it has more flavor than most 6 or 7% ABV beers. Super hoppy, but a tad on the lighter side, though it tastes more like a pale ale then an amber/red ale but hey, a good beer is a good beer. A little on the pricey side but definitely will be checking more stuff out from this brewery.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.35/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from Phocion, so a big “Thank you” goes out to him.
Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is an orangish-brown color, with a thin yellowish-brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of hops, caramelized malt and tea.

T: The well-balanced and straight-forward flavors of hops and caramelized malt compliment each other the way through as you drink it. There’s a little bit of sweetness in there, but as Stone does so well, it’s only enough enhance the beer rather than mask anything.

M: Smooth and very crisp, medium body, medium carbonation, finish is clean and dry.

D: Tasty, easy-drinking, not filling, this one is a good basic beer. I found this beer to be good for its simplicity. Stone knows how to knock you over with their big beers, but with this one they show that they know how to give you something easy. It’s yet another excellent beer from Stone.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.83/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured cold into a goblet.
A - A hazed dark amber w/ a 1 inch cream colored head. The lace is formed in fluffy rings.

S - Sweet and tea-like w/ herbal hop scents.

M - Lighter-medium bodied resinous and lightly carbonated w/ a slightly bitter finish.

T - A nice lighter tasting ale, woody, earthy and a little tea-like in flavor. There is a subtle stone fruit flavor like cherry in the maltiness. A fine hop taste w/ a piney essence. Slightly dry and tobacco tinged. Overall an ok low gravity beer.

D - Taste is decent and full, but not excellent. This is one I would probably resist buying again. It is just not as intense as most of their portfolio. It is a tasty ale, though and very drinkable, definitely sessionable, just not my taste I guess. This went well w/ my teriyaki salmon.

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Photo of Jason
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz brown bottle with no freshness date.

Thick dense head, a head to be proud of. Color talks of tawny and is very clear. Delicate but pronounced citric piney hop aroma, bit of caramel and breadiness as well. Smooth, bit of crispness and a bit creamy. Caramel is quick, more of a toasted brown bread flavor. Clean citric hoppiness drops ample bitterness and a flavor that lingers for a long time ... caramel tone stays around as well but not as long as the hops.

A great session brew, amped up flavor. Good drinking for sure.

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Photo of russpowell
4.3/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours caramel/red with a 3 fingers+ sand colred head. Good head retention & very good lacing

S: Great piney hops nose up front, followed by fruiityness as it warms

Taste: Nice piney/floral hop kick up front then fruittyness. peppery hops dominate the quenching finish

MF: Very full for its abv, medium body with good balance & carbonation

Drinks quite well, I enjoy this as much as some of their hi powered ales. I think this a nice one to enjoy while listening to/watching a storm blowing off the rockies

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Photo of RblWthACoz
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear amber brown with a thick creme head. Nose is wood, sawdust, and citrus. Flavor is a tight citrus with wood. Thick malty tone, but bringing muted hop character. Interestingly subdued. Feel is thick enough on liquid. Carbonation is a bit boisterous. A nice ale. A bit tight, like mentioned before, but still worthy of going for.

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Photo of superspak
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle into pint glass, best by 7/9/2012. Pours lightly hazy reddish copper color with a nice 2 finger dense cream colored head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice rings spotty lacing cling to the glass as you drink. Aromas of caramel, orange zest, grapefruit, mango, floral, pine, herbal, pineapple, and toast. Pretty nice and well balanced aromas; but a bit muted. Taste of grapefruit, orange, pineapple, caramel, pine, herbal, floral, and toast. Light bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of citrus, pine, herbal, caramel, and toast on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance of hop flavors with caramel malt sweetness; almost perfect contrast. Medium carbonation and body; with a fairly creamy and crisp mouthfeel that is very nice. Alcohol is not really noticed at all, as expected for 4.4%. Overall this is a very nice amber ale! Very flavorful and balanced; and extremely easy drinking of course. If I am looking for a nice session beer I would not pass this up.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep ruby brown colored body with a nice two finger deep cream fluffy head leaves a web of evenly strung lacing, can't beat the appearance here. Aroma: Awesome piney hop character with sweet caramel and fruity ale like characteristics, nice mild abv for a Stone brew but the aromatics come together for this one. Taste: Wonderful American style pale ale with Stone signature bitterness but more of a session Arrogant Bastard ale. Very creamy tone applied to the bouquet of hoppiness that this beer has malts are nice toasted to perfection with hints of caramel and fruit good combonation for this beer. Stone doesn't disappoint and this milder beer that they produce is no exception still extremely flavorful wish it was more available to me. Mouthfeel: Medium bodied packs a slippery oily hop resin tone that glides right down the palate. Drinkability: Wow, nice beer not the most balanced of pale ales but for Stone this is a great beer that I can get down with because it's not shy on flavor or aromatics good stuff. I owe one to beergeek279 and cupbeerman for this sample.

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Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,199 ratings.