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Levitation Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Levitation AleLevitation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,198 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,198
Hads: 3,856
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 21.13%
Wants: 157
Gots: 467 | 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: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Levitation Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,198 | Hads: 3,856
Photo of BARFLYB
3.01/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Finally getting around to having this offering from stone. Had it on tap in a pint glass.

Levitation is a nice mix of amber with some slight red thrown in as well as slight orange. The head was nice and lasting but did not have any legs to stand on, no lacing. The smell was pretty bland with just a hint of malt and hops but alot of grain imo. The taste was not all that and really tame with some grain and sweet malt and even less hops to bring about any disernable flavors. Not to much going on here. The feel was light with alot of carbonation leaving a crispness. The alcohol is low making this very sessionable, but I had a hard time finishing my pint. I know this is a light styled brew coming from a company that likes to push the envelope, but i've had other low abv/simple style beers from other company's that have blown this out of the water. It just did not grab me, that's all.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the Town and Country liquor store in Fullerton, on to the beer:

It pours dark red into a chalice. The head that froms sits on top of the beer the whoe way through. The smell is crisp and sweet, with caramel, hoppy, and vanilla flavors rising from it. In the taste, it's bready, mostly with a hoppy taste goes from start to finish. A hint of sugar cookies sneaks into play towards the end. Not much of an aftertaste. This beer goes down nice, easy, and creamy. This beer's a little deeper in flavor than what I expected from a 4.4 ABV beer.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.4/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had this at an Old Chicago's in Denver. Poured into a cold mug. Medium amber color with a nice, uniform head about 1 1/2 fingers. Head did not stay full too long, but laced nicely 'til finish.
Medium aroma of malt and biscuit, more dominate are the citrus and hops.
Taste was smooth, sweet at first, then a good bite at the end leaving a crisp palate feeling. Little aftertaste, a bit filling. Definitely more of a pale ale in my opinion, nevertheless, it's very good.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.43/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle.

A: Copper-red/brown with white/tan head.

S: Piney hops basically, with some malt mixed in.

T: Piney hops, biscuit malts, really resiny, hops a bit too astringent for my tastes, but overall very nice.

M: Above average, medium-bodied.

D: Low in alcohol makes this a good session beer choice, but I found myself really not wanting more than one, a beer I'll have to revisit at some point though.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic. A sessionable Stone, that's novel.

Dark amber copper color, relatively clear, consistent carbonation. Moderate, frothy butter colored head that diminishes to a thin film with thick sticky rings of lacing. Aroma is...light? Not in a bad way, has a strong hop aroma and malty background, but nothing is overwhelming. Light body with heavy carbonation and a strong hop bite in the finish. Taste has backbone of caramel malt and a very dry hop bite that lingers forever. Entirely different hoppy amber than say Nugget Nectar, this is much thinner and lacking something in the body. Not even really so much an amber or a pale, just seems like a missing body with a hoppy kick. That isn't to say this isn't a nice session beer but it pales when compared to other Stone beers or others in the hoppy amber category.

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

On-tap at the Farmhouse

Appears amber red in my pint glass with a 1 inch head and lacing. The aroma and flavor are both predominately hoppy with citrus juice, a bit of pine, and a slight earthy undertone. The malt barely comes out, but I get a subtle light roast and bread crust flavor. The hops feel fairly crisp while, there's still a sweet malt component to balance it out. I find the body here to be a bit thick for the strength of this beer.

This reminds me a bit of American bitters, like Surly's Bitter Brewer, but this lacks subtle complexity. Instead, and this isn't a bad thing, it provides an impressive, hoppy punch for a relatively low-alcohol beer that can stand up to most pale ales.

UPDATE: Bottle - 6/28/11
Wow, I forgot how interesting this beer is. There are some really odd, but pleasant herbal garden hops notes with the citrus that remind me of Surly's Bitter Brewer (again). Of course, the malt is a significantly darker here, adding a light roasty finish in with the juicy hops. Heck of a beer.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone's Levitation Ale, poured ontap into a pint glass. Appearance is a dark brown with OK head retention and some lace.

Aroma is malty, with a hint of piney hops.

Well balanced flavors, Caramel malt and some juicy cascade hops. Pine, resin, grapefruit are all in the flavor profile. Though the predominant flavor is from the hop, a light maltyness is there and keeps the hops from becoming overpowering.

Mouthfeel is medium to full bodied. Low level of carbonation.

A nice hoppy Amber ale that is a delight to embibe. Well rounded flavors and a modest alcohol content makes this good for sessions.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
3.97/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice to have another tasty low abv option. This one from Stone is just the ticket for an afternoon beer when you've still got something to do. Pours reddish dark amber with a slight head. Smells dry, light, and spicy with hops. Clean and pine scented with very little malt sweetness. Almost austere. The taste is similar. Quite light and clean and surprisingly bitter and dry. Lean and quenching with an herbal, piney finish. Nice.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.94/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured on tap at the Stone Brewery into a pint glass, the beer is a light cloudy brown color with no head. The beer has a nutty-malt nose; very aromatic. First sip gives a malty-hop punch in the face of flavor, which is unexpected, but very welcome. There are nutty undertones to the flavor, as well. The beer's flavors are very well balanced. The beer is smooth and crisp in mouth, and there is a hops aftertaste to the finish. Very drinkable beer.

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Photo of corby112
2.12/5  rDev -45.4%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2

From notes:

Pours a deep, dark ruby/chestnut brown color with dark golden orange hues when held to a light source and a 1.5 finger frothy off white head. Decent retention slowly fading into a lasting ring that leaves a spot or two of lacing on it's way.

Very bland aroma which is very surprising for a Stone beer. Slight earthy hops with hints of pine needle as well as some hazelnut and caramel malt.

Buteer earthy, piny hops up front that linger throughout without much balance into a tongue assaulting dry finish. The malt presence is minimal as best and their is an odd spicy character that makes this beer pretty bad in my opinion. One dimensional with a bone dry finish. I usually like everything Stone makes but this was a wreck.

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Photo of Zorro
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear ruby brown brew.

Smell is malt and a perfume of hops. I have high hopes that this isn't over-hopped.

Taste is flavorful malt with a fair amount of hops in it. Taste has a pleasant flowery taste. The hop level makes this a little bitter but nicely so. Similar in taste to Anchor Steam Small Beer. There is a pecan nutty flavor to this too.

Mouthful is good.

A tasty brew, the mild alcohol and hop levels almost make it hard to believe Stone brewed it.

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Photo of HopHead84
3.75/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


On tap at Stone.

A: Looks like cola with a fizzy white beige head. Lots of bubbles.

S: Notes of caramel with a little toasted bread balance grapefruit and pine. Some floral notes. Pretty nice aroma when it warms to an acceptable temperature.

T: Light grapefruit and a valiant hop bitterness for such a meager beer. A little backing malt with a slight breadiness, a subtle toast, and a dash of caramel. Some pine notes. Packs a decent amount of  flavor and almost displays an equilibrium but for a slight tilt in the favor of the hops.

M: Upper light body with upper moderate carbonation. Mouthfeel is sticky, smooth, and a touch thin.

Overall: A beer I rarely drink, but it has a lot of flavor for the low ABV and is pretty tasty. There are simply too many other options.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Straddling the line between amber and red, this beer pours a burnished, deep mahogany colour, bright ruby when held to the light, otherwise a slightly murky amber. Clarity is great, however, and the head forms lightly into a film of off-white. Lacing is classic. Looks pretty awesome.

Nose is sharp, crisp and delightful, with big citric hop fragrance pounding the nostrils from inches away. Robust characters of other sweeter fruits too, mostly apricot, pineapple and nectarine. It's so fresh, so bright, so powerful and so delightful. I've had far more timid noses in beers double or triple this one's strength. Awesome.

Taste is unsurprisingly much more subdued, but the hoppy characters translate very nicely into flavour, but not bitterness. This helps the palate, which is very light on—too much hoppiness would leave it unbalanced. Instead, we get bright tropical fruits at the start, before a subtle bit mid-palate and a dry, cleansing finish.

Insanely drinkable, quenchable and quaffable. This is an insane session beer, one of the most flavoursome and exciting beers under 5% ABV I think I've ever had. And despite the lightness on the palate, it never feels empty. Great brew.

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Photo of biegaman
3.87/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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

Poured a dark amber with a light tan head. The head looks like it will never go away. It leaves thick laces. It smells like citrus, and maybe flowers. It smelled hoppy., but not too over the top. It tastes slightly malty. It has a spicy floral taste. It is lightly carbonated. It is smooth. The taste lingers im my mouth. This beer can go all night long. Chewy, It is very low in alcohol content, so you could drink quite a few of them but the ABV tasted more than it was, perhaps because it was so full bodied. It is a little too hoppy for my. Not an amber fan but this was pretty dam good.

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

Pours a nice deep clear amber color, nice carbonation, small tan head, and some lacing afterwards. Scents of hops, malts, caramel, and citrus. Nice taste for an amber ale, very exact to the style, sweet and slight hop taste, nice little bitter bite at the end. Medium body. Very drinkable at the ABV, would make a nice session brew.

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Photo of plaid75
4.32/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On draft at The Downtown, Brooklyn, NYC.

Poured a dark copper hue with a one finger foamy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet citrusy hop and a doughy malt.

The taste consisted of a sweet orange hop, a soft sweet malt and a secondary spicy hop.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a very tasty hop forward amber.

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Photo of wl0307
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This 12 Fl. Oz. small bottle was purchased online from the Beers of Europe, a friendly and efficient beer shop in the UK. No freshness info. is found on the bottle, served cool (not as suggested by the bottle, "refrigerated") in a straight pint glass. NOTE: Given my limited experience with American craft beers, this is by far the second lightest (in terms of abv.) I've tried, only next to Anchor's "Small Beer".

A: pours an elegant bright copper hue as of moderately-infused roasted tea, coming with restrained but constant input of tiny fizziness and a beige fluffy head with pretty decent retention, leaving uneven sheets of lacing as it retreats.
S: the richly lychee-ish+elderflowery+grapefruity hop aroma is backed by an equally rich malt backbone of burned sugar, syrupy longan-fruits, dried berries, some oily-textured cream, and sweetened cold black tea... Very very pleasant indeed and pretty complex as well, while a swirl gives rise to an utterly attractive edge of really fat and fresh overripe lychees to underline the whole aroma. It ticks all the boxes for an ultra-delicious hoppy ale, at just 4.4%abv.!
T: lightly tangy and tea-stem-like sour-bitterness (from the hops) and a bitter tea-ish flavour of roast-/crystal-malts manifest themselves from the first second onwards, laced by a clean and fine sour-spicy-piney edge as of yeasts+hops or something beyond my imagination. The hop flavour is well balanced by the caramely & lightly buttery-nutty malts in the background, so it's not as hugely flowery or lychee-ish as on the nose, but the level of hop bitterness deepens extremely well, rendering a long, semi-dry and satisfyingly chewy finish, where more hop legacy - in the form of old dried grapefruit peels and Chinese roast tea-leaves - earmarks the lingering aroma at the rear and wings of the tongue.
M&D: quite soothing on the carbonation, though a tad fizzy for my preference, while the body remains medium to echo the balanced flavour profile. This low-gravity ale (by the US standard, of course) packs loads of hops with a surprising balance, a factor that greatly appeals to me in person. Be it "American Amber Ale" or "English Premium Bitter with a US twist", this proves to be one of the most quaffable and lovely hoppy beers that I've had recently. I'm really happy to have tried it, but I uphold my opinion: "Better serve it cool"! The bottle also bears the mark "2007 Gold Medal Winner - The Great American Beer Festival" - a well-deserved award, I think.

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an Imperial Nonic)

A- This beer has a crystal clear but dense auburn colored body with a sticky antique white head that is supported by a strong carbonation of tiny bubbles.

S- The aroma of green pine hops has some strong pineapple weed pungent notes and some pale malt aromas in the background.

T- The slightly sweet pale malt flavor bends to the juicy green pine hops with some citrus notes and earthy qualities that all end up with a bitter hop punch.

M- This beer has a medium light mouthfeel with a soft fizz and no alcohol heat at all.

D- This beer is a bit softer than most Stone beer I have had but it would make a nice session beer that still has plenty of flavor and aroma hops. It goes down really smooth.

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Photo of akorsak
3.82/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A 12 oz bottle shared with Phatz.

A: The ale has a true-to-style amber red color with a decent head that comes close to 1 finger in size.

S: The aroma is grainy caramel and biscuit malts that are highlighted by a citrusy hop aroma. Unlike all other Stone brews that I've had, the malts are the shining point here.

T: The amber ale has a strong malt presence. The flavors are caramel and biscuit malts, strong but not to the point of sweetness. The malts are chewy and provide the significant component in the taste. The malts do pop up intermittently, having a grapefruity, citrus element that nicely compliments the strong malts.

M: The mouthfeel is more malty than hoppy, a first for Stone ales that I've had. I like that the hops take a back seat, they pop up when needed and are a nice secondary element.

D: The closest that I've seen to a session ale from Stone. The malts are strong and well-represented, taking control of the ale from start to finish.

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

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Photo of vfgccp
3.84/5  rDev -1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

- Pardon the abbreviated review, this was sampled at a free Stone tasting. Special thanks to Big Z's in Huntington NY -

A - Light maple syrup.

S - Bright citrus, grapefruit, orange zest. Touch of pine.

T - Cedar, pine. Light malt. Touch of sweetness. White sugar.

M - Light. Touch watery. Pleasant carbonation.

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Photo of Tone
3.71/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, amber color. 5/4 inch head of an off-white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells strongly of citrus hops, sweet malt, citrus (grapefruit), and an unknown but familiar aroma (yeast strain?). Fits the style of an American Amber / Red Ale. Mouth feel is smooth and crisp with an average carbonation level. Tastes of citrus hops, hint of pine, hint of mango, sweet malt, yeast, and possibly pineapple. Overall, good appearance, body, and blend.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured into a Stone gargoyle pint. Pours a medium coppery amber with a fine two finger light khaki head with good retention and heavy lacing. Aroma of caramel male, citrus and piney hops. Flavor is piney, lightly resinous hops with light citrus, mildly caramel malt with some biscuit; finishes with pine resin, citrus rind and black pepper. Light to medium bodied with good carbonation. A quite hop forward amber ale, but the resinous hops are well supported by the malt and the peppery finish is great. Sessionable ambers are not one of my go to styles, but this is quite nice and I'd have it again if it wasn't being discontinued. Glad I got to try it while it still is around, it is very flavorful and hoppy for its ABV.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
3.7/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From 12oz bottle to Bruges hybrid glass on 11/21/11
*From notes

A: Amber cider in color. A good pour yields a pretty impressive 2.5 finger head with solid retention and lacing.

S: For such a mild beer, this thing packs a pretty big nose. Lots of that SoCal, juicy hop profile.

T: A bit thin on flavor, but taking into consideration the intensely low ABV, I really can't complain. It's slightly watery up front, just weak. As it hits the mid, there's a decent hop kick to it that rides thru to the finish. This just take a while to get started.

M: Again, for a session beer it's nice, but for an overall beer it's barely middle of the road, as it's just not packin' a lot of body.

O: I really dig Stone's Levitation. As a closet session fanatic, this is one of the better session brews on the market. I have and will continue to drink this tasty little Amber, and recommend checking it out for yourself.

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Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,198 ratings.