Levitation Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

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Levitation AleLevitation Ale

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very good

3,730 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,730
Reviews: 1,191
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 139
Gots: 337 | 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: 3,730 | Reviews: 1,191 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of hippityhophead24
4.5/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a growler of this today. Wasn't thinking and I thought it was the Ruination IPA, but got home and realized what I had purchased.

Appearance: hazy amber reddish color. Thick frothy white head with very very nice lacing.
Smell: malt, fruity figs and grapefruit, and citrus hops. Very nice for a small abv Stone beer!
Taste: very light on the taste. It’s there, but has more potential I guess. There is a burst of citrus from the hops and a slight sweet malt ness to it.
Overall: good session beer. Again, wasn’t thinking, so I thought this was the ruination IPA, but it’s definetaly not.
Glassware: FRESH growler into snifter

Photo of kylehay2004
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: lots of lace. Hazy amber with red hues

S: toasted malt, caramel and floral hops

T: disappointed with the watery taste. Very mild hop flavor. Caramel malt sweetness dominates here

M: very watery, light to medium body. Moderate carbonation

Overall: On the watery side of red ales which I am not a fan off.

Photo of cbarrett4
4.45/5  rDev +15.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass during Portland Mighty Mites small beer festival~

I didn't think it possible to get this much flavor, intensity, and character into a beer at less than 5% abv! Was the superstar of the event and a beer that I will regularly be buying.

Pours with a massive amount of head that dissipates nicely into a good lace. Aromatics are nice but straight forward with hops taking the front seat and mild citrus and malt backing.

The palate is richly flavored and complex with a variety of nuances from the hops (Columbus, Simcoe, Amarillo, and Crystal). Malt peeks through, some spice and herb notes too. Very nice. Body is full yet not over the top. Can't believe that this is only 4.4%! Finish is long, with a good dose of bitterness.

Despite the intensity, this is a supremely drinkable beer. It reminds me of an Extra Pale Ale since the hops are more aggressive than most amber or red ales I have tasted. Pretty amazing stuff here.

Photo of SolipsismalCat
3.33/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass.

A: Hazy amber with light bubbles and small particles. Two-finger, off-white, frothy head that lasted more than a few minutes. Very nice lacing.

S: Malt, fruit, and a good amount of floral hops.

T: A little bit of sweet malt and a moderate floral hop bitterness. Some caramel. Lots of citrus. Bitter and dry.

M: Light to medium bodied with fizzy carbonation.

O: Looks really nice and smells good. A little too hoppy for my tastes. I would have liked more malt structure.

Photo of BeardedBoffin
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Stone brew pours a nice looking dark copper color with a thin but sticky cap of foam. Nice lacing was left all the way down. The aroma is composed of a hoppy mixture of pine and grapefruit. The beer moves smoothly across the palate. The caramel morphs pleasantly into a dose of west coast hops.

A well constructed and well balanced beer. Tasty, drinkable, and enjoyable.

Photo of mrnobody
3.45/5  rDev -10.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a Duvel tulip.

A: Pours a dark amber with one finger of beige head; not much retention but leaves some lacing behind.

S: Smells of sweet caramel-ly malt and grapefruity citrus hops.

T: My immediate impression is of bitter iced tea; there is a bit of malt sweetness here but the hops dominate with a dry bitter finish.

M: Mouthfeel is fairly thin with aggressive carbonation.

D: I guess the drinkability is pretty good but not my favourite Stone brew.

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

Beer #1 served at the Doctor's CBI Beer Tasting, 8.13.11, 12 oz. bottle poured into clear plastic cups.

One finger light tan head, medium dissipation with some lacing. Dark amber body, multiple streams of carbonation rising up side of glass. Big hop aroma especially for the style, piney goodness, balanced by caramel malt sweetness. Taste is pretty sweet up front, leading to a quite bitter finish for the style. Mouthfeel is medium, good effervescence, and fairly dry finish. I used this as a palate awakener and while the patrons who don't enjoy fairly hoppy beers were in flux there were a number of return tasters. A fairly unique Amber, one of the hoppier examples of the style ala Troegs. At this ABV extremely drinkable. Worth a try, especially for those looking for a hoppy session beer.

Photo of tone77
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle. Has an amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of hops, some notes of citrus. Taste is very hoppy, considerable bitterness, I am not tasting any of the citrus in the smell, or anything else for that matter. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a decent beer.

Photo of avaldivia
3.05/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured 12oz bottle into a Pint Glass.

A: Hazy dark amber color with little floaties in it. Excellent off-white head. great lacing.

S: Rather light, but good caramel sweetness. A little floral hop notes.

T: Again light. Some caramel sweetness. Some hops. Just not enough of either.

M: Average. Medium bodied. Medium carbonation.

O: Decent. Second time I have tried this. I don't believe there will be a third. Simply not my favorite from Stone.

Photo of greybeardloon
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

best before September 22, 2011

A: Dark reddish brown and clear. A thick head leaves lacing.

S: Initially a strong whiff of citrus and piney hops, but that disappears quickly and does not return. There's a very faint bready scent too. I get a cooked vegetable smell when I swirl it and really stick my nose into the glass. (This is weird and probably just me. I don't imagine Stone beers tend to have DMS.)

T: The hops (maybe citrus) are strong again on the outset, but after that they turn subtler except for the building citrus bitterness on the finish. There's some caramel flavor from the malt, but this is certainly not a malty beer.

M: Medium.

O: Although this beer isn't that remarkable, it's easy to follow the first glass with several others. I appreciate the low abv, and this is one of the better readily available beers out there at less than 5%.

Photo of wowbagger
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Nice deep color. At first it smells a bit overpoweringly of hops, but that fades. It certainly doesn't taste too hoppy. It has a very bold flavor that fades slowly in the mouth and lingers for a good while. A tiny hint of carmelization is there, but only a little. I would recommend as a good solid no-frills beverage.

Photo of Jishguy
3.7/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Poured a deep, but clear, body with a full, thick, creamy white two finger head that produced great lacing the whole way down.

S- Fair balance between a sweet caramel/toasted malt aroma and citrusy/earthy/piney hop character.

T- Identical to smell. Sweet and toasted malts immediately. Quickly followed by a citrus-like hop character. The finish is bittersweet and dry.

M- Very...average. Nothing exceptional, but nothing to write home about. Good carbonation and body.

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

poured from the beautifully silk-screened bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a hazy amber with orange-coppery hues around the edges of the glass. Two-finger, dense tan head with minimal carbonation. Head stays intact most of the way down the glass. Leaves several splotches of lacing.

S - American hop notes more reminiscent of a pale ale than an American amber floating on sweet caramel body.

T - Caramel malt upfront the transitions into a very full body with plenty of poppy grapefruit notes from american hops balanced by the sweet caramel malt body. A little oily on the finish that transitions into a bitter caramel aftertaste.

M - Medium bodied and plenty chewy with moderate carbonation. Packs much more punch than expected for a 4.4% beer.

Picked us a six pack of this on my anniversary weekend in Phoenix. I was surprised to find out that it was a red ale, because drinking it from the bottle in the hotel room it had more of the taste characteristics of a pale ale. Oh well, hop head will rejoice in the red ale. An all around very good beer that packs alot of flavor and mouthfeel into a beer with a modest alcohol content. A bit pricey for what it is, but certainly one of the better red ales i've had.

Photo of ms11781
3.63/5  rDev -5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoy by 09-11-2011 etched on bottle. 12oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

Pours a slightly hazy, deep amber color. A nice 1/2 finger of off-white/tannish foam develops and falls rather quickly leaving a slight, foamy cap that holds for the duration.

Aroma is pretty balanced, if not all that strong. Perhaps it leans a bit towards the maltier side but it's balanced pretty well. Sweet caramel malt is here and it's evened out with a slight hop characteristic. A touch of piny and some citrus hops show up and round out the nose. That being said, the nose in general is not overly powerful, as mentioned.

The taste follows the nose, the only difference being that the hops on the back end do provide a more balanced flavor profile, though the nose was pretty balanced itself. The sweet caramel malt is here and is present throughout, laying a base for a nice piny hop finish without the bitterness that usually comes with it.

Medium body with carbonation to match, perhaps it's a bit higher. It does have a lighter mouthfeel, though, probably due to the higher carbonation.

Overall, a decent take on a Red/Amber. What makes me enjoy it is the fact that it's 4.4% ABV but still relatively flavorful. Definitely a good beer for someone looking for a bit of a hop fix on a hot summer day.

Photo of zoso1967
3.93/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Levitation ale pours a fairly dark amber color that shows very nice reddish hues when held up to a light. The head is a light tan color. The cap is modest in size but has excellent retention and leaves plenty of sticky lace.

The aroma is an excellent balance of dank hops and caramel/toffee sweetness. Grapefruit and pine mingle easily with the caramel malty sweetness, giving it a fruity and candied aroma.

The hops are not quite as up front in the flavor, but definitely make their presence felt. They are very piney and sort of pithy, giving an almost chalky character to the beer. The malt character is quite similar to that in the aroma, but perhaps a bit more plain Jane, without as much toffee. It is mostly just biscuit and pleasantly sweet, balancing out the ever present hop bitterness.

The mouthfeel is medium with a subdued carbonation. Despite the low carbonation I would not consider this beer smooth at all. It finishes very dry and the hops on the back end are pretty aggressive on my taste buds.

Levitation ale is a very enjoyable beer that is a bit confusing to me, but tasty none the less. I can’t really see myself picking this up instead of an IPA or pale ale, but perhaps if I was in the mood for something different I would. One thing is for certain, this is the hoppiest amber I have ever tasted.

Photo of KajII
3.43/5  rDev -10.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

[Best served in a Pint glass]

It poured a hazy medium brown that supported a large light brown rocky head that was bellowing above the top of the glass. It dissipated at a rapid pace leaving just a little residue behind, although it was enough for some really excellent lacing. The aroma was unusually complex with a mild scent of toasted malts, a nice dose of piney hops and an earthy yeast with hints of sweet fruit, honey and a nice citrus note. The taste had kind of a sweet-acidic flavor with a slight fruity note from the onset. Then it slowly but firmly became extremely bitter with a nice strong hop presence and a touch of citrus at the end. Mouthfeel was somewhere between light and medium in body and nice and dry in texture with a subtle soft carbonation. Overall a unique tasting brew that was very enjoyable. A must try for a Hop Head.

Photo of BearablePhoto
4.35/5  rDev +13%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The ale pours a color of a copper penny with a finger and a half of head with a good amount of carbonation feeding into it. There is a good amount of lacing that comes along with this beer. actually there is lacing at the top from the foam head even as I finished of the glass.
S: The smell has a lot of earthy scents to it with lemongrass and pine being the primary ones.
T: Levitation tastes very hoppy and matches the smell with its pine and grass flavors. The beer also has a bit of a spicy kick to it.

Overall this beer really keeps you guessing. For what simple ingredients they brag about on the bottle (“nothing but barley, hops, water, and yeast”) this is very complex.

Photo of sonnmr31
4.85/5  rDev +26%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Pours a dark amber color with a 2 finger head.

S - Very hoppy smell for an amber beers.

T - The beer smells hoppier than it taste. You can taste the hops towards the end of the drink. Real smooth beer.

M - Thin body and medium carbination.

O - No Doubt to why this is an award winning beer. Would definitly buy again but I can no longer get Stone in Wisconsin.

Photo of eclaycamp
4.38/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Looking forward to this one. Levitation pours a dark copper tinged with ruby red. Light tan head starts out strong but fades fast, ending up with about a half to 3/4th of a finger worth of head. I’m using a tulip pint glass for this one.
The aroma is strong with this one. Huge notes of pine hit the nose first, with more citrus and floral hop character in the background. Along with the hops there is a nice caramel malt undertone to this whole thing.

Likewise, piney hops hit the mouth first, splitting the tongue and washing to the sides of the mouth. The first couple sips are all hops, and like the aroma. It’s earthy pine, followed by tropical fruit and some light floral characteristics. This has that nice West-Coast style dank hop character that so many other great beers have. Unlike its other West-Coast brethren, however, what it doesn’t have is a lot of alcohol – the ABV on this is only 4.4%. More on that later. As the palate acclimates the malt profile really begins to shine through. The easy comparison is caramel, but for me this is more like toffee. Still there’s no question that hops are the star of this beer, and hops are what will bring you back to this beer again and again.

Lingering moderate bitterness is present after you take a drink, though at no point is it unbearable or uncomfortable. The lightly creamy mouth feel is somewhat thin, though not watery or inappropriate. Carbonation is light to medium. The beer finishes crisp and dry, though there’s a nice level of malt sweetness that comes out the more that you drink it.

Honestly, everything about this, from the aroma, to the taste, to the mouth feel, screams big beer. It’s truly amazing that Stone packed this much flavor into this type of package. Most of the time session beers can come across as bland, watery, and without much in the way of flavor. With Levitation, Stone has turned that assumption on its ear, creating a full-flavored Pale Ale / IPA / Red Ale beer that doesn’t have that huge ABV punch. Over the years the boys in Escondido have produced a number of extraordinary beers that I’ve enjoyed, but quite honestly Levitation may be the best of the bunch.

Photo of tdm168
4.25/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a snifter glass

Pours a dark, red amber with a /4" head that thins out nicely. Smells of citrus hops and sweet malt. Taste is mild caramel malt and citrus hops. Well blended, very delicate bitterness. Medium bodied with a mild carbonation.

I love stone, and I love this beer.

Photo of ummswimmin
4.43/5  rDev +15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is one of my favorite sessionable beers. It is about time that I finally review the Levitation.

This beer pours to a nice amber with some light redness to it. There is a decent amount of carbonation yielding a three finger head off the pour (in a pint glass).

Off the head I get a lot of different hop flavors. You get quite a bit of citrus in the nose. The smell on this is very present in light of the ABV on this.

The flavors are consistent to the smell on this beer. I love the presence of all the hops. And, the body is light.

This won't be my last six pack of Levitation. Thanks to Stone for continuing in this excellence.

Photo of cagocubs
3.95/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked up a six-pack of Levitation. Poured from bottle into glass.

A: Pours a nice red/amber/copper with a good thick full head. The bubbly head lingered and laced. Beautiful pour.

S: The dominating scents are citrus and sweet caramel/syrup. Hops very much present in the nostrils too.

T: The hops give this a nice bitter complex. A nice delivery of hops, citrus, and malts. Very strong example of a Red Ale. Where others skimp on taste, Stone does not.

M: Surprisingly thick for a Red Ale, I'd say medium. Nice creamy mouth coating with good bitter/hop finish.

O: One of the more powerful Red Ales I've had.

Photo of ehammond1
4.3/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


Churchill's Pub & Grille
San Marcos, CA

Dark copper and amber with a thick, creamy consistency from the cask. Soapy, thick off-white head and sheets of the same running down the glass.

A powerful punch of citrus (grapefruit) in the nose along with some sweet caramel malt. A wonderful explosion of hops in the aroma--finally, a hopped up amber that delivers the goods!

Slightly bitter, plenty of citrus flavors, along with a hefty amount of caramel and bready malts. Well balanced, yet an incredible hop punch for a low-alcohol amber.

Medium to thick, somewhat creamy mouthfeel. Love this stuff from the cask.

My favorite amber so far. It's got plenty of hops, plenty of flavor, and is light enough to drink all day long. This beer accomplishes all it seeks out to accomplish.

Photo of jmvecchio1
3.6/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours out a cloudy woody brown color with a nice off-white head on top. The smell of this beer is light at first, but as the beer warms a little you get light citrus and grapefruit tones from the dry hopping. Thanks to the dry hopping, the hops are forward on the drink but quickly allow the malts to take center stage. The beer finishes clear and dry with a resurgence of the hops on the swallow. To me, this is a San Diego-West Coast take on an American amber ale. There's a lot more of a hop profile, which can be refreshing for hop heads looking for a break from the IPA norm at the bar. This is also a great starter beer.

Photo of ptykozoon
3.28/5  rDev -14.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Deep cranberry red. Nice layer, nice lacing.

Hops of course, oak, muted fruits.

Hops are less dominant and abrasive then the usual Stone hops I'm used to. Lemon and subtle ripe red fruits round this out.

Perfect carbonation for this beer, not too much or little. ABV detection is negligible.

Good offering. Sessionable and refreshing for a hoppy beer.

Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,730 ratings.