1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Levitation Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Levitation AleLevitation Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
87
very good

3,517 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,517
Reviews: 1,180
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 123
Gots: 245 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Levitation Ale Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,517 | Reviews: 1,180 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BierFan
4.28/5  rDev +10.9%

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Big tan head. Dark amber/red body.

Smell: Much hoppier than I was expecting. But I guess I should expect hoppy beers with Stone. My first thought when I smelled it was that it smelled like Stone IPA. Nice maltiness hiding under the hops.

Taste: Chewy rich malts. Piney hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Could use more carbonation.

BierFan, Sep 29, 2009
Photo of GilGarp
4.45/5  rDev +15.3%

After having many great Stone beers and with many more cellaring in the basement (VE and others), I decided it's time to try some of their year round offerings.

Best enjoyed before date... rubbed off. Oh well.

Poured from the printed 12oz. brown bottle into a pint glass, it has a great redish brown color with very good clarity, thick creamy head, and very nice lacing left behind. Only a small amount of fine suspended sediment noticeable in this beer keeping it from a 5.0

Aroma is very pleasant with a dry-hopped meets caramel malts character. Hops are earthy and piney.

Flavor is excellent with a surprisingly hearty malt base for a beer of 4.4 abv. Well bittered with hops and well balanced as a result. I'm shocked a beer of this strength can have so much great flavor. Not overly complex but very enjoyable.

Mouthfeel is medium-light in body and more carbonation than I would prefer. In fact, this would be awesome on a nitro tap. Great session beer. I could drink this all night. A fantastic hoppy amber from long before that was the rage.

GilGarp, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of far333
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%

New penny colored with a half inch of thick frothy beige foam that lingers long.

Aroma of bright citrusy hops and some cinnamon.

Flavor of tangerine and ruby grapefruit, some malty backbone pokes through, but the hops push it back down. Grapefruit rind lingers.

Moderate mouthfeel, even carbonation, finishes dry and tingly. Tasty and drinkable beer.

far333, Sep 27, 2009
Photo of oriolesfan4
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

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.

oriolesfan4, Sep 26, 2009
Photo of ledemie
3.55/5  rDev -8%

It pours a nice ruby amber color and makes a small white head. Doesn't lace much .

S: is malty, sweet and citrus, hoppy and roasted. It is a very well balanced brew for Stone.

T: starts out with a hoppy spice and finishes with a roasted malt character.

M: is thin, goes down smoothly and lightly coats the throat.

This one is definitely drinkable, I was a tad disappointed it reminded me of a Arrogant Bastard with less body and lighter, I was expecting a more subtle beer. This is the light beer for the hophead.

ledemie, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of flagmantho
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

Poured from 12 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: nice deep amber color with a very thick foamy head.

Smell: a tiny malt aroma but mostly big, fresh hops ranging from earthy to spicy. Not what I was expecting but quite nice.

Taste: malt has a caramel character and is somewhat sweet, and does not have the toasty quality of which I'm not a fan in amber/red ales. Hops are pretty huge for something not called an IPA, but again they are earthy and spicy and really quite good.

Mouthfeel: medium-to-thin body with a little carbonation; not bad but not really my favorite.

Drinkability: for the style, I quite like this beer. I could definitely quaff a couple of these down the pub sometime, and the relatively low ABV would make this a good sessioner.

flagmantho, Sep 24, 2009
Photo of necoadam
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

Poured out a clear dark amber/bronze color with a thin head.

Smell consisted of toasted malts with some earthy hops, mixing in with some caramel. Some citrus can be detected if searching very hard.

Taste was nice and malty. Some toasty taste from the nose can be found in the taste profile. A nice profile of earth hops and citrus/grapefruit blend in the middle. It mixes in nicely. Some caramel can be detected at the end. It's pretty much the same as the nose.

Mouthfeel was light to medium with a nice amount of carbonation.

A nice solid brew from Stone. A good offering of an amber ale with a nice hop profile. Recommended.

necoadam, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of mikel52588
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Appearance: Pours a reddish brown/dark amber hue with about a finger length head, leaves little lacing

Smell: Upfront it has a pleasant aroma of hops with citrus, grapefruit, and wood chip notes; has some malt qualities to it

Taste: The flavors are soft as you would expect from an amber/red ale, and the taste is about what you would expect from the smell.

Mouthfeel: leaves an oil feel on your tongue, its light bodied and smooth, aftertaste is soft as is carbonation.

Drinkability: Its very drinkable since it is such a light beer; it goes down smooth and easy; and I could definitely session with this beer no problem.

mikel52588, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of craftaholic
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Appearance: Pours a nice somewhat hazy mostly brown with tints of amber hue. Has a finger length head that dissipates to a soapy cap with a decent amount of lacing.

Smell: Quite a big nose for this anticipated small beer. There is a nice piney hops presence which was truly welcomed and combines with a grapefruit citrus presence of hops. Past that there are a nice pungent gathering of cedar and wood chips. This is all melded together by a caramelized malt that has touches of floral nuances in it.

Taste: Doesnt have a ton of complexity and isnt as much malt as the nose presented. Theres a good bit of bitterness in there but a lot of earthy flavors going on. There is a lot of smooth bready flavors happening here that mix with a caramel apple and toffee flavor.

Mouthfeel: Quite crisp but thin in itself. Almost feels powdery after it assaults your taste buds with its hops in a way that is comparable to a midget kicking your shins: it isn't menacing but you know its there.

Drinkability: Session your heart out. This may be the only beer that falls under the "truly session category" for stone; in that its light in the 'knock you on the floor' category but decent in flavor.

Overall: A light beer from stone? Not a robust flavor one would expect from the menacing gargoyle but enjoyable nonetheless. The hops were a surprising treat but can they ever make something that has NO hop characteristics? The answer is: No. That is why they rock.

craftaholic, Sep 23, 2009
Photo of GRPunk
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%

Bottle (with enjoy by 7/27/09 stamp) poured into a pint glass.

A- A moderate pour left about 1/2 finger of light brown head that dropped quickly to a full lace that left some light, spotty rings. The deep brown/red body showed medium carbonation.

S- It was surprisingly hoppy for an amber/red ale. There was a strong mix of pine and grapefruit with caramel malts in the background.

T- It had a more balanced flavor than the smell would suggest. It was a good mix of initial hop flavor with caramel malts through the middle and back to grapefruity hops in the finish.

M- The feel was full and smooth. Carbonation was light to medium and the hops gave a slight tingle.

D- It's an easy drinker. It's a tad out of balance, but would be good for those more inclined to the hop side of the spectrum. It's an interesting take on an AAA, that really works.

GRPunk, Sep 20, 2009
Photo of Metalmonk
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

Had my first try of this earlier in the year at the Horse Brass in Portland, OR and found it to be yet another exceptional Stone beer. Can't believe I never bought this in bottles, being a huge Stone fan, but I rarely see it around here. Finally picked a 6-pack up in Atlanta. It pours a rusty amber color with a huge fluffy head that has some massive stick and lasts forever.

Super-breezy hops are the feature of the aroma, very much a dryer-sheet sort of cleanliness to the hops; cinnamon comes in as well, as does grassy, herbal tea.

Flavor is no surprise, as it just about mirrors the flavor, having a clean hop kick that remains grassy fresh, with cinnamon and herbal tea, and also mild mint near the finish and citrus rind too. Malt has a ghostlike toffee presence, but is basically eclipsed by the hops which are clearly the feature of this beer. With all the hop sensations flying at the tongue, it never reaches into the brutally bitter range, remaining a friendly, drinkable sort of thing.

Perhaps it's just my personal preference, but the carbonation felt a little too prickly, and I think because of the grassy, spicy flavors, it almost tilts the balance a little too far to also have a stinging carbonation. The body is medium at best, which is nice, and I like the tart, almost puckery finish. The finish tends to die quickly, however.

Lots of flavor for such a low ABV beer, which just goes to show a beer doesn't need to be big to be bold. Stone's Levitation reminds me how another exceptional brewery, Surly, absolutely jam-packs flavor into low-ish ABV beers. A highly drinkable beer, obviously.

Metalmonk, Sep 17, 2009
Photo of drperm
4.5/5  rDev +16.6%

I am generally not a fan of short reviews, finding them largely uninformative and not helpful. But with this one ("American Amber/Red" or West-Coast rendition of an English bitter?) I simply cannot resist a four-word review:

My New Session Beer.

The rest is details.

Although, I have to say: enough comparing this as a "lesser" Arrogant Bastard or some such. As a Fred Eckhart disciple, I agree we need to give "small beer" a lot more love. I'm so sick of the "it's a good beer *even though* it's only 4%" jive. Who really cares that it's not Extreme Beer? Not this BA.

drperm, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of Gosox8787
4/5  rDev +3.6%

Presentation: 12 oz. bottle poured into a glass. The bottle says that this beer won a gold medal from the Great American Beer Festival.

Appearance is dark orange to amber red with a thin light tan lacing with little retention. Slight caramel malt notes and a thin hop presence make up the aroma. It is pretty clear this isn't as heavy or powerful as some of their other offerings. Flavor is caramel and slighty roasted malt upfront. Some nice hop flavor balances out the flavor nicely. Balanced but rather watery overall, (or at least toned down). Mouthfeel is rather light with a nice bite of carbonation. A good feel for a session brew. Drinkability is great. Thanks to the low ABV and balanced flavors, I could drink this all day.

Overall, a good brew from Stone, but rather bland when compared to their other offerings. However, extremely sessionable.

Gosox8787, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of dsa7783
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%

Single, twelve-ounce bottle purchased from Joe Canal's in Lawrenceville...
Great appearance... Pours a ruddy, copper-brown hue with a substanial head and fair amount of lacing... Noticeable amber aroma with hints of malts, grains, slight hops, and barley...
Mouthfeel could have been thicker, but the low ABV and rich flavor make this an ideal session beer...
Recommended...

dsa7783, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of mjaskula
4.2/5  rDev +8.8%

Served in a pint glass. Pours a nice clear amber with a thick soapy tan head that laces significantly. The aroma is bright and hoppy with floral and citrus and a hint of malt. The flavor is fruity and malty sweet with a nice balance of hop bitterness. Carbonation is perfect, and it's really easy drinking. I find it much easier drinking than some of Stone's other hoppier beers.

mjaskula, Sep 16, 2009
Photo of clvand0
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%

A 'light' beer from Stone? This one pours a clear red color that has a medium head that falls quickly and doesn't leave much lacing on the glass. The aroma is less dominant than expected with some pine and some grapefruit hops and not much maltiness. The flavor has a nice balance of the sweet caramel malt and the citrus hops. It's a fairly refreshing drink. The body is medium and the drinkability is pretty good.

clvand0, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of shanecb
4.43/5  rDev +14.8%

A - Nice red color, a little like burnt orange. Had a nice off-white head when poured, that stayed about halfway through the glass. Nice lacing, also.

S - Nice and fresh! Mainly citrusy hop smell with a little bit of pine. There's some sweet malty aroma to it as well that seemed predominant when swirled.

T - A lot of the same things in the smell. A nice hop character up front that stays in the back of your throat after swallowing. Very nice.

M - Wonderful mouthfeel! I usually have a problem with thin beers, but this doesn't seem thin to me at all.

D - In my opinion, perfect. It's such a good balance of flavors that it goes down really smooth and tastes great!

shanecb, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of baos
4.35/5  rDev +12.7%

12 ounce bottle into Falstaff goblet.

A: Beautiful ruby red body with ecru head that virtually disappears with a nice ring and nice lacing.

S: Floral kindbuddy hoppiness with some sweet maltiness in there.

T: Clover-orange beeswax hops of stone. A nice hop burst then the malts kick in and almost negate the stone hoppiness. This is one of the most balanced beers I have tried.

M: Nice

D: This is a nice stone that mellows well as you sip.

baos, Sep 15, 2009
Photo of charlottebeerguy
4.05/5  rDev +4.9%

Server from a 12oz brown bottle, into a pint glass

Pours a nice amber color with a creamy off white head

Smells of pine and citrus hops and fruit

Medium body and pretty hoppy up front, taste is very similar to the smell

Good head retention and lacing

All in all a good very drinkable beer def enjoyed sitting down to a six pack of this

charlottebeerguy, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of ndekke39
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%

From a 12 oz bottle decanted into a pint glass. Pours a solid deep copper. Thin white head. Aromas of rich pine and citrusy hops, maple syrup. Tastes much the same: those big west coast hops, although the flavors disappear quickly. Disappointing lack of aftertaste. Medium bodied - seems good. Overall, very drinkable. A heavily-hopped, west coast amber. Very good.

ndekke39, Sep 13, 2009
Photo of kimcgolf
3.7/5  rDev -4.1%

Pours to a dark reddish-orange with thin off-white head that dissipates at mid-glass with okay lacing. Aroma was a subtle hoppy citrus, with undertones of malty dark fruit. Mouthfeel smotth and medium bodied and the taste picked up the subtle fruits of the nose. Finish somewhat short-lived, yet pleasant.

Not Stone's best by any means, but not a bad beer at all either.

kimcgolf, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of HalfFull
3.53/5  rDev -8.5%

Pours a clear light amber in color with a half inch of off white foam. Settles to a surface cap and yields a fair amount of lacing initially, flattening out somewhat by mid glass.

Nice nose of grapefruit and light pine hops coupled with some caramel malt. Becoming a bit smoky with some air. Taste is a bit thin and finishes swiftly with some caramel flavor and a light bitterness. Carbonation is light and somewhat unsupportive given the light body of the beer. Touch chalky on the close.

Light in body for the style, pleasant, unobtrusive and quite quaffable as a result.

HalfFull, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of radshoesbro
3.6/5  rDev -6.7%

poured from a 12oz bottle i've had in my fridge for some time into a tripel karmeliet tulip.

pours a fantastic looking ruddy brown, hints of red when held up to the light at certain angles. big head that recedes fairly quickly leaving spotty lace, but a fair amount of it.

smell of floral hop, caramel, brown sugar and malt.

tastes of light hops and mild sourdough bread with a strange chemical component. dry grassy and slighty yeasty aftertaste.

lighter bodied than the nose and look might lead you to imagine. this is a fairly easy drinker and if you're new to beer/hops/stone something you should definitely pick up!

i think this is stone's worst offering. it seems like they couldn't really make up their mind and overhopped what could have been a fairly decent irish red.

radshoesbro, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of Kemmerlin
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%

A: actually had an amber brown color more so than red with a decsent two finger width off white head and good lacing.
S: has the fresh hop aromas but mixed with a bitter chocolate smell mixing in with vanilla extract.
T: the taste is a good mix of fresh hops producing a vanilla and melon flavor and caramel flavored malts.
M/D: the feel is perfectly carbonated with a smooth velvet on the tongue an a slight dryness picking up in the throat after the swallow. The drinkability is good but not for multiples enjoyable none the less.

Kemmerlin, Sep 08, 2009
Photo of cdizinno
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%

A: Clear, dark chestnut/red amber color. Decent off-white head. Moderate lacing.

S: Hop aroma, floral, with a slight toasty malt character.

T&M: Full bodied with a rough, tingly carbonation. Hop flavors are herbal. Mild citrus & pine taste. Dry finish, with raw grainy notes.

Good ale. I like their standard IPA better though.

cdizinno, Sep 07, 2009
Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,517 ratings.