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Levitation Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Levitation AleLevitation Ale

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

3,680 Ratings
THE BROS
89
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,680
Reviews: 1,184
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 134
Gots: 309 | 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: 3,680 | Reviews: 1,184 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GRPunk
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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 21, 2009
Photo of Metalmonk
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

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%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

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%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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
Photo of nomomentwasted
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had this out of a bottle last night from a six-pack I'd picked up; been waiting a while to try this one and due to the inability to get it in a bomber, and the usual expense of getting it in a six-pack, I'd stayed away. Found it for less than 8 bucks for a six, however, and scooped it up.

Appearance: As the style implies, a reddish hue peaks through an otherwise brownish ale with nice, fluffy head and solid carbonation that laces well.

Smell: Surprised me a bit. Almost a bit smokey in the nose with a spicy hop presense that lends just a hint of pine from the hops. Amongst the smokey character, as it opens up there is a slight sweet, molasses-like smell as well.

Taste: The spicy hops ring in a little bitterness on the initial bite, followed with a smokey, roasted taste, finishing with more of the spiced hop flavor. Reminded me slightly of the Arrogant Bastard, but just less bitter and less palate-able. Still, there is quite a bit going on here for a 4.4% brew, that's for sure.

Mouthfeel: Initial bitterness is pleasant, and it's not too thin in the least for a 4% brew. Very satisfying and it finishes nice and dry.

Drinkability: While not an earth-shattering brew, this easily would've caught me as a 6-7% brew, and yet it's only 4.4%. I can't tell if it's skewed my ratings at all due to thinking it better for only being that low, but I certainly am glad to have it around for a good sessioning on a relaxed night. Certainly nice to have for wanting flavor and lower-ABV so you can put another one (or more) back after, or use is after drinking a nicer beer as a finisher. Recommeneded to try, it's got more than enough flavor for the ABV.

nomomentwasted, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of Duhast500
4.25/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a pint glass.

The color is a dark amber with a light brown head with some nice lacing.

The smell is a bit of wet hops. A real malt presence gives an interesting flavor.

The taste is quite mellow. It is malty with som slight hopieness. It has a bit of a grassy flavor with some earthy feel to it.

The feel is quite light for a Stone beer. A nice soft crisp refreshing beer that is still strong in flavor.

Duhast500, Sep 06, 2009
Photo of ocelot2500
3.98/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep amber, copper color with an off-white head. Enough lacing on the glass.

Smells of citrus hops and some toasted malts underneath.

Tastes of the citrus and pine hop flavors up front with some underlying caramel and diacetyl notes.

Mouthfeel is chewy and feels too full, but not bad.

ocelot2500, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of oberon
3.83/5  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.

oberon, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of biboergosum
4.1/5  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...

biboergosum, Sep 05, 2009
Photo of GPHarris
4.22/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - poured a two-fingers thick tan head into a snifter that left nice ring and lace throughout. the body was a dark reddish-purple.
s - floral hops and a slight breadiness.
t - grassy hops and bread.
m - a little thin but that was to be expected.
d - a great session beer with a lot of body. if i didn't know the abv i would have guessed 6-7%.

GPHarris, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of ndillon45
3.15/5  rDev -18.4%
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.

ndillon45, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of dfitch81
3.55/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried this on tap at the brewery in Escondido and was blown away: this beer was far more flavorful and satisfying than any 4.4% ABV beer has a right to be. Once I got back to Portland I was kinda bummed that I didn't see it on any store shelves. So, when I happened to see a six-pack at New Seasons, I jumped on it. Hurrying home, I eagerly cracked one open. Disappointment followed.

Appearance was just as at the brewery - pleasant clear amber, good head and lacing. No problems here.
Cognitive dissonance began at the nose - yes, it smelled nice with hops coming through clearly. But the pungent hoppiness I marveled over at the brewery was muted.
Taste confirmed what the nose had suggested. This is a very hoppy beer for what it is, but the hop flavor is a bit two-dimensional. No real depth to the malt, either. Nothing offensive here, mind you; just not what I was eagerly anticipating.
Drinkability is good - with only 4.4% ABV, that's hardly surprising. But I am honestly starting to wonder if the sample I tried at the brewery wasn't something else poured in error.

Like I said: not bad, and probably one of the hoppiest session beers out there. But hops by themselves can't carry an entire beer. This is the proof.

dfitch81, Sep 03, 2009
Photo of Casey10
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was this first time I have seen this one in Maine so I picked it up.

A - good dark copper red hue pour with a slight foam head

S - Caramel malts and faint spices.

T - Good taste a bit thin with a small bite at the end.

M - Here is were it surprised mouthfeel was light and slighly tangy.

D - Based on the low ABV I could see this one being had more that once.

Casey10, Aug 27, 2009
Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,680 ratings.