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Levitation Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Levitation AleLevitation Ale

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

3,605 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,605
Reviews: 1,184
rAvg: 3.86
pDev: 11.92%
Wants: 127
Gots: 277 | 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: 3,605 | Reviews: 1,184 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of BEERchitect
4.18/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to David H. for bringing this beer back from the brewery. I have longly anticipated this brew. It comes as a surprise to me what I'm about to experience. This increadible beer begins with a deep amber / nearly brown hue with creamy off-white head formation, retains very well, and leaves lacing all over the place. Modest carbonation gives the beer a cask ale-like demeanor. Sharp aromas of pine and citrus hops promises agression, while very light notes of nuts, toast, and cocoa tells me that the beer isn't only hops. The taste of the hops hit up front with a juicy burst citurs, then pine. After the hops die down a bit, the dry toast, chesnut, and light cocoa powder flavors come in. Interestingly, there are no real sweetness to this beer- it has fully attenuated so that only the dry malt, hops, and fermentation character shows. The mouthfeel is both creamy and dry, making it very drinkable, albeit bitter. Finishes with a crisp bitterness- part from hops, but part from toast and nuttiness. This beer has a lot of character for a 4.4% sessionable, bone-dry beer. A pleasure to drink, but a bit of sweetness would have scored it higher.

BEERchitect, Jun 27, 2008
Photo of buffettfan
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass.

Looks impressive, a nice, dark amber almost ruby color. Smells mostly of hops, with some fruity citrus notes. Taste was very good, much like the aroma, mostly hops with some orangy citrus flavor. Nice bitter finish. I like to have a 6 pack of this in the fridge most of the time. One of my everyday beers. I like it a lot.

buffettfan, Jun 26, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in its appropriate glassware at the "Steal the Glass" evening at the Innsbrook Capital Ale House, Richmond... and now, reviewed from notes taken at the time

A: A deep red hue, almost cola like in appearance. A fluffy, offwhite head, sticking liberally along the glass walls.

S: Grapefruit citrus hops on the foregront. An evening balance of malts offer a caramel flavour along with the bit of graininess.

T + M + D: A similar profile to the aroma. Grapefruit flavours in the hops, with a touch of pine or spruce. A soft malt backbone provides a nice rounding to the overall body and flavour. A lighter, more accessable flavour and feeling that makes this a very approachable, easy to drink, friendly beer. At a tame 4.4%, it would certainly be a session candidate.

Proteus93, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of gwood
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber with a big tight head that backed down to a half finger think saucer that just sat there on top of the brew nlacing as the volume in my pint goes down.

Clean "C" hops in the nose up front, slight roasted malt with dark bread toast smells that get stronger

Malts come through in places quite nicely with this brew. However the first wave is a hop bitterness that is crisp an bit citrusy at first but transitions to earthy and grassy notes later. The middle speaks of toasted and caramal malts ever briefly prior to transitioning a lingering finish of more hops and a latent malt sweetness.

Slightly watery mouthfeel with good solid carbonation. Overall a very attractive and drinkable Amber.

gwood, Jun 08, 2008
Photo of illidurit
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an Arrogant Bastard pint glass. Pours a very dark but clear amber with a nice two-finger tan head. Great retention with some spotty lacing.

Aroma is at first hoppy, but after prolonged sniffing, cookie-ish malt becomes more prominent.

The taste is just about identical to the smell. Citrus hops over cookie malt. Unfortunately this beer isn't very robust and lacks the malt base to support the hops.

Mouthfeel is smooth and clean but rather watery due to the aforementioned lack of a solid maltiness. Very easy to drink and a nice sessionable option from Stone.

illidurit, May 28, 2008
Photo of tempest
3.9/5  rDev +1%
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.

tempest, May 03, 2008
Photo of mcallister
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Deep russet with a very clean appearance. A nice tannish head fades quickly into a frothy top.

Big citrusy hop in the nose. Grapefruit, orange and hints of passion fruit. Som caramel malts sneak through but not enough to touch the juicy hops.

Sweet malty fruity backing with a assertive hip of the citrus the nose has shown. Mouth is oddly thin and hurts things. A very nice easy drinking amber ale with a great resiny refreshing hop approach.

mcallister, Apr 29, 2008
Photo of barleywinefiend
4/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

barleywinefiend, Apr 04, 2008
Photo of jmalex
3.73/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Stone's beers are very easy to get... except one. For whatever reason I have never seen Levitation for sale anywhere on the east coast. So when I was in Arizona in February, I made sure to bring back a bottle to try.

APPEARANCE: Pours a somewhat hazy amber brown with some slight red hues. The head is a shade darker than white and holds at about one finger high. Lacing covers the sides of the glass as I drink.

SMELL: The unmistakable aroma of Stone's citrusy hops comes out in full force. Behind it is a slight caramel maltiness, but it's clearly outshined by the hops.

TASTE: The hops are king again and dominate the flavor. They're at a nice level, but the malt doesn't come up to meet it at all. Definitely a clean west coast ale, but it's a bit too out of balance.

MOUTHFEEL: Slightly on the light side as far as body is concerned. And slightly on the light side as far as carbonation goes.

DRINKABILITY: It does a great job here. This is a phenomenal session for those who love beers on the hoppy side.

A nice beer for sure, but it could use a tad more residual sweetness. It was worth seeking out this one time, but I'd probably go for Stone's other offerings on a regular basis.

jmalex, Apr 03, 2008
Photo of F2brewers
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap in a pint glass at Stone Brewing World Bistro and Gardens in November 2007 (yes...still catching up).

Appearance: Transparent pour with copper bordering on red color. Nice white head, but retention was below average...it was gone in about a minute or so.

Smell: Malty at first, but the presence of West Coast citrus hops are also very noticeable. A good balance of smells, especially for an American Amber style.

Taste: Good hoppy flavor but not overbearing. Maltiness could be boosted a bit, but again, the overall balance in the beer is quite good. There was also just a touch of roasted malt and/or nutty taste to the beer...very nice.

Mouthfeel: Carbonation was low in the beer. Mdeium Body. No lingering hops on the finish...just a touch of sweet caramel and malt there.

Drinkability: This is a fine, easy drinking session beer that still has good flavor and aroma.


F2brewers, Mar 20, 2008
Photo of abankovich
4.15/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I was very excited to have this on tap in Ohio, somewhere that has just about never seen this beer at all, let alone out of a keg. The pour had about a 1 finger head that stayed fairly well throughout the entire glass.

The appearance seemed a little dark considering it is an American Amber. But then considering it is a Stone brew, the color matches with most anything else they produce (which is a good sign in my book).

I was not expecting the hop aroma and taste that I got when I was first served this beer. I didn't really have any major set expectations going into it, I just didn't think it would be so hoppy. That said, it is still a very well-balanced ale. The hops were prominent, but not overpowering. My girlfriend was also with me and she doesn't really care for hoppy beers, but she had 3 of these. I guess my report on both taste and smell combined would truly be well-balanced malt and hops.

Mouthfeel was about in the mid-range. Definitely something substantial on the palate, but it finishes clean and easy, much easier than anything else from Stone that I've had (note: I love everything else I've ever had from Stone).

Drinkability is amazing. As mentioned plenty of times earlier, this is the easiest Stone to drink, it goes down so easily that it's scary. I really hope that they offer this permanently in Ohio as it's something that I think most people could approach (like their Pale Ale) and not be knocked on their ass from drinking due to the ABV.

If you get a chance to have this beer, take it. I'm not saying that it is the best American Amber that I've ever tasted, but it is way up on my list and is definitely a great beer from Stone that should encourage anyone to try all their other brews.


abankovich, Feb 29, 2008
Photo of JDV
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep transluscent maroon with a light beige head. Smell is big sweet maltiness equally matched however by a nice blast of fresh fruity hoppiness. Similar smell to a nice IPA. Very nicely balanced sweet caramel and hop flavor for an amber. Nice rich body, great flavor, and well hopped for an amber. Very good, very drinkable, and recommended for sure, even for non amber fans.

JDV, Feb 24, 2008
Photo of Bierguy5
3.78/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap for the Stone Tasting at Boston's. Fairly clear chestnut colored brew. Nice fluffy head that lasts for some time.

Whiff of piney, floral aroma. Not overwhleming, but lets you know it is there. A hint of caramel in the background.

This is a pretty simnple beer. A bit of darker caramel flavor up front. Some moderate hop bitterness. Some floral and piney flavor. A dry, close to minerally finish. Pretty clean.

Medium body, smooth carbonation. Very easy to drink. As close to a session beer as you will get from Stone I guess. Pretty nice.

Bierguy5, Feb 23, 2008
Photo of mattcrill
3.85/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma: Nice balance of bready and biscuity malt with some light citrus and earthy hop notes. Nothing off and balance seems to be the major theme here.

Appearance: Dirty copper colored pour with a big, rocky white head. Appears still in the glass but the head retention is beautiful.

Flavor: Balance again shines here with a biscuity malt base and flowery, light citrus notes to keep it all in check. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with high carbonation. Slight carbonic bite that I feel hides some of the potential flavor. No alcohol heat or grain astringency.

Overall impression: A balanced, sessionable American ale. Seems tame for a West Coast amber. However, this is highly poundable. Inspires me to try to clone an interesting quaffer like this. Recommended.

mattcrill, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of ojclark
3.93/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Initial burst of malty, floral and hoppy aroma that became more subtle after a few seconds and included hints of caramel and vanilla. Clear, amber/brown color with frothy tan head that dissipated into a minimal head fairly quickly. Malty, roasted flavors with some floral hop character and slight caramel. With each sip, there was a powerful spike of bitterness that only lasted a second and settled into a pretty well balanced flavor. Medium carbonation. Medium-bodied.

ojclark, Feb 17, 2008
Photo of rsyberg01
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

S - 12 oz bottled offering courtesy of Tayner

A - pours a deep red with a fair off-white head, lacing is nice, good.

S - citrus, pine, slight metallic note, grassy, pear, firm white flesh fruit, another fruit I cant quite pin point. dig it.

T - grassy hop, slight sweet citrus, earthy, pear, malt sweetness on the back end.

M - dry, lingering between nicely, good.

D - flavor gets a little bit fatiguing, but I could polish a sixer easy.

rsyberg01, Feb 15, 2008
Photo of BMan1113VR
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice for such a low ABV beer. Aromas of flowers, pine, malt and honey. Pours with a very small head that goes. Initial flavor is of honey and sweetened tea, followed by malt and pine. Does taste a bit watered down. Medium but watery textured body with soft carbonation. Very nice for something that can legally (in the U.S.) be called a beer.

BMan1113VR, Feb 07, 2008
Photo of seaoflament
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a rusty amber color with about half inch of foam--good retention.

Big citrus hop aroma on the nose, grapefruit, lemon, and orange zest. After it settles, the malt profile starts to show up; roasted malts, toast, caramel and a little buttery. For such a low alcohol volume (4.4%) it does not smell tame! One of the best smelling ambers I've had so far.

The taste showcases the malt a little more than the aroma. I get a good dose of toasted malt but it is quickly pushed back by some hop bitterness and finishes with some citrus.

Mouthfeel is thin with some bitter and toasty aftertaste but then again this is meant to be a session beer so one should not expect a big and heavy mouthfeel. Goes down very smooth and leaves a slight dryness on the palate which makes you want to take another sip. A very decent session beer.

seaoflament, Feb 05, 2008
Photo of Rayek
3.9/5  rDev +1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A very hop laden beer. Closer to an IPA than an Amber Ale, but still very good.

A: Nice red amber color. A little chill haze. Has very little head, but what is there leaves a fine lace down the glass.

S: Very, very hoppy. Grapefruit was the first aroma to jump out at me; along with an overall citrus quality. It was followed by sugar notes and a little wood rosin.

T: Again, very hoppy. Quite bitter with more citrus notes and a little coriander. The bitterness lingers with a tart finish. Malt plays a very little role here, as the hops overshadow any of the crystal malts that are present.

M: Light body with a fair amount of carbonation.

D: If you like hops, but aren't quite in the mood for an IPA, this is your beer. If you don't like hoppy beers, look elsewhere. I found this quite drinkable and would buy it again.

Rayek, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of biggmike
4.1/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed courtesy of Barefootbrewer. Poured a nice dark amber/copper color with nice white head that lasted quite a while. Aroma is of citrus hops. Flavor is also of citrus hops with a bit of maltiness coming through. This is a nice sessionable amber ale with a high degree of drinkability. Mouth feel was good and lacing on glass was light.

biggmike, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of tpd975
4/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a beautiful amber red color with a decent head that comes close to 1 finger in size.

S: The aroma is a big bold citrus hop aroma which I have come to expect from stone. There is a bit of mellow malt sweetness laying below.

T: Nice hops notes with tons of grapefruit and hint of pine sap. The malt comes at you with notes of caramel and biscuit. Nice tasting perfectly balanced.

M: Medium body with quite a bit of carbonation. Downright bubbly I would say.

D: If stone makes a session ale this may just be it. 12 oz bottles are the perfect size for pounding.

Overall: Nice hoppy brew that is so easy drinking. I love stone and if I could get this one by the sixer, I would pound em down all summer long. I'm beginning to believe Stone don't make a single bad beer.

tpd975, Jan 17, 2008
Photo of NCSUdo
3.88/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle

A: Deep clear red, rusty brownish, under a fingers worth of white head. Good retention, good lace.

S: Grapefruit hops hits the nose first, followed by a more tropical fruity hoppiness. I'm not getting a lot of malt character here, which isn't surprising considering the taste.

T: Taste of some tropical fruit and citrus grapefruit. Maybe some slight hints of a sweet malt, with a moderate bitter finish. The hops are really showcased here, with the malt taking a backseat.

M/D: A light, semi-watered down body. Carbonation is a little high. Drinkability is pretty good on this one as it is low ABV, pretty tasty and easy to go down. This amber ale really showcases the hops. Not in a IPA way, but they are here in numbers. I would have liked a little more maltiness, but it is not bad.

NCSUdo, Jan 15, 2008
Photo of Jedimaster1
4.08/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle poured into glass chalice.

A: Deep amber, burgundy red. It is clear, but dense. Slight head that dissipates quickly.

S: Citrus, piney hops can be smelled throughout with a slight malty odor.

T: Taste of sweet, oaky malt backed by slightly intense citrus hops. This basically tastes like a toned down Oaked Arrogant Bastard. So it tastes great!

M: Smooth! Slight aftertaste of hops and malt, which is a good thing.

D: These could be drank down all night -- i.e. great session brew. And with the 4.4%ABV, this makes a great alternative for people who enjoy Stone's AB, but don't want to be toasted after a few.

Another great beer from Stone!

Jedimaster1, Jan 11, 2008
Photo of mattster
3.48/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opened 12 oz bottle and poured into Nonic glass.

Formed nice light tan head of less than a half inch atop dark red/maroon/brown ale. Mostly clear.

Smell is nice.. Hops and evergreen - a touch of malts. Taste is of hops as well. Nice hints of citrus. Finishes quite well. Very smooth. Pretty nice brew. I want another.

mattster, Jan 10, 2008
Photo of Overlord
3.95/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

First review under the new system. Joy.

Pours a deep amber color. Surprisingly small amount of head. Taste is robust with pine and grapefruit hops. Some sweetness balancing it out. The beer this reminds me of is Mad River's Jamaica Red, but without as much malt backing.

A good beer, but not my favorite from Stone. Somewhat raw.

Overlord, Dec 24, 2007
Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,605 ratings.