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Levitation Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Levitation AleLevitation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

3,780 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 3,780
Reviews: 1,202
rAvg: 3.85
pDev: 11.95%
Wants: 145
Gots: 380 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,780 | Reviews: 1,202 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Kraken
3.8/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed 6/22/09
Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Floreffe chalice. Firm pour evokes a scant bone white head that fades very quickly to a faint eneven skim. Spotty lace. Color is a slightly clouded ruby brown.

Nose- Piney hops, some citrus rind, grapefruit and lemon peel. A bit of caramel, some faint nuttiness.

Taste- Very nice, its take on a session brown ale. Light on the alcohol, but big on taste. Light pine resin, some citrus grapefruit and lemon zest. Faint nuttiness, some moderate caramel. Nuances of peach and tangerine. Lots of citrus/bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Active, and fairly light for the color. Slightly cloying in the finish.

Drinkability- Great. There are lots subtle flavors going on that keep you interesting.

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

Tried this beer at the Stone Brewery gardens just north of San Diego. Found the beer to be a bit bitter and a little thin compared to most Stone brews. So I personally would not just sit around drinking this beer. I think there are better beers that the Stone Brewery puts out including their IPA.

Photo of silver0rlead
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful deep amber bordering on garnet with a nice frothy beige head. The aroma is nice but subdued, with some caramel and breadiness as well as some pine and citrus from the hops and your typical ale fruitiness. The flavor is nice but not overwhelming, with some caramel and toasted bread maltiness upfront and some piney and citrus hops on the back end along with a nice estery frutiness. The finish is a little sweet but in no way cloying. The mouthfeel is rich and luxurious without being heavy. The drinkability is off the charts on this one. One of my favorite amber ales, and one of the more balanced examples to boot.

Photo of sweemzander
3.94/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into an imperial pint glass. No bottle date.

(A)- Pours a red mahogany amber. 2-finger head dissipated all the way down to a light layer of almost yellow, but tan bubbles.

(S)- Tons of sweet malts combined with a hearty hop essence. Piney citrus with raisins, honey and a touch of a cinnamon.

(T)- An extreme drying component on the tongue! More hops than malt in the taste. Citrus peel with a bread/yeasty attribute. Slight raisin.

(M)- Man, the hops really dries out the mouth! But at the same time time is crisp and slightly sweet. A compelling texture switch from thick and mouth coating to a lighter, thinner crisp body at the same time.

(D)- Really crisp and refreshing! A solid drinker that a 6 pack would not stand a chance. Its even a great summer beer if you want something with a bit more oomph to it. The hops addition really creates an interesting complexity from dry to crisp sweetness. I did hope there were was more maltiness to it, but still a great beer.

Photo of Dodo2step
3.97/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

P- Al's of Hampden

A- a mahogany copper color. quite clear and a foamy head that sticks to the side of glass like spiderweb lacing.

S- a lot going on here. I get some citrus and pine hops but then there is chocolate, herbal and floral aromas as well as a sweet brown sugar like smell.

T- the taste is complex as well. Citrus and pine are at the forefront but then the other aromas i could detect dont shine as well. Its like they all mix together.

M- sweet and dry. Hoppy yet very smooth

D- this is a good beer from Stone and i have become a fan. i could pound these back all day.

Photo of cvstrickland
4.1/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I'm always on the lookout for tasty beers with a manageable ABV, and since Levitation Ale clocks in at 4.4% and I've never had a bad brew from Stone, this one looks like it could fit right into my wheelhouse. Let's give it a go!

Poured into my lucky gargoyle-clad Stone pint glass, Levitation Ale is reddish-copper and very clear with a pale ecru cap of fine-bubbled, slowly-receding foam. The head hangs around for the duration of the encounter and sticks wide rings of lacing onto the insides of the tumbler.

The aroma is spicy green and herbal with a twist of citrus-infused chocolate. Mild caramel works in concert, rounding the hoppiness into a savory bouquet that has my mouth watering even before my first sip.

The taste is spicy, herbal, and otherwise plenty hoppy, with a darkly-malty backbone lightly-clad in toasted malt and chocolate. Crisp bitterness pervades the flavor profile and the beer finishes grassy and dry with just a note or two of toffee and semisweet caramel languishing in the aftertaste.

The drink is medium-bodied and silky with enough carbonation to keep the quaffability factor quite high. Levitation Ale is a superb session brew from one of my favorite breweries-- the gargoyle never disappoints.

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

12 oz. silk-screened longneck bottle poured into an 18 oz. pub glass.

Pours an incredible deep mahogany that takes on deep rubied tones. Crowned with a huge, billowing, rocky beige head that fades slowly to a frothy cap, leaving behind thick, tight rings of lacing on the glass as the drink fades away into a welcoming mouth.

The fragrance wafting into the nose is even more surprising than the drop-dead-gorgeous looks: a huge floral/citrusy hop aroma that screams West Coast IPA and liberal dry hopping with home-grown hops from the good ol' USA.

Very light in body and nicely carbonated, with a solid malt backbone of light caramel sweetness combined with mildly toasted bread that shows up more toward the middle, meddling and mixing with a bitter yet none-overpowering citric hop presence that wonderfully complements and balances the malts, fading away with a somewhat dry finish and a bit of lingering hop flavor.

As stated, this is one perfectly balanced beer, and with as much full-on flavor and character as is present, the only thing giving away the extremely low 4.4% ABV is the lack of any sort of buzz afterward, even on a mostly empty stomach. There is no doubt that this ale ranks among the most characterful, flavorful session beers on the planet. The only thing that could keep it from dethroning anyone else is its relatively steep commanding price, which at around $10.00+ for a sixer is a little out of regular session territory.

But, then again, everything else about this beer is lightyears away from the usual "session" territory. It's time to rethink session beers altogether.

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

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Crystal clear amber with about a finger of off white head. Head falls to a decent film with some patches. Decent lacing as well.

S - Predominantely citrus hop aroma with a decent kick of grapefruit. A good deal of secondary pine along with earthy tones follows. Lightly toasted malt with a bit of graininess; smells fairly dry.

T - Hops are again at the forefront. Pine starts things off with hints of herbs and tea. A little grassy and a touch of apple/apricot. Minimal malt profile makes its way in mid palate with a little toastiness that turns into a bit of a grainy character keeping things relatively dry. Late palate is replete with grapefruit peel, earth, and another small touch of pine. Bitterness is moderate, perhaps a little high for such a "small" beer adding to the overall dryness.

M - Light to medium bodied with a soft to moderate carbonation that seems to be common in all of Stone's brews.

D - Initially I was put off by the lack of sweetness as that's something I often associate ambers with, but the drying aspect of Levitation works well. While maybe not quite at the level of mindblowing, Levitation is very unique for a beer of this strength (or lack thereof). Tons of hop flavor without any meddling alcohol burn. Functionally this is sort of like low ABV IPA. I really enjoyed putting back a few of these with some buddies last night and I think it's even better revisiting it tonight. Probably one of the hoppiest and most flavorful (and unfortunately most expensive) 4.4%, truly sessionable beers out there. For the price tag though, I'll take Stone's PA over this any day.

Photo of soupyman10
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Well this is certainly a confusing one - a Stone beer that's low in alcohol and not a total hops bomb. Color me surprised.

This one is a tasty little beer though. Great look, a deep maroon color with a huge billowy head that leaves excellent lacing. Perfectly balanced red, with some nice spicy caramel malt with all kinds of fun fruitiness. Appropriate body. Highly drinkable, one I would session.

Photo of beerorRIP
4.05/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured from a bottle to a clear pint glass: yields a nice fluffy off-white head that reduces to a layer of foam. the head actually lasts long than i thought it might. the body is a nice amber color that is quite clear. there is some lacing sticking around.

this is a stone beer, so as you can imagine there's a dominant hop aroma. pungent, piney, and citrusy is the best way to describe it, but it's not super powerful like others in the stone line-up. there's a bit of malt in there but the hops take the front row.

mmm. mini-bastard? i've heard that used for this one, but i'm not going to say that's so. the hops aren't as powerful in this one. there's plenty of hop flavor hitting you when you sip it, a touch of maltiness, and then the bitterness hits you. but it's controlled. very nice.

the body is medium-light. the carbonation is somewhat prickly to keep the beer moving along and too help accentuate the hop flavor and bitterness.

easy to drink this one. another session beer i could have more than one of quite easily.

Photo of gameface23
3.62/5  rDev -6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Amber/brown with an off-white head that doesn't last too long. It's darker than a stereotypical amber ale.

S: Pine and citrus hops.

T: Piney hop bite and roasted grains. Darker lovibond crystal malts abound.

M: Pretty thin.

D: I could definitely knock a 6 pack of these back.

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Darker than most ambers Levitation is a very dark, clear ruby red. Almost brown. Large off-white head leaves sticky lace and glass bottom retention.

Smells of citrusy pine dominant hops. Mild maraschino cherry juice.

Packs a piney hop punch. Some grapefruit rind in there as well. Has a consistant roving bitter from start to finish that I love. Tea-like malt with nutty hints that I'm not such a big fan of. Crisp and clean. Body feels like 4.4%

From the darker than usual color to the pine hop outbursts Levitation seems appropriately Stone. The only thing that doesn't seem quintessential stone is the low 4.4% abv. This beer reminds me of Scrappy from Scooby Doo in the sense that it's small yet hyper aggressive. Very flavorful despite a low abv. Huzzah.

Photo of marvin213
4.24/5  rDev +10.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Way darker than I expected. It looks more like a straight brown ale to me. I'm guilty of associating alcohol level with darkness when picturing beers, and it basically shocks me that this dark brown ale is less than 5%ABV. The appearance of the beer leaves me shocked. Is that good or bad? I'm not certain, but it's not what I expected.

The smell is really good. It's like cedar chips. It's like an oaky pine tree...with oranges growing on it. This beer's smell could be the odor of a cleaning agent. I mean that with sincere fondness. It's comprable to the scent of freshly applied Pledge with Lemon on a big ol' mohagany executive desk.

The taste is quite good. Interestingly, I taste much of what I smelled, and it doesn't transfer senses quite as well. As far as American Ambers, I must say this is my favorite of memory. I acknowledge it's not my favorite style, but the malts in this fresh-tasting (got it on arrival day at the local spot), lemony vibe are not of the burnt variety with which I'm more familiar. This is a good beer.

The mouthfeel's got a lemony zing. The carbonation and lemon zest really provide a tingle. I'm glad I got this one fresh--I could see this one really degrading with time. This review might be unfairly skewed in a positive manner due solely to freshness, but reviews--like life--aren't fair.

The most drinkable red I've come across. At times, I'm a homer, but I'd have to say this tops Greensboro's own Red Oak. It's the closest thing to a malt bomb you can take to an afternoon picnic...except an ice cream sundae, I guess, but we're talking about beer....

Photo of midnite2sixman
3.4/5  rDev -11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours an amber/molasses color accented by a golden aura that lies within.

Citrus and pine on the note, very crisp citrus, unripe pear and biscuity malts on the nose. Smells like a cracker.

Somewhat bland in the taste, a dry hoppiness that unfortunately ends watery.

Nose does not reveal the taste imho, and it is much smaller than you would think for a Stone beer.

So-so for me, kind of weak.

Photo of Jmoore50
3.83/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

The appearance was interesting, really dark, has a great whiskey color that I enjoyed. Came to a two finger head with a light tan color.

The smell is okay. It smells of malt sugarness. Nothing really else to mention.

The taste is good. Has a strong characteristic of malt. I cant taste it on the back and sides of the tongue. Not as sweet as i thought from the smell, also has a dry mellow earthy flavor. Interesting.

The mouthfeel is not great, hits different parts of the tongue, more caresses them, rather then abuses them like most of Stone's great brews do. The drinkability was good, nothing great. I am just so-so on this one. Nothing great. I like red's too, but this is mild. BUT, does do well for only being 4.4 percent, nicely done sir, nicely done.


Photo of atsprings
3.88/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Flying Saucer served in a standard pint-glass a nice amber with a decent off-white head that diminished to a ring and left spotty lacing. Aroma was a nice amount of citrus hops and sweet malts. The taste was a wonderful amount of hops against a nice subtle malt backbone. The beer is quite light and sessionable while retaining its hoppiness. This is a textbook session beer!

Photo of gunnerman
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured this into a pint glass, pours an amazing brilliant reddish copper with a foamy fluffy head that leaves nice fat lace on the glass. Smell is of malt and nice hops aroma coming from the glass. Taste is a nice balance of highly hopped with a malt backbone, this feels like a less agressive AB. Overall an extremly nice session beer, low alcohol with a nice strong taste.

Photo of constahoogan
4.13/5  rDev +7.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my Bruery Tulip.

A-pours a deep amber red color with an off-white/creamish frothy head with broken lacing as it goes down.

s-Pine-like Caramel malts. hints of floral hops.

t-slight bitter hops that don't cut your mouth dry. very flavorful considering its low ABV.

m-smooth at first, then the slight carbonation kicks in midway with a touch of dryness at the back. upon resting between sips/gulps i felt a bit of residual oil.

D- Extremely drinkable. great session brew.

Photo of LordAdmNelson
4.03/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

A- The color of this is amazing--a deep ruby/rose/amber color. More red color than most red ales I've had. Small off-white head. Laces with tiny bubbles on the glass.

S- Big refreshing citrusy hops. A slight bit of grassy hops in there too. Moves onto a caramel-ly malt. Robust, even when cold.

T- Taste fall a little short of the aroma initially, but it grows as the drink progresses. Big bitter hop punch to start things out. Moves into piney hops with a little malty sweetness following. Finishes with a bit of citrus hops. Kind of drinks like a light, less sticky barleywine.

M- Light and carbonated, maybe a little sticky, but nothing too significant. I might want a little more body or a little less carbonation here, although that might just be personal preference.

D- Very drinkable. A great brew to session--lots of flavor in a low ABV beer.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +14.8%
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.

Photo of Cresant
4.95/5  rDev +28.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured this 12 oz. brown bottle into a Stone Levitation glass! No date. The body was clear of sediment and a deep golden amber color. The frothy, uneven head left some rings of lace.

Smell was bursting with variety. Pepper, biscuits, sassafras. Yum. Organic leafy notes. Metal and bread. Lots going on here.

Taste was sweet malts and fruity tanginess. Biscuity. Slight roasted grain flavor. Hints of iodine, medicinal. Amazing amount of flavor and aroma from a 4.4% beer.

Mouthfeel was light to medium in body. Adequate carbonation. Very drinkable. I'm glad to finally have this one distributed in the area. For a very long time one has been able to buy Stone here but only recently can you now find Levitation.

Photo of Drew966
4/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stone Levitation Ale pours a dark reddish copper color with an off white head from a brown twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is very hoppy and rather nice. The flavor is also quite hoppy, there is some caramel malt hiding in the back, but hops are the star here. The body is light and this beer is very drinkable. A nice session beer. Recommended.

Photo of Docer
3.65/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Snagged 1 12 oz. bottle out of a 6-pack... just to try and review it as it possibly wasn't something I wanted an entire 6-pack of.. paid $2.09 for it... the 6-pack was a ridiculous $11.99... way overpriced no matter what..

- Great clear dark copper color... minimal head, and minimal lacing...

- Citrus hop... almost CA extracty... only in CA.. sweet caramel.. light pine.. but mainly the sweet fruity hops that I find to be associated w/ brews like Hop Stoopid, and Sculpin.. just that same hop extract that all the brewers seem to be getting cheap over there..

- Nice bittering hop... great grain profile... a light and drinkable flavor... but the citrus hop profile is there... and it is certainly not worth the money for a 6-pack... but I can see a watered down Undercover here... and it's not even Lagunitas... sorry... but this hop profile needs to go away. I'm tired of it... and but only may occasionally buy a Hop Stoopid because it's cheap. Stone? Ruination, and the Bastards are what I'm lovin'... not this..

- Slight dryness... watery... ok I guess..

- Easy to drink, has high marks here... but that is because it is so mild... but overall not much to speak of... if an Amber.. it's low on my list of fav's.. I'll take a Full Sail please.

Photo of ccrida
3.82/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a nonic, Levitation is a chill hazed chestnut with an off-white head that leaves decent lace.

Smell is pretty hoppy, resinous, with a bit of caramel malt sweetness.

Taste is similar, but more bitter hop flavor then taste, which is disappointing, especially after the smell. Decent malt backbone for the small size, but certianly not on par with the great scotch ales and bitters of the UK in that regard. While I bought it from a cooler and have kept it in my fridge since, I don't know if this had more hop flavor that has aged out, or was just brewed with all bittering hops and then dry hopped for aroma. If that is the case, it's a miss by my book. Regards, it's just OK now.

Mouthfeel is very crisp, light bodied.

Drinkability is ok, easy enough to suck down, but I don't like that it's almost all bittering hops. Ultimately I'm a little disappointed, but whether or not the problem is the recipe or the age of the beer I don't know...

Photo of IMincedTheKing
4.65/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a dark mahogany with a small head.

The smell is malty with citric hops cutting through. Very juicy aroma.

A big, bold flavor for such a modest ABV. Opens with creamy malts and a hint of smokiness that slowly gives way to rindy hops that linger for a good while after the swallow. Delicious, as expected from Stone.

So much flavor with such a low ABV--it looks like I've found a perfect session beer. Truth is, I'd been wanting to try this and I finally found a sixpack. I'd have rather picked up a single, but after tasting it, I don't mind having another five waiting around. In fact, I'm glad I do.

Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 3,780 ratings.