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Levitation Ale - Stone Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Levitation AleLevitation Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,199 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,199
Hads: 3,867
Avg: 3.88
pDev: 21.39%
Wants: 160
Gots: 474 | 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

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

No notes at this time.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Levitation Ale Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,199 | Hads: 3,867
Photo of TurdFurgison
3.73/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle with the usual Stone marketing hype on it. The beer was reddish-orange-copper color, with a nice pillowy head.

The flavor was very mild, pretty balanced hops/malt. Not a bad session beer if it was easier to find in Ohio. But very replaceable so it's not worth seeking out.

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Photo of soulgrowl
3.86/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Bold rust-colored body with ever-so-slight chill haze. Head is quite impressive, a thunderhead the color of homemade vanilla ice cream. Retention is solid, but undermined by big, snappy bubbles.

Smell: Estery hops, and plenty of 'em, running the gamut from geraniums to grapefruit. A bit lacking in the toasty malt scent that I love about American reds, but still good. Caramel and a light banana aroma are also present.

Taste: Ah, there's the toast I'm looking for! A very pleasant, fruity, toasty, nutty malt base with snappy, floral and citric hops. Y'know, this is good, but I must say... it's kind of weak! I didn't think Stone could brew such a well-behaved little beer. Everyone's worthy of this one, for sure.

Mouthfeel: Not bad. Fairly chewy but a little too slick in the finish.

Drinkability: This is not as refreshing or as flavorful as other American reds out there, but nevertheless, a sixer would make for a nice session.

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Photo of tonistruth
3.81/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

A- nice looking mix between orange, red, and amber colors. Big off white head with good retention. Head gets fluffy as it sinks to a little ring of foam that never recedes. Lace all over glass.

S- citrus and grain are the most dominant scents. Some faint other aromas in there, a little hard to make out.

T- very bittersweet. Grain flavor becomes sour in the aftertaste, mild sweet citric flavors, toasted malts (faint). hoppy taste. A tad unbalanced I think.

M- between a medium to thin body, feels nice on the palate. Smooth throughout through the hops do impart a dry finish.

D- With that 4.4% abv this is a perfect session beer for hopheads. Though for for amber/red ale fans, this might not be up your alley. Some malt flavor might be nice.

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Photo of goodbyeohio
4.11/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

finally got my hands on a bottle of this east-coast mystery (as in, "why can't the east coast get this beer?").. 4.4% sounds nice for a late-afternoon drink.. and whaddyaknow.. ba swillinbrew hooked me up with a nice stone pint glass, too. looks beautiful in the glass.. a dark amber and rather clear, bubbles commute casually to the surface leaving a brisk ring around the edges. looks alot like old guardian, causing evil flashbacks.

nice sweet aroma of biscuity vanilla malts accented by a red-berry infused mild hop presence. nothing stone about this stone, as it lacks the citrusy tang in the nose and presents something real.. well, simple yet bold. full-flavored leading off with a grassy note followed by buttered rolls and a burnt carbon crusty bitterness. finishes off with the flavors evacuating at the first sign of hop resin, begging many further sips. easy drinking like a pale ale should be, and mystically full of flavor. a flagship session ale that begs for wider release.. maybe the best stone beer out there?

who knows.. it seems to be ultimately overlooked in favor of specialty/big beers.

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Photo of bennetj17
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Rich amber hue, thin light head with decent retention, nice carbonation, slight haze. Medium hop aroma with a slight nuttiness. Notes of caramel and grape flavor from the malt also. Not particularly inviting. Taste begins with a mild sourness and bitterness with a caramel nut flavor coming through. Semi-sweet only. Light to medium body with solid carbonation. The drinkablility of this is average or so, I really am trying to grasp the amber/brown malt flavors but it's not that intriguing. A decent mild ale overall...

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Photo of beersabound
3.98/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought this one at the brewery and it is fresh. It has great clarity, a tight tan head and a rich copper/amber hue. The aroma is well balanced, nutty & buttery with mellow hops. Definitely not the same hops as the Stone IPA or Arrogant Bastard. The mouthfeel is smooth from the diacetyl and has a little CO2 bite that detracts from the flavor. This beer does have great lacing, though.The flavor is balanced like the aroma and it finishes slightly nutty in the front and dry in the back. The aftertaste is where I can really enjoy the hops without the diacetyl. This is a good beer with an aftertaste that will keep you thirsty for more. It is a little filling though with the diacetyl and slight overcarbonation. I'd get it again.

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Photo of tesguino
3.53/5  rDev -9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a gargoyle beer, only seen in my city in magazines and the net, a retailer from tijuana offer this beer and i buy a six from stone brewing IPA, Pa and levitation, and i was surprised that inthe uncle sam land the country is not only good for make the war, too is good for brew beers of excelence, like this, and others. this say with respect of course; i try this with mexican food and is a good option for me, little different but is good, i recent discover the craft beer world and this is the top of the iceberg. 85% recommended.

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Photo of UberWasser
4.55/5  rDev +17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz brown bottle, no freshness date, served in a 16oz mug.

Pours a nice dark amber color with a generous head, even on a gentle pour. As the beer disappears a nice lacing remains both on the surface of the beer and the sides of the glass. An attractive halo of bubbles rings the top of the liquid...an innocence not usually seen in Stone's typically agressive beers.

Smell starts out full of malt sweetness...caramelly, I guess. Soft fruitiness and citrus...ness? (I guess) rise from behind. A bit of spiciness, like black pepper, is subtle but present.

Just gets better from there...wow, this is one complex Amber Ale. Most I've had are very one sided, mostly on the malts, sometimes in an unpleasent way. This is a really perfect balance between the soft sweetness of the malt and a great citrus, spice and grassy presence of the hops. The aftertaste is a great tingly bitterness on the middle of the tongue with orange tastes in the back of the mouth.I love this...

Mouthfeel is full, slick and tingly...full of a nice tight carbonation while staying somehow silky.

In conclusion, while Stone's other beers are highly-held for their wild, in your face flavors (as they deserve to be) this beer deserves attention in it's own right. A fantastic, highly drinkable session beer that is also nicely complex. Being available in six packs is a godsend...I'll be buying this again.

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Photo of brentk56
3.68/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a fairly clear honey colored body with a tight beige head that leaves some good lacing

Smell: A bit of a battle between the dominant hops and some pesky malts; the hops are citrusy and grassy but with every fifth sniff or so, I find the caramel malt fighting to make an entrance; odd, but good

Taste: Starts with a good caramel malt base; midway through, the bitter, slightly metallic hops kick in; long, rather astringent finish, just a touch buttery

Mouthfeel: Thick and slick with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: An aggressive amber with an interesting flavor profile, but the astringent finish knocks it down a notch in my book

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Photo of Wasatch
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a nice deep clear amber color, nice carbonation, small tan head, and some lacing afterwards. Scents of hops, malts, caramel, and citrus. Nice taste for an amber ale, very exact to the style, sweet and slight hop taste, nice little bitter bite at the end. Medium body. Very drinkable at the ABV, would make a nice session brew.

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Photo of mbunje
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz Bottle poured into a pint glass

1/2" of head, golden brown color, very clear, light carbonation. Smell of light citrus and carmel. Good Hop taste, but not overly hoppy like some other Stones (which really like) alcohol finish is bitter, but in a good way. A bit of an orangy overtone to the flavor that I like. Starts out smooth almost thick, finish is real dry, a little too much for my preference. This beer feels very pure/clean in every way. More drinkable than most Stones. Only 4.4% so it won't kill you to have another (and another, and another...)

Off to the store to buy this again!

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Photo of Tupperwolf
3.52/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my nonic glass. It pours a proper deep, very clear amber with a thick, rising, fluffy, pouty off-white head that sits there for ages and only recedes to a thin but complete covering of the beer after a lot of sips. Lacing is phenominal, lots of sticky head bubbles clinging to the glass that mark the beer's progress. An extremely well-presented ale.

Smell a little bland; a little sweet oaty malt smell.

Taste is a little hoppier than a lot of ales, but it's a Stone brew, and they do hops well. The front half of the tongue is tingled with caramel flavors that are quickly overcome with the acidity of the hops on the way down; The bitterness hangs around a lot longer than I'd like, which brings the taste numbers down.

Mouthfeel is pretty good, a lot of sparse, tight bubbles come together to fizz across the palate, leaving sticky, chewy reminders of the hops for a long time. Nothing to write home about.

Drinkability gets a lower score because of the aftertaste; It kind of becomes a chore just to finish one of these, much less to reach for another.

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Photo of Brewfan
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into my all-purpose, no-frills goblet.
Poured a very clean coppery-amber color with a good amount of thick bone-white head. Decent lacing.
Nice and hoppy on the nose with some floral and citrus notes. Sweet maltiness comes through as well.
Sweet on the tongue with some crisp hoppy bitterness cutting through the malt. Bitter but well balanced with an almost caramel sweetness. Finishes acidic and dry with plenty of lace still clinging to the top of the beer. Medium heavy feel for an amber.
Decent no-frills amber from Stone. Maybe a tad bit much on the bitter side for my taste in ambers, but really what I would expect from Stone.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.9/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

De-bottled from the 12 oz'er as a dark yet clear amber hues releasing a few scant suds rising to meet a khaki frothy cratered head cap.

Bright signature Stone house scents of vanilla and orange citrus hops. Plenty of candy and sugary pastry scents.

First swigs: Sweet easy hop juice just oozes down the gullet with a flavor and a mouthfeel that are intermingled to build a smooth sweet sipper. Some middle of rootbeer and soft orange hops.

The feel is silky smooth that creeps when you sip it. Soft and easy with a soft carbonation. Just a medium body here.

Last swigs: Candy root beer barrel smooth beer from Stone. A little less "bawlsy" than most other Stone brews, but a pleasant change up, clocking in at an un-Stone like 4.4% ABV. Gotta read that crazy rant from Greg on the back.

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Photo of SteveO1231
4.38/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up a 6 pack of the Levitation, this is one of Stone's beers I really hadn't paid attention to. I decided the time had come.

Poured a dark copper color, thick foamy off-white head. Moderate carbonation. Nice lacing.

Nice malt smell. Light flowery hop scent.

Very smooth, nice sweet malt flavor. Great finish, lightly hopped and perfect bitterness with a taste of tea remain on the palate.

Very balanced and delicious, I could drink a bunch of these. Great session beer.


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Photo of Quaffer
4.21/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Picked this up in Boulder, CO. Not available here in Wichita.

Appearance: This beer poured copper-colored with deep amber around the edges. The beige head rose up to two fingers and settled slowly. It became dense and a little rocky as it sank back into the beer, leaving tiny traces of itself behind. As I drank, thick rings of lace were left stuck on the side of the glass. Great looking beer.

Smell: A slightly sweet, biscuit like maltiness was strong. This blended well with citrusy hops. A little bit of vanilla lay almost hidden underneath. Weak on the nose overall, but nice and balanced smelling.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied with a nice, mouthfilling malty feeling. Smooth upfront, picking up some tingle in the back of the mouth.

Taste: A very nice biscuity and crackery maltiness rose up big. There was not a lot of sweetness to it, which is usually my biggest complaint of this style. It was dry, a little husky, and delicious. Some butteriness came through, but it was light and just enough to compliment. I can rarely say that about beers that I detect diacetyl in. Some balancing hops rose up on the finish, adding a light bitterness with hints of citrus. They took on more of an herbal quality later in the aftertaste.

This is a great beer overall; an excellent beer for the style. Very well balanced and not too sweet. With the low alcohol, it would make a great session beer. It's great to try a mellower, but still well-crafted, Stone beer.

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Photo of DogFood11
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

How can this beer be 4.4%?? Every step along the way it seems this beer is supposed to be in your face but ends up light as far as ABV.

Frothy swiss coffee type head that fades to a thin lacing. Big hoppy aroma, caramel, malt and a bit earthy at times. deep mahogony color. very inviting. for this style I have to say the appearance to me is almost perfect. A little more retention and its a 5.

Tasted hoppy up front and in the finish but in the middle its a complex circus of taste. some toasted/burnt but not bold just a smidge, wet but in a good sense not watery. I can't believe I've waited this long as this may be the best lower alcohol beer I've had and it can be sessioned for sure. Puckers ya up in the midst of pleasure. I will bow at the doorsteps of stone in honor of this product. A near perfect example of tasty, complex low abv session Mcgillicutty.

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Photo of IceAce
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This brew pours a deep copper with ruby-red highlights capped with a mega-sticky tan collar of foam which leaves the thickest lace I have witnessed.

The nose is malty sweet with a backdrop of citrus and hints of yeast.

Good ambers are hard to find...great one even harder. Stone has done a nice job of elevating the status of amber with this tasty brew. This is an easy-drinking, moderate alcohol sessionable brew with a nice malty backbone flanked by a very complimentary hop blend. The finish is pleasantly sweet and the mouthfeel well balanced.

Typical Stone? No, not really.

Great Amber? You bet your bippy!

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Photo of Bcant
3.58/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Some might disagree but the Levitation Ale stuck me as a good session beer (though slightly on the potent side) It pours a deep amber with an eggshell head that sticks around. The nose is mostly malt but it finishes with a deep bettering hop character. The hopping of this beer is rather interesting. As a departure from some of Stone’s other brews the malts provide most of the flavor and aroma but the hops, which hang low aromatically, balance the abundant malts well. It is not the most interesting beer in the world (or that Stone brews) but it has the sort of sturdy simplicity that is too often overlooked in American brewing.

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Photo of meathookjones
3.8/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz attractive silk screen bottle. Reddish amber body with a small light tan head that stayed around. Light aroma all around with some caramel malt and light hoppy notes. Not too much else was there. Sweet malty taste with a light bitterness and some earthy hops. Mild notes of pine and nuttiness appeared at times. Light bittersweet finish. Pretty smooth and a bit lighter than medium, which works for this. I could make a session of this. Solid all around.

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Photo of mentor
3.22/5  rDev -17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Oh man, I just moved to Colorado and they have lotsa *wicked* beers out here. Picked up this bottle down the street from Total Beverage and consumed it the next evening in July 2005. Pours a fluffy/clingy finger and a half light tan head over a crystal clear dark rust brownish liquid. Smells are almost imperceptable. Some piney citrus hops and weak caramel, but only with searching. Tastes weakly piney with some grapefruit pith. Hardly hop bitter. The aftertaste is smooth with faint chocolate and nut. Md-light body and mildly carboanted. The carbonation is a bit sharp, so I will swirl to release it...loosing the acrid sting usually lets me pull other flavors out of a beer.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.03/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I told Greg back in 2002 that I wasn't fond of the Levitation Ale, he told me to try it again because it had just been reformulated. Well, I'm finally getting around to it now!!!

As I remember it (but it has been close to 3 years), it's pretty much the same beer with the IBU's dropped a bit; a little less citrusy hops in the flavor; and some added chocoate notes in the malt.... and it's improved!

It still has a great appearance with it's chestnut-brown and ruby-cast body topped by a creamy dollop of ivory foam. There's still a very nice caramel maltiness with an added, delicate touch of chocolate to the malt; and its bristling touches of hops spice it up. It still finishes dry to be sure, but the bitterness doesn't linger quite as strong as it used to.

For fans of brown ale (such as myself), and mild beers (such as myself), this is a really interesting and enjoyable take on the brown ale style. Very nice!

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Photo of GClarkage
3.65/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

07/11/05- Received via BA member RKhaze from a trip down to SoCal.

Presentation- Elegant etched 12oz bottle, undated. Poured into my Stone Levitation glass.

Appearance- Watery looking red/amber pour. The head makes of for it as does the great lacing.

Smell- Hefty caramel malt and bitter hops.

Taste- Very bitter hops and a big caramel malt backed flavor. Can't taste a true brown ale here.

Mouthfeel- Overly carbonated, and a fuller mouthfeel.

Drinkability- This one kinda tastes more like an ESB to me. Especially with the hops in this one. Not a bad brew considering though. Good job by Stone regardless of the style.

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Photo of watermelonman
4.25/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

This poured to a nice light brown with a small head that shrank to a ring. A few specks of lace remain.

The smell is mostly of malts and fairly rich. The taste is nice and solid, with hops really taking over in the finish. The mouthfeel isn't quite as rich as it could be, but the drinkability is very good.

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Photo of Dukeofearl
2.88/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Pours a clear light brown with definite reddish highlights. The head is a moderately sized, yellowish tan that sits on top pretty nicely.

Aroma is malt, gentle but firm. Some slight sweetness, with a caramel toffee offset by a hint of grassiness.

Flavor is actually surprising in the strength of its hoppiness. The malty roundness of a Brown ale is definitley there, but the oily, herbal notes and the strong almost burning sensation at the back of the throat just does not sit right with me for this style.

I haven't had all of Stone's creations yet, and I haven't fallen in love with all of them, but this is the first one that I don't have any interest in revisiting.

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Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing Co.
87 out of 100 based on 1,199 ratings.