Levitation Ale | Stone Brewing

very good
1,202 Reviews
Levitation AleLevitation Ale

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States

Style: American Amber / Red Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by xlperro on 09-27-2002

This beer is retired; no longer brewed.

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Reviews: 1,202 | Ratings: 3,886
Photo of SMILLIE
4.48/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a Stone pint glass

Appearance: Very dark golden brown, cloudy. Thick creamy three finger head that stays around for quite a while. High amount of lacing, one of the best I’ve seen. Very nice!

Smell: Strong aroma (could smell as soon as I cracked the bottle). Dark malt, hops.

Taste: Very smooth taste of malt, hops. Bitter on the end.

Mouthfeel: Very nice body to this beer, not exactly creamy or thick but quite satisfying. Very high amount of carbonation.

Overall:. Excellent brew, another great one from Stone.

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Photo of joecast
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

finally, the last of stones year round beers i have not tried. this is an occasion i have looked forward to.
12 ov bottle. enjoy by date 08 04 07

pours darker than i expected. deep amber and copper. very low carbonation. thin tan head leaves some lacing.

super hoppy aroma. spicy, peppery, a bit grassy. probably missing some malt presence, but i dont mind. puts other sub 5% beers to shame.

hmm, hop flavored mouth wash comes to mind. nah, actually, mouth wash made from hops. no flavoring added here. its the real thing.
starts with a light sweetness on the tongue before a flooding of hops takes over from my lips, passed the roof of my mouth and down the back of my throat. more please.

well, never had an amber ale like this! certainly punches above its weight, and does it well. more hops in this 12oz bottle than most cases of bmc.

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Photo of zeff80
4.47/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

A - Beautiful looking beer. Clear amber color with a three-finger, tan head of thick foam that slowly receded. It took me several pours to empty the 12oz bottle into my pint glass. It left behind sheets of intricate lace patterns on the sides of the glass.

S - Is this an IPA? It smelled of pine and citrus. Very little maltiness or caramel that you would expect in an amber ale.

T - Spicy upon first sip with bready malt flavors. The bitterness is tame compared to the hoppy aroma but still pack a good bite with some citrus flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and finish very dry. A light to medium bodied beer.

D - The perfect session beer and possibly the best amber that I've ever had.

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Photo of LyonsHead
4.46/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A: Amber in the finest since of the word with a perfect 1 finger head and some of the best lacing I've seen all the way down the pint glass. This beer was crystal clear and looked perfect!

S: Big hop aroma of the earthy, woodsy, piney variety. there is a nice floral complexity as well. Deep in the background there is a malty, yeasty bread character and a subtle sweetness

T: THe hops are at the forefront with a character spot on with the aroma, there is more malt in the flavor than the aroma however. here you get a good caramel character coming through.

M: good "meaty" body, almost chewy at some points. pleasantly surprising as it combined with a dry finish

D: Could have had this one all night. I found this beer to be one of the more enjoyable beers I've had, not technically flawless but it was just fantastic. The dry finish with the wonderful ballance of hops and malt allows you to drink several.

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Photo of Shumista
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Picked a sixer of this up while in Aspen because it's one of the few offerings from Stone that I haven't seen back home.

A- Levitation Ale pours a clear amber/copper color with a small white head. Tons of lacing.
S- Big aroma for 4.4%. Lots of citrusy hops with some caramel malt in the background. With my eyes closed I'd probably call this a well hopped pale ale or IPA from the smell.
T- Very complex for such an easy drinker. Lots of citrusy hops, biscuity and caramel malt. Extremely balanced, nothing is overpowering. The finish is crisp and bitter.
M- Light to medium-bodied, good carbonation and very crisp.
D- I couldn't imagine a better beer after a day of snowboarding. It's crisp and refreshing, but still complex enough that it's not boring. I wish I could find this back home, it would be a great golfing/summer beer too.

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Photo of Echosolace
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A - Carmelly and red with darkish yellow tones around the thinner areas of the glass. Nice head, but I drank it too fast to keep track of how big it was.

S - A strong flowery smell I expect with a lot of hops. Smells pretty pleasant, a sign of things to come.

T - Solid. I would just leave it at that, but for the sake of the review - The hops don't really kick in for me until most of it has made its way down my throat. Something else lingers on my tongue in the meantime, a lot of bold character in the form of some kind of malted grains. It's awesome. The hops, strong, but balanced with the rest of the drink.

M - Usually for me, I'd say the fizz lets me down in most beers, but this one seems to have it right. I want to describe it more, but it's all gone.

D - This could be an every day beer for me. It would be spectacular if I had a keg lying around the house for my own use. It's so boss.

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Photo of wcudwight
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Nice coloration to this beer. It's a dark amber with hints of crimson and brown mixed in. Small wispy head that doesn't have the retention or stickiness that I've come to expect from Stone beers.
Mixture of tropical and dark fruits in the aroma. If there was such a thing as citrus raisins, I imagine that they would smell like this. Pleasant aroma that is the cross between a grapefruit and a raisin.
The flavor starts off with a nice citrus/piney hoppy bite. In the middle is a toasty sweet maltiness. The beer finishes with some more hop bitterness and nice hoppy aftertaste. Levitation amazes me with it's simplicity (especially for a Stone brew), but it's still very flavorful. Simply delicious.
The mouthfeel is slick, smooth, and mildly sticky. It has a nice dry finish.
Stone is known for thier big hop bombs, but here they make an excellent session ale, that is one of the best I've had.
Many thanks to Marvz and boolshot from the Double Trouble BIF.

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Photo of vacax
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Stone Levitation, the misunderstood baby brother of the Stone family. Pours a ruby amber with a creamy red-hued tan head with very good retention and lacing. Aroma is tea-like with a floral nose, grapefruit, toast, and caramel. Tastes of geranium, grapefruit, earth, pine. Finish has more flora, and a dry cookie taste. Medium with a prickly carbonation. I drank this pint well, and will do more in the future. Levitation is a fine, fine beer.

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Photo of fsimcox
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a transparent, but deep amber color. Big fluffy white foamy head that stays firm for some time. Very nice lacing.

Strong hop smell, some hints of pine and citrus. A crisp refreshing scent.

Taste is hops! Some malt hints in the background, and a mildly bitter hop aftertaste. The hops linger.

Mouthfeel is a hint of creaminess upfront, some carbonation, and a dry finish.

A bold beer for such a low abv. Very drinkable if you enjoy hops. My introduction to Stone, and well worth $9.99 a sixer!

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Photo of dpend
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

22oz. Bomber

I enjoyed this a bit more than the Arrogant Bastard.A bit lighter but still impecable.Once again, cool label.

Thick,sticky,puffy head with glue like lacing.The appearance is almost like a shiny copper candy bar wrapper.Great balance of sweet candy and citrus aroma.Great flavor which finishes with a nice and easy hop kick.Suprisingly easy drinkability which helps the beer live up to its name.

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Photo of wages
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance - 4/5 - Has a nice transparent red hue and almost seems a little golden. Thin head with little retention or lacing.

smell - 4/5 - Clean floral aroma.

taste - 4.5/5 - Kind of like a mild with a lot of earthy hops. Maybe a little grapefruit tartness too.

mouthfeel - 4.5/5 - The carbonation is right on. It lets you taste everything but refreshingly goes down smooth leaving only the earthy grapefruit hops behind to linger.

overall - 5/5 - I feel it is more than the sum of its parts because it's a session beer that tastes like an IPA but looks like a red.

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Photo of goschool
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: The pour is dark amber with fiery red highlights and a medium-sized fluffy white head.

Smell: The nose is super hoppy for an amber ale and the malts smell almost like a brown ale. Piney and spicy hops with a hint of grapefruit lead the way in front of nutty malts.

Taste: Chinook hops are out in full force in the flavor profile. They come in strong and finish crisp. The malts start out nutty, slightly chocolaty, and develop a caramel sweetness by the end of the mid-palate and through the finish. It tastes like some sort of pale ale, amber ale, brown ale hybrid. I've had many beers claiming to be APA's and IPA's that aren't as bitter as this session amber with plenty of toasted malts.

Mouthfeel: It's light-bodied and ever so slightly aqueous with lively carbonation that isn't rough at all considering the hop level.

Drinkability: This has to be the premier American session beer. It manages to be low abv and super drinkable without sacrificing hop bitterness or a solid malt backbone. Good work Stone. Thanks for not pussyfooting around with this style like so many other breweries have.

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Photo of ajr24
4.45/5  rDev +14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz bottle poured into a pint glass.

A- it pours a deep amber, almost mahogany. A fluffy, thick off white head rests on top. It leaves behind some sticky lacing and the head lasts for the long haul.

S- smells biscuity, caramel, and piny hops. Smells more malty than hoppy.

T- the hops pronounce themselves nicely here. Piny, resiny hops are up front followed by some citrus notes. The malt presence is slightly more shy than the hops. Overall, an awesome balance of the two.

M- Great carbonation blended with smooth maltiness and semi-pungent hoppiness makes for a nice mouthfeel.

D- at 4.4 abv this is in perfect session beer territory. Flavorful and low abv. Nice mix.

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Photo of GilGarp
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

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.

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Photo of cbarrett4
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into pint glass during Portland Mighty Mites small beer festival~

I didn't think it possible to get this much flavor, intensity, and character into a beer at less than 5% abv! Was the superstar of the event and a beer that I will regularly be buying.

Pours with a massive amount of head that dissipates nicely into a good lace. Aromatics are nice but straight forward with hops taking the front seat and mild citrus and malt backing.

The palate is richly flavored and complex with a variety of nuances from the hops (Columbus, Simcoe, Amarillo, and Crystal). Malt peeks through, some spice and herb notes too. Very nice. Body is full yet not over the top. Can't believe that this is only 4.4%! Finish is long, with a good dose of bitterness.

Despite the intensity, this is a supremely drinkable beer. It reminds me of an Extra Pale Ale since the hops are more aggressive than most amber or red ales I have tasted. Pretty amazing stuff here.

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Photo of burnerfinger
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

bought a six pack of levitation after seeing an attractive store display -

A pours on the dark side, sort of a deep red note and lots of clarity. big off-white head settles to more that a file with generous lacing:

S sweet pungent hoppiness.

T hits you right up front with a blast of hops. malt takes a backseat here

M the hops linger on and on - body is just a bit thin by stone standards.

D really nice hop blaster - but honestly if I had known about the low abv I wouldve gone with another stone selection.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Stone's contribution to the Amber Ale style, this beer reminds me of Sam Adams Lager jacked up a notch or too. The aroma is very hoppy, with a distinct citrus, rather than floral, boquet. The citrus really dominates the first few sips as well -- there's a lemon-like character to it which seems a bit too much for the style. Beer begins to feel a bit more balanced as it warms and the malt undertones strengthen, but still perhaps a bit much for a session beer. Medium body with a mildly dry finish. I'd love to try this on draft -- I have a feeling it'd be quite something.


Re-reviewed after recipe altered (numerical ratings reflect currently available recipe)

Well, even the guys at Stone mess up every once in a while. Let’s give ‘em a chance to see if they can earn a gold star for responding to constructive criticism (why do I have a hard time imagining Greg Koch being contrite?)

Sparkling amber in color, and swirling with carbonation. A fair sized, light tan head sits atop the brew, leaving a lovely spiderweb of lace down the glass.

Aroma is pleasant but mild, some orange and lemony hops dominate. Very refreshing and inviting.

Ah yes, this is much, much better. The malt has been kicked up a bit now, creating a slightly sweet middle to the beer, which lingers with just a hint of nuttiness in the aftertaste. A swirling eddy of hops dances around the mouth from start to finish, with a teasing tingle leading into a slightly sharp lemon-like flavor at the finish. As the beer warms, the malt flavors gather strength, and a toastier quality. The mouthfeel is almost creamy, despite the abundant carbonation. I can see now what they were going for on the first run, and they’ve nailed it. Good, good stuff.

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Photo of botham
4.43/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

on tap at the brewpub in Escondito. pours a deep chocolate brown with fiery amber highlights and a single finger of eggshell colored head. heavy lacings and good retention.

aroma is piney and caramelly with a great balance and a lightly sweet character. the hops are piney and lightly spicy; very fresh.

taste has a more pronounced hop quality with a smoothing bready malt base. almost ESB-like in balance. the malts creep up on the palate with a subtleness that allows the hops to endure into the finish.

mouthfeel is medium bodied with a semi-sweet character and wonderful balance that has just enough of a dry finish to remove the sweet malts from the palate.

drinkability is great. easy going, concentrated, fresh and dangerously session-able. cheers!

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Photo of rhoadsrage
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

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Photo of Rutager
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance. Pours a deep copper brown. Nice finger and a half of creamy tan head. Pretty lacing here too.

Smell. Sweet caramel malt and piney, tropical fruity hops. Yum

Taste. Roasty malt, piney, herbal hops with a nice long bitter finish that brings out grapefruit and orange rinds.

Mouthfeel. Medium bodied with nice prickly medium carbonation.

Drinkability. Great drinker. I could drink a bunch of these ...and will do the first chance I get!

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Photo of smakawhat
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a nonic pint glass.

A real nice amber and cherry deep red body, with an off caramel to tan head. Head forms a solid two fingers and manages to retain its shape pretty well. Really enjoy this color. Head size does not give too much stickiness, but there is some slight lacing.

Nose is malt grain.and slight berry hop fruit. Quite noticeable and very present. Feels balanced and at play with all taking a turn. I get a sense of strawberry off of this which is quite unique.

Taste is a good pine hop, matching a slight ripping grain. Finish brings a berry aftertaste of strawberry or even cherries. Texture is slightly wet but for such a low abv it is really not that watery. I can't get over this wonderful red berry/cheery fruity finish in the aftertaste, then a great mixture of cinnamon and dry brown spices like clove.

Wow this is one light abv beer packed with flavor. This is a living breathing example of a very solid sessionable "like" beer.

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Photo of JLeege
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- Pours a deep copper to amber color with a just off white head. Good retention and lacing.

Smell- Tons of citrus fruits on the nose, grapefruit, a little pine. A toasted to slightly caramel malt balance.

Taste- Follows the aroma to a T. Grapefruit and other citrus notes, some pine in there too. Slightly bitter overall. Balanced by a sturdy toasted malt backbone. Flavors should generally follow the nose, seeing as they are so closely linked, and this beer is one of the most spot on I have ever had.

Mouthfeel- Medium light body, with good carbonation.

Overall- An excellent beer, with loads of flavor, especially considering the low ABV. Essentially Arrogant Bastards little brother.

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Photo of WalrusJockey
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into Duvel tulip.

A- dark, almost brown, orangy-red. Creamy tan head.

S- caramel roast malt, with fruity, floral hops aromas. Very juicy smelling, very tasty smelling.

T- bitter hops, with a slight juicy, fruity background, while the malt is sweet, but mostly savory, roasty and nutty. Slightly watery swallow, which I don't mind, with a fruity, sweet hop aftertaste.

M- light, juicy body. solid enough to not be thin, but definitely on the light-and-refreshing end of the spectrum.

D- high. This is seriously sessionable, and also a must-buy-again.

Very good beer, and thanks to everyone in this thread (http://beeradvocate.com/forum/read/2077723) who recommended it!

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Photo of UDbeernut
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap poured into a stone oversized wine glass

A: translucent ruby red 1/2" foamy head

S: earthy and citrus hop aroma

T: strong malt background, slighty caramelly. Balanced well with citrus hops. Nice

M&d: medium body, light abv makes this a hop based session beer


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Photo of jhtipton
4.42/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my Father's day gifts. Pours about 1/2 inch foam into the stemmed glass. A nice coppery near brown shade. Wonderful piney smell and an equally piney hoppy citrusy taste. Nectar of the gods. Extremely drinkable, I could have three or four at a sitting.

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Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing
3.88 out of 5 based on 3,886 ratings.
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