Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Levitation Ale | Stone Brewing

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
87
very good
1,202 Reviews
Levitation AleLevitation Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Stone Brewing
California, United States
stonebrewing.com

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.

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,202
Ratings:
3,885
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
11.86%
 
 
Wants:
161
Gots:
484
For Trade:
3
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,202 | Ratings: 3,885
Photo of SacoDeToro
2.62/5  rDev -32.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

The beer poured a pale amber with a small foamy white head.

The aroma of the beer was of Pacific NW hops with almost no malt in the nose.

The flavor of the beer had a strong burst of citrusy hops follwed by very light maltiness. The flavor and mouthfeel were relatively creamy.

Overall, this beer had a very thin flavor to me - too thin. I've nothing against low gravity, low alcohol beer, but this beer just fell short on nearly every level. In fact, it's flavor was kinda bizzarre. And while I've read Stone's description on the bottle, I still don't really know what the objective of this beer was if ya get my drift...

Stone deserves endless props for supercharging the craft beer industry these last few years, but I'm afraid they've fallen victim to their own devices. It seems they feel every beer they make, even the lighter ones need to be hopped to all hell. It's time for Stone to break their own mold.

 925 characters

Photo of chugalug06
2.66/5  rDev -31.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

A - Very little head pours, slightly off-white in color. Brew stands foggy brown color with purple.

S - Smell is very bland and nothing really sticks out. Lots of basic malt. Decent caramel scent.

T - Very basic, nothing unique. Lots of malt, tons, and tons of malt. Where are the hops? Very watery, not complex.

M - An odd bitterness, without the presence of hops. Good carbonation.

O - Very underwhelming, not worth noting. Not sure I can recommend this one. Nothing sticks out.

 487 characters

Photo of geokills
2.68/5  rDev -30.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

This is not a beer for me. Disappointed, as I am an avid Stone fan and this being my first opportunity with the Levitation Ale. While the prose was sweet as ever, the brew itself was exceedingly oppressive, strongly hopped -- I would hands down prefer Ruination to Levitation when it comes to high hops from Stone. A pleasingly aesthetic amber red in a glass, this one just didn't have it in flavor to warrant another buy from me anytime soon.

 443 characters

Photo of notoriousdav
2.75/5  rDev -29.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This beer is the worst in Stone's otherwise excellent lineup, which is unfortunate because those who try this beer first may get the wrong impression of this fine craft brewery. It looks right, and the smell is there with some piney, earthy notes, but this beer falls flat on its face when it comes to taste. Frankly, the taste is insipid at best. There's just nothing there except water and metal and lot's of carbonation. Maybe it's the low alcohol, but this beer has no character whatsoever, and is nothing to write home about.

 530 characters

Photo of sarahspat
2.77/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark amber with a respectably dark mocha head, which is huge but without substance (thin and short-lived). A thin layer remains...very little lacing.

Smells powerful and hoppy. Mostly pine and citrus, with some apricot in the background.

The taste changes dramatically as it warms. At first it's all pine resin, which was a bit of a let down for me. Don't get me wrong, pine is great, but the taste just did not live up to the tantalizing smell at all. Also, it's VERY bitter...bordering on astringent. Unpleasant. As it warms it turns appley. Initially, it came as just a hint... a whisper of apple cider/hard apple cider. This quality continued to grow in power and mutate until all that remained was rotten apples mixed with a bad homebrew hard apple cider. Unfortunately, the bitter/astringent edge never left. Amateur Hour from top to bottom.

All in all, it's not terrible, but I will not be buying it again.

 925 characters

Photo of semibaked
2.77/5  rDev -28.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Boston Lager Pint Glass (I love these glasses).

A - Pours dark brown with a clear body, a hard pour produces maybe a half finger of light tan head. Also has great carbonation.

S - Big hop aroma especially on the bitterness but a little citrus notes too, slight roasted malts, dark bread, and a tad of molasses.

T - Just like the smell, the hops dominate the flavor, the hops definitely make it bitter and not in the most pleasant way because no other flavors really come through.

M - Very light bodied and watery, plus a lot of active carbonation.

D - Eh this just doesn't do it for me, has a lot of hop bitterness and that is about it, definitely one dimensional.

 693 characters

Photo of appenzeller
2.8/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light amber. Aroma is of caramel and hops. Taste reflects the smell, a touch of caramel/honey like malts with a strong backbone of hops. Mouthfeel is reasonably thick with a hoppy bite.

This is a run-of-the-mill amber ale that's way over-hopped. No complexity of flavors, the sweetness does not integrate at all with the hops which really just take over the beer. Not sure what Stone was trying to do here, or if they bothered to think about what they were doing, but this one does nothing for me.

 507 characters

Photo of Phyl21ca
2.8/5  rDev -27.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Bottle courtesy of Naven: Poured a deep amber color ale with a small foamy head with limited retention. Aroma of light piney hops with some caramel malt. Taste is somewhat hoppy with some light caramel malt notes also noticeable. Body is fuller then average with some medium carbonation. I understand that the brewer wanted to have a session beer with limited alcohol but there also too much limited taste – not something I thought I was going to be saying about Stone someday.

 478 characters

Photo of johannasclimacus
2.82/5  rDev -27.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The style is one of my absolute favorites, and Stone has always been high quality for me. For these two reasons, I suspect that I had a bad bottle of this.

The beer poured nice with the recognizable deep red/copper color, but when I began to smell the beer and picked up only a harsh metal and not much else, I began to worry. Upon tasting it, I wasn't getting many flavors and the ones that I got were very muted.

I pictured the beer as a session beer, so I wasn't expecting any offensive tastes. The tastes that were there were a bland roasted flavor and a very faint, thin hop bitterness.

The beer is very new to the area so the bottle couldn't have been too old. I plan to revisit it on tap when I get the chance to see if I just had a bad bottle. It wasn't an awful or undrinkable beer, but it wasn't a pleasant experience and I walked away pretty disappointed.

 872 characters

Photo of benmiliron
2.83/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Paid 1.99 for a 12 oz bottle. Absolutely lovely pour. Mahogany red, crystal clear, big foamy thick head. Smell is heavy hops wafting out as soon as the cap is cracked.

Taste is stale, papery, overly bitter. I think it's a bad bottle? Malt sweetness is there but just dominated by the off flavors. Very unpleasant aftertaste.

Mouthfeel is kind of watery. Overall this was a disappointment after such a stellar opening.

 421 characters

Photo of CuriousMonk
2.83/5  rDev -27.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle into dimpled mug. Aroma of hops, grapefruit, pine, and a little bit of pale malt. Poured copper/deep orange in color with a small, tan head that lasted throughout. Clear. Slightly sparkling. Good lacing. Flavor is light to medium bitter and lightly sweet. Tastes of hops, pine, grapefruit, and pale malts. Medium body. Average texture. Average carbonation. Light to medium bitter, grapefruit, pine, and hop finish. It's lacking something. Disappointed of this beer out of all the Stone offerings.

 520 characters

Photo of OneDropSoup
2.87/5  rDev -26%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Had on tap at D's in Monroeville.

Pours an attractive amber with honey-colored highlights & a foamy head, the kind that only comes from hoppy beers. The two-finger head drops to half a finger & leaves some lacing around the top.

Smell is very nice: pine, a sweet, bready quality, almost buttery, maybe some woody aspects. Very appetizing.

The taste is very hop-strong, but just when the hops fade & I expect a malty follow-through, I'm left with only a bitter taste & a kind of empty feeling. A dry finish. I keep expecting a little more malt to round it out, but none comes & I find it a little disappointing.

The mouthfeel is modest, on the thin side, but this is not a bad thing -- makes it "sessionable."

Man, given the good look & great smell I thought more flavor would be coming, but it was something of a let-down. This is a gauche way to put it, but it kind of gave me beer blue-balls: great build-up, but then ended with a fizzle where the good stuff should've been.

 981 characters

Photo of MYJELLOMISFIT
2.87/5  rDev -26%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

I'll start by saying that I am a fan of Stone. Not this Stone. Wonderfully striking in the glass. Nice dark brown that lets the light dance through, topped with a pale yellow head that outlasted the beer. Bravo. Then everything else. Smell was soft and hop forward with metal, citrus, and almost the smell of wet dirt (just before it becomes mud). Mouthfeel was ok, dry and lackluster. Taste was somewhat of a mouthfull. Blast of hops on the tongue mellowed slightly by caramel, stale bread, and citrus. Pretty bitter ending, not hops bitter ... (you ever spray stuff with "bitter yuck" you know to keep a dog or cat from biting it?) yeah .. weird bitter. Anyway ... ok beer. I wouldn't seek this one out.

 705 characters

Photo of scruffwhor
2.87/5  rDev -26%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

HURRAAAYY!!!! I no longer have to go to Indiana to get Stone's beers!

What a grand copper and ruby head. This is the gold standard of color and not to mention head and foam for ths style of beer. What an awesome beige and yellow head and thick film of foam along with the fantastic bubbling.

Oily hop resin aroma that really muddies the toasted barley grains. This is a pretty overwhelming hop aroma.

The taste starts very oily and hoppy upfront and through to almost the finish. Just a few caramel and crystal malts and thats about it. This amber ale's flavos and paate is dominated by by oily, resiny tasting and feeling hops.

This would not be a session ale for me.

 675 characters

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.

 679 characters

Photo of BigBigPickle
2.92/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Part of a sampler at Rattle n' Hum

A: Clear, dark amber with a good head and good staying power. Great lacing!

S: Nothing bult malt and minimal hops.

T: What? Airy hope bitterness and nothing else. Is something wrong - is this beer old? Weird watered down taste up front with a redeeming hop bitterness on the back of the tongue that is somewhat of a saving grace. Maybe my palate was bruised from an earlier beer but the lack of smell seems to support this.

M: Minimal hop bitterness, seems watered down. Not much in the way of mouthfeel.

D: I will try this again, but for now, it gets an average rating, which hurts as everything else Stone I have had has been great!

 675 characters

Photo of Rastacouere
2.93/5  rDev -24.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Clear ruby dark amber. Long-lasting 1/2 -cm beige head. Very light nose. Citrus, almondy. Hoppy from the beginning although not agressive. Dry woody and earthy flavors. Sharp bitterness with pencil shavings and leafy edges. Thin-medium body, moderately high carbonation. Mineralic aftertaste, ironoxide like. Alright low gravity ale with a hop oriented flavor balance. I would prefer it with a more defined malt crunch, more biscuity and firm, but it serves its purpose.

 470 characters

Photo of mytireisfat
2.98/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

P: Brown bottle with enjoy by date that you can hardly see. Really cool design on the bottle. Has the 2007 gold medal winner for the great american beer festival stamp on it. plus on the back a bunch of stuff to read.

A: 1 and 1/2 head that retains well. Dark amber color.

S: First thing you notice is the hops. lots of it. also maybe signs of caramel malt, and a grass smell.

T: Again, a lot of hops to it. also a sweet caramel taste.

M: Light to Medium body, medium carbonation.

D: i found it to be a little filling. i could not drink a whole lot of these. i might buy it again. not first pick.

 602 characters

Photo of wvsabbath
2.98/5  rDev -23.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Serving type - Bottle

Appearance - Red lighty brownish. Tanish head, looks pretty in a glass

Smell - Hops, malts, Floral aroma mixed with some fruits

Taste - Did i just bite into a pine cone? A pine cone that has soaked in water for a few days. Theres some mild cirtus taste, other then that, all i get is the hoppy pine flavor

Mouthfeel - Very dry and mild, doesnt last long and certainly doest ruin your tastebuds.

Drinkability - Too weak. Its like a waterdown stone ipa. Low alcohol, low flavor, low malts = low drinkability. This is the first stone beer that i dont care to drink again

 594 characters

Photo of larryarms847
3/5  rDev -22.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a light straw yellow with a fair amount of carbonation.

Grainy, onion, garlic, pine, and more oniony dankness.

Can't get past the oniony character here. It's got a bit of citrus but it lacks any kind of balance.

Light-bodied, high carbonation, dank, but not a good dank.

Overall, pass.

 295 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.01/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Finally getting around to having this offering from stone. Had it on tap in a pint glass.

Levitation is a nice mix of amber with some slight red thrown in as well as slight orange. The head was nice and lasting but did not have any legs to stand on, no lacing. The smell was pretty bland with just a hint of malt and hops but alot of grain imo. The taste was not all that and really tame with some grain and sweet malt and even less hops to bring about any disernable flavors. Not to much going on here. The feel was light with alot of carbonation leaving a crispness. The alcohol is low making this very sessionable, but I had a hard time finishing my pint. I know this is a light styled brew coming from a company that likes to push the envelope, but i've had other low abv/simple style beers from other company's that have blown this out of the water. It just did not grab me, that's all.

 892 characters

Photo of FishGetter
3.01/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep copper color with hints of reds show. Massive amount of carbination.
Mild aromas of citrus hops. Some wifs of pale grain.
Pale malts first hit the taste buds with a slight bit of dry, biscut flavors. Some mild bitterness, but nothing impressive. Drink finishes with some off flavors. Reminds of primming sugars, but very doubtfull.
Redeeming medium body helps bring this one back, but the taste is shot. Mouth is left dry at finish.
Not sure what happened to this one. Overcarbinated, freshness? Not what I'd come to expect from the fine brewers of Stone. I'm willing to revisit this one later.

 600 characters

Photo of deebo
3.02/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A=amber and clear

S=toasted malt with a little hop astringency

T=Malted barley with hops throughout but balanced better than Stone's other beers-but of course most of their other beers don't try to be balanced-they like the hops.

M=Nice smooth and creamy mouthfeel. Hops linger a bit.

D=This one is pretty good for sipping on for awhile.

 342 characters

Photo of bowersdm
3.02/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a bavarian pilsner

A - red/amber with just under 4cm of off-white head. Beautiful lacing after dissipation.

S - piney and citrusy hops: grapefruit, pineapple.

T - I have no idea why this is classified as an american amber/red ale. To me this is a microbrewery version of an american adjunct lager. There was a slight sweetness once the beer hit the palate, but that gave way to a subtle hop flavor and then there was a Bud Light like flavor that I always attributed to the rice used in their beers. No adjuncts here though, so I have no idea what it was. The hops were way weaker than the nose suggested and the malt was barely noticeable. Did not taste like an Amber ale at all.

M - kind of watery, even for a beer of this size.

D - even though I didn't enjoy this beer. I'd drink it as a session beer to replace those foul tasting macros. It was pretty easy drinking and though the flavor wasn't that off-putting, it got low marks because it did not seem like an Amber Ale at all. It seemed more like a Stone attempt at a macro style beer. The only possible way that this beer got a Gold at the Great American Beer Festival would be if no other beers entered in its category. Stones beer continue to disappoint me.

 1,246 characters

Photo of NODAK
3.02/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Smell has quite a bit of pine cone hops on it. There's also some creamy malt apparent as well.

Taste is predominatly hoppy, with some citrus and pine resin showing up. It's seems to me that this beer is as hoppy as a weak IPA, to be honest. This took me by surprise because I figured there may be more malt balance to it. There is a bit of toasted maltiness on the backend, but other than that, there isn't much malt showing through.

As far as an amber ale goes, this certainly would register on the hoppier side of things. It's drinkable, but probably not a top pick from me for the reason stated above. Just too one-dimensional and boring. If this is one of the least hoppy beers Stone brews, that's saying something.

 721 characters

Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing
3.88 out of 5 based on 3,885 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe