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.

For Trade:
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,202 | Ratings: 3,886
Photo of NiceGuyMike
3.16/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I originally tried this on tap at a beer festival. At the time I thought it was great. However, after three beers now I'm thinking it is not so great.

Dark brown with decent head and lacing.

Smells of citrus hops which isn't bad, just I've experienced this before to mean a very bitter.

Tastes of bitter toasted malts. Some hoppiness buried deep insight, but does help the bitter envelope.

Easy drinking with light alcohol as promised, but I'm not fond of the bitterness at all.

Overall this is a bitter bomb.

 514 characters

Photo of ndillon45
3.16/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark, crisp amarillo with a nice thick head. Weak aroma had me inhaling a bit too much. Hints at something good, but is never found with the delivery. Taste is okay for an ale I suppose. Less than desirable feel. All things considered, I wouldn't complain if offered, but wouldn't be high on my purchase list.

 315 characters

Photo of MysticRuler
3.16/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a nice dark amber color with a loose foamy head. Nose hints at a hoppy bitterness which appears at the first sip; however, it is a less than satisfying, one dimensional hoppiness which predominates. The prevailing flavor is ephemeral, leaving a mere intimation of what might have been. Could drink more than one, but it's not an ale to savor.

 348 characters

Photo of RussBecker1
3.16/5  rDev -18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

A- Fascinating layering of colors in this brew. Almost looks like a black and tan with a much darker juxtaposition of the top vs the bottom half of the pint. Very unique and intriguing.

S- Pretty much all malt and hops here. Balanced very well with maybe some refreshing melon and earthy undertones.

M- Frankly the mouth did not sit right with me and it proceeded to ruin the beer. the viscosity rushes towards the back of the throat and clings to your palate coating it to a good degree. This would be fine if the beer were a stout or even a porter, but in the case the ale contradicts itself as the feel masks a number of the flavors that the beer presumably has to offer.

T-Much like the nose there is a balance of darker caramel like malts with a smooth rush of hops to accompany it, but due to the mouth my palate was not really able to pick out many of the flavors that may be included.

O-One of my least favorite Stone's...that says a lot about the brewery, but not too much about the beer.

 1,001 characters

Photo of AMiz602
3.17/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A nice, strong, mildly yellow head that is quite thick and frothy.

Is a very nice pale amber-reddish color and smells like a very strong IPA. Smells hoppy and tangy almost.

Is actually not too hoppy, a light Chinook (?) hops taste will a dry, burnt flavor. Very little sweetness in this beer. Has a nice mouthfeel to it that is heavy, easy on the tongue, and not the consistency of some lesser amber ales.

For an amber ale that defies tradition and tastes like an IPA, it is a low key tasting beer that doesn't overpower, yet keeps its flavor throughout.

 557 characters

Photo of DavoleBomb
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured into a pint glass.

4.0 A: Clear amber orange color. Two fingers of frothy head with good retention and some lacing.

3.5 S: Nose is full of toasty and crystal malts. Plenty of floral hops as well. Nothing special, but good nonetheless.

3.0 T: Unlike Stone's other brews, this one seems empty. There isn't a lot of maltiness going on, much less than I expected. There's a decent amount of earthy hop flavor and a good punch of bitterness, but it doesn't make up for the lack of maltiness.

3.0 M: Light-medium (more light than medium) body, which is lighter than I'd prefer in an amber. Otherwise smooth with good carbonation. Could be creamier.

3.0 D: Body is too light and not complex enough in terms of malts for me to want another.

 744 characters

Photo of Mardukk
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark toffee color with some lacing and a quickly dissapating head.

Smells of piney leafy hops.

A significant amount of hop bitterness. Very piney tasting with little to no malt taste. Tastes like ruination light, kind of off putting but not bad.

The taste is almost too much for it to be infinitely drinkable, it's still quite drinkable though.

Not my cup o tea. Light beer feel with super strong hop flavors.

 421 characters

Photo of BeerandWhiskeyHQ
3.18/5  rDev -18%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Dark copper, clear and good lacing
Strong citrus and fruit aroma
Medium mouthfeel, fruity and hoppy
Its good, try it by all means but honestly.. get yourself an Pegagus, Lagunitas, or Dogfish Head. If I’m going to pay Stone money, I want more than 4% ABV


 310 characters

Photo of DougT
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Poured into a Sam Adams glass.

Clear reddish copper color with a 1 finger light tan foamy head. As it dissipates it clings to the glass and leaves some lace.

Smells hoppy, but not excessively. Not much else in the nose. Somewhat one dimensional.

Some grain bitterness, some hop bitterness, dry, a little watery. Mostly just hop flavors, not much else going on.

First impression is medium body, but as the carbonation fades things get a little thin. The sparkle from the bubbles lingers which helps a lot.

I'm not thrilled. It's just OK. I don' think I'll get any more. I find the watery lightness is not completely compensated by the sparkle. There's a bit too much grain bitterness for my taste. A larger proportion of a lighter carmel grain would help remove some of the grain bitterness, boost the alcohol and add some body.

 833 characters

Photo of deadonhisfeet
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a bottle into a New Belgium snifter. The pour is a nice clear dark reddish-amber with a thin head and a bit of lacing. The nose is pretty hop-forward with sweetish floral notes (almost like a barleywine). Mostly, I get pine, caramel, and a hint of cherry.

The beer is medium-bodied with a firm mouthfeel. There are some sweet caramel-like notes up front and a not-so-subtle hop assault that somehow just doesn't work for me. Perhaps it's the varieties used, but they contribute a strong lemon-like character that gives the beer an almost acidic flavor. At mid-palate, the acidic flavors come in and carry you to the finish, which is watery, lemony, and rather unpleasant.

This style is hit or miss with me and this time it definitely was a miss. I did not find this beer enjoyable or flavorful, but that doesn't mean I'm ready to turn in my Stone Fan Club pin just yet. This brewer has several outstanding beers. In my opinion, this isn't one of them.

 965 characters

Photo of brystmar
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

True to the style, this pours an amber/red body with minimal white head. Smells of hops and malt, leaning on the sweeter, maltier side. Toasty malts and minimally intrusive hops comprise the flavor profile. Bready. A kiss of hoppy bitterness at the end before a clean, dry finish. Body is slightly more viscous than expected, which is great.

There's nothing particularly captivating about the anything here. If you want a session beer that's an amber ale, you could choose far worse brews -- in both the craft and macro worlds -- than Levitation. You can also do much better.

 576 characters

Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I should have tried this before the Arrogant Bastard, IPA and Ruination...

Looks like an amber ale... amber!

Smells like malt, not much hop aroma.

It tastes ok, I won't call all my friends, but I think it's all right.

it's cold, it has alcohol, it's a beer... average beer.

well, regardless of the taste, appearance, smell or mouthfeel, 'overall', I think it's an average beer, but then again, 'overall', I think my boss (Ray) is an asshole!*

*NOTE: my co-workers (former and present) also think Ray is an asshole...

 533 characters

Photo of mickeymac
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

It looks much like many APAs on the market: brownish-red with an off-white head that dimishes but sticks on top to the end. The smell is pretty much all hops with just a trace of malt sweetness and slight notes of citrus. The taste is almost all hop bitterness. I kept searching for more as I emptied the glass but was left disappointed. It tastes like someone was making a pale ale and accidentally dropped in a triple dose of hops. Any underlying flavors disappear almost on hitting the mouth. Even at 4.4%, I'd have a hard time putting away more than two of these in a sitting.

 587 characters

Photo of JamesBondGA
3.2/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice dark amber color. VERY Hoppy, with the pine and grapefruit flavors being very prominent. Not one of the better ones by Stone I've had but that's because of the style of this brew.

 193 characters

Photo of humanawho
3.21/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A- clear light red color with a good white head

S- very light sweet grapfruit aroma and an odd tangyness

T- light sweetness with a light bitter finish not much going on for me clean but not exciting

M- even for a clean light beer it is too watery for me

D- light and clean but the bitter finish hurts the refeshing quality

 326 characters

Photo of darkmartin
3.21/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours to a dark brown with strong crimson tones. Nice big, fluffy tan head. Thick layers of lacing.

Smell: Smells predominantly of citrus hops, maybe some grapefruit?

Taste: All citrus up front, quite bitter. Finishes fairly sweet.

Mouthfeel: Light and crisp. Moderate amount of carbonation.

Drinkability: Admittedly my distaste for red ale clouds my decision, however this one really was not terrible. Better than most red ales I've had.

 454 characters

Photo of BeerdedEric
3.21/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

A tan white head that disappears quite quickly.
It seems quite carbonated as the bubbles seem to start off tiny and slow, then bigger and rushing to the surface. The head that dissipated quickly is forming a new foamy head from bubbles that are reaching the top. Is this why they call it Levitation Ale?

A smell hops and barley upfront. A piney citrus smell is noticable.

Creamy smooth medium in body. Not as carbonated as it looks. It leaves the mouth feeling like I swallowed a pill giving me dry mouth but yet my mouth isn't dry.

The taste is a piney bitterness of hops and barley leaving with a metalic taste as it finishes. It's not bad but it's not great. It's a little better than average.

Drink ability is okay. I can't see myself wanting more than two of these. The aftertaste is what ruins it. It tastes like I swallowed a bitter pill. While drinking it, it tastes good but the lingering taste deters me away.

 927 characters

Photo of katan
3.21/5  rDev -17.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz undated bottle - 2007 gold medal winner it says

A - Pours a brown to almost amber hue. Very "red ale"ish. Head formation is moderate, with about a millimeter of pearly white foam hanging out on top. Carbonation overall appears light however.

S - Incredibly hoppy nose on this beer - took me completely by surprise. I would estimate this to be some nice Amarillo hops. Pretty much dominates the smell. Some phenolic impressions hit me - but how can that be with this low octane beer?

T - Starts off with some sweetness, but only for a split second. Develops a floral hop note mid-stream, very assertive. Finishes with an incredible bitter bite. Very strong. Perhaps not to style, but I guess this is a west coast red eh? Aftertaste is grassy from some kind of dry hopping.

M - moderate body - not thick and not thin. Some sting sourced from the higher carbonation levels. The oily hop residue is pronounced on the tongue in the leftovers.

D - Very light abv makes it very easy to drink. However, like the porter I had last week, I find that the hops run so against the grain that I can't find it to be more than a one or two at a time beer.

I was going to save my hoppy beer for the finale tonight - guess it sneaked on me early. Clearly Stone is a good go to for delivery of the ol' Alpha acid, but I have to say if I would want it in every beer I would always order a ruination.

 1,391 characters

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.

 680 characters

Photo of SSS
3.23/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

This beer was unexpectedly light. I know it is 4.4, but I wasn't expecting it to be so tame. There was some good flavor there, but nothing to write home about. If most commercial beers were like this, we would have a better world in general, but for a Stone brew, not impressed.

 278 characters

Photo of Kitt
3.24/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Appearance: Deep, dark, red. Virtually no head and very little lacing.

Aroma: A rich malt with strong spice background.

Taste echoes aroma: Strong malt with spicey, piney, hop background. Slightly bitter taste lingers a bit longer than most red ales.

Mouthfeel is good. Smooth and fairly heavy. Perhaps slightly over-carbonated.

Drinkibility is okay but this is a rather rich beer with an ABV on the low side. I can have a few at this sitting but later in the night will want to switch to something a bit less heavy.

Overall, a decent ale.

 545 characters

Photo of BradBLR
3.25/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

This is a beer that I can not get in my area and I really wanted to try. The color of this bear was a darkish copper color with a yellowish white head. The smell was a hoppy woody aroma.

The taste of this beer was not what I was expecting. It had a niice hop presence, but it also had a woody taste to it. I really did not get a huge malt flavor, but maybe that was the woody flavor I was tasting. It also seemd a little bit watery. The mouthfeel was very light.

Overall a different beer, not my favorite stone beer. Not a bad session beer, but I would have liked it to be a little more balanced. Worth a try if you are a stone fan.

 638 characters

Photo of Offa
3.26/5  rDev -16%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

This is fairly good, but a disappointment to me, since, although it has a fairly strong flavour, I find it superficial, one-dimensional, out of balance, wholly lacking in complexity, and thin underneath an overly strong grapefruit character.
This simple hop element completely dominates the beer and essentially nothing else is noticeable. Despite the claim that this has an amazing amount of flavour for the ABV, I have actually had many beers of similar ABV that have much more complex, interesting character. I must admit here that I'm not a big fan of overly grapefruity-citrusy hop character, so this colours my perception. However, I do like general citrusy qualities very much and I even like grapefruity elements in beer, but when done right, when balanced with other elements and complexity, part of a well-rounded whole instead of being all there is. That said, I admire the effort to put out a characterful, moderate/lower-ABV beer since in my mind the pinnacle of great beer is beer with great compelxity and character yet fairly moderate alcohol.

Anyway, this is a beautiful, clear, dark red with faint brownish-copper hints, a very big tan head steadily shrinking to a thin, lasting foamy top and leaving some decent lace, very good looking like most Stone beers I've had.

The aroma is grapefruity up front, but this is joined by orange zest as well as very light hints of caramelly toasted bread and raisin.

The taste is grapefruit up front, with light, fleeting caramelly, toasted bread and hint of orange zest. At first, the bitter-sweet character is balanced, with light sweetness and bitterness, but the bitterness soon takes over a little too much by the finish and lingers. The finish is lightly bitter with strong grapefruit & faint orange zest. An aftertaste of lightly bitter grapefruit and faint toasted grain follows. The feel is rather thin like mineral water, the character is thin, one-dimensionally grapefruity-orange-zesty hops with nothing to balance. It promptly reveals itself to be superficial in taste/character and lacking complexity. What character it does have is fairly strong, holding up well, so this would be fairly good to have with some mild foods, but drinkability is not very high despite the lower ABV.

 2,254 characters

Photo of velo343
3.27/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Pours a dark amber/orange from the bottle with a lacey off-white head that is retained very well.

Smell - A pleasing smell of citrus hops, pine, grass.

Taste - A mild bitterness that ends in a bit of a sour note. There is some taste of grapefruit that shows itself. Not too much malt characteristic.

Mouthfeel - Fairly watery.

Drinkability - A somewhat disappointing beer from Stone. Not at all undrinkable, but it lacks a lot of complexity in the taste. The smell seems to promise a lot that just isn't followed up once it is drunk. Decent, but probably won't be having this one again.

 612 characters

Photo of TenHornsProud
3.28/5  rDev -15.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a light amber with nice, white head.

Smells of bread and biscuit malt.

Tastes like said malt smell and some hops in the finish that really complement the malts.

It is a bit thin, but understandable given the lower abv and sessionable nature of the beer.

This is a perfectly find and well crafted beer. I understand the idea behind the brew, I just don't find the flavor all that great.

 395 characters

Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing
3.88 out of 5 based on 3,886 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.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.