Levitation Ale | Stone Brewing

BA SCORE
87
very good
3,887 Ratings
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
Ratings:
3,887
Reviews:
1,203
Avg:
3.88
pDev:
11.86%
 
 
Wants:
161
Gots:
484
For Trade:
3
User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 3,887 |  Reviews: 1,203
Photo of Philousa
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance is more brown than amber, clear, with one finger tan head which laces the glass occasionally. Carmelly, roasty, hoppy nose. Well balanced. Lots of roasty biscuit flavor, some caramel, and ends with grassy bitterness from hops. Mouthfeel is middling, carbonation and flavor is great for this american ale yeast.

This is a very balanced and easily drinkable beer. Don't come to it expecting complexity or quirkiness and you will be rewarded. The hop presence is enough to separate it from other amber ales, but not powerful enough to bring it out of the style. I could drink this all day, and at 4.4% it's one of the best session beers I've had. I just wish it wasn't so expensive for a six pack. If they ever make a 12 pack of this, I'm all over it!

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

Single 12 ounce bottle purchased at Siciliano's Market in Grand Rapids, MI for $1.99. Poured into a tulip glass. The pour manifests three fingers of khaki head. Retention is good. Heavy lacing holds firm to the glass as the head recedes. The beer is deep amber in color with a mild haze, giving the brew little translucence. I give Levitation points for having great looking head and lacing, but the aesthetic otherwise bores me.

The nose is filled with a nice floral citrus bouquet. Tangerine is the most obvious reference. Mild pine rests in the background. The aromatic volume is modest but lovely. If you could call a hoppy beer subtle, this is it.

Given the nose, the flavor of this ale is a surprise. Yeah, it's kinda hoppy, but not "Bastard" hoppy. Stone's website claims 45 IBU, but the malt bill manages to stand up well against the bitterness. This is particularly impressive given the relatively low alcohol content of this beer. Mellow citric bitterness initially clashes against mild caramel. The hops provide a fresh green flare over an earthy malt backdrop. There is a woody character overshadowing the whole affair. It is a somewhat watery in the middle, but at 4.4% ABV, that was expected. Alcohol is well hidden hidden; no surprise there. It finishes dry with a small amount of resinous hop oil holding to the tongue.

In the mouth, Levitation is fairly light bodied. The carbonation level is medium. It is not notable for feeling particularly spectacular or poor, but it does feel appropriate. For better or worse it is the most flavorful beer in its weight class. As for Stone's lineup, you might call this one "Modest Bastard." Though it has my vote for "World's best beer pong brew," it is a bit pricey for a near-session brew. Still, it reminds me of the first time that I encountered Sierra Nevada Pale Ale; it didn't change my life, but it is an all-around solid and refreshing hoppy ale, that I could enjoy under almost any circumstance. That'll do donkey; that'll do.

---

The Two-Schlitz Scale: (reference my profile for an explanation)
I pretty much did give two Schlitz for this bottle of Levitation. I don't know if I would do it often.

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Photo of Humulus85
3.6/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. It produced a dense one and a half finger, off-white, head. Not a lot of retention, but some decent lacing. Has a clear, deep, amber hue that is very inviting.

The nose is mainly of piney hops and slightly sweet malt. Very nice, and much more fragrant than I was expecting.

A bit watered down compared to the smell (which was so promising), and it left me wanting. The flavors were there, but in need of amplitude. Dry piney hops upfront, quickly subdued by some just sweet enough malt; super balanced.

Mouthfeel is a bit light for my taste, but appropriate for what this beer is trying to be (session ale). Smooth, good carbonation, and very drinkable.

Overall this is a solid session ale from Stone. There are definitely Amber Ales out there with more depth and complexity, but you can't beat Levitations drinkability. Reminds me of a weak Surly Furious. Highly recommended for anyone new to Stone or craft beer in general. Cheers!

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Photo of WoodBrew
4.17/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Stone Levitation Ale is a very good amber/red ale. a great balance of malt and hops. The beer got docked a 0.5pt due to floaties....I hate floaties. I even cut the beer off early. The color is a nice rich red with good off-white head that is lacing. The smell includes some spice and bitter citrus. The taste is a great blend of malt with hops that cleans and tingle the pallate. The mouthfeel is good, nice carbonation and good balance. Overall it is decent...could session this one, especially with the lower ABV.

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

Even with everything I'd heard about it this beer surprised me at every turn. 12oz bottle from Brewers Haven with an 'Enjoy Before' date of 12/2011, poured into a Snake River pint glass.

A: Surprising (turns out this beer isn't a Pale Ale) amber/caramel color, obviously filtered, with a creamy & frothy light tan head that sticks around and laces the glass.

S: Lots of hops. More here than I thought there'd be...pine and hop oil, pretty pungent and astringent (in that delicious way!), herbal and earthy with hints of grapefruit. Good biscuit presence on the malt bill.

T: Starts out with the pine, pineapple, grapefruit and hop oil but the caramel malts do actually pull this one down into balance...decent bitterness nonetheless, and the herbal/earthy hops are pleasant.

MF: Pretty creamy, low carbonation, and (surprised again) a moderate light-to-medium body...pretty dry on the finish.

O: At times this thing tastes like a West Coast IPA! Really impressive beer @ 4.4%. Stone...respect.

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Photo of fields336
3.88/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into Newcastle pint
best by 9/22 but for some reason we cannot get this anywhere in Tallahassee so I'm reviewing it anyway.

A: brown, amber, auburn, reddish brown, whatever. With 2 fingers of off white creamy medium thick head on top. Lacing is phenomenal for an amber and It's quite hazy

S: caramel, bready malts, with a citrusy, delicious smelling hop presence. some slight brown sugar or toffee notes in there too.

T: Sugary, toffee, caramel, creamy and then a small wave of hops hits the tongue, really nice. I assume its' slightly bigger when it's fresh but still great.
the hops linger on your tongue for a little.

M: the mouthfeel is great on this, medium bodied, nearing full really, which is incredibly surprising, but somehow really nice for this amber. Quite enjoyable. Drinkability is great and I'm a huge fan of session beers. Love it

O: Can't ask for much more from an amber on this one. Stone nails it, balanced with just enough hops.

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Photo of mdvatab
3.78/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into imperial pint.

Aroma: Dry pine resin, a touch of citrus, brown sugar, and cereal grains. Aroma is well-balanced between hops and malt.

Appearance: 2-3 finger pillow of off-white foam hangs around for a bit, and leaves residual signs of a well-crafted beer on the inside of the glass. Body is a deep brown with a slight chill haze.

Flavor: Both cereal grain maltiness and dry, tannic hop bitterness come through as a 1-2 punch. Both qualities, though, are probably only around a 7 on a scale of 1-10, so this one is relatively reserved for Stone. The hop profile midway through is very reminiscent of iced tea leaves. Finish is clean and dry with a slight bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation and medium body. Hop tannins are a little bit drying, as mentioned above, but I don't see this as a huge issue.

Overall: I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised with this one. I consider it a rare, yet appreciated, "sessionable" offering from Stone. I enjoyed it with pork chops and stuffing, and the beer complemented the meal extremely well. Not A+ material, but still a good, solid, enjoyable beer!

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Photo of jsprain1
3.92/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours just a slightly browned red with a foamy slightly darker than eggshell head. Just a couple wisps of lacing.
S- Hoppy, grapefruit rind aroma. A bit of light caramel malt on the nose as well. Hops-forward though.
T- More malty than on the nose. It's fairly sweet with a toast and caramel flavor up front with the grapefruit hops filling it out near the finish.
M- Active carbonation. Full body for such low carbonation. Slightly dry.
O- A very good beer for such a low alcohol content. Well balanced and tasty.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.2/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Straddling the line between amber and red, this beer pours a burnished, deep mahogany colour, bright ruby when held to the light, otherwise a slightly murky amber. Clarity is great, however, and the head forms lightly into a film of off-white. Lacing is classic. Looks pretty awesome.

Nose is sharp, crisp and delightful, with big citric hop fragrance pounding the nostrils from inches away. Robust characters of other sweeter fruits too, mostly apricot, pineapple and nectarine. It's so fresh, so bright, so powerful and so delightful. I've had far more timid noses in beers double or triple this one's strength. Awesome.

Taste is unsurprisingly much more subdued, but the hoppy characters translate very nicely into flavour, but not bitterness. This helps the palate, which is very light on—too much hoppiness would leave it unbalanced. Instead, we get bright tropical fruits at the start, before a subtle bit mid-palate and a dry, cleansing finish.

Insanely drinkable, quenchable and quaffable. This is an insane session beer, one of the most flavoursome and exciting beers under 5% ABV I think I've ever had. And despite the lightness on the palate, it never feels empty. Great brew.

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

Appearance: Nice deep copper color with a creamy head. Beer was slightly hazy.

Smell: Light fruit, caramel, malt and slight pine smell

Taste: A sweet fruit and caramel malt taste, bitterness is present especially in the aftertaste.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, bitter aftertaste, palatable

Overall: I wanted to like this beer more than I did. It just didn't marry the flavors as well. I enjoy sweetness and bitterness but you get each separately; the sweetness upfront and then the bitterness at the end and it stays with you. Not a bad beer by any means, just not my favorite.

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Photo of Keeton
4.73/5  rDev +21.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I am quickly becoming a fan of stone! First of all, I'm not sure how old the bottle was that I bought. If it still has "The Great American Beer Festival Gold Metal Winner 2007" on the neck then it's current. This is just one of those beautifully rounded malt and hops, push and pull, yen and yang if you will. I see me going back and buying more to age a little and try more!!

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.18/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - I was pretty impressed with the pour since for the ABV the beer had a very nice shade of amber red and a half inch of creamy head.

S - Smell is pretty nice citrus hops and some caramel sweetness. The malt did have a nice sweet smell as well.

T - Taste is very balanced hops with touches of sweetness from the grains and malts. Slight bread and caramel as well. A very nice treat.

M - Pretty much session able in my book but with a very solid bit of hops keeping it interesting.

Overall I liked this beer and didn't get to try it now since my area is prone to old beer and this one was finally restocked without sediment without a best by date so I am unsure how old the brew is but it was still mighty tasty. Would love to try this fresh, it would improve the review and perspective.

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

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into a 16 ounce stein.

Appearance: Nice dark amber, slightly cloudy. Has a very nice thick slightly caramel three finger + head that surprised me and almost overflowed the stein. Lots of lacing.

Smell: Strong aroma. Malt and hops, very nice

Taste: Very smooth taste of malt, hops. Slight bitterness at the end.

Mouthfeel: Very pleasant, smooth.

Overall: A very drinkable beer. I like the reds and ambers and this one will certainly be added to my regulars.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of champ103
3.47/5  rDev -10.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Walk On's in Lafayette, LA.

A: Pours a clear reddish/brown color. A thin, bubbly light beige head forms and recedes to nothing. Light lace is left behind.
S: Big hops up front. Grassy, herbal, floral. That meshes with some chocolate and caramel malt. Very hop forward up front, with and odd mesh of malt following.
T: Again, very clean flavors of grassy, herbal tea, and floral hops. Then, after the hops fade away out of nowhere some chocolate and caramel malt.
M/D: A light to medium body with crisp carbonation. At first dry, but that fades as the malt come forward. An odd chalky feel. Easy enough to drink. The pint was gone in no time.

Certainly enjoyable. I finished the pint without a problem, but thought the hops and malt flavors clashed. Though it says something when Stone makes a balanced beer. I just wished it meshed better for me.

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Photo of 57md
3.85/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Pours reddish-brown with at least a finger of head that maintains well. The smell is reminiscent of a West Coast pale ale - some citrus and nicely hoppy. The flavor is bold for a beer with such low alcohol. It has a pleasant hop finish as well. This beer is a gem for sessioning with craft brew friends or to pair with everyday meals. It would also be great for a party where most guests were not craft brew enthusiasts.

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Photo of rebelthrower
3.63/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a deep red/brown and hazy. Head was about an inch of white that disappeared quickly. Very very little lacing. A bit of sediment at the bottom.

S - sweet and nice citrus hops. Belgian yeasty/bready.

T - Citrus, malty and hops. A bit of dry at the end.

M - Medium carbonation. A little chewy.

D -Overall a very drinkable.

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Photo of Krakistophales
4.34/5  rDev +11.9%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours light brown with a bit of a white head that disappears quickly

S: Amazing aroma. Piney, grassy, earthy hops all mixed with a smoky, peppery sort of spice, as well as a malty, caramel sweetness. Insane aroma.

T: At first, you have a smoky sort of flavor note that quickly moves into a smoky/oaky flavor, with the finish having a very peppery/spicy finish to it.

O: Who the hell knew that low ABV beer could taste this great? I'm astonished. I think I might pick up a 6 pack of this stuff next time I see it.

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Photo of WMEugene
4.8/5  rDev +23.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured into a pint glass.

A - Dark ruby/copper color with a nice foamy head with excellent retention. Ok lacing.

S - Strong citrus and hop flavors in the nose. Smells like a heavy duty IPA.

T - Citrus, pine, and hop flavors. Caramel and malt flavors are present but not as up front as the hop flavors. Well-balanced and delightful.

M - Smooth taste and light to medium bodied. Flavorful aftertaste and nice carbonation levels.

O - One of the most flavorful beers I've had with such a low abv. Levitation is an utterly delightful amber ale and a strong contender for my premier "go-to" beer. A perfect example that drinkability and low ABV don't require corn in a can. This beer is awesome!

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

Happy to run into a Stone take over at DeCicco’s in Brewster, NY, this brew shows a dark mahogany color, semi-translucent with a decent tannish froth on top and good lacing. The aroma is a nice citrus brightness with earthy pine and subtle flowery sweetness. The taste is very bitter, raw grass and subtle pine with lots of biscuit and some caramel malt. It’s peppery with crisp carbonation and a fairly aggressive effervescent feel. But it is a little thinner than I expected. Medium light bodied at best. Medium drinkability. Decent but a bit harsh for the style.

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Photo of Sm00thHoperator
4.72/5  rDev +21.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

One of my favorite beers!

Appearance: Dark/Burnt Amber Ale w/ slit carbonation, about a finger of head. Beautiful in a pint or tulip glass.

Smell: Floral notes, malt, pine, and mango notes.

Taste: Smooth and refreshing, low abv, floral and mangos notes are still present.

All and all excellent beer!

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Photo of notsoprobeer
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep reddish gold / garnet in color. It's clear and has a white head that dissipated slowly leaving lacing on the glass. It looks stunning (OK, I just happen to love this color)! Aroma of grapefruit hops and caramel malt. Flavor similar to aroma. While it leans toward the hoppy side, it has a nice caramel backbone. It's light bodied, has a smooth mouth feel, and is very drinkable. For a 4.4% ABV brew, the aptly named Levitation packs in a lot of flavor and makes for a very sessionable beer.

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Photo of heebes
4.08/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark amber with a thin beige head. Nose is clean amber malts with some faint hops appearing in the end. Taste wise is much better; a bitter and refreshing amber crystal malt profile with a sharp dry and bitter hop finish. Mouthfeel is medium bodied.
Overall, a good tasting amber that is low enough to session with the BMC drinking buddies, if only it was readily available it would be my go to beer for sure.

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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 Knapp85
4/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another really good drinking brew from Stone, much like their Pale Ale and IPA, this brew falls into the same basic catagory. The beer poured out as a nice looking amber color with a decent white colored head on it with a good lacing also. The smell of the beer is malty, much more malty than most stone brew that I'm aware of. The taste of the brew does have a good hoppiness to it along with some nice caramel flavors too. The mouthfeel is drinkable and overall I think this brew is pretty damn good.

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Levitation Ale from Stone Brewing
3.88 out of 5 based on 3,887 ratings.
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