It’s almost impossible to get fresh Stone beers here in the Northeast, so this review may not be entirely fair. You see, Stone Levitation Ale is an attempt at making a sessionable beer that is truly hoppy and robust, but without the density of an IPA as this beer only weighs in at 4.4% ABV. I’ve bought this beer several times for different stores and every time I bought it, the bottles were well past their expiration dates. The bottle used for this review was over two months past the freshness date on the bottle.
I poured a 12oz bottle into an oversize wine glass.
Appearance: Looks like iced tea with a slightly muddy light brown/mahogany color. It forms a fairly generous head which is off-white and foamy. Fortunately, it still maintains retention very well and does leave nice lacing.
Smell: Noticeable tangerine and grapefruit with a light pine fragrance. There’s also a slight aroma of black or green tea leaves (although the beer is not brewed with them). The aroma is initially quite strong and indicative of a pale ale or IPA, but weakens dramatically as I drink on.
Taste: Much like the appearance and smell, Stone Levitation Ale actually does taste a little like iced tea - but hoppy iced tea, that is. This is certainly a unique flavor as there’s a malty, cracker-like backbone to this beer with a general hop bitterness propping it up. However, the hops don’t have a pine or citrus flavor here, they’re just bitter and dry. The body on this beer is quite short as I can literally taste a watery sensation while it’s in my mouth. There is a touch of tea-like sweetness, but again, it’s extremely mild and watery.
Mouthfeel: Thin and watery with a slightly drying sensation as the hops linger for a moment or two before fading away.
Drinkability: This might be the most drinkable beer Stone makes and since it’s a deliberately light beer (the name is clearly a highbrow pun of the macro term "lite") it goes down very smooth and can be consumed in fairly large quantities considering it’s only 4.4% ABV.
Overall, this is truly an "IPA Lite", but intentionally so which makes it understandable. And while I am genuinely impressed by its strong hop presence, I’m still a little disappointed with each swig that there’s not enough body to make it truly enjoyable, instead of being a quality novelty beer.