Beer Review: Stone Brewing Co. Levitation
Brewery: Stone Brewing Co.
Style: Amber Ale
Serving: 355ml Bottle
I’m pretty stoked that we are starting to see availability of a lot more Stone beers in the UK. Bottle shops now regularly stock a pretty healthy range and BrewDog even managed to get a shipment of their ridiculously fresh Enjoy BY 08.16.14 to sell in their bars. Up until now, my only experience of the brewery has been of their sensational IPAs (Stone IPA, Ruination and the Enjoy By) so on a recent trip to my local bottle shop, Hopology, I picked up a couple of their other styles to try out. First up, their session amber ale; Levitation.
The beer pours a perfectly clear dark cherry red, almost mahogany with a good two-three fingers of beige head. There is a decent amount of carbonation and the head dissipates after about 1-2 minutes.
On the nose you find a predominiently earthy hop character with notes of dry grass, leaves and some smoke. You also get a slight unsweetened bread note from the darker malts and only a background hint of citrus and cranberry. The aroma isn’t outrageously powerful or complex but it is pleasant and definitely makes you want to drink it.
The real surprise is in the flavour department. This beer is absolutely packed with complex fruit flavours like sour cherries, cranberries and blood orange. The first thing that really comes through is a refreshing acidity which, combined with the sweetness of the red fruits reminds you of Cherry Coke. This carries through developing into a light hop bitterness that begs another sip. After the fruit you get grassy, earthy note from the darker malts used which is more what you’d expect from an amber ale such as this. No one thing stands out over another here, the balance is very nice indeed.
Mouthfeel and body are, as you’d expect from a session ale, a little thin. I’d love to try an imperial version of this same recipe because I think a thicker, more coating mouthfeel would really make those incredible sweet and sour flavours sing. That being said, I could quite happily have a session comprised entirely of this stuff, which I suppose is the whole point. You wouldn’t get tired of the flavour too quickly and you wouldn’t be wasted after three bottles.