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Cellar Door - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Not Rated.
Cellar DoorCellar Door

Educational use only; do not reuse.

319 Reviews
no score

(Send Samples)
Reviews: 319
Hads: 1,112
Avg: 4.06
pDev: 19.7%
Wants: 73
Gots: 157 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: John_M on 05-22-2010

Over the ages the term ’cellar door’ has numerously been referred to as the most beautiful term in the English language. Upon setting out to create the first summer addition to the Stateside line up of ales; the feeling that almost instantly came to me was that of beauty & cleansing. Many summer offerings tend to lack the complexity of their bigger, colder season counterparts; so my goal was to craft an ale of extreme balance with a delicate complexity that allows for contemplation while also providing quaffable refreshment. Starting with a base of German wheat & pale malts this crisp slightly hazy foundation was then accented with a blend of Sterling & Citra hops providing a intricate blend of herbal grass & tangerine citrus flavors and aroma. To pull this all together and to complete the ’cleansing’ aspect of my vision I gently finished the ale off with a touch of white sage, lending a mild earthy spice character to the blend. Of course let’s not forget our house saison yeast that brought all the elements together leaving a dry yet intricate finish.
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Reviews: 319 | Hads: 1,112
Photo of Sammy
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another interesting saison from Stillwater. Very sage and farmhouse. white pepper, celery, Sterling and citra hops and tamed so both bold and smooth.Caramel and mild orange and tangerine. Good drinker for the summer.
Big head on light yellow body. John' bottle.
I had it again 10 months later and hits the spot, good spice, coriander.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 4/8/13.

Pours a murky yellow with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, spice, and sage aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, yeast, and sage flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a solid sage presence that comes across slightly better in the aroma.

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Photo of GRG1313
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy yellow with a thick and firm white head.

Nose is fresh yeasty tortillas and light sage and light yellow hay. Very light white toast tone.

Mouthfeel is rich, well balanced and very inviting.

Flavors are wonderfully complex and layered. Front palate of white pepper, green herbs, hay, grass, salt, celery and sage. Mid palate is the foregoing that melds into green pepper and bitter green herbs with fruity undertones.

Finish is layers of the flavor that has a strong sage finish. Quite complex, layered and appealing.

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Photo of kylehay2004
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - 3 finger head of white foam. Hazy, dark golden body. Slowly dissipating head

S - Malty, spicey with earthy hops. Lemon.

T - Starts dry. Spicy, black pepper, wheat and malts. Nice example of a flavorful saison with a present but not overstated spicey/peppery yeast presence.

M - Medium bodied. moderately to high carbonation. Dry from start to finish.

Overall - Nice and complex, many tastes that blend well make for an outstanding saison. I can't wait to get my hands on more from this brewery.

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Photo of metter98
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer poured hazy golden yellow in color and poured with a finger high dense white head. The head slowly died down yet a thin layer of bubbles consistently covered the surface.
S: There are strong aromas of sage in the nose along with some hints of spiciness from the hops.
T: Like the smell, there are strong flavors of sage in the overall taste, which also linger for a long time in the aftertaste. It also has some hints of pepper and other spices.
M: It feels light-bodied and quite dry on the palate with a moderate amount of carbonation.
D: This beer needs to be sipped rather slowly given the strength of the sage in the taste, although it's certainly unique so I could consider having it again.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.73/5  rDev -8.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

four packs just hit the state, cool beans. this pours apple juice color into a wine glass with a smallish white head. it looks clear for a saison, and not overly carbonated. the sage is intense on the nose, very up front. French saison yeast gives at the familiar acidity and juiciness. very very soft wheat malt taste, with the sage being more balanced but still quite pronounced, herbal and earthy. lasting in the finish too. the yeast is a little too strong, this tastes almost off, although it isn't, the proportionality is skewed. its not as delicate as it could be, and this is exacerbated by underwhelming carbonation. its not flat, but it doesn't pop. makes it a little heavier, and really, I don't want a six pack, four is enough of these for me. not as well polished as some other Stillwater stuff, but a creative beer worth trying.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a hazy yellow color. The head was fizzy and white leaving behind just a few bubbles on the glass. The smell is of fresh grains, Belgian yeast and some light lemon on the nose. The taste of the beer is refreshing, and has a light farmhouse flavor to it with just a little bit of citrus in there too. The mouthfeel of the beer is light bodied and fresh feeling, lively carbonation. Overall the this is a good brew, very drinkable stuff here.

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Photo of brentk56
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Arrives at the bar with a cloudy copper color; a very nice head caps the liquid and leaves webs of lacing behind

Smell: Toasted bread, with sage and peppery yeast; kumquats, too

Taste: Toasted bread and peaches with sage and peppery spice flavors developing; by mid-palate the kumquat adds a bitter element to balance; the crisp finish is packed with yeasty phenols

Mouthfeel: Medium body with moderate carbonation

Overall: Fruity, tropical and bitter - a very refreshing combination; it is easy to see why this is the most popular beer at Of Love and Regret

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Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The spirit of summer comes alive in Stillwater's "Cellar Door". The brewery exclaims the term as an elegant term, but does the flavor reflect that? ...and why does that Poison song come to mind every time I read the beer's name? "...lock the cellar door, and baby- talk dirty to me"

The pour comes as a murky gold with orange and ruby highlights. It's firm haze never reveals the beer's lightness, instead portrays a visual weight that hardly allows light to penetrate. But above the murk rises a creamy white head of froth. It's long lasting retention laces with intricate patterns as the beer recedes. It's a beautiful, yet heavy looking ale.

Spicy sweet aromas are highly appetizing with notes of honey, lavender, light clove, paradise seed, mangoes, apricots, white pepper, and earthy cumin. Lightly grassy from the hops involved, the beer allows a high level of tropical notes to emerge that's a little unexpected from the style.

Its delicious taste starts dryly malty with the taste of biscuit, honey, and crackers. But then the layers build- first of spicy white pepper, cumin, and fennel. But then the citrusy onslaught seem tropical at first with mangoes and pineapples, but then morph into rich tangerine marmalade taste that dominates the ester side of the beer thereafter. But the complementing dry spices begin to gain tangents of white wine, apple cider, and mild oak. It's definitely a complex taste that deserves exploration.

Medium bodied, the beer has an irresistible creamy mouthfeel that wraps around the beer's acidity and carries it home. Lightly acidic, mildly tannic, and alcoholically warm; the beer finishes zesty, sharp, and decidedly dry.

This is a wonderful beer that not only suits the taste of summer, but will reward any Belgian ale appreciator year round! And I'm considering regrowing my mullet.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Picked a bottle of this up in DC.

Hard pour into my tulip brings a five-finger head that eventually recedes down into a fairly constant single-finger layer, although it only leaves the tiniest bit of lacing behind. Nose brings forth a tiny amount of earth and hay along with a nice lemon presence. A little bit hoppy. Taste is quite the same with a bit of lemony grass and some slight bitterness. Mouthfeel is quite light and a bit undercarbonated. Drinks pretty well but is lacking the type of depth I expect for saisons.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle: Poured a hazy golden orangey color ale with a large foamy head with good retention and some good lacing. Aroma of lightly hoppy notes with light spices and a medium sweet malt backbone is quite interesting. Taste is a complex mix between some lightly sweet rustic malt notes with some fruity ester with dry hoppy notes with light notes of spices. Body is full with limited filtration and good carbonation. Easily drinkable while providing quite a lot of complexity.

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Photo of biboergosum
3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml solid-ass bottle, with one hell of an 'obfuscated in the name of art' label. Still (heh) good to see this East coast Yankee gypsy brewer available in our fair province.

This beer pours a hazy pale golden yellow hue, with three bulbous fingers of white whipped cream head, which leaves a few sudsy streaks of upwardly mobile lace around the glass as it evenly subsides.

It smells of dry bready wheat malt, soft earthy yeast, edgy, somewhat meaty citrus rind, a sort of flinty herbal essence, white pepper, and earthy, musty spice. The taste is grainy pale malt, semi-sweet orange and weak lemon juice, musty green herbs, a slight metallic twang, earthy spice, settling dry yeast, and a very mild hint of warming alcohol.

The carbonation is rather frizzy, with a sturdy adherence that it maintains quite steadfastly, the body medium-light in weight, and generally smooth, in an almost genial sense. It finishes mostly dry, the yeast, bitter citrus, and generically earthy spice doing well to make friends and extend the party, as it were.

A decent enough Stateside saison (I know that I'm cribbing this from another Stillwater offering), with the extra IPA-esque hopitude and schizoid spice usage just adding a certain je ne sais quoi (en fonction de la santé mentale de la brasseur) to the whole deal. At any rate, a pleasant, not overly boozy Saturday night special.

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Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

New arrival in the market, after enjoying the Stateside Saison, I figured this would be a sure bet. Review from notes.

Hazed orange gold, visible trails of carbonation, soapy foam that settled to a broken skim after the larger bubbles dissipated.

Minerals, flint, dry herbals, and bright citrus in the aroma.

Floral and dry with a slight phenolic spiciness lingering on the palate, drying herbal notes of sage, and an impression of orange creamsicle minus the sugary sweetness. Super dry and effervescent, to the point that it bursts into foam initially in the first few sips.

Maybe a bit too spicy to tackle a bottle solo, but a great one to share and pair with food.

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Photo of zeff80
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured out a cloudy, golden-yellow color with a three-finger, off-white head of soapy, bubbly foam. It left thick rings of sticky lace on the glass.

S - It smelled funky with spicy notes and touches of sage.

T - It tasted of caramel, sage and spiciness. Really amazingly delicious flavors.

M - It was crisp, sharp and smooth. A medium bodied ale with a dry, clean finish.

O - This is a fantastic beer. I need more Stillwater products on the shelves in Columbia.

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Photo of oberon
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at Sessions in Greensboro.Poured into a tulip glass a lightly hazed lemon tinged lighter golden with a large fluffy white crown that lasted for almost the duration,fresh citric hops burst out in the aromas along with light white pepper,I liked the fact I didn't get alot of funk.Citric hops play a huge role on the palate with underlying funk and that white pepper,a light sour tang came in the finish.Iam not a saison drinker most of the time but I have enjoyed Stillwater's takes I have had of the style.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.51/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

part of the epicness that was the halloween weekend of beer. the last few nights have kicked my ass in every way, but i got to try a bunch of goodies that have long haunted me. served chilled and poured into a 8 ounce taster, this one was consumed on 10/30/2010.

thrilled to finally be able to try this one, i decided to crack it open with dinner yesterday to get a good taste before the night began. pour could not have been better with an amazing golden amber color with a good haze to it and great carbonation visible throughout. huge white head on top that led to a ton of lacing up and down the sides of the glasses.

aroma is light at first but builds as the night goes on. light citrus touches, fresh herbals, light flowery mix an a nice grain bill seem to support a rather complex flavor. and that is exactly what i get with a quick dose of lemon right off the bat. it transforms into a nice pear and apple flavors, loads of grass and quick hits of lavender and a touc of peppery like spice seal it. this is exactly what i was looking for. clean, crisp, sparkling and refreshing. near perfect.

overall this was everything everyone told me it would be and more. a wonderful example of the style and just done right.

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Photo of nickfl
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - The beer pours with a big, three finger head of white foam on top of a hazy, dark golden body. The foam settles down fairly slowly and leaves thick traces of lace on the glass.

S - Dry, spicy malt with a light touch of acidity and some earthy hops and mineral notes. Lemon zest, pepper, and coriander notes combine with pear and other fruity yeast notes.

T - Spicy wheat with a bit of dry, bready malt up front. More soft malt in the middle with pear and pineapple yeast notes and a little coriander. Lemon and black pepper notes appear at the finish with more fruity yeast character and some spicy hop flavor.

M - Medium body, moderately high carbonation, and a fairly dry finish.

D - Very nicely done, the spice character is subtle enough that it blends in with the yeast and adds complexity to the beer without turning it into soup. There is plenty of smooth, flavorful malt in the background to keep the spice and hop elements in check. The dry finish keeps things drinkable and the complexity makes it easy for me to finish the bottle by myself despite the somewhat excessive serving size.

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Photo of womencantsail
3.97/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thanks for sharing this one, Bobby.

A: First pours are glasses completely full of foam. Eventually I'm able to get some beer and the hazed golden-orange color reveals itself.

S: A lot of yeast on the nose, could have been kicked up due to the extremely active carbonation. Plenty of phenols like white pepper and the sage is very strong as well. Some floral notes, grass, and a slight mustiness. Just a bit of a cracker malt and wheat aroma.

T: Sweet sage is quite evident, but still restrained enough to be a pleasant taste. Floral and fruit (pears and apples) notes go nicely with a slightly sweet malt flavor. The finish is nicely dry and crisp.

M: Medium in body with a very high level of carbonation.

D: A good beer, but nothing amazing. Their beers are all good, but nothing so great that I would really want to stock up.

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Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light fizzy head, hazy golden orange carrot colored.

Nose nice light malts, wheat like, semi sweet, light citrus, apricot, weird floral like heather or tea like spice, coriander, sage, etc.

Taste add more light malts, sweet wheat, sage and light spices, citrus, apricot like fruit, plenty of warming booze tingly. Finishes drier and more tingly booze and spices.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb, tingly and warming booze.

Overall very nice, a bit boozy especially for 6.6% but otherwise tasty, interesting nice spices.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.35/5  rDev +7.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Hazy golden body. Frothy bright white head. Very good head retention. Nice lacing.

Smell: Chalky yeast. Soft floral notes. Dried herbs. Subtle fruit. Peppery in the background.

Taste: Delicate malt. The chalky yeast returns. Fruit (apple, some mild citrus). Floral. Spicy/gently peppery. Finishes dry and slightly herbal. Nicely balanced. Alcohol is not at all noticeable.

Mouthfeel: Light/medium body. Crisp, very fine-bubbled seemingly natural carbonation. Gently zesty on the tongue, foaming up in the mouth as it warms.

Drinkability: It's nice to find an American made saison that's not overdone with malt, leaving it flabby and sweet; or even worse, overdone with spice or yeast character. This one shows refinement and superb balance. It's easy to drink, refreshing, and offers enough complexity and character to keep it going. Certainly worth trying.

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Photo of mactrail
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Tart, richly flavored, spicy-- everything you could want in a Saison. Very carbonated, but that seems to transport the many flavors. Pours a nice cloudy golden in the wine glass. Crisp, like an apple, is the initial taste. A sweet touch of malt fills the mouth, followed by just enough hops for some balance, and lots of the yeasty Belgian flavors. The wheat gives a good bite along with some Hefeweizen kind of spice.

Really clean and full of complex notes. Great beer to try instead of a hoppy Pilsner on a warm evening.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Max's, described as a Witbier with sage on the beer list, interesting to see it as a saison on here. Regardless, this was a damn refreshing wit and the sage added a nice spiciness to it on the back end. Full flavored and refreshing, it's a great twist to the style that works very well.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I purchased this at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown, enjoyed chilled in a willybecker from the 12oz brown bottle.

The color is golden with very light hazed look with visible carbonation and thick rocky white head that settles. The smell is very gently spiced reminiscent of clove with aromatics and earthy elment similar to ginger's woody with funky pepper and slight wheat scent with mild anise note and dried fruit aroma. The feel is great -light tanginess with moderate yeastiness and gentle sweetness wtih slight spice in the texture with moderately dry finish.

The taste is very good with lots of complexity from yeast giving some fruity flavors with mix of spice and light malt backing which comes off as dry yet light toasted with mild tangy yeast element and mild earthy spice coming in later with a crisp peppery finish. Overall this is a pretty great beer, highly enjoyable and the only adjustment I would make would be with the spice level since it relies a little bit on the herb/spice in the flavor/aroma.

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Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: on tap at the Belgian Café, Philly, PA

Poured into a pilsner glass a golden yellow, cloudy, with a finger of white head that receded quickly but left some nice lace. Very floral aroma with lots of spice: sage and pepper. Spicy taste! Very peppery with perfumy floral and herbal notes, and subtle citrus adding a bitter quality. Finishes crisp and dry, sweet with sugar and rose petals. Light mouthfeel, very crisp, and quite drinkable.

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Photo of russpowell
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours golden with 3+ fingers of ivory colored head. Murks up a bit as this finishes, very good head retention & average lacing

S: Grassy with orange peel, some white pepper & wheat tartness/breadyness as this warms

T: Lemons, white pepper, tangerine, with grassyness up front, along with a touch of tart wheat. Ruby red grapefruit, grassyness as this warms. Finshes tart with white pepper, & lemon grass

MF: Light bodied, lively carbonation

This drank too easy, love the citra hops in this, puts a nice American spin on this style, easily one of the best beers I've had in a while

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Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
91 out of 100 based on 319 ratings.