Cellar Door - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Cellar DoorCellar Door

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1,062 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,062
Reviews: 308
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.67%
Wants: 73
Gots: 140 | 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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Ratings: 1,062 | Reviews: 308
Photo of ccrida
4.42/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured in a goblet, Cellar Door is a murky gold with a nice white head, a bit big-bubbled, nice lace.

Smell is very herbal, this is a heady brew, but the adjuncts are well integrated. Loving the sage.

Taste is good, this is a very well executed herbal saison, the sage really works well with the base saison, a nice spiciness. Very clean, a fairly short finish at first, until the sage awakens on the linger.

Mouthfeel is quite creamy, medium body.

Drinkability is great, I'm absolutely loving this brew, the use of sage as an adjunct is a total home-run, and really plays well with the base saison.

Photo of Halcyondays
4.38/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

750 mL bottle, great label,

A: Pours a translucent goldenrod, very much witbier like. Fizzy soapy head, no lace, good head retention.

S: Intoxicating nose of sage which I really cant resist. Reminds me a lot of Saison du BUFF for sure.

T: Sage and coriander type flavours, very herbal and distinct. Light wheat malt makes a play with a hint of lemon. Some citrusy hop notes midway through. Yeasty undertones throughout. Very well balanced.

M: Somewhat fizzy and a tad overcarbonated. I think a little more heft could have helped. Light-bodied overall.

O: This is a really good saison, the nose is great and the flavour is similarly good. I've been wanting to try this for a while and it did not disappoint. $12 is steep for a 750, but it's worth it for this wonderful saison.

Photo of bum732
4.43/5  rDev +9.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

S: Black pepper spice with fresh sage. A bright citrus like component, some lemon and orange, torn orange leaves with some herbal freshness.

L: Cloudy orange yellow, carbonated white head with 1/2 retention, solid lacing.

T: Sage like herbalness with a peppery sweetness. Spicy medium bitterness leads to some fruity notes, orange in particular. Finishes fairly dry with some residual peppery spiciness.

M: High carbonation, medium mouthfeel, spritzy.

Really enjoyed this beer, sage was subtle enough. My favorite from them so far.

Photo of impending
4.24/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml into a tulip. Pours a deep hazed pale orange. Towering head recedes slowly leaving clumpy froth, superb lacing.

Aroma is wonderfully complicated, tremendous depth. Citrus, peppery yeasty spices, major phenolic notes. Socks become evident as it warms.

Flavor has notes of pine, dirt and citrus wrestling each other before pepper appears. The sage adds a subtle, not immediately obvious, contribution which is most apparent at the beginning of the aftertaste which is long lived and excellent. The sage comes more forward as it warms. Light prickly yet creamy mouthfeel.

Photo of wesbrownyeah
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Cellar Door Saison/farmhouse ale by Stillwater Artisanal Ales 6.6% alcohol poured into a Chimay Goblet.

A- Pours a golden hazy straw yellow hued fluid with tight pillowy head that leaves patch lacing behind top to bottom.

S- Upfront is a hint of sage and hibiscus in the nose, followed by musky yeast and light alcohol esters. Very inviting to the senses.

T-M- Bold sage and yeast crackle of the the buds on first sip leaving a melody of peppery malts with balanced spice on the tongue. Alcoholic sweet grainy flavors are noted in the backbone. Mouthfeel is smooth with moderate carbonation.

A great tasting Farmhouse brew.

Photo of trappistlover
3.9/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

(750ml bottle from Total Wine Tempe). Pour cloudy yellow-orange with a white head. Aroma has sage, lemon and some wheat. Taste is sweet that follows the aroma. After having Saison Du Buff I was concerned that the sage would be overpowering, but they use finesse here. Medium bodied with an oily texture. Light bitter finish. Nice job with using the sage and balancing it with the saison characteristics.

Photo of robhunta
3.94/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

A - What a beautiful beer! Pours avhazy orang with several inches of this fluffy head.

S - I get wheat and yeast with a hint of citrus. I also get a tiny bit of skunk aroma, but I have had this beer in the cellar for probably 4 months

T - yeast is the mist prevalent flavor I get, it's preceded by crisp wheat and hops and followed by fruity citrus.

M - I found the mouthfeel quite interesting and a but unusual,
Aybe I'm not as familiar with the style, but it was very dry, crisp and stingingfrom the carbonation, much like champagne. Light- bodied.

Overall I like this beer, the taste had some nice complexity, but I
didn't love the mouthfeel, so much so that it brought the score down.

***edit*** Holy cow that was delicious!!!! I highly recommend pairing this with steamers!

Photo of glid02
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On-tap at the Brick Store.

Pours a hazy copper color with a white head leaving decent lacing.

Smells of light to medium malts with good amounts of light citrus hops and hints of lighter, leafy hops in the background. Also present are hints of musty notes in the background.

Tastes good. Slightly dry medium malt flavors up front are joined by bright citrus hops with slight amounts of white pepper. Near the end of the sip leafy hops round things out. The ending is mildly bitter. Mouthfeel is good, with solid carbonation.

Overall I was a fan of this beer, though it’s fairly far from a traditional saison. Refreshing and worth a shot.

Photo of andrewinski1
4.17/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip. Lots of foam when poured (didn't open this one very cold). Nice slightly hazy light straw color with a solid white head.

The aroma is yeast forward with zesty pineapple with a hint of soap. The tropical fruit aroma is most dominant and quite enjoyable.

The taste starts out with mild tropical fruit and sweetness; followed by peppery yeast spice that makes for a dry and relatively crisp finish.

This drinks light and refreshingly, with a lot of carbonation that is appropriate.

Another winner from Stillwater, this would make for a nice table beer also.

Photo of muttyd
4.05/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into an oversized wineglass. Cloudy straw / orange body with a huge fluffy white head that sticks around after the initial pour.

Aroma is mostly composed of citrus fruits, saison yeast, grainy malts, some slight funk. Earthy hops also in the nose. Flavor is has a grainy, bready malt sweetness, citrus twang, and gives way to sage (no surprise there) in the finish. Apples, pears, and bitter earthy hops throughout the flavor as well. Well balanced saision. Creamy and almost chewy on the tongue. Glad I discovered this brewery. Solid beer.

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.39/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in a tulip glass)

A- This beer was a slow motion gusher creating a glass full of foam that took quite a while to settle into a hazy golden yellow body and it was still oozing out of the bottle. The second pour was much darker orange and very hazy.

S- The lemon and saison yeast aroma has a sage hint in the finish. There were some wet earth and rain notes that turned into a new sneaker aroma as the beer opened up.

T- The slightly funky ester taste had notes of pear and apricot with some tropical fruit flavors from yeast and grapefruit zest flavor from hops finish with a slightly sweet and sage note. There is a dry green lemon hop note that lingers after the finish.

M- This beer has a medium mouthfeel with a tight fizz and no alcohol heat noticed.

O- This beer has a sage quality that is fresh and stronger than the other flavors but as it opens up the yeast character starts to develop around the sage and really adds some nice depth to the beer. It is too bad that is was so carbonated but it was worth the wait.

Photo of nickfl
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
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.

Photo of mactrail
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

Photo of saintwarrick
4.67/5  rDev +15.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy dark yellow and burnt orange saison with a tremendous white head, lacing the glass and the beer. Aroma is unreal, pineapple, mango, tangerines and a dozen other citrusy and floral aromas. Passion fruits and candied watermelon take over the taste though the brew is not overly sweet. Slight bit of tang mixed in to keep the beer balanced. A fully realized brew, expertly crafted from top to bottom. A must try.

Photo of RedHaze
4.03/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml capped bottle.

Pours a hazy, dried apricot color, with a rocky three finger head. The lacing is dense, leaving chunks and rings of foam on the glass.

Smell; very herbal up front with mint and sage, but there is something else in there I just can't quite pick out. Apple, pear and lemon add some fruity components to the aroma.

Taste; that herbal quality comes through just as strongly in the flavor as it does in the smell. Mint and sage, but also some touches of lavender and pepper. The fruits start off citrusy with lemon and hint of orange, then turn towards pears and apples. The finish turns back to the herbal side, ending with a peppery bitter bite.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with a prickly carbonation.

Edit: Just read the label and it says it was brewed with white sage,

Photo of sk8man121
4.53/5  rDev +12.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into Allagash chalice.

A: Pours a hazy tangerine with highlights of sunshine and moonbeams. Impressive 2-finger rocky cream-colored head with excellent retention leaves a great deal of lacing on the glass. Beautiful.

S: Pineapple, mint and farmhouse yeast up front, followed by citrus and fresh cut grass. Smells absurdly refreshing.

T: Citrus and mint/white sage dominate with sharp acidity. Banana and grass are in the center, with a slight bit of licorice in the finish. One of the most refreshing tastes I can imagine.

M: Highly carbonated, what should be rather thin creams up beyond belief. Goes down beautifully.

O: This is an unbelievable surprise. I expected this to be nice, but not nearly as perfectly balanced and refreshing as it is. Cellar Door defies style, as it is not quite a saison, yet so much more than a typical wheat. At $10 for a 750 ml bottle, this is an affordable luxury that I hope to enjoy many more times.

Sunshine in a glass.

Photo of WhiteOak
3.75/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Hazy, deep straw yellow color with a white head.

S- Had I been blinded on this, I would have mistaken it, (based upon smell alone) for a Gewurtztraminer or possibly a Tokay! Quite a surprising aroma.

T- Flavors of clover honey, rich caramel, malt, and citric hops. The finish is bitter, herbaceous, and hoppy.

Photo of Blanco
4.3/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review is for the tap version and is from notes. Tasted 6/4/11 at TND Stillwater event.

Light orange color with decent white, foamy head that eventually turns into a film on top. Smell is powerfully full of belgian spices and with some citrus. Taste is has a strong herbal presence with spices and some pop from something that tastes reminiscent of green peppers, strangely. Also, some more citrus there. Very dry. Incredibly light bodied. I really enjoy this one on tap and in the bottle, though the tap version seems to offer more distinct flavors that set it apart and just above the bottle.

Photo of babaracas
3.95/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Hazy straw out of the bottle, in the glass an opaque light amber with billowing white head. Slowly settles to a half inch. Clumps of lace left behind. Smell: wheat, hay, spicy, citrus rind. Herbal. Taste: bready with a light sweetness, grainy, peppery and herbal. A little grapefruit, lemon (more in the burp). Mouthfeel: medium bodied by way of very active carbonation. The high carbonation became a little much after a while. I think I like pairing saisons with sage-heavy dishes more than sage in the saison. Nice though.

Photo of Rifugium
4/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of vfgccp
4.68/5  rDev +16.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A – Pours an opaque sunset gold. Beautiful fluffy white head with great lace.

S – Soft, smooth, and complex. Fresh sage, mint, hay. Mild sweetness, like rock candy held a foot or two from your nose. Soft caramel, lavender and lemon.

T – Soft and incredibly well integrated. Opens with a beautiful smooth bouquet of sage and white tea leaves. A kiss of lemon zest brings forward a floral center with lavender, light honey, and pollen. The backend picks up on the floral notes and ebbs them gently to an earthier side with dandelion and apricot.

M – Medium body with great carbonation. Soft texture. Lightly dry finish.

O – Brilliant. One of the best saisons I’ve ever had.

Photo of jgagne
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Nice light murky orange with large white head. Very nice

S-Very hoppy citrus smell. Definetly very prominent smell

T-At first i really enjoy this beer. Very spicy and tasty but then the follow through falls a little short for me. It ends slightly flat, was hopping for a nice sweet finish but instead you get the opposite. Not a really complex beer

M-Nice spice with medium body and high carbonation

O- Good beer with good possibility but just fell a little short for me, but could see why other BA's would enjoy.

Photo of Jwale73
3.71/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served at 53 degrees in my CL tulip. No bottle dating evident. Been waiting to try something from this brewery for quite a while. Pours a semi-hazy honey-gold with a rocky, three inch bright white head that sizzles and pops as it slowly recedes into a solid quarter inch cap embedded with tiny pinpricks. Some lacing, but no legs. Nose is herbal and grassy - sage presents up front followed by citrus and a trace of cut grass. All and all, fairly clean for a Farmhouse. Taste follows nose; however, citrus comes out initially, with the sage expressing itself more towards the finish. Something else is also happening towards the middle. I get a trace of sweetness (perhaps candi sugar?), in addition to the grassy quality. The mouthfeel on this somewhat kills it for me. Carbonation is extremely gassy. Body is light-medium and there's a definite prickliness that is partially attributable to the carbonation, as well as the citrus acidity. Finish is semi-dry. A quality and complex domestic Saison; however, the carbonation is way too assertive and really detracts from the taste. If the carbonation was more under control, I'd probably score this in the high B+ to low A- range.

Photo of tlazaroff
4.1/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice bright straw coloring with a cloud-like white head and lots of carbonation bubbles.

S: Has an excellent herbal/spice character to the nose. Peppery, and funky at the same time.

T: Very herbal, it is quite a spice-heavy beer and isn't afraid of it. I get some slight fruit notes too, like apple and pear. Alcohol you can taste, but it isn't the pain presence.

M: High carbonation and light body.

D: Moderate, it's a nice beer that is well balanced.

Photo of Rhettroactive
4.45/5  rDev +10.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 750mL bottle to Boulevard tasting glass on 5/7/11
Sampled at the 1st NoVA BA Tasting Extravaganza
*From notes

A: Gorgeous sunset yellow. A bit of a fizzy head leads to minor lacing.

S: Packed with layer upon layer of complex sage, faint hops, mild malt and funky yeast. Spectacular.

T: Extremely pleasing - it hits you with the sage right away, and it lingers through to the finish. I'm not a big saison fan, though this takes everything I'd previously known and throws it out the window. An immensely tasty brew.

M: It's light, yet it has enough weight to hold all that's going on. The carbonation is really soft yet bubbly.

O: Stillwater's Cellar Door is one of the best saison's I've consumed. It's jam packed with flavorful and perfectly balanced nuances that will bring me back to it again and again. This is a big league beer - seek it out and enjoy.

Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,062 ratings.