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Cellar Door - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Cellar DoorCellar Door

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

780 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 780
Reviews: 268
rAvg: 4.04
pDev: 11.14%

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales visit their website
Maryland, United States

Style | ABV
Saison / Farmhouse Ale |  6.60% ABV

Availability: Summer

Notes/Commercial Description:
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.

(Beer added by: johnmichaelsen on 05-22-2010)
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Ratings: 780 | Reviews: 268 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of deadonhisfeet


3.8/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a Duvel tulip. The pour is a lovely clear gold color with a big fluffy white head and, sadly, rather poor retention. The nose is bright, flowery, herbal, and slightly musty.

The beer is light-medium bodied with strong herbal flavors. I get lots of sage on my palate, perhaps a bit too much for my liking. Dry cracker-like wheat and malt notes up front are met by sage almost immediately. Some lemony notes from the hops also take up the charge and compete with the sage to provide more complexity and a nice complementary flavor. The finish is dry and a little fruity with just a touch of pineapple-like sweetness. Very drinkable and refreshing. The carbonation is a bit on the low side, but the feel is slick and firm and if the carbonation were higher, the herbal notes might become intolerable.

Overall, a nice beer. I think the sage is a bit overdone, but others might really like a Saison with this kind of earthy, herbal edge. I do like the mustiness on the nose and wish more Saisons could capture it.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2013 18:22:47 | More by deadonhisfeet
Photo of BorisFromRussia

New York

3.59/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from 22oz bomber into a pint glass.

Appearance: light head, light color, little foam retention

Smell: spicy, citrus-y, nutmeg-y, maybe sage or corriander.

Taste: very much like the aroma, a little bit of a bite to it. very nice for a nighttime summer drink.

Mouthfeel:light body but without a large carbonation which makes for a very pleasant sip. lingering aftertaste of spices.

Overall: this beer is well-crafted and balanced, but the brewers chose to focus on a flavor profile right up my alley. I do recommend this beer, though it is not really something id drink a lot of in a row.

Serving type: bottle

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 01:17:28 | More by BorisFromRussia
Photo of brentk56

North Carolina

4.14/5  rDev +2.5%
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

Serving type: on-tap

06-13-2013 00:50:43 | More by brentk56
Photo of ThisWangsChung


4.1/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

750ml bottle into a New Belgium tulip. From notes that are about a week old.

A: Pours a hazy straw color. There's about one fingers worth of creamy, white-colored head, as well. Lacing is really beautiful.

S: This is very sage-forward. Buried underneath that note is a solid undercurrent of orange peel. I wouldn't really consider it complex, but it sure is evocative the way the aroma balances itself between these two notes.

T: The opening flavors are quite spicy, with additional notes of coriander to go along with all of that white sage. Further sips help to accentuate a wonderful tone of orange peel, also. There's also a bit more complexity than the aroma suggested (subtle notes of apricot, cream, and wheat show up). This brew is really about the excellent sage and citrus peel character, however.

M: Initial heftiness is a tad much, however the finish helps to alleviate this with its crisp, clean finish. Carbonation is high, par for the style.

O: Subjectively, saisons are pretty hit-and-miss for me. I'd easily call this a 'hit' though, thanks to its balance between drinkability and good (but not great) complexity.

Serving type: bottle

06-07-2013 21:22:50 | More by ThisWangsChung
Photo of C20Percent


3.96/5  rDev -2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a gold color with a big bubbly white head. Nice bubbles. Nice complexity.

S: Bready. Yeasty. Nice spices. Mild green apple and pear.

T: Very herbal. Spicey. Slight citrus.

M: A bit gritty. Semi biting. Nice carbonation and slightly creamy.

O: Interesting brew. Not as drinkable as some other Stillwater beer, but a much more unique flavor profile.

Serving type: bottle

06-02-2013 20:12:18 | More by C20Percent
Photo of MRsojourner


3.66/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

nice golden urine color with slight haze and a decent head that petered out fairly quickly especially for a wheat ale.

Aroma was lacking- had a hard time picking up much. a bit of earthy aroma hops possibly.

taste is a bit grassy, herbal, & finishing with a touch of hop bitterness. this brew is really clean and drinkable but has a flat yeast profile for a farmhouse ale imo.

mouthfeel is light, crisp and finishes dry.

overall it's really good but I find myself wanting something to remember about this beer but am afraid it will just fall into obscurity.

Now that I wrote the review and have read the brewers description I think he describes the ale damn near perfectly, I just would have never guessed that he used citra hops whatsoever. I would love to know where he used them in the process

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2013 01:53:43 | More by MRsojourner
Photo of beertunes


3.58/5  rDev -11.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in 12oz tulip. Poured a hazy, bright straw yellow color with about 3/4 inch of white head that had low retention and decent lacing.

The aroma was was fairly typical, some nice grains, a bit of spicy yeast, and a touch of fruitiness, but seemed a bit on the subdued side. On the tongue though, the beer was a lot brighter and bolder. The above mentioned aspects all came through with a better presence and there was a crisp tartness at the back.

The body was about average for the style, perhaps a bit fuller than a lot of examples, and had a nicely dry finish. Drinkability was very good, a couple of these could go down easily. Overall, a pretty nice beer. I'm not quite sure it was worth the $8/12oz price, but it was still worth a shot.

Serving type: on-tap

05-26-2013 20:19:45 | More by beertunes
Photo of Goblinmunkey7


4.03/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Appearance: Very slight haze on a pale gold body. Head is bright-white and bubbly. Head drops to a small loose collar with faint wisps of a cap. Small dots of lacing. Moderate carbonation on the pour.

Smell: Light powdery yeast profile. Banana and a touch of earthy spiciness. Floral. Bubblegum with a soft breadiness. Slightly sweet malt profile. A bit of cracker and pepper like spiciness. Hop profile pushes a touch of tropical fruit layered over a damp earthy/herbal element. Grassy and sweet, but balanced.

Taste: Yeast and sage right up front. Spiciness in a peppery sense. Deeply earthy with some clove. Grass and flower petals combined with light, sweet malts. A bit bready. Some tangerine, bubblegum, and ripe banana. Warming softens everything a bit. Nice complexity of earth, grass, powdery yeast, and spice.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and slightly dry. Clean overall. Medium to light body with a moderate carbonation.

Overall: Out with the old, in with the new.

Accomplishes what it sets out to do. A great beer to take you from winter in to summer. Light and easy drinking with enough complexity to let you know it's not just a lawnmower beer. A damn fine American farmhouse ale.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2013 19:18:48 | More by Goblinmunkey7
Photo of micromaniac129


4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Golden yellow and cloudy.Carbonation is very robust below a white fluffy head.
Aroma has a hop bouquet that has a minty smell, maybe almost medicinal. Smells tart and tight with malts and yeast.
Taste is very malty with pilsner and wheat malts. Yeast esters give a spiciness. Hops are lean and light.
Drinks smooth and dry but also bold and full bodied.
Very good rendition of the style.

Serving type: bottle

05-26-2013 12:51:10 | More by micromaniac129
Photo of justintcoons


4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a tulip.

Slightly hazy golden/straw with 1 finger of white head that dissipates quickly. Low carbonation.

Sage, peach, potpourri, tangerine, lemon and hay.

Sage flows throughout the flavor profile. Pear and peach. Raw grains, wheat, potpourri and dollops of honey. Touches of tangerine and lemon. Finishes with dried hay, white pepper, coriander and orange zest.

Light bodied, crisp and dry.

Herbal and spicy. Crisp and refreshing.

Serving type: bottle

05-17-2013 13:41:34 | More by justintcoons
Photo of wedge

North Carolina

4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a foggy, glowing, gold hue with a rather disappointing thin, white covering. Bright herbal, sage, and peppercorn aroma...grassy, yeasty, and very fresh smelling. Good sage notes continue in the flavor, but not overwhelming like some beers that utilize herbs. Spicy, flowery, lemon peel, lavender, yeast, and slight cracker malts. Light, crisp, and very drinkable. Love the 12oz. bottle. I'll be buying a 4-pack soon....

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2013 21:35:09 | More by wedge
Photo of SteveMi

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a very fresh bottle.

A - It's actually nothing amazing at first glance. My moderate pour resulted in a short lived white head with minimal lace topping the hazy, deep golden beer.

S - Very nice! Peppery, musty and sage. Touch of citrus as well.

T - Pepper, light citrus, mint and grain.

M - Medium body. Carbonation is moderate but does not let one forget it's there.

O - Nice and complex yet easily drinkable and approchable. I'm glad I got a pack and not just a single!

Serving type: bottle

05-02-2013 01:15:27 | More by SteveMi
Photo of doucmehu


3.84/5  rDev -5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Very nice opaque lemon juice color with a substantial fluffy-cloud white head that crackles and pops. Very spring.

S: Nothing overpowering, but very fresh and inviting. Underripe pear, lemon pith, honey, spring wildflowers, Belgian yeast, barnyard hay.

T: Light lemon spice blend, honeydew melon, peppercorn, hay bales, Saison/Belgian yeast, hint of grassy hops and some citric tartness at the tail end.

M: Slightly buttery, tannin-like body, effervescent, lively and rather hot from the middle through the finish, leaving a noticeable warming. Too much carbonation.

O: Very pleasant farmhouse beer. I enjoyed the mild tartness in the finish, as well as the spice and muted Saison yeast. A very seasonal beer of which a bomber went down easily. The only downfall was the over-carbonation and noticeable heat. I would be happy to drink this one again.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2013 04:14:55 | More by doucmehu
Photo of BMMillsy


4.05/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours golden from the bottle with big tall head. Aroma of lemon zest, orange peel, and a bit of yeast funk. Light mouthfeel with big flavor. Sweet honey similar to a tripel, but with nice zesty citrus and a little something I cant put my finger on. A nice crsipness and after-bite from the sage and light enough to be sessionable. One of the most flavorful wits I have had, and easy drinking. Good stuff. I have had mixed feelings about Stillwater things I have tried, but this was knocked out of the park.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2013 03:13:22 | More by BMMillsy
Photo of scottfrie


3.46/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a hazy citrus golden color with two fingers of fluffy bright white head that slowly faded into fuzzy film leaving wispy lace.
S: Sage dominates alongside hints of citrus and sweet undertones. I get some lemon and peach.
T: Peppery earthy yeast, sage is strong, citrus beneath and mineral chalky wheat. Sage and lightly malty sweet finish, peppery spice aftertase with slightly bitter hops.
M: Medium body, fizzy carbonation, frothy mouthfeel. Carbonation is distracting.
O: Frothiness takes away from the drinkability. Definitely a sage lovers beer, but only a decent saison. Better once you burn off some bubbles.

Serving type: bottle

04-03-2013 17:33:05 | More by scottfrie
Photo of biboergosum

Alberta (Canada)

3.88/5  rDev -4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2013 08:11:02 | More by biboergosum
Photo of MDDMD


4.16/5  rDev +3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-slightly hazy golden color with a nice white head and some lacing

S-lemongrass, yeasty bread, pepper, herbal and grassy aromas

T-toasted malt, yeasty funk, lemon, coriander, pepper, grassy and herbal notes, moderately bitter finish

F-medium body with moderate carbonation, crisp and slightly astringent mouthfeel

O-a nice Saison from Stillwater with good flavors, easy drinking

Serving type: on-tap

02-22-2013 22:01:32 | More by MDDMD
Photo of ianjsullivan


4.48/5  rDev +10.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

ST: 750ml poured into a wine glass.

A: Cloudy yellow, gold with a thick and fluffy, white head.

S: Beautiful lemon citrus, cracked pepper, wet stone, funky, sour fruit.

T: Lots of spice, sweet citrus, bitter hops, bread, sour lemon peel.

M: Medium and racy dry.

O: What a fantastic saison. Light, zippy, sweet citrus, sour peel, nice spice, delicate stone, with a slightly bready finish: sun in a bottle with complex spice and heft. This is a winner.

Serving type: bottle

02-16-2013 01:38:18 | More by ianjsullivan
Photo of Immortale25

North Carolina

4.06/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a hazy dark gold color with a 3/4 inch head that soon fizzles away to a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and small traces of surface foam. Slippery lacing adheres to the glass for only a short time.

S- Clean, yet mildly funky aroma that's rich and full of yeast richness and spiciness. Slightly effervescent but more sweet and citrusy than anything.

T- Packs a nice punch of saison yeast and hop bite. Alcohol is pretty noticeable but the fruity sweetness counteracts well. The yeast brings about a tartness that's mild and enjoyable. Notes of peach, mango and lemon. A bit soapy.

M- Very active from the high carbonation with a bigger sting from the hops and, possibly, alcohol than expected. The wheat malt provides a relatively substantial body. Gets chalkier and chalkier as the bottle empties.

O- A bit more hop and alcohol presence than I'm used to in a Saison, but it works out well in the end.

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2013 00:39:06 | More by Immortale25
Photo of barczar


3.98/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly hazy golden color with a thin, foamy half inch ivory head that dissipates rather quickly, leaving spotty lacing.

The aroma begins earthy and minerally, with the sweetness of confectioners sugar, soft fruit, and must adding intrigue. It's fairly perfumey. Apricot emerges as it warms.

Flavor is more bold, with pear and a wine-like background matching up with hints of lime, mangoes, and grainy malt. The finish is slightly dry and bready.

Body is moderate, with spritzy carbonation that helps lighten the mouthfeel.

Overall, a nice change of pace from the stouts and winter brews associated with the season.

Serving type: on-tap

01-08-2013 02:11:37 | More by barczar
Photo of BEERchitect


4.33/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-05-2013 08:33:31 | More by BEERchitect
Photo of nataku00


4/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a slightly hazy yellow with two fingers of soapy loose white head that quickly dissipates to a thin collar. Very effervescent, carbonation streaming quickly from the bottom of the glass.

Nose herbal and floral, with some pepper and coriander spice, lemon peel, light biscuit sweetness, and some light fruity esters.

Taking a sip, herbal and grassy flavors with coriander hit the tongue first, then warming to light peppery and lemon peel flavors. Not much malt sweetness on the taste, very dry finish with lingering herbal flavors.

Light body and well carbonated, scrubs the tongue clean without being aggressive. A solid saison.

Serving type: bottle

12-28-2012 03:14:33 | More by nataku00
Photo of match1112


4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: hazy straw colored body with a toweringrocky head that lasts a good ten minutes.

s: wheat, citrus, yeast and a little spice with a touch of grass.

t: at first sip it's a nice wheat beer then you are hit with the yeast and spice. a nice punch of citrus hops puckers your mouth right before the long dry finish.

m: feels light and crisp because of the carbonation, but actually has a slightly fuller body to it. long dry finish to it.

o: very pleased with this beer, solid example of a farmhouse ale.

Serving type: bottle

12-24-2012 02:45:11 | More by match1112
Photo of ngeunit1


4.23/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden orange with finger of frothy white head. Fades medium-slow.

S - Sweet grainy malt, Belgian yeast, lemon zest, spices, sage, light funk, and some citrus hops.

T - Sweet caramel and grainy malts, citrus hops, some bitterness, Belgian yeast, coriander, sage, touch floral hops.

M - Medium bodied moderate-plus carbonation. Smooth with a dry, spicy, and citrus finish.

D - Good overall balance between hops, spices, and yeast character.

Serving type: bottle

12-16-2012 06:13:46 | More by ngeunit1
Photo of Kendo

New York

4.25/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the bomber into a Stella Artois glass on Thanksgiving Day 2012. Body is hazy golden with a big (2-finger) white head that retains well.

S: Wow - this is a very nice nose. I get the lemony Citra hops paired with a Belgian-type earthiness. It's both clean and slightly funky at the same time. A nice trick to pull off.

T: Not quite as exciting, taste wise, though it's really good stuff. Slight wheat tang, some earthiness, a hint of spice and then a clean lemony finish. Overall impression of "lightness," which I'm hoping will pair well with dinner - in this case, a heavy feast that could benefit from a lighter beer that won't weigh me down.

M: NIce palate-cleansing fizzy carbonation that reminds me of the better Belgians. Body is light-to-medium in heft, but drinks on the lighter side.

O: Good stuff. Really good stuff.

Serving type: bottle

11-22-2012 22:23:16 | More by Kendo
Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
90 out of 100 based on 780 ratings.