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Cellar Door | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

331 Reviews
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Cellar DoorCellar Door

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States | website

Style: Saison / Farmhouse Ale

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.60%

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.

Added by John_M on 05-22-2010

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Reviews: 331 | Ratings: 1,166
Photo of seagullbeer
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

was a little worried about the sage in description but it fit the standard profile of a saison for me with just a little hint of sage. after trying a few pretty average beers from stillwater this one definitely stood out. really nice and mellow saison that i want in my fridge all the time.

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Photo of outdoor7or24
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into pint glass, purchase at CBX.
A: pours a clear pale gold body, +2 finger fine white foam head, carbonation
S: pale malt, hint of pepper, biscuit, light sage aroma
M: medium light body, creamy
T: pale malt, slight citrus, peppercorn, some earthy notes, soft sage, slight phenolic flavor
O: really great flavor, the sage is very soft but pleasing addition

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Photo of Hopportunistic
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance : A slightly hazy deep, straw yellow color which produced a light 1.5" head which quickly subsides. Almost no lacing retention in the glass.

Smell : A faint herbal scent, combined with drying wheat and just the faintest hint of lavender.

Taste : An initial wash of pear and green apple fruit, which progresses to honeydew melon, and then a bit of hop bitterness and a slight herbal/menthol twinge from the sage. After swallowing, there remains a bit of lemon combined with slight bitterness and a bit of phenol. The alcohol is there, but in line with the style and complimentary.

Feel : Crisp, light, and what seems uncarbonated appearance-wise blossoms into foamy tongue tingling goodness.

Overall : This is the first ale I've had from this brewer, and found it to be very well done. Too bad I was only able to score the one bottle, as I'd like to have one or two more. This is very refreshing, and ideal for the warm sunny days that we're experiencing in Charlotte now. Would pair great with a fruit/cheese plate, or grilled shrimp with lemon zest. (Note to self : buy fruit plate, shrimps, and lemons...) The sage is an interesting addition, and although it can be a pretty strong flavor, I feel it was used judiciously here and imparts a nice complementary note to an already complex brew.

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Photo of polloenfuego
4.14/5  rDev +2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Quick review...
Pours a lovely hay gold with a full two fingers of fluffy white head. The smell is full of citrus, spice and Belgian yeast. The citrus is very enticing and really carries over in the taste. One can also spices and perhaps some coriander alsong with that Belgian yeast. Finishes nicely with a touch of bitter. Feel is nice with medium to low carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall a very nice beer. Great for a hot summer day. The nose is really nice and really helps round out this beer.

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Photo of ClavisAurea
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Vintage bottle from 04/2013 served in a tulip glass.

Appearance: clear pale straw with a very rocky white head.

Nose: pear, yeast, grainy, honey, graham cracker

Taste: very effervescent, bready and malty, hits the tongue and instantly turns to foam, delicate and fantastic, herbal from the sage, lemony finish

I did not get a chance to try this one fresh but it clearly is still on its game 2 years out. What a great find.

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Photo of JosephBieske
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Typical farmhouse. Interesting wheat with sage. Aroma reminded me of a spring morning in a small town, and fresh cut hay. Good beer, but no out of this world. Will have another sometime.

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Photo of Chico1985
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had once a while back, picked up a single to revisit at Julio's recently.

A - Poured to a tulip nice orange with light haze and a finger of white head. A thick ring+sparse cap are left by the end along with tiny bits of lace.

S - Great spicy herbs, bready and fruity yeasts, apple cinnamon, lemon merengue, wet hay. Sweet, spicy, kinda tripel-esque.

T - A little more tart farm here with lots of apple and white grape, and more hops coming through revealing earthy tones, pineapple and citrus. Caramel candies, bread, lemony herbal coming through more with warmth.

M - Good feel, well-carbonated, crisp with light tartness. Somewhat intense flavors for the ABV, a tough one to quaff though it kind of begs to be.

O - The sage is great here, particularly awesome in the scent, but started to feel a bit tiresome towards the end. Still, pretty nice, good general farminess and hop usage as well.

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

very carbonated....smell is great banana malt.... a bit of that belgian mustiness. taste belgian musty pepper. not bad at all! quite enjoyable if you like this belgian farmhouse saison style. nice dry finish.

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Photo of KATCanada
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Tulip @ fridge temp. Nice straw color with clean white foam head. Cloudy. Looks like a Saison is supposed to. Lovely nose, yeasts come through I get some banana - it smells like a saison! Nice tangerine nose with a little bit of spice. First sip is a bit blank. Not a big instant flavor hit. Slightly sweet. Hint of sage does come through on the finish. Nose is better than the taste. Just okay.

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Photo of Slack
4.44/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Gold in color with alot of head. Smell is sweet with spice, maybe coriander or lemon. Taste is malty sweet with spice and lemon. No discernable alcohol. Mouthful is light but very carbonated. Overall a great session type farmhouse beer.

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Photo of cujocon
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

6.6% ABV
12 oz brown beer bottle $3.25 at Provisions Northampton MA
Appearance: coppery gold, small head, sticks around, constant gingerale style bubbling carbonation

Smell: sweet beer yeast

Flavor: tart initial, but not residual,sage flavored traditional beer with tannic hop aftertaste.

Overall: 3/5 I love the smell and the initial sage and citrus flavors, but the hop bitterness isn't for me.
The price is really good, and if I liked beer I might love this one.

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Photo of lushes22
3.89/5  rDev -4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Nice golden color and for the most part clear. Smell of lemon, pepper and sage. Taste of pepper and coriander with sweet finish. They can call it sage but i get more clove. Mouthful is refreshing with medium carbonation and slight dryness. Overall its a unique take on the saison. To me it tastes like a saison and dream weaver mix. The wheat beer is definitely present. Gotta be in the mood for this one.

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Photo of Jeffreysan
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle, poured into a goblet

Appearance: Pours a very pretty, golden color, speckled with some orange and red highlights and an eighth of a finger of white-head that completely dissolved away into no head what-so-ever.

Aroma: Wow!! Awesome aromas of toasted malt, followed, and almost overpowered by very strong aromas of sage, coriander and black pepper. Amazing.

Taste: Absolutely delicious!! Strong notes of toasted malt, imparting bready flavors of whole wheat crackers and biscuits, followed by a touch of caramel-like sweetness and then followed by tons of spices, especially sage, but also some coriander, black pepper and lemon peel. Absolutely delicious!

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied and lightly carbonated. With an ABV of 6.6%, there is no alcohol on the palate.

Overall: Wow! What an incredible beer! I love the strong flavors of fresh herbs and spice, especially the sage. This is an awesome beer, and so far one of my favorites from Stillwater, all of which have greatly impressed me and have scored high marks. Highly recommended!

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Photo of mick303
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle into a tulip. Pour is light golden colour, quite clear with a lot of effervescence and a solid three-finger creamy white head. Shows really good retention and lacing. Very attractive beer.

S - yeasty aromas of cream, stonefruit, peach/apricot, sage notes spring out with an earthy herbalness, some white pepper, lime notes, a big spiciness to it, with the sage and stonefruit/hay yeasty character blending nicely.

T - starts with a lime/peppermint taste then shows more of the sage and creaminess to it, with a definite mintiness to the finish. White peach, wheat maltiness, a rustic hay character, white pepper, and an astringency to the end with the herbal drying character. Overall, a good mix of the saison yeast with its rustic farmy/fruity character and the herbal earthiness, it was a bit intense at times, but the match worked well and balanced the creaminess of the wheat.

M - moderate bodied, plenty of carbonation, but doesn't detract from the spicy creamy body of this beer. Well proportioned, a touch astringent with the spice though.

As a big fan of saisons, this was a nice take on the style, with a definite focus on the earthy herbalness of the sage in the fore. Enjoyable but I wouldn't say it shows the traditional delicacy of the style. Still a nice mix of citrusy, creamy malt and yeasty emerge over the course of this beer, and its a pleasing, if slightly rollicking, trip. Very solid.

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Photo of Tilley4
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Fairly good example of the style... Lots of earthiness present with the peppery zing of the sage on the finish... A nice effort but not sure it's with the price point...

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Rolls out with a pillow head that I had to wait while it dissipated, good retention. It had the expected saison smell, with a good bit of spice. The flavor was very nice, the sweet, with maybe a little spiciness, very clean on the finish, outstanding. After being disappointed with my first few tries with Stillwater this one was excellent and will have me giving them more of a chance. Outstanding saison.

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Photo of ChrisWhoDrinksBeer
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Light golden pour, slight white head that quickly faded. Llight scent, sweet and sour. Taste is surprisingly sour, with honey, lemon, and indeed sage, which lingers in the finish. Sour taste is shocking at first but after trying it a bit more I quite like it. The sweetness is nicely balanced with the sour, and the flavor profile is quite interesting. A very drinkable beer and a very tasty one.

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Photo of Tone
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%

Pours a gold color. One inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of pale malt, hint of hops, yeast, hint of pepper, sage, hint of rosemary, hint of sweet malt, and a hint of alcohol. Fits the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with a high carbonation level. Tastes of black pepper, sage, yeast, sweet malt, hint of hop, hint of alcohol, and a hint of floral notes. Overall, great appearance, great aroma, great body, great blend, and great complexity.

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Photo of JayQue
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

I like my Saisons traditional..yeast, musty aroma/taste, the barnyard aspect. This beer is like a lot of American Saison hybrids that feature citrus and spices over the more traditional flavor.

Pours a clear dark gold color into a pint glass. Hardly any head without a hard pour and then a small, delicately bubbly white head that fades fast. Very light, spotty lacing.

Big aroma and flavor, not the kind I usually expect in a top Saison, but enjoyable all the same. Lemon zest/citrus and spiciness were the main aromas/flavors. What "mustiness" and earthiness that was there was probably the sage spice. I enjoyed it, but would have preferred the Saison profile I am more used to,

Mouthfeel was good. Nicely carbonated with the spices adding some interest. Crisp, sharp feel. On the whole, a pretty enjoyable brew, but an outstanding Saison? I don't think so,

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Photo of smakawhat
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Gorgeous orb glowing bright yellow to orange color, with an opaque shine to it. Roaring column of carbonation in the middle of the glass with a creamy to frothy two finger bone white head. Creamy retention, and nice settling.

Great bouquet on this beer. Huge notes of sage and herbal spices, sweet herbs, and garden florals. Sweet sucrose and some chewy depth seems to hint as well to match for a sweet herbal bakery sensation, with matching candi sugar. Fantastic.

Palate really sings. Deep peppery notes, coming off with a black pepper and chili like menthol blast. Hot brett a bit, with a stinging feel on the tongue and white wine like fruit body and flavors. Juiced peach, pear, and a good wild earth. Dry tickly tongue sensations on each sip, but with also Belgian sweetness to accompany and balance. Contradictory feel in effervescence and cream.

Overall, totally unexpected, unique tasting, and another great saison and pickup from the Stillwater gang. Why have I never found this before?

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Photo of kliner88
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: pours a hazy goldenrod with a quickly-dissipating thin white head. leaves fine, pretty ring of lacing, which holds over time. tiny beads of carbonation are visible. maybe slightly clearer than some Saisons.

S: funky, spicy, and grassy. both earthy yeast and light spice dominate initially, much more savory than sweet. malt comes through as the beer warms. slight lemony or citrusy note in the background.

T: very dry Saison. flavor largely mirrors the odor, with musty yeast and horsiness having prominence but not dominating. enough malt base to balance the spice without rendering the drink too sweet, a problem i commonly find with the style. malt becomes more noticeable as the beer breathes, but is balanced with a slight citrusy tang.

M: hardy champagne-like carbonation. it really effervesces on the tongue. fairly thin with a fairly clean finish-- leaves a slight sweet and funky residue. about as good as i could ask for in a Saison.

O: one of the better Saisons i've had. more spicy than sweet; flavor profile, aroma, and carbonation hold up well through a slow drink.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%

Pours a finger of head on a slightly hazy light straw colored body.
The aroma has a lot of fresh ground black pepper, a little sage and earth.
The taste is peppery, mild grain and lemon bitterness.
The texture is soft and fizzy.
An improvement on the standard wit beer.

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Photo of RichardMNixon
4.1/5  rDev +1%

Poured from a twelve oz bottle into a tulip.

Smells of funky saison yeast and very sweet malts. Taste is thankfully not as sweet. Flavor is very spicy, but most of that must come from the yeast if sage is all that's added, and I can't really pick out sage in particular. There is a strong vanilla note throughout also that I didn't expect but enjoyed. Easy drinking but a little too sweet in the finish.

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Photo of VashonGuy
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

I can't help but compare this to Tank 7, as I had that just a couple of days ago, and the memory of it is still pretty fresh in my mind.

Cellar Door is a quite tasty saison, but just a little less flavorful than Tank 7. Tank 7 exploded in my mouth with crisp fruitiness. Cellar Door didn't knock me over in the same way, but I savored it, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I thought it was a fairly typical saison; I did not pick up the sage flavors, but that's probably my palate, not the beer.

Stillwater beers are uncommon around here, but I'll be looking for this and other Stillwater beers again.

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Photo of ajayma
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Translucent peach, hardly any head, slow, tiny bubbles.

Lavender and sage up top, citrus pith in the underneath.

Light on the palette, turns creamy as the bubbles distribute. Moderate grapefruit and hopiness, mingles with sourdough bread, lavender and sage.

Citrus pith bitterness is the last to fade.

Fresh fruit, cheese.

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Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
91 out of 100 based on 331 ratings.