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Cellar Door | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

333 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: 333 | Ratings: 1,172
Photo of Wowcoolman
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on-tap at the Library Alehouse SM and blew a Hamilton on it.
This one stands out in their "artisanal" saison line-up. It's made with wheat and pale malts which give it a distinct backbone. There is noticeable citra hops aroma and good tangy flavor, with added spice from sage. The finish is wonderful- a mix of sweet and spicy with clove, pepper, and ripe citrus fruit. Good, lingering, frothy white head.
I recommend trying this one if you have the chance, even with a high price tag. It's flavors are both appealing and sophisticated. A good place to start to try Stillwater. 25 oz bottles may be more reasonably priced if you find them.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

- from the notes
oversized bomber bottle
A - hazy, murky golden ale topped with a giant foamy head.
S - earthy spices.
T - spicy sweetness with earthy tones.
M - thick but with very good carbonation.
D - oversized for a reason.
Will be looking for more.

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

750ml bottle.

Pours clear gold with a half inch head of white froth. A solid skim coat remained for the duration along with some smeary lacing.

Aromatics lead off with husky wheat and spices. Sage with hints of Rosemary and lemon zest follow through. Plenty of clovey phenols and Belgian essence here as well.

Light bodied with a snappy, crackling mouthfeel. Carbonation light for a Saison.

Earthy sage, cracked pepper, rosemary and a hint of corainder start the palate. Some biscuity malt runs underneath but this beer is all about the spice.

Finishes with lingering sage, cloves, and cracked pepper.

Heavy on the spice, this one is. It would probably pair well with a Thanksgiving turkey but it's a bit much to drink a whole bottle of.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared with my bro-in-law.

a - Poured into capt lawrence taster tulip. Nice golden yellow with a huge bubbly head. Carbonation was big and steady and lasted the entire bottle. The beer is murky and ominous.

s - Great citric notes, banana, clove, all the usual suspected. Earthy and grassy, nice spiciness from the sage.

t - Flavor follows the nose. The sage really gives this beer a nice vanilla soft spicy kick. Candied sugar a bit...coriander in there as well.

m - Carbonation is great. Very cooling. Perfect for this weather.

o - Overall, one of the best saisons I've ever had. My first taste of this brew was at a beer festival where beers were judged and rated...and this one got first place and was the clear standout. It was the battle of the belgians and this beer was the standout side-by-side with the classics. Keep an eye on stillwater...one of the best brewers out there. Unique and original and tasty beyond. This is one of my fav brews.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle picked up in Virginia.

Clear golden yellow color. No head but a steady flow of carbonation keeps a wispy trace of fine bubbles at the surface.

Touch of spice on the nose but nothing overpowering. Traditional saison smell with no funk or craziness going on. Spices kick in more strongly on the tongue. Solid wheat backbone yields a solid body. Combined with the heavy carb this one is lively in the mouth. Almost a champagne mouthfeel that seems appropriate coming from the large bottle.

Nice beer for spring and steal change from what I've bee drinking lately. Haven't seen this one close tomhome but wouldn't hesitate to pick it up again.

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

APPEARANCE: Pours a smokey shade of dark straw. Thick, foamy head of pure white. Lines of carbonation stream up the glass' sides. Substantial, sticky lacing.

SMELL: Lots of earthy spices mixed with honey tones. Almost smells like a graham cracker. I pick up a touch citrus from it as well.

MOUTHFEEL: Crisp and dry! Carbonation makes it very prickly. Though it's not a high ABV beer, the alcohol comes through and gives this saison a fair amount of warmth.

TASTE: The first sip fills the mouth with a deep spiciness; I'm thinking sage and coriander. There's a nice balance of malts and hops. The finish leaves a the taste of white pepper in your mouth. It's dry enough to pucker the tongue a bit.

DRINKABILITY: This is a great beer to drink in about 8 to 12 ounce doses. It's not meant to be consumed in multiple pints (although, there could be worse things in life...). I find this to be generally true of most complex beers like this one. This is a sipping, savoring brew, not a swilling brew.

VERDICT: This is a very delicate, complex saison and I'd love to see how this beer pairs with food. Perhaps halibut, shellfish, or even lightly-spiced chicken.

John Harvey

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. $10.99 from Ned's.

Appearance: Hazy yellow with a thick, tight, white head. Chunks of foamy lace stick to the glass. Something about this beer is very inviting.

Smell: Very lemony with lots of spicy phenolics. There is also sweet citrus, and light fruits. Dry yeast aroma.

Taste: Much like the smell. Snappy lemon flavor with lots of spice, tending toward the peppery side. Slight sweetness from the malt is balanced by a carefully measured hoppy bitterness. Good citrus and slightly grassy hops flavor. Dry, lemony finish.

Mouthfeel: Big and soft in the mouth (lots of wheat in this one), but still finishes very dry, crisp, refreshing.

Overall: This is a great saison. Definitely be picking up some more. I'm impressed by this brewery. Nice packaging too.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Slightly hazy deep golden bordering on light copper. Big fluffy white head with a rush of bubbles to the surface.

S - Yeasty esters, sage, light pepper, spicy and fruity hops wit ha graham cracker malt.

T - Pepper mixed with sage. The sage is more noticeable in taste than aroma, especially as it warms up. Wheat and pale malt with light yeast esters. Tangerine from the hops.

M - Highly carbonated with a medium body and dry finish.

D - Didn't notice the sage on first sniff so I checked the spice cabinet to see if white sage was any different than the sage in the spice rack. Next sniff was overpowering sage that never really went away. Interesting beer but and I really like the herb idea in a saison but I was sick of sage by the end of the beer.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super happy to see Stillwater beers at my local bottle shop. Their Saison is one of my favorites and was stoked to see a Stillwater saison that I hadn’t had the opportunity to try before.

Poured a capped 750ml into my New Belgium globe. This beer pours a super hazy almost white yellow with a big massive 4-inch cap that leaves heavy lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma has as nice herbal aroma up front. While I cant particularly taste sage, it reminds me of almost a basil/rosemary blend. A nice wheat tang follows with a earthy mustiness. At the very tail end of the aroma comes a nice floral pick me up. The flavor is much the same. The mustiness is a bit more prevalent then in the aroma. Nice herbal flavor but not overpower like it is in several beers. The sage is balanced with a nice floral hopping. A bit of wet grass and just a bit of aspirin. Really tasty. In my opinion, the mouthfeel of a saison is what makes or breaks the beer. You can have a saison that tastes great but finishes sweet and full and it just falls completely flat. This gets it right. It finishes nice and dry, leaving you tongue feeling like you just sucked on a piece of sandpaper. Overall, this is a fantastic saison. Glad to have another fantastic saison available in the state.

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Photo of larryi86
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a tulip

A- A hazy straw yellow with a hint of orange and a huge white head.

S- Earthy hops, spices, lemon zest, flowers, yeast, hint of malts.

T- Yeast and malts stand out right away, nice hint of lemons, spices, and just enough hops in the finish.

M- Medium body, smooth, had a nice slightly numbing feeling with the roof of my mouth.

O- A nice beer and very enjoyable. Some flavors seem to clash some, but not too much, nice complexity. I will definitely pick this up again.

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Photo of Chaney
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap over at Bilbo Baggins in Old Town Alexandria.

A: Beautiful, mildly hazy straw yellow color, with substantial carbonation (visually) and a ridiculous, over-the-top solid white head that almost spilled over the side of the glass. The lacing was substantial.

S: Spice bomb! The coriander content covered up the farmhouse funk, but the luscious wheat-like undertow damn near saved it.

T: Not too sweet, which I appreciated. Someone can say what they want, but this one is not boring in any way. The spices almost bruised the tongue.

M: This is one of the first saisons in recent memory that I can recall actually tasting a bit of booze. The carbonation wasn't nearly a prickly as I was expecting.

O: Judging by previous reviews, I obviously didn't like this one as much as many others on BA. However, I understand why they did and I respect that. As for me, the intense spices covered up the farmhouse element too much for my taste.

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Photo of lnashsig
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to finewinemike for the chance to taste this Saison. Definitely one of my favorite style beers, and I'm eager to try this one. Poured into my Duvel tulip, pours a cloudy golden color, with a rush of frothy white cloudlike foam to the top of the glass. The foam takes awhile to dissipate, and crackles down to leave a thin foam top on the beer. Awesome visual so far. Smell- lemon zest, cracked pepper, a tart fruit scent, with some really nice bready farmhouse flavors. Intense flavors. Taste- sweet bread, lemon, clove, pepper (faint), coriander. Very true to the style, love this beer. Mouthfeel- awesome carbonation, and highly drinkable. This is one of the better saisons I have had, very impressive.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed with TCGoalie on KBS day 2011

Cellar door pours a slightly hazy golden color with a nice fluffy head that has good retention and leaves nice lace. This beer looks just like I would expect a fine saison to look.

The aroma is slightly lemony and sweet with aromas akin to a peach orchard. There is also a good amount of floral, herbal and spicy aromas with plenty of peppery character.

The flavor is even more herbal and spicy. Sage is indeed present with a good amount of dryness that is a nice foil to the fruity citrus and orchard malt character. Some wheat like malt flavor is also noticeable.

The mouthfeel is medium with a fairly vigorous amount of carbonation. While not the smoothest beer I have ever had, the carbonation makes it quite refreshing. The finish is dry with plenty of herbs and spice.

This is a great American made saison that was a bit more herbal and spicy than I would necessarily like, but it was still very enjoyable. I bet that the carbonation level and dry spicy nature would make this an amazing beer to pair with all sorts of cheese.

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Photo of boston2bburg
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poors hazy, but bright yellow, white fizzy head with good retention.

Herbal sage and fake wax teeth aroma dominates. Nose-clearing clove with light lemongrass and tangerine. Very fresh and bright, and a quick fix for spring fever while I watch spring training baseball.

Crisp and dry as can be, with fresh grass, sage, lemon and orange rind. Malt provides just enough foundation for the hop and herb flavoring. The brewer has accomplished all that he has outlined on the label as far as a cleansing beer.

Mouthfeel is immaculate for a saison/farmhouse ale. Dry and crisp, works wonderfully with the herbs and hop varieties. Just the slightest bit of sweetness to provide foundation for the herbs.

Definitely pick this up. I love the mindset of this brewery and will be looking for more in the future!

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

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Hazy yellowish-orange body with a pretty nice head.

S: Perfume notes and oranges.

T: Intensely floral and perfumey. Lots of citrus. Some bready malt.

M: Light-bodied, creamy, bubbly.

D: I'm generally not a fan of American saisons since they tend to overuse the exotic spices and make me feel like I'm drinking perfume. This one is pretty decent, though.

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Photo of TCgoalie
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy golden yellow with vigorous bubbles rushing to the surface. The stark, white head lingers with satisfaction. Wall lacing lingers on the sides, very nice.

Smells of lemon, dust, funk, and fresh blossoms.

Fresh citrus blends with funky yeasts and gentle malts. The balance is very nice between yeast, citrust, and mild sage. The taste is very swell.

There is plenty of carbonation with a good, crisp, profile. A Pleasant drying finish crowns this brew.

Overall, this is a very solid beer. I enjoy the combo of sage and saison. The blend is very nice.

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Photo of GbVDave
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750ml bottle into a Boulevard tulip.

A: Pours a gorgeous looking, hazy, pale-straw gold color with plenty of active carbonation. A massive four finger head rose up over the rim of the glass before settling down to a finely bubbled, bright white, 1/4 finger layer of foam that hung around each pour until the glass was drained. Gobs of fluffy lace were left stuck to the glass.

S: Interesting nose here. Very herbal, like fresh herbs from the garden. I definitely picked up the sage advertised on the label but I also noticed basil, cilantro, and celery. Fruity yeast is also prominent along with something like candied citrus peel. The smell could've easily became messy but ended up being quite clean and tidy.

T: The fresh herbalness of the smell becomes more apparent in the taste. Bits of tangy citrus, no doubt from the Citra hops, poke through alongside the sweet candied fruit flavors mentioned above.

M: Rounded with a very nice spicy prickliness that lasts until the very end of the long finish. A flash of juicy fruitiness that's balanced by the hoppy/herbal astringency.

D: Another great Saison from Stillwater. Not quite as enjoyable as Stateside, but pretty close.

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Photo of DavoleBomb
3.11/5  rDev -23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a tulip. Thanks to onedropsoup for this.

4.5 A: Lightly hazed light orange color. Three fingers of pillowy white head with very good retention and plenty of lacing too.

3.5 S: Plenty of herbalness in here and somewhat flowery. Cilantro, lemongrass, and basil come through. Lemony fruitiness. Almost overbearingly musky, but it needs a brett component to make it fit in. Hops are grassy and somewhat citrusy. Overall, really dry. There's no doubt this is complex, it just doesn't come together all that well.

3.0 T: Like the nose, this is super dry - dry even for a saison. The main flavor is a dusty muskiness. There's some pepper spiciness and a touch of herbalness again, but no flavors even approach the musk. Lightly lemony. Not nearly as complex as the nose and not particularly tasty either.

3.0 M: Light body. Carbonation is a bit higher than desirable and a bit bity as well. Could definitely be creamier as well.

2.5 D: I don't understand how the Stillwater saisons got hyped. This and Stateside are both pretty mediocre. Not really anything good about this other than the appearance.

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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 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 Gobzilla
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: poured a hazy pale golden orange in color with pale yellow highlights and had a thin bubbly head leaving some good lacing sticking to the glass.

S: you could definitely tell there was apples, pear, and some spice in the nose with a little funky bretty character but had herbs and sage notes.

T: there was some applsauce flavor upfront alongside, pear, spice, herbal, and sage accents with good bretty funky notes and a of citrus.

M: the brew was medium in body with huge amount of carbonation which had a sweet, spice, mild fruity, herbal, and bretty funky finish.

D: it was really big on the herbal character which to me made it a little bit harder to drink but was a decent saison.

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

22oz. bottle served in a Blvd. Tank 7 tulip. Bottle conditioned. Lots of carbonation. Poured a hazy pale gold with a thick, rocky white head. Citrus, yeast spice and sage in aroma. Light bodied, crisp and dry. More citrus and sage in the flavor, bit of hops as well. Very drinkable. Sage is present, but not in your face, interesting beer.

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Photo of craytonic
2.46/5  rDev -39.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Appearance: Straw-glden pour with an agressive head

Smell: SOmething off about this one, sage or something. Very odd smell.

Taste: Again, pepper, citrus, and then the sage just destroys it. Like you put weeds in the beer. Also a bit soapy.

Mouthfeel: Highly carbonated, very aggressive. It detracts from the saison

Drinkability: I wasn't crazy about this one, poured half of it out.

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Photo of twelvsies
4.55/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A new beer to the area, I'm excited to try some gypsy farmhouse saison. Handsome golden orange, slightly cloudy, excellent head with some life to it - very impressive and inviting. Beautiful aromas - fruity yeast, apples, dry herbal notes, slight farmhouse earth funk and nice dusty hops. Much the same represented in the flavor - nice fruityness and substance but nice dry finish. The sage is nice and balanced, adding to the compexity but not jumbled or overpowering. Fluffy and prickly mouthfeel, full and luscious, yet crisp and refreshing - damn near perfect. This makes for an excellently fun beer to drink. Lots of flavors coming at you from around the corner, in an easily enjoyable package. Very tasty - looking forward to trying their other beers.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.18/5  rDev -21.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A friend left this with me over the holidays, now breaking it open. It pours darker golden amber color, just a little hazed, with a large white pillowy head. The aroma is strongly spiced, sage I guess, much more of a leading aroma than citra hops. Maybe almost a letdown, I'd been hoping for more citrusy hops.

The sage leads the flavor too, I'm not gonna say yucky but I'm thinking bad thoughts. Definitely not gonna have a second glass, I really like my saisons with less spiciness.


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Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
91 out of 100 based on 333 ratings.