Cellar Door - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Cellar DoorCellar Door

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310 Reviews
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Reviews: 310
Hads: 1,074
rAvg: 4.08
pDev: 4.41%
Wants: 73
Gots: 143 | 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: 310 | Hads: 1,074
Photo of twelvsies
4.55/5  rDev +11.5%
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. (757 characters)

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.18/5  rDev -22.1%
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.

Blech. (494 characters)

Photo of busternuggz
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 750 into wine glasses.
Beautiful orange/honey color, very hazy, with a soft, delicate white head. About 1 1/2" of head when poured, settles down to 1/2-1/4" with great retention. Leaves thick lacing.
Nice funk and the added sage hit you first on the nose, followed by a nice delicate lemon meringue note. Hints of white pepper. Everything comes together very well, intricate and inviting.
Tasty orange juice and funk up front on the taste, floral notes, a little clover honey, lemon zest, with the sage present but not overpowering throughout. Ends dry with a nice long funk and sage finish.
Light and well carbonated, slightly creamy. Ends light and crisp.
The complexity makes you want to sip and the sage is a little potent for drinking it too fast, but its lightness and nice texture make up for it.
Very well made and unique. One of the best saisons I think I've ever had. (891 characters)

Photo of tchenery
4.5/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this into my Duvel tulip glass. It has a huge billowy head and displays awesome carbonation. The beer is very pale golden in color.

The smell is superbly complex. It first off has that peppery Belgian funkiness to it . Then it moves more to a slight citrus fruit zest with a pilsner Saaz-like hop smell.

The taste is a fair extension of the smell. Very peppery and malty. There was an unknown flavor that I was picking up on and after re-looking at the label, it's definitely the sage. I love a farmhouse ale that utilizes herbs.

The mouthfeel is great. It is massivly carbonated and has definite lifting power. It's not spritzy due to the malt backbone that holds it down.

Very drinkable. Excellent saison. (722 characters)

Photo of ne0m00re
4.06/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

01/22/11- Had a 750 mL bottle of this one.
A: Very clear golden with constant bubbles and a silky white one-finger head.
S: Angel food cake and some bubble gum, mild green leafy hops and bananas and coconut. OK.
T: Wow. Less banana that you'd expect from the smell but it is filled in with a rustic floral tonality, with a mild bitterness and tartness of fresh white grapes.
M: Creamy--more so than expected, but with a thin dry finish.
D: Really good. (452 characters)

Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.12/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into an Ommegang tulip from a 750ml bottle.

A - Pours a quite clean bright golden color with a pure white head with some medium to small dens sized bubbles. The beer appears toe be well filtered as it is very clear.

S - Wow. Initially the aroma takes me back. Not what I was expecting as it doesn't follow the typical Belgium Saison profile. Yes there is some funk and slightly spicey notes but there is also a large and intense bouquet of flowers. Almost like walking through a wild prairie in spring or something. The spice notes form the sage are quite present in the aroma. There is also quite a prevalent malt and grain note on the nose that is very strong and bold.

T & M - Beer is crisp and clean. With all flavors well pronounced and represented. Starts off with a nice grain and malt backbone with some bread notes as well as fresh grass notes. Similar to a pilsner in the malt actually. This aspect of this beer quickly mixes and is well rounded by some nice spice notes that tickle the tongue all the way to the end. The flowery notes are still present in the taste and compliment well with the malt. The feel is clean and crisp with a lot of active carbonation. A nice light body.

D - Easy to drink with some nice and interesting flavors. OK job but not my fave Saison. (1,292 characters)

Photo of ms11781
4.27/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750ml bottle poured into a tulip.

Pours a golden, light orange color with a huge, foamy 3 finger head. Smallest amount of lacing, just enough to note.

Smells yeasty, spicy and mildly tart to start. Some floral notes. Earthy and citrusy at the same time. Also getting a wheat character. Really a lot going on.

Taste has some spiciness to it. A hint of citrus and spicy hop character. A real small amount though. A definite earthiness to it as well. Slight bitternes towards the end, but just slight, not really all that much. Finished with an herbal like flavor that I can only liken to a flavor that I've only come across once before (that turned out to be basil, the bottle here tells me it's sage).

Light, crisp mouthfeel. Light bodied with higher carbonation. Initially prickly on the tongue but smooths out before it goes down.

Drinkability is pretty high with this one. It's light and crisp and goes down easy. Lots of complex aromas and flavors going on throughout. Has me thinking it'd be a great beer for a warmer summer day. (1,038 characters)

Photo of MasterSki
3.39/5  rDev -16.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle purchased at West Lakeview Liquors. Served in a Kuhnhenn tulip.

A - Pours with a big persistent soapy foam that settles to a thin cap, but leaves behind little lace. The body is semi-hazed and golden in color, with some visible streams of bubbles.

S - Very spicy and peppery, with plenty of yeast and sage character coming through. The malt character is in the periphery and yields some unmalted wheat and stone fruit sweetness. A little soapy.

T - Taste has more balance between malt sweetness and zesty, spice, and wheat chaff. Still fairly yeasty, but mingled with citrus and other fruity esters. Fairly clean in the finish, with a bit of bitterness.

M - Zesty carbonation, too much in my book. Medium-thin body, that finishes dry but slightly sticky at the same time if that makes any sense.

D - I had a glass of this, but I wouldn't but it again. Too much spice and too bubbly for my liking. Not a bad beer, but I'm not sure why there is so my buzz for this one. (979 characters)

Photo of CuriousMonk
3.5/5  rDev -14.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

6.6% ABV. Had a bomber poured into a tulip glass at Smith Commons in DC ($24). This wheat-based saision gave off an orangy gold and crisp appearance with a nice foam head. Smelled sweet, yet bitter. Taste was wheaty and I could pick up hints of white sage and blends of herbal grass and citrus hops. Mouthability was light and medium-bodied with good carbonation throughout. Drinkability was pleasant and would fit late spring/summer session drinking better for me. (465 characters)

Photo of burnheartsMKE
4.42/5  rDev +8.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

There is something very alluring about this brewery. Maybe it's the American Revolution era meets mystic pirate packaging. Perhaps it's the rumored story that this US bred gypsy brewer travelled the world as an electronic musician until he discovered his innate intuition at brewing Belgian & French inspired (with a very American take on) Saison, then triumphantly returned home to convert the masses. Maybe it's because when I first began following him on twitter there was post about spending the weekend in NYC with Tricky. Whatever it is, it has me hooked. From my first sip of a Stateside Ale at Palm Tavern in Milwaukee, WI. I have been on the hunt for all things Stillwater.

In honor of this week's Stillwater & Mikkeller collaborative release, Our Side, which I will most likely not be trying until it's released in bottles (hopefully in February and hopefully distributed to WI), I have chosen Cellar Door as my beer du jour.

This beautiful blonde saison pours excitable like any good farmhouse should. It is brewed with white sage which gives it a very earthly pineapple essence kind of like the smell of a Bell's Hopslam wafting through a third level dream in Inception. Subtle yeast with a tangy carbonation that is like jumping out of bed on a warm Spring morning to welcome the sun, the breeze and the early summer pollens. It is wonderful to drink and highly recommended to a saison drinker who would like introduce this thirst-queching style to the uninitiated. (1,480 characters)

Photo of OtherShoe2
3.88/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours an orangy gold with a huge foamy white head. Some light lacing.

Some typical yeast, dry malt, must and spice. Not super strong.

Nice clean flavors here. Musty malt and bitterness, with spice and yeast, and some bitter husk. Some orange or tangerine elements and white sage closes the door. Nothing coarse or over the top.

Carbonated and tingly, but not enough to detract. Appropriate body.

Liked this alot. Not overly aggressive,nor alcoholic. A pretty drinkable saison. (481 characters)

Photo of argock
3.46/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Poured from 25oz brown bottle into a Duvel tulip. No freshness date. Purchased at Wine Warehouse (Charlottesville, VA) for $10.99.

A: Luminescent pale yellow with billowing, forthy 2- finger white head with nice lacing.

S: Strong lemon citrus with a solid component of yeast and pale malt. I don't get a lot of the wheaty twang in the nose.

T: Overtly citrus to a fault without the usual crispness of a saison. It is nearing puckeringly sour, but the pale and wheat maltiness does provide a fight with some non-tart sweetness. The sage is present and accentuates the citrus flavor pretty nicely. The flavor is unique, but it is too much citrus without much of an earthy, herbal character.

M: Light-to-medium bodied with medium carbonation. Finish is undeniably citrus.

D: THe citrus gave me the worst beer heartburn of all time -- hugely citric without much of a funky or twangy wheat quality. I can see why people might like this, especially saison lovers as a change of pace. (984 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.25/5  rDev +4.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

on-tap, Meridian Pint in DC

from notes

appearance: hazy golden body, soapy white foam, strong retention

smell: floral, sage, white pepper, fresh yeast, bright citrus hops

taste: much better than the dark saison i tried a few nights prior - the addition of sage is very pleasant and the hops are well placed. Pear, apple, white pepper and citrus. Nice saison.

mouthfeel: clean, crisp and refreshing

drinkability: good (423 characters)

Photo of metter98
4.17/5  rDev +2.2%
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. (708 characters)

Photo of Verecund
3.73/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle received as an extra from SweedwayJim. Thanks! Opened on 12.29.2010.

Pours a slightly yellowed carrot orange. It's mostly translucent, with evidence of high carbonation (lots of bubbling activity). A three finger white head recedes to a nice, sticky one finger rim. Some of the lacing sticks in place for the entirety of the drink.

Lots of citrus and lemon peel, along with a tiny bit of banana esters. As it warms, a good bit of herbal spiciness comes through, probably from the white sage. Tropical, floral; soft and pleasant. Taste is perfumy, with notes of white pepper and some citrus. There's some breadiness, but the minty sage really comes through mid-to-late palate, along with heavy notes of Belgian yeast.

Dry and effervescent. Surprisingly creamy despite the fairly high carbonation.

The soft and balanced nose is the best part of this beer, but overall it's a nice farmhouse ale - nice blend of perfumy, phenolic spicy, and citrusy elements. Would probably be a particularly tasty beer in the heat of summer. (1,035 characters)

Photo of bluejacket74
4.32/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle. Served in a tulip glass, the beer pours a hazy golden/orange color with a couple inch frothy white head. Head retention is pretty good, with a small amount of lacing left on the glass. Aroma is citrus (lemon peel, tropical fruit), and peppery and herbal spice, which I assume is partly from the white sage in this beer. I think the taste is similar to the aroma, but there's the addition of some lime and a bit of wheat. Overall taste is citrusy and herbal. Mouthfeel/body is light/medium, it's crisp and has high carbonation. Drinkability is good, the soft carbonation helps make this brew smooth and easy to drink. I liked this brew a lot, I'd definitely buy this again. (687 characters)

Photo of aerozeppl
4.41/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Really nice looking label art. The beer is a clear golden color with a finger of dense head. Tons of lacing. The carbonation is visible and active. Great head retention.

S: I dont't get white sage in the nose but I get spicy. Little bit of wheat. Restrained esters. Little bit floral as well. Nice complexity.

T: Nice earthy notes. Spicy a little bit. Little bit of citrus. Yeast is fairly restrained. Nice complexity. A touch of mint. Really nice complexity.

M: Light body. Well carbonated. Very delicate mouthfeel.

D: I really enjoyed this beer. This would be a daily drinker for me in the summer. A very well crafted saison. (634 characters)

Photo of petacutlasaurus
4.19/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer was one of the more remarkable beers I've tried in the past few months. Intense notes of white sage knocked my socks off. Really a fantastic flavoring. The beer only loses points for taking that taste a little bit too far. If this were a little bit more subtle, it would surely make my top 10. As is, it's fantastic and incredibly memorable. (351 characters)

Photo of Onzipedia
3.3/5  rDev -19.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Tasted this on tap at Max's Taphouse on Baltimore. This is a sage infused artisan saison.

Pours a golden light orange with a soapy head that fades after a couple of minutes.

Nose has strong citrus and herbal notes.

Taste has a strong citris zing, pefume, pepper, lemon/herb flavors. I don't know that I would identify the sage if it wasn't listed as a saison with sage.

Mouthfeel is crisp, highly carbonated.

This is a bit more bitter than I like a saison. A lot of zing and well carbonated, would make a nice braising liquid for poultry (lemon/sage). However, my taste may have been skewed, as I had just finished a Heavy Seas Great Pumpkin, which was much sweeter and spicier by contrast. I will give it a go again if its still in Max's rotation and re-review. (770 characters)

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

Poured a massive white head which took forever to dissipate to 1/8". Hazy lemon merengue color looks quite lovely held up to the light. Smells like a nice Belgian beer alright. Taste has a rich and savery aspect which no doubt ties somewhat to the sage used although I can't exactly say in a blind taste test I'd have guessed sage. Overall the richness reminded me of a mild IPA, though not nearly as hoppy. Good beer, pricey but good. (435 characters)

Photo of emerge077
4.05/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (675 characters)

Photo of Billolick
4.3/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bomber bottle from DeCicco's in Ardsley, NY.

Pours cloudy medium apricot, loose off white head, shows some retentive powers. The head leaves behind a tiny bubble film and ample strands of lace.

Crisp nose of lime, mint, tea and some hints of chalk.

Citric and refreshing saison, plenty of more lime, pepper, again chalk, juniper, quinine and zesty goodness.

Would go great with all sorts of seafood, spicy foods, thai food, lobster comes to mind.

Nice job here, my second Stillwater selection. Impressed. Looking forward to trying some others.

This one was well worth seeking out (587 characters)

Photo of dgfair
3.65/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

25.4 oz bottle into La Chouffe tulip.

Color is a hazy tangerine with a huge foamy white head. Looks effervescent, almost to the extent of a champagne bubble. Dissipates fairly quickly, but leaves some spotty lacing around the glass. The smell is blooming flowers, pear, slight banana, clove, hibiscus, honeysuckle, honey, and star anise. Almost smells like a mix between a belgian pale and a spiced hefeweizen. The taste is earthy grass with a slight bit of spice. There is a yeasty peppery-ness and a tiny bit of barnyard funk. Some light herb flavors also come through on the dry finish. Mouthfeel is very foamy, to the point where I need to let the beer sit in my mouth for a while to lose some of the carbonation. Fairly complex, and a decent saison, but not one of my favorites. Would prefer a few Belgian examples over this at the price point. (850 characters)

Photo of Patrick999
3.92/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I wasn't too stoked about my first Stillwater saison, the Autumnal, but I won't let that color my rating of this Cellar Door I find in my fridge. Poured into a tulip. Soapy looking foam. Golden beer that while not really "hazy," is slightly less than "clear."

Got a big whiff of ripe banana right from the start. Banana, clove, bubblegum....is this a hefeweizen? OK, a little cinnamon and pumpkin pie spicing, I smell. As it warms, almost smells like ginger ale. Wait, doesn't almost smell like ginger ale, *does* smell like ginger ale.

I don't know, I'm kinda meh on this one too. It tastes to me like a wheat beer (which of course, it is) with some added spicing. It's OK. Comes off as a strongish Belgian Pale with some hefe qualities. Slightly sweet.

High carbonation, entirely appropriate.

I can drink beers like this pretty easily, but ultimately I think I want a little more from saisons though. It's certainly a beer I can enjoy drinking, but I'd more than likely reach for other saisons first. (1,010 characters)

Photo of woosterbill
4.02/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at Prime 16 into a Weyerbacher tulip.

A: Clear pale gold body with a finger of frothy white head. Mediocre retention and lacing. Great color and clarity, but the carbonation leaves something to be desired. I like my Saisons lively.

S: Nice mix of spicy phenols and fruity esters. Pepper + lemon are dominant, with some apple and banana as well. Nice.

T: Heavier on the phenolic notes here, with lots of pepper and, unfortunately, some medicinal, band-aid flavors as well. The fruity yeast asserts itself midway through, with lots of banana ahead of a dry, mineral-heavy finish. Really complex, but not always the most enjoyable. Interesting for sure, and that's what I like to see out of this eclectic style.

M: Medium-light body with ample, lively carbonation. Great.

D: Quite high, despite the borderline off notes. I'm enjoying the complexity, and the dry finish keeps me thirsty.

Notes: I liked this one way more than the Stateside, but I still wasn't blown away. The bretted and barrel-aged version of these beer at NotF was awesome, though. If they put that in bottles you can sign me up.

Cheers! (1,116 characters)

Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
91 out of 100 based on 310 ratings.