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Cellar Door - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Cellar DoorCellar Door

Educational use only; do not reuse.

323 Reviews
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Reviews: 323
Hads: 1,137
Avg: 4.06
pDev: 19.95%
Wants: 71
Gots: 163 | FT: 6
Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States | website

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: 323 | Hads: 1,137
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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Photo of busternuggz
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of tchenery
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
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.

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Photo of ne0m00re
4.06/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of JoEBoBpr
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
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.

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Photo of ms11781
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
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.

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Photo of MasterSki
3.39/5  rDev -16.5%
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.

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Photo of CuriousMonk
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

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Photo of burnheartsMKE
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
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.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
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.

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Photo of argock
3.46/5  rDev -14.8%
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.

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Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
91 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.