Cellar Door - Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Cellar DoorCellar Door

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1,062 Ratings
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Ratings: 1,062
Reviews: 308
rAvg: 4.03
pDev: 10.67%
Wants: 73
Gots: 140 | 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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Ratings: 1,062 | Reviews: 308
Photo of beatenbyjacks
4.31/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Very light and yellow off color. Great frothy foam on the pour.

Smell - Grassy, sweet, pear, other earthy tones

Taste - Wow this is a great farmhouse. Well balanced, easy to drink, but full of flavor. I get lots of fruit with a nice crisp finish and bitterness.

Mouthfeel - very smooth and well carbonated.

Overall - very glad I got to try this beer and I look forward to trying other beers by Stillwater!

Photo of AndersonGT
4.56/5  rDev +13.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Setting: Bar Seat, BJ's Taphouse, Frederick, MD

I am not too experienced with Farmhouse/Saison Ale. The few I have tried, I did not like until drinking this. One of the more complex beers I have had in recent memory, it seemed to have three distinct stages of flavor, all very enjoyable. Very sweet and would be great pairing with either Sushi or dessert.

As much as I enjoyed this, I will still shy away from Farmhouse because I cannot drink more than one without being overwhelmed by complex flavors of sugar and fruit.

Photo of kaufmaal
4.32/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a bright orange-yellow, like watered-down Tang; a bit cloudy, very little head. An interesting smell. Mostly citrus - orange zest, tangerines, some grass, a bit of a funk. The taste is quite exceptional and not very subtle. Right away a sharp, lemony, intense tartness, sour citrus. Then it eases a bit on the citrus, and that's where some herbal flavors come in - sage, grass - as well as a much needed but not overbearing sweetness, . The aftertaste is almost pure tangerine oil and zest. Slightly viscous, subtle carbonation, very fine bubbles. Extremely refreshing on a hot day, or so I can imagine. Why am I drinking this in January in Alabama and not in August? Well, it was on the discount table at 2 bucks a bottle. Definitely one I'd search out for again.

Photo of jhartley
4.19/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a poco grande glass. Bottled on 04/23/13.
Slightly hazy bright gold body with a fluffy white heady that leaves a nice amount of lacing in the glass.
Smells of that typical farmhouse saison funkiness; lemon, herbs.
Tastes just like a saison at first and then finishes with a definite taste of sage that it is brewed with, very enjoyable and not overpowering. I was a little leery at first as sage is a pretty powerful herb, but it was not a problem as it adds just the right of flavor on the end. Dry on the finish, with just the right amount of dryness to make you want to go back for more.
Overall I really enjoyed this beer and will most certainly be picking more of it up in the summertime as it is more fitting for that time of the year than right now at the start of winter. If you like saisons and haven't had this one yet, pick it up and give it a try!

Photo of tastybeer
4.23/5  rDev +5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Gold and very slightly hazy. Head is small white and leaves nice stringy lace. Aroma is stinky, herbal, dank, cardamom I think-something bright and peppery, lemongrass. All over a nice unusual combination. Taste is sweet, grape, lemongrass again, pepper, sage, earthy and funky. Mouthfeel is dry and juicy. Very interesting beer and certainly enjoyable. I don't pick up on the sage right away in the smell, it mostly seems very herbal. Flavor is where I actually notice it among many other things. Not to be sessioned with but nice herby treat for sure.

Photo of StonedTrippin
3.73/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

four packs just hit the state, cool beans. this pours apple juice color into a wine glass with a smallish white head. it looks clear for a saison, and not overly carbonated. the sage is intense on the nose, very up front. French saison yeast gives at the familiar acidity and juiciness. very very soft wheat malt taste, with the sage being more balanced but still quite pronounced, herbal and earthy. lasting in the finish too. the yeast is a little too strong, this tastes almost off, although it isn't, the proportionality is skewed. its not as delicate as it could be, and this is exacerbated by underwhelming carbonation. its not flat, but it doesn't pop. makes it a little heavier, and really, I don't want a six pack, four is enough of these for me. not as well polished as some other Stillwater stuff, but a creative beer worth trying.

Photo of Lawl3ss
4.41/5  rDev +9.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

Chilled 12 oz. longneck into a shaker pint. Bottling date 4.23.13- this has been in the fridge since August.

Look- Deep gold with a light haze, not quite see-through. Finger and a half of whipped cream head that settles over the course of five minutes or so. Minimal lacing.

Smell- Lemon, birch bark, coriander, orange zest. Sweet, spicy, just a touch of barnyard funk. Appealing.

Taste- Tart, oyster cracker, more birch, mint and clover emerge after a while. Golden raisin, light biscuit in the middle layered with some leather and earthiness. Aftertaste is herbal, white tea and pepper.

Mouthfeel- Medium body, moderate carbonation. Crisp on the sip, softer on the swallow. Clean finish with a bit of astringency, cooling feeling.

Overall- Comes off like a spiced wit, but the extra tartness and earthiness really kick it up a notch. Very, very nice - I'd definitely get this again.

Photo of ckollias
4.49/5  rDev +11.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a large snifter glass.

A: Pours a light golden hue with a thick, frothy, white head that slowly dissipates leaving a good trail and solid persistent lace.

S: Fruity Belgium yeast aroma that stings the nose a little.

T: Smooth and tart fruity Belgium flavor and finishes on the dry side of tart.

M: Medium body and medium carbonation.

O: Excellent Farmhouse ale. Great flavors and aromas.

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

12 oz bottle from "Lifesource" in Salem. $2.99 After a rather top heavy pour and waiting several minutes..its a hazy golden ale with a very large white frothy head. Strong spicy /phenolic aromas..herbal, slightly hay like nice. Flavour much the same as the aroma but with a very nice dry spicy finish. Overall a nice palate on this very vibrant,good level of carbonation for style. An unusual find in Salem Oregon but very nice regardless.

Photo of CaptainOats
3.55/5  rDev -11.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4/2013.

Poured from the bottle into my trusty Brooklyn snifter at home

S- lots of sage on the nose obviously. I can smell the carbonation in this beer. A bit of bret and acid on the nose. Definitely some barnyard funk. I like it.

A- Cloudy. Thick white head that subsided quickly. Just a touch of lacing unfortunately.

T- The sage follows through on the palette. Some nice acidity to balance out the beer. There was a bit of alcohol though which was off putting and unsuspected since the abv is pretty moderate.

M- light body, not too complex. I'm assuming this is from the wheat.

O- interesting. Glad I got to try it but I'm also glad I only bought 1 bottle. The price just isn't worth it in my opinion. Too much alcohol/bitterness. Out of balance.

Photo of BeerWizard
3.96/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle says it is an American farmhouse ale, a wheat ale brewed with sage. Sage? Yes, sage, white sage. Packaging, despite having perhaps quaint intentions, looks pretty spooky. I mean, you think cellar door, first thing I think is bodies, then bugs, then maybe an old dead cat. But no, this really is a good farmhouse ale, and the sage is a nice addition. It pours a pearlescent amber with short head, and you definitely get the sage in the nose pretty prominently, along with berry and spice. Flavor is tart, slightly sweet, a little sour, and sagey for sure. Body is medium, almost approaches thick with everything going on with the sage and...is this hopped? I don't know. Definitely some bitterness in the finish, though. Good, probably great, but I don't think I'd get it again, ONLY because of the price and the four pack format. Otherwise, it's awesome. Get it. Open the cellar door.

Photo of dogfishandi
4.25/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz bottle at fridge temp poured into a snifter. Bottled on 4/23/13.

Pours out a hazy yellow golden color, a nice billowy white head off of the pour, eventually fades to a nice retentive layer. Thick lacing just barely creeps up from the head. Quite effervescent, lots of carbonation bubbles rising to the top.

Quite a spicey aroma, I attribute that to mostly the white sage, but also the yeast, maybe even a bit herbal. Some clove and a bit of bubblegum. As it warms some lemon comes out. Very nice.

Perfect example of an American saison. That same spiciness from the aroma seems to be the highlight, white sage, yeast, a bit of pepper, clove. A bit of lemon citrus. No real hop flavor like you might expect with citra, but some hop bitterness is noticeable in the finish. Dry finish, but some of the bitterness and spice lingers around.

The clove and white sage combined with the higher carbonation seem to tingle the palate. Lighter in body, but not watery light by any means. The perfect drinkable beer.

All around a great beer, I'm sure to buy more of this.

Photo of Aleks_P
4.08/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: Honey/gold color with a lot of carbonation. Foamy white head filled up about half my pint glass, and saw bubbles swirling throughout the beer well after the pour.

Smell: Earthy aroma appropriate for the style, spices and a little peppery. Hops give it a little bit of a piney scent.

Taste: Well spiced but not overpowering, pick up some some hints of lemon.

Mouthfeel: Prickly carbonation and pretty dry. Notice some floral hints resonating with the aftertaste.

Overall: This was my first Stillwater and I was very impressed, I'm a growing fan of the farmhouse ale style and this was a good one. Well balanced and everything works well together, hard to articulate the flavor but the spices and hints of pine/lemon really work. I will certainly try more from this brewery.

Photo of UCLABrewN84
3.78/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Bottled 4/8/13.

Pours a murky yellow with a foamy bone head that settles to wisps of film on top of the beer. Thin streaks of lace form around the glass on the drink down. Smell is of malt, grain, yeast, spice, and sage aromas. Taste is much the same with grain, yeast, and sage flavors on the finish. There is a mild amount of spice bitterness on the palate with each sip. This beer has a lower level of carbonation with a slightly crisp mouthfeel. Overall, this is a pretty good beer with a solid sage presence that comes across slightly better in the aroma.

Photo of DIM
4.22/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

a: a lightly hazy pale golden; long lasting, firm white cap.

s: Husky grains, lemon juice, plenty of yeasty pepper, plus a strong herbal note that I'm guessing is the sage. Unique and interesting, especially that last bit.

t: Densely packed with flavor; very nice but a bit "heavy" perhaps. Sweet something, I guess I'll call it sage, is very prominent. It's held in check by a strong graininess and prickly yeasty finish. A h.int of lemon at the end as well.

m: Active carbonation and a heavy feel for a farmhouse ale of this size.

o: Neat beer, I never had anything like this. I need to remember to seek out a fresher sample next spring. Add some fresh citra to what I just experienced? Wow.

Photo of Erbayd
3.68/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Picked up a 4 pack from Whole Foods in Oakland this week, I'm excited to review another Stillwater beer! Great artwork first of all, I always appreciate when a brewery makes the effort to think about that. Note that this review is for a bottle dated from April 3rd, I didn't realize this was a summer seasonal until now.

A: Pours a deep hazy gold with an inch worth of dense white foam. At this point you can already tell this is a very carbonated beer. Looks super tasty!

S: Amazing, I can smell this beer from 2 feet away while I'm pouring it. Immediate strong white wine scent with a little yeasty funkiness to it. It really steps up the funk when it warms up...not sure if it's entirely a good thing in this case. For some reason I'm really not smelling the sage, it must be getting covered up by the more prominent smells, but it's very pleasant nonetheless.

T: Surprisingly malty in the beginning. Eases away with nice grassy and white wine flavors and a dry finish. I think you need to let it warm up a bit to really get the herbal flavors at the end.

M: Really refreshing! Crisp and light bodied with lots of carbonation.

O: Another fantastic offering from Stillwater! I definitely wish it had more hops and sage flavor, but I'm sure that's because the bottles have been sitting around for a while. I recommend getting this one fresh if you can! But fresh or old, it's a complex and refreshing beer, a combination that you don't see very often. I highly recommend it!

Photo of Beaver13
2.62/5  rDev -35%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle, dated 4/23/13. Pours slightly hazy golden yellow with a small white head that quickly disappears.

The aroma is wheaty malts with some ripe citric fruit and spices (sage) and some earthy yeast.

The flavor is sweet floral soapy malts with some fruit, earthiness and sage. The mouthfeel is medium bodied with low carbonation.

Overall, interesting saison, but a bit flat, overly spiced and a bit soapy.

Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Although the hop bitterness is noticeable, the sweetness and citrus flavors balance it out to keep the bitterness down. A little more funk than the usual Saison, but that's not a bad thing. This beer delivers a satisfying taste and aroma experience. While a bit more bold in some areas than I might like, it still provides a smooth and refreshing taste and feel. If there's a movie line that matches this beer, it would be, "Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in." Nicely done.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.1/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, around six months old. Color is hazy orange, decent head. Smells good but its sort of spicy, peppery, herbal, saison-like, good. Flavor was really strong soap, potpurri, herbs, not really pleasant and a deviation from the smell. I would not purchase this beer again.

Photo of Agent1
4.12/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance - Vivid color. Clearly unfiltered. Nice consistent head. White, slightly creamy and thin head. Decent retention, great color and poor lacing.

Smell - Lemon peel, coriander and fresh bread. Honey, light hop funk, fairly present alcohol. Good but not crazy complex.

Taste - More esters and clove than a typical Farmhouse. Plenty of banana leaf and coriander. Grassy. Nice and clean. Dry, crisp bittering hops. The wheat grain really jumps out at you. Vanilla, green apple, olive (mostly on the finish), bread, lemon, fresh ginger, flowers/floral notes, honey and lemon grass. Lightly funked for a Saison. This is not super dry or bitter like many others.

Mouthfeel - Excellent, excellent use of carbonation. A light fizzy sting or bite to the tongue. Crisp, cold and clean. Zappy. Lights up the front and roof of the mouth the most, A bit sticky. Really great use of sugars and bitter hops. Again, great carbonation.

Overall - Perhaps more of a Wit or Weiss than a Farmhouse Ale, but incredibly delicious nonetheless. This definitely seems to borrow a few flavor profiles from a German Weiss. The banana leaf, cloves and accentuated wheat flavors are all blended into a traditional Belgian Farmhouse Ale recipe to create something slightly different. For that reason, I give it a higher rating because it's not just trying to follow a traditional recipe or do what everyone considers a "Farmhouse/ Saison." This stands out a bit more from the group, and for that I really like it.

Photo of jtierney89
3.65/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hazy orange, at least 6 months of age maybe more. Lots of big fluffy white head. Had to wait a while for it to die. Subtle funky nose.

Light fluffy but super carbonated. Sweet tangerine, citrus and tart fruits. Very subtle, could be the age, spicy earthy and herbal finish, dry finishe with soft lingering fruitiness and dryness. Hoppy bitter bite builds slowly as a nice contrast to some of the sweeter aspects.

Photo of Sunn
3.72/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Really interesting beer.

Looks like slightly dehydrated piss in a glass. Surprisingly there was little to no head even with an aggressive pour which surprised me.

As far as taste and smell, it's really unique. If a pumpkin ale and saison had a baby, this is what it would be. The spice character helps balance out the citrus and funk pretty well. I've never tasted a beer quite like this. I'm guessing this is going to be a love/hate kind of beer for a lot of people.

BUT. I have to say. If you have problems with heartburn or anything of the sort. I'd stay away from this beer. It's good, but it gave me insane heartburn. If you get heartburn and have Tums on hand, then give this beer a shot. If you don't get heartburn, then give this beer a shot. I've never had anything quite like it before so I'm kind of stuck with my rating.

It's a good beer, but my body definitely does not enjoy it. I'd be willing to trade a bottle for some extra strength Tums right now.

Photo of mikem0487
4.28/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Bottledon 4/23/13. Poured into Stange(.3 VBC glass)

A-Clear and bubbly this beer is. Golden straw color body with a thin white one finger head.

S-The beer is made with white sage and you can tell. The sage is blended beautifully with floral notes and lemon rind citrus characteristics.

T-The taste is very similar on the aroma with a more prominent focus on the sage. Get a lot of citrus rind mixed with the sage. The yeast comes in more towards the back giving it clove flavoring and nice spiciness. The citrus notes are throughout the palate. Highly enjoyable.

M-Holy shit this beer is carbonated. I like my saisons well carbed so this is perfect. On the thinner side for mouthfeel and a real nice dry finish.

O-Another stellar saison by Stillwater Artisanal ales. Grab a four back of this if you can and enjoy every sip. This beer would be great without the sage addition but I love how it adds depth to this already intricate beer.

Photo of minterro
4.27/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Never heard about the brewing company before, which kinda surprises me. I mean I guess they are east coast and I couldn't really get their stuff in MI, but I still surprised. Bought at Little's Wine and Liquor (Denver), suggested by one of the employees. Although I wouldn't have needed the suggestion if I would have seen the bottles.... DANG! They are amazing.

Paired with the crazy awesome kimchi sandwich from City O' City in denver.

Bottled on 4/23/13

A&S: Extremely strong in aroma, which has elements of fruity berries, lemon zest, coriander spice, white wine and pale grains. However the aroma is mostly dominated by a yeasty-banana presence. Nothing very appealing as far as look. Head is a bright fizzy white, and fades almost immediately to nothing, no lacing. Mellow almost opaque dull orange colored beer.

T&M: definitely complex, but can be broken down into two major taste components: tartness and bitterness from spice components. Earthy components (especially when it warms) along with grassy hops. At the very finish pale clean maltyness. Feel is very crisp and clean.

Overall: A very enjoyable beer, look forward to trying more from this company. Very drinkable, would buy it again.

Photo of Maxwell
3.81/5  rDev -5.5%
look: 2.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a golden orange color, like a deep, dark piss. The beer forms a light head of pale white bubbles that quickly fizzle away to a thin, almost-non-existent scrim on the sides of the glass. In body, the beer is clean but murky, with just faint suggestions light and shapes coming through from the other side of the glass. Upon further examination, tiny specs can be seen floating in the beer, though none are of a considerable size. On the nose, the beer smells smoothly funky with saison yeast and a good touch of pepper that spices the nose. Pineapple and a touch of orange juice can also be sensed on the nose, along with a nice, light wheat flake scent that suggests the beer’s malt. The pineapple smell blends in and out of the funk smell, suggesting a presence of juicier hops and some nice, hay-like funk. On the tongue, the beer tastes fruity sweet and acidic with a light, tart pucker to the mouth and a very light touch of bitterness, which comes through more in the aftertaste. In flavor, the beer begins as light wheat malt, immediately exploding into huge pineapple bursts of flavor with herbal, funky side flavors and a light bitter grapefruit. The funk is deep enough that I think I detect some brett in the flavor, though I didn’t think this beer had any in it… The finish is dry, yet full of pineapple funk flavors and just a touch of wheat malt, which the aftertaste accentuates. In the mouth, the beer feels sharp in carbonation, coming in somewhere on the heavy side of medium, while the body sits on the tongue comfortably at a medium weight. The mouth is left dry except for acid cancelling saliva on the sides of the cheeks and a light stickiness on the tongue. Overall, this is a nice little saison with some rich complexity. It is delicate and very fruity with its funk, most likely due to the addition of white sage. It’s not my favorite American Farmhouse Ale though. It’s good and tasty and I would never turn it down, but it doesn’t seem like the type of beer I would drink more than one of at a sitting, as it sits in the stomach a little heavy. It’s rich and complex, but it doesn’t light up my palate like it has for others.

Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
90 out of 100 based on 1,062 ratings.