Cellar Door
Stillwater Artisanal Ales

Cellar DoorCellar Door
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Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States
Ranked #424
Ranked #10,410
4.01 | pDev: 10.72%
Feb 15, 2022
May 22, 2010
Cellar DoorCellar Door
Notes: 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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Rated: 3.29 by TMoney2591 from Illinois

Feb 15, 2022
Rated: 3.71 by bump8628 from Oklahoma

Aug 25, 2021
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Reviewed by mynie from Maryland

4.61/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75
Cans are readily available.

For over 100 years, the phrase "cellar door" has been recognized as one of, if not *the*, most phonaesthetically pleasing terms in the English language. The key with phonaestheticism, however, is that the concept deals with words purely in terms of their existence as sound images, irrespective of the content of their referent. So is Stillwater's Cellar Door going to be superficially beautiful, or something better than that? Let's see.

Well, the can is pretty. I like how Stillwater has managed a cohesive brand aesthetic without leaning too heavily into the design homogeneity that's plagued craft beer over the last decade or so.

The pour is quite pretty for a saison: dark gold, hazy and fizzy with a wisp of a white head.

The aroma is gentle and inviting. Grassy malt, delicate spice on the yeast, with some pronounced, pleasant herbaceousness courtesy of the addition of white sage.

The flavor is, likewise, delicate, but fantastically well-crafted and engaging throughout. A light hint of white wine starts things off, moving into a pure saison grain bill enriched with lemon rind and whitepepper yeast, finishing with more vaguely vinous fruit characteristics combined with the gentle kiss of sage.

Well worth seeking out.
Jul 14, 2021
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Reviewed by Bouleboubier from New Jersey

4.22/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
(12 oz can, batch #027; gifted a cold single... poured into a fat tulip)

L: clear, yellow-orange liquid, bright until speckled sediment slipped in; explosive, cauliflower-crested foam... little head retention, quick collapse; broken, spitty collar; one strand of lace opposite sip-side

S: Saison Dupont profile, with a bit of chardonnay around the edges, or perhaps a hint of banana-tinted rum... subtle earthy, grassy, wet stone note... soft fruity (apricot?) sugar in the core... fruity overtone, lightly perfumy; appealing

T: again, Dupont-like aromatics (especially lingering in aftertaste) with a touch more delicately-sweetened vinous undertone... third sip in, and a sage-like flavor is flaring up in the finish; haven't myself tried white sage... really opens up as it goes; dynamic expression

F: medium-light-bodied, with a slow, vaguely jelly-contoured, residual drag... mellow heat and peppery spice enhances sensation of dryness... stealth gas?; not so active on the palate; latent expelling

O: the Dupont thing may be an over-statement, or not... lovely saison; spicy, fruity, peppery, herbal, moderately dry... first time having this since about 2012; wouldn't mind having it again (1779)
Jul 13, 2021
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Reviewed by CaptainHate from Ohio

4.17/5  rDev +4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Poured a 12 ounce can into a DFH tulip. Can was from Batch #027 which means something but damn if I can translate it into a date from online searches. Fluffy white head over a golden straw color. Smell was complex with grassy sage over other spices and a hint of banana. Taste was nicely earthy with some citrus flavors appearing. Mouthfeel was delightfully fresh and quenching. Another keeper of a domestic saison. Had this with raspberries and Jarlsberg cheese.
May 10, 2021
Rated: 4.13 by brutalist from Pennsylvania

Apr 07, 2021
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Reviewed by Beginner2 from Illinois

4.12/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25
Clearly a saison recipe of a master-brewer. Carried 4 cans to the curb from The Beer Temple. Poured, appropriately enough, into my Off Color tulip... another brewer of great Stateside saisons and table ales.

Cellar Door opens with slightly above average Looks in a great Looking style. Cellar has a big bubble foam that settles to not so much. Smells are more complex with classic saison tree fruits (citrus and apples) followed by an interesting herb (turns out to be sage.) Tastes are all balanced, all working together: refreshing fruit, spicy and estery yeast, herbs, soft wheat. Finishes spritely to cleanse the palate of summer fare with its oils and acidity. I had Cellar Door with pumpkin ravioli in a butter sauce and sage. Also a great fit for autumn food ! Also went well with my garlicky vegetable soup and a cheese bread that had a sharp parmesan and pecorino. I think I can pair Cellar Door with lots of other foods. A good saison recipe will allow that like no other style, IMHO.

This is only my 4th from Stillwater; so, already I have given them a quickie brewer review. But I declare... what an artisan this brewer is ! It is hard for me to know more from the website, as the Instagram page was cryptic (and the hard seltzer page was prettier than what I could find for its ales.) But with all his collaborations and renting of other brewers' space, I'm betting this gypsy brewer is a real funny character to have around. A lot like Off Color's sense of humor, hence the appropriate glass. A Sante' !

12/10/20 Had the second can and revised the review and am satisfied I've reviewed this well enough to still be considered a Poo-bah among peers. I will keep count over at UnTappd and note the remaining food pairings.
Nov 29, 2020
Rated: 4.12 by TheCakePounder from Pennsylvania

Sep 28, 2020
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Reviewed by milkshakebeersucks from Maryland

4.15/5  rDev +3.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Hazed, golden appearance with a tiny head and little lacing. Perfumed, yeasty aroma accented with spices and herbs and a touch of citrus. Biscuit like malt flavors; tart, earthy, but in a vinous way, not a woodsy way. Hops add depth but are not prolific and contribute notes of melon and lime. Light-to-medium bodied, well carbonated mouthfeel leading to an average length finish.
May 23, 2020
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Reviewed by stevoj from Idaho

3.66/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
12 oz can from Brewers Haven. Pale golden pour, foamy head fades to spotty cap. Aroma is wheat with light citrus, lemon. Taste starts with the wheat, before being superseded by the yeast. Still has l8ghtnlemon notes Saison? Wit? Too close to call....
Mar 23, 2020
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Reviewed by TooManyGlasses from Canada (AB)

3.94/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
Very hazy orange bronze with 2 fingers tight near white head.
Aroma funky herbal notes - some banana, bubblegum, lemon, pear, yeasty, a little peppery.
Taste grassy citrus, tangerine, a bit of funky yeast, but then at back end a floral funky tart bitterness and spiciness.
Active carbonation - tingles palate vigorously - leaves with a spicy hop bitterness.
Aug 29, 2019
Rated: 4.05 by rpjterp from Virginia

Aug 24, 2019
Rated: 4.25 by zbelair from Pennsylvania

Apr 11, 2019
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Reviewed by HorseheadsHophead from Colorado

3.9/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Hazy, translucent yellow with a creamy sticky white head. Good retention and lacing.
Smells minty, (must be the sage) a bit sour, some peach, white wine vinegar, pineapple. Smells a bit like toothpaste?
The taste is much better than the nose. Some minty sage upfront, grass, bell pepper, light lactic sourness, peach, pineapple, lemon juice, slightly funky, hay, white wine vinegar, soft creamy pale wheat body.
Medium feel, well carbonated, lightly creamy, lightly dry and quite clean.
A really nice, refreshing saison. A good offering from Stillwater.
Mar 09, 2019
Rated: 4.13 by moscow2042 from New York

Jan 25, 2019
Rated: 3.97 by TheWolf from Delaware

Jan 12, 2019
Rated: 3.42 by Diura from New York

Jan 01, 2019
Rated: 4.83 by Jriesenb from California

Oct 23, 2018
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Reviewed by pjwilson from California

3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25
Overall not feeling this one. Sage is present but doesn't really seem to add much. Overall the beer is just kinda bland, but too syrupy to be refreshing like most saisons are. This is almost more like a Bier de Garde and would probably work great with food.
Oct 07, 2018
Rated: 3.75 by Dutchcraftbeergeek from Netherlands

Jul 30, 2018
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Reviewed by Act25 from New Jersey

4.2/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4
I've loved Stillwater creations so far. This one among the best.
a) Fat bubbled, clouded saison gold, with scant head.
s) Suitable nose for contemplation, balanced yet nuanced with grass, tangerine, yeast, cellar floor, wood shavings all in the mix.
t) "beauty & cleansing" - the brewer's goal is attained here: on the bread base of German wheat & pale malts ride the hops bearing wood, herbs, grass & tangerine then the yeasty, working cellar aspect, and then incense of some smoking white sage. All united in a scrubbing finish.
f) Clean, summery, but complex and a lot to tease the buds. Contemplative and cleansing.
Jun 29, 2018
Rated: 2.72 by Chilmer from Iowa

May 23, 2018
Rated: 3.96 by geryeb624 from Maryland

May 14, 2018
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Reviewed by Suds from Missouri

3.72/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75
I had this one from a can...it was a hazy, gold-yellow beer. with a soapy head. The aroma has a little ripe stone fruit and herbs (I get sage, but it isn't immediately present). Soft sweetness, backed with a little hop bitterness. Full in body.
Apr 23, 2018
Rated: 4 by Kurmaraja from California

Apr 21, 2018
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Reviewed by darktronica from Indiana

4.02/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Hazy and golden, with minimal head. Delicate aromas of wildflower honey, sage, and white peach. Moderate botanical bitterness added in the flavors, alongside honeydew melon and a dry yeastiness.
Apr 18, 2018
Rated: 4.94 by HarrisonHartsough from New York

Apr 08, 2018
Rated: 4.18 by Ristaccia from Nebraska

Apr 07, 2018
Rated: 3.13 by Chuckdiesel24 from Illinois

Mar 13, 2018
Rated: 4.3 by B-J from Iowa

Feb 25, 2018
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Reviewed by andresblanket from North Carolina

3.87/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Canned 12/18/17

A-slightly hazy yellow straw i don't know the lighting in my house sux

A-fresh sage and some sort of weedy fruitiness

T-smooth sage and a lightly bitter finish

F-somewhat creamy with enough carb to bounce on the palate

OA-Always liked this one...great dinner beer..grilled meats maybe
Feb 25, 2018
Rated: 4 by Buffettman2018 from North Carolina

Feb 13, 2018
Photo of craigbelly
Reviewed by craigbelly from Iowa

4.25/5  rDev +6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25
Golden-straw body. Musky aromas give way to banana/bubblegum aromas and notes of sweeter sage and whole-wheat. Medium-bodied but definitely complex flavors here. Hops are on point. A lemony zest finish blends perfectly with the sage.
Jan 07, 2018
Rated: 4.21 by coryhk from California

Jan 07, 2018
Rated: 2.83 by DVMin98 from North Carolina

Jan 06, 2018
Rated: 3.71 by DrewSnyc667 from Massachusetts

Jan 01, 2018
Rated: 4.1 by stephenjmoore from Maryland

Dec 30, 2017
Rated: 4.39 by SBlobaum from Illinois

Dec 20, 2017
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Reviewed by mothmanscott from Georgia

4.04/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4
Pours a semi-clear deep straw producing 2+ fingers of moderately lasting, foamy, white head that leaves sticky rings & wisps of lace. Lots of suspended dusty particulates with only a little effervescence bubbling up from the bottom. Aroma is dough, pale malt, wheat bread, peach, pear & apple fruity, a little orange, earthy herbal hints & thin banana. Taste is pale malt, biscuit, dough, wheat, earthy herbal (the sage really comes through), tangerine/orange, fruity pear & peach, spice/clove & light banana with a nice heavy peppery bite. The aftertaste is wheat dough, citrus, herbal & fruity with a light but lingering bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied with moderate-high carbonation, peppery, prickly, slightly astringent in the finish & lightly dry.
Dec 20, 2017
Rated: 4.06 by DoubleDaisyCutter from District of Columbia

Dec 19, 2017
Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Beer rating: 90 out of 100 with 1264 ratings