Cellar Door | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Cellar DoorCellar Door

Brewed by:
Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Maryland, United States

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: 340 | Ratings: 1,192
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 Beerenauslese
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours a semi-hazy yellow gold, with a voluminous head that lasts for quite awhile, leaving lots of thick, sticky lacing.

Smells of wet hay from the wheat malt. But the big surprise is a very spicy fruity aroma of orange citrus and a sweet, brown sugar, undertone. Must be some coriander too.

This is a delicious farmhouse ale, rather unique with a sweet tangerine element from the Citra hops, it tastes like there is a bit of fresh tangerine juice in here. There is a huskiness too, from the white sage I guess. A little bitterness in the finish, true to the saison style with a little saltiness.

Body is light and carbonation is spot on, giving this a deliciously crisp mouthfeel.

A great refreshing taste and crisp mouthfeel and low ABV makes this eminently drinkable. I think Brian Strumke has hit it out of the park with this one.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
4.77/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Gulden Draak tulip. Pours a light orange amber. Massive white head with medium sized bubbles. Pleasant aroma of yeast, citrus, sage. Nice flavor of wheat, light malt, coriander, light fruit (pear and apple). A slight hint of must. Sage adds a unique flavor and hop like dry kick in the finish. Light to medium bodied with nice carbonation for a pleasant mouth feel. Complex and very refreshing. I like this very much.

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Photo of avalon07
4.75/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from a bottle to a pint glass. Had a bright yellow color and a cloudy consistency. There was a big, foamy/fizzy, long-lasting head. Surprisingly average lacing.

S: A big aroma of fruit, yeast, and malt.

T: Tasted of light, tropical fruits, earthy yeasts, and malt. Very complex, vibrant, tasty. One of the best tasting saisons I've tried in a long time.

M: A highly carbonated beer with a super dry and smooth finish. Light-bodied. A great mouthfeel.

D: An excellent beer. Extremely drinkable

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Photo of ajayma
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Translucent peach, hardly any head, slow, tiny bubbles.

Lavender and sage up top, citrus pith in the underneath.

Light on the palette, turns creamy as the bubbles distribute. Moderate grapefruit and hopiness, mingles with sourdough bread, lavender and sage.

Citrus pith bitterness is the last to fade.

Fresh fruit, cheese.

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Photo of Emersonio
4.74/5  rDev +16.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Pour: On draft at Of Love & Regret in Baltimore, MD. Poured into a tulip glass. Appearance: Golden straw in color. Hazy with a light white head. Aroma: Light and crisp. Tart with some funky Brett notes. Fresh grass clippings with tangerine hoppy citrus. Taste: Light, tart and crisp on the sip. Grassy with white wine grapes. Aftertaste: Brett funk all the way but a malty kick also reveals itself on the back end. Overall: First foray into Stillwater Artisan Ales. Really like what I am tasting. Would definitely recommend and drink again. Excellent. 4.74 out of 5.

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Photo of alphagnome
4.69/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hazy, pale yellow body crowned by a thick, bubbly white head. Incredible retention. Incredible amount of bubbly and respectable lacing.

Incredibly aromatic and welcoming. Dry lemongrass, hay and grain, and Belgian yeast dominate but there is plenty of orange peel and spicing to add some more character. Subtle mint and hop character. Very distinct saison aroma. Love it.

Right upfront you are greeted by a very interesting spice, which I assume is the white sage, and a sharp, bitter bite. Nice, wheat and grass notes and butter. Black pepper and butter. Great funky character.

Fairly light bodied brew with insane carbonation. Seriously, it almost has a piercing quality - I love it. Sweet and crisp with a clean finish.

Saisons are probably my favorite style of beer and this has to be one of the best of the style by far - incredible! Refreshing and tasty - see it? Get it!

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Photo of kliner88
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: pours a hazy goldenrod with a quickly-dissipating thin white head. leaves fine, pretty ring of lacing, which holds over time. tiny beads of carbonation are visible. maybe slightly clearer than some Saisons.

S: funky, spicy, and grassy. both earthy yeast and light spice dominate initially, much more savory than sweet. malt comes through as the beer warms. slight lemony or citrusy note in the background.

T: very dry Saison. flavor largely mirrors the odor, with musty yeast and horsiness having prominence but not dominating. enough malt base to balance the spice without rendering the drink too sweet, a problem i commonly find with the style. malt becomes more noticeable as the beer breathes, but is balanced with a slight citrusy tang.

M: hardy champagne-like carbonation. it really effervesces on the tongue. fairly thin with a fairly clean finish-- leaves a slight sweet and funky residue. about as good as i could ask for in a Saison.

O: one of the better Saisons i've had. more spicy than sweet; flavor profile, aroma, and carbonation hold up well through a slow drink.

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Photo of saintwarrick
4.67/5  rDev +15%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Cloudy dark yellow and burnt orange saison with a tremendous white head, lacing the glass and the beer. Aroma is unreal, pineapple, mango, tangerines and a dozen other citrusy and floral aromas. Passion fruits and candied watermelon take over the taste though the brew is not overly sweet. Slight bit of tang mixed in to keep the beer balanced. A fully realized brew, expertly crafted from top to bottom. A must try.

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Photo of schloozer10
4.63/5  rDev +14%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is the first beer that i have had from the stillwater artisanal ale. This is a great beer. Nice pale yellow. Foamy head. Floral notes. Not overly sweet. a slight hop. Great finish. I am also not a huge fan of Saison style beers. I have been warming up to them. I tend to like the saison styles brew in the united states rather than belgium. This beer is good.

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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 timtim
4.6/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

hazy burnt gold with a white head that holds well and leaves proper lace. citra hop stands out first, but a couple sniffs reveals all kinds of complexities. the tang of wheat, the husky sweetness of grain, the herbal pungency of sage, the spiciness of the yeast... just gorgeous. taste is an extremely well balanced mix of herbs and hop harmonizing with the grains and yeast. fantastic. quasi-spritzy mouthfeel that is far from prickly on a medium body with a long, hoppy/sagey finish that works very very well. another great beer from one of the most cutting edge brewers out there. just as good out of the bottle.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A – Pours an opaque sunset gold. Beautiful fluffy white head with great lace.

S – Soft, smooth, and complex. Fresh sage, mint, hay. Mild sweetness, like rock candy held a foot or two from your nose. Soft caramel, lavender and lemon.

T – Soft and incredibly well integrated. Opens with a beautiful smooth bouquet of sage and white tea leaves. A kiss of lemon zest brings forward a floral center with lavender, light honey, and pollen. The backend picks up on the floral notes and ebbs them gently to an earthier side with dandelion and apricot.

M – Medium body with great carbonation. Soft texture. Lightly dry finish.

O – Brilliant. One of the best saisons I’ve ever had.

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Photo of drpimento
4.57/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Wow! Fabulous beer! Look out Belgium!! This is right up there with the best. Poured with a foamy, frothy, off white head that lasts and good lace. Color is a hazy amber. Aroma is a pungent blend of yeast, malt, fruit, grass, earth, and fresh cut hay. Flavor is similar with the carbonic acid, yeast bitterness, and malty sweetness prominant. Body is perfect for this beer. Finish has the more extreme qualities dropping off quick and the more balanced and milder qualities with a slower taper to a medium length. Session beer if I got the cash on hand.

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Photo of AndersonGT
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
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.

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Photo of Brad007
4.56/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

My first introduction to Stillwater was over the summer at a private party with many kegs. Little did I know of their plans to sell beer here in Vermont. I decided to start off by picking up a bottle of Cellar Door.

Pours a beautiful light blond/yellowish color with a two-finger head into my glass (I chose a wine glass as my tulip needs to be washed). Very nice color.

The aroma is full of clove (from the wheat) with a small hint of spice from the yeast. White Sage is listed as one of the ingredients but I cannot pick it out in the aroma.

The taste can only be described as medium-bodied with a decent amount of clove, spice and perhaps white sage as well. Very "flowery" (or light).

Finishes very well with a light amount of sage and clove still clinging to the 'ol taste buds.

I believe this is another unique take on the saison/farmhouse style. Along with Saint Somewhere, I am starting to appreciate breweries that attempt to expand this style using unconventional ingredients. Case in point, this saison is very drinkable and I recommend it for anyone who may get bored with the usual versions of this style that are available.

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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 russpowell
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Pours golden with 3+ fingers of ivory colored head. Murks up a bit as this finishes, very good head retention & average lacing

S: Grassy with orange peel, some white pepper & wheat tartness/breadyness as this warms

T: Lemons, white pepper, tangerine, with grassyness up front, along with a touch of tart wheat. Ruby red grapefruit, grassyness as this warms. Finshes tart with white pepper, & lemon grass

MF: Light bodied, lively carbonation

This drank too easy, love the citra hops in this, puts a nice American spin on this style, easily one of the best beers I've had in a while

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Photo of sk8man121
4.53/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle poured into Allagash chalice.

A: Pours a hazy tangerine with highlights of sunshine and moonbeams. Impressive 2-finger rocky cream-colored head with excellent retention leaves a great deal of lacing on the glass. Beautiful.

S: Pineapple, mint and farmhouse yeast up front, followed by citrus and fresh cut grass. Smells absurdly refreshing.

T: Citrus and mint/white sage dominate with sharp acidity. Banana and grass are in the center, with a slight bit of licorice in the finish. One of the most refreshing tastes I can imagine.

M: Highly carbonated, what should be rather thin creams up beyond belief. Goes down beautifully.

O: This is an unbelievable surprise. I expected this to be nice, but not nearly as perfectly balanced and refreshing as it is. Cellar Door defies style, as it is not quite a saison, yet so much more than a typical wheat. At $10 for a 750 ml bottle, this is an affordable luxury that I hope to enjoy many more times.

Sunshine in a glass.

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Photo of bigsilky
4.52/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Growler, CBX. Right out the gate the senses get bombarded with citrusy hops and a yeasty dry spice that floods the sinuses with an herbal freshness that's hard to nail down at first. Effervescent, although the bubbles seem to settle fast, and very dry making this saison super digestible. The hops persist on the palate, and find a nice meeting place with the sage via the wheat and oats (I'm guessing here). Terribly complex and refreshing at the same time. Sage does seem to linger and become a larger part of the beer as time passes, but the balance with the fresh hoppiness is just mind blowing.

Excellent beer, a very intellectual and exciting new world interpretation of an old world classic.

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Photo of mikesgroove
4.51/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

part of the epicness that was the halloween weekend of beer. the last few nights have kicked my ass in every way, but i got to try a bunch of goodies that have long haunted me. served chilled and poured into a 8 ounce taster, this one was consumed on 10/30/2010.

thrilled to finally be able to try this one, i decided to crack it open with dinner yesterday to get a good taste before the night began. pour could not have been better with an amazing golden amber color with a good haze to it and great carbonation visible throughout. huge white head on top that led to a ton of lacing up and down the sides of the glasses.

aroma is light at first but builds as the night goes on. light citrus touches, fresh herbals, light flowery mix an a nice grain bill seem to support a rather complex flavor. and that is exactly what i get with a quick dose of lemon right off the bat. it transforms into a nice pear and apple flavors, loads of grass and quick hits of lavender and a touc of peppery like spice seal it. this is exactly what i was looking for. clean, crisp, sparkling and refreshing. near perfect.

overall this was everything everyone told me it would be and more. a wonderful example of the style and just done right.

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Photo of NWer
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle into Chimay Chalice. Non-aggressive pour produces a lot of foam, a lot of bubbles. Very effervescent. Like champagne only better - it's beer, after all.
Clear yellow appearance. Head dissipates moderately leaving behind little to no lace.
Smooth. Refreshing. Sweet.
Climbing the learning curve for the style and given how enjoyable this one was, I can't wait to try others.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: A straw to golden pour with a slight haze under a dense 1” frothy white foam collar with a very fine bead. S: Saison funk, fruit. T: A very well balanced palate with a slight funk featuring herbs, spices, and fruit evoking marmalade slathered on a fresh baguette. F: Medium light body and medium high carbonation. O: Tasty and very well put together.

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Photo of JamieDuncan
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Rolls out with a pillow head that I had to wait while it dissipated, good retention. It had the expected saison smell, with a good bit of spice. The flavor was very nice, the sweet, with maybe a little spiciness, very clean on the finish, outstanding. After being disappointed with my first few tries with Stillwater this one was excellent and will have me giving them more of a chance. Outstanding saison.

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Photo of isitsavage
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Massive three, almost four finger white head from this pour that faded slowly with big billowy gaps and pillows leaving lovely lacing. The beer is very very pale, pours almost like white wine and sits in the glass a very clear pale yellow, beautiful!

Smells great, a lot of sage in the head with some really good funk and a little bit of sourness. Once the head fades away the funk almost totally takes over. A light swirl brings it all back again. Further inspection brings out a light hop aroma, and some sweetness, excellent components thrown in the mix here.

Taste is sage and chewy, yeasty, funk! Again a light, crisp hop bitterness and some sweetness that makes this incredibly balanced and refreshing. Wish I was drinking this outside on a summer day.

Medium mouthfeel, slightly prickly carbonation, just about perfect for everything else going on in the beer. Very drinkable, light, refreshing and yes, as it says on the bottle, cleansing.

Like I said before this would be perfect for a lazy summer day sipper outside in the sun. Would be great as a six pack for a session beer, but I don't see Stillwater doing that anytime soon. For this time of year it would be great paired with some pork loin and some roasted root vegetables with sage and brown sugar, yum.

Overall this is a really great beer and probably my favorite I've had from this brewer, so glad I picked up the Chardonay barrel aged version to compare it too, might have to save that for the warmer months.

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Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,192 ratings.
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