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: 342 | Ratings: 1,198
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 Beaver13
2.62/5  rDev -35.5%
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.

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Photo of descobar
2.73/5  rDev -32.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

disclosure: 3+ year old bottle.
pours a hazy pale amber with a full head that quickly dissipates. aroma is overwhelmingly spice (white sage) with fruity esters and medicinal off-aromas. body is medium to light. carbonation is very light. there is some oil in the texture and some annoying astringency. flavor again is all about the white sage spice combined with sweet malts and the before mentioned solventy or medicinal off-flavors. there is significant bitterness still there. that bitterness and the astringency bordering on harsh lingers long after...

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Photo of GPHarris
3.05/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2011 vintage

a - it's a gusher! poured a two-fingers thick, bubbly off-white head into a tulip glass that left good lacing throughout. the body was a bright, bubbly golden color.
s - fruity and yeasty.
t - yeasty and fruity with green apples the dominant flavor.
m - effervescent, crisp and clean.
o - i don't think this one benefited much from age. way too carbonated as well.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
3.06/5  rDev -24.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled last night on 7/12/15. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees F in my beer cooler and poured in to a vintage weissber vase "MICHELOB" glass.

Brew pours a hazy golden-yellow in color with a good 3-finger foamy white head but really didn't last all that long. Some lacing was seen when sipped but not as much as you would think from seeing that foamy head after the pour. A ring of sediment is seen at the bottom of the bottle after the pour also. Aroma is of yeast, banana peel, and spices. Bit more going on with the taste as you can taste cloves, white peppercorn also. Some citrus zest was noted near the back near the finish. Slightly dry with a bitter aftertaste. Really not a big fan of this type of brew. Medium-bodied with lots of carbonation. Overall it was OK.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.1/5  rDev -23.6%
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.

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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 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 Boardshort_Brewer
3.23/5  rDev -20.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Appearance - Clear golden yellow with a large white head.
Smell - Pretty typical of saisons, a little clovey but the sage definately comes through.
Taste - A little higher carbonation than I would like, the combination of clove from the yeast and strong sage initially made me think of cinnamon for some reason. Mild alcoholic taste and warmth.

Not a huge fan of the style but this one was tolerable.

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Photo of Onzipedia
3.3/5  rDev -18.7%
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.

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Photo of Stigs
3.35/5  rDev -17.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16oz pour at Monk's Cafe, served in a standard pint glass

A - very hazy, bright yellow/gold. thin layer of tiny white bubbles which settled quickly, about zero lacing.

S - fruity and lightly tart. spicy wheat and some field-like funk.

T - very heavy on the lemon, almost stales like a somewhat grainy and stale Shandy. some lingering grassy bitterness at the end along with apples and a slight bit of yeasty funk.

M - found this to be extremely thin, and dull. carbonation was on the lighter side where it needed to be a bit more active.

D - not bad, but overall I didnt enjoy it very much. moderately refreshing,just not up my alley as far as Saisons go.

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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 KATCanada
3.4/5  rDev -16.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.25

Tulip @ fridge temp. Nice straw color with clean white foam head. Cloudy. Looks like a Saison is supposed to. Lovely nose, yeasts come through I get some banana - it smells like a saison! Nice tangerine nose with a little bit of spice. First sip is a bit blank. Not a big instant flavor hit. Slightly sweet. Hint of sage does come through on the finish. Nose is better than the taste. Just okay.

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Photo of cujocon
3.42/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

6.6% ABV
12 oz brown beer bottle $3.25 at Provisions Northampton MA
Appearance: coppery gold, small head, sticks around, constant gingerale style bubbling carbonation

Smell: sweet beer yeast

Flavor: tart initial, but not residual,sage flavored traditional beer with tannic hop aftertaste.

Overall: 3/5 I love the smell and the initial sage and citrus flavors, but the hop bitterness isn't for me.
The price is really good, and if I liked beer I might love this one.

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Photo of Stinkypuss
3.45/5  rDev -15%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Cellar Door

LOOK: Hazy bright golden color. Silky head forms and leaves good lacing.

SMELL: Barnyard elements, hay, wheat malt, sage and citrus.

TASTE: Herbal, spicy and earthy from the yeast, hops and additions of sage. There is an almost minty herbal flavor, as well as some citrus and a light tartness.

MOUTHFEEL: Light bodied, well carbonated, crisp and dry.

OVERALL: An interesting take on the Saison style. Lots of herbal and spicy flavors, and a delicate tartness. One of the more popular Stillwater beers.

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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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Photo of CrazyDavros
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours gold with a small head.
Nose shows lemon, musk sticks, bergamot, confectionery notes, soft peppery phenols.
Flavours include more of the herbal characters, some soft acidity, a bit of sweet doughy wheat notes.

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Photo of scottfrie
3.48/5  rDev -14.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

Bottle into snifter.

A: Pours a hazy citrus golden color with two fingers of fluffy bright white head that slowly faded into fuzzy film leaving wispy lace.
S: Sage dominates alongside hints of citrus and sweet undertones. I get some lemon and peach.
T: Peppery earthy yeast, sage is strong, citrus beneath and mineral chalky wheat. Sage and lightly malty sweet finish, peppery spice aftertase with slightly bitter hops.
M: Medium body, fizzy carbonation, frothy mouthfeel. Carbonation is distracting.
O: Frothiness takes away from the drinkability. Definitely a sage lovers beer, but only a decent saison. Better once you burn off some bubbles.

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Photo of Karibourgeois
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Light golden straw colored pour with a one-finger white head. Aroma of yeast and spice. Taste has spice and lemon upfront with a good bit of yeast and grain in the back end.

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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 d_kizzle
3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - slightly hazy deep amber with an off white head that quickly dissipates.

S - citric, floral hops. You definitely notice the white sage and wheat. It's much more delicate than the color would indicate.

T - different than your typical floral farmhouse. It has pretty big palate for the style. Apricots, tangerine, and banana give way to a slight wheat profile before the hops clean you out.

M - moderately carbonated with a slight petrol feel. Fairly light on the palate.

This is different for a saison. It's a sage wheat beer on the nose, and a medium bodied IPA on the palate. Interesting, but I'm not sure the whole experience is coherent.

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Photo of CaptainOats
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
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.

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Photo of zeledonia
3.55/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

My first beer from Stillwater. Picked up a bottle out of state, finally getting around to trying it.

Pours a hazy light golden straw yellow. That's a lot of descriptors. Looks like golden straw. Huge fluffy white head, sticks around, leaves only bits of lacing.

Smells of stone fruit and musty barns. The fruit is heavy and juicy - peaches and apricots. Some light grassy notes as well, and a hint of spice.

Taste is less fruity, more sharp. Hops are more prominent, both as grassy flavors and a spicy bite. That peppery spice is strong through the finish. A little on the flat and sharp side, flavor-wise. Would prefer a bit more richness or lift.

Mouthfeel is, in my impression, over-carbonated. I have to wait for it to die down before I can actually taste the beer. A downside, for sure. Dries out fairly quickly.

A decent saison, but not particularly memorable. Fruity in the nose, spicy in the mouth, and bubbly all around.

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Photo of beertunes
3.56/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in 12oz tulip. Poured a hazy, bright straw yellow color with about 3/4 inch of white head that had low retention and decent lacing.

The aroma was was fairly typical, some nice grains, a bit of spicy yeast, and a touch of fruitiness, but seemed a bit on the subdued side. On the tongue though, the beer was a lot brighter and bolder. The above mentioned aspects all came through with a better presence and there was a crisp tartness at the back.

The body was about average for the style, perhaps a bit fuller than a lot of examples, and had a nicely dry finish. Drinkability was very good, a couple of these could go down easily. Overall, a pretty nice beer. I'm not quite sure it was worth the $8/12oz price, but it was still worth a shot.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%

Pours a finger of head on a slightly hazy light straw colored body.
The aroma has a lot of fresh ground black pepper, a little sage and earth.
The taste is peppery, mild grain and lemon bitterness.
The texture is soft and fizzy.
An improvement on the standard wit beer.

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Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,198 ratings.
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