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 craftbeersweden
3.69/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Hazy, yellow to orange beer with a high, white, fluffy head.

Nose: Grass, hay, stable, funk, caramel, citrus and vanilla.
Taste: Yeast, floral esters, hops, citrus, grass, hay, bread and caramel malt.
Mouth: Medium body. High carbonation. Dry ending.

Great saison!

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This nice saison pours a chill
hazed medium amber with straw highlights and a very nice head of
white foam that subsides to a thick ring, thin layer, and features some very nice
sudsy lacing. Nose of sage, soft wheat, earthy yeast, subtle sweet honey malts,
and herbal grassy hops. Flavors follow the nose with grassy hops and lightly
sweet sage blending with subtle citrus and smooth soft wheat. The "house yeast"
is very prominent on the rear of the taste with earthy notes that finish moderately
dry. Nice body; medium carbonation is lightly crisp and plays off the balanced
elements very nicely and as noted before finishes dry.

Solid for the style and very nice.


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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 utopiajane
3.8/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours gracefully with a full head that falls attractively. Hazy, bubbly. Fruity with lemon and the wheat is golden . The sage is earthy and overall it smells like a bouquet. You all know how much I like sage. Soft sweetness over the top and a bit of grass. The beer is soft and complex but swift and vibrant. It has an earthy green herb as it's backdrop but the beer is yellow and fruity and pleasantly hoppy. Bubbly breaddy and dry. The sage is crisp and the hops finish it sticky and bitter to show lemon and a bit of tartness in the finish. There was so much earth, but it ends simply and very crisp with a light citrus zest and spicy earth. This is so dynamic and like all good saisons also gentle. Outstanding and I like the flavor very much. I think in some saisons that have tried to use herbs they have used too many and it became overpowering. This one only uses one and I think it is well done.

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Photo of 57md
3.66/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a pale straw color with a huge white head. The nose is lemony and funky. The flavor has a trace of pepper and light funk. There is a souring dryness on the finish.

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Photo of lmaduells
4.33/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A beer curious. Sometimes classifications seem a bit incomprehensible. This cervesasembla Belgium. As always, the producer gives us a beer made with craft and professionalism. repeat

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Photo of thepenguin
4.06/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

L: Pours a pretty dark golden straw color with a massive head. Hazy, giving the beer a glowing appearance. Great lacing, and great head retention.

S: Herbal notes, some lemon, peppery and earthy farmhouse yeast. Delicate wheat and pilsner malt, with floral hop notes. A bit soapy, but otherwise balanced between fairly rustic with some more vibrant hop aroma.

T: Earthy and rustic yeastiness, with some floral esters and hop notes. Tangerine and wheat play against a dry, estery canvass. A lot of grassy bitterness and peppery yeast notes late in the finish.

F: Medium bodied with prickly, slightly creamy abundant carbonation. Pleasant crisp finish. Pretty perfect for the style.

Thoughts: Another solid farmhouse ale from Stillwater. As with some of their other offerings I’d like them to reign in the grassy bitterness a touch and try to address the soapy character on the nose, but this remains a good domestic example of a classic rustic saison.

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Photo of safaricook
4.01/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Slightly hazy, orange, fluffy white head small and big bubbles
Hay, apricot, pepery, sweetness from pale malts, noble hops spicyness
Not much taste a first aside from a destinct but not overwhelming sourness, had to work out some of the carbonation, than the dryness becomes more aparent, the malt sweetnes gives balance and a lingering pepper note finesse
Lots of prickly carbonation, that removes any substance from the liquid, later much more substance.
Nice Saison with layers, just too much carbonation that should be swirled out by the drinker

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Photo of WingNuttMon
4.11/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Earthy m, sweaty sweetness (that "funk" everyone talks of), with herbal green hop in the back- Complex flavors with that added unfiltered fuzzy wheat, sage, & tangerine flavors. I am really digging this.

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Photo of Jmamay22
3.74/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a fairly hazy golden yellow. Fluffy white head holds up well. Strong spicy peppery herbal flavor from the nose. Fruity esters are well restrained. Sage comes through clear as a bell.

Taste has a nice interplay between the black pepper phenols and sage herbal spiciness. The herbs and phenols overtake any subtle nuances from the esters or malt. Light bodied. Carbonation is higher than your average beer, but short of the bottle conditioned Belgian saisons.

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful light haze accompanying the golden hay body. The head is a sticky, clingy, gelatinous force of nature that starts off at 2 fingers and recedes to a nice 1/4 ring.

Aromas of sage, pale malts, hay, juicy orange, grapefruit, pear, and barley. A beautiful yet still simplistic aroma.

The flavor starts out hop forward, and fades to fruity esters and breadiness, with notes of pear, apple, and grapefruit rind. A touch of yeast and bubble gum finish out the profile with more planty hop bite.

Feel is relatively creamy and very carbonated. It leaves a dry, dusty finish on the palate.

Overall, Cellar Door is a pretty decent Saison. It doesn't quite come together in the flavor for me, and it's a little hoppy for my tastes, but that's part of the history of farmhouse ale recipes. Great for a hot summer day with a little more bite and bitterness.

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Photo of SmashAdams
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

UPDATE - The new version is quite unique. I can't believe there is no lime or lemon in this beer. The smell is bright fresh lime, saison yeast, and subtle sage/general spice. The taste follows with more sage coming through and less lime. Refreshing and lovely beer.

This is an interesting and tasty beer. The smell is sage spice over a light fruity background. The taste is more traditional saison leaning toward spicy rather than fruity yeast. The sage comes through mostly as a peppery finish. yb

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Photo of jcantella
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

From the Stillwater web site: “over the ages the term 'cellar door' has numerously been referred to as the most beautiful term in the English language.”

In this case, I’m thinking “numerous” is somewhere around two times– not sure where that’s coming from. In the contest for most beautiful term, I’ll nominate “evolutionary bean-feast.”

You can’t tell from online images of the label, but on the actual bottle the beer name is damn near inscrutable. The concept for the art is pretty cool, but the words get lost in the design.

Appearance: Poured from a 750ml bottle into a tulip glass, with 2 inches of robust foam. Large bubbles dissipate over several minutes, leaving a quarter-inch of lather-like head. The beer itself is pale gold, with a steady stream of bubbles rising steadily from the bottle of the glass, even 10 minutes after pour.

Smell: From the bottle, white grapes, peach. From glass: more of the white grapes, followed by pepper and an herbal note, almost lavendar.

Taste: The sage works really well, appearing at the beginning and end of each sip. A bit of pear and sweet tangerine shows up in the middle. The sage tag teams with the saison yeast to cut through that sweetness pleasantly.

Mouthfeel: Lots of effervescence on the tongue, quickly followed by warming alcohol notes, finishing nice and dry. The sweetness suggests an ABV higher than the listed 6.6%, but it never feels heavy.

This beer had so much carbonation that, upon being uncapped, it audibly fizzled. Great option to pair with a meal, particularly categories like Italian that tend to favor wine.

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Photo of Tsar_Riga
4.04/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Superb golden body, clear, with a lovely white head, thin but persistent, and lots of lacing. Nose is heavy on apple and limestone, mild bread and toast, and wheat core. Tasty and very pleasant, a very well crafted saison.

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Photo of Evilyak
4.37/5  rDev +7.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

looks and tastes like a farmhouse ale. light in color and body, with a beautiful, white head to it.

this might be the first time i've enjoyed citra in anything. pepper and lemon zest come to mind, along with a general spiciness and a bit of funk. sage is noticeable in the aftertaste.

 285 characters

Photo of LAp
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz pour served in a table glass. Pours a faintly hazy straw yellow. Prominent wheat on the nose. The palate opens with cloves and faint banana, cracked pepper, and a slight lactic acid/sour funk. The mouthfeel is medium, and balances creamy and carbonation well. Overall, a solid saison, with more of a bent towards the pepper and sour than I would have expected. Similarly, the predilection for cloves is a strong plus.

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Photo of TX-Badger
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a hazy yellow golden color with fizzy white head. Citrus, bread, yeast, funk, and some hay on the nose; follows onto the palate. Light bodied. Finishes with wheat and some citrus.

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Photo of kalosjakar
4.19/5  rDev +3.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Light straw colored with almost no head.

I smell mostly peaches/apricot and of course yeast. A bit of lemon??

Taste is delicate, as is the feel. Again, im getting lemon, a tiny bit of hop bite, light carbonation, peppery.

Out of the 4 saisons i bought, i like this one the most.
I would definitely buy again.

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Photo of philbe311
3.96/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I've wanted to try this one for a long-time...

A - A standard pour yields less than a fingers worth of bone white colored crisp froth... Limited retention gives way to a thin veil of lacing in light collar... The color is a mix of equal parts honey, amber and gold... There is an ever so faint haziness the lingers... The carbonation that rises throughout is rather sluggish...

S - A stellar slightly sweet nose... Loaded with orange zest... Some overly ripened peaches... Strawberries... The more traditional Saison components are a bit beneath the surface... Cloves are most dominant of the more traditional scents... This is followed by some notes of yeast and wheat... Some faint whiffs of bubble gum as well...

T - Much of the sweetness alluded to by the nose doesn't materialize on the palate... Rather, the more traditional Saison notes shine... Lots of spice, mainly in the form of clove and white pepper... Lots of earthy and grassy notes... Lemon zest... A strong wheat component... A bit of funkiness is abound... There is a slightly grassy hoppy bite on the finish that lingers for a rather long while... Good depth and complexity... This one especially opens up more as it warms a little bit...

M - On the lighter side of medium bodied... A moderate bit of prickly carbonation... A bit chalky throughout... The finish is a bit dry...

D - An interesting and very enjoyable American interpretation of the Saison style... Average appearance and mouthfeel gives way to excellent aroma and flavor profiles... However, those profiles couldn't be more opposite... The aroma sweet and enticing... The palate much more traditional... The end result is a highly enjoyable and rather unique offering... A job well done by Stillwater...

 1,784 characters

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 drtth
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The beer poured out into a Duvel glass a lightly hazed yellow with a 1 1/2" white solid head. Sipping creates some bits of leggy lacing.

The aromas include some citrus, some grainy malt, a bit of sage and some earthiness.

The flavors are very complex with the citrus, malt, some peppery spiciness and the hint of sage. There's not more than a hint of sweetness.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied and a bit prickly from the active carbonation. The finish begins as the citrus and malt begin to fade leaving the dry ending to the slight touch of sage and the peppery spice.

As I've come to expect from this brewery it's not "traditional" (if that has any meaning at all for a Saison) but it is interestingly complex and enjoyable. Certainly worth a repeat.

 760 characters

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 gman1602
4.21/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Pours clear golden with nice carbonation showing in the beer, but not much head.
Smells of Belgian yeast-funk, white pepper, and some tangerineish/lemongrass citrus.
Taste is very assertive and layered. It starts with sage mixed with some dryer citrus pith, next comes the juicy tangerine flavor mixed with spicy lemongrass, and it finishes dry and spicy with white pepper as the beer dries out your palate.
Carbonation is very good to me, it matches nicely and the viscosity is on point.
Overall a very good farmhouse ale worthy of the try and future tastes. My first from Stillwater and, although expectations were high, I was very impressed.

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Photo of geodonnokepyo
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

pours golden with minimal head.
smells very funky. lemongrass and citrus notes detectable.
tastes peppery, phenolic, lemony
slightly undercarbed for my liking. but everything else with the mouthfeel is great. a little chalky and sticky

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Photo of Gus_13
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours golden with a little haze. Settles out to be more clear. Really classic Belgian nose. Spice, black pepper and a bit of citrus as well. Mouthfeel is high carbonation so light feel but it cleans up nice. Citrus and pepper with a bit of a funky flavors. Super dry on the finish. Very nice stuff.

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