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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: 339 | Ratings: 1,190
Photo of liamt07
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bottle shared by Mike, 750ml bottle into a tulip.

Poured a bright, hazy orange, with a fluffy bright white head, several fingers in height. Sticky lace and great retention. Nose has citrus zest, tangerine, orange and lemon, wheat and some pale malts. A touch of funk and some herbal spicing as well (sage perhaps, as the label indicates its addition). Taste has bright herbal spicing as per the nose, more citrus zest (lemon and tangerine), wheat and a little more funk. Some spicing in the finish, but the Citra hops are well displayed here. Quite light in the mouthfeel, smooth with a light bite imparted by the carbonation. An excellent saison, I really enjoyed this - certainly the best saison I've had in recent memory.

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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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Photo of Monkeyknife
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a murky golden-yellow with a whopping white head.

Tart aroma of lemon, white wine, yeast and sage.

Tastes of yeast, white wine, tropical fruit, mint, light malts, white pepper and sage.

Lighter bodied and dry with a sharp carbonation.

A very nice Farmhouse Ale from Stillwater. A must try if you can find it.

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Photo of dgilks
3.62/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear golden colour with a small white head. Poor head retention for a saison.

Fruity with a big white wine grape aroma. Mild cinnamon and clove spice. Nicely balanced yeast character.

Very light crisp malt flavour with some mild fruity citrus notes. Not as nice as the aroma.

Light body with moderately-high carbonation. Good.

For me, the flavour here is not quite right. It's very dry and fruity without the spice and hop on the palate of the classic saisons.

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Photo of Cyberkedi
4.17/5  rDev +2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Comes out of the bottle a slightly hazy, pretty solar yellow with a nice thick white head. Malty aroma has a decided overtone of sage - oh yes, you can smell that, and it makes this beer all the more appealing! OK, on to tasting - yummy! Malty, fruity, earthy, with that sage overtone that makes it distinctive. Notes of banana and pear enhance the sweetness without making it too sweet. I do not like beer that is over-sweet! Body is about average, but it is fairly fizzy and leaves a nice malty finish with an overtone of that sage. Get it whilst thou canst!

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

Cellar Door is a tasty Saison from the Maryland gypsy brewer, Saltwater. There wasn't anything particularly noteworthy about it, but it was nice.

I had this on tap at ChurchKey in DC.

A: Yellow with 2 mm head that fades to decent lacing. 4

S: Spices and yeast. 4

T: Malty and yeasty up front. The aftertaste is spicy. 4

M: Foamy. 4

O: Nice saison. 4

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Photo of ThaCreep
4.16/5  rDev +2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Wheat but almost musty nose. It smells of decay, the old, which obviously well stick with the name of the beer. The fruit is also very present, with citrus fruit, especially grapefruit. This extraordinarily well supported fruity nose mold and vice versa. On the palate, one finds this fruit and citrus, this slightly acidic (like lemon). The beverage passes like water, the ABV is well hidden and the finish is fast, without bitterness.

Not really a pure Season, plus a mix between American pale ale and Witbier, but in any case a good compromise between the three genres.

Drinked at Brian Stillwater Conference @ Delirium Village.

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Photo of jlindros
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Light fizzy head, hazy golden orange carrot colored.

Nose nice light malts, wheat like, semi sweet, light citrus, apricot, weird floral like heather or tea like spice, coriander, sage, etc.

Taste add more light malts, sweet wheat, sage and light spices, citrus, apricot like fruit, plenty of warming booze tingly. Finishes drier and more tingly booze and spices.

Mouth is med bodied, decent carb, tingly and warming booze.

Overall very nice, a bit boozy especially for 6.6% but otherwise tasty, interesting nice spices.

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Photo of JayAre46
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

from notes...shared with DC

A - lets start off saying, this is one of the sweetest bottles of all time IMO, pours a golden honey color, transparent big head falls to a light ring and is very active. yeast in the nose, light lemon zest follows, some wheat, more citrus acidity influence. fruity flavors, with a subtle bitterness, very crisp, grassy, lemony, mint? very good tasting beer more of funk is desired. medium to light body very prickly on the palate, active carbonation. overall solid and very refreshing. like the fruity aspects that compliment the crisp, sharp farmhouse charcteristics.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a hazy yellow color. The head was fizzy and white leaving behind just a few bubbles on the glass. The smell is of fresh grains, Belgian yeast and some light lemon on the nose. The taste of the beer is refreshing, and has a light farmhouse flavor to it with just a little bit of citrus in there too. The mouthfeel of the beer is light bodied and fresh feeling, lively carbonation. Overall the this is a good brew, very drinkable stuff here.

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

XicanoBeerRun picked this up, thanks for sharing.

My second Stillwater beer. After the amazing Existent I wasn’t sure what to expect, but my expectations were high.

Poured into a tulip. Comes out a hazy golden straw color. There’s a thin head that dissipates rapidly. I pick up a strong sage aroma with some piney notes. The sage comes through on the palate, sharp and distinct. Very effervescent. It’s piney, or perhaps more accurately, rosemary-y. Yes, rosemary, although I don’t think it’s brewed with it. I catch a little bit of chew on the finish with a residual aftertaste. (Not chew as in tobacco, chew as in chewy.) There’s some funk at the end as well. Makes me wonder how it would develop with time. This beer doesn’t disappoint--far from it-- but it’s not the repeat of the transcendent experience I was hoping for.

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Photo of jpro
3.78/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750mL bomber from CBX... poured into a fancy new Mikkeller glass! Thanks baby -

A: Bright, orange gold and hazy; a thin, one-finger, white head recedes to a patchy layer of foam, leaving no lace; a steady stream of tiny bubbles rush to the surface, though.

S: Wheat; lemon zest; dry grassy notes; a bit tart; leafy.

T: Cracker malt; musty hay notes; white pepper; a touch of clove and some savory (sage?) notes on the finish; some bitter, vegetal hop notes on the end, too.

M: Light-bodied; high carbonation; very zingy and crisp; a bit of a dry bitter on the finish.

O/D: A pretty crisp, drinkable farmhouse ale; complex in the taste department; kind of refreshing but the savory finish impedes a bit; an interesting brew, for sure - kind of nice with this leftover watermelon...

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Photo of draheim
4.03/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750mL bottle poured into a Hennepin glass. Hazy straw color with a thick bright white 3-finger head. Vigorous carbonation sustains a thin layer of foam.

Aroma is Belgian yeast and some peppery spice and light citrus notes. As it warms I pick up some sage - although I can't honestly say I could have identified it if I hadn't read it on the label.

Taste is light and crisp with a dry clean finish. This is a classic saison. Water also seems to be a key ingredient with this one.

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Photo of fo5s
4.42/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750mL bottle poured into a sam adams glass. The cap popped off quite loud, but thankfully this wasn't a gusher.

A- as expected, pours with a massive, loose head. Light golden, cloudy.

S- woah, very funky, spicy, the right amount of grassiness and a touch of acidity - perhaps a hint of lemon? (after reading the label I realize it's tangerine from the citra hops)

T- spicy up front which quickly fades to a citrus sweetness. Grassy and funky on the back end. A ton of depth in this one.

M- Lively. Just the right amount of body. Easy drinking.

O- This is a top notch saison - very deep and complex, but also quite refreshing. Stillwater may be the new kid on the block, but they know what they're doing. I'm glad I picked this one up, but it won't be an everyday drinker for me.

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Photo of Digimaika2
4.05/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A: Pours a hazy peach colour with a tall three finger foam head that's a stark white colour and noticeably consists of micro-bubbles. Good retention and good lacing.

S: Alot of earthy spice (sage, cloves, corriander) and grains, nutmeg, peaches, apples, pears, honey, and some faint biscuit-like malt (as it warms). Very pleasing to the nose.

T: Similar to smell with a real welcoming earthy spice taste upfront (including some pepper) coupled with some orchard fruits (apples & pears). Well balanced between the hops and malts, which directs the focus to the general earthiness of this. Very good clean finish to this.

M: Near perfect with an appropriate carbonation level coupled with a satisfying oily and slightly-thick (for the ABV) texture.

O: Very happy I picked this one up, and would recommend it to anyone into the Farmhouse style. A nicely balanced, crisp, fresh Farmhouse Ale with a fantastic clean finish.

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

Much thanks to beandip for this extra in a recent trade. Poured into a wide-top weizen glass.

Pours luminescent honey-gold topped with a finger of pure white head that seemingly lasts forever as a beautiful and vigorous column of bubbles rises to replenish it from the bottom of the glass.

Dry cracked wheat and barley malt are the class act of the nose, with additional elements of light cactus-type sweet fruit notes and a touch of yeast. There are traces of hops and a earthy spice that I assume is sage as well.

From the get-go this isn't a normal grain/yeast driven farmhouse ale. Instead there is a poised balance of sweet and subtle floral and fruity notes and grounded wheat and barley malts. The flavor begins with a clear lightly rich hop flavor that provides a little bitter kick. This bitterness gives way to slightly harsher spice notes (sage and slight phenolic yeast flavors) and all is wrapped up with a wash of toasty grains that blends the aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is light and fluffy but in no way thin or watery. The carbonation isn't as aggressive as I expected, which I appreciate.

Conclusion: This saison won't hurt you with alcohol bite or yeast twang, but it isn't a domesticated example of this varied style either. I like the textured flavors and balance of old-world style with hops and spices. Certainly worth you while and your money if you have any interest in this style of ale.

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Photo of Pencible
4.32/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: This poured a cloudy gold with tons of fluffy white head.
S: It smelled spicy and earthy with some tart and funk. Apricot and lemon and grass, with a bit of clove and oak and wild honey and rye.
T: It tasted like tons of spices and herbs and earthy zest and tartness, with some fresh oak and rye and clove and wild honey. It had a super clean and spicy aftertaste that was very smooth.
M: It was watery and slick with lots of natural carbonation. Nice and bubbly yet slick.
D: This was one of the better saisons I've had, with super complex, delicate and delicious scent and taste. Nice body for the style, and low alcohol, so quite easy to drink but should be sipped to savor. Not for aging. Highly recommended.

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Photo of Bendurgin
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a tulip. Pours a clear golden straw color with four fingers of fluffy white retaining head. It settles a bit with sticky lace.

A little bit of a funky aroma to start. A bit of lemon in the background with some pepper but this smells like a barnyard for the most part. Buttery flavor with some toasty grains and lemon on the pallet. It finishes with just a little bit of a lemon zing and good funky flavor.

The feel is light with good carbonation. Seems to be somewhat coating on the pallet though. Overall I'd say this one hits the spot for what I look for in a saison. Very well done.

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Photo of Sam21
3.67/5  rDev -9.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

750ml bottle purchased for ~$8. No best by or bottled on date. Poured into tulip.

Appearance – The first pour yields a bright golden orange body with great clarity. The second pour is significantly hazy with a fluffy white head filled with large soda bubbles. No noticeable lacing.

Smell – Spices up front, which was surprising, as I did not know this was brewed with white sage. Nice dry spice note, citrus fruit, sweet malt, with a dry chalky yeast aroma. It leans towards the spicy side.

Taste – Sage up front with a subtle malt sweetness behind filling in behind. The citra hops add a bright lemony acidity that is present but elusive at times behind the spices. The yeast enhances the sage adding hints of clove and a great dry finish.

Mouthfeel – Light bodied with full mouth filling carbonation. As soon as this beer hits your tongue, the carbonation opens up and fills your mouth. Really lively.

Drinkability – The spice note mingles so nicely with the lemony citra hop note. It adds such a unique edge to this beer that keeps your interest throughout. I wish there was more behind the spice, but the dry finish combined with everything else in the flavor is enough to pull me back in.

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Photo of Metalmonk
4.07/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Without even trying, the head is, oh, about a hand thick (five fingers)...so there's clearly a whole lotta gas buildup in this bottle. Once it chills out, the head remains big and fluffy and blinding white, much like another "heady" beer, Duvel. Color is a hazy sunny yellow color.

Cellar Door is intensely fragrant. The sage is clearly showing, but not cloying, with more flowery, spicy, and herbal elements making up the very bright aroma. Slightly funky, with an earthy mineral component that lends itself well to everything else going on here.

Taste is almost as inviting as the aroma (kinda like coffee does, right?). While the aroma was all "saison," the taste blends that style with elements of those super-refreshing Berliner Weissbiers. It's crisp in both flavor and feel, with sage, white pepper, cracked wheat and lemon flavors dancing nicely on top of a bubbly, bright, light and appropriately buoyant body.

A very enjoyable quaff. Super solid and super quality in every aspect. This is my first Stillwater beer, and I'm now officially anxious to try more.

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Photo of dcloeren
4.28/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Split with JayAre46, thanks for sharing broseph.

Poured a hazy light honey color with 3 fingers of fizzy white head. Slowly receded into a semi thin ring.

The smell of this beer is very interesting. Getting alot of barnyard funk, citrus notes and mint like qualities. I can only assume that this is from the white sage that they used... smells delicious and refreshing

Taste follows the nose but holy shit this is a clean and crisp beer.

Mouthfeel is light in body and extremely carbonated. It feels like thousands of needles stabbing your tongue with each sip. Very clean and dry finish

Overall, this is a cash money Saison. Wish it was available here because I would crush this on the reg all summer long.

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Photo of yeahnatenelson
4.15/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Warning -- this one definitely gushed on me.

Appearance -- Pours a hazed honey amber hue with a giant tuft of frothy white head - quite a gusher. Not bad at all.

Smell -- Somewhat yeasty and with a great deal of spicy fermentation character. Sage and…peppermint also show themselves. Malt character is sweet overall with akin to clover honey and tropical fruits. Very unique.

Taste -- Lots of fermentation character present: spice and phenolic fruitiness abound. Citrus peel, sage, peppermint, and clover honey are also present. The malt sweetness has a tropical fruit bent: lychee, starfruit, and various other mild-tasting, soft-fleshed fruits. Good complexity, and no flavor component clashes with any other.

Mouthfeel -- Medium-bodied with mild fluffy carbonation. The gush took the life out of the carbonation, but was still pleasant enough.

Overall -- Of the few Stillwater releases I've had, this has been my favorite. Nice complexity and a certain je ne sais quasi that kept me coming back to dissect the layers of subtle flavors. I'm not much of a saisonophile, but this one kept me interested. A must-try saison, right up with Dupont.

This was intended to be a gift for a friend until it started gushing in the back of my car on the way home. Truthfully, I'm glad I had this all to myself.

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

Sampled July 2011
A steady pour into my large Tripel Karmeliet tulip produces a prodigious, four-finger thick, pale head that forms an interesting, varied head as it slowly subsides as well as leaving lots of lacing on the sides of my glass. The beer is a hazy, honey-amber color that shows a deeply hazed, orange, straw color when held up to the light. The aroma has an earthy back note of Dupont-yeast like spiciness and I think the sage comes in here as well. Up front the beer has a citrus character as well as a fruity, almost tropical fruit character that perhaps reminds me a bit of juicy fruit bubblegum character; it is interesting that the hop fruit character really melds with the rustic spiciness and it transforms the hop character to be something completely different than one would find in a cleaner IPA. Specific aromatic notes of Meyer Lemon, lychee, candied lime, woody sage, a musty woodiness, a touch of phenolics that isn’t quite medicinal or plastic like. I like the juicy hop character here, it really works with the hint of sage and rustic yeast aromatics.

The beer is quite dry tasting, and nicely light bodied; the body still has a touch of viscous character, just enough to keep this from being watery. There is quite a bit of zippy carbonation, though it is not on the high side for a Saison. The beer has quite a bit of up front hoppiness that has flavors of lychee, super ripe tangelo, Meyer Lemon, and Curacao orange zest. This up front character is not quite dominant, there is a strong, woody sage note and a touch of bitterness in the finish, and a deep earthy spiciness and yeast phenolic character towards the finish. The sage is actually perhaps the most dominant character in the flavor, but it couples quite prominently with a spicy, peppery fermentation character. The finish really has a sharpness and bite to it, this seems to be a combination of the hop character, the sage and the fermentation character. The hops and fermentation spiciness combine to form a sort of Japanese, pickled ginger character, as well as a spicy herbal character. There is an earthy, yeast character here that seems to suggest that quite a bit of the haze in this beer is due to yeast (I really didn’t give this any time to settle), but this is certainly not a bad thing and adds to the rusticity.

This is quite a nice Saison, it is certainly a bit rough around the edges, but that just adds to the character. The balance towards rough is caused by the ample hop character that I am quite enjoying, so I definitely wouldn’t want the hops to be reduced in order to make this softer / rounder. This is definitely my type of “Americanized” Saison.

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Photo of JLeege
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a weizen glass

Appearance- Clear golden color with a large, stubborn fluffy white head. Tons of active carbonation, probably the most I have ever seen. Good lacing left behind. This beer just looks phenomenal.

Smell- Lemon, fresh cut grass, semi musty dank cellar, the sage as stated on the bottle is very present, a hint of wheat.

Taste- Starts out fairly wheaty, more than the aroma would suggest. Leading into slightly bready notes and some lemon. There are some other jumbled citrus flavors in the middle of the drink too, pineapple stands out a bit. Somewhat grassy towards the finish, with big notes of sage. Finishes with citrus and sage on the tongue.

Mouthfeel- Medium light body, with high carbonation. Not quite as crisp as some of the top notch saisons.

Overall- Honestly, I am not crazy about this one. If the sage was turned down a bit I would like this better, and I generally enjoy off the wall spices in my beers. Probably won’t get this again, but will definitely continue to explore Stillwater; any brewer that specializes in saisons is fine by me.

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Photo of EgadBananas
3.98/5  rDev -2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Big thanks to Gushue3 for the psychic want!

Pours an opaque, hazy medium orange color. A plethora of carbonation bubbles all around the glass stream to the top, forming a bright white head full of tight bubbles. Aroma is very bready, with notes of citrus and light yeast funk. Slight bready sweetness balances things out. Taste has a lot of yeasty, earthy spice notes, nice backing citrus and bready malt/wheat sweetness. Carbonation is a bit too effervescent and stingy. Light body is good though.

Hybrids are great, and this is very nice one. Very glad to have the chance to try it.

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Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,190 ratings.
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