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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Ratings: 1,216 |  Reviews: 348
Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of nataku00
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a tulip glass. Beer pours a slightly hazy yellow with two fingers of soapy loose white head that quickly dissipates to a thin collar. Very effervescent, carbonation streaming quickly from the bottom of the glass.

Nose herbal and floral, with some pepper and coriander spice, lemon peel, light biscuit sweetness, and some light fruity esters.

Taking a sip, herbal and grassy flavors with coriander hit the tongue first, then warming to light peppery and lemon peel flavors. Not much malt sweetness on the taste, very dry finish with lingering herbal flavors.

Light body and well carbonated, scrubs the tongue clean without being aggressive. A solid saison.

 680 characters

Photo of match1112
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a: hazy straw colored body with a toweringrocky head that lasts a good ten minutes.

s: wheat, citrus, yeast and a little spice with a touch of grass.

t: at first sip it's a nice wheat beer then you are hit with the yeast and spice. a nice punch of citrus hops puckers your mouth right before the long dry finish.

m: feels light and crisp because of the carbonation, but actually has a slightly fuller body to it. long dry finish to it.

o: very pleased with this beer, solid example of a farmhouse ale.

 505 characters

Photo of brotherloco
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of mdterps
3.25/5  rDev -20%

Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Hazy golden orange with finger of frothy white head. Fades medium-slow.

S - Sweet grainy malt, Belgian yeast, lemon zest, spices, sage, light funk, and some citrus hops.

T - Sweet caramel and grainy malts, citrus hops, some bitterness, Belgian yeast, coriander, sage, touch floral hops.

M - Medium bodied moderate-plus carbonation. Smooth with a dry, spicy, and citrus finish.

D - Good overall balance between hops, spices, and yeast character.

 452 characters

Photo of rvajohn
3.25/5  rDev -20%

Photo of dt_gbpackersfan
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of AdamP
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Kendo
4.27/5  rDev +5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured from the bomber into a Stella Artois glass on Thanksgiving Day 2012. Body is hazy golden with a big (2-finger) white head that retains well.

S: Wow - this is a very nice nose. I get the lemony Citra hops paired with a Belgian-type earthiness. It's both clean and slightly funky at the same time. A nice trick to pull off.

T: Not quite as exciting, taste wise, though it's really good stuff. Slight wheat tang, some earthiness, a hint of spice and then a clean lemony finish. Overall impression of "lightness," which I'm hoping will pair well with dinner - in this case, a heavy feast that could benefit from a lighter beer that won't weigh me down.

M: NIce palate-cleansing fizzy carbonation that reminds me of the better Belgians. Body is light-to-medium in heft, but drinks on the lighter side.

O: Good stuff. Really good stuff.

 845 characters

Photo of djrn2
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of fmccormi
4.39/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Straight pour from 750ml pry-off bottle to a 25cl Duvel Single tulip; no freshness or bottling date present, but I picked this up basically as soon as it was distributed to my area of upstate NY a few weeks ago so I’m assuming this is as fresh as I can, well, reasonably assume.

Appearance (3.5): Bit of a foam show here, not gushing but active enough that it immediately pours a solid five fingers of head that takes its sweet time dying down. Good-looking head, though: fat, crackling bubbles coat all sides of the glass, and the middle of the cap is finer-grained but diminishes nonetheless. The body is basically perfect, a cloudy orange-amber that looks like some variety of orange juice (but not THAT opaque). Not a ton of retention or lacing, very modest on both counts—just some patches of bubbles here and there on the sides of the glass as the head recedes.

Smell (4.5): Sage, obviously, might be the most clear aroma here but it’s not overpowering and it pairs nicely with a mildly spicy, musty grain malt body which in my mind suits the style perfectly—some wet hay that’s drying out. There’s also just a bit of a sweet citrus character underneath, like candied oranges and passionfruit. The spice comes across as some very modest white pepper and somewhat more clove. Again, great for the style.

Taste (4.5): Unbelievably drinkable and balanced, with a ton of flavor here: the citrus (hiya, Citra hops) is bright and lightly tart but still sweet, and sits perfectly on top of the malt body and spicy yeast component. The sage is evident from the beginning, but at no point does it feel unbalanced. Then the malt comes across as somewhat tart at first, thanks to a good dose of light, crisp wheat, but it softens and smooths into this citrusy hop punch (a soft one, but a punch nonetheless) before the spices wash over the palate: following the nose, sage is in the lead followed by clove and white pepper. There’s maybe a bit of apple juice coming from the yeast character too, but this beer is dominated by the wheat malt, sage spicing, and Citra hopping. Finishes with a nice, moderate bitterness that's all grassiness. No alcohol detected.

Mouthfeel(4.0): Following the pour, this beer’s feel is very lively: coarse, tingly bubbles coat your mouth and harass your tongue, before foaming quickly and voluminously. The body comes off as lighter than medium-bodied and finishes dry, with an oily hops component.

Overall (4.5): This is one of my favorite beers, and with good reason. The flavor and aroma of the beer are both so balanced and have so much going on, without being confounding in any way: the sage feels like such a perfect fit with the saison yeast, as do the Citra hops, but on different ends of the spectrum (sage complementing the spicy esters and the Citra complementing the fruity esters of the yeast, respectively). That’s my feeling, anyway. What’s also great about this is that it’s a top-notch saison that would be a great introduction the style for those unfamiliar. This beer is fantastic, I highly recommend it, and will absolutely be seeking it out in the future.

 3,135 characters

Photo of dsauter
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Gerasimos
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

Photo of Grocerystowe
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Photo of cde1218
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of SocalKicks
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of Envelopes
3.5/5  rDev -13.8%

Photo of BeerNDoggerel
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Photo of WillCarrera
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

22 oz bomber, no bottled-on date, poured into a tulip glass.

A- Pours a slightly hazy golden color, topped with a thick white head, decent retention and some spotty lacing.

S- Lots of spice, herbs and pepper. Belgian yeast and sage are very prominent. Hops are minimal and malt is light and slightly sweet.

T- Sweet wheaty malt and apple/pear fruitiness. Lots of spice, white pepper, sage and Belgian yeast. This is alright but it's a bit one-dimensional and the sage gets to be too much pretty quickly.

M- Medium-bodied, high carbonation, smooth and prickly feel, dry finish.

O- A solid saison, the use of sage is interesting but it loses some points on drinkability, anything past 6-7 oz becomes difficult to drink because the sage and spice become very overpowering, as is all too often the case, there's no reason for this to be in a bomber.

 850 characters

Photo of bauermj
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of ncaudle
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Photo of NickRowe
1/5  rDev -75.4%

Photo of muskiesman
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%

Photo of Guden
4.09/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a beautifully clear golden cider color with violent carbonation action in the glass propping up a dense head of large white foam that fades slowly. Leaves thick lacing as I drink it.

S- Fresh hay, fresh cut grass, pears, light herbs and a bit of lemon peel.

T- More herbal and less light on the earthy hay characters than the smell. The start is grainy bread with the middle and end being a mix of candy and smooth mild bitterness. As it warms some cherry pie funk creeps into the picture along with a stronger sense of the lemon peel and hay. Very summery.

M- Lots of bubbly carbonation and a slightly creamy but very dry body.

D- This was quite an enjoyable beer. As it warmed it seemed to express more and more flavors and it looks beautiful from start to finish.

 779 characters

Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,216 ratings.
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