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Cellar Door | Stillwater Artisanal Ales

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Cellar DoorCellar Door
1,226 Ratings
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: 1,226 |  Reviews: 350
Photo of warrenout330
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of Immortale25
4.07/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured into a snifter. No freshness date.

A- Pours a hazy dark gold color with a 3/4 inch head that soon fizzles away to a paper-thin ring around the edge of the glass and small traces of surface foam. Slippery lacing adheres to the glass for only a short time.

S- Clean, yet mildly funky aroma that's rich and full of yeast richness and spiciness. Slightly effervescent but more sweet and citrusy than anything.

T- Packs a nice punch of saison yeast and hop bite. Alcohol is pretty noticeable but the fruity sweetness counteracts well. The yeast brings about a tartness that's mild and enjoyable. Notes of peach, mango and lemon. A bit soapy.

M- Very active from the high carbonation with a bigger sting from the hops and, possibly, alcohol than expected. The wheat malt provides a relatively substantial body. Gets chalkier and chalkier as the bottle empties.

O- A bit more hop and alcohol presence than I'm used to in a Saison, but it works out well in the end.

 969 characters

Photo of brewtus
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of spycow
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of ManLoveBeer
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of freduardo
3.75/5  rDev -6.7%

Photo of cowboy83
4.5/5  rDev +11.9%

Photo of xnicknj
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of barczar
3.97/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a fairly hazy golden color with a thin, foamy half inch ivory head that dissipates rather quickly, leaving spotty lacing.

The aroma begins earthy and minerally, with the sweetness of confectioners sugar, soft fruit, and must adding intrigue. It's fairly perfumey. Apricot emerges as it warms.

Flavor is more bold, with pear and a wine-like background matching up with hints of lime, mangoes, and grainy malt. The finish is slightly dry and bready.

Body is moderate, with spritzy carbonation that helps lighten the mouthfeel.

Overall, a nice change of pace from the stouts and winter brews associated with the season.

 626 characters

Photo of BEERchitect
4.3/5  rDev +7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The spirit of summer comes alive in Stillwater's "Cellar Door". The brewery exclaims the term as an elegant term, but does the flavor reflect that? ...and why does that Poison song come to mind every time I read the beer's name? "...lock the cellar door, and baby- talk dirty to me"

The pour comes as a murky gold with orange and ruby highlights. It's firm haze never reveals the beer's lightness, instead portrays a visual weight that hardly allows light to penetrate. But above the murk rises a creamy white head of froth. It's long lasting retention laces with intricate patterns as the beer recedes. It's a beautiful, yet heavy looking ale.

Spicy sweet aromas are highly appetizing with notes of honey, lavender, light clove, paradise seed, mangoes, apricots, white pepper, and earthy cumin. Lightly grassy from the hops involved, the beer allows a high level of tropical notes to emerge that's a little unexpected from the style.

Its delicious taste starts dryly malty with the taste of biscuit, honey, and crackers. But then the layers build- first of spicy white pepper, cumin, and fennel. But then the citrusy onslaught seem tropical at first with mangoes and pineapples, but then morph into rich tangerine marmalade taste that dominates the ester side of the beer thereafter. But the complementing dry spices begin to gain tangents of white wine, apple cider, and mild oak. It's definitely a complex taste that deserves exploration.

Medium bodied, the beer has an irresistible creamy mouthfeel that wraps around the beer's acidity and carries it home. Lightly acidic, mildly tannic, and alcoholically warm; the beer finishes zesty, sharp, and decidedly dry.

This is a wonderful beer that not only suits the taste of summer, but will reward any Belgian ale appreciator year round! And I'm considering regrowing my mullet.

 1,834 characters

Photo of JeffreyJDavis
4/5  rDev -0.5%

Photo of nataku00
4/5  rDev -0.5%
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 +5.7%
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 +5.7%

Photo of mdterps
3.25/5  rDev -19.2%

Photo of ngeunit1
4.2/5  rDev +4.5%
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 -19.2%

Photo of dt_gbpackersfan
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of AdamP
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Kendo
4.27/5  rDev +6.2%
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 -0.5%

Photo of fmccormi
4.39/5  rDev +9.2%
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 +5.7%

Photo of Gerasimos
4.25/5  rDev +5.7%

Photo of Grocerystowe
4.75/5  rDev +18.2%

Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
Beer rating: 4.02 out of 5 with 1,226 ratings
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