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 WhiteOak
3.75/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Hazy, deep straw yellow color with a white head.

S- Had I been blinded on this, I would have mistaken it, (based upon smell alone) for a Gewurtztraminer or possibly a Tokay! Quite a surprising aroma.

T- Flavors of clover honey, rich caramel, malt, and citric hops. The finish is bitter, herbaceous, and hoppy.

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

This review is for the tap version and is from notes. Tasted 6/4/11 at TND Stillwater event.

Light orange color with decent white, foamy head that eventually turns into a film on top. Smell is powerfully full of belgian spices and with some citrus. Taste is has a strong herbal presence with spices and some pop from something that tastes reminiscent of green peppers, strangely. Also, some more citrus there. Very dry. Incredibly light bodied. I really enjoy this one on tap and in the bottle, though the tap version seems to offer more distinct flavors that set it apart and just above the bottle.

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

Hazy straw out of the bottle, in the glass an opaque light amber with billowing white head. Slowly settles to a half inch. Clumps of lace left behind. Smell: wheat, hay, spicy, citrus rind. Herbal. Taste: bready with a light sweetness, grainy, peppery and herbal. A little grapefruit, lemon (more in the burp). Mouthfeel: medium bodied by way of very active carbonation. The high carbonation became a little much after a while. I think I like pairing saisons with sage-heavy dishes more than sage in the saison. Nice though.

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

First had: on tap at the Belgian Café, Philly, PA

Poured into a pilsner glass a golden yellow, cloudy, with a finger of white head that receded quickly but left some nice lace. Very floral aroma with lots of spice: sage and pepper. Spicy taste! Very peppery with perfumy floral and herbal notes, and subtle citrus adding a bitter quality. Finishes crisp and dry, sweet with sugar and rose petals. Light mouthfeel, very crisp, and quite drinkable.

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Photo of vfgccp
4.58/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A – Pours an opaque sunset gold. Beautiful fluffy white head with great lace.

S – Soft, smooth, and complex. Fresh sage, mint, hay. Mild sweetness, like rock candy held a foot or two from your nose. Soft caramel, lavender and lemon.

T – Soft and incredibly well integrated. Opens with a beautiful smooth bouquet of sage and white tea leaves. A kiss of lemon zest brings forward a floral center with lavender, light honey, and pollen. The backend picks up on the floral notes and ebbs them gently to an earthier side with dandelion and apricot.

M – Medium body with great carbonation. Soft texture. Lightly dry finish.

O – Brilliant. One of the best saisons I’ve ever had.

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Photo of jgagne
3.68/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Nice light murky orange with large white head. Very nice

S-Very hoppy citrus smell. Definetly very prominent smell

T-At first i really enjoy this beer. Very spicy and tasty but then the follow through falls a little short for me. It ends slightly flat, was hopping for a nice sweet finish but instead you get the opposite. Not a really complex beer

M-Nice spice with medium body and high carbonation

O- Good beer with good possibility but just fell a little short for me, but could see why other BA's would enjoy.

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Photo of Jwale73
3.71/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served at 53 degrees in my CL tulip. No bottle dating evident. Been waiting to try something from this brewery for quite a while. Pours a semi-hazy honey-gold with a rocky, three inch bright white head that sizzles and pops as it slowly recedes into a solid quarter inch cap embedded with tiny pinpricks. Some lacing, but no legs. Nose is herbal and grassy - sage presents up front followed by citrus and a trace of cut grass. All and all, fairly clean for a Farmhouse. Taste follows nose; however, citrus comes out initially, with the sage expressing itself more towards the finish. Something else is also happening towards the middle. I get a trace of sweetness (perhaps candi sugar?), in addition to the grassy quality. The mouthfeel on this somewhat kills it for me. Carbonation is extremely gassy. Body is light-medium and there's a definite prickliness that is partially attributable to the carbonation, as well as the citrus acidity. Finish is semi-dry. A quality and complex domestic Saison; however, the carbonation is way too assertive and really detracts from the taste. If the carbonation was more under control, I'd probably score this in the high B+ to low A- range.

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Photo of tlazaroff
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Nice bright straw coloring with a cloud-like white head and lots of carbonation bubbles.

S: Has an excellent herbal/spice character to the nose. Peppery, and funky at the same time.

T: Very herbal, it is quite a spice-heavy beer and isn't afraid of it. I get some slight fruit notes too, like apple and pear. Alcohol you can taste, but it isn't the pain presence.

M: High carbonation and light body.

D: Moderate, it's a nice beer that is well balanced.

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Photo of Rhettroactive
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From 750mL bottle to Boulevard tasting glass on 5/7/11
Sampled at the 1st NoVA BA Tasting Extravaganza
*From notes

A: Gorgeous sunset yellow. A bit of a fizzy head leads to minor lacing.

S: Packed with layer upon layer of complex sage, faint hops, mild malt and funky yeast. Spectacular.

T: Extremely pleasing - it hits you with the sage right away, and it lingers through to the finish. I'm not a big saison fan, though this takes everything I'd previously known and throws it out the window. An immensely tasty brew.

M: It's light, yet it has enough weight to hold all that's going on. The carbonation is really soft yet bubbly.

O: Stillwater's Cellar Door is one of the best saison's I've consumed. It's jam packed with flavorful and perfectly balanced nuances that will bring me back to it again and again. This is a big league beer - seek it out and enjoy.

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

Had on-tap at the Library Alehouse SM and blew a Hamilton on it.
This one stands out in their "artisanal" saison line-up. It's made with wheat and pale malts which give it a distinct backbone. There is noticeable citra hops aroma and good tangy flavor, with added spice from sage. The finish is wonderful- a mix of sweet and spicy with clove, pepper, and ripe citrus fruit. Good, lingering, frothy white head.
I recommend trying this one if you have the chance, even with a high price tag. It's flavors are both appealing and sophisticated. A good place to start to try Stillwater. 25 oz bottles may be more reasonably priced if you find them.

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Photo of Beer4Baltimore
4.45/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

- from the notes
oversized bomber bottle
A - hazy, murky golden ale topped with a giant foamy head.
S - earthy spices.
T - spicy sweetness with earthy tones.
M - thick but with very good carbonation.
D - oversized for a reason.
Will be looking for more.

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

750ml bottle.

Pours clear gold with a half inch head of white froth. A solid skim coat remained for the duration along with some smeary lacing.

Aromatics lead off with husky wheat and spices. Sage with hints of Rosemary and lemon zest follow through. Plenty of clovey phenols and Belgian essence here as well.

Light bodied with a snappy, crackling mouthfeel. Carbonation light for a Saison.

Earthy sage, cracked pepper, rosemary and a hint of corainder start the palate. Some biscuity malt runs underneath but this beer is all about the spice.

Finishes with lingering sage, cloves, and cracked pepper.

Heavy on the spice, this one is. It would probably pair well with a Thanksgiving turkey but it's a bit much to drink a whole bottle of.

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Photo of cosmicevan
4.8/5  rDev +18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Shared with my bro-in-law.

a - Poured into capt lawrence taster tulip. Nice golden yellow with a huge bubbly head. Carbonation was big and steady and lasted the entire bottle. The beer is murky and ominous.

s - Great citric notes, banana, clove, all the usual suspected. Earthy and grassy, nice spiciness from the sage.

t - Flavor follows the nose. The sage really gives this beer a nice vanilla soft spicy kick. Candied sugar a bit...coriander in there as well.

m - Carbonation is great. Very cooling. Perfect for this weather.

o - Overall, one of the best saisons I've ever had. My first taste of this brew was at a beer festival where beers were judged and rated...and this one got first place and was the clear standout. It was the battle of the belgians and this beer was the standout side-by-side with the classics. Keep an eye on stillwater...one of the best brewers out there. Unique and original and tasty beyond. This is one of my fav brews.

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Photo of beermanbrian
4.22/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle picked up in Virginia.

Clear golden yellow color. No head but a steady flow of carbonation keeps a wispy trace of fine bubbles at the surface.

Touch of spice on the nose but nothing overpowering. Traditional saison smell with no funk or craziness going on. Spices kick in more strongly on the tongue. Solid wheat backbone yields a solid body. Combined with the heavy carb this one is lively in the mouth. Almost a champagne mouthfeel that seems appropriate coming from the large bottle.

Nice beer for spring and steal change from what I've bee drinking lately. Haven't seen this one close tomhome but wouldn't hesitate to pick it up again.

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

APPEARANCE: Pours a smokey shade of dark straw. Thick, foamy head of pure white. Lines of carbonation stream up the glass' sides. Substantial, sticky lacing.

SMELL: Lots of earthy spices mixed with honey tones. Almost smells like a graham cracker. I pick up a touch citrus from it as well.

MOUTHFEEL: Crisp and dry! Carbonation makes it very prickly. Though it's not a high ABV beer, the alcohol comes through and gives this saison a fair amount of warmth.

TASTE: The first sip fills the mouth with a deep spiciness; I'm thinking sage and coriander. There's a nice balance of malts and hops. The finish leaves a the taste of white pepper in your mouth. It's dry enough to pucker the tongue a bit.

DRINKABILITY: This is a great beer to drink in about 8 to 12 ounce doses. It's not meant to be consumed in multiple pints (although, there could be worse things in life...). I find this to be generally true of most complex beers like this one. This is a sipping, savoring brew, not a swilling brew.

VERDICT: This is a very delicate, complex saison and I'd love to see how this beer pairs with food. Perhaps halibut, shellfish, or even lightly-spiced chicken.

John Harvey

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Photo of rapidsequence
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

750 ml bottle. $10.99 from Ned's.

Appearance: Hazy yellow with a thick, tight, white head. Chunks of foamy lace stick to the glass. Something about this beer is very inviting.

Smell: Very lemony with lots of spicy phenolics. There is also sweet citrus, and light fruits. Dry yeast aroma.

Taste: Much like the smell. Snappy lemon flavor with lots of spice, tending toward the peppery side. Slight sweetness from the malt is balanced by a carefully measured hoppy bitterness. Good citrus and slightly grassy hops flavor. Dry, lemony finish.

Mouthfeel: Big and soft in the mouth (lots of wheat in this one), but still finishes very dry, crisp, refreshing.

Overall: This is a great saison. Definitely be picking up some more. I'm impressed by this brewery. Nice packaging too.

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.85/5  rDev -5.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Slightly hazy deep golden bordering on light copper. Big fluffy white head with a rush of bubbles to the surface.

S - Yeasty esters, sage, light pepper, spicy and fruity hops wit ha graham cracker malt.

T - Pepper mixed with sage. The sage is more noticeable in taste than aroma, especially as it warms up. Wheat and pale malt with light yeast esters. Tangerine from the hops.

M - Highly carbonated with a medium body and dry finish.

D - Didn't notice the sage on first sniff so I checked the spice cabinet to see if white sage was any different than the sage in the spice rack. Next sniff was overpowering sage that never really went away. Interesting beer but and I really like the herb idea in a saison but I was sick of sage by the end of the beer.

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Photo of hwwty4
4.38/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Super happy to see Stillwater beers at my local bottle shop. Their Saison is one of my favorites and was stoked to see a Stillwater saison that I hadn’t had the opportunity to try before.

Poured a capped 750ml into my New Belgium globe. This beer pours a super hazy almost white yellow with a big massive 4-inch cap that leaves heavy lacing down the sides of the glass. The aroma has as nice herbal aroma up front. While I cant particularly taste sage, it reminds me of almost a basil/rosemary blend. A nice wheat tang follows with a earthy mustiness. At the very tail end of the aroma comes a nice floral pick me up. The flavor is much the same. The mustiness is a bit more prevalent then in the aroma. Nice herbal flavor but not overpower like it is in several beers. The sage is balanced with a nice floral hopping. A bit of wet grass and just a bit of aspirin. Really tasty. In my opinion, the mouthfeel of a saison is what makes or breaks the beer. You can have a saison that tastes great but finishes sweet and full and it just falls completely flat. This gets it right. It finishes nice and dry, leaving you tongue feeling like you just sucked on a piece of sandpaper. Overall, this is a fantastic saison. Glad to have another fantastic saison available in the state.

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Photo of larryi86
4.08/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

750 mL bottle poured into a tulip

A- A hazy straw yellow with a hint of orange and a huge white head.

S- Earthy hops, spices, lemon zest, flowers, yeast, hint of malts.

T- Yeast and malts stand out right away, nice hint of lemons, spices, and just enough hops in the finish.

M- Medium body, smooth, had a nice slightly numbing feeling with the roof of my mouth.

O- A nice beer and very enjoyable. Some flavors seem to clash some, but not too much, nice complexity. I will definitely pick this up again.

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Photo of Chaney
3.86/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on tap over at Bilbo Baggins in Old Town Alexandria.

A: Beautiful, mildly hazy straw yellow color, with substantial carbonation (visually) and a ridiculous, over-the-top solid white head that almost spilled over the side of the glass. The lacing was substantial.

S: Spice bomb! The coriander content covered up the farmhouse funk, but the luscious wheat-like undertow damn near saved it.

T: Not too sweet, which I appreciated. Someone can say what they want, but this one is not boring in any way. The spices almost bruised the tongue.

M: This is one of the first saisons in recent memory that I can recall actually tasting a bit of booze. The carbonation wasn't nearly a prickly as I was expecting.

O: Judging by previous reviews, I obviously didn't like this one as much as many others on BA. However, I understand why they did and I respect that. As for me, the intense spices covered up the farmhouse element too much for my taste.

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Photo of lnashsig
4.62/5  rDev +13.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Many thanks to finewinemike for the chance to taste this Saison. Definitely one of my favorite style beers, and I'm eager to try this one. Poured into my Duvel tulip, pours a cloudy golden color, with a rush of frothy white cloudlike foam to the top of the glass. The foam takes awhile to dissipate, and crackles down to leave a thin foam top on the beer. Awesome visual so far. Smell- lemon zest, cracked pepper, a tart fruit scent, with some really nice bready farmhouse flavors. Intense flavors. Taste- sweet bread, lemon, clove, pepper (faint), coriander. Very true to the style, love this beer. Mouthfeel- awesome carbonation, and highly drinkable. This is one of the better saisons I have had, very impressive.

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Photo of zoso1967
4.1/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Enjoyed with TCGoalie on KBS day 2011

Cellar door pours a slightly hazy golden color with a nice fluffy head that has good retention and leaves nice lace. This beer looks just like I would expect a fine saison to look.

The aroma is slightly lemony and sweet with aromas akin to a peach orchard. There is also a good amount of floral, herbal and spicy aromas with plenty of peppery character.

The flavor is even more herbal and spicy. Sage is indeed present with a good amount of dryness that is a nice foil to the fruity citrus and orchard malt character. Some wheat like malt flavor is also noticeable.

The mouthfeel is medium with a fairly vigorous amount of carbonation. While not the smoothest beer I have ever had, the carbonation makes it quite refreshing. The finish is dry with plenty of herbs and spice.

This is a great American made saison that was a bit more herbal and spicy than I would necessarily like, but it was still very enjoyable. I bet that the carbonation level and dry spicy nature would make this an amazing beer to pair with all sorts of cheese.

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Photo of boston2bburg
4.3/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Poors hazy, but bright yellow, white fizzy head with good retention.

Herbal sage and fake wax teeth aroma dominates. Nose-clearing clove with light lemongrass and tangerine. Very fresh and bright, and a quick fix for spring fever while I watch spring training baseball.

Crisp and dry as can be, with fresh grass, sage, lemon and orange rind. Malt provides just enough foundation for the hop and herb flavoring. The brewer has accomplished all that he has outlined on the label as far as a cleansing beer.

Mouthfeel is immaculate for a saison/farmhouse ale. Dry and crisp, works wonderfully with the herbs and hop varieties. Just the slightest bit of sweetness to provide foundation for the herbs.

Definitely pick this up. I love the mindset of this brewery and will be looking for more in the future!

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

750ml bottle poured into a snifter.

A: Hazy yellowish-orange body with a pretty nice head.

S: Perfume notes and oranges.

T: Intensely floral and perfumey. Lots of citrus. Some bready malt.

M: Light-bodied, creamy, bubbly.

D: I'm generally not a fan of American saisons since they tend to overuse the exotic spices and make me feel like I'm drinking perfume. This one is pretty decent, though.

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

Pours a hazy golden yellow with vigorous bubbles rushing to the surface. The stark, white head lingers with satisfaction. Wall lacing lingers on the sides, very nice.

Smells of lemon, dust, funk, and fresh blossoms.

Fresh citrus blends with funky yeasts and gentle malts. The balance is very nice between yeast, citrust, and mild sage. The taste is very swell.

There is plenty of carbonation with a good, crisp, profile. A Pleasant drying finish crowns this brew.

Overall, this is a very solid beer. I enjoy the combo of sage and saison. The blend is very nice.

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