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: 341 | Ratings: 1,196
Photo of JamieDuncan
4.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Rolls out with a pillow head that I had to wait while it dissipated, good retention. It had the expected saison smell, with a good bit of spice. The flavor was very nice, the sweet, with maybe a little spiciness, very clean on the finish, outstanding. After being disappointed with my first few tries with Stillwater this one was excellent and will have me giving them more of a chance. Outstanding saison.

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Photo of ChrisWhoDrinksBeer
4/5  rDev -1.5%

Light golden pour, slight white head that quickly faded. Llight scent, sweet and sour. Taste is surprisingly sour, with honey, lemon, and indeed sage, which lingers in the finish. Sour taste is shocking at first but after trying it a bit more I quite like it. The sweetness is nicely balanced with the sour, and the flavor profile is quite interesting. A very drinkable beer and a very tasty one.

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Photo of Tone
4.36/5  rDev +7.4%

Pours a gold color. One inch head of a white color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of pale malt, hint of hops, yeast, hint of pepper, sage, hint of rosemary, hint of sweet malt, and a hint of alcohol. Fits the style of a Saison / Farmhouse Ale. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with a high carbonation level. Tastes of black pepper, sage, yeast, sweet malt, hint of hop, hint of alcohol, and a hint of floral notes. Overall, great appearance, great aroma, great body, great blend, and great complexity.

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

I like my Saisons traditional..yeast, musty aroma/taste, the barnyard aspect. This beer is like a lot of American Saison hybrids that feature citrus and spices over the more traditional flavor.

Pours a clear dark gold color into a pint glass. Hardly any head without a hard pour and then a small, delicately bubbly white head that fades fast. Very light, spotty lacing.

Big aroma and flavor, not the kind I usually expect in a top Saison, but enjoyable all the same. Lemon zest/citrus and spiciness were the main aromas/flavors. What "mustiness" and earthiness that was there was probably the sage spice. I enjoyed it, but would have preferred the Saison profile I am more used to,

Mouthfeel was good. Nicely carbonated with the spices adding some interest. Crisp, sharp feel. On the whole, a pretty enjoyable brew, but an outstanding Saison? I don't think so,

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Photo of smakawhat
4.49/5  rDev +10.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass.

Gorgeous orb glowing bright yellow to orange color, with an opaque shine to it. Roaring column of carbonation in the middle of the glass with a creamy to frothy two finger bone white head. Creamy retention, and nice settling.

Great bouquet on this beer. Huge notes of sage and herbal spices, sweet herbs, and garden florals. Sweet sucrose and some chewy depth seems to hint as well to match for a sweet herbal bakery sensation, with matching candi sugar. Fantastic.

Palate really sings. Deep peppery notes, coming off with a black pepper and chili like menthol blast. Hot brett a bit, with a stinging feel on the tongue and white wine like fruit body and flavors. Juiced peach, pear, and a good wild earth. Dry tickly tongue sensations on each sip, but with also Belgian sweetness to accompany and balance. Contradictory feel in effervescence and cream.

Overall, totally unexpected, unique tasting, and another great saison and pickup from the Stillwater gang. Why have I never found this before?

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Photo of kliner88
4.68/5  rDev +15.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

A: pours a hazy goldenrod with a quickly-dissipating thin white head. leaves fine, pretty ring of lacing, which holds over time. tiny beads of carbonation are visible. maybe slightly clearer than some Saisons.

S: funky, spicy, and grassy. both earthy yeast and light spice dominate initially, much more savory than sweet. malt comes through as the beer warms. slight lemony or citrusy note in the background.

T: very dry Saison. flavor largely mirrors the odor, with musty yeast and horsiness having prominence but not dominating. enough malt base to balance the spice without rendering the drink too sweet, a problem i commonly find with the style. malt becomes more noticeable as the beer breathes, but is balanced with a slight citrusy tang.

M: hardy champagne-like carbonation. it really effervesces on the tongue. fairly thin with a fairly clean finish-- leaves a slight sweet and funky residue. about as good as i could ask for in a Saison.

O: one of the better Saisons i've had. more spicy than sweet; flavor profile, aroma, and carbonation hold up well through a slow drink.

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Photo of Fatehunter
3.6/5  rDev -11.3%

Pours a finger of head on a slightly hazy light straw colored body.
The aroma has a lot of fresh ground black pepper, a little sage and earth.
The taste is peppery, mild grain and lemon bitterness.
The texture is soft and fizzy.
An improvement on the standard wit beer.

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Photo of RichardMNixon
4.1/5  rDev +1%

Poured from a twelve oz bottle into a tulip.

Smells of funky saison yeast and very sweet malts. Taste is thankfully not as sweet. Flavor is very spicy, but most of that must come from the yeast if sage is all that's added, and I can't really pick out sage in particular. There is a strong vanilla note throughout also that I didn't expect but enjoyed. Easy drinking but a little too sweet in the finish.

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Photo of VashonGuy
3.9/5  rDev -3.9%

I can't help but compare this to Tank 7, as I had that just a couple of days ago, and the memory of it is still pretty fresh in my mind.

Cellar Door is a quite tasty saison, but just a little less flavorful than Tank 7. Tank 7 exploded in my mouth with crisp fruitiness. Cellar Door didn't knock me over in the same way, but I savored it, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I thought it was a fairly typical saison; I did not pick up the sage flavors, but that's probably my palate, not the beer.

Stillwater beers are uncommon around here, but I'll be looking for this and other Stillwater beers again.

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Photo of ajayma
4.75/5  rDev +17%

Translucent peach, hardly any head, slow, tiny bubbles.

Lavender and sage up top, citrus pith in the underneath.

Light on the palette, turns creamy as the bubbles distribute. Moderate grapefruit and hopiness, mingles with sourdough bread, lavender and sage.

Citrus pith bitterness is the last to fade.

Fresh fruit, cheese.

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Photo of jellikit
4.25/5  rDev +4.7%

A: yellow. Mostly clear. Slight haze. Numerous small bubbles rising. White, medium-foamy head. Decent lacing.
S: pear. Esters of banana. Cardamom.
T: banana. Pear. Cardamom. Black pepper. Flowers.
M: high carbonation. Light to medium body. Dry.
O: great saison like farmhouse ale. Balanced well. Will buy again.

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Photo of d_kizzle
3.54/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - slightly hazy deep amber with an off white head that quickly dissipates.

S - citric, floral hops. You definitely notice the white sage and wheat. It's much more delicate than the color would indicate.

T - different than your typical floral farmhouse. It has pretty big palate for the style. Apricots, tangerine, and banana give way to a slight wheat profile before the hops clean you out.

M - moderately carbonated with a slight petrol feel. Fairly light on the palate.

This is different for a saison. It's a sage wheat beer on the nose, and a medium bodied IPA on the palate. Interesting, but I'm not sure the whole experience is coherent.

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Photo of SteveB24
3.95/5  rDev -2.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance- color is a hazy orange-tan, pours a half finger of white, thin head that dissipates fairly quickly, leaving spotty lacing, bubbles constantly rise to the surface.

Smell- Aroma is very fruity and floral

Taste- Upfront is bold, fruity notes. Pinneapple, tangerines, and white cherries. avery floral,Lager yeast is there, pretty boozy in the finish.

Mouthfeel- Full body, mild carbonation, dry in the end.

Overall- An interesting take on the Saison, has the classic fruity, floral notes of a god Saison, but is also unexpectedly boozy and rich. This is a slow sipper, if you like barley wines and Saisons and are curious to try something in between then this is for you.

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Photo of patre_tim
4.13/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: Deep gold with a brown tinge, cloudy, a good amount of fine bubbled carbonation, 3 fingers of tall creamy off white head.

S: Lemon, mustard, lime, a coke like quality, a dank old classroom full of pencil shavings and erasers.

T: A pleasant balanced lightly bitter, lemon rind slightly peppery taste with the mustard, lime, pencil shavings and dankness all coming in lightly in the background. The sage comes in as light bitter herbal notes, perhaps contributing to the mustard quality.

M: Medium thick balanced body, a good amount of fine bubbled spicy carbonation. Dry finish.

O: Excellent brew, my first by Stillwater. Got at Bruisin’ Ales, drank on Deerfield Beach, FL, July 18th, 2014.

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Photo of Tele
3.94/5  rDev -3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Bottled 4.23.13; Consumed 6.19.14

A: 4.25 Quite hazy, orange/gold with a bit of red in there too. Pours a very large off-white head.

S: 4 At first there’s lots of yeast and grass with a bit of funk. Sweet malt and sage become very apparent after about 5 minutes in the glass bringing along some white pepper and other spicy aromas. There’s also a little citrus (mainly orange) in the background.

T: 3.75 The sage flavor is really strong (perhaps a bit too much) but it works pretty well with the malt and subtle, piney hops. There’s a lot of orange on the finish with a little lingering bitterness.

M: 4.25 The feel is very good. Not at all watery with good carbonation and a nice, dry finish.

O: 4 This is an interesting and enjoyable beer, but not very well balanced. I like the flavors and aromas going on, but the sage and other unique flavors overpower the farmhouse characteristics one would expect in this style of beer.

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Photo of GPHarris
3.05/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

2011 vintage

a - it's a gusher! poured a two-fingers thick, bubbly off-white head into a tulip glass that left good lacing throughout. the body was a bright, bubbly golden color.
s - fruity and yeasty.
t - yeasty and fruity with green apples the dominant flavor.
m - effervescent, crisp and clean.
o - i don't think this one benefited much from age. way too carbonated as well.

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Photo of smcolw
4.02/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Small head that settles to rim bubbles. The lace is basically random spots on the glass. Very dirty (read: cloudy) neutral gold color. (Note: this was analysis was from a bar pour. The head and lace from the bottle are substantially improved with a three-finger start and a slow, lumpy finish. Plenty of interconnecting lace.)

Talk about sage. This dominates the aroma along with rosemary, coriander and wild flowers. Unusual but it works.

Better balance in the taste. I get a creamy pale malt start followed by the aforementioned spices. The swallow is really a terrific blend of the two. Slightly sweet. Long lasting and unusual aftertaste. In a word, fascinating. The body leans to the thin side and the carbonation is high, but the combination seems to work.

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Photo of alphagnome
4.69/5  rDev +15.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Hazy, pale yellow body crowned by a thick, bubbly white head. Incredible retention. Incredible amount of bubbly and respectable lacing.

Incredibly aromatic and welcoming. Dry lemongrass, hay and grain, and Belgian yeast dominate but there is plenty of orange peel and spicing to add some more character. Subtle mint and hop character. Very distinct saison aroma. Love it.

Right upfront you are greeted by a very interesting spice, which I assume is the white sage, and a sharp, bitter bite. Nice, wheat and grass notes and butter. Black pepper and butter. Great funky character.

Fairly light bodied brew with insane carbonation. Seriously, it almost has a piercing quality - I love it. Sweet and crisp with a clean finish.

Saisons are probably my favorite style of beer and this has to be one of the best of the style by far - incredible! Refreshing and tasty - see it? Get it!

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
3.93/5  rDev -3.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a clear deep gold with a two-finger foamy white head.

S - Aromas of white pepper, lemon, and yeast.

T - Sweet apple, lemon, and . There is a nice hop and white pepper bite on the finish.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Dry finish.

O - This is a pretty delicious Saison. Very easy drinking with lots of nice fruity and floral flavors.

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Photo of Altrurian
3.88/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

This libation was procured at the highly esteemed Bier Abbey in Schenectady. It arrived at the table a light apricot in color, and quite hazy--in fact, translucent. The head was thin, and lacing light. When it comes to saisons, I am almost always at a loss in describing taste and aroma. In this case, the fragrance was that of herbs. I can say no more, except, perhaps, that the slightest perception of mint seemed to surface. The flavor, as well, was imprecisely and very pleasantly herbal, with a strength that was surprising. Is there some citrus? Is there a spicy piquancy? Perhaps. After a few draws from the glass, however, the need to analyze recedes. The beer tastes good--that's what matters--and, well...distinguished. Its presence on the palate is foamy and smooth. Its finish, both in taste and feel, is quite fresh.

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Photo of Slatetank
4.26/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

I purchased this at Brass Rail Deli in Campbelltown, enjoyed chilled in a willybecker from the 12oz brown bottle.

The color is golden with very light hazed look with visible carbonation and thick rocky white head that settles. The smell is very gently spiced reminiscent of clove with aromatics and earthy elment similar to ginger's woody with funky pepper and slight wheat scent with mild anise note and dried fruit aroma. The feel is great -light tanginess with moderate yeastiness and gentle sweetness wtih slight spice in the texture with moderately dry finish.

The taste is very good with lots of complexity from yeast giving some fruity flavors with mix of spice and light malt backing which comes off as dry yet light toasted with mild tangy yeast element and mild earthy spice coming in later with a crisp peppery finish. Overall this is a pretty great beer, highly enjoyable and the only adjustment I would make would be with the spice level since it relies a little bit on the herb/spice in the flavor/aroma.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.12/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Stillwater Cellar Door has a thick, spongy, white head, incredible lacing, and a fiercely bubbly, orange-gold, opaque appearance, with visible little brown specs settling at the bottom. The aroma is of so many herbs, peppers, and juices. Taste is the same, with some background wheat bread and some bitterness at the end of the sip. The mouthfeel is medium, prickly, and somewhat slick, and Stillwater Cellar Door finishes dry and rich. No alcohol is detected.


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Photo of flagmantho
4/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz bottle into a tulip.

Appearance: medium golden hue with a moderate haze and a very light effervescence. Head is a thin finger of frothy white foam with moderate retention. Not too bad.

Smell: herbal hops with a little bit of a minty character combine with a sweet malt and a piquant farmhouse character. Together they are pointed yet enticing -- I rather like it.

Taste: grassy, with a little bit of buttery character and a little chalkiness. Toward the end of the palate the funk comes through, and throughout the palate are herbal, piney hops, again with that minty/basil character. Quite good indeed.

Mouthfeel: medium body with a great carbonation and a bodacious, mouth-filling creaminess. Bam!

Overall: this is a very tasty and drinkable beer. It's got flavor our the yang, which is really working for me here.

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

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 12/5/2013. Pours lightly hazy/cloudy bright gold color with a 2 finger fairly dense white head with good retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Nice soapy lacing clings on the glass, with a moderate amount of streaming carbonation. Aromas of big lemon zest, tangerine, orange peel, pear, apple, pepper, sage, herbal, floral, grass, wheat, cracker, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Damn nice aromas with good balance and complexity of citrus hops, yeast ester, and spice notes; with great strength. Taste of big lemon zest, tangerine, orange peel, pear, apple, pepper, sage, grass, herbal, floral, wheat, cracker, light bubblegum, and yeast earthiness. Good amount of earthy spice/bitterness on the finish; with lingering notes of lemon zest, tangerine, orange peel, pear, apple, pepper, sage, grass, herbal, wheat, cracker, light bubblegum and yeast earthiness on the finish for a good bit. Fantastic complexity and balance of hop, yeast ester, and spice flavors; with a great yeast/spice flavor balance and zero cloying flavors after the finish. Medium-high carbonation and medium bodied; with a very smooth, crisp, and lightly prickly mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is well hidden with only a slight warming present after the finish. Overall this is an awesome spiced saison style. All around great complexity and balance of hops, yeast ester, and spice flavors; and very smooth and crisp to drink. A highly enjoyable offering.

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Photo of trankin6
3.87/5  rDev -4.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Grabbed on sale $1.99 at liquormart. Pours beautiful orangy gold color with nice 2 finger head. Bright aromatics by smell with sage scent and citrus coming thru. True to the brewers description: "quaffably refreshing" on taste and perfect as its starting to get hot out. Nice taste profile but not above and beyond with unique herbal flavors as I'd hoped.

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Cellar Door from Stillwater Artisanal Ales
4.06 out of 5 based on 1,196 ratings.
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