Irish Whiskey Cheddar

Country: Ireland
Milk Type: Cow
Texture: hard

If there ever were a cheese to infuse with whiskey, it’d be cheddar, without a doubt. And that’s just what they’ve done. Take a look at the ingredients, and precisely two are listed: “cheese,” and “whiskey.” Aromatic, bold, and toothsome, with a buttery, nutty bite, cheddar is the perfect flavour profile to match with something as woodsy and heady as whiskey. When in conjunction, the cheese has a fermented, almost sour-like sweetness, like buttermilk, yet reminiscent — strangely enough — of port. It smells nearly of the barrels in a wine cellar, earthy and sweet, which seems odd, and it tastes fruity and ripe, reminiscent of grapes. Complex, indeed, for a mass- (although well-) produced cheese!

Try the cheese on its own and you’ll be enamoured of its dynamic structure as you hack away. It’s crumbly and dense, but not dry in the least. The texture is fudge-like and chewy, and will sit on your palate. Like all cheddars, this would be great with wine and beer.

You can taste its sharpness with an acidity that rides up the sides of your tongue and almost into your nose. The finish is long. This cheese turns into an excellent mac n’ cheese and an even better cheese sauce, atop potatoes, cauliflower, or cabbage if you want to keep it in the Irish family of foods. Expect pleasant little crunchy bits throughout, too. (It’s that tyrosine we all love so much in cheese.)