The Lady’s Cheese Friend, David, brought a wedge of Ilchester Beer Cheese, the first-ever blended cheese, in for The Lady and her cheesy cohorts to sample. The Man and I got lucky; she brought part of the wedge home for us to taste and for moi, your humble feline foodie, to review. Does that make me a cohort???
Originally developed in the early 1960’s by Ilchester, this cheese was re-launched as part of the Ilchester Cheese Company’s 40th Anniversary. This cheese was marketed as “A Man’s cheese that Ladies love”.
A bit of trivia about this cheese: Despite the fact that you would have to eat about twenty pounds of this cheese to get the equivalent of one pint of beer, tee-totallers in England tried to get this cheese banned.
Another bit of trivia: In 1963, someone in Buckingham Palace requested that the cheese be included in provisions travelling with the Queen on Her Majesty’s 1963 tour of Australia and as they say, the rest is history.
This cheese was a big hit around the manse. The Man and I were quite taken with it. The Man found it to be quite manly and I found it to be quite tasty…
The combination of spices and Fuller’s Ale kicked this cheese up more than an Emeril’s notch. The label mentions onions, parsley, celery and nuts among the added spices and these all subtly add to its delish, piquant flavor.
The cheese was quite crumbly, in a good way, and spread creamily on the Dare Cabaret Crackers The Lady chose to serve with this cheese. She chose those crackers to make sure the cheese was complimented by the crackers and not overwhelmed by any outside flavor. She need not have worried… this cheese has a bold flavor that would stand-up to most any cracker.
You are aware of the ale but it adds to the enjoyment of the cheese rather than overtaking the flavors. It melts on the palate and has a nice nutty flavor with the spicy notes coming through and lingering. I like this cheese.
I give Ilchester Beer Cheese 4 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: Like Cotswold, I can see this sitting on a pub bar with cheese knives and bread galore to lure patrons in to enjoy. As served at the manse, this cheese is a terrific centerpiece for a cheese board.
Wine Pairing: 2007 Cune “Cuvee Monopole” Blanco Rioja
Beer Pairing: Fuller’s Golden Pride
Source: Cow’s Milk
FTC Full Disclosure – The cheesemaker/manufacturer sent me their product, hoping I would review the product/cheese.