UPDATED 8/3/2012: FLAGSHEEP WINS BEST OF SHOW AT 2012 ACS COMPETITION!!!
As you may know, The Lady got lucky and was picked to assist in cheesemaking at Beecher’s Handmade Cheeses at Pike Place while she was in Seattle for the 2010 American Cheese Society Conference. She was one of three who were in the “make room” and helped cut the curd and flip the blocks and generally do things that in no way would mess up the cheese. They were making a batch of Flagship that would be aged for eighteen months… about ten years for me…
After assisting she tasted a few of the Beecher’s cheeses she has not brought home and brought two wedges back to the cheese bunker for your favorite Feline Foodie(that would be me) to taste and review.
The cheesemakers at Beecher’s sure know how to make cheese. I thought they couldn’t top my personal favorite cheese, No Woman, but I might be wrong. Both the Extra Aged Flagship, which won 1st Place in its Class at this year’s ACS Competition and the Flagsheep are bellissimo… sometimes my summers spent on the Italian Riviera just cannot be held in check… but I digress.
Let me start with the Extra Aged Flagship(aged 4 years) which was sweet and nutty; it melted on my palate and I had to fight off The Man to get my “fair share”… my fair share being all, if I can pull it off…but that opposable thumb feature that The Man has makes it easy for him to best me…
We had the Flagship on 34° Sesame Crackers and the combination was Perfectomento!!
Serving Suggestions: On a cheese platter, the masses will swoon; in the World’s Best Mac n Cheese, the masses will swoon – no matter what you do with this cheese you cannot go wrong!!
Wine Pairing: Merlot or Pinot Noir
Beer Pairing: A dark stout
Source: Pasteurized Cow’s Milk (Beecher’s does make a raw milk version of this cheese)
And if you think I liked the Extra Aged Flagship… well, get ready… the Flagsheep is a cheese worth dying for…I was climbing up The Lady’s leg begging her to give me the entire half-pound wedge. She made sure I got my fair share although she did have to threaten The Man…
Beecher’s Flagsheep, as you might guess, is made from both cow and sheep milk. It is so smooth that it would make Frank Sinatra look rough around the edges. This cheese is truly special and I am thankful The Lady brought it home. She told me that she cannot buy it anywhere in Portland; you can only buy it at Pike Place… 165 miles is not too far to drive every week for such an exceptional cheese.
This bandaged-wrapped cheddar won 3rd in its Class at the 2010 ACS Competition.
The Lady served it on a cheese plate and the next evening she treated The Man to a Quesadilla made using the Flagsheep and roasted Hatch Chiles from New Mexico… The Man is still swooning…
She omitted the chilies and the tortillas and served mine naked… just the way I like my Flagsheep…
I give Beecher’s Flagsheep 4 Paws out of 4 Paws and a several wags of my tail (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Trust me, if you get the chance to taste this cheese, you’d need to have you head examined if you passed it by…
Serving Suggestions: Naked, on a plate.
Wine Pairing: Port
Beer Pairing: Pale Ale
Source: Cow and Sheep Milk