Jasper Hills Round Two
The next round of samples from Jasper Hills arrived as summer was coming to an end. The To Do list gets a little longer this time of year, the kids are getting ready for college and scheduling calendar on the frig manages the comings and goings of the house hold like air traffic control. It was difficult to find some un-obligated time to spend with this cheese. While I would have like linger over this cheese with a little more romance and attention I had to settle for a hit and run cheese testing. I managed to save a little with the hope that I will be able to enjoy it with a nice wine or at a picnic.
The samples in the first round of testing had strong odors and very well defined and distinct flavors. The samples in round two have mellowed some and the flavors have blended in unique ways which really have me at a loss for words to describe the cheese to do it justice. The cheese is maturing nicely into a pleasant tasting cheese. I find it difficult not to use other cheeses to describe the flavors of this cheese. If goal is an alpine cheese which could compete in the ring with a champ like Upland's Pleasant Ridge Reserve then this cheese can be a contender.
Both samples 120109 and 120125 still have that eye catching orange or salmon colored rind although its faded and mottled a little with age. 120125 had a white bloom on the rind. I hope the orange color carries through the aging process as it will help this cheese stand out in a display case full of alpine cheeses. The strong barnyard aromas of batch one are not present in these samples. These samples smell like, well, like cheese. Just a little funk to make it enticing. The rind is is still palatable with notes of grass or hay. The paste of the cheese still has the lovely ivory cream color. Sample 120109 had tangy flavor while 120125 had a smoother sharpness. 120109 had notes of milk and roasted nuts. 120125 had a more buttery flavor along with roasted or toasted nuttiness. I thought both were fine cheeses but 120125 is more to my liking. I like the strength of the sharpness and smooth flavor.
What will it be named? The label on the wrapper bears the name Alpha Tolman. If this will be the name for this cheese I can't wait to hear the story.