Round 2 with Alpha Tolman
A few nights ago I finally sat down with my new box of cheese, glad as ever to have free, expirimental cheese
from "The Hill". I forced my lovely fiancee to professionally analyze these 2 contestants with me for some other
reactions. We kept it simple, cheese, knife, cutting board and water.
Lets get down to the real nitty gritty!
Appearance: Not a huge differance here except the size of the eyes and the fact that 109's rind looks more like
Mars than the more uniform 125. Both rinds have rich red and brown colors, very appropriate for the style.
Aromas: This is where it got good, we got buttery notes off of both but 109 was more complex. Notes included
cashew butter, wet hay and fondue. The rind of 125 did smell chemically but the paste was great.
Texture: The texture was pretty spot on ( based on the classics ) for the age. 125 came off
kind of mealy after a few chews. Both rinds were a nice break in texture and none too gritty.
Flavor: I've got to be brutally honest about 125 here, flavorwise it reminded me of Emmental, which
always reminds me of soap, still nice and brown buttery but once I thought of it I couldn't unthink it.
109 was all over the place in the best of ways, we got butter, green bell pepper ( it was mild and this is
the first I've ever gotten this from a cheese ) , and hazlenut. The rind was nice and meaty too.
Marketability: This is coming along nicely, I see this as already more complex than young Pleasant Ridge
Reserve and hopefully more affordable and approachable than the extra aged P.R.R. My shop has up
to ten alpine style cheeses at any given time, so I've got room for another great one when this is ready.
And the name: The name Alpha Tolman may not have anything to do with alpine cheese ( other than the
fact that the last name sounds Swiss or German ) but neither does Moses Sleeper, Constant Bliss, Harbison
or Winnimere and those are 4 of the best cheeses we sell. I thought my suggestion was pretty rad but
I abide by the team at The Hill. I wrote " Fun to say, sounds alpiney " in my notes and I stand by it!
With the decent sized chunks of cheese left after the tasting I made some huge bowls of french onion
soup with a huge pile of Alpha Tolman on top! I can't wait to see this in a few months, perfect for the
winter! Thanks again for the opportunity to coax along this cheese.