With St Patrick’s day upon us, I’m craving all kinds of Irish cheeses right now. From creamy Cashel’s blue to classic Kerrygold cheddar, I want it all. But there’s one cheese in particular that just screams St Patrick’s Day: Cahill’s Original Irish Whiskey Cheddar.
Although it sounds like some trendy new cheese invented for our modern whiskey trend, but Cahill’s has been crafting these wheels since 1982. This spirit-laced cheddar was originally created for celebrations, like Christmas or the harvest. Now it’s readily available year-round, and I for one am very grateful for it. This is one delicious cheese.
Cahill’s whiskey cheddar is just a classic Irish cheddar,well-rounded and creamy with a gentle sweetness that’s more fruity than tangier, more assertive English cheddars. They stir Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey directly into the milk before culturing and draining the curd. From there, the cheese is pressed and aged for at least 12 months.
The resulting cheddar is a pale hay color with a subtle golden marbling from the dark whiskey. It smells sweet and buttery, with a slightly boozy bite. The naturally rich milk lends a creamy texture and assertive nuttiness, while the liquor brings a fruity, slightly oaky flavor. Honestly, eating it makes me think of nibbling on a cookie dough while drinking an Old Fashioned.
Its semi-firm texture makes it a terrific melter. Try it on a corned beef sandwich or over breakfast potatoes for a little hair of the dog. It’s excellent in a grilled cheese made with dark bread and thick-cut bacon. I also recommend nibbling it alone with a dram of Irish whiskey, served straight up (as ice will dull the flavor of the cheese).