Ever wondered what it would be like to blend coffee, lavender, and cheese? Us neither—'till this eighteen-pound wheel from Utah burst onto the scene.
Created in 2006, this was among the first cheeses released at Beehive Cheese Company, one of Utah's few artisanal cheesemakers. Founded and built from the ground-up by brothers Tim Welsh and Pat Ford near Uintah, the creamery specializes in unique twists on cheddar styles, sourcing milk from Wade's dairy, a fourth-generation family farm just 10 miles away.
The concept for Barely Buzzed was arrived at somewhat randomly. Tim Welsh’s brother owns a company in Grand Junction, Colorado, called Colorado Legacy Fine Coffee; Beehive sells bags of the beans in their store. One day they decided to experiment by applying the roasted coffee blended with lavender on cheese wheels. After tweaking several times, the brothers began getting positive feedback from family, friends, and some American Cheese Society (ACS) judges. They submitted Barely Buzzed to the ACS competition in 2007 and won a first-place ribbon—and the rest was history.
To make the cheese, one-day-old wheels are hand-rubbed with the “Beehive Blend” of lavender together with a mix of South American, Central American, and Indonesian coffee beans. After the rub is applied, wheel are aged approximately eight months.
Flavors of Barely Buzzed are more subtle than one might expect with notes of butterscotch and caramel and a rich, full-bodied and smooth texture.
Pair a wedge of Barely Buzzed with a cup o' Joe. Or serve it with an oatmeal stout. Medium and full-bodied red wines also play well, while the wheel's many layers of flavor lend it to all kinds of experimentation (we've paired it with toffee-coated marshmallows, for example).