This smooth and rich cheddar, with its distinctive dark geometric lacing, is what happens when fresh cheddar curds get besotted in beer.
It all goes down at Cahill’s farmhouse cheese, a third-generation, family-owned, small scale cheesemaking business located near Newcastle West in County Limerick in southern Ireland. This history of the business began in 1902 when David Cahill bought a working dairy farm on the banks of the river Deel. Initially, the dairy farm supplied fresh milk to the nearby Newcastlewest Creamery. However, after a series of setbacks, David changed direction and began selling milk door to door which proved to be more lucrative. In order to better serve this business he constructed another small dairy. Ten years later, in 1920, the dairy passed to David’s nephew, William Cahill. William and his family continued to grow the business and started producing soft cheeses in the 1950’s.
Today, the business focuses more on small-scale, hand-crafted flavored cheeses, including this Irish Porter Cheese which the company first started to make in 1991. Cow’s milk is sourced from local dairy farms and pasteurized for production. The Guinness-brewed porter is added to the curd after it has been formed and the whey drained off, which is what gives the cheese its striking appearance. Wheels are matured for a minimum of nine months and are graded before release. They have a waxed rind which helps to seal in the moisture. The interior paste clearly shows the delineation between curd and porter and yet has a smooth, dense texture.
Flavors are smooth and rich. The taste of porter is distinct without overwhelming the milky flavors of the cheese.
Pair it with—what else?—an Irish porter. Try the West Indies Porter from Guinness.