While we have tried two or three Jasper Hill Farm raw milk cheeses before, there are many cheeses in the line that we had yet to try...until recently! Jasper Hill Farm generously sent us some goodies to try, and we dug in head first.
In 2021, I wrote an article about Harbison, so I was delighted to see it in the package from Jasper Hill. Harbison is an ultra gooey soft-ripened cheese. The wheel is wrapped in a strip of spruce cambium, which is the interior bark layer of spruce trees. This bark is harvested right from Jasper Hill’s woodlot. This does not only add a woodsy aroma to the cheese, but helps the gooey, creamy cheese keep its shape and structure. This fondue-like cheese is scoopable, runny, and super creamy with a buttery yet herbaceous flavor and delicate notes of roasted hazelnuts, lemon and spruce.
Another favorite was the Cabot Clothbound Cheddar. Crumbly and crunchy with a savory, nutty flavor with notes of caramel. This cheese is aged in cloth and a lard coating, contributing to Cabot Clothbound's beautiful natural rind.
Next was Willoughby, a little washed-rind cheese full of buttery texture and savory flavor. Under its orange ride hides a gooey yet sliceable paste. Willoughby has notes of onion and roasted meat, with a slightly fruity touch. It would be perfect paired with peaches, apricots and semi-sweet white or rosé wines.
It wouldn't be a true cheese tasting without at least one blue! Bayley Hazen Blue has a fudgy, creamy texture with a healthy blue punch, without overpowering the grassy, nutty flavors of the raw cow's milk that is used to make it. Super tasty, but also a stunning addition to a cheeseboard with its natural rind and striking blue veins.
Luckily for me, we also received another one of my favorite Jasper Hill Farm cheeses--Whitney! During the aging process, Whitney's rind is rubbed with a naturally-cultured brine and spent yeast from a local winery. This process imparts a floral, fruity funk to the cheese. Whitney also boasts a supple, soft and meltable texture, due to the whey being rinsed from the curds during production. An all around masterpiece!
Last, but certainly not least, we tried Alpha Tolman. Alpha Tolman is inspired by Alpine cheeses, such as Appenzeller and Gruyere. It has a buttery, fruity, nutty flavor that gets more meaty as it matures. Like Whitney, it has an incredibly soft and supple texture, which makes it great for melting.
For fans of raw milk cheeses or those who have never tried them, Jasper Hill Farm cheeses are an obvious choice. Through trying the cheeses and reading about their inspiration and production, one could tell that great care and thought is put into the product.
Click here to try them for yourself!