The Drunken Cow cheese has matured, so it is time for a taste test.
This cheese was made on the 3rd of August 2012 from 3.8% butterfat full cream milk.
De-waxing: Slight swelling of the wax. There was a little moisture under the wax, with clear sweet liquid running out after the seal was broken. It was not sour. I had to dry the outside of the cheese with paper towel. The colour of the rind had faded slightly, but still very distinct. When lightly pressed, liquid came out of the crack in the top of the round. At this stage I was a bit worried.
Texture: Easy to cut, and not flaky. Very slight marbling from the wine, with clear sweet liquid within the cheese structure. Layered lines throughout the cheese. Cheese smooth and soft and very moist.
Taste: I tried it by itself, and the flavour blew me away! You could smell the sweet wine on the rind, and the cheese was smooth on the pallet. A bit like Gouda, but finishes in the mouth with a sweet, slightly sugary after-taste. The rind was sweeter but harder, and the centre was soft and smooth.
An absolutely delightful cheese, with an exciting flavour. Unlike any other cheese I have tasted before. The washed curds technique really tempered down the final acidity and sharpness.
Given the addition of 1.5 litres of sweet red wine to marinate this cheese in, it pushes the cost of this cheese up quite a bit, compared to a normal hard cheese. However, it is well worth it as it really improves the final flavour.
I highly recommend the cheese for a moderately experienced home cheese maker. As it matures in only three months, it is a relatively quick cheese to make, and well worth the wait. This cheese will really impress your friends and family!
I will publish the recipe in the next post.
[Cross posted on The Greening of Gavin]