The one cheese that I voted for in the top three that didn’t place was the Estrella Family Creamery Caldwell Crik Chevrette:
Frankly, I don’t understand why more judges didn’t put this in their top 3. I love this cheese. It is everything you want in a washed-rind. A blend of raw goat and cow, this is probably in my top 5 American cheeses of any type. It’s stinky, so it announces its presence right away. It is complex. You can taste butter, tanginess, fruit, grass, and more. It has a great aftertaste. And it is just a perfect ugly/beautiful rustic cheese. Amazing cheese.
*Unfortunately this cheese is not available right now as the Estrellas are working with the FDA to create a safer environment and procedures for making young, raw milk cheeses. Tami Parr from Pacific Northwest Cheese Project has covered this the best of anyone.