I will say that my purely arbitrary cheese obsession of the month of December was the Beaufort Alpage* we bought from Andante Dairy. Andante has an import program and really are bringing in some of the best cheeses in the world. I believe we are the only ones in the Bay with this Beaufort and, while all Beauforts are good, and all Beaufort Alpages are pretty awesome, this one may be the best I’ve ever tasted. Floral, grassy, rich, nutty, buttery, onion-y, and milky-sweet. Complex, but easy to eat.
Often when tasting cheese I can find some defect or point of worry. “A touch salty”, “a little bitter”, “may become ammoniated in a day or two,” etc. But if I were judging this cheese I would give it a perfect score. You just don’t get cheeses like this very often. Truly this cheese represents the pinnacle of cheesemaking skill and quality milk.
This is a cheese I feel honored just to have in our store.
*Alpage means the cheese is made in Summer from the milk when the cows are at their highest elevation. This milk is – generally speaking — considered the richest and best milk of the year.