An inauspicious start
My first Jasper Hill tasting got off to an inauspicious start. I’m sharing with a coworker and while we planned to taste together, overdue deadlines and too much coffee on the palate led us to the dish room at work late Friday afternoon, divvying up our wedges on a cutting board, teetering atop chest freezer.
Then, a humid, rowdy ride home; I work in Brookline, Massachusetts and live in Boston, meaning that my commute brings me right by Fenway Park, where there was a Red Sox game that night. Still, even after a hot, crowded and drunken (not me…at least at this point) hour on the train, my three little wedges of cheese were intact. Unfortunately my self-restraint was not. Starving, I broke into one right away, slicing off a couple squares, I’m not even sure which.
Fast forward to Mother’s Day, where I sat for a more purposeful tasting, the cheese was at the proper temperature and I dutifully recorded my own thoughts, as well as my family’s, who horned in on the opportunity to eat free cheese.
Appearance: Pale Creamsicle rind, lightest of the three. Paste lightest too, less yellow more cream.
Texture: Medium-dry in texture, white crags when snapped. Driest of the three; chalky. Some small holes throughout.
Flavor: Rind tastes like clean, fresh soil. Light Swiss-y, vegetal taste, raw, underdeveloped, smooth, not much tang or fullness.
Appearance: Pretty pale apricot hued rind, pale yellow paste. Holes throughout turning into crags, closing up.
Texture: More moisture than #111215, yet not soft, still tacky.
Flavor: Sharper, more sour, vegetal, fuller flavor here, tangy. Munster.
Appearance: Deeper orange rind, paste darker too, towards Gouda in color and somewhat in flavor too. Very few holes or crags.
Texture: Wetter texture, more tackier, waxy, firmer.
Flavor: Musty, damp, basement, wet earth smell. Creamy, with some sour, tangy notes. Stronger flavored rind, hint of cardboard bitterness.
Thoughts: This cheese isn’t quite ready for the market, underdeveloped, lacking either deeper complexity or interesting nuance. My guess would be they are in order of youngest-oldest, but none are very old at all.
Suggested retail: At this point, I wouldn’t buy it, but my guess would be considering its smaller batch, artisan cheese, $17/lb.
Name: Taking inspiration from The Sound of Music, I’ll say Gretl, because I think a nice name for an Alpine-style cheese (which I think this is) would be Liesl, but right now this is that future cheese’s immature kid sister.
My pick: 111228