Our Drunken Burt* starts out life in much the way same as Burt’s Blue. The milk is inoculated with the Penicillium Roqueforti (blue mould) which is allowed to developed on the surface of the cheese. However, the cheese isn’t pierced during ripening so doesn’t develop the blue veins as the Burt’s Blue cheese would. (The paste may occasionally develop small pockets blue). Instead the cheese is ‘washed’ in Gwatkin’s Cider**, this process encourages other bacteria to develop on the surface. The result is a surface mould that tends to be paler, often ‘sandy’ in colour. The younger cheese will have a chalky centre (or paste) which carries with it the fresh ‘apple’ acidity from the cider. As the cheese matures the acidity softens and the flavours become more rounded and subtle, the cider ‘notes’ become less ‘appley’ and more ‘oaky’ from the aged cider barrels. The paste softens to become silky smooth.
*ALLERGEN INFORMATION: whole pasteurised cow’s milk, may contain trace sulphites.
**Gwatkins Cider is a small, family run business, based at Moorhampton Park Farm in Abbey Dore, Herefordshire. They own the apple and pear orchards that supply the fruit needed to make their extensive range of 35 ciders and perries, subject to seasonal availability. We use their Golden Valley Cider to wash our Drunken Burt, this cider takes its name from the small corner of Herefordshire where cider has been made for centuries.