This week I thought I would bring to you an update on Old Winchester because like with any cheese it changes and matures along its lifetime plus at the moment it is exceptional in flavour.
Old Winchester is made by Lyburn Farm in Landford situated in the New Forest, and they have a complete working farm with their own cattle herd which they milk to produce the variety of Lyburn cheeses. They make Gold, Winchester, Old Winchester, Stoney Cross, Lightly Oak Smoked, Garlic & Nettle and Francis. All of which have unique characteristics but as mentioned I shall focus on Old Winchester today.
Old Winchester is a more mature version of Winchester and is matured for around 18 months but will vary to always choose the best possible age/flavour. The result is a hard & dry cheese with a nuttiness that is akin to a Gouda, but it has a richness that can add a new dimension to your pasta meals. Old Winchester uses vegetarian rennet so is a perfect substitute to Parmigiano Reggiano/ Grana Padano but it has versatility on its side so can be used in lots of different ways. At the moment this cheese is absolutely spot on in looks and taste which has been echoed by Mike Smales (Lyburn Cheese Owner); it is clearly a good year for this cheese like a year on wine! Do be cautious though because it was a very successful year in 2014 for Old Winchester with shows such as James Martin’s Home Comforts featuring the cheese, as well as Lyburn getting a 2 Star for the Gold at The Great Taste Awards and a Super Gold for Old Winchester at the World Cheese Awards. This message from Mike Smales reiterates the point ” Supplies of Old Winchester are now starting to tighten up, so we are not in a position to take on any new customers for the time being. December 2014 has been a huge month, so we will need a couple of months to rebuild our age profile.”
This cheese is still available from select Waitrose branches, farm shops and online deli’s so you will be able to get your hands on this cheese gold (Quite literally because of its colour). It is well worth trying and this is one of my favourite cheeses and is a go to cheese for a unique cheese board.
Keep up the fabulous work Lyburn!