True passion for cheese making can be seen with the creation of Colston Bassett Stilton (affineur–Neal’s Yard Dairy). Colston Basset is one of the smallest Stilton dairies in England. The cow’s milk is purchased from the same five farms encompassing the dairy since the 1920’s in the Vale of Belvoir, Nottinghamshire.
The name Colston Bassett is synonymous with Stilton. Since the beginning they have only had four head cheesemakers. The present day fromager is Billy Kevan. The solitary time production halted was during World War II, during which time the workers and supplies were more rationed than food.
Colston Bassett’s curd is gently hand-ladled before draining (keeping with the more traditional approach to cheese making). This preserves the structure and integrity of the cheese, producing a luscious, rich and creamy texture as the cheese matures. Aged for four months this succulent blue manages to be both moist and crumbly.
Prepared with traditional animal rennet instead of vegetable rennet, Colston Basset’s texture is more full-bodied with deeper more complex flavor. The cheese is pierced later and less frequently, giving this Royal blue the opportunity to express flavors other than blue and bringing a balance to the cheese instead of overpowering it. It has a longer lasting finish which develops a multi-layered syrupy, intensity with a clean mineral tang that you will not forget.
This blue is a great addition to any cheese plate. I enjoyed this crème de La crème Stilton after dinner with some fresh-cut juicy pears and Fonseca Ten Year Aged Tawny port.