Cheddar

Some notes on supermarket cheddars, so i know which ones i like. For reference, and although it's not listed here, the best i've ever had is Co-op own-brand mature cheddar (the one that comes in a brownish-red packet).

The score is supposed to be out of five, but i've been systematically overrating things. The first three columns are a total mess, sorry about that.

Shop Brand Type Nationality Alleged Maturity Tasting Date Notes Score
Tesco Carberry Irish Mature / 3 ? Bloody awful. Sour, with no richness. Almost like a Cheshire or something. Might just about be okay for toasting, but worthless for eating. EDIT: also hopeless for toasting. *
Tesco Farmhouse West Country Mature / 4 (Rich/Tangy) ? Pretty good. Sharp, tasty, but lacking developed richness. The sharpness is overpowering in the aftertaste. ***
Tesco Creamfields (Discount Brands) Mature / 3 (Rich/Creamy) ? Pretty good. No sharpness at all, but as it says, rich and rather creamy - undercut a little by surprising sweetness. If this had some bite, it would be a solid four. ***½
Tesco Davidstow Cornish Mature / 3 (Rich / Creamy) 2009-06-01 Sharp, but not excessively so; has a pronounced sourness which buttresses the sharpness. Offsets the harshness with considerable creaminess, but only middling richness and complexity. ***½
Tesco Canadian Extra Mature / 4 (Strong/Tasty) 2009-06-01 Creamy, but sharp, with the sharpness overwhelming the fairly weak flavour. **½
Tesco Ford Farm Coastal Dorsetine "rugged mature" 2009-06-06 Good flavour, modest sharpness, just enough to accent the taste. Quite rich and creamy in the follow-through. Almost textbook. A little soft, though, and could do with more complexity. ****½
Pilgrim's Choice Somerset Extra Mature / 5 2009-07-06 Creamy, with definite but not excessive sweetness, and very rich. For a mature cheddar, little sharpness; mature cheddars often wildly overdo sharpness, but this one very slightly underdoes it.
2010-09-14: Still the same. Very good.
****½
Tesco Mature / 3 (rich / creamy) 2009-07-11 A very middle-of-the-road cheddar: sharpness, some bitterness, little complexity, modest creaminess. **
Kerrygold Irish Mature / n (desc) 2009-07-11 Intriguing dryness, a little like a Manchego; manages to have an edge without actually being that sharp. Unremarkable flavour. ***
Seriously Farmy British "a rich country character" 2009-08-14 Wasn't impressed at first, but it's really grown on me. A quiet baseline of sweet creaminess, healthy sharpness, and a solid richness, elusive around the mouth ****½
Lidl Valley Spire British + Irish Vintage Reserve 2010-03-02 A little nondescript, but hard to fault. Good texture, solid sharpness initially dominates richness, with the balance reversing in the aftertaste. Should toast well. ****
Lake District Cheese Co Cumbrian Mature (rich & tasty) 2010-04-17 Creamy, rich, not at all sharp - almost like a strong Edam (?!). Really good, but just needs a little more edge. ***½
Lidl Valley Spire British + Irish Extra Mature 2010-09-14 Excessively sour. Not a lot else to it.
Tesco Parkham Farm Farmhouse West Country Extra Mature / 5 (strong + tangy) 2010-09-25 Decent. Solid sharpness, a hint of creaminess, some richness, slight sourness in the aftertaste. ***½
Tesco Parkham Farm Farmhouse West Country Mature / 4 (rich + tangy) 2010-10-08 A good all-rounder. Good flavour, with gentle sharpness. ****
Tesco Lake District Cheese Co Lacustrine Mature 2011-01-09 Unremarkable. Sharp, bitter aftertaste, no richness or creaminess discernable. Toasting just makes the bitterness more pronounced. They also do an Extra Mature which is only slightly better (forgot to review it).
Seriously Strong (tangy + savoury) 2011-11-17 Creamy, a little sharp, with a well-developed fruity richness. Very good. Loses much of its interest on toasting. ****
Anchor Extra Mature 2014-08-25 Creamy, just touch a touch of sharpness, halfheartedly savoury, rather flabby. Unobjectionable and forgettable. ***
Sainsbury's Vintage reserve English Vintage / 6 (Strong/Powerful) 2016-03-06 Underpowered. No perceptible sharpness or savouriness; a little bitter. **
Marks & Spencer Cornish Cove Davidstow Cornish Mature / 5 (rich and full flavoured) 2016-03-25 Good! Intensely savoury, with complex flavours below the surface. Comes in a little bitter and leaves a little sour. A hint of crunch. ****