3 Year Vintage By Davidstow – Cheese Tasting

Note – This article was written before I went dairy-free.

Welcome to Cheese Tasting with Sumear & Co. This segment is simply about tasting new cheeses on my tod or reluctantly with others while we share and devour a block of cheese. By no means am I or anyone I know a cheese connoisseur with a decent set of taste buds to pick up on subtle flavours, but who cares?! Anyway, enjoy 🙂

This time in our little Cheese Tasting segment we are sampling supermarket cheese! The horror! Don’t worry, it’s a well delivered and reasonably priced cheese and often found in most major UK supermarkets. The cheese is known just as ‘3 Year Vintage’, made locally in the South West of England by Davidstow.

Who’s With Me

Today I am joined once again by my lovely partner, Lee. Still not a cheese addict such as myself, however, he knows the difference between the cheap, decent and quality cheese. He does prefer different cheeses to myself, and it helps this segment as things I miss while taste testing gets picked upon. Also stops me from being bias!

The 3 Year Vintage Cheese

The Cheesemaker

The cheesemaker has been established for well over 60 years at the time of writing. Based in Cornwall, England, they produce award-winning cheddars with their last one awarded in 2017.

Though producing and selling packaged cheddars, they are far from what to consider as ‘cheap’ and low-quality cheeses. Speaking to a representative, Davidstow ensures their ‘herds are in good health and well cared for.’ It was nice to hear that for the majority of the seasons, the cows are grazing outside on a grass-fed diet.

It has been mentioned that during the milking procedures, their cows would be fed additional food called silage which is ‘grass that has been conserved throughout the summer period’. Silage is additionally fed to the cows during the winter months where they are not able to graze outdoors. It was not stated if any additional additives, hormones or antibiotics were used in the supplemental feed. However, their efforts are well appreciated to keep the cows grass-fed as much as possible and to be able to develop a great selection of cheeses.

Davidstow only makes Cheddars with importance on maturity and vintage. In this taste test, we are only judging the three-year vintage. Surprisingly, they also produce a five-year vintage which I would love to try but dismally this is only accessible in some swanky high-priced London restaurant.

The manufacturing process involved includes both traditional methods and ‘combining it with technological precision’. How much of the process is traditional is unknown.

The Cheese

The 3 Year Vintage is of course, Cheddar and has been matured for 3 years. Shocker!

The milk used from their cows is pasteurised, and so we lose some of the richness in the aromas and textures. However, we are still left with a product that is divine. As a packaged cheese, we are not aesthetically wowed by the appearance as it looks like it has been sliced into blocks with a machine and has that plastic shine on it.

However, once you let the cheese come to room temperature, it has a lovely semi-mat and yellow finish. White protein crystals are very prominent in this cheese which is a distinct sign of its maturity.

Slicing into the cheddar will give a crumbly character which is both lovely yet bothersome when you are trying to make a sandwich. It can be a tad bit too gritty at times which may make it a wrong choice on a cheeseboard if your guests are messy and don’t take a plate.

The aroma is mellow yet rich. It is not a powerful smell however for a cheddar; it is quite pungent, yet pleasant to a Cheddar loving person such as myself.

The Taste

Before any cheese is tastest, it is left on the counter for a reasonable amount of time. Having the cheese come to room temperature and taste testing them on their own allows the true qualities to shine through.

As we know by now, I am biased with cheddars. They are my go-to cheese any day of the week.

With that said, Davidstow’s Cheddars, especially this 3 Year Vintage are my favourite supermarket packaged cheese. Lee and I recommend this cheese.

The cheese is hard, yet has a slight crumble nature. When placed in the mouth, it has that beautiful smooth and creamy sensation. It is rich yet grainy due to the white flakes that have developed within the cheese. These flakes of protein provide a strange yet beautiful crunch that keeps you going back for more.

Though, not powerful enough to knock your socks off, the flavour and texture is strong and yet has a slight richness to it.

Overall, the Davidstow’s 3 Year Vintage Cheddar is highly recommended for a cheeseboard and would be great in sandwiches and burgers too if you can slice off enough that does not crumble away!