Tasting Notes: Beehive Cheese Co. Barely Buzzed

Beehive Cheese Co. I'm a purist when it comes to my cheese. Don't give me no flavorings, no colorings, no waxed rind, give me the best cheese you can make and don't mess with the beauty of it. Just looking at the abomination that is White Stilton with strawberries makes my stomach turn (sorry, Long Clawson Dairy). But I'm an enthusiastic convert to the luxuriant flavors of Beehive Cheese Co.'s Barely Buzzed.

This innovative and multiple award winning cheese is made by Tim Welsh and Pat Ford of Beehive Cheese Co. in Uintah, Utah. The base is a cheddar recipe developed in conjunction with Utah State University, one of a few remaining universities in the country that operate functioning creameries. Aged about six months, the cheddar is sharp and quite pleasing in its own right, but what gives this cheese the real 'wow' flavor factor is the coffee /lavender rub that's massaged on the rind during the aging process. The coffee, which comes from Legacy Coffee Co. in Colorado (and happens to be roasted by Pat Ford's brother) imparts rich, deep, earthy tones of chocolate, caramel and butterscotch to the cheese, with slightly sweet, herbal notes underneath from the lavender. What's intriguing is that these flavors penetrate all the way to the core of the cheese, making every part glow with warmth...you don't even need to eat a piece of the rind to get the full experience.

While you're unlikely to get your daily requirement of caffeine from this cheese, you will definitely be pleased to experience both coffee and cheese in new ways with Barely Buzzed.