Christmas tasting notes

Due to the unusual year we’ve had, there is a shortage of some of the cheeses we had planned for you this December. But never fear because we have substituted them with some other equally wonderful British farmhouse cheeses for you to enjoy. 


Baron Bigod

Baron bigod

Characteristics: Soft, bloomy rind, unpasteurised cows milk. 

Cheesemaker: Our fabulous team here at Fen Farm Dairy, Bungay, Suffolk. 

Pair it with: A crisp perry or cider. This cheese goes perfectly with fruity flavours.  

What makes it special: Handmade here on our farm at Bungay, from the warm milk of our happy Montbeliarde  cows. We make our cheese very early in the morning, so we can use the fresh warm milk straight from the cow, at  the perfect temperature for cheesemaking. The milk is gently gravity fed into small vats, just a few metres from the  milking parlour, where rennet is added. The curds are carefully hand ladled into large moulds, using traditional pelle a-brie ladles and the young cheeses are hand-salted and then aged for up to 8 weeks in a cave-like environment.  

Tasting Notes: A light, nutty rind over a pungent and silky golden curd, with long-lasting notes of warm earth,  farmyard and mushrooms. Eat the whole thing, rind and all!

Lincolnshire Poacher

Lincolnshire poacher

Characteristics: Hard cows milk cheese. Unpasteurised.  

Cheesemaker: Simon and Tim Jones and their head cheesemaker, Richard Tagg. 

Pair with: A sweet white wine. Meursault is sublime with this cheese. 

What makes it special: Lincolnshire Poacher is the beautiful love-child of a West Country Cheddar and an Alpine  hard cheese, combining the very best elements of both. It was Developed by 4th generation farming brothers Simon  and Tim Jones, and is now made by their head cheesemaker Richard, on their idyllic dairy farm on the edge of  the Lincolnshire Wolds. Think of an undulating patchwork landscape, hilltop castles and eerie North Sea mists that  come rolling in and envelop the land in salt spray. The family’s much-loved herd of Friesian-Holstein cows (and one  Normandy cow) enjoy the cooling mist and the lush grass that is nourished by it and stays green even when the rest  of the country is in drought.  

Tasting Notes: Savory meets sweet with meaty, brothy, umami notes up front giving way to a fruity sweetness  on the finish. 

St Jude

St jude

Characteristics: Soft, bloomy rind, unpasteurised cows milk. 

Cheesemaker: Julie Cheyney of White Wood Dairy, Suffolk. 

Pair with: A robust fruity Chenin Blanc or a good quality, smooth Sake.  

What makes it special: This is a rare treat, which you may not have come across before, as it is only made in tiny  quantities and sold in a few selected outlets. St. Jude is a unique cheese made right here on our own dairy farm, by  two-time winner of the James Aldridge Memorial Award for the Best British Raw Milk Cheese, Julie Cheyney.  

Tasting Notes: Julie’s mantra is that “good cheese is made slowly and gently”. For this reason, she oversees the entire  cheesemaking process herself, using only the fresh morning milk of the first cows to enter the milking parlour. This is  a beautifully creamy and soft cheese with a wrinkled rind. Eat both rind and paste together for the fullest experience.  St. Jude’s flavours change with the seasons. When the cows are indoors on winter rations it has a more buttery  flavour and when they are grazing outside the vegetal notes come through, with a savoury twist on the marshland  pastures that the cows are enjoying.

St Cera

St cera

Characteristics: Soft washed-rind cheese. Cows milk. Unpasteurised. 

Cheesemaker: Julie Cheyney & Blake Bowden of St. Jude Cheese in Suffolk.

Pair with: A crisp dry cider, Belgian beer or try it solo with Sauternes.

What makes it special: St. Cera is the audacious creation of Julie Cheyney, a rind-washed sister cheese to her original and award-winning St.Jude cheese. When St. Jude is one week old, the rind is carefully hand washed in a weak brine solution and kept in a high humidity room to help change the ripening environment. This colours the rind to a yellow/orange blush and enhances the flavours in the melting paste from mild to robust according to the age and breakdown of the cheese. Julie is based at our own Fen Farm Dairy in Suffolk, where she uses the warm unpasteurised milk from our free ranging Montbeliarde cows to make her formidably good cheeses. 

Tasting notes: A warm hued bloomy rind gives way to a silky golden curd, which oozes as it matures and breaks down. Meaty, brothy, savoury and umami notes combined with a salty sweetness. Flavours that change in celebration with the seasons. An edible blue mould sometimes forms and is typical of this cheese.

Colston Bassett

Colston bassett

Cheesemaker: The team at Colston Bassett Dairy, Nottinghamshire.

Characteristics: Semi-soft blue veined cows milk cheese. Pasteurised.

Pair with: A traditional port or ginger wine.

What makes it special: This one is a true part of British food heritage and one of the very finest examples of PDO Stilton made in the U.K. today. Colston Bassett Stilton was first made in 1920, using only the milk from the immediately surrounding farms. To this day, the cheese is still made by hand, using traditional skills passed down through generations and using only the milk of those same surrounding pastures.

Tasting notes: Buttery, smooth and rounded with sweet fruity notes of ripe grape must and a savoury nutty finish on the rind.


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Fen Farm and Friends is part of Fen Farm Dairy Ltd.