White Lake’s Sheep Rustler is British Cheese Awards Supreme Champ
Somerset’s White Lake Cheese received the Supreme Champion trophy at the British Cheese Awards for the second year running with another one of its ewes’ milk creations.
Sheep Rustler, a semi-hard cheese made with thermised milk, is made a few miles from the Royal Bath & West Showground where the awards were held on 30th May, within the annual show.
White Lake – which won the Supreme trophy with its Pavé Cobble in 2017 – saw off more than 1,000 entries, from across the British Isles, to take the title at the 25th instalment of the awards.
Cheesemakers from Somerset won a number of trophies at the awards dinner held after the day’s judging.
Montgomery’s Mature Cheddar was named Reserve Champion while Westcombe Dairy picked up three award – two for its Duckett’s Caerphilly (both Best British Territorial and Best English) and the Best Cheddar trophy.
Bath Soft Cheese won awards for Best Packaging and Best Organic for the washed rind Merry Wyfe.
The trophy for Best Soft White Cheese, sponsored by Fine Food Digest, was awarded to Nettlebed Creamery’s Bix.
Among the other award winners were Golden Cross’s Flower Marie (Best Sheep’s Cheese), Butlers Farmhouse Cheese’s Stratford Blue (Best New Cheese ) and Teifi’s Celtic Promise (Best Welsh and Best Semi-soft).
This year’s competition attracted over 1,000 entries from 147 makers, with 77 judges reviewing 123 classes of cheese. Cheeses entered came from over 54 counties that covered the length and breadth of the UK and Ireland.
All the cheeses were scored on presentation, texture, aroma, flavour and balance. Dependent on the scores that each cheese received, gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded.
Among this year’s senior judging panel were Mary Quicke, the Awards’ founder Juliet Harbutt and esteemed chef Michel Roux OBE.
Peter Mitchell, chairman of the British Cheese Awards, says: “The number and quality of the cheeses entered for this year’s awards has been exceptional and made judging and choosing the winners a real challenge.
“We’re very fortunate in this country to have such a great number of dedicated and skilled cheesemakers that are renowned for their excellence and commitment to quality. This is reflected in the cheeses that were judged this year.”