When Andy Hatch (cheesemaker extraordinaire and owner of Uplands Cheese) called us earlier this week and asked if we would like to bring in a special lot of Extra-Extra-Aged Pleasant Ridge Reserve, it didn’t take us long get back to him with an “ummm, yes please!”
Pleasant Ridge Reserve is only made during the summer when their cows are grazing on fresh pasture (May-October) These wheels were made at the beginning of the milking season on May 27th, of 2014. Typically Upland’s “Extra-Aged” wheels are just over a year old, so we are calling these 22 month-aged wheels “Antique” as a nod to their Gruyere brethren. Now with nearly two years of aging under their belt, they are tasting phenomenal. The nose is fruity without being too sweet, like fermented pineapple and caramelized onion. The cheese opens up into some big meaty flavors (think miso and beef broth) and finishes with notes of fresh hay and toasted pumpkin seeds. The texture is dense (but not brittle) with all of the sexy little tyrosene “flavor” crystals that can woo even the most finicky of cheese-eaters.
Pleasant Ridge Reserve
- Country of Origin: United States
- Region: Wisconsin
- Milk Type: Raw cow’s milk
- Style: Gruyere
- Flavor profile: Nutty sweet with dynamic grassy and floral aromas.
- Quantity: 10# wheel
- Availability: Seasonal
Located near Dodgeville, Wisconsin, Uplands Cheese was started by two families: Mike and Carol Gingrich and Dan and Jeanne Patenaude. After years of farming separately as neighbors, in 1994 they combined forces and bought a farm together in order to join their small herds and manage them in a seasonal, pasture-based system. Uplands farm has crossed larger breeds, like Holsteins and Brown Swiss, with smaller ones, such as Jersey and Tarentaise in their own closed herd. Pleasant Ridge Reserve is named after the land formation on which the farm sits.
Pleasant Ridge Reserve, is also a farmstead artisan product, and is made in the tradition of Alpine cheeses like Gruyere and Beaufort. Like the Alpage versions of these cheeses, Pleasant Ridge is made from May through October when the cows are eating fresh pasture. This is a grass-fed raw milk cheese.
Pleasant Ridge is aged typically aged 6-8 months, with a select number of wheels aging up to a year or more. The cheese produced for over a year, the “Extra Aged” batches of Pleasant Ridge Reserve, are available only in the fall and early winter.
Tasting notes: Nutty and sweet with dynamic grassy and floral aromas.
Best in Show American Cheese Awards, 2001, 2005, 2010
Best of Show American Cheese Championship, 2003