Type of Milk: 100% Cow’s Milk
Country of Origin: USA (Wisconsin)
Notes: Aged 2 years. Deep, bold, complex flavors. Best cheddar attributes from around the world.
Last year, Deer Creek became a name to reckon with. At a time when no one knew their name or their story, they quietly entered their cheese to be judged at the American Cheese Society. While the awards are history, the results are still coming in, as these highly coveted awards bring brand awareness that typically take generations to achieve.
Deer Creek is the creation of Chris Gentine, who is not a cheesemaker. He is, however, a licensed Wisconsin cheese grader who for the past 15-plus years has trained his palate to grade the difference between a Grade A and Grade AA cheddar. To be graded AA is not what most cheesemakers even attempt. The process is demanding and each batch must be inspected and graded by one of only a few official State of Wisconsin certified cheese graders. Achieving a AA grade means that the cheese is the epitome of perfection. Grades are evaluated based on four standard characteristics: 1) flavor, 2) body and texture, 3) color, and 4) finish and appearance.
The creation of Deer Creek Vat 17, with its deep, bold and complex flavors, was not an accident. Rather, it was a quest to capture the best cheddar attributes from around the world and blend them into one outstanding cheese. Multiple test vats were developed with variations in the procedure. These vats were then allowed to develop and blossom using proprietary aging techniques. During the two-year aging process, each vat was continually monitored and inspected to focus on the single combination that would produce the body, texture and, most importantly, the flavor that would be pleasing to any cheddar connoisseur around the world. The cheese in Vat 17 stood out above all others.
• Bronze, World Cheese Awards, 2012
• Second Place, American Cheese Society, 2012
• Gold, World Cheese Awards, 2011