American Cheese Society 2012 Award Winners

by dccheese on August 4, 2012

in cheese awards,Cheesemakers & People,events

Straight from Raleigh, North Carolina, we bring you the Best in Show from the 2012 American Cheese Society Awards:

toast to acs winners

3rd Place
Roth Grand Cru Surchoix, Emmi Roth USA, Wisconsin

2nd Place
Crema de Blue, Valley Shepherd Creamery, New Jersey


Flagsheep, Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, Washington

Wisconsin was a big winner with 90+ ribbons out of the 356 awarded. It was another record-setting year with 1,711 cheeses submitted for judging. Categories range from butter, yogurt and fresh cheeses to aged, washed-rind and several open categories. Perhaps our favorite category, farmstead cheeses, awarded ribbons to many cheese makers we’ve reviewed and loved here — and some we haven’t, yet. There was a six-way tie for second place in the cows milk division. The first place winners, by type:

Farmstead Cheeses, Soft, All Milks: Dancing Fern, Sequatchie Cove Creamery, Tennessee

Farmstead Cheeses, Semi-soft, Cows Milk, Aged over 60 days: La Baluchon, Fromages CDA Inc., Quebec

Farmstead Cheeses, Hard, Aged over 60 days: Maggie’s Reserve, Cricket Creek Farm, Massachusetts

Farmstead Cheeses, Goats Milk, Aged over 60 days: Greta’s Fair Haven, Ruggles Hill Creamery, Massachusetts

Farmstead Cheeses, Sheeps/Mixed Milk, Aged over 60 days: St. Helens, Black Sheep Creamery, Washington

Farmstead Cheeses, Flavor Added: Marieke Gouda Foenegreek, Holland’s Family Cheese, Wisconsin

Dr. Pat Elliott and Sid Cook

Everona's Dr. Pat Elliott congratulates Sid Cook, Carr Valley

In our beloved bloomy-rind category, MouCo Cheese Co. of Colorado claimed first place with their Ashley, while Cellars at Jasper Hill, Vt., took second for Harbison and Sweet Grass Dairy, Ga., third for Green Hill. (Alas, not one of these was served with the champagne last night. We’ll give them their proper toast back at home.)

It was a good night for Southern cheeses, as well, with several North Carolina dairies taking ribbons. (More on those, later.) From the Mid-Atlantic, Maryland’s FireFly Farms took first for Cabra La Mancha (washed-rind goat) and a third for Mountain Top Bleu (goat blues with rind); Chapel’s Country Creamery garnered third for their marinated feta. Virginia’s Everona Dairy received a third place ribbon for Stony Man in the farmstead aged sheeps milk category.

Dane Huebner at ACS

Cheesemaker Dane Huebner wins three ribbons for Grafton Village Cheese, Vermont

Visit the ACS website for the full list of results. Over at Cheese Underground, Jeanne has a summary of Wisconsin’s blue ribbon winners and Pacific NW Cheese Project highlights winners from Oregon and Washington. Stay tuned for more from Raleigh — tonight I attempt to taste at least the 350+ winners, if not the full 1,711 at the Festival of Cheese.


Jake August 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm

It’s impossible not to be concerned that, despite blind tasting, there is no getting around preconceived ideas about what a cheese “should be,” (and of course there are standards, even with unique cheeses). But, for example, from all the possible “types” of cheeses that are included in the Fresh, Unriped, Cow’s Milk Cheese category, defined as: Mascarpone, Cream Cheese, Neufchatel, Ricotta, Impastata, Quark, Fromage Blanc, Cottage Cheeses, and those submitted, only cream cheeses won recognition? (I admit to being a disappointed fan of various cheeses entered).

But happy cheese tasting to you. I know you will savor each bite without prejudice.

dccheese August 14, 2012 at 11:50 pm

@Jake – I didn’t pay as much attention to the fresh categories but that’s an interesting point. It doesn’t really address that, but one of the judges has posted about his experience behind the scenes:

I can’t say we’re entirely without prejudice, but thanks for the vote of confidence. :)

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