We’re no strangers to a good clothbound Cheddar here at C+C. From our early blogging days, when we featured Cabot and Jasper Hill’s version, to when we nibbled our way through Fiscalini’s Bandaged Cheddar, we never turn down a wedge of craggy, crumbly, clothbound Cheddar. But I can’t recall ever sampling one from Wisconsin – until I visited new cheese shop Wedge & Wheel last month and tasted Kingsley Clothbound Cheddar from cheesemaker extraordinaire Chris Roelli. Wow, I didn’t know what I was missing.
Traditional English clothbounds are aged quite some time, which can lend them a signature mustiness. When Wedge & Wheel owner Chris Kohtz and I snacked on Kingsley, which is aged for eight months, he remarked that it lacks that slightly dusty, stored-in-the-cellar quality, and I had to agree. The Kingsley still carries an earthy, mustardy flavor that aged Cheddar lovers will recognize, but it offers a cleaner bite than your typical clothbound. That’s not a bad thing, in my opinion – there is room for all kinds of clothound Cheddars in this cheesy world.
Pair Kingsley with anything from Wisconsin – well, maybe not everything – but a hearty sausage and good beer would make fine accompaniments. Non-beer drinkers like me would enjoy it with a full-bodied red wine or a hard cider. And while I’m sure it would make a delicious grilled cheese, Kingsley is a cheese to nibble and savor, so give it the center spot on your cheeseboard instead.