About Isle of Mull Cheese
Isle of Mull cheese is a traditional farmhouse cheddar cheese, produced on the only dairy farm on the Isle of Mull off the West Coast of Scotland.
The artisan cheese and the farm are both very much a family affair. Run by Jeff and Chris Reade and two of their four sons, the dairy, Sgriob-ruadh farm, has been running since 1999. They are extremely welcoming of visitors to the farm, and continue to the ancient island craft of producing cheeses that are as natural as possible, drawing from the limited resources of the island’s provisions.
Because the farm and, mostly, Friesian cows are kept on the island, the feed used is regularly supplemented by the local Tobermory distillery’s discarded fermented grain, resulting in the very distinctive taste of the Isle of Mull cheese.
Likewise, during the winter months when the cows spend substantially longer indoors, their diet is predominantly hay, meaning that the cheeses remain much lighter in colour, compared to the same cheese produced during summer when the cows have dieted on fresh green grass. All Isle of Mull cheese is kept au natural, away from any colour additives, preserving the natural quality of the cheese.
In the same manner, the Reade’s prefer not to pasteurise their milk during the cheese production, as they maintain that too many of the organisms resulting in the individualism and maturity of flavour in many cheeses are lost due to this process. The milk from their cows is therefore taken daily as it is produced through to the cheese dairy immediately and used as fresh as it comes.
The cheeses are then kept in an underground cellar to mature for many months, occasionally developing a blue vein (though not always) and wares up to 18 months old.
The Isle of Mull cheese is a hard, cows milk, cheddar cheese with quite a sharp taste, with hints of the fruity, yeasty and slightly alcoholic cows feed offering a feisty lingering tang.
Quite a moist, and soft textured cheddar which is complex, deep and strong.
How to Enjoy
Isle of Mull cheese works really well with a full bodied red wine, to compliment the slight yeasty, alcoholic lilt, or even a wee dram of Dalmore single malt whisky, to stay true to the cheese roots.
Also really well complimented by crackers, oatcakes or a fruity chutney.
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