Choice reveals the best vintage cheddar

3rd August 2021 | Eativity editors

Good cheese is awesome, but which brands are really grate? Consumer watchdog Choice has revealed which vintage cheddar cheeses are worth paying a premium for.

Choice’s panel of expert judges have done the hard yards and taste-tested 27 vintage cheddar cheeses that are available at major supermarket and grocery chains across Australia. They tested products that include “vintage” or “extra mature” in the product name and/or are labelled with a maturation of 12 months or more.

“Judges assessed each cheese on flavour, aroma, texture and appearance,” says Choice senior food journalist, Rachel Clemons. “They looked for a sweet, milky flavour; a good balance of salt and acid; a firm, close, slightly crumbly texture; and a lingering aftertaste.”

King Island Dairy produces a range of cheeses on King Island in the Bass Strait.

King Island Dairy Surprise Bay Cheddar scored first place with a rating of 73 percent.

“The Surprise Bay Cheddar impressed our judges with its mildly sweet cheddar aroma, balanced flavour and good, firm texture,” says Clemons.

Coles supermarkets’ Australian Vintage Cheddar also scored a place in the top six.

“The Coles Australian Vintage Cheddar did very well in our taste-testing, receiving a score of 70 percent,” Clemons says. “It’s also cheaper than a lot of the other cheeses we tested.”

The Choice Expert Rating score is made up of 70 percent taste (50% flavour and aroma, 30% texture and body, 20% appearance and presentation) and 30 percent nutrition (based on the product’s Health Star Rating, calculated from the details listed in the nutrition information panel and converted to a percentage figure). The following vintage cheddar cheeses received a score of 70 percent or more and are recommended by Choice.

King Island Dairy Surprise Bay Cheddar

Choice Expert Rating: 73%
Price: $5.50 per 100g

Barber’s 1833 Vintage Reserve Cheddar

Choice Expert Rating: 72%
Price: $5.00 per 100g

Thomas Dux 18 Month Aged Cheddar

Choice Expert Rating: 72%
Price: $1.84 per 100g

Thomas Dux 24 Month Aged Cheddar

Choice Expert Rating: 72%
Price: $2.30 per 100g

Thomas Dux English Vintage Cheddar

Choice Expert Rating: 71%
Price: $2.25 per 100g

Coles Australian Vintage Cheddar

Choice Expert Rating: 70%
Price: $1.60 per 100g

To read the full article, including cheese tasting notes, more information on cheddar cheese and Choice testing methods, click here.