Beemster XO Aged Gouda

A wedge of Beemster XO Aged Gouda on a marble cutting board

A very old and extremely good cheese.
Revered for its rich flavors of butterscotch, whiskey, and pecan, Beemster XO Aged Gouda has a deep ocher interior and a firm, crumbly texture. True to the characteristics of Beemster’s unique milk, this cheese retains a creamy mouthfeel. It is studded with crunchy, mouthwatering crystals that surprise the palate. Beemster XO (Extra Old) is a coveted favorite.

Tasting Notes
The robust flavor starts with hints of butterscotch that permeate the palate, followed by alternating waves of whiskey and pecan.

Pair Beemster cheeses with your favorite sturdy dry white wines like Chardonnay, sturdy reds made from Bordeaux grapes, rich, fruitier reds, rieslings, port, sherry, or dessert wines. It is also delicious with beer.

The Dutch enjoy darker breads, such as pumpernickel and rye, with their cheeses. It is delicious with olives. For a main course, grate Beemster XO Aged Gouda onto steamed vegetables, stuff it in ravioli, or shave it over pasta. (X-O can be grated and used as an alternative to Parmesan). For a dessert course, add apples, cherries, Concord grapes, honeydew, pears, and pineapple.

Beemster Origins
Beemster cheese has been around for over a century and is a signature Dutch cheese in the Netherlands. And, the Beemster Polder (land reclaimed from the sea through draining), where the cheese originates, has been around since the 17th century and was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1999.

In 1612, Dutch engineers drained uninhabitable marshes and bogs. Once drained, the land was too saturated with water to grow crops so they focused their attention on dairy farming. The Beemster Polder has a nutrient and mineral-rich clay soil with a distinctive slate blue color that yields longer, fertile, and thicker grasses, giving the milk an especially sweet and creamy quality.

Beemster cheese is made by traditional cheese-making methods, using a secret recipe known only to the Beemster farmers and Master Cheesemakers. Great attention is paid to the cheese’s quality, starting with the treatment of the Beemster cows raised by farmers who allow their cows to graze freely in the pastures from spring through fall. This results in excellent milk quality.

Aged 26 Months
Beemster makes several varieties of cheese. This stronger-flavored Beemster X-O is aged for 26 months, giving a rich and creamy texture with a light caramel color.

As a cheese matures, the flavors become more complex. Moisture also evaporates, leaving the cheese crumbly and granular. Beemster’s unique milk source enables X-O to achieve one of the widest flavor ranges while still retaining its smooth and creamy taste.

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