A farmhouse cheese made in the heart of the New Forest at Lyburn Farm. Taken from a herd of 160 pedigree cattle, the milk is transported only about 200 meters from the cows to the dairy where cheesemaking begins. The Smales family vowed in the beginning not to make a cheddar, but when popular demand called for a hard cheese, they came up with Winchester – a cross between a strong cheddar and a sweet classic gouda. Aged about nine months when we receive it, the taste is full and nutty with fine crystals and a slight gaminess that deepens the complexity. While still creamy on the palate, the pate is quite close-textured and firm. A lovely pairing cheese, as the balance between sweetness and earthiness allows for a wide range of styles of wine or beer.