Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Cahill's Original Irish Whiskey Cheddar

Cahill's is a cheese company out of County Limerick in Ireland. The founder, David Cahill, moved from Cork to Massachusetts in the 1860s, but then moved back to Ireland in 1902, settling in Newcastle West. He built a small dairy in 1910 that he passed on to his nephew, William Cahill, in the 1920s. In the 1950s the Cahills starting making soft cheeses. In 1972, William's son, David, perhaps named after his Great Uncle, took over the family business and began to concentrate on handcrafted, flavored cheeses. 

I had an opportunity to visit the offices of Cheese of the Month Club recently and try two of the Cahill cheeses, an Irish Whiskey Cheddar, the subject of this post, and an Irish Porter Cheddar, the subject of a later post. Cahill's Original Irish Whiskey Cheddar is made with Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey, pasteurized cow milk and a vegetable rennet. I've never tasted whiskey, but one of the employees at Cheese of the Month Club told me that he can taste the whiskey in the cheese. I watched him cut the wheel of cheese into wedges and I got to take a wedge home with me. It has a white waxy rind that separates easily from the cheese. 
A wheel of the cheddar.
The wheel after it was cut in half.
My wedge with a number of slices.
There is no question it is cheddar. It has the typical sharp pungent bite. But this particular cheddar is not strong, it has somewhat of a bite, but also a sweet taste to it. Although I don't know what whiskey tastes like, I can't really identify what I would think of as a whiskey taste. But an addition to the employee I've talked, others on line have confirmed the whiskey taste.

I decided to do a taste test with three cheddars, some Quieke's Oak Smoked Cloth Bound Chedddar, my favorite of the three cheeses, this Irish Whiskey Cheddar and the Irish Porter Cheddar.  I sliced up an avocado and spread it around a plate, then put down some of each of the three kinds of cheese, each in its own section on the plate, then I fried three eggs from my friend's back-yard chicken coop. I was surprised by the result: the best cheese of the bunch, with these ingredients, was the Irish Whiskey Cheddar. The sweet and more mild taste went perfectly with the egg and avocado. It confirmed to me, again, that what may be the best cheese for one purpose, is not the best cheese for another purpose.
The Oak Smoked Cheddar is front left, the Irish Whiskey Cheddar is front right and the Irish Porter Cheddar (the dark cheese) is at the back, on top of avocado slices.
The addition of the eggs.
Judy sampled some of the egg, Irish Whiskey Cheddar and avocado and ooed and awwed, later coming back for another bite. It was really good. 
I have since tried the Irish Whiskey Cheddar on a sandwich (onion, tomato  avocado and lettuce) and found it to be wonderful. I also tried it inside a grilled Anaheim chile and ___________.


  1. Another possibility for my birthday breakfast. Or my Half-birthday breakfast, which is coming up sooner.

  2. I'm sensing a pattern reading through your various cheese posts: interesting cheese + avocado=winner.