Colston Bassett is one of the smallest Stilton Dairies in the country. They buy milk from 5 farms surrounding the dairy. They have been buying from the same farms since the 1920s. Since 1920, there have only been 4 head cheesemakers at Colston Bassett: Tom Coy, Ernie Wagstaff, Richard Rowlett and now Billy Kevan.
Their Stilton is more traditional than any other. The curd is hand-ladled before draining. This treats the curd more gently and preserves its structure which results in a luscious, creamy texture when the cheeses are mature.
The cheeses they make for us are made with traditional animal rennet rather than vegetable rennet. Animal rennet is used by the most exacting cheesemakers because it makes better cheese. With Colston Bassett Stilton the texture is more full-bodied when made with animal rennet and the flavour is deeper, more complex and longer lasting than that of cheeses made with vegetable rennet.
Neil’s Yard, a provider of Colston Bassett Stilton also ask them to pierce the cheeses later and less often than for their regular recipe Colston Bassett which gives the cheese a chance to express flavours other than blue; we want the blue to balance rather than overwhelm the cheese.