12 Hospital Street, Nantwich, CW5 5RJ
01270 620799

12 Hospital Street, Nantwich, CW5 5RJ

01270 620799

Lyburn Winchester Old Extra Mature
Lyburn Winchester Old Extra Mature

Lyburn Winchester Old Extra Mature

Old Winchester, or “Old Smales” as it was sometimes known as, is a mature version of Winchester cheese with a delicious and nutty taste. It is a much harder and dryer cheese with signs of crystallisation adding to the uniqueness of this wonderful cheese. Old Winchester is reminiscent of an old Dutch style gouda cheese with a distinctive nuttiness in flavour, however it is a product of evolution, need and much taste testing to create this delicious cheese.

£3.30Quantity: 100g
Ingredients: Milk (Cow, Goat, Buffalo or Ewe’s Milk), Salt, Starter Culture, Rennet.

For allergens, please see ingredients.

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Product Description

Old Winchester cheese is made with a vegetarian rennet and pasteurised milk so on many occasions the cheese can be sold and used as a vegetarian replacement for a hard Italian cheese, and yet can still be used as a table cheese, it has that bit more versatility !

Each cheese is made by hand by Mike and Judy Smales on the family farm at Landford near to Salisbury using milk from the families own herd of 180 cattle. Each morning the cattle are milked at 6 am and the milk is piped straight away to the dairy where the cheese making team create their magic.

The making of Old Winchester really came about due to the decline in milk prices in the 1980s when the Smales family realised that more could and had to be done to increase the family fortunes and also make use of their much valued milk.

Not having a clue how to make cheese, let alone an award winning one, Mike and Judy set about a 3 day cheese making course at the renowned Reaseheath Agricultural College just outside Nantwich in Cheshire, the starting point of many great cheesemakers careers and to this day Mike and his team are still honing their craft to produce the ultimate cheese.

Mike then returned home to Lyburn Farm and set up a porta-cabin with some cheese making equipment. Mike really didn’t want to make a cheese in the cheddar style as after all there were already some great Cheddar Cheese makers already in the West Country of England, but he yearned for something rather different and headed towards a Gouda style cheese instead.

The 3000 litres of milk used for the cheese is quickly pasteurised and vegetarian rennet is added allowing the curds and whey to form. Due to the vegetarian rennet, Old Winchester makes an ideal substitute for a Parmesan or aged Gouda cheese for those who are vegetarians as not only is Old Winchester an ideal cheese on the cheeseboard, but it also grates and shaves like an authentic Italian Parmesan or Dutch Gouda cheese and delivers that same and much sought after taste.

The making of Old Winchester follows the time honoured methods of making a Gouda style cheese where the curds, once cut, are washed and scalded after draining to allow the lactic acid to be removed, resulting in a sweeter and longer lasting cheese. Other tweaks are made to the traditional Gouda and Cheddar recipes and making methods to make this unique and award winning cheese.

The first cheese the couple produced was Lyburn Gold, a supple and soft cheese which, although delicious, wasn’t quite what the locals wanted having being used to a cheddar style cheese and so Mike decided to mature the cheese for longer, in fact 9 months longer, and so Winchester cheese was born.

This new cheese was well received but the locals still wanted a firmer cheese and so Mike decided to age the cheese for longer still, this time for up to 18 months and called it Old Winchester.

The rest, as they say is history as this new cheese gave everybody what they wanted: the richness and sweetness of a cheddar, the grainy crystallisation of a Gouda and the feint smokey tang of a Parmesan.

Old Winchester has slightly evolved since then to be what it is today. For the last few years the cheese-making has been under the guidance of talented cheese-maker Paul Thomas, whose background was one of biochemistry and who is responsible for the slight tweaks and changes to the cheese making it the utterly delicious cheese is is today.

The farm produces some 60 cheeses daily and cheese making takes place 5 days each week. Each cheese is moulded in basket shaped moulds, the base of which will hold 6kg of curds before the lid is firmly fitted and the cheeses are then pressed, some 5 or 6 high by pneumatic rams and left overnight to displace as much whey and moisture as possible. This process gives the cheese its distinctive shape and ensures that the texture of the cheese is as dry as possible.

The following morning the cheeses are then taken and washed in a brine bath where they will sit for about 24 hours to absorb some of the salt from the brine before being allowed to dry off and the stored in the farms maturation rooms. This is where they will stay for up to 18 months, constantly being turned and nurtured.

Old Winchester cheese really is the most wonderfully tasting cheese that will stay on the tongue for a long time. It stands alone on a cheese board but should you wish to add a chutney to it then a spiced apple chutney such as The Cheese Shop Nantwich, “Nantwich Chutney” would be the perfect accompaniment together with a Scottish Oatcake.

The Cheese Shop

12 Hospital Street,
Cheshire, CW5 5RJ

Shop Opening Hours

Monday – Saturday: 08:30 to 17:30
Sunday:  10:30 to 15:30

Closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Years Day and Easter Sunday.