Made from pasteurized or unpasteurized cow's milk
Type: hard, artisan
Flavour: acidic, grassy, milky, nutty
Aroma: fresh, sweet
Alternative spellings: Double Gloucester, Single Gloucester
Gloucester is a traditional, full-fat, hard cheese made from pasteurised or unpasteurised cow milk. The cheese, made from the milk of once nearly extinct Old Gloucester cows, traces its origins to 1498 in the City of Gloucester.
Gloucester comes in two varieties. Single Gloucester is made from skimmed milk and Double Gloucester uses full-fat milk. In addition, Double Gloucester is twice the height of Single Gloucester and more flavourful. It is also said that Double Gloucester uses whole milk taken from two milkings or a mixture of milk and cream. On the other hand, Single Gloucester uses whole cream milk from the morning milking and skimmed milk from the evening milking.
Single Gloucester has a P.D.O designation, meaning it is produced only in Gloucestershire. It is matured for less time and thus develops a fresh, somewhat nutty taste but is slightly more acidic than Double. Also, it is lighter in texture, crumbly and low in fat.
Double Gloucester has a smooth buttery texture, rich and nutty yet mellow flavour and apricot colour due to the addition of annatto plant extract. Vegetarian rennet is used, and the cheese is aged for at least four months. The cheese develops more complex and nutty flavours if it is aged further. Moreover, the texture tends to become very hard and flaky.
Double Gloucester participates every year in Cooper's Hill Cheese-Rolling and Wake, where buyers jump on the cheese to evaluate its quality and sustainability. A traditional British Ale or red like Syrah perfectly complements a Double Gloucester.