Milk: Cow, Raw milk
Country: Switzerland, Canton Schwyz
Accompaniment: Sweet whites, fruity reds
Made in the town of Kussnacht in North Central Switzerland, Hoch Ybrig is a classic Swiss mountain cheese patterned after Switzerland's famous Gruyère. Created in the 1980s, Hoch Ybrig is a fairly new cheese and is made in only one dairy. Milk comes from several small local herds of Simmental cows and is not pasteurized.
Hoch Ybrig is selected and matured by the famous Swiss affineur Rolf Beeler (known as the “Cheese Pope” in Swizerland). Wheels imported into the United States are brought in by Swiss native, Caroline Hostettler, who likes to keep them until they are at least a year old. Throughout their maturation, the wheels are washed with brine that contains white wine, which may be the reason for the cheese's sweet finish.
At one year, the interior paste of the cheese is a deep, golden straw color, becoming slightly darker towards the rind, which is thin and dark-ochre in color. The texture is very smooth, dense and slightly supple. There are occasional holes, or "eyes,"' and some cheeses develop a few crunchy granules that are the result of crystallized amino acids.
Flavors of Hoch Ybrig are concentrated and sweet, with a perfect, fine balance of salt and acidity. There are also definitive caramel and butterscotch notes.
It is an excellent snacking cheese, but try it with some mustard on a crusty baguette. Looking for a fondue cheese, look no further.