Queso Añejo Reserva
Campovieja is located in Castilla y Leon, Spain. In 1952 Grandpa Felix collected cheeses from local shepherds and sent them to Barcelona for sale. He began to collect milk and make the cheese himself. His children created the current company in 1969 and their children took over the company in 2002 and still make authentic Castillian cheese from raw sheep's milk.
Queso Añejo Reserva Campovieja is a raw sheep's milk cheese made with natural lamb rennet, salt, lactic acid bacteria and lysozyme (a naturally occurring enzyme from eggs). It has the Castilla y Leon certificate of artisan cheese (Tierra de Sabor). It is matured for 15 months in a cellar.
The rind is smooth dusty brown marked by the cheese cloth it was wrapped in. The past ranges to dark ivory near the rind to lighter ivory in the interior. It has small eyes and has a firm texture that slowly melts in your mouth. You can roll a pinch into a small crumbly ball. It smells like sheep with a hint of grass and some nuttiness. It is buttery, sheepy, creamy and has a slight tang. I am eating this with a Petritegi craft cider made from Basque apples and a Hammerheart Weltanwanderer, a German style Rauchbier. The malty smokiness of the beer and the cheese go very well together. The maltiness brings out some butter in the cheese and the cheese's sheep notes go very well with the beer's smoke. The cheese and slice of baguette go especially well with the beer and have you wishing for a slice of Serrano ham. The cider is drier and has a funkiness that brings out the sheepy funkiness of the cheese and the cider's tartness combined with the cheese's butter notes create some very nice after tastes. the cider goes better with the cheese alone and the cider and cheese bring out more interesting flavors in each other.
I would drink the beer with the cheese any day but the cider wins by a nose.