Jean Perrin Secret de Scey
Morbier is a cheese made in the French region of Franche-Comté in the departments of Jura and Doubs. Traditionally makers of Comte - which comes in 90 lb wheels - would make a smaller cheese for home use. They would partially fill a small mold with left over curd in the morning and cover it with ash (usually from grape vines) to keep the cheese from forming a rind, keep bugs away and protect the cheese from light. That evening they would fill the rest of the mold with curd. Thus the black line running through the middle of Morbier. The French changed the Appellation D'Controlee (AOC) for the production of Morbier cheese to exclude pasteurized cheese. Jean Perrin makes Secret de Scey with the same recipe for Morbier except he uses pasteurized milk. The cheese is uncooked and pressed, the rind is brine-washed and Jean Perrin ages the cheese for a minimum of four months.
I am hit with big bold funky aromas with some barnyard, sweat, old socks, cows and grass as I take the cheese out of its package. It has an elastic paste that springs back when you push it and it has an orange rind that looks it had a cloth wrapping that was removed. There are a few small eyes. It is mildly elastic and if you break off a piece you can almost roll it into a ball. The paste moves from dark ivory to lighter ivory as you move to the interior and it has a bluish-black line though the middle. It tastes milder than it smells. It is creamy and buttery, with nuts and grass and hints of fruit and citrus. I paired the cheese with a Crooked Stave St. Bretta Citrus Wildbier and the blending of the aromas was fantastic. The beer picks up and accentuates the cheese's fruit and citrus notes and highlights the funk but it also washes out a little of the cheese's flavor. The pairing does produce interesting long lasting aftertastes. I also paired it with Venn Brewing Company's American Amber! This is a little robust for an amber but it is exactly what the cheese needs allowing the creamy, buttery nuts to come more into play while leaving room the for the light fruit and citrus notes. American Amber! reminds you why people eat bread with cheese. I love the cheese and will at tome point try it melted on things. The St. Bretta is a decent pairing with the cheese while the American Amber! is nearly perfect. Try Jean Perrin Secret de Scey with a mildly sweet cider or a mead.