Cave Aged Creations: Affinage, Experimentation, and a Murray’s Tradition

Our regular Cavemaster releases are an integral part of the Murray’s Cheese world, you might have wondered in the past: what exactly is the difference between the different names we give these new creations? From Cavemaster Labs to Cavemaster Reserve, Cave Aged varieties, and everything in between, there’s plenty of nuance and a whole lot of creative flavor.

Our most recent release, Cave Aged Rupert Reserve, is an extra-aged version of Consider Bardwell’s award-winning Rupert, and lives in–you guessed it–our “Cave Aged” category, which is a little bit different than some of the other Cavemaster labels you might be familiar with.

Cave Aged Rupert Reserve

Essentially, cheeses in the Cave Aged category are brought in from cheesemakers around the world, and aged in our caves in a manner that replicates the treatment they would have received from their original producer. Murray’s role in this type of affinage (French for cheese aging) is to respect traditional methods, and release classic cheeses at their peak ripeness.

Meanwhile, our line of Cavemaster cheeses are all about creating something brand new. Whether that’s the result of experimentation or careful planning and recipes, these cheeses are meant to be a remix of a traditional cheese made especially for release by Murray’s, often with a new name and totally different flavor profile, like Cavemaster Original Stockinghall or Cavemaster Reserve Greensward.

Murray’s Natural Rind Cave

What does this mean for our Rupert Reserve? Because it’s a Cave Aged cheese, we didn’t do anything to alter Rupert’s already stellar profile besides allow it to live in our Caves for a year and a half longer than its normal aging time, meaning that it emerges at around two years old. The process of natural affinage allows its flavors to deepen and its texture to become slightly more firm and crunchy, as moisture levels lessen the longer a cheese is aged.

Cavemaster PJ

Traditionally, Rupert is packed with classic Alpine flavor–butterscotch, sweet grass, and light fruit, but after its long-term stay with us in our Natural Rind Cave, it develops notes of succulent ham and bacon, as well as a hint of bright, tropical pineapple. “Think Hawaiian pizza in cheese form,” says Cavemaster PJ.

Want to explore more of our Caves? Check out what goes on behind the scenes of the cheese and meet the team that crafts the incredible creations you know and love right here.

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