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Best Blue Cheese?

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Just tasted (and covered) Rogue's Smokey Blue Cheese and was floored. Any other phenomenal blue's out there that I should know about?

Link: http://www.bellydujour.com/

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  1. St. Agur is a wonderful blue.

    5 Replies
    1. re: TomSwift

      So what is www.bellydujour.com? I will cehck out all three of these. My wife has not eaten Blue for years, but i finally convinced her. Hooray!

      1. re: TomSwift

        I agree.
        My only problems are that I can only find it at Dean and Deluca (charlotte, nc) and that once I get home with it, it's gone.
        My wife and I have eaten it for dinner we like it so much.

        1. re: Tee

          Here is So Cal we can get it at Whole Foods Markets, which is a chain so maybe there's one near you. I've never investigated mail-order because we've got it just down the street, but I'm sure it's available on the web. We enjoy it with various dessert wines.

        2. re: TomSwift

          I totally agree, but have never before seen it until local Whole Foods had it on (radically reduced) sale a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't inexpensive on sale, so I imagine it's a bit pricey on a normal basis. Nevertheless, if I see it again I'll grab it.

          1. re: TomSwift

            Second for St. Agur.... it's a nice and creamy blue cheese.

              1. re: ODB

                Maytag is my favorite for salads.

              2. Don't know what you've tried but I like Cabrales (Spain), Roaring 40s (Australia), Cashel Blue (Ireland) and Colton Basset Stilton (England).

                Most American blues I've had don't stack up to these, though I do like Maytag.

                6 Replies
                1. re: sku

                  I find Cabrales a bit to strong for my taste , I would be interested in finding out where you can get the Roaring 40's

                  1. re: Adrian

                    I saw that Trader Joe's was carrying the roaring 40's Blue. I tried it and wasn't impressed, OK but not up to say a Gorgonzola.

                    1. re: Adrian

                      I came here just to sugest Roaring 40s, Cabrales and Cashel!

                      SKU shares my taste for creamy & intense blues...

                      Roaring 40s is my favorite blue to have by itself or accompanied by a simple baguette or water cracker- and really only after a big beefy dinner. It is my third favorite cheese in the world (behind An excellent Grana Padano, then Fromage d'Affinois)

                      As far as nibling blues are concerned, I like Point Reyes- it has a creamy mouth-feel but is dryer and more crumbly than the 40s or the Cashel. It is a tad salty, but kind of refreshing.

                      As to where one can find it... It probably depends on your location... I know some places here in Chicago...

                      1. re: jdherbert

                        I like the Point Reyes cheese, too.

                      2. re: Adrian

                        Valdeon is a marvelous Spanish blue (wrapped in sycamore leaves) that is a bit milder than Cabrales.

                        1. re: Karl S

                          Second Valdeon. Also always have Colton Basset Stilton in my fridge. Never fails to please guests who are not in to blue cheese.

                    2. If you like (and have access to) Rogue's smokey blue, then you should try their Rogue River blue (wrapped in chestnut leaves). It's only available seasonally, starting in the fall.

                      Another American blue I like is Bayley Hazen blue from Vermont.

                      Link: http://www.jasperhillfarm.com/ourchee...

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                        I tried Jasper Hill's Constant Bliss recently. Wowowowow.

                        Link: http://www.bellydujour.com/

                        1. re: Happy Belly

                          I agree (with the Constant Bliss wow), but it isn't a blue cheese. It does get multicolored spots in it as it ages. The website below describes is as a "soft mold-ripened bit of yumminess". My wife thinks it is reminiscent of the old Liederkranz which is no longer made.

                          Link: http://www.jasperhillfarm.com/

                          1. re: Don Shirer

                            Actually it's made by DCI Cheeses.
                            Liederkranz is an American version of Limburger cheese. It was actually invented by the same man who invented Velveeta.

                        2. re: Ruth Lafler

                          I tried the Rogue Smokey Blue and I have to say it really wasn't my type of blue. It wasn't very strong and for a burger it never softened up really. It stayed pretty firm and almost grainy. Didn't make for a great burger like the Cashel did. It probably would be quite good on it's own though with some crackers or a great baguette.

                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                            I'll second the Rogue River Blue. The one I had was wrapped in grape leaves that were macerated in Clear Creek’s Pear Brandy...heavenly! http://www.roguecreamery.com/pilot.as...

                            Actually, I haven't had any of Rogue's cheeses I didn't like.

                            1. re: MsMaryMc

                              Rogue River Blue is superb! The finest "New World" blue cheese I've tasted. Also like Point Reyes for its tangy quality. European blues, like wines, are going to be more barnyard-y.

                              1. re: irishgem79

                                Where do you buy the Rogue River Blue? I don't have access to a good independent cheesmonger and my selection has been from Whole Foods, Wegman's and Harris Teeter. Have you seen at any of those stores?

                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                  Rogue River Blue is a high-end cheese that sells for over $40/lb. It's unlikely you'll find it anywhere other than a specialty cheese store. Also, the supply is quite limited, so I doubt they distribute it through chains, even high-end ones.

                                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                    I just saw some Rogue River Blue (not the smoky kind) at the Lincoln Park Whole Foods in Chicago this evening.

                                      1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                        I just picked up the Rogue River Creamery Anniversary Blue and while it was OK I have to admit that there was something I can't really put my finger on that I didn't like about it.

                              2. re: Ruth Lafler

                                Rogue River Blue is some mighty fine cheese. I like almost everything listed here actually, including Maytag (which i think of as an American classic flavor), Point Reyes, Cashel, and Colton Basset Silton.

                                Why the hell doesn't LA have better cheese!!!

                              3. Great Hill Blue - made in Massachusetts/ Very good, especially to crumble in salads.

                                1 Reply
                                1. Agreed on the Rogue and the chestnut leaf-wrapped one as well. Point Reye's is very nice as well.

                                  1. Vieux Berger Roquefort and Carles Roquefort.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: wally


                                      I'm familiar with the Carles Roquefort and aggre. It's pretty spectacular.

                                      Could you describe how the Vieux Berger type differs?


                                      Evil Ronnie

                                      1. re: wally

                                        For French Roquefort, keep an eye out, too, for Le Papillon. Deep flavor, creamy, balanced-bold. Awesome.

                                        And I've read that Gabriel Coulet's version is great, but have not tried it.

                                        1. re: Bada Bing

                                          Papillon Roquefort is THE standard by which we measure most other blues. America's artisnal cheesemongers have taken us huge steps beyond Maytag which is a gosh darn enjoyable blue in its own right but perhaps a bit squeaky mild lacking the acidic edge of a juSt hinting of an ammoniated bite from a truly mature blue. Also have always been thrilled with virtually every version of a young gorgonzola dolce cremificato that can only be spooned and to sliced but access is so intermittent that we have to dream about it during the dry spells.

                                          1. re: ThanksVille

                                            I've never had a gorgonzola dolce cremificato, but it sounds like magic.

                                      2. Vieux Berger Roquefort and Carles Roquefort.

                                        1. If you like blue cheese you generally will love Roquefort even more, not as waxy, softer & more melt in your mouth. Trader Joes has real French Roquefort about half the price of the Maytag Blue at Bristol Farms. I think it is about 12/lb.

                                          1. Stichelton. As a tip (I'm sure I"m not the first) if you are in London check out Neal's Yard Cheeses in Covent Garden near Neal Street and/or (and) the location in the Borough Market (side street)... samples and lots of raw milk and goat cheeses.... almost worth the flight.... of course you'll be in the Borough Market anyway!

                                            Also, domestically available: Roquefort ... or a real Italian made soft gorganzola

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: spencexxx

                                              Blacksticks - a blue Lancashire.

                                              I like Stichelton, though. Made in exactly the same way as Stilton, but using unpasteurised milk which means it can't be called Stilton under Stilton's PDO status. Available from several outlets in London and a handful of other places in the rest of the country. Also available in Ireland, Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, America & France

                                            2. My faves are St. Augur and Roaring 40's Blue (Australia) in that order. Next tier has Blue d'Auvergne, Cambazola, Cashel Blue, Castello, Mountain Gorganzola, Port Reyes, Bayley Hazen, and some Stilton's tied for third. Cabrales is way too strong for me, too. Most obtained from Fromage in Old Saybrook, CT.

                                              1. Windsor Blue Cheese is my absolute favorite!

                                                1. Roth Kase Moody Blue, which is a smokey blue cheese. Plus I like the band The Moody Blues so extra points on the name. On Wisconsin!

                                                  1. My favorite blue, by far, is Stilton. I have yet to try it on a burger. I usually just eat it with some baguette or crackers. I am definitely gonna have to try it, though. I love a good blue burger.

                                                    6 Replies
                                                    1. re: MonMauler

                                                      Colston Bassett Stilton, Cabrales, Roquefort. I had an orange cheese with blue veins from the UK recently that was powerful and would be great in a potato chowder.

                                                      1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                        Your orange cheese sounds like Shropshire Blue or Blackstick's Blue. The former is made by a number of producers of Stilton, as well as there being a small producer in Shropshire. The latter is basically a blue Lancashire (and my personal favourite blue cheese)

                                                        1. re: 1sweetpea

                                                          I bet that orange cheese was Huntsman.

                                                          1. re: deeman

                                                            Bet it wasn't. Huntsman isnt an orange cheese with blue veins as described by 1sweetpea. It's a layered cheese, with alternating layers of Stilton and Double Gloucester.

                                                            1. re: Harters

                                                              Perhaps Shropshire would have been a better guess. If I would have more clearly read the post, I probably would have started there. Thanks.
                                                              Although Huntsman is another good cheese! Gotta love cheese!

                                                        2. re: MonMauler

                                                          Stilton is also my current favorite.

                                                        3. i've grown fond of st.clements blue, which i'm able to get @$6.99/lb -- $4.99 on sale.

                                                          1. Bump of a 6 year old thread, but it's likely the most relevant to my question. I am currently obsessed with blue cheese and usually mix it with buffalo sauce and ground beef or top steak. I have tried Gorgonzole dolce, St. Agur, Roquefort and Stilton. For steak, the melting properties of the Stilton and Roquefort were great, however I am really looking for that in your face blue cheese flavor. Planning a trip tonight, any suggestions?

                                                            15 Replies
                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                              To my palate, Cabrales is quite strong, as are some Gorgonzolas. Your best bet is probably to go to a market with a good cheese selection and ask to sample some things, or question the counter guys.

                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                I tried stilton on a grilled beef tenderloin and thought it was overpowering. Even on burgers, I love blues and their melting properties are such that you must add the cheese immediately after the flip. A fair portion of St. Agur or Maytag costs more than your hamburger. I'm not sure how much more one can hope to achieve.

                                                                1. re: Veggo

                                                                  You might try a different Stilton. In fact, finding several to compare side-by-side might be interesting to you. Colston Bassett's Stilton is generally on the milder side, lower in salt and somewhat buttery. A grocery store vacuum-sealed pack of Stilton is going to taste different than that of the smaller artisan producers like CB.
                                                                  Personally, I won't use ultra expensive artisan cheese on a burger just because I think the subtle flavors get lost. My favorites for burgers are Maytag and Point Reyes.

                                                                  1. re: Sushiqueen36

                                                                    Sushiqueen makes an excellent point here. Stilton 1 is not Stilton 2 is not Stilton 3. Long Clawson is not Texford and Tebutts and is NOT Colston Basset, esp CB selected by Neal's Yard Dairy.

                                                                    Veggo- who was the maker of your stilton? Where'd you buy it? Personally, I find Long Clawson Stilton to be bitter and without love, and yet it's the most ubiquitous brand available. CB stilton is luscious blue butter.

                                                                    1. re: cheesemonger

                                                                      Agreed. I don't like Long Clawson at all. Colston Bassett is the best, followed by Tuxford and Tebbutt. (T&T is one Stilton, not two.) It's been a while since I've had Cropwell Bishop's Stilton, but my recollection is that it falls somewhere in the middle. Still, all of these are trumped by the fabulous raw-milk Stilton that goes by the name Stichelton.

                                                                      1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                        Of the Stiltons and Stilton lookalikes, I'm also a fan of Stichelton - it cannot be called a Stilton as it uses unpastuerised milk.

                                                                        Of the five dairies which make Stilton, I have tried four - but cannot recall ever seeing Websters on sale here.

                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                          Websters isn't exported to the US (I haven't tasted it either), but it's odd that you can't find it in the UK. I wonder where it is sold.

                                                                          For a few years, Quenby Hall Stilton was available. It was quite nice; I probably would have ranked it just behind Colston Bassett. Unfortunately, the owners ran into financial difficulties, made worse by a listeria-related recall of their cheese in spring 2011. They were forced to close that summer.

                                                                          As you may know, Stilton production is limited to three counties: Leistershire, Nottinghamshire, and Derbyshire. No one now makes Stilton in Derbyshire, not since Dairy Crest was purchased by Long Clawson several years ago. Dairy Crest owned a cheesemaking operation in Hartington in Derbyshire, which was closed down when they were bought out. A group of cheesemakers and cheese retailers have recently taken over that dairy and reopened it as Hartington Creamery. They have an application pending to be granted certification to make Stilton. If successful, there will again be Stilton from Derbyshire.

                                                                          1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                            I just reread my post and realized I spelled Leicestershire wrong. My apologies to the natives. I should know better, having grown up in Massachusetts, where most cities and towns have English names, including the town of Leicester.

                                                                            1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                              Yeah, but having visited New England in 2012, I know you might spell the name the same way but you often pronounce it differently. Seems even odder to me than the tom-ar-to/tom-ay-to thing :-)

                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                Actually, I think that the majority of New England town names are pronounced roughly the same as they would be in England. For example, Leicester, Gloucester and Worcester are pronounced the same. It's Americans from other parts of the US that have a hard time wrapping their tongues around these names. I've heard many a southerner or midwesterner mispronounce Worcester as "War-sess-ter." Other states are also more apt to have "modernized" the spelling. The city in Ohio keeps the original pronunciation, but spells it "Wooster."

                                                                                Can you think of any New England city or town names that have the same spelling as in the UK, but a distinctly different pronunciation?

                                                                                1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                  I had it in mid that Worcester (pronounced Wusster in the UK) was Wooster - so I seem to be wrong in myassumption.

                                                                                  Isnt Berkshire pronounced as it's spelt? Not BArkshire as we have it in the UK

                                                                                  1. re: Harters

                                                                                    You're right. Berkshire--a county and a mountain range in Western Massachusetts--is indeed pronounced differently. The first syllable (in American English) rhymes with "lurk," not "lark." The same for Berkeley in California, and for the word "clerk." Bringing this discussion back to cheese, the same distinction applies to the American and British pronunciations of the outstanding sheep's milk cheese, Berkswell.

                                                                      2. re: cheesemonger

                                                                        It was some time ago and I don't recall the maker, but I think most stiltons are too strong a pairing for beef tenderloin, except for maybe a light shaving near the finish.

                                                                  2. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                    If you didn't find Roquefort to have enough oomph, then Cabrales is about the only really strong blue left for you to try. I personally wouldn't put Cabrales on a burger or a steak, but, hey, it's your piece of meat, not mine!

                                                                    1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                      Mirablue is a great full flavor blue cheese, and a Spanish blue called Valdeon is another great one. It is very strong.

                                                                    2. Roaring 40s is probably my favorite right now.

                                                                      3 Replies
                                                                      1. re: deeman

                                                                        Just tried Roaring 40's. Didn't care for it at all. Had a funky taste, didn't taste like a blue at all.

                                                                        1. re: Phoebe

                                                                          Hmmm ... maybe you got one that had gone past its prime. I like Roaring 40s a lot, and I don't like overly funky cheeses.

                                                                          1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                            It is currently on my list for a Christmas cheese plate so I hope this is the case.

                                                                      2. I picked Moody Blue tonight, looking forward to trying it. Any thoughts?

                                                                        15 Replies
                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                          The Moody Blue was a very unique and enjoyable flavor. I spotted the Roaring 40s last week and it might be the blue of the week. But, any thoughts on a Valdeon?

                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                            I bought some Moody Blue last weekend and liked it. A bit drier and more crumbly than I prefer but it was good on a burger and for breakfast on a piece of sourdough toast.

                                                                            One of my favorites is Black & Blue, a goat cheese from Firefly Farms in Maryland. It is a goat cheese so it tastes different than many blues I'm used to eating.

                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                              Since I posted above, I have tried Valdeon and have placed it on the top tier of Blues I have tasted. The function of wrapping it in sycamore leaves escapes me, but the flavor more than makes up for that conceit.

                                                                              The smokyness of Moody Blue doesn't appeal to me.

                                                                              1. re: DonShirer

                                                                                Did you find that it had less of the typical "blue" flavor?

                                                                                1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                  In my notes, I wrote "intense blue flavor".

                                                                                  1. re: DonShirer

                                                                                    I apologize, I seem to not be able to read on the forums recently. I probably should stop browsing in the middle of the night :) Thanks for the review, I'll be on the lookout.

                                                                                2. re: DonShirer

                                                                                  "The function of wrapping it in sycamore leaves escapes me."

                                                                                  The leaves that some cheeses are wrapped in serve various purposes, including protection of the cheese, addition of a desired flavor to the cheese, and decoration. Other plant parts, such as bark, as well as herbs, may also be used for the same reasons.

                                                                                  Many blue cheeses do not have a natural rind, or have only a very thin one, and so need a covering to protect them from damage and drying out. That is why Valdeón is wrapped in sycamore leaves. Cabrales, a close cousin of Valdeón, although more assertive and "bitey," was also traditionally wrapped in sycamore leaves, but is now invariably wrapped in foil.

                                                                                  1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                    I grant that the leaves are a nice marketing ploy, but wouldn't the cheese be just as protected in foil (or any other covering for that matter)? You example of Cabrales (which is too strong for me) seems to make that point ! I used to have a sycamore tree in my yard and don't remember the leaves as being particularly aromatic. Here's a quote from one of their suppliers:

                                                                                    "Valdeon makes a pretty package with its powdery white rind peeking out behind a protective layer of sycamore or oak leaves."

                                                                                    1. re: DonShirer

                                                                                      When I gave three reasons for wrapping cheese in leaves or other plant material (protection, flavoring and/or decoration), I didn't mean to say that all three apply to every wrapped cheese. I agree that sycamore leaves don't do much to affect the taste of Valdeón. Their primary functions are first, protection and second, enhancement of appearance. Foil could just as well have been used for protection. Wrapping in leaves does have a long tradition behind it and lends a rustic, hand-made appearance to wheels of cheese that foil can't achieve. The makers of Valdeón may also have decided to stick with leaf wrapping to better distinguish the cheese from the somewhat similar, foil-wrapped Cabrales.

                                                                                      Foil is the most common wrapping for blue cheeses that don't have a natural rind, although it's not the only other option besides leaves. Roaring Forties, a blue cheese from Australia mentioned by someone in this thread, is protected with a coating of black wax. Of course, some blue cheeses, like Stilton, have a sturdy natural rind and don't need anything to cover them.

                                                                                      However, there are numerous instances where plant wrapping legitimately contributes to a cheese's flavor. A few examples:

                                                                                      - Vacherin Mont d'Or and its imitators, such as the French L'Edel de Cléron and Winnimere from Jasper Hill Farms in Vermont. The spruce bark band tied around the cheese's circumference serves both to maintain the shape of the wheel and to impart a woodsy flavor to the paste.

                                                                                      - Hoja Santa from The Mozzarella Company in Texas is wrapped in leaves from the hoja santa plant, which adds a minty note to the flavor profile.

                                                                                      - Cora, an Italian cheesemaker, produces robiola wrapped in different leaves, including, among others, cherry, grape and cabbage leaves. Each leaves its characteristic mark on the flavor of the cheese.

                                                                                      None of the above is an example of a blue cheese, but here's one that is: Rogue River Blue from Rogue Creamery in Oregon. This full-flavored blue is wrapped in grape leaves that have been steeped in a local pear brandy. Here the leaves fulfill all three functions: protection, decoration and flavor, as they instill the essence of the pear brandy into the paste beneath. For my money, Rogue River Blue is the best American blue cheese and is in the running for the best cheese of any type that America has produced.

                                                                                      1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                        Thanks for the tip on Rogue River Blue, I'll look for it. There, I agree, the brandy soaked leaves may add some flavor. Have tried some Rogue Creamery Smokey Blue and didn't care for the smokeyness, so it's good to know they have a non-smokey variety.

                                                                                        I guess we agree then that the Valderon leaf wrapping is mostly a marketing ploy. Of course if it's to distinguish it from Cabrales as you suggest, I applaud their choice. Let's leaf it at that!

                                                                                        1. re: DonShirer

                                                                                          Rogue Creamery makes more than half a dozen blue cheeses, of which Smokey Blue is the only one that is smoked. They have come out with several new cheeses in the past few years. I like several of their blues, including Crater Lake Blue and Caveman Blue, which are both on the bolder side of the spectrum, especially Caveman, but Rogue River Blue is still their flagship cheese. The price reflects it, but this is one cheese that is well worth what it costs.

                                                                                          1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                            Not so into the Rogue Smoky Blue (while often enjoy Smoked Tillamook Cheddar). Yes I like Rogue River Blue taste / texture in many recipes while feel their price is too high retail. RR is good but often more expensive than other decent tasting options. A price example is at: http://www.gourmet-food.com/gourmet-c... At $36.81a pound I seek to find other ideas. Price often matters in a high-end product like blue cheese. Rogue's other options are equally expensive. RR is similar to a high-end wine few enjoy or know.

                                                                                            Trader Joes has several quality blue cheeses for a fraction of the price. I find Societe Roquefort at TJs at $9.99 a pound goes way further than Rogue River Blue at almost $40 a pound. Even if put in double the amount have more great blue cheese flavor at half the price.

                                                                                            1. re: smaki

                                                                                              If one is going to (or has to) put price above other factors, Rogue River Blue won't be under consideration for purchase. It's a very expensive cheese, no two ways about it. My opinion of it is seems to be much higher than yours. I wouldn't call it a "good cheese," as you do. I would call it a superlative cheese, as have many other people. It has won Best in Show twice over more than a thousand other entries in the American Cheese Society's annual competition. It is also one of only two or three cheeses from the US that a few top cheese shops in Europe have deemed worthy of selling. I'm saying this not to knock down your opinion of the cheese, which is as valid as is mine, but only to note the high regard in which this cheese is held by many people, who feel its price is justified.

                                                                                              I disagree with your statement that Rogue Creamery's other options are equally expensive. They are not. Some sell for substantially less, although you won't find anything from Rogue in the $9.99 a pound category.

                                                                                              I share your enthusiasm for Roquefort, which is one of the greatest cheeses on the planet. Of course, it is a very different cheese from Rogue River Blue. I'm glad to be able to enjoy both of these wonderful cheeses.

                                                                                              1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                                I agree with you Rogue River Blue is one of the best. And the OP asked about the best blue cheese. If price is not a factor, Rogue River Blue is great stuff. Those who want the best can often afford it.

                                                                                                With you I also love Roquefort. And enjoy both, while different. With cheese agree is fun to sample as many quality products as possible for us all to know what we like. Price is a factor when try to maximize raunchy blue cheese flavor in recipes but not for everyone. This thread is not titled "most bang for the buck blue cheese in a recipe" or "best tasting blue cheese for the price". So will quietly glean as much as possible here. Thank you for your input it is appreciated.

                                                                              2. I like Societe-brand Roquefort blue as a treat with something special. French. Label says "aged in limestone caves". Societe has bluish-green veins. Trader Joe's usually has the best price closer to $10 than $20 a pound. Try many lots of ways to know what you like best.

                                                                                1. Buttermilk Blue Affinee - creamy, rich. I was looking for a step up in flavor from Maytag, but not as piquant as the Queen of Blue, Roquefort. By comparison, I'd say Gorganzola with smooth edges. Great as a crumble for salad, it also has a smooth, soft quality for spreading. http://www.rothcheese.com/products/bu...

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: CocoaNut

                                                                                    I love the flavor of Roquefort, but way too salty for me? Anyone else find this?

                                                                                    1. re: CocoaNut

                                                                                      I finally tried the Buttermilk Blue tonight and it's great! It was actually the result of a fortunate mistake. I wanted to grab Stilton and thought that's what I bought, but as I unwrapped the cheese at home I noticed that the label said "Roth Kase Buttermilk Blue." Great recommendation, thanks.

                                                                                    2. I picked up Kerrygold Cashel Irish Blue tonight, and will report back. Anyone given it a try?

                                                                                      1 Reply
                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                        Not a big fan. I found it to be very mild, and had a somewhat grainy texture and too creamy IMO. Is it just me?

                                                                                      2. Any ideas of blues that don't melt well? I actually prefer it to stay crumbly in warm dishes vs the creamy varieties that melt fairly easily.

                                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                                        1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                          I wonder if there's such a thing as (deliberately) blue feta? In any case, it might be a substitute of some interest. It tends to melt poorly, which is what you want.

                                                                                        2. Roquefort - the creamyness and somewhat mild blueness is probably my favourite. then
                                                                                          English Stilton. a good one but they can get too bitter.

                                                                                          1. I might be excommunicated from Chowhound, but has anyone tried the Treasure Cave (pre-packaged store brand). The variety of fresher options at the cheese counter is wonderful, but this stuff is also pretty good and easy to find in any store.

                                                                                            1. It's time for my weekly blue cheese trip - last week I tried the Kerrygold Cashel Blue and Roaring 40s and both were OK. I loved the creaminess of both, but found the blue flavor to still not be as in your face as I'm looking for. Aside from Valdeon and Cabrales, does anyone have any recommendations for strong/intense varieties? Clearly I'm not a supertaster :)

                                                                                              1. St Agur, Valdeon (Spain), Roaring 40's.

                                                                                                For those that find Cabrelas too strong, try Valdeon. Much less bite. I think some of the Cabrales ages too long and yes it can almost hurt to eat.

                                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                                1. re: mike0989

                                                                                                  My favorites so far are St. Agur, Stilton and Danish blue.

                                                                                                2. Any ideas on the less salty blues? I think I hated the Roquefort because it felt like a salt lick to me.

                                                                                                  1. I love Roquefort and Stilton. I love Maytag, especially in salad. My absolute favorite for eating on crackers is dolcelatte/gorgonzola dolce. It's so mild, but so good. Gorgonzola piccante might be a nice one if you like it strong.

                                                                                                    10 Replies
                                                                                                    1. re: sisterfunkhaus

                                                                                                      I'm planning to make a few appetizers for a football party tomorrow. Would Stilton be a good cheese to use in an amped up chicken buffalo dip? Would the uniqueness of the cheese be covered up or do you think the blue taste would still come through?

                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                        My guess is that a really high quality cheese (such as a good Stilton) might be wasted on a dip. But since it's now over two weeks since you posted this, how did it work?

                                                                                                        1. re: Palindrome

                                                                                                          I went with a generic blue and saved the Stilton for steak but if anyone has any experience with buffalo dip with higher quality blues I'd be interested to know if you can't taste the difference.

                                                                                                          1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                            I enjoy stilton, and I tried it just once on a beef filet - too strong and salty, not a good match.

                                                                                                            1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                              I have used Stilton in a dip type app. You have to cut back on the salt, but it gives it a much nicer bite than just standard plain blue cheese crumbles. I can taste the difference, and since a lot of the Buffalo dips are served hot, I can imagine that effect would be intensified.

                                                                                                              1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                Sorry, kinda late here but I've experimented with using "nicer" cheeses in that type of dip. The Danish blue typically used around here just doesn't do it for me, too harsh and one note. I settled on Roquefort for this application but I think you found that too salty.

                                                                                                                1. re: grayelf

                                                                                                                  Yea, I was not a fan of Roquefort at least on steak. I went on a blue cheese hiatus but am back in action now so lookign to try a few more. My most recent were Point Reyes and Roth Kase Buttermilk Blue. I greatly enjoyed the Point Reyes and the Buttermilk Blue but they were a bit mild for my tastes. I can't seem to find that punch of flavor that is not at the level of a Valdeon.

                                                                                                                  1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                    I'd suggest Bayley Hazen, Roaring '40s, and working your way through the collection of blues by Rogue River Creamery: http://www.roguecreamery.com/store/ca...

                                                                                                                    1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                                      Yea, I spotted a Rogue River Creamery blue the other day and remembered it had been recommended here but can't remember which one. Perhaps I will give that a try. I have tried Roaring 40s and liked it. I have also noticed that near the rind there is much less blue flavor (fewer veins), is that common?

                                                                                                                      1. re: fldhkybnva

                                                                                                                        Rogue's "Rogue River Blue" is their two-time world cheese champion blue. However, it's expensive and can be hard to find . I've never heard serious criticism of any of their blues -- they really know what they're doing.

                                                                                                        2. Thanks to everyone's suggestions, my most recent tries were Valdeon, Mt. Gorgonzola, Rogue River Blue, Point Reyes, and St. Agur. Was surprised to find I actually liked the cheaper, Mt. Gorgonzola the best. With the Rogue River Blue a close second. Can anyone tell me about Bayley Hazen? And also, your favorite ways to eat blues.

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                                                                                                          1. re: Phoebe

                                                                                                            I love Bayley Hazen -- it's one of my favorites. IIRC it's a creamier, less astringent blue.

                                                                                                            I don't know if it's available in the US, but I brought some Tiger Blue back from British Columbia that was amazing.

                                                                                                            1. re: Ruth Lafler

                                                                                                              Bayley Hazen is great. Made by the Jasper Hill boys it has a natural rind and mild blue viens. I find it in the Stilton family but creamier and more mild. For me blues are best paired with a fork and fruit - dried or fresh (pears or figs are the best!)

                                                                                                          2. Two-Faced Blue from Willapa Hills.

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                                                                                                            1. re: GH1618

                                                                                                              Probably hard to find outside of the NW but it's excellent!

                                                                                                            2. Westfield Farm (MA) - Hubbardston Blue Cow and Blue Goat - with a blue surface for nice tinge of blue pungency together with their respective rich interiors. One of my favourite US cheeses.

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                                                                                                              1. re: limster

                                                                                                                I love Maytag & Stilton. Last September I discovered Blue Affinee at a wedding. Found out it's from Wisconsin! I noticed someone else mentioned this cheese. It was heavenly.

                                                                                                              2. i often get maytag and it's sole purposes are to be put in buffalo chicken/shrimp salads or stuffed into olives for martinis (gin, please).

                                                                                                                1. It's weekly grocery shopping day = weekly acquire new blue cheese. I can't wait to find out what I come back with tonight

                                                                                                                    1. My SO picked up some St. Pete's last week which we really enjoyed

                                                                                                                      1. I was recently at the Rogue Creamery and had some of their "Brutal Blue." It floored me. One of the strongest blues I've ever had, but creamy and without the astringent notes that you sometimes get in a strong cheese. Unfortunately, it is not sold widely, but it was phenomenal. If you ever see it in a shop, grab some.

                                                                                                                        My other go-to blues are the Gabriel Coulet Le Petit Cave roquefort and Cabrales.

                                                                                                                        2 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: Jwsel

                                                                                                                          Jwsel, thank you for the Brutal Blue review. Will watch for it.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Jwsel

                                                                                                                            Rogue Creamery is a place I've always wanted to visit. Their flagship cheese, Rogue River Blue, is fantastic and many of their other blues are excellent as well (although I'm less fond of their cheddars). I've never seen Brutal Blue in any cheese shop, and doubt it will ever be sold in my part of the country. It's not even available for purchase through Rogue's website. I believe it's made in very small quantities--not enough to supply shops. It is aged for three years. That's an eternity for a blue cheese. If I ever see it anywhere, I'll be sure to snatch it up!

                                                                                                                          2. My current favorite is the Chiriboga blue, from Germany. Ho-lee crap it's creamy and delicious. Not very available in the US, but it's around in major markets. Any retailer that can get Challerhocker or Scharfe maxx should be able to get Chiriboga Blue.

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                                                                                                                            1. re: cheesemonger

                                                                                                                              Yes, it's a very distinctive and delicious blue cheese, with the unusual mouth feel of firm butter. The cheese is made in Bavaria, but the cheesemaker, Artur Chiriboga, was born and raised in Ecuador. Most US shops that carry it use the name Chiriboga Blue, but Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge, MA sells it under its German name, Bayerische Blauschimmelkäse, which translates to "Bavarian blue mold cheese."

                                                                                                                              1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                                                                Thanks for the head's up on this one. My distributor is ordering it for me. Very anxious to try! We have a hard time getting Bavarian cheeses here in the Northwest - the distributors just don't stock much. I'm getting a little bored with the selection I have access to.

                                                                                                                                1. re: Sushiqueen36

                                                                                                                                  Did you get it yet? Do you love it? Did your knickers fall off?

                                                                                                                                  :D Please report when you do receive!

                                                                                                                                  1. re: cheesemonger

                                                                                                                                    Haven't received yet but you make me laugh! I think I've got another 5 weeks or so to wait. Will definitely report back (and will make sure I'm sitting when I first try so to not embarrass myself). :-)

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Sushiqueen36

                                                                                                                                      Sushiqueen, you're making me stalk you! Did you get the Chiriboga?

                                                                                                                                      1. re: cheesemonger

                                                                                                                                        I just talked to my rep yesterday - 2 more weeks... "ish"! So much for the original 6 week estimate!

                                                                                                                                        1. re: cheesemonger

                                                                                                                                          Finally!! "6 weeks" after ordering, I received my Chiriboga this last Thursday.
                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the reco, Cheesemonger. It's the consistency of room temp butter but still has a nice blue flavor and a little butter-milky. I love it!
                                                                                                                                          It is a bit spendy - I've got it at $29.99/lb - so we'll see how it moves.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Sushiqueen36

                                                                                                                                            Finally! So glad you got it and love it- sell it with the same enthusiasm you have here, and of course none of your neighbors have it.

                                                                                                                              2. I've had this one a number of times and highly recommend it!


                                                                                                                                1. For a gooey, spreadable blue, I love Stilton.

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                                                                                                                                  1. re: EarlyBird

                                                                                                                                    I used to get a great blue in South Carolina, it was made at Clemson University. That was more than a few years ago, anybody had it lately?

                                                                                                                                    1. re: tommg

                                                                                                                                      Have not had Clemson Blue. Here is information including how to order it online and some history:

                                                                                                                                      In 2009 Clemson Blue voted among the best in the nation:


                                                                                                                                      Price and Online Sales Information:

                                                                                                                                  2. I am loving Caveman Blue by the Rogue boys. But it has to be in good shape. That pretty much applies to all blues and I think that is why I used to not like them - easy to miss handle. I NEVER buy blues without a taste. Excess moisture really kills a blue fast.

                                                                                                                                    1. From France: Good Roquefort (like Papillon or Carles, not societe, which is mediocre compared to the smaller labels), Blue de Causses, and many more.

                                                                                                                                      From Italy: Gorgonzola Naturale is one of the best blue cheeses, hands down.

                                                                                                                                      From GB: Colston Basset Stilton, Cashel Blue and Harbourne Blue are excellent of reasons why British food should be given a second chance.

                                                                                                                                      From Spain: Cabrales, valdeon, and Picon are awesome cheeses.

                                                                                                                                      From the US I like: Westfield farm's Classic Blue (a surface ripened blue goat cheese that is best when fully ripened), Jasper Hill's Baylee Hazen (which, I think, is the cheese that others were trying to think of in this thread), Point Reyes Blue, and Great Hill Blue are all really good cheeses.

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                                                                                                                                      1. re: RockDoveFarm

                                                                                                                                        Cashel Blue is actually an Irish, not British cheese. But here's some more of our excellent blues you might want to see if they're available where you are in the world:

                                                                                                                                        Shropshire Blue (quite Stilton like, in spite of its orange colour)

                                                                                                                                        Blacksticks Blue (a Lancashire - and my current favourite)

                                                                                                                                        Bourne's Blue Cheshire (excellent product from my favourite cheese maker)

                                                                                                                                        Garstang Blue (another Lancashire and another Stiltonesque cheese)

                                                                                                                                        1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                          Ah... I actually knew that, but I guess I was thinking more about British as in 'British Isles' more than as a national identity. You how we are in america, ignorant, lol. I've had Shropshire and Bourne's and they are they are good and memorable, but I didn't mention them due to lack of availability unless you live in the UK or NYC.

                                                                                                                                          I'll keep an eye out for the others, but cheese imports can be difficult and irregular.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: RockDoveFarm

                                                                                                                                            Shropshire Blue (which, despite its name, isn't made in Shropshire) is exported to the US, but it may not be available at all times of the year. I've not seen Bourne's here, though.

                                                                                                                                            Crozier Blue, a sheep's milk blue cheese from the same Irish family that makes Cashel Blue, is occasionally found over here and is well worth seeking out.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                                                                              No - Shropshire Blue has never been made in Shropshire, nor is it an old cheese, dating only to 1970 or thereabouts - although that was when the revival of British farmhouse cheese making started to take off again.

                                                                                                                                              It's now made by some of the Stilton producers. I guess the naming was very deliberate marketing- sounds good to have it coming from a very rural county.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Harters

                                                                                                                                                Shropshire Blue was first made in Scotland by someone who wanted to introduce a Stilton-like cheese there. As you point out, it is now made by several of the Stilton producers, and is, for all intents and purposes, a Stilton with an orange paste colored with annatto. The flavor is a little milder than regular Stilton.

                                                                                                                                                There is a variant of Shropshire Blue now made in Shropshire. Called Ludlow Blue, it differs from Shropshire Blue in that its orange color comes from carrot juice. I don't know how that affects its flavor.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                                                                                  I know Ludlow well, although I havnt come across the cheese. There is a large local food outlet owned by the Earl of Plymouth, a couple of miles north of the town, which I know is developing its cheese production but didnt have too much of its own produce when Iw as last there about two years ago.

                                                                                                                                      2. Bleu de Termignon is the only real blue one can get anymore, and it is RARE! If you ever taste it, you will never forget it. One field, one herd of a few cows, the only natural blue made anymore.

                                                                                                                                        6 Replies
                                                                                                                                        1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                          "Bleu de Termignon is the only real blue one can get anymore. . ."

                                                                                                                                          That's an unfortunate choice of words. Other blues are just as "real" as this one. Bleu de Termignon differs from most other blue cheeses in that its blueing occurs naturally, rather than from adding a mold culture into the curd. It is not, however, the only natural blue. Gamonedo, from Asturias in Spain and Castelmagno from Piedmont in Italy are other examples of natural blues. The blueing in all of these cheeses varies tremendously from wheel to wheel and can be entirely absent.

                                                                                                                                          1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                                                                            You know what I mean :~)

                                                                                                                                            Modern blues are just not what most people experienced in the past. I urge all of you to track down and try a natural blue. In the case of BdT, it is the only one where there is consistency in just what gets into the cows, my point about the last of a rare cheese.

                                                                                                                                            Again, very rare and very hard to find, but worth the trouble.

                                                                                                                                            One year I was able to contact a merchant who said he could get me some. He said that year they had produced only 30 wheels, and he could get me one, but I had to buy the whole wheel: 7.5 kilos! I had to pass.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: law_doc89

                                                                                                                                              I have had BdT, it is delicious (but not show-stopping), but I'm not going to stop eating other really great blue cheese because they aren't "a natural blue".
                                                                                                                                              This whole statement is the worst kind of snobbery: it has nothing to do with the culinary merits of a cheese and only respects a cheese that is made in minuscule amounts and is largely unavailable.
                                                                                                                                              All the worse is that it is untrue. Jasper Hill's (I have seen their operation) Baylee Hazen is a cheese that is much more available but is from one farm, with a relatively small herd, and it doesn't leave the property until being shipped to the retailer (though the mold is introduced into the milk during the making). Ditto for Classic Blue from Westfield farm, Harbourne Blue, and many many other Blue Cheeses that are produced in the traditional fashion and are more widely available. Including good Roquefort, Blue de Causses, Gamonedo, Valdeon, Castelmagno, Gorgonzola Naturale, and good Stiltons (colston-basset).

                                                                                                                                              There are also the cloth wrapped farmstead Cheddars from Montgomery, Keen, and shelbourne farms. They are often more blue than the BdT and, since the bluing is unintentional, it is at least as natural as the bluing in BdT.

                                                                                                                                              Also, who wants to go back to the culinary past? Yes, there was excellent cheese available, but, except for hard cheeses, it couldn't be shipped any significant distance, so it could only be eaten by the locals and travelers. Wine was so bad during the roman empire and middle ages that they improved the flavor by adding lead dust, pine pitch (if you think this is a good idea, try Retsina), and other unsavory things. Beer was as likely to be sour as not (think Gueze Lambic), and food poisoning was a really common way to die.

                                                                                                                                              1. re: RockDoveFarm

                                                                                                                                                My reaction to law_doc's post wasn't as strongly negative as yours. On the one hand, I agree with you that the rarity of a cheese hasn't anything necessarily to do with its quality. On the other hand, it is sad that several of France's farmhouse cheeses, made by traditional methods, are on the brink of extinction or have already disappeared. BdT is now made by at most four small dairies. Persillé de Tignes, another cheese from the same area of France (Savoie) is made by a single cheesemaker. When she dies, PdT may die with her. It's hard these days to convince children to keep the old traditions alive and stay with the family farm or dairy.

                                                                                                                                                About your comment on blueing in clothbound cheddars: It is of a different type in that it occurs when there is a random crack in the paste that is exposed to air. In the UK, many people are thrilled to find a blue vein in Keen's, Montgomery's or a similar cheddar and will ask specifically for a piece with some blue in it. Americans tend to have the opposite reaction and see the mold as a defect. They don't associate cheddar with blueing, because they have less overall experience with clothbound cheddars, even though the US now makes several excellent ones.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: cheesemaestro

                                                                                                                                                  "My reaction to law_doc's post wasn't as strongly negative as yours. On the one hand, I agree with you that the rarity of a cheese hasn't anything necessarily to do with its quality. On the other hand, it is sad that several of France's farmhouse cheeses, made by traditional methods, are on the brink of extinction or have already disappeared. BdT is now made by at most four small dairies. Persillé de Tignes, another cheese from the same area of France (Savoie) is made by a single cheesemaker. When she dies, PdT may die with her. It's hard these days to convince children to keep the old traditions alive and stay with the family farm or dairy."
                                                                                                                                                  As someone who has explored starting a cheesemaking farm, I think the biggest issue is that the economics are just untenable. I grew up on a dairy and really love the work but there is no way to make a decent living in most places as a small dairy. Certainly I treasure our culinary heritage and morn the loss of valuable disappearing foods (I raise several endangered vegetable varieties and a rare Rabbit on my farm in central Ohio). But I don't value things just for being rare and expensive. And I think it is one of the worst traits that runs through our food culture. It contributes nothing positive and turns off potential new enthusiasts.

                                                                                                                                                  I wish those attitudes would be limited to the world of fancy cigars.

                                                                                                                                                  "About your comment on blueing in clothbound cheddars: It is of a different type in that it occurs when there is a random crack in the paste that is exposed to air. In the UK, many people are thrilled to find a blue vein in Keen's, Montgomery's or a similar cheddar and will ask specifically for a piece with some blue in it. Americans tend to have the opposite reaction and see the mold as a defect. They don't associate cheddar with blueing, because they have less overall experience with clothbound cheddars, even though the US now makes several excellent ones."
                                                                                                                                                  I know, I sometimes drop one on purpose to encourage more bluing (!). Though my experience with BdT is that it only really blues up where there are similar flaws (cracks, air bubble holes, etc.), which, to my mind, makes them more similar than different. Honestly I think the the cheese I most love that is in a similar style to BdT isn't a blue at all: Salers. I love the eggy, yeasty, rich flavor and it is also blued up on several of the occasions that I've gotten it.

                                                                                                                                                  1. re: RockDoveFarm

                                                                                                                                                    Had I said it is the rarity of BdT that makes me love it, your response would be valid. But I said it is special cheese that is rare. It is subtle but complex to the degree that a truly great sauternes is, and that is what makes it great. Too many factory blues are blunderbusses that assault one. My point is that what has come to be a blue is not what most people ate for most of human existence.

                                                                                                                                                    What you may have missed about BdT is that the pasture is also very special, and the cows not only eat the mold, but about half of what they eat is a variety of flowers so well as grass. Again it is not the rarity that I like, but it is a great cheese that is rare, and special.

                                                                                                                                        2. Interesting news here from their FB page:
                                                                                                                                          Exciting news! Rogue Creamery's Blue Heaven was named one of the top five food trends for 2013 at the 38th Winter Fancy Food Show! With over 80,000 products on display from more then 36 countries, this is an incredible honor! Many thanks to the panel of trendspotters who recognized our unique product for its many applications to Specialty Food. We look forward to revealing our Blue Heaven retail packaging in March!!

                                                                                                                                          1. roaring forties blue from Australia. I also like Dorest blue Vinny.

                                                                                                                                            1. Here in Massachusetts, I'm able to get a fabulous orangey blue cheese at certain times of the year called WInsor Blue (maybe Windsor, not sure). It is creamy and a bit mild and is superb with fresh figs and Tuscan rosemary ham. I buy it at the superb farm market called Russo's in Watertown. Ask your cheesemonger if she can get it.

                                                                                                                                              1. Roaring 40's blue out of Australia, my fav blue from a blue fanatic

                                                                                                                                                4 Replies
                                                                                                                                                1. re: Eric3811

                                                                                                                                                  enjoy what you have left, it's not being imported anymore....

                                                                                                                                                    1. re: Eric3811

                                                                                                                                                      Yeah, it's a terrible development.

                                                                                                                                                      My thought is that it's such a popular cheese in the US (my only point of reference for demand), and that money will be the motivator for someone. There's some debate as to whether this is an issue of lack of an importer, or that King Island stopped exporting, but hopefully this will get sorted soon.

                                                                                                                                                      1. re: cheesemonger

                                                                                                                                                        Dang! I hadn't heard that!
                                                                                                                                                        34 Degrees - the ones who make the crackers - used to import a marinated cheese (also Australian). I think it was chevre but now I can't remember. I do remember that it was easy to devour a whole tub of the stuff. Must be costly getting cheese all the way over here from Australia...

                                                                                                                                                2. Another Rogue River cheese that hasn't been mentioned is their
                                                                                                                                                  Echo Mountain Blue,
                                                                                                                                                  a blend of sheep and goat cheeses. Nice texture as well as taste! I like it much better than their Smokey Mountain Blue and a little better than their Crater Lake Blue.

                                                                                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                                                                                  1. re: DonShirer

                                                                                                                                                    Still another in Rogue River's seemingly inexhaustible like of blues is Caveman Blue. Smooth, squishy, not crumbly, and has a distinctive taste. I thought it ok, but prefer some of their other varieties. You may like it better.

                                                                                                                                                  2. Not a true crumbly blue cheese but a hybrid soft ripened blue/ brie, Saga Blue is a great spreadable cheese, IMHO.

                                                                                                                                                    1. Rogue makes another tasty blue called Oregonzola. However, if you're looking for a phenomenal blue, I would suggest Gorgonzola Dolce. It's a young Italian blue cheese that is lightly sweet, delicate and very creamy. It makes a great after dinner cheese!