Bleating Heart cheeses [Sonoma County, CA]
I'm a sheep's milk cheese fanatic, so I've been following Bleating Heart Dairy on Facebook even though it's very hard to find in stores. I scored some of their flagship cheese: Fat Bottom Girl, a few months ago and thought it was excellent.
Then I read they were experimenting with blue cheese, and I had to have some. When I saw they were going to be at the nearby Eat Real Fest, I ran right down and scored some of the blue, dubbed "Ewelicious," and a larger-format version of their Shepardista, called "Big Shep."
Both cheeses are delicious, although I thought the texture was not quite as luxuriously creamy as I expect from a sheep's milk cheese. The blue is very well balanced: strong, but without of the bitterness or ammonia notes blues can develop. The texture is in the medium range for a blue (not as soft as a gorgonzola, not as hard as a cabrales), and slightly more crumbly and grainy than I would have liked. If they could smooth out the texture this would be an outstanding cheese. Big Shep reminded me of a sheep's milk cheddar, with a sharp tang and a firm, slightly crumbly texture. I enjoyed it, but considering the usual retail price point, I'm not sure I'd buy it again (at Eat Real they were selling chunks approximately 1/3 pound for $5, but they usually retail for twice that).