TILLAMOOK, ORE. - The Tillamook County Creamery Association has released Maker's Reserve 2011 and 2018 vintages into their Maker's Reserve program. The cheeses are part of a broader assortment of Maker's Reserve Extra Sharp White Cheddar vintages available this year, including 2015, 2016 and 2017. 

Only a small selection makes the cut for this exclusive program, which contains vintages that have garnered accolades and awards from the American Cheese Society, the US Champion Cheese Contest and the International Cheese Awards, according to the company.

"Tillamook Maker's Reserve is a true testament to our passionate craftsmen and women," said Jill Allen, director of product excellence for Tillamook. "We make these exceptional Extra Sharp Cheddars with pride, passion and a double dose of patience for truly unforgettable flavor." 

The 2018 vintage is bold and nutty on the nose, Tillamook said, with flavors of sweet malt and barley balanced with grassy notes and leek. The cheese is short and crumbly with intermittent crystals and a shattering texture, salty hints of umami and toasted walnuts. 

Full of sweet fruity notes of apple, honey and pineapple, the 2011 Maker's Reserve has a smattering of large, crunchy crystals and a texture that's short and dry; this one finishes with grassy flavors and creamy accents, Tillamook said. A decade in the making, this cheese will be exclusively available for purchase at Whole Foods Market stores across the country beginning in May.