Hooks 12-Year Cheddar

by Hunter Fike

At DiBruno Brothers House of Cheese, new cheeses infiltrate our counter every week, but very few generate the kind of excitement that has been swirling around our newest discovery. It’s Hook’s 12-Year Cheddar, a masterpiece of a cheese from Mineral Point, Wisconsin.

What makes this cheese so loveable? Many things. First and most importantly, it is delicious. Aged for 12 years in cool, humid caves, it is given the time to develop rich, sharp, earthy flavors not commonly found in American Cheddars. The extended maturation also allows the calcium crystals to form on the rind, adding a subtle layer of crunch amidst the otherwise smooth texture.

But as important as the quality of the product, the producers of this cheese are the kind of people you want to support. College sweethearts, Tony and Julie Hook have now been making cheese together for over 35 years, accumulating accolades along the way. With humble aspirations, they opened their facility in 1976. Just six years later, in 1982, Julie’s Colby was named Best in Show at the World Cheese Awards, an honor usually bestowed on the likes of time-tasted favorites like Carles Roquefort, Berthaut Epoisses and Montgomery’s Artisan Somerset Cheddar. Julie was and still is the only female cheese maker to ever win this award. By 1987, demand for their award-winning cheeses escalated to the point that they needed to move to a larger facility.

There most recent recognition is a Best in Show at the 2006 American Cheese Society meetings for their 10-year Cheddar. The 12-Year takes the 10-Year and amplifies it. It is a true powerhouse of a cheese, and something we are proud to offer to you. Come on in and ask for a taste. You’ll be Hooked.