15-Year-Old Cheese Sells For Only $50 Per Pound

Do you enjoy cheddar cheese? Do you prefer your cheese well-aged? Perhaps you would enjoy, for $50 per pound, what the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel calls “the single malt scotch of cheddar.” It’s 15-year-old cheddar from Hook’s Cheese Co. of Mineral Point, Wisconsin. And the few stores allowed to carry it can barely keep it on the shelves.

The 1,200-pound stash of what’s believed to be the oldest cheddar on the U.S. market is selling so quickly for holiday gift-giving and entertaining that it may be gone by the weekend, one week after its release, said cheese maker Tony Hook, who co-owns Hook’s Cheese Co. with his wife and fellow cheese-maker, Julie Hook.

“For all the hype about the bad economy, we were having a good year even before we released this cheese,” Tony Hook said Tuesday. “The response to the 15-year-old cheddar has been unbelievable. We’re getting phone calls and e-mails from all over the country and the world. It’s beyond ridiculous.”

Mmm. Behold the power of elderly cheese.

From Wisconsin to the world [Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel] (Thanks, PecanPi!)

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  1. dorianh49 says:

    El queso esta viejo y putrido. Donde esta el sanitario?

  2. Joewithay says:

    I have tried 12 year old cheddar and damn it was good.

  3. tsukiotoshi says:

    Cheese is my kryptonite, cheddar in particular. If being aged for 15 years makes it super delicious, I’m totally there. $50 a pound does seem like a lot, especially considering the seriously sharp Cabot I get for less than $10 a pound is delicious, but I’m giving it the benefit of the doubt that if it costs that much and people are going nuts it must be incredible.

    • DH405 says:

      And that response that you gave is a marketer’s dream.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      $50 a pound is quite a lot, but it’s quite possibly the oldest cheese in the US, which gives it the distinction of possibly being the only cheese to be aged that old for the foreseeable future. It takes a lot of skill to age cheese without it succumbing to the elements, or just tasting bad.

      Now I really need some cheese. Time to go raid the snack drawer. I have at least four different kinds of cheese in there – probably some Cabot cheddar, too!

      • metsarethe... says:

        more power to you pecan ! We choose to spend on what we love and who is to judge? Def not me

      • Michael Belisle says:

        It’s quite possibly the oldest cheese in the US, which gives it the distinction of possibly being the only cheese to be aged that old for the foreseeable future.

        Or, at least until they break out the 1995 vintage.

    • ludwigk says:

      I’ve never been satisfied with the sharpness of Cabot. I prefer Black Diamond and Tillamook, whose extra sharp cheddars pack much more punch. And now I’m hungry…

    • Hank Scorpio says:

      If you’ve never had aged cheese (when I say aged, I mean beyond the 12 to 18 months that most cheeses like Cabot and Diamond boast), I wouldn’t jump right to a 15 year straight off the bat. Start with maybe a 5-year (which will seem amazing compared to Cabot), then maybe a 7-year, then a 9-year, and so on.

      The oldest I’ve had is a 12-year. Honestly, though, I prefer cheddars that are in the 5 to 9 year range.

      • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

        I’ve had 5 year cheese- a little place called Palantine Cheese Factory, about 1/2 an hour north of Cooperstown NY. Worth the price!!

  4. ash says:

    It’s funny that I know that if you buy it directly from Hooks at the Dane county farmer’s market, it’s $34.99/lb. In case you were curious. I live in Wisconsin–just had some Hook’s cheese recently! TBH, I’m not sure how this article is worthy of being on Consumerist though. Aged cheese is expensive, big deal.

  5. 2 replies says:

    This was featured yesterday on NPR.
    It’s not really surprising that this high-end cheese is suddenly in high demand when you consider NPR has a pretty substantial wine-drinking listener-base.

  6. akuma_619 says:

    Seriously who wants to eat nasty old cheese.

  7. LuvJones says:

    How do they go about proving the cheese is 15yrs old…I mean do cheese heads really know what they are getting…could be some good cheese but not as old as they are claiming? I’m always suspicious…I blame consumerist!

  8. cmdr.sass says:

    I could have sworn the headline was “15-year-old sells cheese for $50 per pound”. Strangely I am disappointed.

  9. TheDude06 says:

    Its SO good. oh my god. all the hooks cheese is.

    you cant really “fake” it, because the flavor that forms is really unique. theres a lot of very reasonably priced aged cheese out there. try to find some 10y and some no-year from the same company.

    and speaking of faking it… one thing you dont mess with in the united states, are hundred+ year old agriculture laws. shit, here in WI there might be mandatory prison time for misrepresenting the age of your cheese. (seriously… we have some crazy stuff…)

  10. elangomatt says:

    To be honest I’m not quite sure why this is consumerist material, but if I had the money for extravagances like this, I’d be game to try the 15 year cheddar. Heck I almost bought the cheese from wine.woot the other day where it was almost $40 for two pounds.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      It’s consumerist material for the following reasons:

      1. It’s cheese, which is one of the most wonderful foods in the earth, and many consumerists love it (this is, coincidentally, the only rule that matters)
      2. It’s about the consumer market
      3. Consumerist likes to be lighthearted
      4. IT’S ABOUT CHEESE.

  11. sp00nix says:

    could i buy some off the shelf and let it sit for 15 years and sell it?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      No, you could not. First, you have to abide by agricultural laws which dicate a specific kind of environment cheese must be kept in order for it to be preserved. Most likely, yours would just get moldy.

  12. james says:

    Its not cheddar, it is NACHO cheese.

    At $50 per pound, its Nacho cheese, and its not my cheese either.

    I’ll stick with the Cabot 5-year-old cheddar from the Costco.

  13. Winteridge2 says:

    Wow! 15X cheese! I have to find some. I have had 4X cheddar from Upstate NY, and that is the greatest.

  14. 420greg says:

    I was visiting my sister in Milwaukee this summer and the wife and I went to the public market.
    When I heard she paid $44 for a pound of 24 year old cheese I was seriously considering strangling her right there on the spot.

    Until she gave me a piece. Once you get past the smell it was one of the best things I have ever eaten. Really super sharp, and a little crunchy, like grains of salt inside. I am shipping some home next rip to Wisconsin.

  15. korybing says:

    There is a point where things become so expensive that I wouldn’t be able to enjoy them, especially food items. I’m sure this cheddar is exquisite, but I’m not enough of a cheese connoisseur and I would just feel that the money would be wasted on my poor uneducated tastebuds. The tastebuds that enjoy Kraft cheese cubes.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I would be willing to spend about $15 on this, and get a small chunk of cheese, just to try it. The fact that it is so difficult to obtain would prevent me from spirally dangerously out of control, searching the world for aged cheese cubes – but I love cheese enough that I would be willing to pay about $15 and get a few ounces of this superb cheese. Om nom nom nom.

      • Magspie says:

        That’s what I was thinking. $50 is steep, but you don’t have to buy a whole pound do you? If no one packages it smaller you could always go in with some friends…

  16. Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

    OMFG HOW DID I MISS THIS SWEETT SWEEETTT POST???

    ….salivating uncontrollably

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      Seriously. I’m so tempted to stop by a cheese shop on my way home. There’s nothing like walking eight blocks to the cheese shop to work off the calories.

  17. savvy9999 says:

    Hook’s cheese is freakin’ awesome. I pay them to ship it to me here, five states over. Worth every delicious cheddary cent.

  18. StatusfriedCrustomer says:

    Yuck. I tried some aged cheddar from Fairway once (aged 6 years or so). The thing I disliked most was the texture; it was a combination of regular soft texture with hard flaky bits interspersed. I love cheese, and I love trying all kinds of it, but not that one.

  19. burnedout says:

    My grandparents bought this stuff – it was AMAZING.