Maker's Reserve

Meet Maker’s Reserve

Our Secret Ingredient? Time.

Maker’s Reserve

A Higher Standard Since Day One.

We’ve been making cheese masterfully for more than a century. When you start with an outstanding recipe and unusually good ingredients, the rest is easy. It just takes time.

Every year, we release a new vintage of white cheddar, aged over 3 years. Take your tastebuds on a dynamic journey of each vintage of our very best aged cheddars.

Our Process

The Tillamook Way,
Since Way Back

The Tillamook Way is a way of life—the way our farmer-owners have done things since 1909. We cared for our farmer-owners, who cared for the land, which sustained healthier cows, which provided better milk. And better milk made better dairy products. It's a simple recipe that we've followed for over a century and it has never failed.

Swipe
  1. Step 1

    It Starts with
    Premium Milk.

    We measure milk using our own internal metrics, beginning with a healthy herd. The welfare of our animals comes first, since we depend on them for clean, high quality milk. Tillamook dairy co-op members take a pledge to honor the natural milk production cycles of their animals. That means not using synthetics like rBST and supplying milk with low SCC (somatic cell count). You can measure the quality of our cheese against those commitments.

  2. Step 2

    Higher Fat.
    Fat is Flavor.

    It’s also one of our secret weapons. Our targeted high fat-to-protein ratio sets our cheddar apart. Our uniquely high levels of butterfat will dazzle your taste buds and beguile your olfactory senses. We deliver an unmistakable depth of flavor that you won’t find in your average cheddar.

  3. Step 3

    Heat-shocked Thermalized not Pasteurized.

    It’s an important distinction that few cheesemakers of our size can claim. The difference of just a few degrees allows the enzymes and natural flora retained in the milk to add their own singular flavors over time. Sometimes it’s not what you add, but what you leave behind, to do its thing.

  4. Step 4

    Add Proprietary Cultures.

    We select our special blend of cultures and grow them on-site, at The Creamery. When they’re combined with the always-changing seasonal flora naturally present in our premium milk, we detect the beginnings of the signature flavors and textures that will characterize each vintage cheddar. Think of it as a Tillamook terroir.

  5. Step 5

    Perfect Conditions for Aging.

    Just as we heat the milk to the perfect temperature for the perfect length of time, we cool our cheddar blocks to the optimal temperature for slow fermentation and aging. Then we wait. Because the only way to get to ten years is ten years.

Sharpness Rating

The Best of Our Cheddars.

Aged for at least three years, the bold, complex flavors of Maker’s Reserve vintages are unique and vary from year to year. Each year when we release our four dynamic, consecutive vintages plus one 10-year vintage, we can pretty much guarantee mind = blown.

pairings

Perfect Pairings For
Each Vintage

Whether creating a cheeseboard for a special evening or a backyard BBQ, see our Maker’s Reserve pairings for inspiration to make sweet and savory treats that are sure to be the talk of the table.

Pairings

2012 Extra Sharp
White Cheddar

Lush tropical flavors mingle with warm toasty notes of brown butter and macadamia nuts in our 2012 Maker's Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar.

  • Beer/Cider: Sour Beers

  • Wine: Barolo

  • Spirit: Vodka Shrub Cocktails

  • Non-Spirit: Kombucha

  • Sweet: Wildflower Honey

  • Savory: Pickled Vegetables

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Pairings

2016 Extra Sharp
White Cheddar

Deeply flavorful, with toasty, woody aromas offset by the tart, brightness of cranberries, the 2016 Maker’s Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar has a lightly peppery finish.

  • Beer/Cider: Hard Apple Cider

  • Wine: Pinot Noir

  • Sweet: Dark Cherries

  • Savory: Pepperoncini

  • Cheeseboard: Pickled Peppers

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Pairings

2017 Extra Sharp
White Cheddar

Bright acidity wrapped up in a rich, custardy finish would be a good way to describe 2017 Maker’s Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar.

  • Beer/Cider: Raspberry Cider

  • Wine: Pinot Gris

  • Sweet: Raspberries

  • Savory: Cured Chorizo

  • Cheeseboard: Spicy Raspberry Jam

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Pairings

2018 Extra Sharp
White Cheddar

A bold, nutty cheddar nose and flavors of sweet malt and barley are balanced with grassy notes of leek in 2018 Maker’s Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar.

  • Beer/Cider: Pilsner

  • Wine: Prosecco

  • Sweet: Blueberries

  • Savory: Raw Oysters

  • Cheeseboard: Pâté

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Pairings

2019 Extra Sharp
White Cheddar

Balanced with subtle salty, umami notes and a delicate smattering of crystals, this vintage is notable for its clean, nuanced palette, which we anticipate being imprinted with the unique flavors of the region as it ages to maturity.

  • Beer/Cider: Pilsner

  • Wine: Oregon Pinot Noir Rosé

  • Spirit: Vodka Martini

  • Non Spirit: Unsweetened Iced Tea

  • Sweet: Shortbread

  • Savory: Seasoned Pecans

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Specialty Resources

Everything you need to sell the best of Tillamook Cheese.