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.

Maker's Reserve Block

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.

  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.

Charcuterie Board with Tillamook Cheese


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.

Tillamook Makers Reserve 2012 with honey


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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2013 Extra Sharp
White Cheddar

Sweet cream and rich buttery brioche best describe the first taste of 2013, while savory notes of toasted nuts help round out the flavor.

  • Beer/Cider: Porter, Stout

  • Wine: Champagne

  • Spirit: Sparkling Champagne Sangria

  • Non-Spirit: Fruit Spritz

  • Sweet: Fresh Strawberries

  • Savory: Grilled Vegetables

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2014 Extra Sharp
White Cheddar

A surprising and complex profile, the earthy aromas of figs and olives of our 2014 Maker’s Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar give way to pleasantly acidic flavors of fresh grapefruit.

  • Beer/Cider: Porter, Stout

  • Wine: Cabernet Sauvignon

  • Spirit: Paloma

  • Non-Spirit: Fruity Kombucha

  • Sweet: Fresh Raspberries

  • Savory: Olive Tapenade

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Tillamook Maker's Reserve 2017 with blood orange slices


2017 Extra Sharp
White Cheddar

Bright citrus acidity and aromatic floral notes would be a good way to describe 2017 Maker’s Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar.

  • Beer: Belgian Wheat Beer

  • Wine: Sauvignon Blanc

  • Spirit: Paloma

  • Non-Spirit: Fruity Kombucha

  • Sweet: Blood Orange

  • Savory: Olive Tapenade

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Tillamook Makers Reserve 2028 with dark chocolate


2018 Extra Sharp
White Cheddar

A powerful savory nose and flavors of porcini mushrooms are balanced with grassy notes of leek in 2018 Maker’s Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar.

  • Beer: Scottish Red

  • Wine: Grenache Rosé

  • Spirit: Old-Fashioned

  • Non-Spirit: Root Beer

  • Sweet: Milk Chocolate

  • Savory: Pickles

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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: Sour Beer

  • Wine: Oregon Pinot Noir

  • Spirit: Bloody Mary

  • Non Spirit: Sweet Tea

  • Sweet: Dried Blueberries

  • Savory: Spiced Pecans

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Tillamook Makers Reserve Pairings


2020 Extra Sharp
White Cheddar

A smooth, rich texture with a slightly dry, short bodied finish.

  • Beer: Lager, Pilsner

  • Wine: Prosecco

  • Spirit: Sparkling Gin and Tonic

  • Non Spirit: Sparkling Apple Juice

  • Sweet: Madelines

  • Savory: Hazelnuts

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Tillamook Makers Reserve 2021 cheese with olives


2021 Extra Sharp
White Cheddar

Buttery brown bread and roasted hazelnut flavors meet in in our 2021 Maker’s Reserve Extra Sharp Cheddar.

  • Beer: Pale Ale

  • Wine: Pinot Gris

  • Spirit: Moscow Mule

  • Non Spirit: Sparkling Lemonade

  • Sweet: Honey Comb

  • Savory: Kalamata Olives

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Specialty Resources

Everything you need to sell the best of Tillamook Cheese.