Castleton Crackers of Vermont never ceases to amaze us with their delicious new crackers. The latest out of Vermont is their Alehouse Cheddar made with local craft ale, cheddar cheese and very mild horseradish mustard. All natural, and hand-made in Vermont.
I received a full sized box of these crackers in my November Knoshbox.
I chose a mild white tea go to with these crackers. I wanted something mild because I didn’t want anything to interfere with some of the more nuanced flavors of the cracker and I wanted something cooling to soften the effect of the horseradish mustard. The horseradish is mild, as the description above states, but, it does build a little bit and the white tea helped to cleanse the palate in between crackers. I chose this China Mutan White Tea from Mark T. Wendell – and the crackers and tea made for a lovely tea time!
What I Think:
I’ve tried a few different Castleton Crackers since I’ve started this blog. The first package that I tried were the Windham Wheat crackers, and then I tried the Rutland Rye and the Sesame Graham crackers. Now we have the Alehouse Cheddar Crackers and these are reaffirming for me why I love this company’s crackers so much.
Not only are they a handcrafted cracker that are made in small batches and obviously broken by hand rather than crafted in an assembly line in a factory somewhere, but the flavor of these crackers just cannot be beat! You just can’t get this kind of taste in a commercially manufactured cracker. The crackers not only look like they were made in someone’s home kitchen, but they taste like it too! You can taste the love in them.
As much as I loved the salty and sweet contrasts of the aforementioned Graham Crackers that I tried most recently from this company, I think that these Alehouse Cheddar might be my new favorite. It’s surprising to me, really, because I’m not a big fan of alcohol, as I’ve mentioned before, but, I love the way the flavors are represented in these crackers.
I taste the cheddar, but it doesn’t hit me over the head with cheesy flavor. I taste notes of the ale, but the most intriguing note that captures my interest is the horseradish. It’s not an overwhelming flavor … it’s in balance with the other notes in the cracker. But, it is a flavor that builds and after I’ve eaten a couple of crackers my mouth is pleasantly warm and I can feel that enjoyable “burn” in the top of my throat and even that hint of a sting near my eyes and nasal passages that one gets from horseradish. I love horseradish, so these notes were certainly a welcome surprise to this cracker. I like that it starts out subtle but the heat builds.
My Final Thoughts:
I really like these crackers. Then again, I’ve really enjoyed all the different crackers I’ve tried from this company … but I think that the unique layers of flavor in this cracker might just make it my favorite! They have the cheese, they’ve got some ale flavor, and some horseradish mustard … all that you need is a cup of tea!