10 Most Popular Cheeses Originated in Scotland

10 Most Popular Cheeses Originated in Scotland - Cheese Origin

Welcome, fellow gourmands, to a culinary journey across the enchanting landscapes of Scotland. Famous for its lush highlands, ancient castles, and haunting bagpipes, Scotland is also home to an impressive array of artisanal cheeses.

Each unique in flavor and texture, these cheeses are a testament to the rich dairy heritage of this beautiful land, offering a sensory experience that goes beyond the palate. From the robust cheddars nurtured in the windswept pastures of the Orkney islands to the tangy blues born in the heart of the highlands, Scottish cheese is a world waiting to be explored.

CheeseShort DescriptionFlavor Profile
Lanark BlueA rich, salty-sweet blue cheese made from sheep’s milk.Sharp, tangy flavor with a creamy texture.
CabocOne of Scotland’s oldest cheeses, it’s a buttery cheese coated in toasted oatmeal.Creamy and buttery with a mild sweetness.
CairnsmoreA versatile cheese that can be enjoyed fresh or matured.Nutty and sweet when young, savory as it matures.
Cambus O’MayInfused with whisky and cloaked in oatmeal, this cheese represents Scottish flavors.Full-flavored with distinctive whisky hints.
Blue MurderA powerful, creamy blue cheese that balances sweetness and sharpness.Strong, salty, and spicy with a sweet finish.
AnsterA crumbly, fresh cheese with a pleasant tanginess.Crumbly and tangy with a fresh, clean taste.
Isle of MullA unique Cheddar-style cheese with fruity and malty tones.Robust and full-bodied with a distinct terroir.
Orkney Scottish Island CheddarA robust, full-bodied cheddar that reflects the distinct terroir of the Orkney Islands.Rich, full-bodied flavor with a robust character.
CrowdieA soft, low-fat cheese with a light, citrusy flavor and crumbly texture.Light and citrusy with a crumbly texture.
Strathdon BlueAn intense, complex blue cheese with a melt-in-the-mouth creaminess.Intense and complex with a creamy texture.

1. Lanark Blue

  • Milk Type: Sheep’s Milk
  • Taste: Sharp, salty-sweet with a tangy finish
  • Aroma: Rich and robust
  • Texture: Creamy with slight crumbliness
  • Food Pairing: Pears, walnuts, dark chocolate
  • Wine Pairing: Dessert wines like Sauternes or full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon
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Lanark Blue is a true celebration of Scottish artisanal cheesemaking. Crafted from the rich milk of sheep grazing on the verdant pastures of the Clyde Valley, this cheese boasts a distinctive flavor profile that’s as unique as the landscape itself. It balances a sharp, tangy bite with a salty-sweet undercurrent, creating an intriguing contrast that keeps the palate engaged.

The texture adds another layer of delight – it’s creamy yet slightly crumbly, melting in your mouth to release its complex flavors. Lanark Blue is not just a cheese; it’s a testament to Scotland’s rich heritage and commitment to quality, a gastronomic journey that transports you to its lush, rolling hills with every bite.

2. Caboc


  • Milk Type: Cow’s Milk
  • Taste: Creamy, buttery with a mild sweet flavor
  • Aroma: Mild and creamy
  • Texture: Soft and richly smooth, coated in toasted oatmeal
  • Food Pairing: Fresh fruits, oatcakes
  • Wine Pairing: Light white wines like Chardonnay or fruity reds like Pinot Noir
  • Read in-depth guide

Caboc is a delightful gem in the crown of Scottish cheese-making tradition. Made from rich, creamy cow’s milk, this cheese is a testament to the simple elegance of traditional recipes. Its taste is a symphony of buttery and mildly sweet notes, harmoniously blended to create a unique flavor profile. But what truly sets Caboc apart is its texture – incredibly soft and smooth, each bite melts on your tongue, releasing its subtle flavors.

The cheese is then rolled in toasted oatmeal, adding a delightful crunch that contrasts beautifully with its creamy heart. In every bite of Caboc, you can taste the unspoiled landscapes of Scotland and the passion of its cheese-makers. It’s more than just a cheese; it’s a sensory journey through Scotland’s culinary heritage.

3. Cairnsmore

Cairnsmore cheese
  • Milk Type: Goat’s Milk or Cow’s Milk
  • Taste: Nutty and sweet when young, becoming more savory as it matures
  • Aroma: Mild and slightly sweet
  • Texture: Semi-hard, can be crumbly when matured
  • Food Pairing: Crackers, fresh fruit
  • Wine Pairing: Crisp white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or light reds like Gamay

Cairnsmore is a captivating embodiment of the rich heritage of Scottish cheese-making. Produced from the milk of either cows or goats, this cheese carries an enchanting blend of rustic and refined elements. Its taste profile is beautifully complex – a harmonious medley of nutty undertones, sweet hints, and a gentle, lingering tanginess. The texture of Cairnsmore is a delightful experience in itself.

Semi-hard yet creamy, it feels as smooth as the rolling Scottish landscapes it hails from. The cheese’s natural rind adds an earthy dimension to its overall flavor, making each bite a fascinating exploration. Cairnsmore is not just a cheese; it’s a flavorful journey through the diverse culinary traditions of Scotland, encapsulating the passion and craftsmanship of its artisan cheese-makers.

4. Cambus O’May

Cambus O'May cheese
  • Milk Type: Cow’s Milk
  • Taste: Full-flavored with hints of whisky
  • Aroma: Distinctive, reflecting its whisky infusion
  • Texture: Hard and crumbly
  • Food Pairing: Hearty breads, oatcakes
  • Wine Pairing: Whisky, or robust red wines like Syrah

Cambus O’May is a true treasure in the realm of Scottish cheese. This artisanal cheese, crafted from the finest cow’s milk, is a beautiful homage to Scotland’s rich dairy heritage. It offers a delightfully well-rounded taste that strikes a perfect balance between sweet and tangy notes. Its texture is equally impressive, featuring a firm yet crumbly consistency that melts delightfully on the tongue.

But what truly sets Cambus O’May apart is its unique character – each wheel is studded with whiskey-soaked pinhead oatmeal, lending an extra layer of complexity and a subtle hint of Scotland’s beloved spirit. This fusion of flavors makes Cambus O’May more than just a cheese; it’s a culinary adventure that captures the essence of Scotland’s vibrant culture and breathtaking landscapes.

5. Blue Murder

Blue Murder Cheese
  • Milk Type: Cow’s Milk
  • Taste: Strong, salty, and spicy with a sweet finish
  • Aroma: Powerful and pungent
  • Texture: Creamy and crumbly
  • Food Pairing: Fresh pears, figs, hearty breads
  • Wine Pairing: Sweet dessert wines or robust reds like Cabernet Sauvignon

Blue Murder is a strikingly bold addition to Scotland’s illustrious cheese repertoire. Made from rich cow’s milk, this blue cheese carries a distinctive personality that sets it apart. Its flavor is a captivating dance of strong, spicy notes softened by a hint of sweet creaminess, creating a taste experience that’s both intense and surprisingly balanced.

The texture of Blue Murder adds to its intrigue – firm yet creamy, with veins of blue mold running through, delivering an exciting contrast in every bite. But the real charm of Blue Murder lies in its audacious character, reflective of the rugged beauty and spirited culture of Scotland. This cheese isn’t just a culinary delight; it’s a gustatory journey through the untamed landscapes and vibrant traditions of its Scottish homeland.

6. Anster

Anster Cheese
  • Milk Type: Cow’s Milk
  • Taste: Fresh, clean, slightly tangy
  • Aroma: Mild with a hint of fresh milk
  • Texture: Crumbly and moist
  • Food Pairing: Apples, grapes, oatcakes
  • Wine Pairing: Light white wines like Sauvignon Blanc or fruity reds like Pinot Noir

Anster is a remarkable testament to Scotland’s rich cheese-making tradition. Crafted from the freshest cow’s milk, this artisanal cheese is a sensory delight. Its taste is a delightful surprise – a refreshing blend of mild, sweet notes and a subtle tanginess that lingers on the palate. The texture of Anster is equally memorable, offering a crumbly yet creamy consistency that melts in the mouth, leaving behind a charming hint of the sea air from its coastal birthplace.

But it’s the spirit of Anster that truly sets it apart. Each wheel encapsulates the essence of Scotland’s rugged landscapes, the gentle whisper of its sea breeze, and the enduring passion of its people. Anster isn’t merely a cheese; it’s an edible piece of Scottish heritage, a gastronomic journey through the heart of Scotland.

7. Isle of Mull

Isle of Mull Cheese
  • Milk Type: Cow’s Milk
  • Taste: Fruity and malty with a sharp finish
  • Aroma: Rich and robust with a hint of fermentation
  • Texture: Firm and crumbly
  • Food Pairing: Hearty breads, apples, pears
  • Wine Pairing: Full-bodied reds like Merlot or robust whites like Chardonnay

The Isle of Mull cheese stands as a proud symbol of Scotland’s rich dairy legacy. Made from the milk of cows grazing on the lush pastures of the island, this hard cheese is a sensory journey through the Scottish highlands. It offers a robust flavor profile that’s both sharp and fruity, underpinned by a subtle hint of the local whisky malts used in the feed of the dairy herds.

The texture is delightfully complex – firm but yielding, with tiny crystals interspersed throughout that offer an exciting crunch. Yet, the true charm of the Isle of Mull cheese lies in its reflection of its birthplace. Each bite transports you to the rugged beauty of the island, the whispering sea breeze, and the warmth of the local people. This cheese is more than just a gastronomic delight; it’s a slice of Scotland’s heart, soul, and breathtaking landscape.

8. Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar

Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar
  • Milk Type: Cow’s Milk
  • Taste: Rich, full-bodied, slightly tangy
  • Aroma: Strong and robust
  • Texture: Firm and smooth
  • Food Pairing: Crackers, apples, pears
  • Wine Pairing: Robust red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon or full-bodied whites like Chardonnay

Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar is a memorable emblem of Scotland’s vibrant cheese-making tradition. Made from the milk of cows grazing on the lush, wind-swept pastures of the Orkney islands, this cheddar is a testament to the island’s unique terroir. Its flavor is an intriguing mix of sharpness and depth, boasting a complexity that unfolds gradually on the palate. The texture is equally compelling – firm, yet with a certain creamy richness that makes each bite a delight.

But what truly sets Orkney Scottish Island Cheddar apart is its ability to capture the spirit of its homeland. With every mouthful, you can almost taste the fresh sea breeze, the rugged island landscapes, and the enduring resilience of the Orkney people. This cheese isn’t just a culinary experience; it’s a voyage through Scotland’s breathtaking island tapestry.

9. Crowdie

Crowdie Cheese
  • Milk Type: Cow’s Milk
  • Taste: Light, citrusy, slightly sour
  • Aroma: Fresh and mild
  • Texture: Soft and crumbly
  • Food Pairing: Fresh fruits, oatcakes, bread
  • Wine Pairing: Light white wines like Pinot Grigio or sparkling wines like Prosecco

Crowdie, a venerable standout in Scotland’s cheese repertoire, offers an experience that is delightfully unique. Traditionally made from skimmed cow’s milk, this soft cheese is a testament to the simplicity and ingenuity of classic Scottish dairy craft. Crowdie’s flavor profile is refreshingly light yet subtly complex, with a gentle tartness that dances on the taste buds, rounded off by a delicate creaminess.

The texture is a pleasure in itself – smooth and spreadable, yet with a distinctive graininess that adds a delightful crunch. Beyond its sensory delights, Crowdie carries with it the spirit of Scotland’s past, a time-honored culinary tradition passed down through generations. Each spoonful of this cheese is not just a gastronomic delight, but a journey back in time, offering a taste of Scotland’s rich cultural heritage.

10. Strathdon Blue

Strathdon Blue
  • Milk Type: Cow’s Milk
  • Taste: Intense, complex, spicy
  • Aroma: Pungent and strong
  • Texture: Creamy and crumbly
  • Food Pairing: Apples, pears, figs
  • Wine Pairing: Sweet dessert wines or robust reds like Cabernet Sauvignon

Strathdon Blue is an enchanting representative of Scotland’s flavorful cheese landscape. Crafted in the beautiful valleys of Strathdon, this blue cheese is a testament to the rich, varied terrain of the highlands. Its flavor profile is a symphony of bold and tangy notes, balanced by a surprising hint of sweetness that lingers on the palate. The velvety, creamy texture contrasts delightfully with the characteristic blue veins, creating an irresistible dance of smooth and crumbly in every bite.

But Strathdon Blue is more than just a cheese; it’s a sensory journey through Scotland’s highland heartland. With each taste, you can almost feel the cool mountain air, the rolling green pastures, and the rhythmic lullaby of the river Don. Strathdon Blue isn’t just a culinary treat; it’s a piece of Scotland’s soul, encapsulated in cheese.

Final thoughts

As we conclude our flavorful journey through the rolling green pastures of Scotland, we hope you’ve enjoyed this exploration into the country’s rich cheese-making heritage. From the tangy Strathdon Blue to the soft, creamy Bonchester, each cheese carries with it a piece of Scotland’s heart, reflecting the unique landscapes and traditions of its origin. These ten cheeses are not just popular; they are a testament to the artistry and passion of Scottish cheese-makers.

They invite us to step beyond the ordinary and savor the extraordinary diversity of flavors that Scotland has to offer. Whether served on crusty bread, paired with fine wine, or enjoyed on its own, each bite of these Scottish cheeses promises a delightful culinary adventure. So, next time you find yourself yearning for a taste of Scotland, remember these ten popular cheeses and let them transport you straight to the heart of this beautiful land.

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