What Does Wensleydale Cheese Taste Like?

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A proper English gourmet, the Wensleydale cheese is a uniquely fresh cheese with a supple and crumbly texture. In addition, this distinct cheese has rich aromas of honey that entice you to take a bite (or two)!

If you’ve never tried this Yorkshire classic, you’re missing out. So, what does Wensleydale cheese taste like? Let’s find out.

White Wensleydale has a subtle, sweet flavor with hints of tangy undertones. Some even describe it as nutty but with a grassy aftertaste.

If this paradoxical description has aroused your curiosity, read on to find out more about the cheese’s taste, texture, and even some of its best substitutes.

What Does Wensleydale Cheese Taste Like?

Wensleydale is a medium-aged cheese known for its moist and crumbly taste. The fragrance ranges from honey-like to tangy, sharp, and even sour.

Authentic Yorkshire Wensleydale cheese has a distinct nutty and grassy flavor that comes from pure cow’s milk from cattle feeding on the sweet meadows of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

The cheese’s unique contrast of sweet and slightly sour flavor notes makes it a perfect combination with crackers and slices of crusty bread! Most people prefer Wensleydale with sweet produce like apples and pears, savory treats like quiche and tarts, or even evening snacks like fruit cake. The crumbly texture and mild flavor also pair well with hot desserts, such as fruit crumbles. Finally, we can’t think of a better combination than Wensleydale with some sweet white wine!

Wensleydale is usually aged for up to three weeks as a medium cheese. While the flavor of young Wensleydale cheese is mild and slightly sweet with subtle hints of fresh acidity, as the cheese ages, the taste becomes deeper.

To cut it short, Wensleydale is the king of charcuterie as its honey-like, milky sweetness is sure to wow your guests. But, more importantly, the cheese goes well with all combinations, making your cheese board Instagram-worthy!

What Cheese Is Similar To Wensleydale?

Cheshire cheese and its substitutes are the perfect alternatives for Wensleydale cheese. These include cheddar, Caerphilly, Feta, and Lancashire.

However, one cheese that tastes closest to Wensleydale is Lancashire cheese. This cow’s milk cheese is the perfect creamy substitute as it shares many texture and flavor similarities with the original cheese. The only drawback is that it may not be as crumbly as Wensleydale cheese.

You may even use equal parts Cheshire cheese to get a similar crumbly, mild flavor.

Does Wensleydale cheese taste like cheddar?

Since Wensleydale and English cheddar are similar to Caerphilly, you can expect certain similarities between the two kinds of cheese. They’re both known for their complex flavor notes that range from rich, nutty-buttery to tangy and crumbly.

The primary difference between the two varieties is that Wensleydale is made using sheep’s milk, whereas cheddar comes from pasteurized cow milk. As a result, there are slight differences in their texture and flavor profiles.  

Overall, Wensleydale is a crumbly cheese with a honey-like aroma. On the other hand, cheddar has fruity and rich savory notes but with a tart aftertaste. Texture-wise, both kinds are firm but not dry; however, cheddar has a smoother appearance than Wensleydale.

Nonetheless, the similar flavor notes mean you can use an equal quantity of sharp cheddar as a substitute in recipes that calls for Wensleydale cheese!


To summarize, Wensleydale cheese is a firm yet moist, crumbly cheese with a flavor that’s a perfect balance between sweet and tart. Like Caerphilly cheese, it has a minimal texture but a somewhat uneven exterior.

You’ll truly enjoy this delightful variety of cheese with sweet treats like apples, cranberries, pears, and dried fruits. Wensleydale cheese is also an excellent accompaniment with cured meats!

This supple, honey-like cheese is available in multiple versions worth trying! Our favorite is Wensleydale cheese with cranberries, as it’s a delicious sweet and tart combination, perfect for Christmas!

You may even find “blue Wensleydale,” made by mixing cow’s milk with sheep’s milk to produce a richer and more acidic flavor!    

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