• iStock

  • Chimay

  • Charles Martell & Son Ltd.

  • Capriole Goat Cheese

In the world of cheese, there are a handful of distinct varieties: fresh cheeses, like Boursin; aged cheeses, like Parmigiano-Reggiano; bloomy-rind cheeses like Brie; and finally, the washed-rind cheeses. These complex beauties are usually stinky, creamy, luscious, a little bit funky… in other words, all the things we look for in cheese.

Washed-rind cheeses come in many varieties; some are creamy and others are quite hard, some are sold whole in round wooden containers and others come in blocks. Some washed-rind cheeses are rubbed with a simple brine, but others are actually bathed in booze. Here are five booze-washed cheeses that you should definitely, definitely seek out.

  • 1. Époisses

    iStock

    This legendary (and legendarily stinky) cheese is washed in a brine that’s been infused with a local brandy, Marc de Bourgogne. Sold in a little wooden box, it should be left out for a couple hours before eating in order for it to come to room temperature. It’s so luscious that it can (and should) be eaten with a spoon.

  • 2. Chimay

    Chimay

    You may know Chimay only as a producer of beer, but they actually sell a variety of cheeses that have been washed with that beer, too, and they’re good. That’s right: they went there.

  • 3. Stinking Bishop

    Charles Martell & Son Ltd.

    This creamy, light orange cheese is washed in a pear brandy. The name of the variety of pear that the brandy is made with? Stinking bishop.

  • 4. Capriole Dairy’s O’Banon

    Capriole Goat Cheese

    To make this cheese, fresh goat cheese is wrapped in chestnut leaves and washed — nay, soaked — in bourbon. The bourbon gives it a rich, woody flavor that doesn’t at all overpower the goat cheese.

    See more boozy cheeses to add to your next cheese plate.

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