What is “Affineur of the Year”?

“Affineur of the Year” is a unique opportunity for cheesemongers and cheesemakers to showcase, across the world, the skill and artistry involved in guiding a cheese to its full potential.

Quicke’s and the Academy of Cheese are delighted to launch this brand new competition for the Cheese Industry. It is a unique experiment in cheese maturation, grading and tasting.

How “Affineur of the Year” works

  • All competitors receive a 27kg Quicke’s mature truckle from the same vat.
  • Competitors care for the cheese at their facility for 9 months.
  • Every 3 months the cheese will be graded, documented and published on and social media.
  • After 9 months the cheese will be judged by a select committee of industry experts at an event hosted by Quicke’s & the Academy of Cheese.
  • The winner will be crowned Affineur of the Year 2022.
  • The event will be open to the public, and competitors will have the opportunity to sell their competition cheese at the event.

Important dates

What happens, when?

  • Entry deadline Monday 12 April 2021
  • Cheese sent to entrants Monday 10 May 2021
  • Competition launch Tuesday 18 May 2021
  • Event Thursday 24 February 2022

Judging criteria

What will score points and how many are available?

Sensory characteristics.


The most important element of the judging, with the highest points rating.

Score available

Flavour including length and differential nose to rind
Flavours out of /10
Aroma out of /5
Body/texture, out of /5
Appearance/rind out of /5

Grading sheets / records


Detailed grading sheets / records are crucial to understanding how the result has been achieved.

Score available

out of /5

The condition and structural integrity of the cheese (blueing and damage, cheese mite).


The most critical part of maturing a whole cheddar, this is where competitors’ affinage skills will be put to the test.

Score available

out of /10

Innovation / interesting additions to the original.


This is a chance for competitors to express creativity and trial new ideas.

Score available

out of /10

Who is taking part?

Buchanans Logo

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Beginners guide to affinage

The Academy of Cheese has launched Affineur of the Year, but what does it mean to be an Affineur and why is it important?

Read our guide to affinage

beginners guide to affinage