Level Three Tasting & Sensory Profiling | Two-Day Advanced Level Course

Improve your skills, learn the science, benchmark your palate and progress your career with The Academy of Cheese and Charlie Turnbull




This course provides delegates with an understanding of the principles of flavour creation, in specific relation to cheese and their own personal sensory parameters.

This comprehensive two-day course covers the Academy of Cheese Level Three Tasting module, access to the Learning Road and exam, as well as a personalised sensory assessment.

What You Will Learn

The course is composed of physical tasting, theoretical exercises and includes a personalised sensory assessment, which is a standardised test recognised as an essential first step in any sensory analysis.

Delegates will learn how flavours are created and why they exist across a wide range of cheeses, leading to a better understanding of the cheese itself and how it was made.

Using recognition and personal threshold testing, delegates will be able to gauge and assess their own tastebuds and sensory parameters with other delegates, acknowledging the importance of being objective across relevant applications.

With expert-in-the-field Charlie Turnbull leading the course, delegates will taste through an extensive range of cheeses, exploring the methods in which they are assessed whilst developing the language used to describe their flavours.

By the end of the course you will

  • Understand what the key flavour drivers are for all the major cheese styles
  • Recognise and understand how cheesemakers deliver flavour in their cheeses
  • Be able to make recommendations for recipe creation and onward maturation of a cheese
  • Taste proficiently and with objectivity
  • Be able to articulate and communicate flavour to customers

This course closes the loop between the processes that have taken place in the make room, the flavours experienced on the palate, and a podium for developing the cheese further.

There is no course that offers the same range and depth in understanding of flavour creation across all the major cheese styles.

Who Is The Course For?

  • Cheese Judges: Develop your skills to deliver a more objective tasting analysis.
  • Cheesemakers, affineurs and graders: Understand how to get the desired flavours in your cheeses, whilst developing and improving the final product.
  • Cheesemongers: Gain an in-depth understanding of what your customers are looking for flavour-wise, in order to provide intuitive and informed recommendations.
  • For food and drink professionals who are looking to develop and improve their tasting skills in order to refine and enhance their career path.
  • Cheese professionals completing their Level Three Fellow Certification

Course Content

This comprehensive course is broken down into 10 sub-modules over two days, containing a well-balanced mix of theoretical and practical tasks. Covering all topics contained within the Level Three Tasting Module, this is a perfect course for anyone working towards Academy of Cheese Fellow Certification.

Day 1: Building the Foundation

1. How We Taste:  Explore the fundamentals of taste of flavour, learn about the intricate interplay of your senses, and understand how your brain filters sensory information.

2. Personal Capacity: Discover your individual sensitivity to tasting and fine-tune your palate, using recognition and threshold testing in the five tastes.

3. Tasting Cheese with the Academy of Cheese: Understand the nuances of profiling cheese styles using the Structured Approach to Tasting Cheese.

4. Other Systems of Tasting: Introduction to taste panels and the application of the lexicon of taste to certain cheese styles.

5. Pairing: Delve into the art of pairing; explore how other foods, drinks, and contexts influence taste and flavour in cheese. Typical exercises include pairing wine and beer with cheese varieties.

Day 2: The Science of Cheese

6. Tastes and Flavours: Introduction to “flavours” and taste and their origins.  Understand the role of proteins, fats, lactates, and citrates, as well as the enabling world of enzymes.

7. Personal capacity: Challenge yourself with individual recognition testing, refining your ability to identify various taste and flavour components.

8. Metabolic Pathways to taste and flavour: With practical matching of cheeses leading to predictions in taste and flavour.

9. The Cheese Wheel: Identify patterns matching cheese styles, animal species and breed to likely taste profiles and flavour production.

10. Introduction to Judging & Grading:

Learn how judging works:

  • Identifying cheese styles and metabolic pathways through visual and taste cues
  • Considering complexity
  • The importance of balance, length, maturity, and comparative assessment
  • Understand standardisation in style
  • Differences between countries, cultures and judges
  • Consider how personal preference can tilt the scales – does “I like it” matter?

Having had the chance every month to try and discuss cheeses with traders and makers I feel I have learned a lot BUT when I judge at competitions I also feel there is so much that I do not know. Charlie made me feel that I do have a palate that is up to the job, that I can have opinions that stand up as real and that with time and thought, I can assess really any cheese – that was a huge gift to give so thank you. 

Lucy Cufflin, Chiswick Cheese Market

Essential Details

The course takes place at the Bermondsey classrooms of WSET in London, so is perfectly located within walking distance of London Bridge mainline and underground stations.

Join us for this immersive and unique 2-day course, hosted by the Academy of Cheese and guided by the expertise of Charlie Turnbull. There is no course that offers this range and depth in understanding how you as a person, and we as people, taste cheese.

Don’t miss this opportunity to elevate your cheese knowledge, palate and career to new heights. Register now and embark on a journey of flavour, taste, and cheese exploration.

What our delegates are saying:

I would recommend it because it is essential to be able to understand all the processes of smell and flavour and how we perceive them. Charlie’s capacity of synthesising the information is amazing … I find it really important to be taught how to “look” at flavour and aroma correctly and apply it to cheese. To be able to understand how they develop during the life of a cheese is fascinating and essential. I wouldn’t have been able to understand everything only by reading the material by myself, without Charlie’s explanations and without the discussions and questions that were raised during the course.

Andreea Popa,

Huge amount of knowledge from Charlie and brilliant support from Tracey as ever. Thank you

Michelle Charrington, Invest Northern Ireland

Cheddar is a difficult one to pair with wine but it is the easiest for Sake! I now can logically explain why thanks to this course. I’m really happy!

Kanako Mathys, Culture & Culture


Places are limited to 12 delegates. We reserve the right to cancel a course should events beyond our control make this unavailable or if minimum numbers are not met. In the unlikely event of this happening, delegates will be offered a place on our next available scheduled course, or given a full course refund.

Please note, once the course is booked it is non-refundable. All bookings are final, however, if you are unable to attend you can reassign your booking to a new available date or to another person. We require 14 days’ notice prior to original booking date.

Picture of Rachel