The Expertise And Physiology of Tasting Cheese | Level Three Tasting

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




Take a gastronomic journey into taste and flavour with Academy of Cheese expert Charlie Turnbull, on this comprehensive two-day course to develop your skills and give your career in cheese a boost.

Prepare to sharpen your sensory skills, understand the taste profiles of different cheese styles, extend your taste sensitivities, and explore how taste and flavour are made in cheese. 

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

What You Will Learn

With a combination of practical and theoretical exercises, you will learn how taste is created across a wide range of cheeses, whilst developing the language to describe those flavours and exploring how they are assessed within the cheese industry.

Using recognition and threshold testing, the course will examine the importance of being objective across relevant applications, whilst considering how you can apply certain tasting methods in different circumstances.

By the end of the course you will

  • Know how to taste proficiently
  • Be able to articulate and communicate flavour to customers
  • Understand what the key flavour drivers are for all the major cheese styles
  • Recognise and understand how cheesemakers deliver flavour in their cheeses

Who Is The Course For?

  • For food and drink professionals who are looking to develop and improve their tasting skills in order to refine and enhance their career path.
  • For cheese makers, affineurs and graders looking to develop, improve or maintain flavour profiles in their products.
  • For cheese judges looking to improve their tasting objectivity.
  • 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?

Essential Details

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!


Thank you to James Grant from No 2 Pound Street and The Trooper for providing the venue for this training event.


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.