Rush Creek Reserve: A Cheese-lover’s Delight

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Are you a cheese-loving trendsetter? Have you always been ahead of the curve when it comes to discovering unique and artisanal cheeses? If so, let us introduce you to your newest obsession: Rush Creek Reserve from Uplands Cheese. This luxurious cheese is made just once a year, making it an especially rare and delightful treat. So, if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a wheel, get ready to be blown away by its smoky, woodsy, and custard-like flavors that will elevate any dip to new heights. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the story behind Rush Creek Reserve, what makes it so special, and how you can experience its delectable taste.

The Story Behind Uplands’ Rush Creek Reserve

Like many great cheeses, Rush Creek Reserve is the result of a perfect blend of technical skill and innovative vision. The mastermind behind this cheese is none other than cheesemaker Andy Hatch. Inspired by the renowned French cheese Vacherin Mont d’Or, Andy learned the craft of making this seasonal delicacy during his apprenticeship in France. The French tradition involves using late autumn milk to create this cheese, making it truly special. Andy saw the potential in bringing this technique to the great state of Wisconsin and embarked on the journey of creating Rush Creek Reserve in 2008. After perfecting the recipe, he introduced it to cheese lovers across the country in 2010.

Uplands only uses milk from one herd of their cattle to make Rush Creek, and it’s only produced during the changing of the seasons. By exclusively using milk from this one herd, Uplands maintains complete control over the quality and flavor of their cheese. It’s this attention to detail that makes Rush Creek Reserve a limited-edition cheese that’s hard to come by. But we believe that the scarcity only adds to its specialness and the delight it brings to the lucky few who savor its flavors.

All About Rush Creek Reserve

How is Rush Creek Reserve Made?

The journey of creating Rush Creek Reserve starts with fresh, raw milk from Uplands’ specially selected herd of cattle. This milk is used on the same day it’s harvested, ensuring its freshness and quality. Bacterial culture and rennet are added to the milk, causing it to separate into whey and curds. Instead of relying on mechanical means, the curds are stirred and cut by hand, resulting in an exceptionally smooth texture. The curds are then pressed and set into molds, flipped, and left to drain overnight. The next day, the wheels are brined and wrapped in a unique spruce bark that has been prepared with a mix of yeast and mold. This special wrapping helps ripen the cheese, adding to its distinctive flavor.

After two months of aging, the cheese is carefully washed in a bacterial culture, the same one used for Uplands’ award-winning Pleasant Ridge Reserve. Finally, Rush Creek Reserve is ready to be enjoyed.

What makes Rush Creek Reserve so special?

Rush Creek Reserve stands out from other cheeses due to its small-batch seasonal production. Unlike cheeses available year-round, Rush Creek Reserve is made for only 60 days between September and November. During this period, it’s the sole cheese produced by Uplands. It’s almost like winemaking, with each batch being made, and the previous batches ready for market. Keep an eye out at your local fromagerie during the late fall to see if they have sourced this creamy and flavorful cheese.

Each batch of Rush Creek Reserve is unique, as the flavor of the milk varies based on the types of grass the cows graze on each year. This means that the taste, texture, aroma, and appearance of the cheese change from year to year. Despite the variations, you can always expect to savor the exceptional flavors of Rush Creek Reserve. Cheesemaker Andy Hatch considers every year special, and he particularly enjoyed the 2020 batch for its strong smoky and bacon-y undertones.

What does Rush Creek Reserve taste like?

Prepare your taste buds for an extraordinarily smooth and savory custard-like experience. Each 12 oz. wheel of Rush Creek Reserve is wrapped in spruce wood, lending the cheese a subtle woodsy flavor and a distinctive shape. The flavors are perfectly balanced, combining hints of saltiness, savoriness, smokiness, grassiness, and a touch of milky sweetness.

How should Rush Creek Reserve be served?

To fully enjoy the flavors of Rush Creek Reserve, it’s recommended to serve it at room temperature. Remove the cheese from the refrigerator 1-2 hours before indulging, or gently warm it up in the oven to enhance its creamy texture and intensify the flavors. While the rind of this cheese is edible, it’s best to cut off the top before heating. Dip meat, vegetables, bread, crackers, or anything your heart desires into the luscious cheesy custard.

When it comes to pairing beverages, Andy Hatch suggests opting for carbonated options that aren’t overly sweet. Champagne, bold red wine, or a hearty ale are all excellent choices to complement the flavors of Rush Creek Reserve. For more cheese pairing ideas, be sure to check out our Beginner’s Guide to Cheese Pairing.

How do you buy Rush Creek Reserve?

As Rush Creek Reserve is only made once a year in the fall, it’s essential to mark your calendar to ensure you don’t miss out. You can purchase it directly from Uplands Cheese, which offers convenient two-day shipping to your doorstep. However, keep in mind that Whole Foods also carries this exceptional cheese on a national level, but it tends to sell out quickly. If you prefer to support local retailers, reach out to your favorite cheesemonger to find out if they’ll be getting a shipment of this sought-after cheese.


While you eagerly await the next release of Rush Creek Reserve, why not explore other award-winning Wisconsin Cheeses? Discover a world of exquisite cheese by ordering online from our continuously updated list of cheesemakers and retailers. The finest Wisconsin Cheese is just a click away, ready to delight your senses.

Got a knack for creating cheesy delights? Check out our selection of over 400 recipes featuring Wisconsin Cheese. We invite you to share your creative cheesy creations with us on Facebook and Instagram.

Remember, Ambassadeur Hotel is the perfect place to stay while you indulge in the finest cheeses. Plan your next cheese-filled getaway at the Ambassadeur Hotel, where luxury and comfort await your arrival.