The latest Monday cheese comes from artisan affineur Jacquy Cange. So what's an affineur do? They take soft, young cheese and ripen them over time. They don't make the cheese, they finish it. Often times they'll wash the rind in different ways, changing and improving the taste. This ripening process is perhaps the most crucial step in making good cheese.
What makes Jac'Kriek special is that it is washed in Cantillon Kriek Lambic beer, a specialty of Brussels. The beer itself is very sour and dry, with a distinct cherry taste. While the beer isn't for everyone, it works brilliantly with the cheese. You can definitely taste the flavors in it.
The cheese is very pungent, with a moist and sticky rind. As I cut the cheese in half my fellow turophile proclaimed, "it even sounds stinky". Once you get past the aroma, and perhaps removing a bit of the rind, you'll find a delicious tasting cheese.
Unfortunately Jac'Kriek was a one-off, made for a cheese tasting held at the Cantillon Brewery. Not to fear though, as Jacquy Cange has several other beer and wine washed cheeses as well as cheese with mushrooms, herbs, and fruit. Check them out at his site at http://www.jacquycange.be/.