Crown Finish Caves, located 30 feet underground in Crown Heights, have released a new cheese in partnership with Whole Foods. The washed rind, raw cow's milk called Crown Dutchess began life at the Chaseholm Farm Creamery in the Hudson Valley, then was aged for more than two months in Crown Finish's converted lagering caves.

According to Benton Brown of Crown Finish, the team washed the cheese in a "special mix of b-linens (brevibacterium)" every other day, which contributed to the cheese's unique flavor. Brown and his team tasted "notes of almonds, sweet pink apple, and a hint of saltiness," as well as a "warm hay" flavor. I definitely tasted a kind of grassiness in the cheese, as well as a tangy, borderline sour note. The texture of the paste was also interesting, straddling the line between creamy and crumbly.

As with most types of cheese, the Crown Dutchess will benefit from a few hours left outside of the refrigerator so the cheese can soften and the flavors can fully unfold. Note that the cheese has a prominent scent, so clear the room of any cheese-phobes in advance. The Crown Finish folks recommend pairing the cheese with barley wine ale, scotch ale and, surprisingly, coffee. "We do a lot of tastings with coffee and some of our team very much enjoy that combo."

The cheese can currently be procured at any of Whole Food's eight NYC locations for $6.25 for a quarter pound. Everyone wants a little cheese in their stocking this year, right?