Ashcombe named British Cheese Awards Supreme Championa

Company: British Cheese Awards

Ashcombe from King Stone Dairy in Gloucestershire has been named Supreme Champion at the British Cheese Awards 2022. The Morbier-style cheese took the top prize after more than 500 cheeses were judged in a single day at The Bath & West Showground on Wednesday 5 October, as the British Cheese Awards returned following a two-year hiatus. 

Crafted on an organic dairy farm, 800 feet up on top of the Gloucestershire Cotswolds, Ashcombe was created during lockdown in response to the extreme challenges endured by cheesemakers during this period. Faced with the need to utilise thousands of litres of milk that would otherwise have to be poured away, head cheesemaker, David Jowett decided to use the milk to produce a larger, longer aging cheese. 

Ashcombe is a large, flat, disc shaped cheese, featuring a striking line of wood ash running through its centre. The cheese is washed in a special brine solution to develop a bright terracotta rind and aged for 2-4 months. The rind is meaty and savoury, while the paste has aromas of warm milk and hay. The flavours are comforting and rich, reminiscent of melted butter and fresh hazelnuts.   

All cheeses made by King Stone Dairy are produced using organic milk from a single herd on Manor Farm, Chedworth. David Jowett runs a small scale operation focused on quality-focused farmhouse cheesemaking, while Manor Farm’s dairy enterprise is led by Toby Baxter who has implemented a low input, organic system, following regenerative agricultural practices.    

Trophies were awarded to all category and national winners during the British Cheese Awards Dinner on the evening of Wednesday 5 October, with the Reserve Champion cup going to St.Jude by St.Jude Cheese in Suffolk. 

Julius Longman, chairman of the British Cheese Awards, commented: “We are truly delighted to have brought the British Cheese Awards back following a two-year Covid-enforced hiatus, reuniting the UK and Ireland’s cheese community once again to celebrate excellence in our craft. Cheesemakers faced unimaginable challenges during the lockdowns, forcing them to innovate in all sorts of ways to survive, and this is evident from the many new and interesting entries that won prizes at this year’s competition. Our Supreme Champion, Ashcombe, embodies this beautifully, as it was produced in direct response to the need to store a sudden glut of milk in a larger, longer aging cheese. David and his team created something extraordinary in the process – a very worthy winner of the British Cheese Awards 2022 trophy.” 

David Jowett, head cheesemaker at King Stone Dairy, added: “We are all completely overjoyed to hear the news of Ashcombe having been awarded Supreme Champion at this year’s British Cheese Awards. A cheese born out of adversity as recently as 2020, Ashcombe is a celebration of this farm and the people maintaining this landscape, as well as the dedication and continuous strive for excellence within our cheese making and maturation team. For our small team of cheesemakers, to receive this award is an honour, a delight, and an extraordinarily invigorating token of recognition.”  

Organised by The Royal Bath & West Society, the 27th edition of the British Cheese Awards saw over 500 entries judged in a single day, as the competition took place during The Dairy Show for the very first time. Among this year’s entries were 20 brand new cheeses that have been created since the awards last took place, representing the sudden boom in creativity that was witnessed within British cheese, following huge losses in business as the hospitality sector was closed down during successive lockdowns.  

A 50-strong judging panel made up of cheesemakers, cheesemongers, cheese experts, buyers and commentators assessed entries in their individual classes during the morning session, awarding Bronze, Silver and Gold accolades to deserving products from England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. During the second round, all Gold award winners from each category were judged alongside one another to identify the category winners, before all category winners were judged during the final round to find this year’s Supreme Champion and Reserve Champion.

British Cheese Awards 2022 trophy winners: 


Supreme Champion 

Ashcombe, King Stone Dairy Ltd 

Reserve Champion  

St.Jude, St.jude Cheese 



Best English Cheese 

Ashcombe, King Stone Dairy Ltd 

Best Scottish Cheese 

Morangie Brie, Highland Fine Cheese Ltd 

Best Welsh Cheese 

Celtic Promise, Caws Teifi Cheese 

Best Irish Cheese 

Kilmora, Killeen Farmhouse 



Best Flavour-Added 

Mexicana, Norseland Ltd 

Best New Cheese 

Big Nick, Chapel Cross Tearoom 

Best Export 

Gorwydd Caerphilly, Trethowan's Dairy Ltd 

Best Dairy Product 

Greek Style Natural Yogurt, BV Dairy 

Best Fresh 

Hebden Goat, Tenacres 

Best Soft White 

Winslade, Hampshire Cheese Company Ltd 

Best Semi-Soft 

Merry Wyfe, The Bath Soft Cheese Company 

Best Modern British 

Moreton, King Stone Dairy Ltd 

Best Blue 

Organic Whole Blue Stilton, Cropwell Bishop Creamery Ltd 



Best Traditional Cheddar 

Pitchfork, Trethowan's Dairy Ltd 

Best Block Cheddar 

Vintage Somerset Cheddar, Wyke Farms Ltd 

Best Sheep Cheese 

Flower Marie, Golden Cross Cheese Co Ltd 

Best Cheddar 

Vintage Somerset Cheddar, Wyke Farms Ltd 

Best Territorial 

Red Leicester, Wyke Farms Ltd 

Best Goat Cheese 

Killeen Goat Mature, Killeen Farmhouse 

Best Organic Cheese 

Organic Whole Blue Stilton, Cropwell Bishop Creamery Ltd 

Best PDO/PGI Cheese 

Animal Rennet Whole Blue Stilton, Cropwell Bishop Creamery Ltd 

Best Prepared Block Cheese 

Best Mature, Saputo Dairy UK 

Best Cheese from a Member of the Specialist Cheesemakers Association 

Winslade, Hampshire Cheese Company Ltd 

Best Cylindrical 

Coloured Cheshire, Belton Cheese Ltd 

British Cheese Awards

The British Cheese Awards is the UK’s leading cheese and dairy products awards scheme, judging hundreds of entries each year that represent over 75% of the nation’s producers. Founded by Juliet Harbutt in 1994, the British Cheese Awards was taken over by The Royal Bath & West Society in 2015. Under the organisation’s stewardship, the British Cheese Awards has continued to grow and develop, attracting record-breaking numbers when the prestigious competition was last held in 2019. 

Bringing cheesemakers, cheesemongers, farmers, retailers and buyers together on the judging panel, the British Cheese Awards assesses entries in a wide range of traditional categories, awarding Bronze, Silver and Gold prizes, as well as trophies for the stand-out cheese in each category and each country. Following a busy day of judging, the Supreme Champion and Reserve Champion are announced that evening at the British Cheese Awards Dinner. 

The British Cheese Awards joined forces with The Dairy Show for the first time in 2022, presenting a packed one-day programme of seminars and competitions, alongside the popular trade exhibition.   


Instagram: britcheeseaward 

Twitter: @BritCheeseAward 

Facebook: @BritishCheeseAwards 


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