Irish Cheese Awards 2019

The Irish Farmhouse Cheese Awards returned for 2019.

The Irish Cheese Awards is the only competition dedicated entirely to Irish cheese.  The awards is a biennial event and entries are open to all cheese producers on the 32 counties of the island of Ireland.


We are delighted to announce that the supreme Champion was Killeen Farmhouse Cheese from Co. Galway made by Marion Roeleveld!

CAIS invited the public to cast their vote for their favourite Irish Farmhouse Cheese. The winner was the wonderful Coolea Farmhouse Cheese from Macroom!


Irish Cheese Awards Ceremony 2019

The very prestigious Irish Cheese Awards and Gala Dinner were back again on November 7th, celebrating the best in Irish cheeses. The awards were presented as part of the Black Tie Gala Dinner in the Metropole Hotel, McCurtain Street in Cork City with RTE Ear To the ground Presenter Helen Carroll acting as MC. Head Chef Stuart Dardis created a 5-course dinner menu showcasing some of the 2017 winning cheeses. 

Judging Day Irish Cheese Awards 2019

Cheeses were judged in October by an expert selection of food professionals. The winners were announced at the Gala ceremony in Cork on 7th November. View Judging Panel




Criteria for Marking:

  • flavour and aroma – 60 points
  • body and texture – 30 points
  • overall appearance – 10 points

Criteria for Retailers and New Cheesemaker Categories:

  • flavour and aroma – 40 points
  • body and texture – 20 points
  • overall appearance of Cheese – 10 points
  • Packaging & Branding – 30 Points


Judges have been selected and invited as representatives of various sectors within the food industry:

Retail, Foodservice, Chefs, Media, Overseas

The overall aim is to have a wide selection of views including those from a more consumer based perspective. It should be noted that all judges are involved in the final award of medals from a shortlist proposed by judging team.


Judges will be assigned no more than 4 categories each for judging and will work in pairs or groups of 3 for some categories. They will be informed of assigned categories and pairings during the briefing session.

Judging groups will be chosen by the organisers in consultation with the chief judge to always include an experienced cheese professional.

Judges will receive scoring sheets for each category and guide sheets which provide details on marking criteria.

Judges will score cheeses as they taste based on the criteria provided and the scores will be calculated only when the entire category is judged.

 Judges will be briefed in advance that scores and the notes will be made available to entrants on request, therefore it is important to write a brief note on each cheese and to try and be as constructive as possible with comments.

The judges will choose a maximum of 5 shortlisted entrants for their categories.

If any difficulties arise in narrowing down the selection, the chief judge will be consulted.

The Judges will then as an entire group revisit the shortlisted cheeses from each category and select the medal winners.


An uneven number of judges has been chosen in order to avoid any tie situations.

If any unforeseen circumstance occurs on the day of judging where is not an uneven number, then via a random selection process (name from hat) – one judge’s vote will be excluded from final judging of each category.

Not all categories are guaranteed of a medal in order to ensure the ongoing validity of awarded medals.

For the category to be judged a minimum of 5 cheeses must have been entered

If the situation arises Where any judge is associated with a brand – e.g. in the example of retailer classes, they will be excluded from judging and voting for that category.

The judges and any organisers present undertake to keep all results confidential until their announcement at the awards ceremony