Charles De Gaulle (1890-1970) once said that the French had 365 different cheeses. The French politician was familiar with the southwest of Ireland but when he visited the country he would have found it difficult to locate any real cheese.
Milleens is generally credited with producing the first modern Irish Farmhouse cheese in 1976 and the company improved it over the following years. It is still going strong. Picked one up recently at On the Pigs Back in the English Market and enjoyed it.
It has a mottled peach, and sometimes orange, washed rind and within is a paste that goes from semi-firm to spilling cream. The flavour is a complex mix of delicate herbs along with a spicy tang. That spicy tang doesn't suit everyone but personally I have no problem with it and is in any case tamed when mixed in with a salad.
My piece was marked Milleens Dote. Wasn't too sure about the Dote but it is simply the term use to indicate a 200g round, the smallest size.
The soft cheese is made by the Steele family from the milk of Freisan cows on the rugged Beara peninsula. It is a regular award winner and features regularly on the cheese board of top class hotels and restaurants.