Have you ever wanted to know more about how judges go about their job?

Here's a selection of key judging facts...


  • Distinguishable packaging is removed or covered on all products and they are judged for appearance and aroma before tasting can commence.

  • Judging rooms are temperature controlled, a cool 15⁰-18⁰C at all times.

  • Judges are asked not to use scented soaps and strong smelling perfumes, judges must be entirely focused on the smell of the cheese or dairy product, just as much as the taste and appearance.

  • Silence is golden, that means no social media, no talking, and absolutely no sharing of ideas, until all judges have scored the products.
  • A minimum of ten expert judges are chosen, who have a developed understanding of what an ideal dairy product in each class should taste, smell and look like.

  • Like wine tasting, samples are not swallowed, although the judges love eating cheese (don’t we all), swallowing vast amounts of cheese can dull their taste abilities and alter their final perceptions.
  • Palate cleansers including sparkling water, bread and sliced green apple are commonly consumed.

  • To avoid a cheese coma, judges are expected to only eat a light meal before and during judging – making sure it includes no strong flavours like garlic or chilli, which may affect their palate. A hungry stomach makes for a refined taste palate.

  • Finally, what do judges want to eat for dinner after tasting dairy products all day? We’re told a really good curry or stir-fry is often on the menu!