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Barely Buzzed

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Utah cheddar rubbed with espresso and lavender

Winner of 23 major awards

Barely Buzzed is the perfect party cheese. It’s easy to pair, stunning to look at, and always the center of attention on the cheese board. Your guests will want to know more about this unique cheese, and we guarantee there will be a lively discussion about “Buzzed” whenever it’s in the room.


What does it taste like?

The espresso and lavender rub imparts notes of butterscotch and caramel, which are prevalent near the rind, but find their way to the center of the cheese. This is a full-bodied cheese with a nutty flavor and smooth texture.

Hours after it’s made, the special grind is rubbed on the rind. The 20-pound wheel ages for 6-8 months. As it ages, our cheesemakers test each batch to determine the right time to introduce the wheel into the world. And once it arrives on your doorstep, get ready for an adventure in pairing!

  • Toasted nuts
  • Chocolate
  • Berries
  • Charcuterie
Ingredient info
Vegetarian rennet, cow's milk, all ingredients rubbed on the rind are organic, this is a gluten-friendly product



1st Place American Cheese Society (ACS) 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2015

1st Place Utah Cheese Awards

1st Place Idaho Milk Processors Association (IMPA) 2017, 2018 

2nd Place World Cheese Awards (WCA) 2018, 2019 

2nd Place IMPA 2016

3rd Place ACS 2016, 2022

3rd Place WCA 2012, 2017, 2018, 2021

3rd Place IMPA 2017, 2018

The story of Barely Buzzed

Barely Buzzed was launched into the national spotlight in 2007 when it won 1st Place at the American Cheese Society Conference. If we had listened to the scientists, then Buzzed would have never existed.

In a moment of “not knowing what we didn’t know” owner and founder Tim Welsh combined whole bean coffee and a dash of lavender in a burr grinder and decided to rub it on an experimental 5 pound “baby” wheel of Promontory. The coffee was - and still is - roasted in Grand Junction, CO by Tim’s brother at Colorado Legacy Coffee Company. We use local Utah lavender, as well.

The baby wheel went off to the aging cooler and was mostly forgotten about until our cheesemaking mentors from Utah State University came to visit to see how we were doing after only a year of being in business. Pat and Tim mentioned the espresso and lavender experiment to the team of scientists. They shook their heads and launched into three highly scientific reasons why this cheese would be terrible.

They tasted this unnamed coffee-lavender dusted cheese… and they were dead wrong.  

In principle, it should have been a comedic mistake, but instead this crazy idea launched an entirely new way of “flavoring” a wheel without compromising the beautiful paste of the cheese. Now this method of rubbing only the rind of a wheel of cheese has spread across the artisan cheese community.      

In 2006, Tim and Kari attended the small, but growing American Cheese Society conference in Portland, Oregon to get feedback on their cheese. They stealthily slipped Barely Buzzed on a table at a cheese maker party and hid in the corner nervously watching conference attendees try the cheese. People loved it!

The experience was intimidating but encouraging. They headed back to Utah with renewed confidence and started working on getting Barely Buzzed ready for its competition debut at the 2007 American Cheese Society conference in Vermont.

In Vermont, Barely Buzzed took 1st place in its category and was the belle of the ball. It was all the things: exciting, innovative, and produced by a plucky unknown upstart from UTAH, of all places.

From there the demand for Barely Buzzed skyrocketed and quickly became a cult classic among cheesemongers and cheese lovers. To date, Buzzed has racked up 18 major awards.

Trying to decide between the 2/12-oz wedges or the quarter wheel?

The 12-oz cut is our work horse. This one is for the entertainer or used in cooking. It’s enough cheese for a couple grilled cheese sammies or a party of 12-16 guests. These wedges have a 3 month shelf life if kept in the original packaging. 

The 5 lb quarter wheel is perfect for large parties and weddings.


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    It’s all about the rub. Colorado Legacy Fine Coffee's produces a Beehive Blend of South American, Central American, and Indonesian beans roasted in different styles exclusively for Barely Buzzed. It turns out the love for food and artisan craftsmanship runs in the family. The owner and roaster of Colorado Legacy Fine Coffee is the brother of cheesemaker Tim Welsh.

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