1. Purple Haze, from Cypress Grove Chevre in California
The newest hit by Mary Keehn, who brought us Humboldt Fog, is a fresh goat cheese dusted with lavender and fennel pollen. (cypressgrovechevre.com)

2. Pleasant Ridge Reserve, from Uplands Cheese Company in Wisconsin
Deep in dairy country, Uplands reserves its top-notch cows' milk for just one kind of cheese, a bold, sharp triumph with a refined, Gruyère-esque finish. (uplandscheese.com)

3. Bayley Hazen Blue, from Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont
To cheese addicts, the Kelher brothers are rock stars. And true to form, the duo's blue is majestic—creamy and subtly sweet, without aggressive peppery notes. (jasperhillfarm.com)

4. Barely Buzzed, from Beehive Cheese Co. in Utah
With its caramely, salty kick and coffee-tinged finish, this cleverly named Cheddar-like cheese has put the Beehive State on the lactic map. (beehivecheese.com)

5. Green Hill, from Sweet Grass Dairy in Georgia
From the South's best cheesemaker, this Camembert-like variety has a lip-smacking bite and a silken mouthfeel on par with France's raw-milk original. (sweetgrassdairy.com)

6. Red Hawk, from Cowgirl Creamery in California
Everything Cowgirl makes is killer—but this much-lauded triple-cream is downright evil with its satiny texture of fresh butter and a pungency that rivals that of the best oozy European Brie. (cowgirlcreamery.com)


NEW YORK CITY: Lucy's Whey Chelsea Market 425 W. 15th St., 212-463-9500; lucyswhey.com

MADISON, WISCONSIN: Fromagination 12 S. Carroll St., 608-255-2439; fromagination.com

LOS ANGELES: The Cheese Store of Silverlake 3926-28 W. Sunset Blvd., 323-644-7511; cheesestoresl.com