I'm particularly interested in how aged Gouda will melt compared to young Gouda, but I'm interested in what happens to its flavor as well.
I live in the US and have never actually tasted aged Gouda. The Gouda I know is young, soft, very smooth, and melts beautifully. It's almost like American "cheese" that way, but unlike American cheese, it actually has some flavor. I'm interested in a more intensely flavored cheese that is still very meltable.
As a bit of comparison, I use cheddar quite a bit. Young cheddar melts beautifully (in macaroni and cheese, for example) but it doesn't have intense flavor. I much prefer the taste of sharp (or aged) cheddar, but it doesn't melt smoothly. Using aged cheddar alone in mac and cheese doesn't work well; it's grainy and often separates even in a bechamel. I'll still happily put it on a burger though.
I'm about to buy some Beemster Aged Gouda that has been aged for 18-24 months and I want to use it to its best advantage. I'm interested too in 5 year aged Gouda, but with shipping it's very expensive. I'd happily read any comments about the value of long aged Gouda as well.