The dates on cheese can be confusing to say the least. I'll try and explain.
Normally you will find cheese with a Best Buy or sell by date on it. For example, you may find a Mild Cheddar with a best by date on it. This means if you want a mild cheddar, eat it before that date. If kept longer, it will be heading toward Medium Sharp, the longer it is kept the sharper it will get. I just checked and found a block of Tillamook Monterey Jack in the cooler that was purchased in Nov. 2009 with a sell by date of Feb. 2010. Will I throw it out? No way, it may get smoked this year or next, don't know. The average age of my cheddar is over 4.5 years old.
Soft cheeses won't age, so consume them as advised on the package, but wait, I have some 16-year-old Limburger. It isn't aging per say but is creamy smooth and delicious.