Centerfold: Sequatchie Cove Creamery:  Shakerag Blue

A Top Seller with Deep Roots: Sequatchie Cove Creamery Shakerag Blue

Though Shakerag Blue was not one of Sequatchie Cove Creamery’s original cheeses when the business was founded in 2010, it has been one of its most lauded and has become the top seller.

It pays homage to Rogue Creamery’s Rogue River Blue yet celebrates Tennessee’s Sequatchie region. Shakerag Blue’s name is derived from the scenic Shakerag Hollow atop the Cumberland Plateau, known for its wildflower trails and rich moonshining past. Legend has it that a thirsty individual could leave a white rag and money in a tree stump and find a jar of moonshine in its place upon returning.

It all started with a little experimentation. Cheesemaker Nathan Arnold wanted to incorporate the leaves of the many fig trees on the farm. To add local flavor, he soaked the leaves in Chattanooga whiskey that is produced in the state. This is used to encase and seal the 6- to 7-pound wheels after the cheese is aged for at least 120 days in cold temperatures, which gently coaxes the flavors and blue characteristics.

A Symphony of Flavors: Tasting Shakerag Blue

The result is a moister cheese that is bursting with character and flavor. This includes notes of tropical fruit, including pineapple and coconut as well as blueberries and bananas. The interior is reminiscent of root beer and lends itself to more complex notes of savory bacon, dark chocolate, while the tropical flavors are more towards the rind.

The meshing of fig leaves and whiskey create an alchemy all its own that is boozy and decadent. Described as a dessert cheese, Shakerag Blue delicately balances sweet and salty with a fudgy consistency that creates a soft yet crumbly texture.

The Perfect Pairing: Food and Drink Combinations

Shakerag Blue nicely pairs with darker beer or wine and definitely whiskey. It is a great burger or steak topper, works well on a salad, and the flavor comes through nicely atop raisin bread.

Award-winning Recognition: Accolades for Sequatchie Cove Creamery‘s Shakerag Blue

This cheese most recently won first place at the 2022 American Cheese Society competition in the Blue-veined with a Rind or External Coating-Made from Cow’s Milk category. It also won third place in 2016 at ACS in the American Original Recipe category, was a 2015 Good Foods Awards winner and won Best of Class-Blue Cheese Category in the 2015 U.S. Championship Cheese Contest.

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