Cheddar (Rogue Chocolate Stout)
David Gremmels and Cary Bryant bought Rogue Creamery on a handshake from Ig Vella (Vella Cheese Company) in 2002. Rogue was originally founded in 1935 by Ig's father, Tom, who ran it as a successful creamery for many years. Upon Tom's death in 1998 (aged 100), Ig took over and then finally sold it to David and Cary in 2002, with the stipulation that they would continue to make the creamery’s signature cheeses according to tradition.
Today, Rogue Creamery is a thriving business that produces a variety of award winning cheeses in addition to the originals that the Vella family created. Milk for production comes from Delmar at Rogueview Dairy. Delmar has 70 acres with 1/4 mile frontage on the river - a beautiful piece of property in a valley that used to be loaded with small dairies of 15-20 cows. Delmar started with 90 cows and has grown to 200, where he has held for the past 15 years. The milkers go out on pasture daily, when weather permits, (from March-October), but are not exclusively grass-fed, as they also get hay and grain.
Chocolate Stout cheddar is the product of a collaboration between Rogue Creamery and Rogue Ales. Produced since 2007, it was the first of three "beer cheeses" that the brewery and creamery have produced together; the other two are Morimoto Soba Ale and Hopyard. Chocolate Stout Cheddar takes the pairing of cheddar and beer to another level by incorporating the ale directly into the cheese vat. The beer is poured over the curd, then allowed to meld before it's hand-dipped and pressed into blocks for aging. The whole process is handmade in the artisan tradition; it's handcut and hand milled. The cheese ages for a full 24 months before release.
The texture of this cheddar is firm with a marbling of dark ale throughout. Aromas are buttery and creamy, enhanced by a hint of ale. The flavor is savory and tangy and cheddar notes are balanced by the sweeter chocolate and coffee flavors of the stout.
Best paired with a Lager or Stout due to its subtle toasted notes. Not as sharp as other cheddars, it also pairs well with a lighter Chardonnay or Syrah.