For this ode to the South, the cheesemakers at Tennessee’s Sequatchie Cove Creamery took inspiration from nearby Shakerag Hollow, a ravine full of wildflowers and a moonshining past. Like the moonshiners of Prohibition-era Chattanooga, Shakerag Blue is cloaked in darkness: It’s covered with fig leaves soaked in local whiskey. Made using raw milk from the farm’s herd of Jersey and Jersey-Holstein cross cows, it’s a Southern take on leaf-wrapped blue cheese that exemplifies the creamery’s focus on Tennessee terroir.
Shakerag Blue is at once bright and salty, sweet and fruity—with a pleasant hint of funk and a mouth-puckering bite at the finish. Expect notes of buttermilk, fermented cream, pine, and grass and a lingering aroma from the whiskey-soaked fig leaves. It’s dense but crumbles perfectly into munchable morsels on a cheese board or when topping salads or steaks.
Stay true to Shakerag Blue’s roots by washing it down with Tennessee whiskey, though barley wine or root beer make a fine match too. Pair with dried fruit or smear onto raisin toast to set off the cheese’s deep savoriness.