Set in the shade of the Cumberland Plateau outside Chattanooga, Tennessee, Sequatchie Cove Farm is a diversified farm of 300 acres. Under the direction of Bill and Miriam Keener and their family, the farm includes a plant nursery and berry farm, as well as extensive pasture for the production of dairy, beef, lamb and pork. Animals graze year-round on the pasture, and no pesticides, herbicides, chemical fertilizers, antibiotics or growth-promoting hormones are used. Raw milk for cheese production is sourced exclusively from Sequatchie Cove’s diverse herd of dairy cows.
Shakerag Blue is a blue cheese wrapped in local fig leaves that have been soaked in Chattanooga Whiskey. “We are trying to develop a southern take on leaf-wrapped blue cheese,” says co-owner Padgett Arnold, “with the incorporation of the fig leaves that thrive in a southern climate and the Chattanooga Whiskey with its aroma. We are trying to create flavors that truly reflect this part of the country.” Currently aging the cheese 100 days before release, the whiskey-soaked fig leaves impart aroma and flavor to the cheese, helping to seal in moisture and create a creamy yet crumbly texture.
This cheese, with its gorgeous and dense dark blue veining, has a crumbly and slightly grainy texture speckled with crunchy protein crystals. Taste is at once bright and salty and rich and creamy, with a pucker-inducing bite at the finish. There are notes of buttermilk, funk, fermented cream, pine and grass.
Pair it with a malty beer, or with Chattanooga Whiskey.