The MoonRabbit sprang forth in October 2015. On its label, which holds together the wheel’s vivid green wrapping, a rabbit stares into a full, green moon. Chris Gentine, a Wisconsin-based cheese grader and owner of the Artisan Cheese Exchange, recalls a story of his grandmother’s, in which the moon was made of green cheese—so he set out to create one.
To make The MoonRabbit, the first in Deer Creek’s Spirits Collection, Gentine takes his cheddar, which is aged for two years until it’s sweet and creamy—then soaks it in Green Chartreuse. The liqueur, known as the “elixir of life,” has been produced by Charthusan monks since 1737 and is made using 130 distilled herbs and plants. Its distinctive tint and fragrance tinges the cheese with a light green color and adds an herbal essence that complements the cheese’s slight sweetness.
Chris Gentine began The Artisan Cheese Exchange as a bridge between small cheesemakers from the United States and the rest of the world, carefully culling through American cheeses to find the best options to export. But seeing a hole in the market for sweet, aged cheddars, Gentine began his proprietary brand, Deer Creek Cheese.
Deer Creek focuses on creating whimsical, flavorful cheeses that each tell their own stories. To illustrate their unique perspective, Deer Creek opts for labels that are hand-drawn by Gentine’s daughter. They create classics, like the clothbound cheddars of their Signature Originals Collection, but experiment with exciting flavor combinations: from spicy habanero in The Rattlesnake, to smooth Madagascar vanilla in The Doe.
Starts like a milky sweet cheddar but finishes with an herbaceous echo. Overall, sweet and tangy with bodacious herbal chartreuse notes. It’s like eating cheese while smelling a cup of liqueur. It is its own cocktail: subtle, but the aftertaste is undeniable.
A bijou cocktail of course! Or an amber ale—those malts love a cheddar, and the cheese's herbaceous notes will pick up some extra special flavors in the beer.