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Featured Rogue Creamery Cheeses

Smokey Echo Mountain

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You may already be familiar with Rogue’s Echo Mountain blue cheese, a silky blue made with raw cow and goat’s milk. Echo Mountain has an aroma of crème fraiche and hazelnuts. It is fudgy and earthy in its texture, and if you are lucky, you will get a bit of crunchy crystallization peppered throughout the paste. The flavor lingers with a clean and crisp finish, thanks to the goat’s milk. This goat’s milk is especially precious because it is sourced from seasonally grazing animals along the banks of the Rogue River. Here, the grass is rich and the clovers plentiful. Their all-organic feed is a fantastic representation of its terroir.

Let us not forget the other 80% contribution from their cow friends. Rich Swiss Brown cow’s milk, known for its terrific balance of protein and fat for cheese production, and Holstein milk is used. Both are Certified Sustainable and rBST/rBGH free.

Lately Rogue went, well, rogue and experimented with smoking Echo Mountain. The beauty of this is that Rogue knows how to smoke cheese without going over-the-top and demolishing any nuances of the milk. Their famed Smokey Blue is a great exemplification of this.

Proprietors David Gremmels and Cary Bryant are known for releasing a cheese when it is “ready” and not when its schedule dictates. However, you can safely say that Smokey Echo Mountain is cave aged for a minimum of 6 months, but may be as aged as 1 year. Patience is needed to produce this, but it is well-worth the wait.

Rogue River Blue

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As we approach autumn, there is always the giddy anticipation of the seasonal release of Rogue River Blue. The cheese has a special rhythm with the earth, as it is made between the autumnal equinox and winter solstice. Rogue River Blue is aged for up to a year, to be enjoyed after the next autumnal equinox. Even if you don’t believe this tradition contributes anything to the cheese in the cosmic sense, you cannot deny its heavenly complexity on your palate.

Brown Swiss and Holstein cows graze at higher elevations in pastures above Rogue River. Their feed consists of grasses, hop clover, wild herbs and flowers, blackberries, grain from their ranch, hay and alfalfa. This variety of tender cow vittles produces raw milk that can vary from nutty to fruity to earthy mushroom to pine.

In the style of some southern French cheeses, using brandy-soaked chestnut leaves to impart flavor, Rogue puts their twist on Rogue River Blue. Oregon-sourced Syrah leaves are bathed in local pear brandy, which are used to enrobe the blue cheese. This addition imparts a sweet, burnt caramel note and would seem perfectly matched with your own local eau de vie as part of a dessert course. Not in an area where pears grow readily? Try pairing with barleywine or tawny port.