Behind-the-Scenes: Making Rocky Butte Reserve

Behind-the-Scenes: Making Rocky Butte Reserve

Apr 13, 2022JACK RUDOLPH

Spring has sprung at Stepladder Ranch & Creamery! The farm is filled with the sounds of baby goats playing, grass being mowed and lactating does on the milking stand. Earlier this week you could also hear our creamery crew hooting and hollering with joy as they cut into the first wheel of Rocky Butte Reserve, the special-release cheese in the upcoming May Cheese Club shipment.

May Cheese Club shipment

We're excited to announce the May Cheese Club shipment also includes Chèvre, Big Sur and LumberJack - this quarter's shipment is heavy on the goat's milk cheeses which we haven't really done before!

To say we are excited about releasing Rocky Butte Reserve is an understatement. It's never been done before inside our creamery and we are beyond thrilled with how this cheese turned out.

brushing off Rocky Butte Reserve

We carefully made our 100% farmstead goat's milk Rocky Butte and aged the wheels for two years. As mentioned above, we finally cut into the first wheel earlier this week. Robin, our head cheesemaker, brought out the first wheel from the aging room, brushed off some remaining mold particles and weighed the wheel - more than three lbs lighter than when it began aging two years prior!

After weighing the wheel, he nervously made the first cut, separating the wheel in half to reveal the most gorgeous orange color, something the team was not expecting.

Rocky Butte Reserve

"The color and dryness of the cheese was a very pleasant surprise," said Robin. "It resembled an aged cheddar in color and cut into dry, crumbly pieces with lots of tyrosine crystals that melt in your mouth, leaving you wanting more."

cutting Rocky Butte Reserve

Rocky Butte is named for the granite pluton that marks the end of the Santa Lucia range visible from our creamery, it is a very mild cheese with a creamy paste. Rocky Butte pairs well with full bodied red wines, Spec and dried cherries. Rocky Butte Reserve is a next-level version of our original Rocky Butte. 

"The cheese has aromas of caramel, freshly baked bread crust, hay and shallot with notes of brown butter, broth and gratin in the background," added Robin. "Upon tasting the cheese you’ll notice flavors of straw/ barnyard upfront, followed by buttered toffee, and a lingering creamy cultured butter finish."

Rocky Butte Reserve, is a club-exclusive offering only available in the May Cheese Club shipment. If you aren't a member of the Cheese Club, join today for access to limited and exclusive cheese offerings. 

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