Saturday, December 6, 2008

Climax Jerky - Spicy Buffalo

Climax Jerky - Spicy BuffaloClimax Jerky is a small family run jerky business based out of Dillon, CO. They got their start in 1998 selling jerky atop of Fremont Pass to tourists and bicyclists. Today, they still sell jerky up there in the nosebleeds, but also at other tourist locations, and also from their website.

Jerky labeled as "spicy" often seems a no-brainer that it's hot, but I've come to learn after reviewing several spicy varieties that it isn't necessarily. Techinically, something spicy is just loaded up with spices, it doesn't have to be hot.

This particular spicy buffalo looks like it could be hot, with visible pieces of red chile peppers. But based on the ingredients list below, it's hard to say if this is hot, or just loaded up with spices. Guess I'll have to try it.


Buffalo, water, salt, brown sugar, spices, soy sauce, flavoring.


The tastes I get from the surface of these pieces is a slight sweet flavor, and some faint meat aroma. Moving into the chewing, I get some meat flavors, some salty flavor, and I can feel a peppery burn building up in the back of my mouth.

To answer the question on this jerky being "spicy", it's more of a hot spicy, than just having lots of spices. I don't necessarily taste the red chile peppers, but I do feel its burn. I'd rate the hotness as a medium on single piece basis.

But I think the dominant taste of this jerky is the natural meat flavors, that's what I continue to taste throughout the chew. It's not a strong flavor, but it's strong enough to be noticed, and the other flavors in this jerky are slight enough that it doesn't really compete too much against it.

Probably the second-most dominant flavor of this jerky is the salt. It's not too salty for me, but it's higher than moderate.

The third strongest flavor element I'd give to the sweet on the surface.

It seems like there's some garlic in this, as I can detect a garlic aftertaste.

Overall, it's a great tasting jerky where the natural meat flavors come in strong enough to be enjoyed, with the salty, sweet, and bit of garlic adding some complexity to it. The burn from the red chiles are well noticed, but don't really provide their unique taste.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be strips of whole meat, sliced into varying widths of 1/2 inch to an 1/8 inch, and about 3-4 inches long.

It's a fairly moist jerky, one where the meat bites off very easily, in fact so easily I could probably just shake it a few times and have it break apart. It chews very easily as well.

The chewing texture is somewhat mushy. I don't really get a steak-like quality from it at all. The thicker piece you see in the photos below was very mushy, chewing something like fudge.

The pieces leave a thin layer of oil on my fingers, but not so much as to make me wipe them off before typing. Otherwise, it didn't leave any fragments of meat on my lap.

And it's seems pretty lean, seeing no bits of fat, tendon, or gristle.

Snack Value

Climax Jerky sells this spicy buffalo from their website at a price of $10.00 for a 3.5 ounce package. That works out to a price of $2.86 per ounce, putting this into the expensive price range.

For general jerky snacking purposes, and at this higher price, it presents a fair value. I do get a good deal of flavor intensity from this, and some good meat flavors, and overall it's a good tasting jerky. The mushy chewing texture is something to think about, but I think the good flavor of the jerky can overcome that. However, because it chews so easily, you'll finish off the whole package pretty quickly. You'll have to decide if $10.00 for a package is worth the expense for general snacking.

As a spicy jerky, it does provide a good deal of spicy hotness, though not necessarily much in spice variety. I'd consider it a weak value at this higher price.

For being a buffalo jerky, which is typically more expensive than beef jerky anyways, it's a decent value, because the natural meat flavors can be well identified in this, and therefore appreciated as buffalo.


I'm giving this a good rating.

I like the overall flavor of this jerky, which is largely the natural meat flavors of buffalo, but further enhanced with some sweet, salty, and slight bit of garlic. The spiciness of the red chiles adds a moderate amount of hotness to this.

But while the flavor is good, I didn't find it with any "wow factor" to give it a best rating. And while I can usually overlook the mushy meat texture if the taste is good enough, is wasn't that good enough to make me overlook it.

Still on snacking standpoint, it's very snackable with its good taste, and ultra-easy eating. In fact, you'll gobble this stuff about as fast as a cold beer on a hot day.

And speaking of cold beer, I think a good variety to with this is a lightly flavored honey blonde ale.

Rating: Good

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