Uncle Buck's is the brand name that Bass Pro Shops uses for its store branded products. It comes from the uncle of Johnny Morris, the founder of Bass Pro Shops, who's credited with teaching the future catalog salesman the joys of fishing.
Bass Pro Shops' jerky is actually manufactured by Monogram Meat Snacks, of Chandler, MN, a large private labeler of beef jerky, making such brands as Jeff Foxworthy Beef Jerky, Winchester Beef Jerky, NASCAR Beef Jerky, Jim Beam Beef Jerky, Frank's Redhot Beef Jerky, Stubbs' Beef Jerky, and the list goes on.
I had previously reviewed Uncle Buck's Original variety beef jerky last month. It's a chunked & formed style of meat, very comparable to the Jeff Foxworthy and Winchester brands, if not, exactly the same. But I don't believe those two brands include this Jalapeno flavor.
Beef, water, sugar, salt, contains 2% or less of the following: natural and artificial flavors (natural and artificial jalapeno flavor, natural onion flavor, natural garlic flavor), dextrose, hydrolyzed soy protein, sodium diacetate, brown sugar, citric acid, flavorings, sodium nitrite, disodium inosinate, guanylate.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a chile pepper aroma, followed by a slight sweetness, a rather mild burn, and a light saltiness from a little sucking. The chewing flavors seems to start off with a stronger sweet flavor, which is then followed by more saltiness. I can also pick up a bit more jalapeno chile flavor.
For being billed as a "Jalapeno" variety, it certainly does have jalapeno chile flavor. But it's more like a raw jalapeno flavor, not the pickled, or roasted jalapeno flavor that we often get. And what of that mild burn I spoke about? Well, this jerky does seem to have a little heat. I'd rate it as a "medium" on my hot scale.
As for the primary flavor of this jerky, well I'd have to give it to that raw jalapeno chile flavor. First, I can smell it as I open the package, and continue to smell it before I taste it. When I put a piece into my mouth, the "aroma" travels up into the back of my sinuses and it really paints a defined jalapeno picture in my head. Then the flavor on my tongue seems to last throughout the chewing.
The sweetness and saltiness from the chewing seem to combine for the second-most dominant flavor. The saltiness in this seems to be about medium in intensity.
Unlike the Original variety I reviewed earlier, I can't seem to pick up the natural meat flavors. I'm sure this Jalapeno variety is largely the same recipe, but perhaps the dominant jalapeno chile flavor is masking it over.
The funny is that I keep tasting something nutty in this, like filberts. I think it's the combination of the jalapeno flavors, which are artificially flavored by the way, and the sweet & salty flavors.
This appears to be a "chunked and formed" jerky, shaped into small to medium sized pieces, in medium thickness.
It's a dry jerky, but not very flexible, breaking apart with little pressure. The pieces break apart very easily with my fingers, and they chew quite easily as well.
The chewing texture starts out stiff, but it falls aparts very easily, almost like a fudge brownie, but not as gooey, and more meaty. It chews down to a soft mass in about 10 seconds, and at that point it has a steak-like texture but more soft, perhaps mushy to a point.
I don't see any bits of fat, and these pieces are not really all that oily for being chunked and formed. I didn't encounter any bits of bone, gristle, or other unchewable tissues.
Tearing pieces apart did yield some fragments of meat falling on my desk and lap, but it left no residue on my fingertips.
I paid $3.99 for this 3.65oz package of Uncle Buck's at a Bass Pro Shops in Ontario, CA. That was actually a sale price at the time, with the normal price being $5.99. If you consider the $5.99 price, that would work out to a per ounce price of $1.64, putting this into the average price range.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at this $1.64 price per ounce, this seems to provide a fair value. This seems to provide some snacking value. Initially, it has an interesting taste of raw jalapeno chiles, but eventually I lost interest in it. The soft easy eating helps the snackability. The $1.64 price is actually in the ballpark of most national brands, but it seems I'm not getting an equal snacking value in return.
For being a jalapeno variety, at this same $1.64 price per ounce, I'd have to say it's a better value, perhaps a decent value. I do in fact get a defined jalapeno chile flavor, albeit a raw jalapeno chile. But again, overtime that flavor seems lose my interest, and it ends up taking on a nutty, filbert flavor.
I'm giving this a fair rating.
This Jalapeno variety from Uncle Buck's has a well defined raw jalapeno chile flavor, which perhaps lives up to its advertised flavor, but that flavor just doesn't seem to hold my interest throughout this package, and it ends up losing snackability.
At first, the jalapeno flavor seems good, just like a raw jalapeno chile. But several pieces into this, it seems clear it's not real jalapeno flavor, but something artificial, just as the ingredients list says. And then add to that the sweet & salty flavors, it just doesn't seem to mesh together well.
It's not a bad taste, it just doesn't hold my interest for very long.
My beer recommendation for this, is a plain pale ale.
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