Next in the series on Black Forest Bison Jerky is this "Tombstone Teriyaki" variety. See my previous review of their Gunsmoke, Rocky Mountain Red, and Caliente Canyon varieties.
Black Forest Bison is a small family operated bison ranch just north of Colorado Springs, CO. It's been in operation for six years, dedicated to raising all natural grass fed bison. They sell steaks, roasts, ribs, sausage, and jerky.
Here's what Black Forest Bison has to say about this Tombstone Teriyaki, "Wyatt, Doc, and the gang love this tasty treat! When you want a little something sweet we are ready to please. Pack your steamer trunk for the orient; we made sure the ginger and soy aren't covered with too much sweetness. Don't want to git that six shooter all sticky!"
Bison, water, soy sauce, brown sugar, sugar, salt, herbs & spices, natural hickory smoke powder.
The soy sauce herbs & spices are noted as being all organic ingredients.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a good deal of sweet flavor, followed by a slight tangy flavor, plus a very noticeable smokiness. With some sucking, I can pick out the saltiness. Overall, there's moderate surface flavor intensity.
In the chewing, I notice a faint ginger flavor, a light soy sauce flavor, and more saltiness.
For being billed as a teriyaki jerky, it does have a teriyaki flavor, but one that doesn't really pound itself out as being teriyaki. That is, I can taste all the components of real teriyaki, the sweet, the soy sauce, the ginger, and a tangy component, but overall it's a light-to-moderate teriyaki intensity, and the components don't totally blend well.
The sweetness is not that heavy, and I feel that teriyaki ought to have a heavy sweet flavor. Even though Black Forest says that they don't want you to get your six shooter too sticky, I think the lack of sweet makes the soy sauce too strong. Once I get into the chewing, the soy sauce and saltiness overpowers everything else, and it reduces this to a soy sauce flavored jerky.
Only the ginger seems to remain in the chewing, but only in the first few chews, and it eventually falls under the weight of the soy sauce and saltiness.
The natural meat flavors are difficult to find. For all intents and purposes, it's absent. But when I think carefully about what I'm tasting I can kinda taste some meat flavor.
There's bits of black pepper noticeable on the surface, but they don't really provide much flavor. I do pick up a light black pepper aftertaste.
Overall, the primary flavor of this jerky seems to be the soy sauce and its associated saltiness. That's largely what you're going to taste all throughout the chewing. The salt intensity feels moderate initially, but intensifies into the latter part of chewing.
The teriyaki flavor is something you'll notice largely on the surface of these pieces, within the first 15-20 seconds. It's actually a pretty good teriyaki flavor, having all the components of true teriyaki. That flavor just doesn't continue into the chewing.
These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces.
This is perhaps best described as a dry jerky, but some pieces are actually semi-moist. In the photos below, the lighter colored round pieces are semi-moist, whereas the darker colored pieces are dry. The semi-moist pieces are very soft and easy to chew. The dry pieces require a bit of effort to tear with my fingers, and are somewhat easy to chew.
The chewing texture overall seems to have a very meaty, fibrous, steak-like feel. I don't really pick up much rubbery resistance in these pieces, maybe a just a tad. They don't come off as being mushy, crumbly, or gummy. Very much like chewing real meat.
For the most part, these pieces seem very lean. I found only one piece with a small chunk of chewy tissue, maybe a piece of tendon. I didn't find much stringy sinews either, just one here and there.
Tearing pieces apart seemed to result in small bits of black pepper flying off. I could also feel a slight bit oiliness on my finger tips as I handled these pieces.
Black Forest Bison sells this Tombstone Teriyaki variety online at a price of $11.00 for a 3.5oz package. If you were to purchase 3 packages (each a different variety), the shipping costs would amount to $10.50 (if sent to my home town). That works out to a total price of $43.50, or a per ounce price of $4.14.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $4.14 price per ounce, this seems to provide a weak value. It's actually quite snackable for its good overall flavor, and great meat consistency and chewing texture. But the $4.14 per ounce price is very high compared to many of the best rated jerky brands I've had. Even the good deal of snackability this jerky provides can't pay you back equally at this high of a price.
As a teriyaki variety, at the same $4.14 price per ounce, it's a weak value. While I think it does provide a good teriyaki flavor, it mostly off the surface flavors that you'll enjoy this; it doesn't seem to continue into the chewing. But even then, $4.14 per ounce is a very expensive price, and hence a teriyaki jerky is going to have to be really good, lasting all throughout the chewing, and just really blow your mind away to justify that high of a price. I've had some really good teriyaki jerky in other brands at much less.
Even as a bison jerky, it's difficult to justify this price. Albeit, bison meat is always going to be more expensive than beef, I'm just not getting any kind of bison experience with this. I can't really taste much of any natural meat flavors. In that sense, you're really only paying for the flavorings, and it may as well just be beef jerky.
There's definitely an ideological satisfaction in this, in that it's grass-fed bison, no hormones, no steroids, so antibiotics, and this jerky even uses organic seasonings. If that's important to you, this may be worth the price.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Tombstone Teriyaki variety from Black Forest Bison provides a good overall flavor, and a good teriyaki flavor at that. However, that teriyaki flavor doesn't last very long, it's mostly the 15-20 seconds of enjoying the surface flavor where you'll notice it. Once you start chewing it, the stronger soy sauce and saltiness takes over and reduces this jerky down to a soy sauce flavored meat snack.
I think it has an excellent meat consistency and chewing texture, with some pieces being soft and tender, and semi-moist, and providing an easy chewing experience. Others, are a little more dry and tough, but still having a pretty good chewing texture.
The fact that I couldn't get any natural meat flavors, and the fact that the primary flavor of this jerky was just soy sauce, made me consider a lower "average" rating. But I did feel the meat consistency is pretty good, and that I did get a good teriyaki flavor, albeit only on the surface flavor. I thought that was above average compared to the mass-market brands.
My recommended beer pairing for this, try a porter.
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