Next in the series on Holston Mountain Beef Jerky is this BBQ variety. See my previous reviews of their Original and Hawaiian varieties.
This BBQ variety is the brand's newest, described as a "robust blend of spices [that] creates a terrific mesquite-grilled flavor that must be tried to be believed." I didn't purchase this BBQ variety, it was sent to me as a freebie, after purchasing the Original and Hawaiian varieties. What I have here is a small bag, about 1.5 or 2.0 ounces.
Holston Mountain is run by a guy named Gary Graybeal, based out of Bluff City, TN. The company has been around for the past six years now. His jerky is made from Black Canyon Angus, using top inside round, marinated for 24 hours.
Beef, salt, brown sugar, dehydrated tomato, garlic powder, chili pepper, and other spices.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a sweet, tangy, BBQ sauce flavor. I can taste the pasty tomato flavor mentioned in the ingredients, and a good deal of garlic. I can also sense a tad of the chile pepper. Overall, there's a quite bit of surface flavor here.
In the chewing, the first flavors that come out is a bit more saltiness, and a bit more tanginess, and I can also sense a light amount of natural meat flavors.
For being advertised as a BBQ variety, I'd say this does indeed have a strong BBQ flavor. It's more of the BBQ sauce flavor, than the BBQ seasoning flavor. It has that pasty, tomato-like base, with a good deal of tangy flavor and a well noticed garlic flavor, and plenty of sweet. There's a light amount of chile pepper flavor, more similar to cayenne pepper, but not hot at all, and still quite mild.
Overall, it's a very bold flavor that reaches out and grabs me.
The natural meat flavors are light, and only seem to be noticed towards the tail end of chewing. For the most part, the BBQ flavors are very dominant, and make the meat flavors fall to the background.
There's also a slight smokiness noticeable.
The salt flavor intensity seems moderate in this.
To sum up the taste, it's largely dominated by the BBQ sauce flavor, with a sweet, tomatoey, tangy, garlic, and cayenne pepper mixture. You'll notice a light natural meat flavor towards the end.
These appear to be slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in bite-sized pieces.
This is a dry jerky, with a semi-moist feel on the surface. There's a bit of flexibility, but any significant amount of bending will cause it crack open. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers seems easy, while chewing seems easy as well.
The chewing texture starts with a semi-moist feel, and slightly chewy. But the pieces seems to break down easily enough with some sucking and light biting. Once it gets down to a soft mass, it has something of a steak-like texture, perhaps similar to a steak cooked medium. Though, there's a bit of mushy texture to it also.
The pieces seem quite lean, I didn't encounter any chunks or streaks of fat. I did find gristle on one piece, however. No tendon, and not much in the way of stringy sinews.
It's pretty clean eating, my fingers don't pick up residue, and I found no fragments falling on my lap or desk.
Holston Mountain sells this BBQ variety from its website at a price of $6.00 for a 4oz package. I bought two packages, each a different variety. Add to that shipping costs of $4.20, and it brings a total of $16.20. That works out to a price of $2.03 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.03 price per ounce, this provides a good value. I'm getting a lot of snackability for its great flavor, easy easting, and decent chewing texture. The $2.03 price per ounce is higher than mass-market jerky found in grocery stores, but I think you'll get plenty of snackability for your dollar.
As a BBQ variety, also at the $2.03 price per ounce, this offers a good value as well. Again, I'm getting a lot of BBQ flavor, more comparable to BBQ sauce than BBQ seasoning, and I find it to be good tasting sauce, very tangy, sweet, spicy, with a good deal of garlic. That $2.03 price seems to be a good deal considering how tasty this is.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This BBQ variety from Holston Mountain Beef Jerky offers a bold tasting BBQ sauce flavor, packed with sweet, tangy, peppery, and tomatoey flavor, highlighted with a good deal of garlic. You'll experience that combination of flavors right off the bat, and lasts most of the way through the chewing.
Towards the end of chewing, the BBQ sauce wears off, but the garlic continues with a strong aftertaste, and by this time, you'll notice a light amount of natural meat flavors, a little bit stronger saltiness, plus a faint bit of smokiness.
The meat consistency seems quite good, being easy to eat, clean eating, with a decent chewing texture. The one piece I found with gristle was a turn off for me, but I think overall, the great taste, and easy eating makes that streak of gristle seem like much ado about nothing.
For my recommended beer pairing, I'd go with something fruity, like an apricot flavored ale.
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