Black Tiger Beef Jerky is a brand of Black Tiger, LLC based out of La Mirada, CA. It's a relatively new brand, having just launched a website this summer, and just starting to get its products in stores.
The company leverages the "exotic" theme with graphics and flavor names reminiscent of deadly creatures found in the jungle. It has a very youth-oriented appeal, going so far to include a variety with energy ingredients.
I have three of their flavors to review, including this Legend Original as well as their Jungle Spice, and their Vicious.
Beef, barbecue sauce [water, soy sauce (soybean, caramel color, salt, water), sugar, salt, garlic, monosodium glutamate, caramel color, pepper, citric acid, disodium inosinate guanylate, sodium benzoate], brown sugar, water, spices, lime juice, liquid smoke, vinegar, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a well noticeable sweet, followed by a soy sauce flavor, and a barbecue sauce flavor. There's some spices that I can detect, I want to say oregano, and possibly rosemary.
The chewing flavor starts with a slightly increased sweetness and barbecue sauce flavor.
The ingredient that seems to dominate the overall flavor of this jerky is the barbecue sauce. It's not the typical barbecue sauce you'd expect from national brands like KC's Masterpiece, or Stubbs. This has more of an asian flavor particularly due to the soy sauce, and that soy sauce is noticeable to some degree. It has a good deal of sweetness, and fair amount of tanginess in the chewing.
The spices have the next most noticeable flavor. I keep wanting to say its oregano and rosemary. Without actually knowing the spices are, it's hard for me to guess. I picked off some of the spices and bit them to figure out what they are, and I keeps tasting like oregano and black pepper. But yet, I keep tasting a rosemary flavor. Perhaps it's just something in the barbecue sauce mixing with the oregano that makes it taste that way.
There's also a noticeable black pepper aftertaste building up in the back of my mouth.
I don't taste any natural meat flavors, however.
The level of saltiness in this feels to be at a moderate level.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this is a asian-style barbecue sauce flavor based on soy sauce, a good deal of sweetness, and good deal of oregano and black pepper seasoning.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into thin slabs, and in medium to large sized pieces.
This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. These slabs are very flexible, being able to bend all the way back on itself with no cracking. Tearing pieces off with my fingers is easy to do, while chewing is mostly easy, with some pieces having some hard, chewy parts.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and pliable. It doesn't require much chewing to get it to chew down to a soft mass. At that point, it has a soft, mushy texture, and only somewhat meat-like. It doesn't really chew like a steak.
Most of these slabs contain some small pieces of fat, and I'm also finding streaks of unchewable gristle on the larger slabs. I'm having to pull this off because I can't chew through it. I don't find much stringiness in the meat, however.
As for clean eating, my fingers don't pick up any residue handling this, but I'm getting a lot of spice fragments falling off as I tear pieces off, so much so that I think I'm losing out on a lot of the spice flavor.
Black Tiger sells this Legend Original variety from its website at a price of $7.00 for a 3oz package. I bought six packages in all, which include other flavors. Shipping came out to $9.97, for a total of $51.97. That works out to a price of $2.89 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.89 per ounce price, it's a fair value. I do get a good deal of snackability for an overall good flavor, and an average meat consistency. That price is substantially higher than what you'd pay for major brands of jerky at the grocery store, but yet it seems to provide a better flavor, though not a better meat consistency.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Legend Original variety from Black Tiger Beef Jerky offers a very good flavor stemming from an asian-style barbecue sauce and a blend of spices, namely oregano and black pepper. It's sweet and tangy, and with moderate level of saltiness. I don't, however, taste any natural meat flavors, which is something I really look for.
The meat consistency is somewhat lackluster. It's easy to eat, but doesn't really have a steak-like chewing. It actually ends up being mushy. And the gristle I saw in some of these slabs was a big turn off for me.
Overall, it seems like Black Tiger has a great flavor, but gives it to you in an average meat consistency and texture.
My recommended beer pairing for this would be a porter. The darker, smokier malt flavor should help bring out the sweeter, barbecue flavors of this jerky. Try the Stone Smoked Porter or the Anchor Porter.
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