Last in the series on Remington Trail Steaks is this Smoked Venison. See my previous reviews of their Blazin' Hot Smoked Beef and their Cherry Maple Flavored Smoked Turkey.
Remington Trail Steaks is a brand of Trailsteaks, LLC based out of Chattanooga, TN, and first debuted in May 2008 at the All Candy Expo in Chicago, IL. The company licenses the Remington brand from RA Brands, LLC, which is the licensing branch of Remington Arms Company, Inc., the gun manufacturer.
This package of Smoked Venison is also marked with the words, "Beef Added", yet it's not a chopped & formed jerky. I'm assuming tiny fragments of beef are added to the marinade so that this product can escape exotic meat inspection.
Venison, water, dry honey (refinery syrup, honey), brown sugar, beef, salt, spices, onion, garlic, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a smoky flavor, along with a very light sweetness, and light saltiness.
The chewing flavor starts with an increased saltiness, a slightly increased sweetness, and a garlic & onion flavor. There's a noticeable natural meat flavor.
For being marketed as "Smoked Venison", it seems to be a noticeable smokiness on the surface of these pieces, but not so much in the chewing. The venison itself has an easily noticeable meat flavor. It has the gamey flavor, and that rich flavor that comes from the heavier concentration of blood in venison meat.
And the natural meat flavors seems to generate the most dominant flavor of this jerky, particularly towards the latter half of chewing, as the seasonings wear off. Initially, it's the combination of salt, sweet, and garlic & onion that I taste, but the more rich meat flavor starts taking over soon. I'm also getting a strong venison aftertaste on the back of my tongue.
The saltiness in this feels to be at a medium level.
Overall, it's a flavor marked mostly by the natural meat flavor, then the garlic & onion, followed by the saltiness, a light sweet, and light smokiness.
These are slices of whole meat, cut into thick bite-sized chunks.
This is a semi-moist jerky with a light oily surface feel. They have a stiff, rubbery feel. Overall, chewing seems moderately easy.
The chewing texture starts off feeling like a stiff piece of rubber, with a fair amount of chewing resistance. Once it starts to break down, things go quickly from there and chews to a soft mass pretty easily. At that point, it feels more crumbly than anything else. I found one piece however, that had more of a meaty, fibrous feel.
Most of these pieces are fat-free, except for one chunk that had a big of piece of fat on it. Otherwise, I found no gristle or tendon, nor anything unchewable.
As for clean eating, there's a thin layer of oil remaining on my fingertips that requires a light bit of licking and wiping before touching my keyboard.
Jedidiah's Jerky sells these Remington Trail Steaks Smoked Venison in a 1.92oz package for a price of $13.98 for two packages. Shipping is included in that price. That works out to a price of $3.64 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $3.64 per ounce price, it seems to present a weak value. I'm getting a fair amount of snackability due to an overall good flavor, though easy eating though a lackluster chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky found in grocery stores, it offers a little better flavor and perhaps the same consistency, but just costs way too much more.
As a Smoked Venison, at the same $3.64 per ounce price, it's a fair value. I do get a light smoky flavor off the surface, and I do get a good deal of venison meat flavor, though in a jerky that's somewhat plain in terms of marinade and seasonings. That price is still a little higher than what I've seen from other brands of venison jerky.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Smoked Venison from Remington Trail Steaks offers plenty of natural venison flavor with a little bit of smokiness. But, it has a strange chewing texture, that doesn't at all feel like real meat. It appears to be slices of whole meat, but chews more like densely packed mush, comparable to a hard block of cheddar cheese. It ends up with a crumbly chewing texture, and not at all like piece of steak.
And when you consider that these are sold in small 1.92oz packages, and costing $3.64 per ounce, you want a better chewing experience for that higher price.
Flavorwise, it's snackable if you like venison. It has that gamey flavor, and that rich meat flavor that I've found in other venison products. It's only a simple base of seasonings, primarily garlic & onion and a light sweetness. But compared to other venison jerky I've had, it's not really all that unusual. Had it come with a better meat consistency and chewing texture, I could entertain the thought of a higher rating.
My recommended beer pairing for this, I'd recommend a belgian brown ale. Try the Ommegang Abbey Ale or the New Belgium 1554 Enlightened Black Ale.
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