JW's Jerky is a brand owned by Jerry Wilkinson of Oklahoma City, OK. The brand has been selling in trade shows, fairs, and festivals for the past 10 years throughout Oklahoma, Texas, and Arkansas.
JW's doesn't quite have a website yet, though they are working on one at www.jwsjerky.com, but for now they are online via Facebook, and orders can be placed by phone or e-mail.
Jerry makes all the jerky himself, trims it by hand, and marinates the beef in vacuum tumblers. Orders placed via phone or e-mail are made fresh to order. Currently he has three flavors, this Medium, a Cajun, and an Original. He can also do Ghost Pepper upon request.
Beef, soy sauce, water, lime juice, spices, sodium benzoate.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a soy sauce flavor along with a fair amount of saltiness. There's a light bit of sweetness as well. Some seasoning is noticeable while a moderate level of heat begins building fast.
The chewing flavor reveals a light natural meat flavor, but is otherwise mostly the same as the surface flavors, save for an increased saltiness.
For being labeled, "Medium" it does seem to have a moderate level of heat, and I would rate this a level 3 out of 5 on my personal heat scale.
As for the dominant flavors of this jerky, "salty" is probably the first word that I would use to describe this. After that, it has a noticeable soy sauce flavor, with a light touch of sweetness. I can pick up some other seasonings in this, which seems to give it a more savory flavor, perhaps on the lines of garlic and onion.
There are chile pepper seeds and flakes visible on these pieces, but I only lightly identify their unique flavor; it's mostly their heat that I experience.
The natural meat flavors are enhanced by a light touch of fatty flavor, giving this a well-rounded beef taste. The flavor reminds me of thin sliced carne asada.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this jerky is a salty, soy sauce flavor with a light touch of sweet. You'll get a medium level of heat, or perhaps even hotter if you're not used to spicy foods, along with a light natural meat flavor. You'll also pick up some seasonings in this to perk up the flavor.
This appears to be slices of whole meat, sliced thin, and cut into medium to large sized slabs.
It's a semi-moist jerky with a moist, sticky surface feel. The slabs have a lot of flexibility, being able to bend back on themselves without cracking. Biting off chunks against the grain is somewhat chewy, but it tears easily with the grain. Overall, chewing varies from somewhat easy to somewhat chewy.
The chewing texture starts out with a fair amount of chewing resistance, and requires a bit more chewing considering how thinly sliced this meat is. Once chewed down to a soft mass, however, it does take on the feeling of steak, one cooked well-done.
I can see small spots and streaks of fat one these slabs, and can even see some lines of gristle running through some. I also find a fair amount of stringiness, some of which reduces down to an unchewable wad.
It also leaves a some stickiness and seasoning on my fingers, enough that I have to lick them and wipe them before touching my keyboard.
JW's Jerky sells this Medium variety at a price of $15.00 for an 8oz package, with a flat rate shipping of $6.00 up to two pounds. If you bought two of these packages, it would work out to a price of $2.25 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.25 price per ounce, this seems to offer a decent value. I do get a satisfying flavor overall, enough to create some snackability. The meat consistency is decent, while the chewing texture is good overall.
As a "Medium" variety, at the same $2.25 per ounce price, it's a good value. I do get a moderate level of heat and spiciness from this, just as the label suggests.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Medium variety from JW's Jerky seems to live up to the company's billing as offering little bit of kick but not too overpowering. But aside from the level of heat, I'm not sure I would consider the flavor and meat consistency as being above average, at least not when compared to all the other brands I've reviewed.
Though this has a noticeable soy sauce and light sweet flavor, it's largely salty than anything else. It seems to have a good chewing texture, but the meat tends to feel stringy, and often leaves unchewable wads of tissue in my mouth.
I actually think it's a better jerky than the large national brands, but I still don't feel it goes above the other average-ranked jerky brands I've encountered.
My recommended beer pairing for this, try a nutty brown ale like the Rogue Hazelnut Brown or the Abita Pecan Brown.
Where to buy: