Sweet Black Pepper Teriyaki.
Beer Drinkin' Dan's Beef Jerky is a brand of jerky operated by Daniel Purrenhage of Dearborn, MI, who got started in beef jerky about 14 years ago when he got a dehydrator as a wedding gift. It wasn't until last year that he set up a website and started selling his strips of his jerky online for the world to experience.
This Mountain Maple beef jerky is described as combining raw maple syrup with a mild blend of spices, which Dan says is perfect for a cold day of hunting or hiking.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a moderate sweetness mixed with a light saltiness. I can detect a faint bit of spice, mostly a black pepper, in the back of my mouth, and a light touch of soy sauce flavor.
The chewing flavors include much of the same, mostly the sweetness, a soy sauce flavor, except the spice increases into a light bit of heat.
For being advertised as "Mountain Maple", it seems to hold up. For one, I get a good deal of sweetness. But two, it does seem to take on a maple flavor after having eaten a few pieces of this. The maple flavor is not well pronounced, it's light and requires you to eat a few pieces before it distinguishes itself.
Otherwise, the flavors that seems to define this jerky is the dominant sweetness, the touch of maple flavor, a fair amount of black pepper spice, and a light soy sauce. The black pepper has more heat than it does flavor.
On my personal heat scale, this seems to rate as medium (level 3 out of 5).
I'm not picking up any natural meat flavors.
The level of saltiness in this feels to be at a moderate level.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into small slabs and sliced thin.
This is a dry jerky with a sticky surface feel. The slabs are quite flexible and pliable. Biting off a piece seems easy to do, while chewing seem to be "chewy", somewhere between easy and tough.
The chewing texture starts out with a little bit of initial chewing resistance, but easily breaks down. It tends to chew crumbly in the process, and somewhat gummy from the heavy sweetness. The gumminess seems to make the chewing a little laborious. Once chewed down to a soft mass, it doesn't really resemble at all like a piece of steak, it's mostly a crumbly/gummy consistency.
I see only small deposits of fat on some pieces but otherwise no gristle or tendon. There's a light amount of stringiness in the chewing, but otherwise no unchewable tissues encountered.
In terms of clean eating, my fingers pick up a fair amount of stickiness along with an occasional chunk of black pepper.
Beer Drinkin' Dan's sells this Mountain Maple from its website at a price of $22.00 for a one pound bag. Add to that shipping fees of $5.10 flat rate, and it works out to a price of $1.69 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes at the $1.69 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting a satisfactory flavor, with a good meat consistency, though a crumbly/gummy chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in grocery stores, it's considerably lower in price, but considerably better in overall snackability.
As a "Mountain Maple" beef jerky, at the same $1.69 per ounce price, it's also a good value. I get a lot of sweetness, though a light bit of maple flavor. But because it's priced lower than the major brands of jerky, you're getting a maple jerky that's commensurate with the price.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Mountain Maple variety from Beer Drinkin' Dan's Beef Jerky dishes out a lot of sweetness, with just a touch of maple syrup flavor, and dashes of soy sauce. Add to that a light touch of black pepper flavor, and a fair amount of black pepper heat, what you have is a jerky that mixes together a trio of sweet, salty, and spicy.
Yet, I can't help seeing this variety as being in the middle of pack amongst the hundreds of varieties I've reviewed. What doesn't help is that I'm not getting any natural meat flavors. Without it, this becomes mostly a sweet, soy sauce, and black pepper jerky, which itself is not at all unique.
The chewing texture is rather gummy, mostly from the heavy sweetness, not at all feeling like real meat, though it manages to chew and eat easily enough.
As for my beer pairing recommendation, go with an IPA, try the Longhammer IPA (Red Hook), or the Castaway IPA (Kona).
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