Next in the series on The Jerky Connection is this Armageddon Teriyaki. See our reviews of their other flavors here.
Run by Tom Greineder, The Jerky Connection is a new business that launched last June, based out of Wrightsville, PA, boasting several flavors ranging from mild to insanely hot, including a line of jerky dubbed, "7 Gates of Hell".
This Armageddon Teriyaki is listed on the company's website under the "Hot" category, but it appears to be another level of heat down from their Habanero Teriyaki. The package claims that it's, "the perfect blend of heat and teriyaki".
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light sweetness. There's a modest little burn building up in the meantime, and a light saltiness too.
The chewing flavor starts with a noticeable teriyaki flavor, and there's some kind of chile pepper flavor in there, perhaps a sauce of some type. I can also pick up a very light natural meat flavor.
As for being called, "Armageddon Teriyaki", with the phrase, "the perfect blend of heat and teriyaki", it seems to hold up. There definitely is a noticeable amount of heat in this, what I would rank as "medium hot" on my personal heat scale (level 4 out of 5). The teriyaki is well noticeable, mostly in the chewing.
Otherwise, the primary flavor that define this jerky overall is the teriyaki, and it seems to have the components of authentic, Japanese teriyaki. The soy sauce is perhaps the most noticeable attribute of the teriyaki. The sweetness is not as thick as I would expect from most teriyaki sauces, however. The mirin wine and/or sake component seems to be there, creating that subtle tanginess. I can even pick up a touch of ginger, which is another component I look for in teriyaki.
There's a faint bit of chile pepper flavor in this jerky, but it's hard to identify what it could be. It's way back there, quite subtle. Otherwise, it's the heat that shows through really well, perhaps even overpowering the teriyaki.
The natural meat flavors are very light in this, almost undetectable against the stronger teriyaki.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced medium thickness, and sliced into small strips large enough to accommodate one or two bites.
This is a dry jerky with a semi-moist, lightly oily, surface feel. The strips are flexible but still somewhat stiff. Chewing seems somewhat easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling pliable, and a little rubbery, perhaps due to the sweetness of teriyaki. The first few chews encounters a light amount of resistance. But it soon takes on meaty feel, and by the time it's rendered into a soft mass, it feels just like eating a piece of steak.
I don't see any bits or streaks of fat on these pieces, it all looks to be quite lean. I didn't encounter any stringiness, but I did find a few pieces of unchewable tissues.
As for clean eating, my fingertips pick up a light amount of oil, but not quite enough to require a licking and wiping.
The Jerky Connection sells this Armageddon Teriyaki variety from its website at a price of $22.00 for a one pound bag. Add to that $5.00 flat rate shipping, 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 great value. I'm getting a good overall flavor, a great meat consistency, and good chewing texture. Compared to major brands of jerky sold in stores, this is priced considerably less, but offers far better snackability.
As for a hot teriyaki beef jerky, at the same $1.69 per ounce price, it's a great value. I'm getting a fair amount of heat along with a good teriyaki flavor that seems to be true to the Japanese style.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Armageddon Teriyaki from The Jerky Connection dishes out a good tasting teriyaki flavor that seems to honor all of the components that I think defines authentic, Japanese style teriyaki, the sweetness, the soy sauce, a tanginess from the mirin wine or sake, and pungent contrast from ginger. The company then lights it up with a fair amount of heat and maybe a touch of chile pepper flavor.
I also like the meat consistency and chewing texture, which seems to be a little more moist and tender than much of the company's other varieties. It's very meaty, with little to no fat, and chews like a real piece of steak.
I didn't however, get much of the natural meat flavors. But it still manages to score well for its true-to-tradition, Japanese style teriyaki sauce, and its good meat consistency and chewing texture. So, while this jerky might not spell out the end of days as the Armageddon namesake suggests, it just might bring doom for many competing brands of hot teriyaki jerky.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with lighter flavored black lager, such as the Sapporo Black, or the Negra Modelo.
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