Next up in the series on The Jerky Connection is this Montreal beef jerky. See my 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 Montreal beef jerky, I presume is named such after the famous Montreal steak seasoning. The package states, "You will be convinced you are eating one of the best steaks you ever had."
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light tanginess, almost like a vinegar flavor. That soon morphs into a black pepper and garlic seasoning, among other spices.
The chewing flavor starts with an increased flavor of the above, but also throws in a light natural meat flavor.
For being marketed as a "Montreal" beef jerky, with claims of being "one of the best steaks you ever had", it seems to hold up well. It definitely has that Montreal style seasoning blend, with an emphasis on the black pepper and garlic, but clearly some other spices mixed in, namely coriander seed, and perhaps thyme.
But it also has a tanginess to it, resembling more like vinegar, detectable both on the surface and in the chewing.
The natural meat flavors tend to feel light in this, but noticeable when I look for them. It tends to soften that vinegar flavor once I'm well into the chewing, and seems to strengthen as the chewing continues on.
Overall, it's quite a spicy jerky, with a bold flavor, and even a light amount of heat from the black pepper. I can even see some flakes of red pepper in this, and perhaps that helps with the heat.
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 surface feel. The strips are flexible but still somewhat stiff. Chewing is a little labored, but overall tolerable.
The chewing texture starts out dry, almost feeling woody, but still chewy. The first few chews encounters a fair amount of resistance that can exercise the jaw muscles somewhat. 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 don't really encounter any stringiness nor any unchewable tissues.
As for clean eating, my finger tips don't pick up any residue, though the heavy seasoning, particularly the black pepper, tends to fall off as I handle pieces.
The Jerky Connection sells this Montreal 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 Montreal steak seasoning beef jerky, at the same $1.69 per ounce price, it's a great value. I'm getting a seasoning blend that definitely recreates the same flavor from a bottle of McCormick's Montreal steak seasoning.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Montreal beef jerky from The Jerky Connection has a very bold seasoning flavor much like from a bottle of Montreal Steak Seasoning. Fraught with black pepper, garlic, and subtleties of coriander seed and thyme, it's not for palate pansies, it will attack the taste buds, but won't necessarily burn. It also adds a nice little tanginess, much like the flavor of vinegar.
As for the packaging claim that this is one of the best steaks you've ever had, well, it could be among the top 1% that I've had. If the flavors I found here were presented to me in a rib eye or filet mignon, I might be hard pressed to find a better steak.
But as a beef jerky, it's pretty good too. For me, it was the tangy vinegar flavor mixed into the Montreal steak seasoning that did it for me. But it's also the excellent meat consistency and steak-like chewing texture common to The Jerky Connection that helps it rate well.
My recommended beer pairing, go with something lighter, but darker, try a nutty brown ale, like the Rogue Hazelnut Brown, or the Alesmith Nautical Nutbrown.
Buy this online: