Saturday, December 13, 2008

Climax Jerky - Peppered

Climax Jerky - PepperedClimax Jerky is a brand and retailer of jerky based out of Dillon, CO. Founded in 1998, it's a family run business headed up by Brooke Comai. The company sells direct to consumers at various tourist hot spots around Colorado, and through their website.

For review here, is the peppered "premium cut" variety. Climax appears to have two varieties of beef jerky, an all natural line of brisket cut jerky, and this "premium cut", which is not sold as "all natural". This premium cut peppered, and the premium cut teriyaki are two of Climax's biggest sellers.

Upon opening the bag there is a strong smoky aroma that escapes.


Beef, sugar, water, soy sauce, flavorings, apple cider vinegar, salt, paprika, smoke flavorings, citric acid.


The tastes I pick up from the surface is a slight sweetness, some smokiness, some saltiness, and a bit of the black pepper. In the chewing, I get a bit of the natural meat flavors, more of the sweet, and more of the salty.

It's got a good deal of flavor intensity in each piece, and overall a great taste. There's a fair amount of flavor complexity as well, with the sweet, smoky, salty, and pepper flavors, all with a fair to strong level of taste.

As a peppered variety, I do taste some black pepper, but not much. First, there's nary any black pepper to be seen on these pieces. When I do get a taste, I think it's mostly due to biting into a speck of black pepper. For the most part, the jerky doesn't really have a clear black pepper taste.

The natural meat flavors in this are also weak. I'm only able to pick them up by first sucking a piece for several seconds, and then chewing down. When I just pop it into my mouth and chew right away, I don't identify the natural meat flavors. But for being preservative free, it seems to have a fresh taste.

The level of saltiness in this seems average, it's a well pronounced taste, but I don't really see it as too salty. I did find one piece to be quite a bit more salty than the others.

Overall, this jerky is largely dominated by a 50/50 combination of sweet and smoky flavor, followed by the salty flavor. I can't really say the black pepper, nor the natural meat flavors, have any kind of dominant taste.

Meat Consistency

This appears to be slices of whole meat, sliced in medium thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces.

It would largely fall into the "soft and tender" style of jerky, though maybe a tad on the dry/tough side. Still, it's easy to tear apart, and easy to chew. There's maybe a very slight bit of moisture in this.

The chewing texture has some steak-like characteristics to it, mostly fibrous. It's clear to me that I'm eating meat, though it has that softened quality that you find in most soft and tender style jerkies. It's not really mushy or gummy at all.

It's largely a clean eating jerky, leaving behind no residue on my fingers or fragments on my lap. I did see some streaks of fat on some pieces (see photos below), but I didn't find any tendon or gristle.

Snack Value

Climax Jerky sells this peppered beef jerky from their website at a price of $8.00 for a 4 ounce bag. That works out to a price of $2.00 per ounce, putting this on the border between expensive and average.

For general jerky snacking purposes, it's a decent value because I did find a great taste in this, with a good deal of flavor intensity, and a decent flavor complexity. The meat chewing texture is decent, and the overall meat consistency seems good. I did find myself wanting to eat more and more, though I only had a small 1.5 ounce package, and it could be the level of saltiness may build up stronger over the course of a 4 ounce package.

As a peppered jerky, it's a poor value because at this higher range, I didn't really get much black pepper taste. While I did experience a burst of pepper flavor, it's mostly due to biting into a black pepper fleck. To me, the level of peppery flavor in this is about on par with most "original" varieties of jerky. A jerky advertised as "peppered" ought to have a well-pronounced black pepper flavor.


I'm giving this an average rating.

Overall, it's a snackable jerky. If you can ignore the "peppered" advertisement, you'll still find this having great taste with its strong sweet, smoky, and moderately salty flavor. And then here and there, you'll still experience a burst of black pepper flavor. And I did enjoy the good amount of surface flavors on this as well. The chewing texture and overall meat consistency lends this jerky a good chewing satisfaction.

But I didn't find much of anything in this jerky that said it was above average. If anything, I'd put it on the higher end of average. If I had a scale of 1-10, then I'd rate as six stars. But since I only have a 1-5 scale, it's three stars. The fact that it doesn't really stand up as a peppered jerky, hurts it's rating.

On the other hand, if you prefer lightly peppered jerky, then you might want to try this out.

Still, it's a good jerky for general snacking. You'll find a good overall flavor, and a good chewing experience.

My beer recommendation with this is a porter.

Rating: Average

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