Wednesday, January 28, 2009

BS Brand Beef Jerky - Original

BS Brand Beef Jerky - OriginalBS Brand Beef Jerky is a small jerky manufacturer based out of Midland, TX. It was started by a guy named Billy Stewart, who started out making jerky for himself and his friends. And like with many other rags-to-riches jerky manufacturer stories, demand grew for his jerky and he decided he had something on his hands worthy enough to start a business on.

In addition to this original variety, BS Brand also offers a Jalapeno variety (review coming soon), as well as Tex Mex, and Barbecue varieties.

Stewart makes his jerky out of his own USDA approved facility, where it's all hand made, hand cut, and where even the bags are filled by hand. With so many hands touching this jerky, it's good to know its a USDA approved facility...


Beef, water, salt, dextrose, sugar, sodium lactate, spices, ground black pepper, natural smoke flavor, monosodium glutamate, hydrolyzed soy protein, dehydrated onion and garlic, caramel powder, sodium nitrite.


The tastes I pick up from the surface of these pieces includes a slight meaty aroma, a bit of saltiness, and a bit of smokiness. After several seconds, the black pepper starts to come in. What I taste in the in the chewing is more of the black pepper, and some natural meat flavors.

If I were to chew a piece without sucking on it first, I get a black pepper taste more quickly, a moderate saltiness fairly quickly, and some natural meat flavors.

It seems either way, if you suck on a piece first and then chew, or chew right away, you're going to get a good deal of black pepper taste and a some natural meat flavors. However, sucking a piece first tends leach some of the saltiness out before you get to the chewing.

This is probably best described as a black peppered jerky. It's the most dominant flavor. I taste quite a bit on each individual piece, and get a strong aftertaste across several pieces. I'd say that after several pieces, I'm getting a medium-level burn in the back of my mouth.

The natural meat flavors perhaps provide the second-most dominant flavor of this jerky. It has a mellow, smooth flavor, almost that "buttery" flavor that I've used in describing a few other brands. It's not a strong meat flavor, but enough to be noticed easily. Some of these pieces are darker in color and seem to be more "cooked" providing a well-done meat flavor. The lighter colored pieces have that mellow, smooth, buttery flavor.

The saltiness is probably the third-most dominant flavor. It's quite easily noticed, more so if you chew a piece right away. In terms of salt intensity, it's probably towards the upper level of what I would tolerate, but not quite "too salty". It's still enough that my mouth yearns for a drink to sooth the slight bit of scorching.

The garlic is also noticeable in the chewing, but not so much on a single piece basis, but more so after you've chewed through several pieces. I get a slight garlic aftertaste.

Meat Consistency

These appear to be strips of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in lengths varying from 1 to 4 inches.

This is dry jerky, one that breaks very easily with a slight bit of bending. Each break open displays bright white meat fibers. It's fairly easy to bite a piece off, but the chewing is mostly tough. It's good that these strips are as narrow as they are, otherwise chewing could be quite punishing.

The chewing texture, once a piece softens and hydrates in my mouth, has something of a steak-like feel and character. It'll just take you 30-40 chews to get to that point. However, in other pieces, the drier ones, the meat fibers don't seem to mesh together in the chewing. Rather it crumbles down into finer meat granules. I think it depends on the meat being cut with the grain or against. I'm seeing a variety of grain cuts in this package.

It seems to be a pretty clean eating jerky, my fingers don't pick up any residue, and I don't see any fragments in my lap or on my desk.

I do see some small bits of fat on a few pieces, but it's largely few and far between. I don't really notice any gristle or tendon here, and I don't get any wads of unchewable tissues remaining in my mouth.

Snack Value

I paid $20.00 for two 4.5 ounce packages (actually four 2.25 oz packages) from BS Brand's website. That works out to a price of $2.22 per ounce. But they also tacked on $8.00 for shipping. That works out to a total price per ounce of $3.11, making this a very expensive jerky.

For general jerky snacking purposes, at this very high price, it's a fair value. I do get a good deal of snackability from this jerky, that is I find it hard to resist eating more. It has a great taste with its strong black pepper, natural meat flavors, and saltiness. But I'm still able to find other great tasting jerky that costs less and provides the same level of snackability.

Perhaps if you live in Texas, the shipping is cheaper. Or if you plan to buy larger quantities you can get the price down. It's good jerky, but the expenses will really rack up if you buy this frequently.


I'm giving this a good rating.

This original variety from BS Brand Beef Jerky uses a strong black pepper seasoning to contrast a mellow, smooth, almost buttery natural meat flavor. It's probably better to advertise this as a black peppered jerky because that's what you'll taste the most. Throw in a good deal of saltiness, and some garlic overtones, and it creates a very satisfying taste.

The jerky has a good deal of flavor intensity, packing in a lot of flavor with each bite, though a moderate level flavor complexity.

But while it has a very satisfying taste, I'm still not getting any kind of exceptional flavor that sweeps me off my feet. For the most part, it's got a good natural meat flavor, that goes heavy on the black pepper, and somewhat heavy on the salt. Aside from the light garlic back there, that's really about it.

The meat consistency has somewhat of a steak-like chewing texture, but it's a tough chew. It's actually good there are some surface flavors to enjoy so as to encourage sucking a piece first and thereby softening it up some.

Overall, it's a very snackable and satisfying jerky, with an above average taste.

My recommended beer for this? An American style IPA should compliment the sharp peppery flavor with the flowery aroma of hops.

Rating: Good

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