The first review on Jerky’s Gourmet of San Diego will focus on a 2.75 ounce/78 gram bag of their Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin beef jerky flavor. Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin is a local India Pale Ale (IPA) craft beer from San Diego, California, and brewed with fresh habanero peppers giving this beer quite the kick. This jerky was kindly submitted for review by one of the co-founders, Tim Gertsman.
This Jerky’s Gourmet of San Diego jerky brand name is distributed by Jerky’s Gourmet, fittingly located in San Diego, California. Co-founders Tim Gertsman and Andria Taylor teamed up together in 2013 to launch this Jerky’s Gourmet of San Diego brand of jerky. Only 100% grass-fed beef is used in their jerky. This Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin flavor is marinated for 24 hours, which of course includes Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin beer.
Ingredients: Grass-fed Beef, Habanero Sculpin Beer, Balsamic Vinegar, Seasoned Salt (Salt, Sugar, Spices, Onion, Cornstarch, Garlic, Tricalcium Phosphate, Paprika, Oleoresin, Natural Flavor, Soy Lecithin), Lime Juice, Gluten Free Soy Sauce (Water, Rice, Soybeans, Salt), Habanero Powder, Garlic, Pepper, Liquid Smoke. Allergen Warnings: Soy
The cattle used is confirmed to be 100% grass-fed, sourced from a farm in Eugene, Oregon. They are also ethically raised, meaning not administered growth hormones or additional antibiotics. For more virtues of using grass-fed beef compared to grain/corn fed beef, see how it is explained further on the Jerky’s Gourmet web site.
We have an interesting and unique liquid marinade consisting of habanero sculpin beer, balsamic vinegar, lime juice, gluten free soy sauce, and liquid smoke. The habanero sculpin beer is described to have citrus, floral, and of course habanero flavors. Balsamic vinegar is a very healthy choice, and if manufactured properly is fermented for a minimum of 12 years along with grapes.
We have a number of interesting ingredients added. Some spices such as habanero powder, paprika, and black pepper, where hot peppers are considered to be healthy if eaten in moderation. Super healthy vegetables onion, and especially garlic are added.
Kudos to Jerky’s Gourmet of San Diego for having no sodium nitrite, or any other similar unhealthy preservatives. Instead, the main preservative used is salt, and to a lesser degree the balsamic vinegar. Admirably, there is no MSG added.
These hand sliced strips of jerky are small to medium in size, and sliced to a medium thickness. They have a great dry texture that is generally easy to chew. The actual cut of beef used is top round. There are some visible signs of fat that add to the overall natural beef flavor. Handling this jerky leaves almost no oily residue on your fingers.
The first taste detected are the hops from the habanero sculpin beer. This flavor does a surprisingly effective job of retaining the whole IPA beer flavor with its blend of hops, malt, and citrus flavors. While it may be hard to detect with a mixture of other strong flavors, there is a strong, well balanced great IPA beer taste if you know what to look for.
Other flavors detected are a mild soy flavor, a certain tartness from the balsamic vinegar, a medium unmistakable garlic taste, and of course the spiciness from the habaneros. Both the balsamic vinegar and lime juice do a good job to offset the heat. On a heat level scale, it would rate about 2/4 depending on your tolerance of heat. With all these great supporting flavors, not to mention the tasty natural beef flavor with the absence of a sweetness, while welcome, it’s almost unnecessary. The natural IPA beer flavor speaks for itself.
This 2.75 ounce/78 gram bag sells online for $9.49. That works out to $3.45 an ounce, which rates as an expensive price. First, this jerky uses 100% grass-fed beef, which is a far superior product compared to corn/grain fed beef, Second, high qualify craft beer such as habanero sculpin beer is expensive, which is normal with craft beer. Despite the high price, this Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin flavor is a must try for any IPA beer lovers out there, and who also enjoy a fair amount of heat. It tasted outstanding and extraordinary.
This is a standard sized resealable bag. There is a label affixed to the front, and nothing on the back. There is a great high resolution picture of a Ballast Point Habanero Sculpin beer on the label, which puts this label over the top.
There are no clearly defined slogans printed on the bag. Some facts printed on the bag are “100% Grass Fed Beef”, “Premium Jerky”, “Top Shelf”, “Low in Sodium”, “No Artificial Preservatives”, “No Nitrites”, “No Hormones”, “No Antibiotics”, and “Natural Smoke Flavor Added”.
All major bag categories are covered. The only minor bag category missing is that the jerky weight is not stated in grams.
Order their jerky online: www.jerkysgourmet.com