The next review for Shiners Stash will be on a 3 ounce/85 gram bag of their Sweet Reaper flavored beef jerky. This flavor is described as using locally grown Carolina Reaper peppers with a Scoville heat scale of 1.57 million. As an added bonus, you get two dried chili peppers as well. The jerky was kindly submitted for review by the owner, Swen Altis.
This Shiners Stash brand name is located in the foothills of Conover, North Carolina, and is distributed under the name of Shiners Stash Jerky Company. Executive Chef Swen, an avid hunter, started making jerky for his friends and neighbors. While having a successful career, in 2016, Swen quit his full-time job, and launched this Shiners Stash Jerky Company. Starting as a cook in the US Army, Swen became a certified chef. Swen’s last job was as an executive chef in the higher education industry. Impressively, there are over 20 flavors available, which includes beef/pork jerky and beef sticks. Backed by Swen’s wife Beth, friends, and family, they are committed & continuously strive to set “THAT BAR!”.
Ingredients: Beef (Eye Round), High Fructose Corn Syrup, Distilled Vinegar, Tomato Paste, Modified Food Starch, Contains Less Than 2% Of: Salt, Pineapple Juice Concentrate, Natural Smoke Flavor, Spices, Caramel Color, Sodium Benzoate as a Preservative, Molasses, Corn Syrup, Garlic (Dried), Sugar, Tamarind, Natural Flavor, Beef Base (Cooked Beef, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Dextrose, Sea Salt, Maltodextrin, Onion Powder, Sugar, Caramel Color, Disodium Inosinate, Disodium Guanylate), Brown Sugar, Spice, Liquid Smoke, Hickory Flavor, Artificial Flavor (Chili Pepper, Salt, Citric Acid, Sugar, Lemon Flavor), Potassium Sorbate (A Food Preservative). Allergen Warnings: Soy, Wheat
The beef used is not guaranteed to be free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. Also, the beef is not guaranteed to have at least partial free range access to graze on grass. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Good (8/10) rating.
The liquid marinade consists of just healthy distilled vinegar, and tomato paste if you consider that to be a liquid. Tomatoes contain an antioxidant named lycopene, which offers many health benefits.
There are some healthy ingredients used such as dried garlic, onion powder, chili pepper, and spice. Curiously, Carolina Reaper is not a listed ingredient, but it should be consumed in moderation.
The sugar level is reasonable at 6 grams of sugar per 43 grams of jerky. Unfortunately, one of the sweeteners used is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). The salt level is low at 230mg of salt per 43 grams of jerky.
This jerky does not qualify to have no sodium nitrite, where similar potassium sorbate is used as the main preservative. Distilled vinegar to a lesser degree acts as a preservative also.
This jerky does not qualify to have no MSG added. The highly processed flavor enhancers hydrolyzed soy protein and hydrolyzed corn protein are used in the beef base. Similar to MSG, disodium inosinate and disodium guanylate work synergistically to enhance the flavor of food, in this case beef.
Fair (4/10) – Ingredient Rating
These strips of jerky are large in size, and they are sliced to a medium thickness. The texture is between dry and tender, where this jerky sort of crumbles in your mouth while chewing, in a good way. There are no signs of fat, and handling this jerky leaves no oily residue on your fingers.
The first tastes detected are light levels of garlic and black pepper. Very quickly an intense heat level kicks in, which packs a serious punch. On a heat scale, the spiciness rates a 5 out of 5, where there is quite the after burn.
For the adventurous, eating a chili pepper with the jerky amplifies the heat greatly.
As for the sweetness, it is at a mild level at best. The tomato paste offsets the heat slightly. Overall, this jerky hits on all cylinders, except for the sweet, which we prefer anyways.
A 3 ounce/85 gram bag sells online for $8.50. That works out to $2.83 an ounce, which rates as an average price. This flavor is surely recommended from a taste perspective, but not so much from an ingredient perspective.
Excellent (10/10) – Taste Rating
This clear resealable bag has labels affixed to both the front and back. The bag is vacuum sealed, the best way to keep jerky fresh tasting. The Shiners Stash logo is a man with a rather large, bushy beard. There is also a skull and bones on fire.
Their slogans are “Get Your Own!” and “Made in Foothills of NC”.
The only minor bag category missing is the jerky weight not stated in grams. There is a very good blurb printed on the back about Shiners Stash. You are encouraged to like them on Facebook.
Order their jerky online: www.shinersstashjerky.com
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