The first review on Wild Sky will be on a 2.25 ounce/64 gram bag of their original flavored 100% grass-fed beef jerky. This jerky bag was kindly submitted for review by their Inside Sales representative, Ian Damon.
Wild Sky beef jerky is distributed by Montana Prairie Holdings, and is located in Bozeman, Montana. Wild Sky is an innovate company launched in 2014, and created by American Prairie Reserve. Their mission is to support wildlife-friendly ranching through the sale of premium beef. This business model conserves wildlife, and contributes to economic activity in Montana’s rural Northern Great Plains. The overarching goal of American Prairie Reserve is to restore and conserve an abundance of extraordinary diverse wildlife to Montana’s Northern Great Plains, which the region once hosted.
Ingredients: Grass-Fed Beef, Sugar, Water, Gluten-Free Tamari Sauce (Water, Soybeans, Salt, Alcohol), Apple Cider Vinegar, Salt, Paprika, Natural Smoke Flavoring, Black Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder. Allergen Warnings: Soy
The 100% grass-fed beef used is sourced from the U.S., with profits flowing back to Wild Sky Ranchers in Montana who practice wildlife-friendly ranching. These ranchers practice something known as a Freese Scale, which measures nine different ecological processes, each of which is given a 1-7 rating. Annually these Freese Scale ratings are studied, reviewed by a third-party entity and management identifies what areas of each ranch need attention.
The jerky qualifies to be ethically raised, meaning no growth hormones or additional antibiotics are given. Also, the cattle used in this jerky qualifies to have free range access to roam about and graze on grass, the way nature intended.
The liquid marinade used is comprised of water, a high-end gluten-free tamari soy sauce, and super healthy apple cider vinegar.
Some healthy ingredients are added such as paprika, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
The sugar level is on the high side at 5 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. Our preference is 3 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. The salt level is respectable at 310mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
This jerky qualifies to have no sodium nitrite, or any other similar unhealthy preservative. Instead, organic salt is the main preservative used, and apple cider vinegar to a lesser degree. With more kudos to Wild Sky, this jerky has no MSG added.
Very Good (9/10) – Ingredient Rating
Written by guest jerky reviewer Stéphane Leclerc
These strips of jerky are relatively small and square, their size and shape makes it easier for the flavoring to be evenly distributed throughout. The strips are cut to a medium thickness. The texture is chewy, tender and easy to chew. There are some visible signs of fat and it accentuates the natural beef flavor. These little strips are well complimented by a wonderful smoky aroma.
At first, I did not find the flavor to really jump out at me, other than a level of sweetness mostly dominating other flavors. Although, I did not see a marching band followed by puppies and unicorns, I did find the flavor to be very pleasant and comforting. This jerky has a very nice flavor and it makes it easy to just keep chewing a piece after another and the whole bag is gone before you know it.
As a matter of fact, I was able to resist this temptation and kept sampling a few small pieces at a time over a few sittings. The flavor kept improving where the sweetness started to subside as I became more aware and better understood all the small subtleties and the complexity of its flavor profile became alive.
The natural flavor of beef is well displayed and it is followed by a healthy smokiness. I really like the tanginess of the apple cider vinegar; it adds another layer of flavor and the acidity somewhat curbs the sweetness. There is a moderate taste of soy/tamari and a lighter taste of paprika, onion and garlic with a little salt and slight black pepper.
Overall, I did find this flavor to be very addictive. I kind of understand if one may think of this flavor as being a little bland tasting.
I would recommend trying a few bites over a few sittings and letting the magic happen. I find with a number of jerky that patience is an ally and it is certainly true with this great jerky from Wild Sky. In my own opinion, the flavor profile unfolds and comes to life as this jerky takes another dimension.
I really appreciate this jerky, it is flavorful and addictive and I would recommend it without prejudice. I would rate it 10/10 and I’d also be comfortable with 9/10.
A 4 pack of 2.25 ounce/64 gram bags of jerky sells online for $23.99, which works out to $2.67 an ounce. That would rate as an average price.
Very Good (9/10) – Taste Rating
This plastic resalable bag has everything imprinted on the bag itself, both on the front band back, with no labels affixed. There are high resolution pictures displayed of a bear in the wild. The Wild Sky logo has the word Wild in the backdrop of a cloud.
The only slogan printed on this bag is “Supporting Wildlife-Friendly Ranching”. Some of the many facts printed on this bag are “Meet a Wild Sky Rancher”, “Read Their Story on the Back”, “All-Natural”, “Made in the USA”, “Gluten-Free”, “No Nitrates or Nitrites”, “No Artificial Ingredients”, “Minimally Processed”, Natural Smoke Flavoring Added”, “Grass-Fed Beef Jerky”, and “Beef Used is Pasture Raised & Never Given Antibiotics or Hormones”.
For this original flavor, 5th generation ranchers David and his wife Rawnie Crasco from the Assiniboine Tribe are featured on this bag with their story.
All bag categories are covered with this bag. There is a great small blurb printed on the back about the benefits of American Prairie Reserve and Wild Sky.
Excellent (10/10) – Bag Rating
Order their jerky online: www.wildskybeef.org
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