The EPIC jerky brand name was created by Taylor Collins and Katie Forrest. Both Taylor and Katie are physically active, and they were looking for foods to satisfy their needs. Then they started eating a paleo diet. Shortly afterwards, they set out to create the world’s first 100% grass fed meat, fruit, and nut bar. This EPIC jerky brand is distributed by Epic Provisions, located in Austin, Texas. In January 2016, the very large conglomerate General Mills acquired Epic Provisions.
The next review on EPIC will focus on a 0.8 ounce/23 gram bag of their Wagyu beef steak strip. This flavor is described as being made with 100% grass-fed wagyu beef, wildflower honey, and spices. The bag was purchased at an Ollie’s discount store located in Niagara Falls, New York.
The beef used is certified Wagyu, which implies that the beef is guaranteed to use 100% grass-fed beef. As a result, the cattle are guaranteed to have free range access, and be ethically raised. Therefore, the ingredient rating starts at an Excellent (10/10) rating.
The texture of this jerky is chopped and formed. As a result, without having a natural whole muscle sliced strip of jerky, two ingredient ratings are deducted.
The sugar level is acceptable at 3 grams of sugar per 23 grams of jerky with wildflower honey being the only sugar listed. The salt level is acceptable at 300mg of salt per 23 grams of jerky.
This jerky does qualify to have no sodium nitrite, or any other similar unhealthy preservatives. Instead, the main preservative used is sea salt, which is minimally processed, and high on minerals, as opposed to highly processed table salt. With further kudos, there is also no MSG added.
EPIC – WAGYU BEEF STEAK STRIP
This uniformly rectangular sized steak strip is sliced to a medium thickness. The texture is chopped and formed, and it is relatively easy to chew, with no natural tear on the grain. As I open the bag, I am overwhelmed by the smell of salmon. Handling this beef steak strip leaves an annoying oily residue on your fingers, par for the course with a chopped and formed texture.
As I bite into the strip I am overwhelmed by a meat flavor that tastes anything similar to beef. I am forced to check the ingredient list just to make sure that this is beef and not salmon despite a picture of a Wagyu cow on the front. I fully know that Wagyu beef is supposed to be a high quality of beef. Strangely, the taste comes across as tasting similar to salmon, where I am not a seafood fan. As I consume my 2nd and 3rd bites of this ‘beef steak’ strip, thank God the beef flavor finally starts to form, but certainly not fully.
The sweetness, black pepper, saltiness, and garlic powder are at mild to light to faint levels. More light that anything. What in the world is supposed to capture my attention here? It’s certainly, no absolutely not the natural beef flavor, where the Wagyu beef flavor never does normalize at all, and is supposed to be the star of show. Reminds me of the famous Wendy’s 30 seconds commercial from 1984, probably the funniest TV commercial ever made, “Where’s the beef?“
Admittedly, I am biased towards chopped and formed jerky. However, this Wagyu ‘beef steak strip’ takes the cake. There is not one redeeming quality of this this ‘beef steak strip’ that is positive, where I am honestly trying my best to be professional and keep my personal biases out of this taste review.
Mixed in with this chopped and formed texture is some visible chunks of white. Based on this very small ingredient list, I am fairly clueless as to what that could be, probably salmon, but it’s not mold. I am pretty sure it’s not mold anyway. This jerky is past its expiry date of September 2019, but trust me in that we are the kings of reviewing stale jerky. Not exactly our fault as this jerky bag was purchased in July 2019, where submitted jerky simply takes precedence from our day trip to New York.
I sincerely apologize to EPIC if this taste review has been heavily influenced by being past the expiry date, but I highly doubt it. We have sampled over 1,300 unique jerky flavors to date. We know spoiled jerky when we taste and look at it, which does happen from time to time, but not here.
EPIC, you are welcome to send us fresher samples of these wagyu beef steak strips to be reviewed again properly. You might want to tell your copacker/private labeler this time to wash the equipment first before reusing.
We have reached out to EPIC in the past, and are ALWAYS totally ignored. We have given up contacting you. It is pathetic that you advertise EPIC jerky as still being ‘owned’, or at least started by the original founders Taylor and Katie giving them a bad name, when in fact this is General Mills, one of the largest conglomerates in the world.
As for the taste rating. Normally, I have lately use the Group of Seven since April 2019 to get a wide variety of opinions, but due to the Christmas holidays, they are not available to keep me in check. Just Lexi and I this time doing the taste review.
I will award a very generous Bad (3/10) taste rating. Bottom line, this wagyu beef steak strip is an extreme disappointment for beef lovers, and not to mention Wagyu beef fanatics with absolutely ZERO going for it. Even our Jerky Ingredients mascot whippet Lexi did not much care for this jerky, which is a first for beef jerky. Lexi obviously finished the jerky being a massive fan of beef and salmon jerky, but in half the time as usual, where she seemed unsure the whole time. Gross!!!
This plastic bag has everything printed directly on the bag itself, and nothing printed on the back. There is a detailed drawing of a Wagyu cow on the front. This bag is vacuum sealed, the best way to keep jerky fresh tasting.
There are no slogans printed on this bag. Some facts printed are “Made With Grass Fed Beef”, “6G of Protein”, and “Gluten Free”. There is a stamp printed that states “Gluten Free Certified”.
All bag categories are covered with this bag. Commendably, a phone number is provided for customer inquiries. The @EPICBAR handle is displayed for Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.