When you grab a bag of Righteous Felon O.G. Hickory Beef Jerky you know something is different. The bag appears to be a simple tan paper bag with only black and red ink, line art graphics and no fancy viewing window. The mug shot of the bull on the front with his tattoo, eye patch tells you this is all Natural… with an asterisk. Read the small print and you learn this jerky is minimally processed and it has no artificial ingredients except for alcohol. Quite frankly it appears the guys making this stuff may have been drinking when they did the packaging and a little booze spilled in the bag! Hailing out of West Chester, PA this team of Jerky and craft Beer entrepreneurs have a lot of passion for their business.
When you open the bag you find out this is actually a professionally packaged food (foil lined, resealable bag, USDA seal etc.) and the beef aroma tells you right away, this is the real deal. Beef Jerky the way it should be. The Jerky is dry to the touch with a noticeable spice rub. In the bag you’ll find only 2 oz of meat that is cut into many random sized pieces, some flat some gnarly. This looks like the Jerky you would make at home if you had a herd of steer in your backyard and hickory smoking shed next to your cabin. When you put the first piece in your mouth you need to work the jerky for a few chews before it releases its flavor. But when the flavor hits you mouth is filled with a crisp natural beef flavor with a hint of smoke and a subtle spice. You’ll taste Garlic, Black Pepper and a hint of clove. I have no idea why they put it in a resealable bag, this is a one sitting treat. Maybe a better man would eat some and go for a hike, eat some more and chop some wood, eat some more and wrestle a bear (humanly of course) but not me. I sat down ate the Jerky until it was gone and tried to remember what it tasted like so I could write down my thoughts. What I remember: It was really good.
Righteous Felon tells us they use locally raised, dry-aged, Black Angus Beef that is grown naturally, without the use of growth hormones or antibiotics. The package tells us there are no Nitrates and its Gluten Free. They do list Soybeans in the ingredients and from the taste of it I’m guessing they may make their own soy sauce. Its not that thick salty, sticky soy flavor that coats so many Jerkys, this is a light crisp salt that does its job without destroying the Angus beef flavor. This Jerky scores a 5 for flavor. The chew also scores a perfect 5. When you put it in your mouth it’s stiff and you need to work the meat a little. But as you chew it breaks down and is tender. Chewing this Jerky never hurts your jaw. It gives you just enough fight to make it interesting but it never wears you out. This is how Jerky should chew.
The numbers come in like this… for flavor 5, chew 5, here’s where it slips away… the sodium comes in at 430 mg per oz, which a 4 salt bomb on our scale so unfortunately it only gets 1 sodium points in the rating. Then there’s the price… $23.99 for 3 ea. 1/8 pound bags. For those of you who are fractionally challenged an eight of a pound is two ounces. That makes this stuff $4.00 an ounce. I will say that is a fair price for Angus beef that is this good but it doesn’t help the overall score giving it only 1 value point. Righteous Felon O.G. Hickory Beef Jerky nets out at a deceptive 3.0 overall.
I really like this Jerky and if you are willing to pay a little extra for quality, you will too. This is what artisan jerky is all about. righteousfelon.com