In this installment of online meat delivery services reviews we’re looking at a new kid on the block, but not from a region of the country where you’d expect quality beef to come from like Texas or Oklahoma. When you think about Vermont you likely think about cheddar cheese, maple syrup, and let’s not forget Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. But top-shelf Wagyu is likely not the first thing or even the second thing to cross your mind when thinking about the Green Mountain State.
We’re here to tell you to think again, Vermont Wagyu is a serious player in the world of online beef. Read below for our experience ordering from Spring Rock Farm located in Springfield, Vermont.
What We Loved
There’s no better or more simple way to start this than to say we loved the flavor profile from this beef. Even if you’re not a beef nerd like those of us hanging out in the “stable” of meat reviewers here at grillseeker.com; you’re bound to notice a clean and distinct flavor from the Vermont Wagyu offerings. We suspect this has to do with the diet of mostly Vermont grass (each steer getting between one and two acres for grazing) and supplemented winter diet of a local brewer’s mash “full of nutrients to add protein and palatability.”
It’s perfectly marbled and deliciously tender. The marbling, of course, is synonymous with Wagyu beef but some Wagyu is just better than others. Much of what is marketed today as Wagyu is actually a hybrid of Wagyu and Angus beef. While this hybrid beef is certainly outstanding, it’s not true Wagyu. The Wagyu from Vermont is 100% full blood Wagyu DNA parent verified by the American Wagyu Association. This marbling may be attributed to the stress-free lives these steers live, raised naturally without antibiotics and hormones. It’s widely accepted in the community that lower stress levels lead to better marbling.
We were also happy with the selection of cuts available. Most online vendors of high-end beef offer standard cuts like ribeye, strip, and filet. We found the lineup at Vermont Wagyu to include those cuts, as well as flank, tri-tip, flat iron, skirt, and many other cuts that aren’t as easy to find and are more budget-friendly.
The packaging was simple and effective.
A standard cardboard box with a Styrofoam cooler inside, packed with plenty of dry ice.
Finally, we found the ordering process from meat selection to inputting credit card information at payment to be simple and streamlined. We received an immediate email notification of our order and further updates with shipping and delivery information until it arrived at our door.
What Could Be Improved
If there’s a downside to a very small family farm, it’s availability. Our best advice here is “get’em while they’re hot” because oftentimes you’ll find that certain cuts or sizes of cuts are sold out. Again, that’s just the nature of the beast when it comes to small farms but what we’d like to see is an estimated date for various cuts to be back in stock. Further to that, the ability to preorder out-of-stock cuts would be beneficial.
Who It’s For
This isn’t the beef you buy for an every night meal, well unless your pockets are much deeper than any of ours. While the flavor isn’t as rich and intense as the A5 graded Wagyu that can only be eaten in smaller quantities, this beef certainly could be eaten every night. It’s perfectly balanced and enjoyable. But, from a budget perspective, we see this as more of a special occasion meal. Think anniversary dinner, a dinner party with special guests, or a holiday dinner.
We found the beef from Vermont Wagyu to be among the best we’ve had. Our budget allowed us to try the ribeye, the flank steak, and the tri-tip.
All were outstanding and were leaders in their class. You’ll want to plan ahead to account for availability, but we’d highly encourage you to give Vermont Wagyu a try when you’re next ready to “treat yo self.”