A couple of days ago I posted a review of "Rite Aid Beef Jerky - Original", and wanted to follow up with this Honey BBQ variety. When I purchased that original variety, I also purchased this Honey BBQ, just so that I could offer my readers with reviews for at least two varieties of jerky under this brand.
As I said in the previous review, Rite Aid doesn't make their own jerky, it's private labeled through Mirab USA, who seems to private label jerky for hundreds of retailers. It appears that Mirab makes the same exact jerky for Rite Aid's chief competitor, Walgreens. However, Walgreens doesn't offer a Honey BBQ variety.
Also worth noting is that the Rite Aid Original variety I reviewed a couple of days ago had a sticker on it that said "FREE 10% More", giving me 3.85oz of jerky in a bag that was normally 3.5oz. But this Honey BBQ doesn't have that sticker.
Beef, water, honey, sugar, salt, brown sugar, maltodextrin, smoke flavor powder, tomato powder, chili pepper powder, spices (all spice, black pepper powder, red pepper powder), apple cider vinegar, monosodium glutamate, citric acid, sodium erythorbate, sodium tripolyphosphate, onion powder, disodium inosinate, caramel color, sodium nitrite.
The tastes I pick up from the surface of these pieces is a sweet, smoky, and something similar to a BBQ flavor, all at once. That flavor quickly dissipates, and there's nothing more. In the chewing, I taste something that resembles charred, burnt BBQ sauce.
Wow. This is stuff is pretty bad. I think this might actually be worse than Rite Aid's original variety, which I rated as "dog treats".
In terms of being a Honey BBQ variety, I do get a moderate sweet flavor, though I don't specifically identify the honey. And as for the BBQ flavor, well ok, I do get a BBQ flavor, but a very bad BBQ flavor. I'd probably say that this jerky does live up to its Honey BBQ advertisement, but it's as if someone took some really foul BBQ sauce, and dumped more sugar into it.
That chewing flavor, which I said resembles the charred hardened remains of BBQ stuck to a grill, is very evident if I suck a piece first, then chew. But if I were to chew a piece right away, the surface flavors tend to mix into the chewing flavors, and makes the jerky a little bit more palatable. However, the surface flavors dissipate very quickly.
I don't really pick up any meat flavors. I think the bad BBQ sauce and the bad chewing flavor, do pretty well to mask the meat flavors.
I'd rate the bad BBQ flavoring as the dominant flavor of this jerky, followed by the charred blackened BBQ sauce in the chewing as second-most dominant, and with the sweet flavor as the third-most dominant.
At this point, I'm so amazed at how bad this jerky is, that I can't really focus on the other taste elements.
Just as with Rite Aid's original variety, this stuff also has a strange aftertaste, though I'm not getting the rough, abrasive feeling on my teeth, tongue, and mouth.
This is a chopped & formed jerky, formed into medium thickness, and in small to medium sized pieces.
They feel quite moist on the outside, but in tearing them apart, it's clear that they're a little bit more dry. They tear apart somewhat easily, but it seems that these pieces have a lot of tendon and gristle chunks that requires a fair amount of effort to tear. They chew fairly easily.
The chewing texture is very mushy. I don't really find anything in that chews like meat or steak. Probably the only thing that reminds me that I'm eating animal flesh are the chewy chunks of tendon and gristle.
And it's a rather sticky jerky, my fingers have a good deal of stickiness on them, and my hand gets sticky from reaching into the bag. Although, I don't get any bits falling into my lap. But, the smell remaining on my hand and fingers is that foul BBQ. If you're eating this at the office, make sure to wash your hands before shaking someone else's hand.
I paid $4.99 for this 3.5 ounce bag at a Rite Aid in Menifee, CA. That works out to a price of $1.43 per ounce, putting this into the average price range.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at this price, it's a poor value. The taste of this jerky is awful. I find zero snackability. Even if I were to take into account that it's fairly easy eating, and that it does live up to its Honey BBQ flavor, the overall flavor of this is so bad that there's no way to overcome.
As a Honey BBQ variety, while it does have a very sweet BBQ taste, it's a very bad BBQ taste, but perhaps BBQ nonetheless. Worse yet, that sweetened BBQ flavor dissipates very quickly, you'll only find it on the surface of these pieces, and it probably only lasts for about 3-4 seconds.
I'm giving this a dog treats rating.
Everything about this jerky seems to be awful, from the surface flavors, to the chewing flavors, to the chewing texture, to the stickiness on my hands, to the foul smell it leaves on my hands.
Even the BBQ flavor is bad. And the chewing flavor, resembling charred, burnt BBQ sauce, how in the heck did Mirab's flavor scientists decide that it tastes good?
And I've had lots of chopped & formed jerky in my time, but this is the worst consistency. It's filled with tendon, gristle, and other chewy sinews and tissues. And if I found a piece that had nothing chewy in it, I was left with mushy chewing. I'd understand this product competely if Rite Aid priced this jerky at around $0.50 per ounce, but at $1.43 per ounce? Come on!
This is probably the worst beef jerky I've ever had, and at that $1.43 per ounce price, it's a rip-off. I was only able to eat about 1/2 ounce of this stuff, just barely enough to write what I wanted to write, the rest going to the jerky dogs.
My recommended beer for this jerky, just a strong flavored IPA.
Rating: Dog Treats
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