Next up in the series on Liberty Jerky is this Garlic beef jerky. See my previous review of their Original beef jerky.
Based in Lincoln, CA, Liberty Jerky is one of the newest brands of beef jerky to hit the market, having opened business in November 2009. It's owned by the husband and wife team of Bill and Mary Ann Browne, who have been making beef jerky for over 20 years. Friends and family members liked their jerky so much, that they finally pulled the trigger on starting their own business.
All of Liberty Jerky's flavors seem to revolve around a worcestershire marinated meat, with Montreal steak seasoning. This Garlic variety appears to have the same base, but perhaps adding more garlic.
Beef, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, Montreal steak seasoning (salt, spices [including black pepper, and red pepper], garlic, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, natural flavor, and extractives of paprika), garlic, red pepper.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light worcestershire flavor, with a fair amount of garlic flavor. There are some bursts of seasoning primarily coriander seed, and a light saltiness.
The chewing flavor starts with a bit more definition from the worcestershire sauce. I can feel a slight spicy tingle in the back of my mouth, and can taste some more of the seasoning.
For being labeled a Garlic beef jerky, it seems to stand up well to that description. I can taste a strong garlic flavor, well more than Liberty's Original variety.
But I still think the most noticeable flavor is the worcestershire sauce, though the garlic is a close second. The worcestershire seems to sit center on my tongue, while the garlic covers the rest of my palate.
The steak seasoning in this shows up a lot as a black pepper flavor, with a fair amount of black pepper aftertaste. But here and there I can get bursts of coriander seed, and sometimes dill, that seem to overpower everything else.
The natural meat flavors are faint, and barely noticeable. Some of these pieces have small streaks of fat that give off a faint fatty flavor, enough to add a more "beefy" flavor.
The level of saltiness seems moderate, though the steak seasoning can make it feel more salty than it really is.
There's a slight bit of heat in this due to the red pepper. I still see this as mild on my hot scale, but someone with less tolerance might find this having a medium amount of heat.
Overall, what you're going to taste in this is the worcestershire marinade, but with a fair amount of garlic flavor mixed in. The steak seasoning shows up mostly as black pepper with bursts of coriander seed and dill.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in strips of ranging from three to six inches long.
This is a dry jerky with a dry, woody feel. They have a slight bit of flexibility, but any amount of bending will make these pieces tear apart. Tearing pieces apart with my fingers seems easy to do, and ease of chewing ranges between easy to moderate.
The chewing texture starts out feeling coarse and woody, but easily bends and compacts as I chew down. It seems to reduce down to a soft mass in about 15 seconds, and at that point it feels just like a piece of steak, comparable to one cooked well-done.
I can see some small streaks of fat on these pieces, but don't really see any tendon or gristle. While chewing, I do get a fair amount of stringiness, and sometimes I'll end up with a small wad of unchewable tissue.
In terms of clean eating, there's no residue left on my fingertips while handling this jerky, but biting off chunks does cause a fair amount of meat fragments and seasoning to fly off on my lap.
Liberty Jerky sells this Garlic variety from its website at a price of $5.99 for a 3.5oz bag. Shipping costs from Lincoln, CA to Menifee, CA for five of these bags is $5.70, for a total cost of $35.65. That works out to a price of $2.04 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.04 price per ounce, this seems to provide a good value. I'm finding a lot of snackability for its excellent flavor, good meat consistency and great chewing texture. That $2.04 price per ounce is only slightly higher than you'd pay at the grocery store for a Jack Link's or Oberto, but yet you're getting far better flavor and consistency.
As a Garlic beef jerky, at the same $2.04 price per ounce, it's also a good value. I do taste a good deal of garlic in this jerky, more so than Liberty's Original variety. If you're buying this specifically for the garlic flavor, I think you'll be satisfied.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Garlic beef jerky from Liberty Jerky is comparable to Liberty's Original variety, but with more garlic flavor. The extra layer of garlic gives this jerky enough of a pop that it seems to wake up my senses when I put a piece into my mouth, and keeps my interest at a high level.
The overall sense I get with this jerky is like eating a grilled, marinated and seasoned steak. I get that black pepper flavor, with bursts of coriander seed and dill, and the taste of worcestershire gives it that steak-sauce flavor. It even has a steak-like chewing texture, but still a little chewy like you'd expect jerky to be.
There's actually a lot of jerky brands that rely on worcestershire and steak seasoning, but the additional layer of garlic gives this particular jerky that extra flavor dimension to rise above the rest. I actually think this Garlic variety ought to be Liberty's original jerky.
As for my recommended beer pairing, I'd still go with a porter, like Stone Smoked Porter, or a Deschutes Black Butte Porter.
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