Last in the series on Liberty Jerky is this Teriyaki Beef Jerky. See my previous reviews of their Original, Garlic, Spicy, and Smoke varieties.
Liberty Jerky is a new brand of beef jerky to hit the market, having opened business in November 2009. The company is based in Lincoln, CA. It was started by the husband and wife team of Bill and Mary Ann Browne, who have been making beef jerky for over 20 years.
All of the jerky varieties seem to be based on a worcestershire sauce base with a Montreal Steak Seasoning blend.
The company describes this Teriyaki variety as a having a "sweet & spicy" flavor.
Beef, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, marinade (soy sauce, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, signature mirin, lactic and succinic acids, water, dehydrated garlic, spice, modified corn starch, sunflower oil), Montreal Steak Seasoning, red pepper.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light salty flavor, with some faint worcestershire sauce coming through later. There's a trace of sweet.
The chewing flavor starts with more definition from the worcestershire, and a strong spicy seasoning with a light burn building.
For being advertised as a Teriyaki beef jerky, I don't pick up much teriyaki flavor. What I taste is a light touch of sweet, and I can detect touches of the teriyaki back there, but it's faint.
Otherwise, the worcestershire and Montreal Steak Seasoning is still dominant in this jerky, just as it is with Liberty's other varieties. The black pepper is quite noticeable, and I get a burst of coriander seed and dill as my teeth chew into the seasoning. The worcestershire is deep within the meat and provides a constant flavor throughout the chewing.
If anything, the teriyaki does add a light sweet flavor, which also has the effect of giving the overall flavor some body. And for that matter, I think it improves this jerky. It's like eating the Original variety with an extra touch of sweet, just to give it more body. It doesn't really have a clearly recognizable teriyaki flavor.
There's a lightly detectable natural meat flavor in there, but it's harder to find in this than compared to the Original variety. Perhaps the sweetness in the teriyaki marinade is masking that flavor.
The Red Pepper ingredient is creating a touch of heat. It seems "mild-medium" to me, though someone else might see it as "medium".
The level of saltiness in this feels moderate.
Overall, you're not really going to find a clearly discernible teriyaki flavor, it's mostly the same flavor of the Original variety, but with a light sweetness that adds some body to the flavor.
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.
There are some small bits of fat on some pieces, but no visible signs of tendon or gristle. The chewing does result in some stringiness, and here and there I'll end up with a small wad of unchewable tissue. Overall, it's rather meaty.
In terms of clean eating, it's very clean. 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 Teriyaki 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 getting a lot of snackability for its great overall flavor, good meat consistency and chewing texture. The $2.04 price per ounce is comparable to what you'd pay for a major brand at the grocery store, but it's definitely a better jerky.
As a Teriyaki beef jerky, at the same $2.04 price per ounce, it's a weak value. I don't get much teriyaki flavor from this, hardly any noticeable. The major brands of jerky like Jack Link's or Oberto seem to provide more teriyaki flavor.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Teriyaki variety from Liberty Jerky is very comparable to the company's Original variety, but with a touch of sweet that seems to give the overall flavor more body. I think the flavor is better than the Original variety, but I didn't think it was good enough to push this over the top into the Best category.
I don't think you would want to buy this if you're specifically wanting a thick, authentic teriyaki flavor. Rather you'd buy this if you already like Liberty's Original variety, but would like add a touch of sweet to it.
Otherwise, this jerky is dominated by a worcestershire base with a good sprinkling of Montreal steak seasoning, with a bit of heat coming from the Red Pepper. I taste a good deal of black pepper and coriander seed. It's like eating a marinated, seasoned, grilled steak.
For my recommended beer pairing, I'd stick with a porter just like I recommended for the Original variety. Try the Stone Smoked Porter, or the Deschutes Black Butte Porter.
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