Next up in the series on Luther's Smokehouse Beef Jerky is this Old Fashioned Hot. See my review of their Old Fashioned Original variety.
Luther's Smokehouse is a smokehouse located in LeRoy, KS, owned and operated by Martin Luther. Luther started out running a slaughterhouse, but in 1974 he added beef jerky to his list of products, and today beef jerky is his primary business.
Luther makes all of his jerky at his own USDA inspected facility. He also runs a restaurant and country store.
This Old Fashioned Hot variety is touted as being "No Carbs".
Beef, salt, black pepper, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a smoky flavor, with a moderate saltiness. I can also pick up a moderate black pepper flavor.
The chewing flavor starts with a lot of natural meat flavor, with an increased smokiness. A little more saltiness comes in, and the black pepper ramps up as well. I can also get a fair amount of spicy heat.
For being labeled as "Hot", this jerky does in fact generate a noticeable amount of heat, mostly in the form of black pepper. I'd rate it as medium on my hot scale (level 3 out of 5). The heat seems to be limited to just the back of my throat, rather than on my tongue. The black pepper flavor builds up to a high intensity over several of these strips, but still seems to refrain from numbing my tastebuds.
The flavor that seems to dominate this jerky is the smoky natural meat flavor. The smokiness really comes through in this well and seems to bring out the meat flavors. I can even pick up a light bit of a fatty flavor too mixed into that meat. The black pepper is still rather strong in this jerky, but yet it seems to stay in the back of my mouth while the smoky meat flavors sit on the center of my tongue.
There's a well-noticeable saltiness in this, but it doesn't seem to be too strong, more of a medium level.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this is a dominant smoky natural meat flavor with a good deal of black pepper, a moderate saltiness, and a medium level of heat.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in strips between three to seven inches long.
This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. Unlike the company's Old Fashioned Original variety, this doesn't have the slight oily feel due to the dusting of pepper on the surface. It retains a little bit of flexibility if bent, but will soon crack open. Biting off chunks seems to be a little more easy than the Old Fashioned Original, and while chewing seems to be a little labored.
The chewing texture starts out feeling stiff and dry with a fair amount of chewing resistance. The first several chews require some working to soften up, and then it just seems to get really easy to chew after that. And once chewed down to a soft mass, it tends to feel steak-like, like one cooked well-done, though a little dry, and a tad crumbly.
These strips appear to be mostly all meat, with some small streaks of fat on about half of them. I didn't see any gristle or tendon. However, the chewing revealed some unchewable wads of tissue and some stringiness.
As for clean eating, I'm getting a fair amount of black pepper on my fingertips, but not much black pepper falling on my lap.
Luther's Smokehouse sells this Old Fashioned Hot variety at a price of $10.00 for an 8oz package. If you bought two packages, the shipping comes to $8.95, for a total of $28.95. That works out to $1.81 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.81 per ounce price, this jerky presents a good value. I'm getting a good deal of snackability from its overall great flavor, and good overall meat consistency. That price is at or below what you'd pay at the grocery store for major brands of jerky, yet it's clearly more addicting.
As a "Hot" beef jerky, at the same $1.81 per ounce price, it's a decent value. While it does produce a medium level of heat (on my palate anyways), it's not the chile pepper heat that I tend to expect, it's a black pepper spiciness that leaves a moderate burn in the back of my mouth.
I'm giving this a best rating.
This Old Fashioned Hot beef jerky from Luther's Smokehouse presents a delicious smoky natural meat flavor with a bit of fatty flavor mixed in. It's actually the same flavor as their Old Fashioned Original variety that I reviewed last week, except with the addition of black pepper.
The black pepper builds up a high degree of flavor but seems to stay in the back of my mouth producing a medium level of heat. Meanwhile, the smoky natural meat flavors sit on the center of my tongue such that the two don't interfere with each other.
For some reason, this Old Fashioned Hot variety is not as tough as the Old Fashioned Original, being easier to chew. It still requires a bit of labor to chew, just doesn't wear my jaws out as quickly. I don't know if that something unique with this Hot variety, or if it's just a variance between one batch and another.
After writing this review, I still have half-bag of this jerky left and I can't help but want to keep eating; it's has a lot of snackability.
My recommended beer pairing for this, I think the heavier malt of a double IPA will add a nice touch of sweet to this otherwise sugarless jerky, while the stronger hops will bring out the smoky meat flavors. Try the Pliny the Elder, or the Lost Continent.
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