Next in the series on Luther's Smokehouse is this Old Fashioned Jalapeno variety. See my reviews of their Old Fashioned Original, Old Fashioned Hot, and Old Fashioned Teriyaki.
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 it's his primary business.
All of his jerky is made in his own USDA inspected facility. He also runs a restaurant and country store.
Beef, salt, black pepper, sodium erythorbate, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a smoky flavor and then soon followed by a light saltiness. A fair amount of heat starts building up on my tongue.
The chewing flavor starts with a strong smoky natural meat flavor. The saltiness increases just a tad, while the heat ramps up.
For being labeled as "Jalapeno", I don't taste any jalapeno chile flavor. But I do feel a good deal of chile pepper heat. On my personal hot scale, the burn seems to register as a "medium' (level 3 out of 5).
Even though the ingredients list appears to be exactly the same as the company's Old Fashioned Hot, it's clearly a different seasoning and a different kind of heat. In the Old Fashioned Hot I got a distinct black pepper flavor that produced a burn in the back of my mouth. But in this Old Fashioned Jalapeno, I don't get the black pepper flavor, and the heat is centered on my tongue.
These pieces are coated with a red-orange seasoning, but it's difficult for me to pick up its flavor. All I get is the heat.
Otherwise, the flavor that seems to dominate this jerky is that smoky natural meat flavor, much like with the Old Fashioned Original and Old Fashioned Hot. The smokiness is well defined adding a nice compliment to the meat flavors.
The level of saltiness in this seems to be at a medium level, though the burn on my tongue makes it feel higher than what it really is.
Overall, what you're going to notice in this jerky is a strong smoky natural meat flavor, with a moderate level of saltiness, and medium level of heat. You won't taste any jalapeno flavor however.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced to a medium thickness, and in strips between three to eight inches long.
This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. Unlike with the company's Old Fashioned Original variety, this doesn't have the slight oily feel due to the dusting of seasoning on the surface. It retains a little bit of flexibility if bent, but will soon crack open. Biting off chunks seems to require a little effort, 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 gets easier from there. 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 bit 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 seasoning on my fingertips, but not much falling on my lap.
Luther's Smokehouse sells this Old Fashioned Jalapeno 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 Jalapeno beef jerky, at the same $1.81 per ounce price, it's a fair value. While it does produce a medium level of heat, I'm not getting any of the jalapeno flavor.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Old Fashioned Jalapeno beef jerky from Luther's Smokehouse offers a medium level of heat, but doesn't seem to provide any jalapeno flavor. There's plenty of red-orange colored seasoning on these strips, but I wasn't able to pick up any flavor from it.
Otherwise it's still a delicious jerky with its smoky natural meat flavors taking all the spotlight just like with company's Old Fashioned Original and Old Fashioned Hot. Even though the addition of heat makes it a little more enjoyable than Luther's Original, the lack of jalapeno flavor meant it didn't quite stand up to its advertised flavor.
But if you like the rush of heat flowing through your body then this Jalapeno is a better choice than Luther's Original, but if you want the added seasoning flavor, then stick with Luther's Hot. Either way you get the same dry-style of jerky, with a lot of chewiness, and the same meaty, steak-like chewing texture, though leaning slightly on the dry, crumbly side.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a double IPA. I think the stronger hops will really bring out the smoky meat flavor. Try the Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA, or the Pliny the Elder.
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