Next in the series on Black Tiger Beef Jerky is this Jungle Spice variety. See last week's review of their "Legend Original".
Black Tiger Beef Jerky is a brand of Black Tiger, LLC based out of La Mirada, CA. It's a relatively new brand, having just launched a website this summer, and just starting to get its products in stores.
This Jungle Spice variety is described as a spicy Thai, with sweet chili and lime flavor.
Beef, barbeque sauce [water, soy sauce (soybean, caramel color, salt, water), sugar, salt, garlic, monosodium glutamate, caramel color, pepper, citric acid, disodium inosinate guanylate, sodium benzoate], brown sugar, spice, liquid smoke, lime juice, wine, paprika, vinegar, sodium nitrite.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light liquid smoke flavor, a light sweet, a light saltiness, and light bit of spicy heat building up.
The chewing flavor starts with an increased sweetness, and an increased saltiness, that seems to progress into a mild barbecue sauce flavor. The spicy heat continues to build up.
For being dubbed as "Jungle Spice", it does have a spiciness in the form of chile pepper heat. But I don't really taste the unique flavor of chile peppers to any significant degree. There's also a noticeable black pepper flavor. As for the "Jungle" part of the name, which conjures up images of exotic asian flavors, I'm not getting a strong sense of this having an asian flavor, but the barbecue sauce does have a slight asian character.
As for the chile pepper heat, it's seems to register as medium on my personal heat scale (level 3 out of 5).
The company also described this as sweet chili and lime, and regarding that lime flavor, I don't really taste any for the most part. Nothing like citrus, though I do pick up some fruity notes in the barbecue sauce. However, I noticed in one slab which was sliced extra thin, and feeling more moist, I was able to get a more defined lime flavor. The rest of the package didn't provide much lime flavor.
Otherwise, the overall flavor of this jerky is marked by the sweet barbecue sauce. The spice flavors largely stay on the outer edges of my palate, and the black pepper remains in the back of my mouth. It's this sweet barbecue sauce that sits front and center. And it's a mild barbecue sauce, not very bold or tangy. All the zing in this jerky comes from the chile pepper and black pepper seasonings.
I don't pick up any natural meat flavors.
The level of saltiness in this seems moderate.
Overall, what you're going to taste in this is a mild, sweet barbecue sauce flavor, with some chile pepper heat, and some black pepper seasoning.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced into thin slabs, and in medium to large sized pieces.
This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. These slabs are very flexible, being able to bend all the way back on itself with no cracking. Tearing pieces off with my fingers is easy to do, while chewing is mostly easy, with some pieces having some hard, chewy parts.
The chewing texture starts out feeling soft and pliable. It doesn't require much chewing to get it to chew down to a soft mass. At that point, it has a soft, mushy texture, and only somewhat meat-like, but doesn't really chew like a steak.
Most of these slabs contain some small pieces of fat, but unlike with the company's Legend Original variety, I don't find any streaks of gristle. I don't find any stringiness either.
As for clean eating, my fingers don't pick up any residue handling this, but I'm getting a lot of spice fragments falling off as I tear pieces off.
Black Tiger sells this Jungle Spice variety from its website at a price of $7.00 for a 3oz package. I bought six packages in all, which include other flavors. Shipping came out to $9.97, for a total of $51.97. That works out to a price of $2.89 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.89 per ounce price, it's a weak value. I get an average amount of snackability for an overall decent flavor, and an average meat consistency. That price is substantially higher than what you'd pay for major brands of jerky at the grocery store, but yet maybe provides only a slightly better flavor but maybe the same meat consistency.
As a Jungle Spice variety, at the same $2.89 per ounce price, it's a fair value. I do get a good deal of chile pepper heat, a fair amount of black pepper flavor, and maybe a slight asian flavor. But considering how high that price is, I've found other jerky brands offering as much or more spiciness for lower prices.
I'm giving this an average rating.
This Jungle Spice variety from Black Tiger Beef Jerky does seem to live up to its labeled flavor with a fair amount of chile pepper heat and some black pepper flavor, and it does live up to the company's claims of being sweet, though less so as having a lime flavor. Overall, it's a satisfying flavor.
But what flavors I found in this jerky didn't taste above or beyond other brands that offered a sweet and spicy jerky. It offers a better flavor than some other sweet and spicy brands, but there are still many other brands that I feel offer better. When you consider this jerky doesn't offer any natural meat flavors, it has to win with its marinade and seasonings, and I just don't feel this is extraordinary enough.
The meat consistency is also not that impressive. It doesn't really have a steak-like chewing texture. While it has a meaty feel, it's remains rather chewy in the drier pieces, and mushy in the more moist pieces. A better meat consistency that offers some natural meat flavors, could boost this to a higher rating.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a red ale. Try the Karl Strauss Red Trolley or Bear Republic's Red Rocket Ale.
Buy this online: