Next up in the series on Mike's Jerky is this Lemon Pepper variety. See my previous reviews of Mike's Santa Fe and Black Pepper varieties.
Mike's Jerky is a brand of Old World Beef Company based out of Albuquerque, NM. The company was started by Mike and Brenda Grier in 2008. The couple had been making jerky for many years and were always told that they ought to go into business selling it, except they were already busy running an RV dealership. But when the bad economy hit, their dealership went out of business, and that cleared the way for them to start Old World Beef Company.
This Lemon Pepper variety is described by the company as having "...just the right amount of citrus lemon to compliment the pepper."
Beef, black peppercorns, sea salt, onion, lemon rind, garlic, lemon oil, citric acid.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a light meaty flavor, and a faint saltiness.
The chewing flavor starts with a stronger natural meat flavor, followed by a light black pepper flavor, and a light bit of lemony zest. There's a little bit more saltiness.
For being marketed as a "Lemon Pepper" variety, it seems to hold up fine. I do get a light lemon flavor, mostly as a lemon zest. But I also get a stronger black pepper flavor, more like cracked black pepper.
Overall, the natural meat flavor seems to have the dominant flavor in this jerky, having a flavor comparable to sliced roast beef deli cuts, just as I reported in Mike's other varieties. It's a very fresh, clean tasting flavor.
The lemon pepper seasonings is definitely more weighted towards the black pepper, while the lemon is really just a touch of lemon zest to give it a bit of a citrus tang.
The saltiness in this feels light.
So to sum up, what you're going to taste in this is mostly the natural meat flavor, with a fair amount of black pepper, and a touch of lemon zest.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced very thin, and in small to medium sized slabs.
This is a dry jerky, with a dry surface feel. It has no flexibility, being quite brittle, and will snap apart with a little bit of bending. It's very easy to tear pieces apart, and very easy to chew.
The chewing texture starts out feeling dry and brittle with no chewing resistance. I get a good deal of crunch chewing a piece down, and its chews down to a soft mass very quickly with little effort. At that point it feels very much like a piece of roast beef deli cut, but a little more dry.
I can see several spots of fat on these slabs, but they offer no additional flavor and no additional chewing texture. This batch contained no gristle that I could see, however I did note in Mike's Santa Fe variety, I found a large streak, so it's seem to be hit and miss.
In terms of clean eating, these seem very clean. My fingers picked up no residue, though snapping off pieces dropped just minimal amounts of meat fragments and pepper.
Mike's Jerky sells this Lemon Pepper variety from its website at a price of $5.00 for a 2oz package. If you bought 8 packages, the shipping works out to $5.38 if sent to Southern California. That comes to $2.84 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.84 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I'm getting a good deal of snackability for an overall good flavor, good meat consistency, and good chewing texture. That price is a lot higher than what you'll pay at the grocery store for one of the major brands, but I think you'll get more snackability out of this.
As a Lemon Pepper variety, at the same $2.84 per ounce price, it's a fair value as well. I do get a lemon pepper flavor out of this, albeit stronger on the pepper. I think if I was a fan of lemon pepper seasonings, I'd want a bit more of that lemon flavor considering the higher than average price.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Lemon Pepper variety from Mike's Jerky offers up a great tasting natural meat flavor, reminiscent of sliced roast beef deli meat, having a clean, fresh flavor, that seems to help bring out the lemon pepper seasonings. The lemon is represented as a light lemony zest, just enough to notice, while the black pepper is stronger, having a cracked peppercorn flavor.
It's a simple flavored jerky overall, in that what I'm getting out of this is exactly what's advertised, lemon pepper flavor, and of course the natural flavor of beef. It's certainly enjoyable, though there aren't any surprises in this, and there isn't anything in this that awoke my sense or provided any kind of a "wow factor".
The meat consistency seems good, easy to eat, very meaty, chewing like real meat, and I think that crunchiness adds to the snackability.
My recommended beer pairing for this, go with a Samuel Adams Boston Lager, you'll get a fair amount of malt to go with the meat flavor, but enough of a hoppy, bitter finish to cleanse the palate and help you taste that lemon zest.
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