Dopey Doug's Hickory Smoked.
Appalachian Jerky Company is a relatively new player in the meat snacks industry based out of Brighton, MA. The creation of two college buddies, Ron Myrick and Doug Labb, the boys had been making their own jerky for camping trips and parties. When they decided to take their seasoned meat delicacies to market, they tweaked their original recipe and developed a few more.
This Raging Ron’s Hot variety is described as using habanero sauce and red pepper to provide a steady burn while "retaining good smoked meat flavor with other spices".
Beef, water, soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, tabasco habanero sauce, flavorings, red pepper, black pepper, chili powder.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a salty, garlic seasoning flavor, with touches of chile pepper flavor. Sucking on a piece for awhile, I'm getting some heat with and little bit of the tabasco habanero sauce.
The chewing flavor brings in the soy sauce and worcestershire sauce. The heat builds up through the chewing, and the black pepper flavor becomes more noticeable.
For being dubbed, "Raging Ron's Hot", it seems to hold up well. Just the first few pieces I ate were enough to unleash a pleasant little Hell fire of fury on my taste sensors, causing my scalp to itch some. As for the "Raging Ron's" part of the name, as long as the only thing about Ron that's raging is his singed taste buds, then I guess it's par for the course.
Otherwise, the flavors that seem to define this jerky is a complex combination of sauce flavors, the soy sauce, worcestershire sauce, and the tabasco habanero sauce. The three seem to share equal spotlight, if anything the vinegar in the tabasco habanero is quite noticeable. After that, it's just touches of garlic and black pepper rounding out the flavors.
The level of heat in this become more intense as I continue eating more pieces. On my personal heat scale, I'd rank this as "medium hot" (level 4 out of 5).
The natural meat flavors are not really noticeable here, and in fact I wasn't able to notice them in the company's "Dopey Doug's Hickory Smoked" variety either.
The level of saltiness in this feels moderate to high, perhaps exacerbated by the heat.
These are slices of whole meat, sliced thin, and in small bite sized pieces, with about half the pieces being very small.
This is a dry jerky with a dry surface feel. They have a pliable, soft plastic-like flexibility. Chewing seems to be chewy, but not tough, still somewhat easy.
The chewing texture starts out feeling like soft, pliable plastic with a fair amount of chewing resistance. With some chews it finally breaks apart and then quickly chews down to a soft mass. At that point it feels very much like real meat, and rather steak-like.
Some pieces have small bits of fat on them, but I didn't encounter any gristle or tendon. Because these pieces are cut into small and very small pieces, I don't really pick up any stringiness and found no unchewable wads of tissue.
In terms of clean eating, it's very clean with no residue on my fingertips and no bits of meat fragments falling on my lap, also due to the bite-sized pieces.
Appalachian Jerky sells this Raging Ron's Hot jerky at a price of $24.00 for eight (8) 1.75 ounce packages. Shipping is free for orders of $70.00 or more. If you buy over $70.00 worth, it works out to a price of $1.71 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $1.71 per ounce price, this jerky offers a good value. I'm getting a lot of flavor in each piece, and a good meat consistency and decent chewing texture. That price is comparable to what you'd pay for major brands of jerky at the grocery store, and seems to offer better snackability.
As a spicy hot variety of beef jerky, at the same $1.71 per ounce price, it's a great value. I'm getting a lot of heat, as well as some good tabasco habanero sauce flavor with its associated vinegar. It's offers more spicy hot experience for the dollar than the major brands.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Raging Ron's Hot variety from Appalachian Jerky Company gives you exactly what the name suggests, a lot of raging hot burn. But it doesn't stop there, it adds some pretty good tabasco habanero sauce flavor, with its associated vinegar taste, and creates a nice complexity by throwing in some soy sauce and worcestershire sauce.
It has a good meat consistency, with its soft chewing, though having a slightly plastic/rubbery feel, which eventually does progress into a meaty, steak-like chew. The fact that it's cut into bite sized pieces is nice, though many pieces are really just small bits and fragments better suited as chowder toppings.
Otherwise, it's always refreshing to find a jerky that advertises itself as "raging hot" and actually backs it up.
My recommended beer pairing, try a smooth, creamy, oatmeal stout, such as the Firestone Walker Velvet Merlin, or Samuel Smith's Oatmeal Stout.
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