Mike's Jerky is based out of Albuquerque, NM, owned and operated by Mike Grier. It's an example of New Mexico Style jerky, where its sliced thin and dried to a crisp so that it has a crunch, similar to potato chips, but chewing like meat.
The company describes this Garlic Pepper as simply, "Garlic lovers will enjoy this one. A perfect blend of garlic and pepper."
Beef, salt, modified corn starch, garlic, sugar, parsley, extractives of garlic and carrot.
The first thing I taste from the surface of these pieces is a roasted flavor, almost nutty in way. There's a light saltiness, and light traces of garlic.
The chewing flavor brings in a more of the garlic and a more of that roasted, nutty character. The natural meat flavors also come through.
For being marketed as "Garlic Pepper" is seems to hold up. I can detect the garlic in this, though it doesn't quite belt a homerun out of the park, it's still there however. The pepper is also noticeable, but light as well, and not nearly as strong as other black peppered jerky brands.
Otherwise, the flavors that seem to define this jerky seems to be a blend of the garlic and natural meat flavors. The natural meat flavor is like that of fresh sliced roast beef, similar to what you get at a deli. But rub a little bit of garlic into it, and that's kind of the flavor. Add a little bit of black pepper into that as well, and then you can imagine the flavor.
Despite the addition of corn starch and sugar, I don't really identify any sweetness.
And if not for the black pepper, this jerky is largely mild, there's just a little bit of black pepper spice going on in the back of my mouth.
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's mostly brittle, though it still has some small degree of flexibility. But for the most part, it's crunchy. It's very easy to break pieces off, 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. I see no streaks of gristle or tendon, encountered no stringiness, and no unchewable tissues.
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 seasoning.
Mike's Jerky sells this Garlic Pepper variety from its website at a price of $15.00 for a 6oz package. If you bought 4 packages, the shipping works out to $6.95 if sent to Southern California. That comes to $2.79 per ounce.
For general jerky snacking purposes, at the $2.79 per ounce price, it's a good value. I'm getting a nice level of snackability for an overall good flavor, good meat consistency, and good chewing texture. Compared to other brands of jerky, the price is slightly higher, yet seems to offer a better, fresher flavor, and a better chewing experience.
As a Garlic Pepper beef jerky, at the same $2.79 per ounce price, it's a decent value. I can pick up a light bit of garlic and a light bit of black pepper, just enough to notice and blend into the natural meat flavors.
I'm giving this a good rating.
This Garlic Pepper variety from Mike's Jerky offers a pleasing overall taste with a natural meat flavor rubbed in with a little bit of garlic. The light addition of black pepper give this just a light touch of kick in the back of the palate.
Compared to the company's Garlic Salt variety that I reviewed just over a year ago, I think this Garlic Pepper is better. It still has the saltiness, but adds in more of the pepper to create a better rounded flavor.
This still has that nice thin-sliced, dried-crisp character that New Mexico Style jerky is known for, giving you a little bit of a crunch when you bite, but chewing down to feel like real meat, and creating some good snackability.
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