Bad Buds Jerky is a brand run by Buddy Stone out of Hogansville, GA. Bad Buds has been in business since 2005. In addition to jerky, the brand also markets its own line of hot sauces.
This new Hotternhail REAPER is described as being made from Carolina Reaper Peppers, which now holds the Guinness Book of World Records as the hottest pepper on the planet, reaching as high as 2.2 million Scoville Units.
Beef, soy, spices, carolina reaper peppers
The first flavor to hit the palate is a sweetness and the natural flavor of Carolina Reaper peppers. The heat comes on right away, and comes on strong. The chewing brings in some saltiness, along with more of the natural Carolina Reaper flavor, and touches of natural meat flavor.
For being advertised as "Hotternhail REAPER", it definitely holds up well. I get a lot of the natural Carolina Reaper pepper flavor, and tons of the heat. I can taste the Reaper's fruity profile, which I actually more delicious than a Habanero or Ghost Pepper, and this jerky is able to bring that out.
Otherwise, the primary taste profile of this jerky is a combination of sugary sweet and the natural Carolina Reaper flavor. There's a moderate saltiness in the chewing, and a light natural meat flavor. I don't really pick up the soy sauce, mainly because I think the heat is so insanely intense, it's hard to focus on it.
I also have to say this is the hottest jerky I've reviewed to date. Certainly, the Carolina Reaper makes that so, but I think Bad Bud's Jerky does a great job of isolating the chile pepper's natural flavor and heat and letting you have it.
The meat consistency is very much like other varieties from Bad Bud's. It's mostly all meat, and very little stringiness, though with a faint fatty flavor. It has a good chewiness to start, but chews down to a steak-like feel. It's also rather dangerous handling, as my fingertips pick up a lot of Carolina Reaper residue. Make sure to wash your hands with soap, don't just wipe it with a napkin.
Verdict: This Hotternhail REAPER beef jerky from Bad Bud's does an excellent job of bringing out the natural flavor and heat of the Carolina Reaper pepper. You also get a simple base marinade of sweet and salty to go along with it, which I found to boost the pepper's natural fruity character. Combined with a great meat consistency, a light natural meat flavor, and steak-like chewing, I was quite impressed how a simple jerky can come out so good.
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