The company takes pride in its beef brisket-based jerky, using meat sourced from California. They add no MSG and no preservatives, and focus on small batches at a time.
This "Haunting Heat" variety is made with Ghost Pepper chiles, and is described by Smokehouse Jerky Co as, "This is made with real “Ghost Pepper”, fantastic taste but it’s not for the faint of heart. “It’s the hottest we make."
Beef, teriyaki sauce, granulated garlic, lemon juice, pineapple juice, ground black pepper, ghost pepper powder, ginger, salt, cayenne powder, ground red pepper.
The first flavors to hit my tongue is a light sweetness, and touches of ghost pepper flavor. The chewing brings on more ghost pepper flavor, a bit more sweet, and some teriyaki sauce.
For being marketed as "Haunting Heat", it seems to fit the bill. I can taste the unique flavor of ghost pepper chiles in this, and I do get a more sharp, more intense heat. On my personal heat scale, I'd rate this as "hot" (level 5 out of 5). It's not anywhere close to being the hottest jerky I've reviewed, however. If you like ghost pepper chiles, you'll probably find more ghost pepper flavor than heat.
Otherwise, the flavors that seem to define this jerky is largely a combination of sweet and ghost pepper flavor. The teriyaki sauce is noticeable, though not as dominant as the ghost pepper. There's also a little bit of the tanginess in the chewing.
The meat consistency is much like brisket-style jerky. It has the usual stringiness, but not as bad I've found in other brands. It's mostly dry, though some strips were noticeably moist and sticky. The chewing is easy, comparable to the company's "Ole Cracked Pepper". It has a meaty feel, and tends to have a steak-like texture.
Verdict: This "Haunting Heat" from Smokehouse Jerky Co is comparable to the company's "Oh That's Hot!" variety, but with the use of Ghost Pepper chiles and Cayenne Pepper. It seems to use the same teriyaki sauce that I liked in the "Oh That's Hot!", but it tends to step back from the spotlight and allow the ghost pepper flavor to dominate. While it certainly is quite hot, I don't think it's fully representative of the seething burn that Ghost Pepper chiles are known for, however it does offer a lot of its unique flavor.
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