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 "Ole Cracked Pepper" variety is described by Smokehouse Jerky Co as comparable to their "Original" flavor, which I don't have, but with the additional burst of cracked peppercorns, "for an old fashioned peppery bite".
Beef, soy sauce, water, brown sugar, lemon juice, liquid smoke, garlic powder, black pepper.
The first flavors to hit my tongue is a lightly sweet, faintly smokey meat flavor. The chewing brings on some garlic and soy sauce, along with a noticeable natural meat flavor. There's a light volume of black pepper slowly building up in the background.
For being marketed as "Ole Cracked Pepper", it seems to hold up. I do get a cracked pepper flavor that starts out light but soon builds up strength over a few pieces. But it doesn't overwhelm and doesn't really add too much burn.
Otherwise, the flavors that define this jerky is largely the soy sauce and natural meat flavor, with a light garlic and of course the black pepper. It actually does have an old fashioned quality, as the Smokehouse Jerky Co describes. There's a faint tanginess in the background, which combined with the light sweet, creates a touch of excitement on the tongue.
The meat consistency is good for a brisket-style jerky. It has the usual stringiness, but not as bad I've found in other brands. The chewing is generally easy, mostly dry but still soft. It has a meaty feel, and at times even chews like pound steak.
Verdict: This Ole Cracked Pepper from Smokehouse Jerky Co does a great job of giving you a freshly cracked black pepper flavor without going overboard and making it too spicy. It manages to create a snackability that kept me reaching for more, while offering an easy chewing, without being mushy or gummy.
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