At the time, Joe had been making his own jerky for over 20 years. He's shared it with friends and co-workers from his contracting business. When Traci lost her secretarial position, the couple decided to make a go at running a jerky company.
This "Peppered" is described by the company as simply, "...sweet with a peppery taste..."
Beef, marinade (soy sauce, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, mirin, water, dehydrated garlic, spice, modified corn starch, sunflower oil), soy sauce, spice.
The first flavors I pick up on the palate is a noticeable sweet, along with a teriyaki-like flavor. The chewing brings on a good deal of black pepper flavor, along with more of the sweet, teriyaki, in addition to soy sauce tastes.
For being labeled, "Peppered", it definitely fits the bill. The visibly sprinkled bits of coarse ground pepper give off their pungent, spicy flavor, with a little bit of its heat. It's actually a freshly cracked taste much like from a hand-grinder. On my personal heat scale, I'd rate this as "medium" (level 3 out of 5).
Otherwise, the primary taste profile is that of sweet, teriyaki sauce, with a more noticeable soy sauce, and lots of black pepper.
The meat consistency seems average compared to the large, national brands. I see a few spots of fat here and there, and I can even taste the flavor of fat in the chewing too. The chewing is actually more soft than the company's "Regular Joe" I reviewed last week, perhaps the heavier black pepper does something to the texture. The texture has some of the sticky, gummy character from the heavy sweet, but still a little bit of steak-like feel.
This "Peppered" from Joe's Wicked Beef Jerky does a good job of delivering lots of black pepper flavor with a freshly ground taste. It's really more like a sweet, teriyaki jerky laden with lots of ground pepper. Compared to the company's "Regular Joe", this Peppered leaves out the unique seasoning blend in exchange for the black pepper. But without the seasoning blend, this tends to taste like plain teriyaki, and really not at all above and beyond many competing gourmet brands. I still, however, found it enjoyable to snack on, and I think pairs great with a lighter-bodied blonde ale or craft pilsner.
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