Friday, November 21, 2008

Review: Smoky Mt. Cracked Black Pepper Jerky

Smoky Mountain Beef Jerky

Manufacturer: Magnolia Jerky

Flavor: Cracked Black Pepper

Weight: Four Ounces


Flavor: 4.5

Aroma: 3

Texture: 4

Appearance: 3.5

Packaging: 3

Ratings range from 1 to 5

It seems that Magnolia Jerky makes both the Smoky Mountain and Jay’s Jerky brands of jerky. I have only tried the Smoky Mountain version. The jerky comes in a transparent plastic bag that is roughly 6” by 4”. The label on the bag has a basic, rustic appeal Although the bag lacks the sleek and dynamic coloring of large, corporate jerky products, it allows you to actually see the product that you will be purchasing and eating.

Repeated from our review of their Cajun flavor

The aroma is significantly less pronounced than that of the Cajun and Sweet and Spicy versions. The soy sauce and Worcestershire seem to dominate, with just a few hints of the black pepper. Although it is enjoyable, the aroma is more subdued than I was expecting.

Of the Smoky Mountain Jerky’s that I have tried so far, the Cracked Black Pepper variant offers the most distinct and ‘clean’ flavor. The predominant flavors are the soy that seems to permeate the meat and the pepper that seems to be layered on top of the meat. The pepper is almost used as a rub or dusting and practically sizzles when eaten. The heat is considerably less then that in their spicier versions, but it is a more separated flavor that isn’t integrated into the whole of the jerky. And oddly, that’s a good thing.

I keep waiting for the Smoky Mountain product that disappoints. There are very, very few product lines that maintain quality levels across the board. Grandville’s Gourmet Sauces is one. It looks like Smoky Mountain may be another.