Review: Louisville Vegan Jerky

A little over a year ago, I learned about a new vegan jerky company called Louisville Vegan Jerky. I went to their website to see where I could buy some. At the time, the product was only available in physical stores, not for online sale, and the locations were nowhere near me. However, there was an intriguing note: vegan food bloggers could email the company and receive a free sample pack in exchange for writing a review of their product.

“Oho!” said I. “I am a vegan food blogger! This applies to me!” I emailed them, received my package, devoured the jerky, and then…didn’t write that blog post. Whoops. I was in the middle of moving, my life got very chaotic, I just didn’t get a chance to do it. And by the time I finally did have time, I didn’t remember enough about the products to write a review. Uh-oh. So I’ve been stricken with guilt ever since.

A few weeks ago, I saw an ad for this product which made me think, hmm, I wonder if they’re selling it online now. Sure enough, I was able to purchase a sample pack through their website. The price was a little steep; I probably would not have bought this at that price if it weren’t for the free-pack/write-a-review agreement that I had failed at previously. That said, I enjoyed the product enough that I would consider purchasing it again at that price — infrequently, but certainly as an “occasional treat” item.

The flavors in the pack I originally received were a little different from the flavors in the new pack. The original pack contained 4 flavors: Sriracha Maple, Bourbon Smoked Black Pepper, Bourbon Smoked Chipotle, and Sesame Teriyaki. The new pack contained 5 flavors: Sriracha Maple, Smoked Black Pepper, Smoked Chipotle, Maple Bacon, and Smokey Carolina BBQ. The ingredients lists for the “Bourbon Smoked Black Pepper” and the “Bourbon Smoked Chipotle” are identical to the ingredients lists for the “Smoked Black Pepper” and “Smoked Chipotle” respectively — none of them contain bourbon.

Overall, I definitely recommend this jerky. I prefer the texture over any other gluten-based vegan jerky I’ve tried.

Here are my reviews for each flavor, which I tasted in random order.

Smoked Black Pepper: This one is very tasty. It’s not particularly spicy, and has no unusual stand-out flavors. It is delicious, a solid jerky flavor, but it doesn’t taste especially smoky or peppery. Just plain ol’ tasty vegan jerky.

Smoked Chipotle: This one has a good smell to it which I enjoyed even before putting it in my mouth. The smokiness comes through nicely. The heat is pretty mild and doesn’t really come through until after I’ve finished chewing; as a spicy food lover I would have preferred that kick to happen right away and for the chipotle flavor to really come through. But the taste is great. This is definitely one of my favorites.

Maple Bacon: This one surprised me by being a slightly different texture than the others. It’s a little tougher, bit of a denser mouth-feel. The flavor is very nice, the smokiness and sweetness balance each other well (a little heavier on the sweet than the smoky). It is also very tasty.

Smokey Carolina BBQ: I’m not that into this one. The Dijon mustard overpowers all the other flavors in an unpleasant way, and the only other flavor I can make out is just “too sweet”. This is the only one I really disliked.

Sriracha Maple: This one is my favorite. The heat hits the minute I put it in my mouth and lingers after I’ve finished chewing. The savory and sweet flavors balance perfectly. YUM.

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