Note: For a more current taste review open up Maui~Licious – Sweet N’ Spicy Beef Jerky (Review #2).
Maui~Licious, Inc. is based out of San Juan Capistrano, California, which started in early 2000. As to how the beef jerky started, a beef jerky vendor approached Dr. Chuck to buy a 5 gallon bucket of their teriyaki sauce. The 5 gallon bucket was neversold, it was used to make beef jerky by Maui~Licious instead, which became a hit. Maui~Licious uses their trademark Teri-Licious sauce in the jerky, which is an old recipe dating back 75 years.
Ingredients: Beef, Teriyaki Sauce (Soy Sauce, (Water, Wheat, Soybeans and Salt) Granulated Sugar, Garlic, Ginger, Sesame Seed Oil, Minced Onion, Lavender Spice, Bourbon Flavor (Propylene Glycol, Alcohol, Caramel Color, Water, Artificial Flavors, contains Sulfites), Chili Peppers, Spices. Allergen Warnings: Sesame, Soy, Wheat
The beef used is not guaranteed to be free of growth hormones or additional antibiotics. Also, the beef is not guaranteed to have at least partial free range access to graze on grass. As a result, the highest ingredient rating that can be awarded is a Good (8/10) rating.
The most interesting ingredient is lavender spice. The scent of lavender, a flower, is said to be soothing to the human spirit, and has been used as a culinary herb for centuries. No other spice smells like lavender, and it has multiple health benefits.
Easily the worst ingredient is the bourbon flavor. Bourbon is one of the more expensive alcohols out there, where it would be much cheaper to use some sort of unhealthy, artificial flavor. Using artificial flavors is terrible, and especially propylene glycol, which is a derivative of oil.
The sugar level is extremely high at 13 grams of sugar per 28 grams of jerky. For a sweet based flavor as we have here, the preference is 5 grams of sugar or under. The salt level is a tad high at 360mg of salt per 28 grams of jerky.
For the most part, the jerky strips are fairly small in size. More or less we have medium thickness with the jerky strips, where some strips are thinner in size. There is a little bit of an oily residue left on your fingers after handling this jerky. This jerky is advertised as tender and juicy, which is true, although there is a minor caveat regarding the jerky strip texture.
Dr. Chuck graciously submitted both a 3.65 ounce/103 gram bag, and a 1.8 ounce/51 gram bag. The difference being that the 3.65 ounce/103 gram bag was vacuum sealed, the 1.8 ounce/51 gram bag is not. As a result, while not a huge difference, the smaller 1.8 ounce/51 gram bag of jerky strips were drier compared to the vacuum sealed 3.65 ounce/103 gram bag of jerky.
Being a Sweet N’ Spicy flavor, there should be a mix of hot and sweet. The first taste identified is the sweetness, but certainly not overwhelmingly. There is a definitive sesame taste in this jerky, a distinct taste that is not for everybody. Mixed with the sesame taste is the bourbon flavor, which creates a unique flavor experience. There is a soy taste, but it is somewhat masked with how strong the other flavors taste.
The spiciness of this jerky starts slow, but builds the more you go, albeit slowly. With a Sweet N’ Spicy flavor, the goal is to make the jerky spicy, but not hot. This Sweet N’ Spicy flavor achieves that goal, it’s definitely spicy, but not all that hot.
This 3.65 ounce/103 gram bag of Sweet N’ Spicy sells for $7.99. That works out to $2.18 an ounce, which rates as an average price. This jerky is certainly an upgrade on the standard fare you normally see for sale in stores, where this is a hand crafted product.
This bag certainly has some color. No labels are on this bag, everything is imprinted directly on the bag. There are colorful plants and flowers, with a body of water in the background, presumably the ocean. Above the water, the sky in the background gradually gets bluer the higher it gets, quite clever.
Slogans printed on the bag are “Gourmet”, “Tender & Juicy” and “Deliciously Flavorful”. The Teri-Licious trademark name is printed on both the front and back.
Almost all bag categories are covered. Missing are allergen alerts, and the jerky weight is not stated in grams. As stated earlier, this 3.65 ounce/103 gram bag was vacuum sealed. There is a nice blurb about Maui~Licious printed on the bag. To the credit of Maui~Licious, they provide a toll free number for any customer inquiries.
There are a number of bags displayed in this review that deserve mention.
- Photograph #1 – The front of a 3.65 ounce/103 gram bag
- Photograph #2 – The back of a 3.65 ounce/103 gram bag
- Photograph #3 – All the jerky strips.
- Photograph #4 – A close up of some strips.
- Photograph #5 – The front of a 1.8 ounce/51 gram bag
- Photograph #6 – The back of a 1.8 ounce/51 gram bag
- Photograph #7 – The front of a 1.8 ounce/51 gram bag purchased in 2011, while visiting San Clemente, California, which cost $3.99.
- Photograph #8 – The back of a 1.8 ounce/51 gram bag purchased in 2011, while visiting San Clemente, California
Order their jerky online: www.maui-licious.com