Guinness Beer Brats

I saw this product as I was walking through my local Kroger grocery store so being a fan of Guinness and a fan of brats, this product made perfect sense to me. I quickly picked one up and headed home to give them a try.

A pork sausage with a strong beer flavoring, I thought these were ok. Their main competition is probably the Hillshire Farm Miller Beer brat that we reviewed some time ago.

The Guinness brat had a stronger beer flavor and in fact was a little strong for my taste. I think the Hillshire product was better seasoned and had a milder beer taste.

If you like Guinness and you like brats I would say give these a shot (maybe even as a hair of the dog). I probably won’t buy them again but would rate them a 2.5 on a scale of 5.

Hillshire Farm Gourmet Creations – Beef with Bacon and Monterey Jack Cheese Smoked Sausage

Before writing this review I went back and looked at the last review we did for the Hillshire Farms Gourmet Collections brand and the first thing that struck me is the length of the name of their products. It takes 13 words to accurately record the name of this particular sausage. That reminded me of the old Lance Crackers commercials where the guy says “we have 12 scientists creating our products and one drunk guy naming them”. That was a funny spot.

This was a medium to fine grind sausage with slight hints of bacon. The cheese, while visually present in small pockets, added nothing in mouthfeel or flavor. Slightly smokey and just a hint of spice, overall this was not a bad sausage, it just needed more flavorful cheese.

I would rate this a 4 on a scale of 10. It wasn’t greasy and the texture was fine. The overall flavor lacked any punch so it had that “getting by for the masses” appeal that you often find in mass produced products.

 

Hormel Natural Choice Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage

This is our second review of this product line following up on Hormels Spinach Asiago Chicken sausage.

hormel jalapeno cheddar sausage

The Hormel Jalapeno Cheddar sausage is an all natural chicken sausage that’s gluten free and fully cooked. Much like their Spinach Asiago, I found this sausage to be one note – spicy from the jalapenos, with nearly no cheddar flavor or texture.  Both of these products have a clean ingredients list and a nice grind but both would be better products if they had either more cheese or a better quality cheese with a more pronounced flavor. At $4.99 for a 12oz package, this is a premium product for off the grocery store shelf sausage but unfortunately neither quite live up to the billing on the package.

I would pass on buying this again unless Hormel decides to reformulate the product with more and better cheese.

Ingredients: Dark chicken meat, cheddar cheese, vinegar, salt, jalapeno peppers, paprika, green chile peppers, spices, cilantro, roasted onions, natural flavoring

Hormel Natural Choice Spinach Asiago Sausage

This is a fully cooked chicken sausage from Hormel. The term Natural Choice means it’s 100% natural with no preservatives and the ingredients list is pretty clean.



I warmed this sausage through and then browned them slightly before eating. When you look at this sausage, there is an amazing amount of spinach and you can also see a good number of white flecks underneath the casing surface. The grind is fine and the sausage has a nice texture with a pronounced spinach taste – which is pretty nice considering spinach is such a mild tasting vegetable. Unfortunately the asiago cheese, which happens to be one of my favorites, is nearly undetectable. Asiago is such a strong tasting cheese and it seems that just a small amount against the near flavorless chicken and the mild spinach would stand out. Unfortunately that’s not the case. At $4.99 for 12 oz, this is priced as a premium product and I would consider it to be just that (for chicken sausage) if all the flavors came through.

As it is, I thought it was over priced and I wouldn’t purchase this sausage again.

Johnsonville Three Cheese Italian Style Smoked Sausage

I found this sausage to be a little confusing. Am I getting an Italian sausage with 3 cheeses? Am I getting a smoked sausage with fennel and 3 cheeses? Am I getting 3 cheeses in a smoked sausage and if so, what’s Italian Style about that?johnsonville three cheese italian style smoked sausage

Apparently it’s a smoked sausage with 3 types of cheese (Mozzarella, Parmesan, and Romano) that are of course Italian cheeses (or at least they each originated in Italy). Quite frankly I was expecting some fennel but if there was some it wasn’t apparent to me when eating this product.

This is a fine grind sausage mildly spiced and nicely smoked. There is cheese but it doesn’t stand out in any way and in fact, it was almost tasteless. As far as I could tell, the cheese brought nothing to the table which was a bit disappointing.

Overall this is a basic smoked sausage that is being sold as a premium sausage product. The packaging is two large sausages, individually wrapped which probably just adds a bit to the cost but served no purpose for me. If you can find it on sale and you are looking for a decent smoked sausage I would say this fits the bill but if you are looking for a really good smoked sausage and cheese experience this is not it.

I would not purchase this product again.

Ingredients: Pork, water, mozzerella, parmesan, romano, salt, corn syrup, sugar, garlic powder, spices, beef, sodium phosphate, dehydrated red bell pepper, onion powder, dehydrated garlic, tomato powder, yeast extract, sodium erythorbate, natural flavors, sodium nitrite, collagen casings.