Thursday, May 29, 2008

REVIEW: Fork and Halo - Original Sin

Fork and Halo Original Sin BBQ Sauce

Wicked Good BBQ

Quality **** (4.5 out of 5)
Viscosity *** (3 out of 5)
Aroma ** (2.5 out of 5)
Appearance *** (3 out of 5)
Packaging **** (4 out of 5)

This sauce was used on pulled pork and brisket that were cooked low and slow. The opinions are both mine and Will Breakstone’s, owner and pit-master of Willie B’s Award Winning BBQ.

The sauce is a strong red color and comes in a glass bottle. The labeling is unique and stands out, with a heaven/hell dichotomy caricature being highlighted. The label is red with a yellow sun burst. In the sunburst is an image of a devil with a halo. The devil has the visage of a pig. I'm not sure if I totally get the imagery, but it's cute and memorable.

There is a nice viscosity to Original Sin and the sauce pours well. It is thick enough to adhere to the meat without being ‘gloopy’.

The aroma of the sauce is mild, which is surprisingly a plus when it comes to sauces that are not spicy. It usually means that the sauce is low on artificial ingredients. That truism is born out in this case, as the ingredient list is free of many of the problematic ingredients in other sauces. There are strong indicators of sweetness in the aroma, especially the apple and honey.

Here is what the manufacturer has to say about this sauce ‘Try ORIGINAL SIN for a BBQ sauce that's sweet, but not too sweet, with a devilish touch of heat and a hint of apple.’

Let me start out by saying that this is a very strong BBQ sauce. The quality is evident in the packaging, aroma, taste and ingredient selection. To find fault with the sauce I have to contrast the description by the manufacturer to the actual product. This amounts to nitpicking, but I’ll note it anyway.

Although there are three ingredients listed that would indicate that there is heat present and the descriptor for this sauce includes ‘a devilish touch of heat’, there was none detectable. There was a certain boldness of flavor, but no heat of note. Ok, there we go. That pretty much sums up the list of problems with this sauce.

I apologize for the lack of appropriate descriptors here, as my vocabulary is failing me at the moment, but the sauce has a certain ‘cleanness’ to it. The flavors are crisp and distinct and lack that cloying, muddled aspect that many mass produced sauces exhibit. The apple offers a secondary aspect to the sweetness that is a nice counterpoint to the honey. It helps to round out the flavor and adds to the overall experience.

For those that insist on labels, I’d say that this is what a KC sauce should be. In reality, it defies categorization. Give the sauce a shot, you won’t be disappointed.


post signature

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

REVIEW: Little Boy's BBQ Sauce

Little Boys Thick and Tasty BBQ Sauce

Little Boys Sauces

Quality *** (3out of 5)
Viscosity *** (3 out of 5)
Aroma ** (2.5 out of 5)
Appearance *** (3 out of 5)
Packaging *** (3 out of 5)

This sauce was used on pulled pork and that was cooked low and slow over cherry wood.

This was a fun sauce to review because it offered something new, and not in taste. This sauce had a strangely seductive property to it. I tried the sauce with pulled pork, so it wasn’t cooked on the meat as much as finished with it. I tried the meat and thought that the sauce was a bit plain and overly ‘ketchupy’. Ok, I was done. I tried it again and noticed a bit more depth. Fine. Now I was done. I tried it a third time and reconfirmed my earlier opinions. Ok, it was time to leave. I sat back and tried some more. You can’t stop eating this stuff and I don’t know why.

The aroma is mild and the sauce is dark red. Seeds and other ingredients are visible in the sauce through the glass in the bottle. The sauce comes in a 12 oz glass bottle that has a nice, understated label. The label is black and tan with mostly white labeling.

The sauce has a nice viscosity and offers a pleasant vinegar tang after the initial sweetness. There is some spice, but it’s mild.

I’m recommending this sauce, but for the life of me I don’t know why. It wasn’t remarkable in any way except for the fact that I couldn’t stop eating it.


post signature

Monday, May 26, 2008

Rambling: Memorial Day 2008

On this Memorial Day I would like to take a moment to respectfully thank the men and women who have served and are serving in our military so that we can enjoy all of the bounty that our nation offers.

Their sacrifices are the guarantors of our freedoms, privileges and liberties. I pray that we never forget that. Please take a moment to reflect on their service today as you spend time with friends and loved ones.


post signature

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ramblings: 2008 Peoples Choice BBQ Awards

2008 Peoples Choice BBQ Awards – Sauce

On May 31st we will be hosting the party from which the 2008 Peoples Choice BBQ Awards will be chosen.

In addition to the sausage categories that were discussed earlier, there will be two BBQ sauce categories. Standard (KC style) and Specialty (anything else). We will be using a blind tasting system and the sauce will be on ribs that have been slow cooked over hickory and apple.

In addition to many of the sauces that you have seen on this site, we will be evaluating high-end private label sauces and sauces such as Krafts that can be purchased at any local supermarket.

This is a contest for the everyday person. The only Certified BBQ Judges present will be the ones cooking.

We will be presenting a synopsis of the event in early June and will give full details on the winning products. The manufacturers will have a prominent link on the website until the 2009 Peoples Choice BBQ Awards.

What are some of your favorite sauces?


post signature

Thursday, May 22, 2008

REVIEW: Raspberry Chipotle Sauce

Fischer Wieser Roasted Raspberry Chipotle Sauce
Fischer Wieser

Quality *** (3.5 out of 5)
Viscosity *** (3.5 out of 5)
Aroma *** (3.5 out of 5)
Appearance *** (4 out of 5)
Packaging **** (3 out of 5)

This sauce was used on pulled pork, brisket and chicken that were all cooked low and slow with a variety of woods.

I have to be very careful here, as this sauce was being used straight out of the bottle as a BBQ sauce, but is not labeled as one. I feel that I’m doing the manufacturer a bit of a disservice as I’m reviewing them in a category that they never claimed to be a part of. The star ratings synopsis above doesn’t paint a complete picture, so please read further.

Even though this isn’t a BBQ sauce per se, it is better than the majority of the sauces available at your local supermarket for your ‘Q straight out of the bottle. If you follow the manufacturer’s advice to modify the base sauce into a BBQ sauce the end result goes from ‘good’ to ‘excellent’. Mixing like amounts of the sauce to cider vinegar provides the ‘pop’ and nuance that elevates the eating experience.

The sauce comes in an 18oz. glass bottle and it pours well (although the sauce is thick). The label is a simple light color with purple and black lettering that matches the sauce. The bottle came with an attached booklet that offered a variety of recipes.

A strong raspberry aroma wafts from the sauce. The aroma is very pleasing and hard not to notice, but it strangely has no elements of the chipotle. The sauce is a dark red, bordering on purple. It is chunky and thick when used straight from the bottle.

If you prefer not to alter the sauce, it would make a great glaze for ribs. There is a nice sweetness to the sauce that is a bit intense. The raspberry flavor is present immediately and it lingers through the tasting. The chipotle kicks in after the sweetness hits and offers a nice counterpart for the flavor. When cider vinegar is added the sweetness is ameliorated and a pleasing ‘tang’ is offered.

This is a well made and versatile sauce that deserves your attention. Give it a shot.


post signature

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Peoples BBQ Choice Award

photo by Curt McAdams, copyright 2007, all rights reserved

On May 31st this site will be cooking up a bunch of 'Q for regular folks and hosting a 'Peoples BBQ Choice' tasting party. We will be providing an array of sausages and BBQ sauces for the guests and they will be offering their votes on who is the 'Peoples Choice'. The winning manufacturer will receive notice on this site that will stay up until our next 'Peoples Choice' contest, a plaque and a letter of congratulations.

I feel that the Home of BBQ often overlooks the casual BBQ fan and emphasizes the concerns of the hardcore enthusiast. This contest is an effort to rectify that oversite. The palette of the every day fan isn't overburdened by preconceptions of what 'true' BBQ should be. They know what they like. There is a purity to that outlook and it shouldn't be derided.

We will have some of the biggest names in the business involved in the contest. In the Sausage tasting there will be both a 'standard' and a 'specialty' category.

The sauces will parallel the sausage categories, but the 'standard' will be KC styles.

The results and photos will be posted during the first week in June.

post signature

Monday, May 19, 2008

INTERVIEW: Gregg Meyer: Meyer's Smokehouse

Sadly, great BBQ isn’t available everywhere. If you are in one of those areas without great BBQ joints and you aren’t inclined to make your own, your options are limited. We wanted to take a look at some of the premier mail-order BBQ companies and get a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse at how they got started and how they operate.

We were lucky enough to start out with Gregg Meyer of Meyer’s Smokehouse. The Meyer family also owns and operates Meyer’s Elgin Sausage, a giant in the field of sausages and a Texas landmark.

Enjoy the interview!

Q. Can you give us a little background on Meyer’s Smokehouse?

Meyer's Smokehouse opened on Feb 13, 1998. The original business was called Biggers BBQ and had been open in Elgin since the mid 60s. Mr. Biggers passed away in 94 and his sister ran the business until we purchased it from her in 98. Mr. Biggers worked for a local brick company for over 30 years, which is evidenced by the glazed tiles and large custom brick used in the restaurant interior.

P.S. - Meyer's Smokehouse was almost never opened, as we tried to burn the place down the night before.

We were trying to open on Thurs, Feb 12, but could not get everything prepared, so we had to open on Fri the 13th. We were using some old family branding irons to burn emblems into the rough cedar above the serving line. The cedar was obviously very old and dry, because after coming down the ladder after burning into the wood, my wife said "the wood is on fire"! I turned around and saw the cedar catching on fire, looking like the burning map at the start of the old tv show Bonanza. The only thing I had available to put out the flames with was a stack of plastic to go sacks sitting on the counter, but they did the trick.

Q. For those that can’t make it to you, you offer mail-order. Do you find that you are serving customers that have heard of you from Meyer’s Smokehouse or are you creating brand new customers?

When we opened Meyer's Smokehouse, we found many of the customers were familiar with us through our other business, Meyer's Elgin sausage. We have been making sausage since my grandfather started the company in 1949, and sell sausage throughout the state of Texas and beyond, so many folks were familiar with the sausage and the brand name. Over the years, we have created many new customers due to our location on hwy 290 between Austin and Houston. many of our mail order customers are shipping our sausage and brisket after they moved away from the central Texas area and can't find good bbq in California, New York or wherever.

Q. How are people finding you? Are word-of-mouth and personal recommendations a key to your success?

Word of mouth is always the most trusted form of advertising, and from the e-mails we get from our customers, they like to spread the bbq gospel by telling friends and family about the sausage capital of Texas. Our new web site has also been a great help.

Q. How did you decide what items you would include on your mail-order menu?

In order to do mail order outside your state, you have to ship from a federally inspected plant. Our sausage manufacturing plant, Meyer's Elgin sausage, is federally inspected, so all items are smoked and shipped from that location. Sausage is our biggest selling item, so we started with that. We later added the smoked briskets, smoked turkey breasts, and this year we will have our pork ribs ready to ship.

Q. What do you do to separate yourself from your competitors?

As far as I know, we are the only ones in the bbq business in Texas to season our meats using the vacuum tumbling method. Most bbq is either seasoned by hand with a dry rub or marinated in a seasoned liquid. Vacuum tumbling uses a piece of equipment (vacuum tumbler) where the meat, such as brisket, ribs, turkey or chicken is placed in a stainless steel drum, along with the spices and water. The drum is sealed and a vacuum is pulled on the interior of the drum. The drum is positioned horizontally and rotated, so the meat is picked up and dropped inside the rotating drum. The fibers of the meat are also pulled apart while under vacuum, allowing the spices and water to penetrate the meat. This process produces and evenly seasoned meat every time, and the water added to the meat adds juciness.

Consistency on our smoked meats combined with consistency on our sausage(ingredients and meat formulation has not changed since the 70s.

Q. Do you prepare your foods on site?

All of our meats, with the exception on the sausage, is seasoned by vacuum tumbling, at our restaurant. This allows us to serve the same flavor in our meats every day. We go through 3-4 20 gal drums of our bbq sauce weekly, so we have it made at a private labeler who also bottles our bbq sauce for the grocery stores.

Q. Do you plan on expanding your menu in the future?

We added bbq pork steaks to our menu about 18 months ago and baked potatoes last spring. We have a few items that the research and development department (ME) is working on, but nothing we are talking about yet.

Q. Do you do any special advertising or marketing for events, such as turkeys for Thanksgiving, brisket for Passover or ribs for the Superbowl?

We offer turkey dinner packs at Thanksgiving and Christmas. The meals include whole smoked turkeys or turkey breasts, Grandma Meyer's dressing and gravy, seasoned green beans, cranberry sauce and rolls. I usually stay up all night the Monday before thanksgiving to fix the dressing, gravy and green beans.

Q. If someone was going to tell a friend about Meyer’s Smokehouse, what would you hope that they discuss?

We get notes and e-mails from our customers all the time, telling about how a friend of theirs usually goes to BBQ X OR Y, but they finally talked them into trying Meyer's and now we have a new customer, since they liked our food better. OUR CUSTOMERS ARE OUR BEST CHEERLEADERS.

Q. How did you personally get started in BBQ?

My brother and I had grown up in the sausage business. We both did other things after we got out of school, but when our father died, we came back to help our mother run the business. We always talked about how a bbq restaurant would be a natural extension of the sausage business, a place to sell our sausage. It has become much more than that and is now sending our bbq customers home to look for Meyer's sausage in their local grocery stores or ship it via the internet.

Q. If you were ordering BBQ from a region of the country other than your own, what food would you order?

I have ordered ribs from Memphis and they were pretty good, although I think ours are as good, naturally. I would like to try some pulled pork from the Carolina based bbqs.

Q. If you ship internationally do you have to adhere to the food regulations of the recipient nation? How do you find out what those are?

Because of the perishable nature of our bbq meats, we do not ship internationally.

Q. If our readers wanted to learn more about Meyer’s Smokehouse, where could they go?

Our website,, is a great place to learn about Meyer's smokehouse. My sister-in law Becky runs the restaurant, and is a good source of information, or you can e-mail me directly at .


post signature

Thursday, May 15, 2008

REVIEW: Ole Rays Classic Gold

Ole Ray’s Classic Gold Barbecue & Cooking Sauce

Ole Ray’s Sauces

Quality **** (4 out of 5)
Viscosity **** (4 out of 5)
Aroma *** (3.5 out of 5)
Appearance *** (4 out of 5)
Packaging **** (4 out of 5)

This sauce was used on pulled pork, smoked bologna and smoked pastrami.

As with most of Ole Ray’s sauces, the Classic Gold comes with an impressive resume. You can view their array of awards on their website (see above) by clicking on the Awards/News tabs.

This sauce comes in a 12oz glass bottle. The bottle has a nice heft to it. You may see reference to the quality of the glass in a number of our reviews. In general there are three categories of sauce bottles. There is the near ubiquitous plastic bottle where quality variance in the plastic is negligible. There is the ‘step up’ bottle that is glass as opposed to plastic, but is made of thin and cheap glass. The bottles employed by Ole Ray’s belong in the third category of glass that is well made and not designed to cut corners.

The labeling on the bottle is black with gold lettering, nicely matching the color of the sauce itself. I’m relatively sure that it wasn’t intentional, but there are black specks (pepper?) in the sauce; so the color schemes match perfectly. Incidental, but a nice touch. The sauce itself is a rich, golden color. It’s a tad darker than a standard mustard sauce, but is still visually appealing.

The aroma offers the user traits of both the sweetness in the sauce and the mustard. The ‘mustardy’ profile is less overpowering than in many mustard sauces. The aroma is slightly less powerful than the taste.

This is a mild sauce, but that might be misleading. The sauce offers a very distinct flavor. Many sauces labeled as ‘mild’ are easily overpowered by the flavors of what they are being put on or of other ingredients. Although the sauce is certainly mild, that doesn’t mean that they have sacrificed taste or flavor.

I would use it sparingly, especially on chicken. When compared to a vinegar based sauce or a traditional Kansas City sauce, less is more with Ole Ray’s Golden Classic. You don’t need to slather (used as an descriptor, not a noun) your meat with this sauce to enjoy it.

It is easy to see how and why Ole Ray’s Golden Classic sauce has won the accolades that are displayed on their website. This is a quality sauce that would be enjoyed by any fan of sauces with a mustard base.

SIDE NOTE: I’m cooking up some BBQ for a party later this month. We are expecting over a hundred guests. I’m going to be offering an array of sauces and seeing which sauce is the most popular with the guests. I’ll be presenting an unofficial ‘Peoples Choice’ award based on their preferences.

I’m helping to organize a small contest here on Long Island in June and I’m going to enlist the aid of a dozen or so fellow Certified BBQ Judges to run a ‘heads up’ bracketed sauce competition. I’ll be entering this sauce in both of these events and I’ll report back.


post signature

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Cowboy Chris Mild

Cowboy Chris’ Mild Barbecue Sauce

Manufacturer: Cowboy Chris’ Barbecue Sauce

Quality *** (3.5 out of 5)
Viscosity *** (3 out of 5)
Aroma *** (3 out of 5)
Appearance *** (3.5 out of 5)
Packaging **** (4 out of 5)

This sauce was used on pulled pork, and brisket that were cooked low and slow over cherry wood. The opinions are both mine and Will Breakstone’s, owner and pit-master of Willie B’s Award Winning BBQ.

It seems that Cowboy Chris’ Barbecue Sauce is a new and rather small manufacturer that offers a mild and a hot BBQ sauce as well as a wing sauce. ‘Cowboy Chris’ is not a Madison Ave. moniker. The founder of the company is a rodeo fan and grew up in a family that shared that passion.

The sauces come in 18oz plastic bottles that allow for easy pouring of this slightly loose sauce. The sauce is a light orange’ish color and has a mild, sweet aroma. The aroma is on par to the taste. Mild but pleasing.

The sauce has a combination of standard ingredients (ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, etc.) but they have struck an excellent balance. The taste isn’t unique or off the beaten path, but it is well made and the flavors are properly integrated. There is subtle layering and no one taste dominates.

Overall the taste lives up to its label as being ‘mild’ and it also offers a significant sweetness. This sauce offers a pleasing bulk to it. The aroma might lead you to believe that the sauce is wispy and ethereal, without significant body or heft. There is a surprising substance to the sauce and it offers a significant impact on the food you are placing it on. The sweetness isn’t all that’s being offered to the palette.

The sauce has barely visible ingredients that are pleasing when chewed. As should be obvious to regular readers, I enjoy sauces that provide at least a hint of texture. I’m assuming that there are minced onions or peppers that are represented, but the opaque sauce makes it hard to tell.

Cowboy Chris’ Mild Barbecue Sauce is a good sauce offered at a fair price. I look forward to seeing where they take their product line in the future.

*Sauce pictured is the 'hot' version.


post signature

Friday, May 9, 2008

REVIEW: Tassleberry Farm Strawberry BBQ Sauce

Tassleberry Farm Strawberry BBQ Sauce
Tassleberry Farm

Quality **** (4 out of 5)
Viscosity *** (3 out of 5)
Aroma **** (4 out of 5)
Appearance **** (4.5 out of 5)
Packaging **** (4 out of 5)

This sauce was used on pulled pork and brisket that was cooked low and slow over cherry wood. The opinions are both mine and Will Breakstone’s, owner and pit-master of Willie B’s Award Winning BBQ.

Tassleberry Farm is located in central NY and they are a strawberry farm that manufactures their own strawberry products. It is heartening to see a supplier who is producing a product from their own harvest as opposed to using an outside purveyor. We have seen this once before with our review of the Chukar Cherry sauce and we were extremely impressed with their product. Tassleberry Farm makes it ‘2 for 2’, as this sauce is a hit.

This BBQ sauce comes in a 16oz. bottle with an elegant label. The packaging doesn’t have that homey, rural look that a lot of sauces (often from major metropolitan cities) strive for, and I like that. If this was purposeful, it was a great choice. Going contrarian accentuates that this sauce is well off the beaten path for the standard BBQ condiments. The labeling and bottling have a decided epicurean feel to them and they stand out.

The sauce is a dark, rich red that offers a wonderful aroma. The aroma represents a significant sweetness that is not as prominent in the taste. The sauce is very thick and should not be used as a glaze or a mop. As a matter of fact, when you are preparing to use this sauce, be patient. It doesn’t pour easy, but it’s worth the wait.

I was expecting a very sweet sauce with a strong emphasis on the strawberry flavor profile. I was surprised to find that the sweetness of the strawberry was downplayed and the basic flavor was highlighted. We may be of a like mind in finding it hard to mentally separate the sweetness from the inherent strawberry flavor. Tasting this sauce was a revelation.

The sauce has a slight sweetness, but offers a very deep flavor. The interesting mix of the tomato, strawberry and the strawberry’s pickling agent offers a very unique flavor that is appealing on both lighter subjects such as chicken and stronger meats such as brisket. The strawberry seeds offer a nice crunch and a variation on the mouthfeel. The taste lingers in the pleasantly in the mouth with hints of paprika and vinegar (possibly from the pickling agent).

This sauce is very highly recommended for true BBQ. I’m not sure if I would use it for grilling burgers and the like, but it is definitely coming out of the refrigerator for a BBQ I’m cooking for at the end of the month.


post signature

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

REVIEW: EZ Earl's Smokin-Hot Sauce

EZ Earl Smokin-Hot Sauce

Manufacturer Branding Iron Foods


Quality **** (4.5 out of 5)
Viscosity *** (3 out of 5)
Heat **** (4.5 out of 5)
Appearance **** (4 out of 5)

This sauce was used on pulled pork and brisket that was cooked low and slow with apple wood and oak.

EZ Earls Smokin-Hot Sauce comes in a 15oz glass bottle. The sauce is thick, but pours easily. The bottle has a nice heft to it. The label has the image of an individual that I assume is Earl in iconic western regalia. The overall visual impression is strong and stands out amongst other sauces.

The aroma of the sauce is pleasing and has a nice ‘tang’ to it. It indicates the flavor, but not the intensity, of what is to come.

The sauce is a rich, dark red coloring. Regular readers will note that there are three general ‘looks’ for sauces. The first is a mustard sauce, which will range from a light to a golden yellow color. The second is the traditional KC style sauce that is reddish in color and regular without color variation. The third are sauces that have ingredients that are visible in the sauce. These are usually a darker color or are unusual varieties (sadly, the classic vinegar sauces fall into the ‘unusual’ category). I prefer the sauces that allow you to see seeds or bits of onion and peppers. EZ Earls does a great job giving you a preview of what you are going to be tasting. The seeds are clearly visible and to me at least, it makes the sauce that much more appealing.

As long as we are drawing comparisons, let’s discuss heat. There are two types of ‘hot’ BBQ sauce. The first spicy BBQ sauce is for the average consumer that purchases their sauce at their local grocery store. The sauce is often labeled as ‘bold’ or ‘spicy’. It’s usually neither. The second category is the sauce produced by a manufacturer who knows heat and produces sauces for the scoville aficionado. Unfortunately, these manufacturers are often more interested in the heat than the flavor.

Branding Iron Foods knows heat. Thankfully, they also know flavor and find no reason to sacrifice one for the other. This is a quality sauce that provides a serious kick. For a ‘heat head’ I would rate the heat a 7 out of 10. It’s not going to burn your tongue, but it is going to give you something to remember. A number of the hotter sauces will offer a sweet background to offset the spice (look for the upcoming review of the excellent Tassleberry Farms Strawberry Jerk Sauce as an example). EZ Earl goes in a different direction and offers a savory complement to the heat that provides an excellent base, but a less severe contrast.

The flavor lingers nicely with an enjoyable heat and without the burn that seriously hot sauces often induce. I would NOT use this sauce with chicken or fish. It might make an interesting marinade for the chicken, but not a sauce. Stronger meats would pair well with EZ Earl’s Smokin-Hot Sauce.

This is one of the highest quality spicy BBQ sauces that I have had the pleasure to taste. I recommend it highly to anyone that enjoys serious heat in their ‘Q.


post signature

Friday, May 2, 2008

REVIEW: Grandvilles Extra Spicy

Grandville’s Gourmet BBQ Sauce Extra Spicy

Manufacturer Grandville’s Gourmet BBQ Sauce Extra Spicy

Quality **** (4.5 out of 5)
Viscosity **** (5 out of 5)
Aroma **** (4 out of 5)
Spice **** (4 out of 5)
Appearance ***** (5 out of 5)
Packaging *** (3 out of 5)

This sauce was used on pulled pork and brisket that was cooked low and slow over cherry wood. The opinions are both mine and Will Breakstone’s, owner and pit-master of Willie B’s Award Winning BBQ.

This is our second review of a Grandville’s sauce and nothing much has changed. They are still an excellent, top tier sauce. The tropical and spicy sauces are similar to one another while oddly disparate. Quite often a spicy BBQ sauce will be the same sauce as the manufacturers ‘base’ or ‘mild’, but jacked up. Grandville’s seems to make a serious effort to provide separate and distinct flavor profiles. The constant in this equation is the first class quality.

The sauce comes in an 18 oz. mason like jar. The packaging is a little cartoony, with an anthropomorphized pepper on the label. The packaging works fine, providing a distinct look for the brand.

The sauce has a nice ‘fruity’ and natural aroma that is not indicative of the heat. The aroma seemed a bit stronger in this sauce as opposed to their tropical variety.

The sauce itself is a dark red with a great viscosity. Notice I said viscosity, not consistency. The sauce has sizeable chunks of ingredients that improves the overall mouthfeel and appearance. It is a serious departure from the overly pureed KC style sauces that we see so often.

There is an initial sweetness to this sauce that accents the substantial heat that comes your way a short while later. If a 10 is the hottest commercial BBQ sauce you will find, this is a 7. That isn’t a very expansive description of the heat factor. You have to also take into account the integration of the various flavors, whether the heat offers anything but scovilles and how the heat lingers. This sauce passes with flying colors on all accounts.

There should be one, small editorial note: I truly enjoy spicy foods more than the average person. What for me is a 7 on the heat level might be significantly higher for you.


post signature