Wednesday, July 23, 2008

REVIEW: Sutphens Texas Thunder

Sutphens Texas Thunder Sweet Grillin’ Sauce

Manufacturer Texas Thunder BBQ

Quality **** (4 out of 5)
Viscosity **** (4 out of 5)
Aroma **** (4 out of 5)

Appearance *** (3 out of 5)

Packaging ** (2 out of 5)

This sauce was used on pulled pork and brisket, cooked ‘low and slow’ over apple and hickory. It was also used as a grilling sauce on chicken.

Well, we had a bit of a quandary with this sauce. The label says ‘grillin’ sauce but the site identifies it as a BBQ sauce. Seeing as the sauce is really good, no one had an objection to trying it on both.

The packaging on the bottle is oddly counterintuitive and it works. I’m caught between giving it a low score or a high score. I went with ‘low’. Oddly, the simple and rather plain design on a pure white background helps the bottle stand out. There is no mistaking it when looking at your sauce shelf and deciding what to try.

The package has a black bull as the manufactures icon. The image rests on a while label with red lettering. The sauce comes in a 16 oz. plastic bottle.

The sauce has a nice aroma. It mixes a sweetness with tomato elements for a pleasing result. It’s almost similar to a Memphis sauce, but it is unique unto itself. The aroma is almost an exact mirror of the flavor, just not quite as much sweetness.

The sauce is a dark red in color and lacks variation. The sauce is fairly opaque and I wasn’t able to discern any of the ingredients by viewing the liquid. The color is very consistent, both in the bottle and on the meat.

The sauce is fairly sweet, with a very pleasant tomato influence. It’s a bit strange, but the flavor is not ketchupy; as might be expected. Let’s face it, sweet + tomato = ketchup. Not here. The flavor was mild enough to not overpower the meat while pronounced enough to not lose any of its own integrity. The flavors were well integrated while still being layered.

When used as a grilling sauce it gains some sweetness and loses a bit of the tomato, but is still very enjoyable. It works particularly well on poultry, such as chicken as it melds well with the more delicate flavors.

If you happen to be on the competition circuit and see Joey Sutphen and his team, stop by and say hi. If they are selling their sauce pick it up. I hesitate to mention that it’s only $5.00, as I don’t want to give the impression that it’s a ‘bargain’ sauce. Let’s just call it a heck of a deal.


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