Thursday, October 9, 2008

Review: Charley Biggs Maine Apple

Charley Bigg’s Maine Apple Sauce

Manufacturer Charley Biggs

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

Appearance *** (3.5 out of 5)

Packaging **** (4 out of 5)

The majority of the sauces reviewed on the Home of BBQ website are tasted alone and on pulled pork or brisket. On occasion the sauce will be tried with ribs or chicken. If a sauce is labeled as multipurpose it will often be tried with a burger or fries. We always attempt to match the sauce with what it is recommended for on the label. Sadly, I will never try a sauce on steak. It wouldn’t be fair to me or the steak. It would be a degradation to us both.

I recently wrote a guest review of a BBQ joint that has a gluten free angle on, so it’s nice timing to present this review of a gluten free sauce.

This sauce presents a welcome, if brief respite from the non-stop invasion of the BBQ world by the KC style sauces. Like many of the other fruit influenced sauces we have reviewed, this sauce has a clean, natural aroma and taste.

The sauce comes in a 12 oz. glass bottle with a standard wide opening. The label has a violet base that shades down to a light orange as it gets toward the bottom. The packaging is simple yet elegant.

As you pour the sauce you notice two things immediately. The sauce has a ‘chunky’ consistency and the aroma immediately tells you what to expect from the flavor. The tomato is overpowered (in a good way) by the apple, molasses and sugar in the aroma. The combination of the vinegar and apple provides a spicy autumnal aromatic that is very appealing.

The sauce is fairly thick with a nice variation in its consistency. It sticks to the meat without a problem and is fine applied to the meat or acting as a dipping sauce.

The apple flavor really shines through, making this sauce a great companion for ribs or poultry. I’m not sure how well it would go with brisket, which arguably shouldn’t be served with sauce anyway. Applied to pork ribs 20 minutes prior to pulling them from the smoker should infuse the apple and the sweetness and shake up your normal flavor expectations.

If you prefer sauces that are lacking in sweetness, this might not be for you. If you do enjoy sweet sauces with natural flavors, give Mr. Biggs a try.