Thursday, October 30, 2008

Review: Charley Biggs' Sweet Bourbon

Sweet Bourbon Sauce

Manufacturer Charley Biggs’

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

Appearance *** (3.5 out of 5)

Packaging ** (2.5 out of 5)

Well, it’s nice to be back in the saddle as it were. After a brief spate of subpar sauces, I have a follow up to our earlier review of Charley Biggs’ apple based sauce. Like that earlier review, I’m happy to report that this bourbon flavored sauce exceeds expectations. Oddly, it follows a review of a disappointing Traeger bourbon sauce. Strange timing.

The sauce comes in a strong, 12 .oz bottle. The sauce pours easily and the mouth of the bottle is fairly wide. The labeling is a little too dark for my taste. It’s a dark purple that fades into a dark red. The sauce is a very solid red, which lends the bottle and labeling a darker aspect in and of itself.

The aroma is fairly strong and certainly pleasant, but by no means unique. As time goes by, I’m slowly learning that it is harder to find a unique aroma then a unique flavor. There is little hint of the bourbon flavor that the sauce is named for.

Keeping its basic form even on uneven and hot meat, the sauce has a remarkable viscosity for a liquid that pours so easily. I’m not entirely sure if this is a function of the sauce or the bottle, but it’s probably a combination of both.

The sauce is sweet, but without any artificial taste. It seems that you find this most in sauces that are fruit or honey based, but there is neither found here. It may be the prominence of the molasses (second ingredient listed) combined with the bourbon. The tomato base remains prominent enough to avoid shocking the palettes of KC sauce adherents while offering a significant variation on the standard taste.

The differences seem to lay mostly in the flavors found as the sauce lingers. There is an odd, but pleasant spice that hits about the same time as the bourbon flavor. It has a minimal but lingering heat that adds nice undertones to the sweetness.

This sauce is all natural and surprisingly versatile. In addition to the normal testing, I used it on grilled chicken and it was excellent.

As of this review, Charley Biggs is two for two.