Friday, November 13, 2009

Trigger's BBQ Sauce

BBQ Sauce of the Month Club

Trigger’s BBQ Sauce

Manufacturer Trigger Beeler

Quality *** (3 out of 5)
Viscosity *** (3 out of 5) This is a measure of thickness, not quality
Aroma *** (3 out of 5)
Appearance ** (2.5 out of 5)
Packaging ** (2 out of 5)

Trigger’s BBQ sauce is a product of Texas, an area reputed to have a love/hate relationship with BBQ sauce. According to their website, the sauce is the end result of years of research and testing, conducted in a small diner founded and run by Trigger himself. Trigger was a diabetic and his influence led to a sauce that is (as claimed on their site) low in sugar and salt.

In spite of the claims to be sugar conscious, sugar is the second ingredient in the sauce and part of the fourth. That isn’t always the best barometer to judge the total content, as the ingredient listing will give you the order of ingredients from most to least, but it doesn’t give you a ratio. Trigger’s is definitely not as sweet as the majority of the KC style sauces out there.

The sauce comes in a standard glass bottle. It’s serviceable, sturdy and has a lip that is wide enough to allow for easy pouring. Unfortunately, it has a dark and muddled label wrapped around it. In an effort to capture the feel of an old time ‘wanted’ poster, they darkened the already muted tan label. In this area they included a black and white picture of (I believe) Trigger that is further muddled.

If they expect their product to ‘pop’ when on the shelf, they have made some serious marketing errors. Thankfully, I care about the contents of the bottle much more than the labels.

The sauce has a strong and pleasing aroma that avoids the overly sweet notes that most store bought sauces offer. Hints of spice emanate from a deep tomato base.

The sauce pours easily, but avoids pooling. Neither a thick sauce like the worst of the KC styles, nor a thin sauce such as the Carolina specimens, Trigger’s walks a middle road and doesn’t suffer for it. The sauce is a bit darker than normal, but not much. There is no visual contrast whatsoever. There are no visible spices of small chunks of onion.

The sauce has a surprising amount of heat that hits after the other traits have dissipated. In spite of this, there is little vibrancy to the sauce. No individual flavors stand out and, like the labeling, the sauce is just a bit muddled. I appreciated the level of ‘sweet’ found in the sauce and I also like that the sauce won’t detract from or overwhelm the meat.

I enjoyed the sauce and would not be disappointed to have it used on my ‘Q, but lacks anything that makes it truly distinctive. This is a good sauce that is struggling to make it to excellent.

Repeated from the first BBQ Sauce of the Month review:

The BBQ Sauce of the Month Club sends its constituents 2 sauces every month. The cost for a one year membership comes out to roughly $9.00 a bottle and that includes shipping. For quality sauces that are difficult to find elsewhere, it seems like a bargain. In early July I will have had enough of a sample to comment knowledgeably on their shipping.

Along with the sauce there is a brief newsletter that talks about the current months selections. The sauces arrive well packed in a cardboard box. Their site (see above for link) claims that they test dozens of sauces a month (at a minimum). This volume would seem to allow them room for selectivity.

Aside from delivery to your door and the screening by their tasters, you also have the benefit of receiving a discount on purchases of sauces that you particularly like and would enjoy more of. It seems that the discount varies, but the courteous salesperson I spoke with when enquiring said that they would be happy to let a member know what the discount would be if they gave them a call (see above for phone number).

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