Review: Grumpy’s Private Reserve Black Label Bar-B-Que Sauce
Take a walk down the condiment isle of your local grocery store and you will likely find at least a dozen or more different brands of barbeque sauces. And that’s just different brands, not to mention the many different varieties of flavors each of those brands has to offer. So it goes without saying that the barbeque sauce industry is cluttered with an abundance of offerings and is thus fiercely competitive. But what is unfortunate about those sauces found on your local grocer’s shelves is that they mostly all taste the same and are of the same ilk. They are all the “plain vanilla” thick tomato-based variety that mostly taste like smoky ketchup. It’s a crap shoot when trying one for the first time, and as has been the case with me many times, mostly turn out to be a big disappointment.
So when a bottle of Grumpy’s Private Reserve Black Label Bar-B-Que sauce landed at my front door, I had mixed emotions. One side of me was really excited to taste it in hopes of finally finding that one BBQ sauce that stands out from the rest, and the other side of me just didn’t want to be let down and wreck another perfectly good slab of baby back ribs. I noticed the bottle was numbered, 26 of 550. I was intrigued that this was some sort of a limited edition sauce and decided to check their website for more information. Unfortunately I couldn’t find this particular sauce or any information about it on their site. I did however notice that their other three sauces are all award winners, so I was optimistic that this sauce would be the standout I’ve been looking for.
Grumpy’s Private Reserve Black Label Bar-B-Que sauce is thick and rich and has a really nice deep redish brown color with little flecks of black which I suspect are from the black pepper. The viscosity is near perfect. Not to thick and not to thin. It pours nicely from the bottle and sticks and slathers well onto meats on the grill. I too a big whiff and the aroma was a really nice mix of hickory, tomatoes, vinegar, peppers and a hint of mustard. It seemed to have a bit more going on than most other tomato based BBQ sauces and my first taste proved that to be right. A sweet and tangy tomato flavor is immediately followed up by the heat of the hot sauce and cayenne pepper. Not a ton of heat, just enough to warm your mouth. True chiliheads will probably find it a bit weak in this category, but it is perfect for the average consumer. The overall flavor is really good.
INGREDIENTS: Brown sugar, water, tomato paste (tomatoes), apple cider vinegar (diluted with water up to 5% acidity), hot sauce (peppers, vinegar, salt), liquid smoke (water, natural hickory smoke flavor, vinegar, molasses, caramel color), black pepper, cayenne pepper, spices, kosher salt, oriental hot mustard (mustard, turmeric).
5183 East 126th Court
Thornton, Colorado 80241