Welcome back to our Hot Rod’s BBQ show. We recently sampled some of Hot Rod’s rub and today his three sauces are on the chopping block. This sauce hails from Colorado and promises a subtle Southwestern flavor. We have a “31 Pineaple-Habanero (Sweet with Heat), 55 Blueberry Hill (Smokey Blueberry) and 34 The Original (Sweet and Sassy). You know what this means? Yes, we get to have more fun on the bbq again today. Come on down and let’s try Hot Rod’s BBQ Sauce.
Pineapple, ketchup, brown sugar, sriracha , pineapple juice, agave, red wine vinegar, bourbon, lemon juice. Worcestershire, molasses, onion powder, mustard, liquid smoke c-10, ginger, cloves are the listed ingredients. Hey, wait a minute, where are the habaneros? This is supposed to be a Habanero sauce.
Aroma & Texture:
I smell smoke. Smokey ketchup, vinegar, and molasses are a few of my impressions of the aroma. The sauce is thin and fluid. The color is ketchup red. No seeds are present.
My first reaction was of smoky ketchup with a slight sting from some pepper as a finish. The other ingredients such as lemon juice, bourbon and molasses meld together to round out the flavors of this sauce. I expected pineapple flavor and it was not identifiable There was a sweetness component that most likely was from the pineapple. The pepper sting at the end was not identifiable as a habanero. The mystery pepper bite was slight leaning to the mild side.
They mystery pepper which may be sriracha or may be habanero will tip the heat meter to one star out of five.
55 Blueberry Hill
Blueberries, ketchup, bourbon, apple cider vinegar, molasses, agave, onion powder, liquid smoke c-10, garlic, allspice, white pepper, cloves and sea salt are the listed ingredients.
Aroma & Texture:
The chimney or pour spout top is opened to let the liquid smoke escape. After a few seconds go by I take another whiff and I do smell blueberries, molasses, and vinegar with more liquid smoke. The sauce is fairly fluid compared to garden varieties of super market bbq sauces. The color is deep dark purplish red. No seeds are present.
Blueberries, bourbon and agave meld together to form a sweet velvety smooth sauce that is complex. I almost want to say this is like a chocolate mole of flavors. It is intriguing this mixture of flavors. I would like to add this sauce is on the sweet side.
Ketchup, brown sugar, pineapple juice, agave, apple cider vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire, bourbon, mustard, liquid smoke C-10, chili powder, garlic, white pepper, all-spice, black peppers, and cloves are the listed ingredients.
Aroma & Texture:
Smoke, molasses, ketchup and a hint of vinegar are my first impressions. This sauce is thick and fluid. No seeds are present. It is a deep red bbq sauce color. Is there a bbq sauce color? This may be it.
Deep tomato flavor with molasses sweetening the mix is my take. The spices of chili, pepper, cloves and all-spice finish this flavor profile. I would say this sauce is rather sweet but has traditional tomato based bbq sauce flavors. There is a finish of cloves and all-spice. The liquid smoke is present.
We smoked some chicken with the 55 Blueberry Hill and the 21 Pinapple-Habanero sauces in our Weber Smokey Mountain. I was a little worried that using this sauce might be a little too smoky with the liquid smoke component. This was not the case. Both sauces worked well with the chicken. The Pineapple-Habanero had a slight pepper finish. This sauce worked well but did not ring any carnival bells. The Blueberry sauce was more complex and possibly a little sweeter. We brought both sauced chickens to a gathering at our local watering hole and everybody picked the Blueberry sauced chicken in a side by side tasting. The sweeter more complex sauce was liked by all.
We cooked some very meaty, big and bouncy beef ribs. We saved the sauce for a finishing touch. I thought this sauce was decent but definitely was on the sweet side. My wife and fellow KCBS certified BBQ judge, Ms.Goofy said this sauce was not her favorite with the all-spice and clove finish. This sauce has all the right components with an emphasis on the sweet side.
There are hundreds of bbq sauces in the market that satisfy multiple tastes and likes. We all have our different favorite flavor profiles that we prefer. Today we tried three decent sauces from Hot Rod BBQ. The consensuses was the 55 Blueberry Hill was the crowd favorite. It was sweet and complex with its blueberry component. I still am puzzled why the Habanero sauce does not have habaneros listed as an ingredient. What ever pepper it does have, it is present in a mild pepper finish. All of Hot Rod BBQ sauces have the right components. The addition of liquid smoke may be a personal preference. These sauces run on the sweet side. Hot Rod BBQ sauces will be great for many people. In my humble opinion, the flavor combinations, the sweetness and the liquid smoke, they are not my cup of tea.