03 September 2015

BBQ SAUCE OF THE WEEK: SuckleBusters


Who says they don't use barbecue sauce in Texas? SuckleBusters call themselves "The Best in Texas" and they've got the accolades to back up that claim - Scovies, NBBQA awards, American Royal wins and more. The brand, created by Dan and Cheryl Arnold, has really blown up in recent years and is now available at over 350 retail locations across the country. They've now got a massive product line that includes rubs, sauces, salsas, chili kits and even jellies and preserves. If variety is the spice of life, SuckleBusters is truly bustin' with flavor.

Take their barbecue sauces, for example - they've got six...six!...different sauces. It all starts with the Original. It's refreshingly thin (first ingredient: vinegar), with a glossy amber color and a nice smooth texture. And although the aroma is pretty pedestrian, the flavor packs a lot of punch. It's tangier and spicier than most barbecue sauces in this style, resulting in a taste that's bright and crisp at first and warm on the finish.

From there, you can go in several different directions with SuckleBusters' other offerings. The Honey version tilts the balance away from tanginess and toward sweetness, bordering on too sweet. The Spicy Peach is tangier AND sweeter than the original, unmistakably peachy and more heat forward. It's a little thicker too. Hot and Spicy is very similar to the original, although somehow actually less spicy. The Chipotle and Gold flavors seem cut from a different cloth. Chipotle is darker, thicker and noticeably chunkier than the others. It's hotter and smokier, with a mellower sweetness, and it is probably my favorite. The Gold is much thicker and stickier. The mustard flavor is strong, but there are also notes of apple and a strong jolt of jalapeno - in fact, this is probably the spiciest of all the sauces. It is tasty, but it's not hard to imagine it overpowering many things you'd put it on.

Report Card
Original: A
Honey: B
Spicy Peach: A-
Hot and Spicy: B+
Chipotle: A
Gold: B+

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