Borderline Gourmet Chipotle BBQ Sauce & Marinade (1/5)

Borderline Gourmet Chipotle BBQ Sauce & Marinade

After a new baby daughter and a hard drive crash, I’m back up and saucing. So first off, thanks to the friendly woman who sent me the free samples of Borderline Gourmet’s Chipotle and Habanero. And aahh… well… you just might not want to read the rest…

Unlike Eric, who was kind in his review over at Home of BBQ, I have no tolerance for bad “sauce.” And yes, borderline is a pretty weird name for a company, considering it’s synonyms are mediocre, so-so, and “pretty good.” I also think of Madonna when I hear the word Borderline – being a child of the 80’s.

Borderline … feels like I’m goin’ to lose my mind
You just keep on pushin’ my love (of BBQ) over the borderline
Borderline …

Enough of the material girl – on to the review!


Pungent enough to sear your nose just slightly. One of the most malodorous sauces I’ve had the pleasure of sniffin. A substitute for smelling salts perhaps?

The Taste

What is the opposite of really good. Did someone forget to taste this before it left the test labs? Did this get mixed up with the finished product? Can it really taste this bad? Unfortunately the answer is yes.

The Consistency

First ingredient: water. They should list it as the second and third ingredient too, because it moves around the bottle not like a BBQ sauce, but like a marinade or a juice even. And even though they call it a BBQ sauce and marinade, it doesn’t cut it. You can’t baste with something this thin. Maybe it works for folks who simply pour sauce into a pan along with the meat, but when you’re grillin’ you need something with enough thickness to hang onto the meat. I have a tough time with thin sauces, but it’s not usually the death penalty to those who violate. But this… is a remarkably thin sauce. It pays to know your reviewer. I like sauce the same way I like breasts – thick! Of course I’m talking about chicken…

The Ingredients

I have decided to stop listing each company’s full ingredient list… takes double the review time and adds limited color commentary. Instead I intend to inform you of interesting factoids based on my improving understanding of my BBQ sauce ingredients…

First off, the whole too-much-water thing hurts and hurts bad.. New ingredient for me – Anchovy paste. mmHmm. Indication of a very large processing plant environment (manufactured in a facility that processes dairy, soy, wheat, peanuts, and other tree nuts), which again impacts the review.

Marketing and Packaging

I’ve always thought that gold detailing on black cars was cheesy and it looks even worse on BBQ sauce. The label shows no real sign of care or concern to highlight the unique flavor of this specific sauce. The text is awful – they have a carbon copy block of text which is on both of their sauce brands and really does not describe the two sauces I tasted.

Created with the most selective of palates in mind and the most dedicated grillers to heart, we have taken of an outdoor feast to new heights with our line of Gourmet Specialty Barbecue Sauces and Marinades. Indulge in the delectable essence of garlic and spices, which are sure to please every guest.

I’m sorry, does this sound a little bit overstated? Well, that’s because it is. I would advise those in charge to not crank out sauces to fill out their product line-up, but to carefully release good products less often.

Special guest review!

My dad, Hank, and my mom tried these samples too – the company sent Habanero and Chipotle…

“Mom and I tried the sauces tonight before dinner. We dipped bread into each, trying less hot / spicy sauce first. That was a surprise because that one was real hot – so hot neither of us could really get an idea of the taste. We tried the other one and wow! Too hot for me. That was about all it took to destroy our taste buds, but we tried it again. Mom’s eyes started watering because the spice effects. We weren’t that crazy about it but we brought the less spicy sauce to the dinner table. Trying a bit of it over the rice, it had the same effect. Then we tried it with salmon and it wasn’t that bad. I used it for a few more bites and it was good – but not good enough to use it again.”

So he kinda liked it on his Salmon. Hopefully this is enough to smooth over the overall negativity of my review…

Site Editor, BBQ Sauce Lover, Family Guy, Hi Tech Marketer by Day. He recently wrote the Ebook “How to Market Your BBQ Sauce” which can be purchased on this site.



  1. Hello,
    I strongly agree. I have never tasted the sauce, however with the name Borderline Gourmet Chipotle BBQ Sauce & Marinade, it does not sound like somthing inviting or someting that I would be interested in trying.

    I want to try something like Fantastic’s, or Great BBQ sauce, or something just with a positive name..

    If you want to be successful with your sauce, I recommend changing name as soon as possible and also shorten it. I would have to write this name out for my wife to get at the store, she might need to get a refill for her pen!

    As always, it is only my opinion.

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