Chuckster’s Drunken Pepper Spicy Barbeque Sauce (beta)

chuckster drunken pepper spicy The best part of running this website is the fact that people are sending me free sauces. The other part is meeting people from different places… People have come from a variety of backgrounds – large multi-national brands, US only brands, successful regional brands that are trying to expose their sauces to larger audiences, and sometimes people send me sauces in their early “infancy stage.”

I gotta admit, I am a little skeptical of just opening up anything in a bottle mailed to me, however after a brief dialog with Chuck himself, I was put at ease, and eager to have a taste. Along with two glass bottles of his Drunken Pepper Spicy Barbeque Sauce, he sent some of his STB spices, as well as a paper survey for reviewers to complete – an excellent way to get feedback indeed. Currently this is not something you can buy, but hopefully with some of the comments from other reviewers and yours truly, this will change in time…

A little background on Chuckster… from Chuckster himself…

I am a photo editor at a newspaper in Pennsylvania. On my off time I constantly cook new recipes and spend quite a bit of time developing new recipes for my family to try. I have enjoyed barbeque since taking my first job in Temple, TX in 1984, where I ate many meals at a great place called Clem Mikeska’s Barbeque. It wasn’t until years later that I decided to get away from the Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce I always used, and come up with my own sauce. However, while the sauce I first developed in 1993 was good, I always felt it was lacking something, so I kind of forgot about the recipe until last year. It was then that I developed a seasoning I call Chuckster’s Sizzlin’ Taste Buds.

STB is a blend of 8 different pure chile powders and other seasonings. It adds quite a kick to anything it is sprinkled on, or used in. So I dusted off my bbq sauce recipe and made a few changes, including the addition of STB. What I now have is a zesty KC/Texas style sauce that seems to be getting very favorable reviews from the taste-testers I have here, as well as a few in the Midwest. Recently I registered my business (it is in its infancy) Chuckster’s Spices with the State of PA, as I am looking into what needs to be done to market this sauce, as well as the Sizzlin’ Taste Buds seasoning…

OK, so on to the review

I scored this one low, but did it objectively as possible – you know I love the story and all, but in the end the sauce is king. For this one, I was not given a list of ingredients to aid my tasting – which really challenged me in a good way. Also my intentions are positive, I really want to see this in my supermarket some day, just thought it could use a little help.

The Smell

Decent aromas – got mostly a sense of Worcestershire, Molasses, and STB. But… a little too much like many others out there. The smell is never a deal breaker though.

Before Cooking Flavor

I really loved this sauce before it was cooked, the spices were present and added multiple dimensions to the flavor. A very nice sweetness to the sauce obtained by what I would guess would be all natural ingredients.

Consistency

The consistency was nice, but maybe a little thin (maybe some Xanthum Gum from a health food store could help). However, refrigeration always solves minor thickness problems. I liked the look of the sauce. When it flowed from bottle to basting bowl, I could see there were a lot of nice spices in there.

After Cooking Flavor

Well, this is where I have to go a bit negative. It seems like the amount of sweetness pretty much dies off completely after cooking (and I am very strict about my sauce timing, making sure the food is just about done before applying). When I covered the grill the last few times to allow the sauce to sink into the meat, I was left with a pretty plain variety without much of a spice to it. In the end, I thought that was the one major negative – the spicy part of Drunken Pepper Spicy Barbeque Sauce… Spicy to me, when used in BBQ sauce, implies heat – and there was none to be found. See more in the marketing section… It tasted similar to Charley Biggs Sweet Bourbon sauce.

Ingredients

Here’s my guess on the ingredients: Tomato base (tomato paste perhaps), Molasses, Vinegar, Worcestershire Sauce, Sizzin Taste Buds (STB) seasoning, I think some extra black pepper. Maybe there’s also some additional sugar in there to boost sweetness? If not, try it out – I think some extra sweetness couldn’t hurt – but avoid the corn syrups if you can… also I’d explore ways to make this a touch hotter (hard to get that delicate balance between a lot of heat when it’s uncooked, and just enough heat when it’s cooked).

Marketing and Packaging

Positives: glass bottle, nice size, and the name are all great. From my point of view, the sauce could do fine in its current state if the following could happen: a snazzier looking label (a worthy investment or employee would be a graphic designer) and simple clarification of “spicy” in the name. Maybe just call it Chuckster’s Drunken Pepper BBQ sauce and have another professional-looking logo that says “made with STB” (removing Spicy from it altogether). Also call out the natural ingredients (if that is the case). And maybe even list the ingredients once you decide to put this in stores. If you go small scale, I don’t think you have to list all the ingredients… but you could put most of them, and when you put STB you can say that it’s a secret recipe or something. Also you had asked about pricing, and you could probably get a premium on this ($4 or 5 bucks for an 8 oz bottle), if the marketing matched the name and the flavor.

I wish you the best of luck Chuckster, and hope this helps you get a great product to market – I will gladly post a link to your website when you get that running, and would be happy to review future samples if you are interested.

Coming next week: A review of Russ and Franks Sassy BBQ Sauce

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.

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Comments

  1. SOunds good – how do I get it?

  2. it’s still in beta…

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