Draper’s BBQ Sauce is a good sauce with a surprise. Owner Shane Draper also has a few surprises too (check out my intereview with him here).
I asked him what makes his sauce different, and here’s what he said:
As for what makes our sauce different, in a word balance. When you try Smokin’ Sauce you are lightly hit with the first sweet notes of molasses and a touch of honey. Next comes the bold and savory notes and you get some of the spices that I put in there that you normally don’t find in other sauces. Finally you are hit with just a touch of heat. It bites quickly and lets go and doesn’t linger. If you mix the A.P. Rub in with that taste of Smokin’ Sauce the saltiness of the rub tempers some of initial sweetness and the bold flavors are much more amplified. The spicy bite that hits on the backside is also a little stronger. All in all I wanted layered flavors in a sauce and rub combination that you could identify, but worked well together in a chorus, yet didn’t overshadow the meat and smoke that should be the star performer.
I agreed and disagreed with this summary after my own taste analysis. His statement doesn’t do it justice.
The first whiff from the bottle and I knew this was something different. BAM. Maybe nutmeg, or cinnamon, or ***, or ******? (censored)
Holy shit, it tastes like Christmas!
Just the right combination of this festive spice flavor without being too bold or underwhelming. I’ve been exposed to a LOT of sauces now and a google search with this exact phrase “nutmeg site:bbqsaucereviews.com” will guide you closer to a tour of the various sauces that I’ve tried in the same vein. I’d say Hecky’s came real close to a 5. Also I can’t forget how Timberfolks made me a believer that good stuff could indeed come from a guy in the woods in Oregon.
Great color and consistency – Not sludge thick like Kraft, and not watery.
A better shot in good light of the specks and ingredients within the sauce. This is a 45 degree drip held for about 15 seconds.
Taste Before Cooking
I dipped everything into this sauce from mac & cheese to hamburgers (I tried it with swiss cheese and cheddar too). Any type of bread sops it up nicely too. The festive flavors really surprised friends of mine who tried it too. One of those .. “what is THAT?! and then, oh I like that, and eventually, I need more of that!”
Taste After Cooking
It does what it’s supposed to do on the grill. It consolidates, it coagulates, it reduces and the spices come out a bit stronger while the sweet sugars burn off slightly. I only got a chance to cook it with chicken (although I put the sauce on a burger after it was grilled). The boneless chicken held the sauce well.
Ingredients and Nutrition
Nutrition Facts (Fairly standard, not an all natural choice)
Ingredients on the label. Does contain high fructose corn syrup but too tasty to not get a 5.
Instead of another traditional KC style BBQ sauce, he’s added a few unusual spices (here at BBQ Sauce Reviews unusual is good). What I mean is that there’s a few additional spices in the sauce that most people don’t normally get exposed to at the grocery store BBQ aisle. This includes cinnamon, nutmeg, ___, and ___ (I asked but promised not to tell). This gives the sauce a more festive flavor, one that reminds you of the holiday season with it’s spiced coffees, cakes, and beers. This mystery flavor combination is reason alone to give the sauce a shot.
I really like this category of sauce – the whole festive flavor reminds me of a Harpoon Winter Warmer beer – which reminds me of the holidays. When a sauce can conjure up a sentimental feeling of the holiday season but also transport you into the summer at the same time – it’s an amazing thing. Drapers Smokin’ Sauce delivers a best in class example of this category.
Follow Shane and Draper’s BBQ Sauce on his website and Facebook page.
Thanks for reading!
Brian Henderson @bbqsaucereviews