The Sauce – California Style BBQ Sauce Review (4/5)

The Sauce California Style

The name “The Sauce” is just about as nondescript as you can get, but don’t be fooled – the sauce flavor itself is much more than just a generic store-bought sauce.


I love the oversized flask-shaped bottle with the EZ Cap bottle top – made somewhat famous by Grolsch beer and the house dressing at Uno’s. The bottle itself must be a very expensive addition and it’s worthy of a reconsideration…  There is a reason that 90% of the bottles look similar on the shelves and it’s cost.

The label is high quality and clearly designed by someone with a solid grasp of design. It elicits a definite summer feeling (Miami?) with the big orange fonts in front of a palm tree and beachfront setting.  Perhaps this is what is meant by California style?   The concept of the label is OK, but California now seems like a different place than it was years back as opposed to the place that everyone goes by Led Zeppelin and the place with the best babes as heard in California Girls (the Beach Boys or David Lee Roth editions).  My point is that when I think of California today I guess I think of San Fran (Golden Gate), LA (Hollywood sign), and maybe farmer’s markets, surfing, and big redwood trees.

The name itself might benefit from a change in the future, unless the only goal is to produce something worthy of local trade – farmers markets and small specialty shops.  It’s fun to just call it “The Sauce.”  But not only would be it tough to get on first page of google results for your brand name, it also doesn’t spark any curiosity.  I think using following the path of California-style a few steps further would end up with some great names that might end up being more memorable than simply “The Sauce.”


OK, enough of that, let’s taste it.  This rusty colored sauce has a great color and consistency were spot on.   Uncooked the flavor was tasty and zesty but mild and slightly average.  Like a spicier ketchup.  But on the grill the heat activated this particular sauce and took it to an interesting level. The peppers, once dormant, now come alive in the flavor of the sauce and upon a bite or two start to creep up on your tastebuds.

I got a well balanced flavor, with no strong dominant flavors and a salty-sweet bite.  The easiest part to pickup was presence of mustard alongside the tomato-base.  From there, I got a spicy mix of onion, garlic, and pepper flavors – and maybe horseradish – which were a lot stronger and noticeable after the uncooked tasting session.  This nice tomato good base flavor was created from brown sugar and blended well overall unlike how molasses or honey flavors can sometimes overwhelm the overall taste.  The vinegar was added in the right proportion to keep the sauce taste BBQ-like without being too present.


The ingredients list is currently not on the label, as I’m tasting a somewhat early copy.  I did ask for an ingredients list so as to keep the review on par with the others I’ve reviewed in the past and got the following ingredients.

I received back the following: Tomatoes puree, horse radish, soy sauce, mustard, Brown sugar, hot sauce.  Free of artificial stuff.


Overall this is a nice sauce and merits a try although not groundbreaking or especially innovative.  The flavors are simple enough for kids to enjoy and complex enough for mom and dad to take notice.    Definitely check it out!

If you want to order a bottle, go ahead and email founder directly!

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. Thanks for discussing the label title of “California Style’. That was my first question. I believe this would be for non-native California’s, maybe tourists. If this was sold at a farmers market it would have to have some association with fresh produce or locally made. I still am not sure what California Style means. Living in California my whole life I have never heard anybody who lives here use the term ‘Cali’ too. Thanks for a great review.

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