The Meatwave: Barbecue & Grilling Recipes, Reviews, Tips, and Tricks

Thu Aug 5, 2010

Sauced: KC Masterpiece Smoky Bourbon

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KC Masterpiece Smoky Bourbon

Sauce Stats

Name
KC Masterpiece Smoky Bourbon
Produced by
KC Masterpiece
Cost
Appx. $2.50 for 18 oz.
Ingredients
Tomato puree, high fructose corn syrup, water, molasses, cider vinegar, vinegar, modified food starch, bourbon, salt, less than 1% of: spices, natural hickory smoke flavor, dried onion, dried garlic, natural flavors, xanthan gum, caramel color, tumeric, paprika extracts
Color
Deep, dark brown
Meatwave Rating
210
out of 10
Take a Pass
More Sauce Reviews

KC Masterpiece Smoky Bourbon

Background

I was gifted this sauce by the good people at Kingsford after sitting down for a great interview with pitmaster Chris Lilly. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who is not familiar with the KC Masterpiece name—it's been a mainstay at just about every grocery for as long as I can remember.

The KC Masterpiece story started in 1977 in Kansas City, when local physician Rich Davis created his popular 5-ingredient sauce, which went on to win the first-ever "Best Sauce" award at the American Royal. In 1986, he sold the sauce to Kingsford, who took it nationwide. Today KC Masterpiece produces 6 different varieties of barbecue sauce along with the original, and it's easily one of the most recognizable names in the business.

Aroma

Blindfold and shove this under my nose and I'd have trouble distinguishing it from a bowl of liquid smoke. Certainly there's more going on with this sauce, but the smokiness is so heavy that it masks the aroma of just about everything else.

Thickness & Texture

Calling this thick is an understatement. Like a new bottle of Heinz Ketchup, it took some coercing to get it out, and when it finally did, it was gloppy rather than flowing. Overall it felt very processed and unnatural—no sauce I've made has had a texture like this and I wouldn't know how to replicate it at home.

Out of the Jar

Despite the heavy aroma of smoke, the first taste to hit is the bourbon, and it's quite strong. Packing a second punch is the sharp smoke, which likes to linger around for a while. If you can make your way past those two bold flavors, the unmistakable molasses sweetness is the base holding it all together.

KC Masterpiece Smoky Bourbon

Slathered & Cooked

Cooking with this sauce was a bit of challenge, as it sat on the top of chicken and remained gloppy rather than baking in. The glop and dark brown color left the end result rather unappetizing in my eyes, and unfortunately, the taste didn't fare much better.

The smokiness seemed to multiply to the point that it became acrid, taking a heck of a long time for the taste buds to recover after each bite. The bourbon flavor that was unmissable in the raw state, had been beaten into submission by the smoky overlord that was set on dominating all.

Put to Use

I personally found the flavors of this sauce too bold to want to use it again. The way the smoke overpowered everything after cooked leads me to advise against that usage. If I were to recommend this for anything, it would be as a dip for a large, heavily seasoned, beefy steak—something that could stand up against the strong bourbon and smoke of the sauce, but you'll have to be prepared for a total flavor overload.

Comments

  • 01
  • Frank says
    Chef Hymie Grande' (www.chefhymiegrande.com ) is the first and only bottled BBQ sauce to carry the seal of the American Diabetes Association on the label. It has no high fructose corn syrup, no processed sugar, it is all natural and vegan friendly. It is produced by Jamie Failtelson, a.k.a. Chef Hymie Grande' of Carlstadt, NJ. 5% of proceeds go to the American Diabetes Association
    Posted Tue, Aug 10 2010 10:28am

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