Best of 2012

As 2012 comes to a close, it's time to reflect on some of the year's highlights. Though this year wasn't quite as fruitful as its predecessor, I still managed to review 99 unique products from the world of BBQ and beyond. For this year's "best of" series, I've simplified the categories a bit. Please remember that these lists only represent the products that I formally reviewed in 2012. Those products reviewed in previous years are NOT eligible. I realize there are hundreds of other great products out there. I hope to try them all eventually. Without further ado, read on to see who ranks as The "Q" Review's best of 2012. (Click the link on any product to read the full review)

Best BBQ Sauce
1. Grumpy's Bold XX
2. Curt's Medium
3. Nephew's Ghostly Pumpkin
4. Sucklebuster's Original
5. Old Mule Original

Best Non BBQ Sauce
1. Glenn's Gourmet Goodies Wasabi
2. Texas Butter Smoked
3. Texas Butter Mango
4. Glenn's Gourmet Goodies Chipotle
5. Glenn's Gourmet Goodies Road Kill E-Lick-Sir

Best Spice Rub
1. Oakridge BBQ Secret Weapon
2. Pork Barrell BBQ All American Rub
3. Oakridge BBQ Game Bird Rub
4. Jake's BBQ Tri Tip, Steak & Rib Rub
5. Rufus Teague Meat Rub

Best of the Rest (Other Products)
1. American Pride Foods Reindeer Medallions
2. American Pride Foods Jalapeno Cheese Buffalo Sausage
3. Mangrates
4. Timberridge Cattle Beef Sticks
5. Masterbuilt GS40 Propane Smoker

Other fantastic products that are worthy of a mention: Pigchaser Habanero, The Berry Patch Apple Butter BBQ Sauce, Sucklebuster's Texas Heat Original, Bill's Best Spicy BBQ Sauce, Sauced Up Smokers Firehouse Sauce, Butcher BBQ Texas Style Rub, and Uncle Kenny's Rib Rub.

Grumpy's Private Reserve Goodnight Loving

For those of you who can remember that far back (it's been quite some time since my last review), I previously reviewed Grumpy's Private Reserve Bold XX. Not only was the sauce one of the best reviewed products of the year, it immediately became one of my all time favorite BBQ sauces. After enjoying Grumpy's first sauce so much, I was really looking forward to reviewing their other flavors.

Grumpy's Goodnight Loving is labeled as a "Texas Style" BBQ Sauce. Packaged in 16 oz. bottles with their signature label and logo. The burnt orange sauce is much thinner than Grumpy's Bold XX (Kansas City style). From the large mouth of the glass bottle, the sauce pours freely.

True to Texas fashion, Goodnight Loving is a tomato, vinegar blend. Though it contains sugar, it's not nearly as sweet as Midwestern varieties. The sauce accents its base ingredients with liquid smoke, earthy spices and red pepper sauce. It's not super hot, but there is a noticeable peppery finish. The resulting flavor is very similar to other "Texas Style" sauces that I've reviewed.

I used the sauce on multiple occasions for both chicken and pork. The thin, tangy sauce worked well as a dip for both meats. It was especially good on the chicken. The peppery bite was a welcome addition to the mild white meat. Though the texture was perfect for pouring over pulled pork, I wasn't crazy about the way the flavors blended. I didn't get a chance to brush the sauce on grilled meats, but I think the texture would be adequate for that use. It's thin, but not too thin to give the meat a good glaze.

For those who appreciate a tangy, peppery finish, Goodnight Loving is a fine choice. Though it's not quite as sweet as what I typically look for, it's still a quality sauce. Check out all of Grumpy's sauces on their website . Don't forget to see the star rating for Goodnight Loving on our "Product Reviews" page.

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