RedLaw Serrano Apricot Barbecue Sauce

Colorado based Redlaw Sauce Co. was started in 2011 by Justin and Thia Chinchen. Justin used his culinary education and restaurant experience to develop a unique line of hot sauces and BBQ products. Redlaw's all natural sauces are made in small batches and bottled by hand.

The first Redlaw product that I used was the very intriguing Serrano Apricot Barbecue Sauce. Combining sweet fruits with spicy peppers is very trendy in the world of small batch BBQ sauces. The sweet and spicy elements play well off one another and allow for a great deal of creativity for passionate sauce makers.

What sets this sauce apart is the choice of pepper. Serranos are one of my favorite peppers. These petite firecrackers are a step up in heat from the common jalapeno. However, they're a bit more tame than the scorching habanero. For whatever reason, they seem to be the forgotten pepper in the world of BBQ. There are countless sauces featuring jalapenos, habaneros and even ghost peppers. However, I rarely encounter serrano sauces.

Redlaw's Serrano Apricot Barbecue Sauce is dark red and packaged in 16 oz. glass bottles. Pepper seeds and dark spices are visible in the sauce. With a medium thickness, it pours smoothly from the bottle.

The sauces flavors are remarkably complex and well balanced. The initial sweetness from sugar and the apricots is immediately contrasted by savory spices like onion and garlic. There is also a significant note of hickory smoke. The heat comes on strong at the back end. The spice isn't overpowering, but it's enough to make you sweat.

I used Serrano Apricot on a couple racks of smoked babybacks. The sweet and spicy sauce was phenomenal on the smoked pork. This sauce was clearly meant for ribs. It brushed on beautifully and produced one of the prettiest racks of ribs I've ever made (sorry no pictures). I enjoy a bit of sweat bead inducing heat when eating ribs and this sauce produced exactly what I was looking for.

Apricot Serrano is one of the best hot BBQ sauces I've had. It's ideal for rib lovers that can take a little heat. I'm happy to see someone using the serrano. I'm even more happy that they use it so well. After enjoying this sauce so much, I can't wait to test out the rest of the Redlaw line.

Southern Red's Original BBQ Sauce

Nearly two years ago I reviewed a Beckley, WV joint named Southern Red's Bar-B-Que. I don't want to beat a dead horse, but my experience wasn't great. Both the food and service sub par.

Not so long ago, I received emails from two different individuals regarding my Southern Red's review. Both people told the same general story. Southern Red's was owned and operated by the Seavers until 2007. At that time, the business was sold off and the new owners are responsible for what Southern Red's is today.

Thankfully, the story doesn't end there for the Seavers. They currently own and operate Southern Red's Bar-B-Que in Pilot Oak Kentucky. While I haven't had the pleasure of visiting, they seem to be thriving. Despite being located in rural Kentucky, their Facebook Page has more than 4,500 likes. They must be doing something right.

Kim Seavers, one of the people to reach out to The "Q" Review, was kind enough to send me an invitation to visit the Pilot Oak Southern Red's as well as a bottle of their original sauce. Southern Red's Original Bar-B-Que sauce is packaged in 16 oz. bottles. The dark red sauce is on the thin side and pours quickly.

This sauce is a ketchup / vinegar base. It contains both white and brown sugar, but is not overly sweet. Southern Red's Original is a mild sauce. While none of the individual flavor elements stick out, it's very well balanced. There is a slight vinegar tang in the finish, but not enough to scare off people with sweet palates.

I used the sauce on ribs for a family cookout. Everybody loved the way the sweet, mild sauce complimented the smokey pork ribs. Though relatively thin, the sauce still stuck to the bones and left both racks with a beautiful gloss.

Southern Red's Bar-B-Que sauce is a solid, all purpose BBQ sauce. You can serve it to a crowd and expect just about everybody to enjoy it. It was tasty on my homemade BBQ and I hope to get the opportunity to taste it on Southern Red's BBQ in the future.

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