Review: Hak’s Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

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It’s not everyday that you get the chance to review the product of a TV show contestant.  I got the chance to today with trying out Hak’s Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce.

Hak's Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Hak's Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

The sauce is the creation of Sharone Hakman, whom many of you may know as one of the contestants from the first season of MasterChef.  Hakman made it to the next-to-last week of the season before being eliminated.  He has since used the wave of publicity from the television show to launch his own line of BBQ sauces.  The chipotle bourbon sauce is the first in the line of sauces, and a Thai chili tamarind sauce and a habanero pineapple sauce is slated for release later this year.  Now… on to the sauce!

Naked Observations

The first thing I notice about the sauce is the style of bottle that is used to contain the sauce.  The sauce is in a glass bottle that is somewhat reminiscent of a whiskey or bourbon bottle.  The sauce pours out very, very thick with a deep, dark red color.  The consistency of the sauce is broken up by the bits of caramelized onions distributed throughout the sauce.

Sauce swatch -- Hak's Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Sauce swatch -- Hak's Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Closeup of sauce swatch

Closeup of sauce swatch

When I took a taste of it, there were many flavors going on within the sauce.  There is a balance of sweet, spicy, heat, and tang.  The sauce also contains that distinct taste found in alcohol-based sauces.  I did have to take a couple of tastes — the first one did not have a lot of heat, while the second one did.  Shaking the bottle before pouring the sauce out should help in evening the flavors.

To the Meat of the Matter

I confess that I had to do a couple of different tests for this sauce.  My original test about 2 or 3 weeks ago was to use this sauce as a finishing glaze on some grilled sausages.

Sausages.  Pay no attention to that crusty one.

Sausages. Pay no attention to that crusty one.

Frankly, the sauce did not add a lot of flavor to the sausages.  I was a bit disappointed, to say the least.  But then I  decided that I would put the sauce away for another test run.  That time came today when I decided to make a rib trimming sandwich (using spare rib trimmings from my catering gig), and I used the sauce in more of a condiment style.

Rib Trimming Sandwich using Hak's Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Rib Trimming Sandwich using Hak's Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

This test seemed to let the flavors of the sauce shine more.  I could taste the different flavors from the sauce that were added to the meat, yet the meat was not overpowered at all by the sauce.

One thing that could be a potential deal-breaker is the price of the sauce.  The website for Hak’s BBQ Sauce has the sauce listed for $8 per 12-oz. bottle (plus $2.99 shipping) or 3 bottles for $18 (plus $10.95 shipping).

Overall, I think this sauce definitely has some potential.  This would work well on larger cuts of meat (burgers, chops, ribs).  However, the price point for the sauce definitely puts it in the “gourmet sauce” realm and out of the reach of a lot of potential customers.

The website for Hak’s BBQ Sauce (where you can purchase the sauce) is  You can also find Hak’s BBQ Sauce on Facebook.

One response to “Review: Hak’s Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

  1. I thought this sauce was remarkably complex, thick and juicy and just all around winner. I agree it’s a bit pricy for BBQ sauce, but worth the extra few dollars to get the 3 pack they offer. With shipping it comes to just under $10 per bottle. And it is what I would call a gourmet sauce. Very useful in lots of ways.

    I think you’d agree it’s too thick or “gloppy” for sausages, but works great on burgers. We can’t wait to try it on ribs!

    Our review is here:

    And we’re hoping to have Sharone on our podcast very soon!

    Keep it going Big Wayne. Great blog you got here!

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