Smoky, Sweet and Smooth

Greetings everyone. This week, I think it’s time I took another look at the products I got from Grim Reaper Foods.

I’m not talking about the last piece of their thai gift box, though. That’s going to have to wait a little longer because today’s item is something I actually bought from them. Their Wraith:

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A black and bronze version of their Vengeance oil’s stunning bottle that contains what could be a very controversial sauce.

Why? Because, like their Vengeance, this sauce contains extract instead of actual chilli. Here it is on the ingredients list:

Oak Smoked Cold-Pressed Rapeseed Oil, Apple Balsamic Vinegar (Cyder Vinegar, Concentrated Apple Juice, Colour: caramel E150d), Honey, Golden Syrup, Tamari Soy Sauce (Water, Soya Beans, Sea Salt, Koji (aspergilus oryzae)), Onion Powder, Chilli Extract, Mustard Powder, Garlic Extract.

Right near the bottom, greater in quantity than only the sauce’s garlic extract and its emulsifier.

It’s so low down that its presence isn’t going to affect the taste of the sauce and it probably won’t hit above the Vengeance’s three out of ten heat, either.

I did find the lack of pepper flavour in that oil quite disappointing but, fortunately for me, this isn’t another infused oil. It’s a barbecue sauce, which means it should have plenty going on without it.

After all, barbecue sauces are made to be sweet, sticky, smokey and molasses-heavy, not to focus on their chilli content. For the most part, chipōtle is only ever added for its smokiness and mild heat.

So, sacrilegious as it may seem from a fiery food fanatic like myself, I didn’t care about the chilli content when I opened up this item. I went in with an open mind and high hopes.

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Its texture was unusual, to say the least. The sauce was oil-based and silky smooth, with an unfortunate tendency run in hot weather. Yet, as the seasons changed and winter came around, I found that my second bottle started to solidify. That it needed to be submerged in warm water before it would pour.

Fortunate, then, that the well crafted label it was wrapped in was so completely waterproof.

This sauce had a clear weather dependency that I haven’t seen in any before or since. It’s probably best not to refrigerate it.

But, despite the hassle that this has caused, I’m working through my second bottle as I review this and, with the size of my collection, you know that any repurchase has to be truly worth that shelf space.

The wraith is utterly delicious.

It’s filled with rich, smoky goodness that brings an almost savoury, oaky element to the table. Yet there’s sweetness there too, coming naturally from the honey and golden syrup, adding just the sort of mild, golden undertones that you’d expect.

I’m not sure how much sweetness the molasses adds here and there’s definitely less than in your average barbecue sauce but, between the sheer depth of smoke and the addition of a balsamic vinegar, I don’t think it needs the normal amount. Enough to give that familiar dark sugar flavour and further the richness of the smoked rapeseed oil will do nicely.

The tomato, garlic and onions are subtle and, while I suspect it is playing a significant role in the overall taste of this sauce, I don’t know enough about tamari to be able to pick its flavour out here. All I know is that it’s subtly different from normal soy sauce and produced in a way that’s entirely gluten free. Which is great for those with intolerances.

All in all, this sauce is rich and dark, with a tonne of depth and a fairly hot

3.5/10

Heat

though I could swear my first bottle was just a touch milder.

It doesn’t have quite the same level of sweetness as other products of its type but it’s still definitely a sweet sauce. And, above all else, you can really taste the oak in its smoke.

It’s amazing with fried, grilled or barbecued meats, excellent with eggs and/or sausage sarnies, great with beans and a good fit for anything else in a full english. Plus, its also right at home with cream cheese and backed potatoes, much like the Dragon’s Blood Hot BBQ I had last year.

It’s everything I could want from a barbecue sauce besides a consistent consistency but even that has its up sides.

This product will change thickness with your body heat as much as it does with the environment, giving it an almost melt in the mouth feel and thoroughly enhancing its velvety texture. A phenomenon not unlike that that gives chocolate its creaminess, albeit on a slightly smaller scale.

Nine months out of the year, I would recommend this product without even the slightest hesitation. The other three, it depends how dedicated you are to freeing sauce from its bottle.

The struggle is well worth it but it can make mealtimes a little inconvenient.

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