Old Grand Paw’s Bootlegger’s BBQ and Tonic Review

When I look at the label of Old Grand Paw’s Bootlegger’s BBQ and Tonic, there’s Old Grand Paw, wearing a brown hat that looks like it’s seen better days and clenching a pipe through what’s left of his smiling teeth. Under his picture, we see that he is “Company Founder, President & Head of Research and Development.”

Sounds like Old Grand Paw is highly qualified. A quote by his picture reads, “I personally sample each batch!” At the bottom of the label, this claims to be “14 ounces of the best darn sauce ever!” The bottle is unique in that it is shaped like an old liquor or, perhaps, tonic bottle—sort of flat, with only about an inch of depth from front to back label. I give the vintage look of this bottle and label 5/5. They have successfully achieved that blast-from-the-past look they seem to be going for.

In turning the bottle over to read the ingredients, stand-out ingredients include brown sugar, cane vinegar, scallions pulp, onions, honey, citric acid, black peppers, oregano, and liquid smoke. Oh, and whisky. Yes, whisky. There are no warnings about operating heavy machinery and such, so I’m assuming consumption won’t require the assistance of a designated driver. There are also habanero peppers and green tobasco peppers to heat things up, so, although there are no heat warnings on the bottle, I’m thinking a bit of caution may be warranted. I’m giving this eclectic mix of sweet, herby, fruity, smoky, and, well, whisky a 4/5. It’s hard to imagine just what Bootlegger’s BBQ and Tonic will taste like by reading the ingredient list, and I love surprises!

I open the bottle and take a whiff—a little cautiously, since I really don’t know what to expect. It smells so delicious I can almost taste it. I smell vinegar, black pepper, assorted peppers, onion, and even a subtle hint of that whisky. Combined, it’s a mouthwatering, slightly sweet smell. I rate it 5/5. I pour some onto my plate for a closer look. It has a medium consistency that, in my opinion, could be a little thicker.  The sauce is a medium brown, think a little darker than Heinz 57 sauce, with black pepper flakes throughout. I give the consistency 4/5.

I thought this sauce would make wonderful hamburgers. I put some in the raw meat before making the patties and pan-frying them, added some to the patties as they cooked, and used the sauce as a topping for the finished product. The result was amazing! Old Grand Paw’s Bootlegger’s BBQ and Tonic is sweet and tangy with a little kick from the peppers. There is a warmth, but it’s not hot. There’s no noticeable smoky flavor, despite the appearance of liquid smoke on the ingredient list, and the subtle taste of onion sets this sauce off perfectly. I give the flavor 5/5. It’s probably best for beef, such as hamburgers and steaks, but I’m sure it would be great on barbecued chicken as well. To sum it up, Grand Pa really knows what he’s doing.

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