First, I want to come clean that this is a paid review and explain how I do them. Once a price is agreed upon, I tell the vendor/brand to give me some of the product and a check. I take the product home and play with it. If I don’t like it, I tear up the check and tell the vendor/brand that I can’t write anything about their product. You will only see a review from me if I really enjoyed what I reviewed. My integrity is worth a LOT more than what I charge for these reviews. As for the product, Cole’s Sweet Velvet BBQ Sauce, well I made a slab of ribs with the sauce and sent this message to Cole on Twitter about a minute after I demolished a half slab:
While smoking the baby back ribs, I found myself dunking my finger into the jar and licking it off more than a couple times. The sauce is that good. I don’t remember ever doing that with Blues Hog or Sweet Baby Ray’s. The well nuanced sweetness balanced with some nice spice drew me back over and over while I waited for my ribs.
Cole’s Sweet Velvet BBQ sauce is the second flavor in what will be a three flavor line. The first is Cole’s Sweet Heat BBQ sauce which is more traditional than the Sweet Velvet in that it straddles the line between sweet and heat (hence the name) and is quite phenomenal in its own right:
The second in the line is so aptly names, there is no better name fathomable. It is perfectly sweet and velvety as if Cole came up with the name first and then concocted the recipe to match it. And not only that, it’s the ideal sauce for my family. When I make a mess of ribs, I take an off the shelf sauce and doctor it up with a bunch of sweeteners, although what I make is not nearly as nuanced as the Sweet Velvet.
When I grilled with this sauce, I had to use it on some ribs with the high surface area to meat ratio to really get a feel for the flavor. So I picked up some baby backs, skinned the membrane, tossed them in an apple juice brine over night, seasoned only with salt, black pepper and white pepper and then put on my smoker.
After about 90 minutes at 250, I poured on some Cole’s Sweet Velvet BBQ sauce.
And then I spread it around to make sure every square inch of surface area was glazed with the gooey sweetness.
About my only complaint with this sauce would be that I wish it were a little thicker, but that has little impact on the flavor. Just a personal preference.
Here are my ribs ready to come off the grill with two coats of sauce applied and well caramelized.
Inside, I’m ready to tear into some ribs.
How do the ribs look on the inside?
But were the ribs grilled properly? And in properly, I mean not over cooked and fall off the bone. Those of you who like them that way won’t get the significance of this next picture and that’s fine. It’s perfectly okay if you like ribs fall off the bone. Fall off the bone ribs are delicious. I, on the other hand, prefer them to be grilled this way.
BBQ purists will probably say that this sauce is too sweet. If that’s the case, buy Cole’s Sweet Heat BBQ sauce as it is perfect for you. When I make ribs for a crowd, I generally try to make my sauce just like this and those bones don’t last long. Forget the snobbery and serve what people want. This is the flavor profile that my guests request from me that I had to make myself as there wasn’t anything comparable on the market. Cole’s Sweet Velvet BBQ sauce fills that void in the market and is going to save me a ton of time as now I don’t have to doctor up some bland sauce with sweeteners. I don’t have to mess with success and can use Cole’s Sweet Velvet which is exactly what I plan on doing.
If after you’ve read all that and salivated over the pictures, you’re wondering where you can get some Sweet Velvet, I can help. It’s available at all sorts of specialty and butcher shops in and around St. Louis. For those of you not in the St. Louis area and want to know where you can get this sauce, well through the magic of the internet, you are in luck. You can order Cole’s Sweet Velvet BBQ sauce (as well as the Sweet Heat) online and have it delivered to your house.