Monday, March 16, 2009

#554 and Sweet, Hot and Sour BBQ

While I did not get the official high temperature for today, I was certainly somewhere in the high 50's. We may have even broken 60! When temps get that high, something important must happen - I have to fire up the grill.

There are only thousands of ways to do chicken on the grill. For tonight, I opted for a simple standby - sweet, hot and sour bbq sauce.

1/2 cup of ketchup
1/4 cup of honey mustard
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup of light brown sugar
2 tablespoons of Tabasco
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Basically, schlop it all together and you are good to go. It keeps for a month. The taste is exactly what you think it would be. The sweet and sour hits you first and finishes with a bite of hot. This is where I confuse myself a bit. I admit, I don't normally eat spicy hot things, be it salsa, chilis, or the like. But some reason, this recipe goes over okay.

Of course, the best way to deal with the moderately nuclear bite of a hot sauce on grilled chicken is to wash it down with a cold, sweet beer. #554 was the Sam Adams Imperial White. I am normally a fan of "witbiers" (wheat beers), so I had high hopes for this one. The head poured thick(1"+) and slightly tan while the beer itself was a beautiful, hazy coppery/amber color. The sweet "orangey" aroma is obvious. Some subtle spices are there, too. So far, so good, right? On the palate, it all goes wrong. Orange/citrus, coriander, malts, and spices, including a hint of pepper, duke it out for title. They don't really compliment each other so much as they compete. On the finish, you're left thinking "What the hell was that?!" The body was good and the carbonation made for a very pleasant feel, but the taste just didn't do it. 2 out of 5.

For the record, a friend stopped over and I gave her a slug (of beer, I mean). In an instant, her lips puckered and her nose curled up. Now, she is not a beer geek by any means (neither am I, for the record!), but she can appreciate a good beer. She was not a fan at all.

The BBQ sauce is certainly a keeper, but the beer needs some major work...

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