Thank you for taking the time to read our first blog post. We appreciate it, and we value the continued support for The Bone Sauce. First and foremost, we want to reiterate just how difficult of a task it is to add butter into a wing sauce. The butter in the recipe makes this a damn near impossible undertaking, and for that, The Bone Sauce supports all companies trying to elevate food products by taking risks. Anyone attempting to place butter in a bottle is our kind of crazy.
The Bone Sauce will judge each wing sauce on three different criteria. The criteria will be appearance, execution, and taste. In each criterion or category, we have placed subcategories. In these subcategories, we will take an average score to reach the total score, and that total will become the score for the category. In the unlikely event of a tie, we will give the winning sauce alphabetically more near to the letter “A” the win. We believe this will make the competition fair and impartial to bias.
In the heat subcategory, we want to elaborate that the hotter the sauce doesn’t mean better. We are scoring on the use of heat, how balanced the heat is, and the overall mouthfeel from the use of the heat. A score of 10 would mean that the heat in the sauce added something to the experience that was pleasurable and not something EXTREME!
Each category will be given a score from 1 – 10, one being the worst and ten being the best.
- Scores Meaning
- 1 = The Worst
- 10 = The Best
- 5 = Average
- Appearance 1 – 10
- Color of Sauce
- Bottle Design
- Execution 1 – 10
- Texture of Sauce
- Taste 1 – 10
- Flavor Alone
- Flavor on Wing
- Level of Heat
- Butter Bonus (if applicable) + 1 point
- Overall opinion of the sauce and our recommendations.
Our First Contender:
The first contender is from Tampa, Florida, and is named Honey Blaze! The sauce we will be evaluating is their original wing batch, as opposed to their other wing sauce which has more heat, and they advertise that its flavor profile is Sweet with a Kick.
Honey Blaze was chosen as our first contender because their ingredients are very similar to The Bone Sauce. They also won a National Championship, use real butter, and Honey Blaze is all-natural, so we’re excited to try this wing sauce.
Honey Blaze has the traditional orange buffalo wing color and would be recognizable from across a football field to any wing enthusiast. You know what’s in the bottle before you even read the ingredients. The colors used on the bottle are orange, black, red, yellow, and white.
For sauce color, we’re giving them = 10
Honey Blaze’s bottle features a flaming black buffalo shooting across the front of the bottle, and little cartoon bees stenciled on portions of a red honeycomb background. Generally speaking, the bottle is very pleasing to the eye. The bottle is a traditional twelve-ounce sauce bottle that you have seen used for every BBQ and wing sauce for generations. The Bone Sauce uses the same bottle with the distinction of being glass and not plastic. Honey Blaze uses plastic bottles, and this is unique to wing sauces. We don’t know if using plastic is good or bad, but the feel isn’t as refined as a glass bottle.
Bottle Design = 9 -1 for plastic bottle. Total = 8
For legibility, we have to note that some of the wording on the bottle is difficult to read. We’re not sure if it’s due to the colors they used or maybe it’s the honeycomb background, but something is making it very difficult to read the ingredients, and for this, we have to give a low legibility score.
Legibility = 2
Contrary to this single objection, we feel Honey Blaze has a very lovely presentation overall, and we believe an average score of 6.67 proves that! Good job, Honey Blaze!
Honey Blaze Ingredients: Cayenne pepper, vinegar, honey, butter, salt, Worcestershire sauce, white vinegar molasses, sugar, water, salt, onions, anchovies, garlic, cloves, tamarind extract, natural flavorings, chili pepper extract, xanthan gum.
In general, all of the ingredients make sense for a wing sauce. Although the fish may seem strange, in all actuality, it is more than likely there due to the Worcestershire sauce. Yes, friends, Worcestershire sauce is a fish sauce. Many people don’t know that, but it’s true. Check the back of a bottle sometime.
Xanthan gum, however, is an emulsifier and a filler, and we feel that this ingredient is the only problem with the ingredients Honey Blaze has chosen. Xanthan gum is routinely used because it’s an easy way for companies to add water to a sauce. They will tell you it’s for the emulsification properties, but it also helps the bottom line and keeps the product cheap. Adding water cuts costs, but it also dilutes flavor.
So, we’ll give Honey Blaze a score of 9 for ingredients for these reasons. This is one of the better lists of ingredients for wing sauce that we’ve seen, so congratulations on this achievement! If they had left out the xanthan gum, we would have given them a 10 no problem.
Texture of sauce:
The consistency of the sauce is very runny. We’re not sure if it’s from the vinegar in the recipe or the water added, but from the looks of the sauce’s viscosity, we aren’t sure if it will adhere to the wings once added to a cooked 180-degree wing. We suspect there will be a lot of sauce on the plate and not on the wings, but who knows, Honey Blaze might surprise us—score of 5.
The average of the points awarded for execution is a total of 7.
The sauce is TANGY with a slight taste of sweet. It’s not pleasant, but it’s not repulsive either. If we gave you a teaspoon of Tabasco Sauce and told you to eat it, you wouldn’t love it, but if we put some on eggs, you’d probably find the taste agreeable. Honey Blaze’s taste profile is similar to that logic. So, we’ll give it a 6 on the flavor. It’s better than average.
Now for the butter bonus. Honey Blaze uses real butter in their sauce, so they get the bonus.
Favor on the wing:
First off, the sauce stuck to the wing WAY better than I had initially stated. Honey Blaze sticks to the wings, and it doesn’t fall off like so many other bottled wing sauces. Our initial opinion of the sauce’s viscosity was flat-out wrong and goes to show you can’t always make judgments by your first opinion. We will give an extra point to the texture of the sauce category for this reason.
The flavor is ok. We didn’t taste the butter at all, but we must say the “tang” was a full effect. The sauce’s tang keeps each bite relatively interesting, and we would say that if it weren’t for that taste, the flavor profile would be flat and dull. We could taste sweet, but we didn’t think that taste was as pronounced especially on the wing. The flavor profile was pleasant overall.
Honey Blaze receives a 7 for this category.
The level of heat in this Honey Blaze sauce is non-existent. This explains why they have a second-wing sauce that is hotter in flavor. However, we’ll have to give a lower score for this sauce.
Honey Blaze gets a 1 for heat.
The Sauce Summary:
Honey Blaze is better than your average bottled chicken wing sauce. However, is it an award-winning sauce that would be a hit in New York City? No, we don’t believe so. As we have stated, it’s better than average, and it kills as far as bottled wing sauces go, but it underwhelms in the flavor department and has a primary flavor profile of tangy and secondary sweet. There is virtually nothing overly complex about the taste.
We have for Honey Blaze: Did you use the xanthan gum in the recipe when you won the national award? If not, why did you add it to the bottle? The xanthan gum takes away from the flavors of the sauce, and we feel that it would be a superior product if the filler were excluded from the ingredients list. Our logic is: why take something that tastes good enough to win a national award then water it down if it’s not completely necessary? That doesn’t make sense to us.
We feel that this is a good product, but it could be better if they left xanthan gum out of the recipe. This is our humble opinion, but we think Honey Blaze did a great job all around, and the overall score of 6.61 proves it.
We hope more companies push the envelope the way Honey Blaze has, and we commend them for not taking the easy way out when it would have been so easy to do what everyone else has done. We tip our hat and congratulate you on your successes Honey Blaze, and we hope you much success in the future!
- Appearance – 6.67
- Color of Sauce = 10
- Bottle Design = 8
- Legibility = 2
- Execution – 7.5
- Ingredients = 9
- Texture of Sauce – 5 + 1 = 6
- Taste – 5.67
- Flavor Alone = 6
- Flavor on Wing = 7
- Level of Heat = 1
- Butter Bonus (if applicable) + 1 point = 1
Total Score = 6.61