Gabrick Barbecue Texas Tang
The Gabrick Barbecue name comes from owner Mark Gabrick, who originally had started up a barbecue restaurant called Brick's Smoked Meats in Sarasota, Florida. Wanting to be closer to family, Mark relocated to Austin and opened up a new barbecue joint after moving, but Covid hit soon after and he had to cease operations. Needing to both fill time and make money, he kept up his barbecue game by perfecting his sauce recipes and then bottling and selling them under the Gabrick Barbecue brand. It didn't take long for his four different sauces to gain traction and they can already be found at H-E-B stores around Texas as well as for sale online.
A wave of nose tingling tang and heat are the most prominent characteristics of the aroma in this sauce. There's a hearty tomato adding in another crucial barbecue component, and with a deeper whiff, an underlaying sweetness really cements that profile. Along with the sugars, Worcestershire, onion, and garlic all play supporting roles and build up the sauce's aromatic complexity even more.
Thickness & Texture
This rusty red sauce has a glossy sheen with a semi-transparency that makes it easy to see a plethora of spices in small and medium orange bits, along with larger black and white specs too. The sauce has a syrupy consistency with a medium-thin thickness which leaves it falling from a suspended spoon in a fast and even stream. A few slower drips release right before the sauce stops its pour and leaves only a thin coating left clinging to the silverware.
Out of the Jar
With an aroma so tilted toward vinegar and pepper, there's a surprising amount of sugar in the initial taste here. A sweet start melds with a bright and fruity tomato to impart a ketchup-like flavor that gains depth from some earthiness, onion, and garlic pretty quickly. Then the Worcestershire adds a touch of savoriness while the vinegar makes a power play and overtakes the sugar, but leaves the tomato well accounted for. Next, any remaining sweetness gets obliterated by a wave of heat that has a medium burn at first, but reaches a tongue tingling height in the aftertaste with an increased vinegar tartness also playing a role.
Slathered & Cooked
This sauce coated the chicken in a thin and even layer that was pretty light and transparent at first, but baked down very well over indirect heat, leading to multiple brushings building up a commendable saucy exterior. When moved over direct here, there was minimal sauce loss and caramelization, with the overall appearance of the chicken not changing all that much. Very much in line with what was tasted out of the jar, the first bite delivered a sweet tomato flavor, but by the second bite, both tang and heat were already in play. From then on, the interplay of tart, fruity, spicy, and sweet all remained in a balanced harmony with added benefits of light spices and Worcestershire mixing in as the leg was consumed. By the time the chicken was done, the heat had gained more prominence, but never drowned out the rest of the ingredients like it did in the raw state.
Put to Use
I'm always curious to try out a "Texas" branded sauce because you never know what you're going get since there is no singular Texas style. While I've found this could mean anything from mustard to vinegar, more often than not, Texas seems to mean tart and spicy tomato, which is what I got here. Having a bit more standard barbecue footings with sugar and Worcestershire, along with a really nice heat, I enjoyed this definition of Texas more than most that I've tried before and think the average barbecue sauce lover would find much to take comfort in with this sauce. The flavors are strong, but never go overboard, making this a pretty all purpose specimen that works well both on and off the grill. So there really isn't a single item I would recommend using this on since it would be well matched with a variety of meats and even would make a pretty killer dip for chicken, fries, and the like.