The Got Damn Sauce
Serrano Barnes and Dante Gorham both graduated from Howard University with degrees in Business and Physical Therapy, but their true passion was cooking. This led the pair to create The Got Damn Sauce in 2015, which boasts numerous hot sauces along with two barbecue sauces. On top of their sauce line, they also run a catering side business called Grand Chef Auto in their home locale of Los Angeles.
This sauce has an upfront complex and pungent aroma. When you start dissecting those layers, mustard plays in heavily in creating the pungency while there's an equal amount of an acidic and lightly sweet tomato. There's a savory and unique element at play as well that's hard for me to pin down, but there are discernible scents of onion along with spicy peppers which add a little extra fruitiness, earthiness, and a create a slight tingle on the nose.
Thickness & Texture
This rusty orange sauce is glossy and has a lot of texture to it from both spices and veggie bits. Those spices are easy to see and are plentiful, coming in red and orange specs in small and medium sizes. The sauce's thickness sits just a tad north of medium on scale and it has a medium-syrupy consistency. From a suspended spoon the sauce falls in a large drip that's followed by a fast, uneven pour. As the sauce slows, two to three slower drips release before ceasing and leaving a medium coating of sauce left clinging to the silverware.
Out of the Jar
An acidic tomato starts out the flavor profile, which gains some balance from a honey sweetness that's fleeting as mustard and vinegar both enter to add pungency and tartness. As the sauce settles on the tongue, the tang increases while a second wave of sugar, that has a light vanilla taste to it, comes in just before you can really begin to taste the spices. Like in the aroma, an oniony undertone is at play along with an earthy pepper that turns medium spicy as the sauce begins to exit the mouth. That spiciness really ramps up in the aftertaste, leaving a hefty lip tingling heat that mingles with remnants of tomato, vinegar, mustard, and a little sugar to create a full bodied remembrance of all the flavors previously experienced.
Slathered & Cooked
This sauce coated the chicken in a medium, even layer that baked down well over indirect heat. When moved over the coals, there was light caramelization, minimal sauce loss, and no burning. The first tastes of the leg brought a bright and acidic tomato and mustard flavor that started a robust profile that was built upon with subsequent bites that added those nuanced spices and mellow sweetness tasted out of the jar. By the time the chicken was done, a nice heat had built up that wasn't quite as strong as out the jar, but still pretty hot.
Put to Use
It's both kind of exciting and infuriating when I can't fully decode a sauce now that I have 250 reviews under my belt. There's something about The Got Damn Sauce that makes it more delicious than your average sauce, but I can't quite figure out what it is. The ingredient list has the unique addition of sweet pickle relish, and I'm sure that's at play, but it might just be how well the flavors are all working together and progressing in manner that I have not quite tasted before. It certainly still tastes like barbecue sauce and outputted a fine piece of chicken that delivered a great spice that made my heat-friendly taste buds happy, but it also wasn't so intense that it couldn't be universally loved. That universal part is key here because I think most all who try this sauce would come away happy and asking for more. The mustard component made this sauce pair really well with poultry, but I can't think of anything the overall flavor wouldn't be well suited for, making this a good all purpose choice for applications on and off the grill.