Kosmo's Q OP X-1 Secret BBQ Sauce
Kosmo's Q OP X-1 Secret BBQ Sauce
$9.95 for 15.5oz at Kosmo's Q
Cane Sugar, Apple Cider Vinegar, Tomato Paste, Distilled Vinegar, Water, Molasses, Salt Spices, Ancho Powder, Dried Onions, Lemon Juice Concentrate, Mustard Seeds, Dried Garlic, Ginger Powder, Natural Smoke Flavor, Vanilla Extract, Tamarind Concentrate
Darian Kozz, the man behind Kosmo Q's, began his barbecue journey at the age of 13 when he started working at Wilds Fish Farm and was given responsibilities that included slicing brisket, rubbing ribs, and smoking poultry. With a foundation in smoked meats already established, Darian founded his Kosmo Q competition team in 2003, which has gone on to rack up numerous awards and recognitions like multiple grand and reserve grand champion titles and invitations to the Jack and Chest-to-Chest World Brisket Cook-Off. It was in effort to support his competition habit that led Darian to start bottling and selling his sauces and rubs, but that business began to take off for him in way that required him to focus additional time on developing more Kosmo Q branded items. He currently sells seven different sauces, eight unique rubs, and other marinades, injections, and glazes online out of his home base of Tuttle, Oklahoma.
A strong sweet and savory character defines the initial aroma of this sauce. Sitting on top of an acidic tomato base there's a hefty amount of molasses paired with what smells like tamarind, creating a different type savoriness than the more common Worcestershire. Also mixing in right behind that is a medium smokiness and the distinct smells of onion and garlic powders. The spices run deeper than that though, although the rest are hard to discern from the aroma alone, but there's a hint of a fruitiness other than tomato that could be coming from peppers.
Thickness & Texture
This semi-glossy, dark maroon sauce is opaque, but it's still easy to see a lot of spices that also create a light texture to the otherwise smooth and syrupy consistency. The black, red, and white spice specs come in all sizes and there's some larger bits that look like they're pieces of veggies mixed in as well. From a suspended spoon, this medium-thick sauce falls in a fast and uneven pour that quickly changes to fast drips and then a few slower ones before stopping and leaving a medium coating left clinging to the spoon.
Out of the Jar
Right out of the gate, this sauce delivers a bold and robust flavor. A strong, sweet tomato melds with molasses from the outset, then quickly turns very tangy with a strong tamarind savoriness to cement a barbecue profile. The spices then come in a very noticeable fashion, delivering a strong garlic and onion powder flavor with a little mustard pungency and earthy and fruity pepper undertones. As the sauce gains a mild smokiness, the tang factor ramps up and the peppers turn spicy, all combining with the still present sweet molasses to end with an aftertaste that had a whole lot going on.
Slathered & Cooked
This sauce coated the chicken in a medium, even layer that baked down like a champ. There was almost no sauce loss and picture perfect caramelization when moved directly over the coals. Compared to the flavor out of the jar, the first few bites where fairly mild with a mainly sweet molasses flavor. About three nibbles in though, that wave of spices and savoriness hit and delivered a bold profile that was a little more subdued and milder on the heat than out of the jar. By the time the leg was done being consumed though, the flavor of the sauce gained its full robustness in a way that it was way more prominent than the light taste of the poultry.
Put to Use
So far, I've been loving the Kosmo Q sauces, which taste like they were birthed from competition barbecue, but are well tailored to backyard applications with a very pleasing mixture of flavors. OP X-1 is the first of the line that really felt like it might be best served primarily for competition applications. It had that sweet syrupy flavor and texture that wins awards and a flavor whose boldness would make a judge really take notice if they were eating only one bite. With a savoriness and tartness delivered by tamarind, this is definitely more unique and more of a head turner than your average competition product, and for that, I think this sauce deserves a lot of love. However, for the standard backyard barbecuer, the sauce's hand may be a bit heavier than you want, especially if using it on light meats—it did drown out the flavor of the chicken by the time I finished eating it. On ribs or other heavily spice-rubbed items, this sauce might be a better match, but I do think this sauce will find the most love and uses from barbecue competitors where it might just be the leg up needed to get you those coveted extra points.