BBQ Rub Review: Lionheart “Original Barbecue” and “Smoked Herb & Garlic”

Lionheart Spices out of Milwaukee, WI offers up eight flavorful rubs and spice blends including the following:

  • Original Barbecue
  • Smoked Herb & Garlic
  • Chipotle
  • Lemon Rosemary
  • Sugar & Spice
  • Bourbon Street
  • Fire Rub
  • Scarborough Fair

I had the chance to check out both the Original Barbecue and Smoked Herb & Garlic the other day and was stoked on the flavor profile of these rubs/spices.  I used the Original Barbecue on a nice rack of St. Louis style ribs and then tossed a couple grilled veggie sides with the Smoked Herb & Garlic.  The Original Barbecue is a milder BBQ rub that will go well especially with pork and beef.  I really liked the hints of cinnamon and brown sugar.  I left half of the ribs dry rubbed on the finish so I could really taste the rub, and man…it was goooooood!  Both my wife and I typically prefer sauced ribs, but both of us focused on the dry rubbed half until there were gone 🙂  This will be a great rub to use for a crowd b/c it has a ton of flavor with little kick/heat which is usually a safe bet when you’re dealing with larger crowds.

And let’s not forget the Smoked Herb & Garlic….  this is a blend that will rock on some poultry, but honestly, it’s so dang good on veggies that I’ve been tossing any veggies I cook in this stuff.  So incredibly good.  I’ll have to put it to work on some chicken soon, but for now, I’ve been using it out back on BBQ foods as well as in the kitchen on stove top meals.  The Lionheart guys say it’s their best seller and I can see why.  The smoky garlic flavor is unreal tasty.  Definitely check this one out!

I’ll be reviewing more of their rubs/spices as time permits, but in the meantime I had the chance to catch up with co-owner Luke Leonhardt and bounce a few questions off him.  Here’s what he had to say-

1.  Tell us about your background in BBQ – My business partner is my younger brother. We grew up in a cooking household, regularly helping out with dinners and Holiday meals. After I graduated from college I worked in several restaurants and got even more into cooking. I would steal ideas from work and try them at home. I bought my first grill about five years ago. It was a basic Weber kettle; nothing sexy, but it quickly became my favorite weekend escape. Every Sunday I’d make a new BBQ adventure project , including overnight cooks, where I was up every two hours spraying with apple or pineapple juice and fiddling with the vents to my Weber. My brother and I are just two guys who love to grill out, drink beer, and eat amazing food with family & friends.

2.  How did Lionheart come about and what do you guys pride yourselves on? – The first few products of our portfolio came from my attempts to make spice blends that were more interesting than those I found in stores. I wanted something that I could use in many different styles of dishes, and that would help my creativity. I got a lot of suggestions from friends that I should take these first few blends and sell them at farmers markets, and so I asked my brother to go into business with me(he’s the financial and technical end of the business). We picked the name Lionheart because it’s where our last name (Leonhardt) is derived from. We pride ourselves on spice blends that are original, versatile, and creative. Most of them can be used as rubs or as seasonings in other kinds of cooking.

3.  Tell us about your products and let us know what food pairings you recommend? –  Our current product line consists of eight blends:
1. Original BBQ dry rub – Sweet & moody with lots of attitude. Great with any low & slow cooked meats: ribs, chicken, brisket, pork shoulder. Boil with with fruit juice, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, and cider vinegar to make an awesome homemade BBQ sauce!
2. Lemon & Rosemary – Soft, subtle, and aromatic. Use this one in roasted pork, seafood, and poultry dishes.
3. Smoked Herb & Garlic – Our top seller! Great on any meat, starch, or vegetable. If you like garlic, you’ve GOT to check this out!
4. Sugar & Spice – perfect in any baked goods (pies, cookies, cakes,), breakfast items (French toast, cinnamon rolls), or sweet meats
5. Chipotle – Smokey with a lime zip and ascending medium heat. I love this on chicken wings or Mexican style dishes.
6. Bourbon Street – Our spiciest product. a must have if you want to add that Cajun bite to meats, rice, jambalaya, or gumbo!
7. Scarborough Faire – a really versatile herb blend that has among its ingredients parsley, sage, rosemary, and time – Great with roast meats, soups, sautéed, and poached dishes
8. Scarborough Faire – low sodium – same great aromatics with no added salt

4.  Where can we purchase your products? – Our products are available in several retail stores in the Milwaukee area: Outpost Natural Foods, Bunzel’s Meat Market, The Riverwest Co-op, and Sweetwater Organics. Our products can also be purchased through our website: www.lionheartspices.com . We sell them in 5.5 oz pinch jars, and 3.5oz shaker bottles. We also can be found at local farmers markets during the summer!

Lionheart Spices Review

Lionheart Spices Review

Lionheart Spices Review

Lionheart Spices Review

Lionheart Spices Review

Lionheart "Smoked Herb & Garlic" Spice Blend

Lionheart "Smoked Herb & Garlic" Spice Blend

Lionheart "Smoked Herb & Garlic" Spice Blend

Lionheart "Smoked Herb & Garlic" Spice Blend

Lionheart "Smoked Herb & Garlic" Spice Blend

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2 Responses to BBQ Rub Review: Lionheart “Original Barbecue” and “Smoked Herb & Garlic”

  1. Stormy November 16, 2015 at 9:50 pm #

    I’m looking to purchase some lionheart items for my husband for Christmas. Do you know where I can purchase them? Their website no longer exists and I can’t seem to find their products online for sale anywhere!

    • Steve November 20, 2015 at 9:15 am #

      I’m thinking they’re out of business…

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