I was recently sent a sample pack of RavensBark BBQ sauces from owner Bob Stoltman. The sampler contained all 4 of the RavensBark sauces: “The General”, “The Bumble-B”, “The Hickory” and “The Firehouse”. The first two I had the chance to sample the other day were “The Hickory” and “The Bumble-B”. Both sauces are tomato-based, Kansas City style sauces and in my opinion are very similar, with a few differences to note:
The Bumble-B is thick, sweet and tangy with some nice smoky flavor. The molasses and Worcestershire flavors really jumped out to me and the cayenne gives the sweet/smoky flavor just a tad of kick on the finish. It’s a nice blend of sweet with the “zesty finish” that they refer to on the bottle. It pours nice and thick and has a medium burgundy color with a few visible spices here and there.
The Hickory is almost identical in look and taste to the Bumble-B with a few differences. It doesn’t have the honey and isn’t as sweet and comes off more of a traditional smoky K.C. style sauce than the Bumble-B. It also doesn’t have as much kick on the finish (so prob not as much cayenne, though I could be wrong…) and it poured a bit thicker than the Bumble-B.
Both of these sauces pack a TON of flavor and are going to be best on ribs and/or chicken. I’m thinking a slab of spares or baby backs with some Bumble-B will be quite tasty! I’ll post a pic when I get a chance to try that out.
I had a chance to bounce a few questions off Bob and here’s what he had to say:
- Tell us a bit about your company (how did you get started, your BBQ background, location, etc…)? – It is hard to believe that a company heralded for its BBQ sauce is named after a dog, but it’s true. “Raven” is our honorary Chairman, a trusted companion and hunting dog. “Bark” is a double play on words for the shop’s original product, English Toffee and the fact that she rarely barks. RavensBark hails from Houston, Texas, where barbecue is an art form. Our product offering includes custom packaging for corporate gifts and events and one of our corporate partners wantedus to develop another product to go along with their annual Toffee gift giving. He had been impressed with a homemade BBQ sauce tasted while having dinner with our family and asked that we develop it for his customers. This request and a family recipe for homemade sauce became the inspiration for our original flavor, The General. We craft our sauce in small batches, to control quality and insure freshness. You can bet your boots that every bottle is fresh, balanced to perfection and will make you the neighborhood pit master.
- Tell us about your sauces (what kind of sauces do you offer, what foods are they best on, what do you pride yourselves on, etc…)? – RavensBark comes in 4 great flavors; The General, The Bumble-B, The Hickory and The Firehouse. The General is our original flavor and is essentially the sauce I grew up making and eating. It is a great boldly flavored sauce that is worthy of 5-stars in our opinion. The Bumble-B is a honey BBQ Sauce with a zesty finish. We think it goes great on chicken and pork. The Hickory add that just off the pit smoky flavor right out of the bottle, so if you don’t have time to go to the grill, you can still take credit for that flavor. The Firehouse is the super spicy blaze of flavor that only habenero pepper can fuel. This sauce is very hot and spicy, but with the habanero, it still has a great almost fruity flavor. We also offer the option of corporate gift giving. We have a 4-pack gift set that is in a carrier that can be customized for any need. How about a Merry Christmas pack that has your seasonal slogan, logo and any other information you’d like to convey to your customers for gift giving this year? Tired of giving the same old company trinkets to your employees as safety awards or achievement incentives? Try RavensBark and customize the packaging to your specific company need. Our gift set is priced to be a fully tax deductible gift no matter your use. See the site for details or call me directly at 713-594-4881.
- Where can we buy your sauces? – We are a Texas company and are available throughout the state at Randalls and Tom Thumb which is a division of Safeway. We are also available it select Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage in Texas and Oklahoma. Of course, www.ravensbark.com sells the sauce anywhere in the world. We are currently working with several regional and national retailers. Stay tuned for more options to buy RavensBark BBQ Sauce!