A small outfit down in Cherry Hill is putting out four varieties of wing sauce that they claim are the best available. Their claims don't stop there. You can check their website to see the extent of their claims to superiority: http://blackwoodswingsauce.com/
These are butter-style sauces (that they churn their own butter was the first thing to catch my attention) and between the small batches, the oak barrel aging and the fact that their Tom's River warehouse was devastated during Sandy with no flood insurance, I wanted very much to like these sauces. Frankly, I wanted to *LOVE* these sauces. I heard about them when I stopped by to review the new Hogsback on Route 33 - one of their salesman was suggesting Hogsback use their sauces (for the record, Hogsback's own sauce has won awards out of their Bordentown shop for years.) I approached the salesman in the parking lot, and bought a bottle of each of the four sauces they make. I only got to sample three of them - the fourth (the Chipotle sauce) exploded when I opened it - an indicator that because Blackwoods doesn't use preservatives, VERY serious attention has to be paid to expiration date and conditions of storage.
Of the three I tried, the Mild Garlic Parmesan, the Regular and the Hot, none blew me away. Neither the Mild nor the Regular will excite people who like heat, and the Hot is very tame compared to other sauces. With that said, sometimes it's the subtleties that make a great sauce and heat serves to overshadow those qualities. Alas, the Garlic Parmesan tasted very little of either garlic or Parmesan, and there was nothing to stand out in the Regular sauce. The hot sauce was my favorite, with some depth and darkness, and not so overly hot as to be nothing but a "hot sauce" but with all that said, I'll continue to make my own. There's nothing here to love.
I'm glad I contributed my $30 to support people who are really trying to make something outstanding and recover from Sandy, but those will be the last dollars going to Blackwoods.
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