North Carolina is much better known for its legendary vinegar-based barbecue sauce than it is for its hot sauce. But that doesn't mean that there aren't any flavor-packed, fiery-hot hot sauces made in North Carolina -- it just means you need to know where to look for them! Luckily, I recently had the opportunity to try a new hot sauce that's made in the heart of North Carolina NASCAR country, with the colorful (and long) name of Race City Sauce Works Moonshiners Run Whisky Barrel Hot Sauce. As you might guess, "Race City Sauce Works" is the name of the company that makes this feisty hot sauce. The reference to moonshiners and whisky barrels comes from one of the unique ingredients in this all-natural hot sauce: a splash of bourbon, which adds a deep richness and hints of toasted caramel. Other ingredients in this gourmet hot sauce include a selection of eight different kinds of locally grown chile peppers, which are wood-smoked for an earthy smokiness that complements their layers of fiery spice. All of this is blended with a secret combination of herbs and spices in a tangy tomato and vinegar base, with a pinch of brown sugar and a touch of raisins and NC sweet potatoes for a subtle sweetness that rounds out any harsh edges without turning this robust hot sauce into a "sweet" hot sauce.
You can really taste the quality ingredients and the care that goes into making Race City Sauce Works Moonshiners Run Whisky Barrel Hot Sauce. Unlike thin, vinegary grocery store hot sauces, Moonshiners Run Whisky Barrel Hot Sauce has substance to its body, so that it will stick to your food instead of just running off it or making your sandwich bread or hamburger bun soggy. The heat level is a peppery medium-hot that builds to a nice fiery level without ever scorching or hurting, which means you can still taste the flavors in the sauce (and in your food) even after several bites. In short, this is a food-friendly hot sauce that you can use on just about anything except maybe dessert. And if you're trying to eat healthy, you'll be glad to know that this hot sauce is very low sodium and also low carb (although the manufacturer doesn't yet have the nutritional info on his labels, he was kind enough to send us the information so that we could post it on our Race City Sauce Works Moonshiners Run Whisky Barrel Hot Sauce product page). Treat yourself to a bottle today, while it's on sale at the Carolina Sauce Company online store!