Joe's Kansas City Whiskey Bar-B-Que Sauce combines "two things that are great about Kansas City," says Cary Taylor, Joe's KC culinary director: J. Rieger & Co. whiskey and the barbecue icona s Kansas City-style sauce. (Jill Silva/Kansas City Star/TNS)
Photo: Jill Silva/TNS
Photo: Jill Silva/TNS

Two Kansas City greats create limited edition barbecue sauce with whiskey

If you guessed Joe’s Kansas City and J. Rieger & Co., you’d be on the money. 

Joe’s Kansas City Whiskey Bar-B-Que Sauce combines “two things that are great about Kansas City,” says Cary Taylor, Joe’s KC culinary director. 

But creating a balanced sauce was not as easy as pouring a jigger of J. Rieger Kansas City Whiskey into Joe’s KC Original BBQ Sauce and calling it good. 

The ingredients that make a Kansas City-style sauce — molasses, all spice, cloves and mustard — needed to be toned down so the subtle flavors of the whiskey aged in sherry barrels comes through. 

“We wanted a style sauce to know it was from KC, but (we needed a sauce) that wasn’t as intense as Joe’s Original,” Taylor says. 

And from the whiskey, “we tried to really capture the barrel aspect. Since the whiskey is aged in sherry barrels, it has a lighter flavor,” he says. 

The result is a sauce that is “not real boozy” and “warm” with “notes of oak and vanilla.” 

Just in time for holiday gift-giving, the limited-edition sauce collaboration yielded only 980 bottles. The hand-labeled 375-milliliter (15-ounce) bottles, similar to a Rieger whiskey bottles, sell for $14.99.

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