Week of Wings II – Day 2 – Sean’s booYah! Buffalo Wing Sauce
Sean’s booYah! Buffalo Wing Sauce is a 24 time national award winner, along with a numerous Scovie Awards in 2010 and is a staple at the annual National Buffalo Wing Festival – boasting the longest lines of any vendor. We cooked up 3 batches of wings with each of Sean’s booYah! sauces. The “Not so Hot” mild, the “Sorta Hot” medium, and the “Real Hot” hot flavors all have a great taste, but one of them really shines. Read on to see which one was the winner with us.
Sean Tierney of Sean’s booYah! Buffalo Wing Sauces (yes, it’s spelled booYah!) has a great sense of humor and it shows in everything from his web site – “make the hole in yer face happy!“; in his videos on his site, and to the cooking instructions which end with “… put ‘em in the hole in yer face.”
We cooked these wings with our usual 3 step method detailed here in our Cooking Wings 101 post. We baked them at 375° for 20 minutes then a quick deep fry for 5 minutes to get them really crispy.
After that, we followed Sean’s instructions to the letter (sorta):
Dump the whole bottle [12 ounces] into a saucepan. Warm gently over low heat. (watch out! don’t boil it!). When it gets warm, add 2 sticks of butter [16 Tbls] and start whiskin’. Whisk together completely, remove from heat. Get your wings all xter crispy like, drown ‘em in the sauce, and put ‘em in the hole in yer face. be happy!
For this review, we actually used only 3 ounces of sauce and 4 Tbls. of butter for each of the 3 flavors.
We fried these really hot and quickly tossed the wings into the warm sauce. We let the sauce soak in. This lets the sauce really set up well and soak in, which is a key component for wing sauce that is a winner with us.
Our overall first impressions:
Brian: These sauces have a fantastic flavor for being cayenne based. I’m surprised! I’m not usually a fan of cayenne sauces.
Marilyn: Yes, they have much less vinegar flavor than most cayenne sauces, and I think that’s a big part of their huge flavor hit.
On to the sauces – Mild “Not So Hot” is first:
Brian: A nice flavor, very mild – anyone could eat these. Nice and buttery with light heat – a very satisfying flavor.
Marilyn:I agree it’s probably one of the best mild sauces we’ve had. If I were to eat a dozen of these mild wings, I could easily do it without any dips or cooling off. We both agree these were delicious. I was surprised that the mild soaked into the wings the least though. The sauce stayed on top more than the other 2 versions.
Bottom line: – This is a great wing sauce for folks that want a nice, mild, warm tasting wing sauce. If you’ve never made your own wings at home, or want something with just a little hint of heat, this sauce is for you. For us, it was surprisingly good!
Medium “Sorta Hot”
Brian: These came out crispier… maybe the oil had a chance to really heat up. But to call this sauce medium is an understatement… I would say these are HOT!. These are hot wings. It’s not a “hurt you” hot… but when you want a “hot” wing, this is a good sauce for that. Spoiler alert – these were my favorite of the bunch.
Marilyn: Oh my, really hot. Great flavor, but the heat is really coming out in these “medium” wings. After eating just one drummie of this heat level, I needed some blue cheese dressing to cool off.
The flavor profile is really good. The proportion of hot sauce to butter is really important with all of these sauces, but I think the ratio really shines with this one. My favorite as well.
Bottom line: – The medium sauce soaked into the wings perfectly. Best all around of the bunch. For a sauce that you want to eat time after time, this one is the winner.
Hot “Really Hot”
Brian: I had to have some blue cheese dip before I tackled these. Upon tasting the hot version, I disagree with Marilyn on the flavor. It’s not as flavorful as the medium. It’s just more heat. Although this sauce soaked nicely, it wasn’t as good as the medium in terms of both the consistency (soaking) and flavor. It’s really hot and should satisfy the “ooh-rah” men out there that want to cry and sweat, but it fails to impress me with flavor.
Marilyn: We gave these plenty of time to soak in. Flavor-wise, these too are flavorful in my opinion. But the heat is hurting me. These are HOT. My lips were burning! Wow.
And you can see in the pic below the sauce also had the deepest red color.
Bottom line: – (for lack of flavor) – Of course it’s the hottest of the 3, therefore the flavor profile wasn’t as pronounced as the medium or mild. As for soaking into the wings, the hot was just ok soak-wise. Also, let us repeat… this stuff is hot! On a heat scale of 1 – 10, we’d put it at 7 or 8… so it’s not going to send you to the hospital, but it’s not as hot as many of the hot sauces we chileheads as a group are used to having.
Our Final thoughts:
The medium “Sorta Hot” was the best in our opinion. We liked the mild, but it was more “glaze-like”, and we liked the hot, but it was more heat than flavor. The fact that you have to add your own butter to all of these sauces is a good thing. Too many bottled wing sauces with the butter flavor added can have a fake taste. So kudos to Sean for that aspect. Finally, it’s no wonder the booYah! booth at the National Buffalo Wing Festival is one of the busiest, as these sauces are worthy of all the awards, and worthy of you ordering yourself and your family a bottle or 2 of each of these great flavors.
Texture & Appearance: All are of a light to medium thick consistency – with each flavor having a “cling” factor unique to it’s heat factor and makeup.
Taste: See above.
Heat Level:Yup… there’s heat. Again, see above.
Label/Graphics: Great, hilarious, tongue-in-cheek graphics and text.
Overall Rating: Overall, we have to award Sean’s booYah! Buffalo Wing Sauces a hearty – based on quality, taste, consistency, ingredients, success, and overall goodness.
Ingredients: Hang on.. this gets goofy!
Mild – “Not So Hot” hot sauce (aged cayenne red peppers, vinegar, water, salt, garlic powder), more vinegar, ketchup (tomato concentrate, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, natural flavoring), more hot sauce (peppers, vinegar, salt), even more hot sauce (distilled vinegar, hot pepper, salt), spices, habanero mash (habanero peppers, citric acid), xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate (as preservative)
Medium – “Sorta Hot” hot sauce (aged cayenne red peppers, vinegar, water, salt, garlic powder), more hot sauce (peppers, vinegar, salt), more vinegar, ketchup (tomato concentrate, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, natural flavoring), even more hot sauce (distilled vinegar, red pepper, salt), habanero mash (habanero peppers, citric acid), spices, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate (as preservative)
Hot – “Real Hot” hot sauce (aged cayenne red peppers, vinegar, water, salt, garlic powder), more hot sauce (peppers, vinegar, salt), more vinegar, even more hot sauce (distilled vinegar, red pepper, salt), ketchup (tomato concentrate, distilled vinegar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, salt, spice, onion powder, natural flavoring), habanero mash (habanero peppers, citric acid), spices, xanthan gum, potassium sorbate, sodium benzoate (as preservative)
We hope you enjoyed this post and be sure and check out our other Week of Wings II posts!
~brian and marilyn
Update 01/22/2011 – Sean kindly wrote me, after this review was posted, to point out a few important details we may have left out or that we had been unaware of:
- They are not just a small batch manufactuer, they are truly a “microbatch” outfit, hand bottling each sauce.
- They are not set up yet for a full scale sales operation, focusing ONLY on the quality of the sauces and not marketing.
- The “Real Hot” version we reviewed here has been renamed to “The Creeper”, with the newest hotter sauce named “The Hammer”.
- Within the next 6 weeks or so, they hope to launch a new website, with new labels, new product names, and a few *new* exotic sauces that have already won awards!
- Below is a nice picture Sean shared with us of how booYah! wings look when you dip them (instead of tossing) according to his instructions. Awesome!
Of course we will keep you readers up to date!