For those of you keeping up with the site today, you’ll know that I’m burning through reviews on Arizona Rub like an out of control sagebrush fire, and you’ve already read about the Original version of Arizona Rub, you’re sticking around for the likely warmer Chipotle variety we’re looking at right now, and you’re the type of maniac who will check in later tonight to find out if their variety called Pistol Whip, with three varieties of chile peppers in it, will essentially beat me down like a whiskey-laden gunslinger from the old west. I would recommend reading about the Original if you haven’t already, as there will naturally be some comparisons made, being that these other rubs appear to be spicier adaptations from the Original. Ok, on to the task at hand. What we’ve got here is another rub from Arizona Rub, but it should be a touch further up in the heat category, and possibly a bit more of a smoked flavor from the introduction of chipotle chiles.
When I read the list for this, I nearly had to do a double take to make sure I wasn’t re-reading the list from their Original rub, and then I noticed the difference. Essentially, as far as the ingridient list indicates, this is the same as the Original, but the cumin powder has been swapped out for chipotle powder and the garlic and onion have made it a little futher up the list. I didn’t notice too much from the cumin in the last review, so it has me wondering if the chipotle will stand out much as the last in the list. Staying with their philosophy of using no fillers or non-natural ingredients, lets take a look at the full list: Brown Sugar, sea salt, paprika, garlic, onion, black pepper, chili powder and chipotle powder.
Visually, it’s nearly impossible to identify the difference between the Original and the Chipotle. The Chipotle variety has the same mildly coarse grind of generally brick red, and you have the similar speckling of black (pepper), grey (sea salt) and white (onion & garlic) specks throughout. Under very close inspection, which honestly, I’m sure nobody cares to do, you can see there is a bit more red to this blend, but it’s only noticeable when you’re holding a bottle of the Original next to it. What is definitely different here is the aroma. There is definitely a noted representation in aroma from the smokey element of the chipotle. While there still exists that general sweet Ancho aroma, which some describe as a spicy raisin-like scent, you can pick up a fair bit more of the garlic in the aroma this time around, laced with the Chipotle smoke.
Your tongue is quite quickly introduced to a more prominent sweet and salty taste of the mild Ancho chile flavor, and then hints of the smokiness of the chipotle peppers just following behind that. There is a touch more heat that comes from the chipotle, but this doesn’t peak more than a strong Mild. What I’m liking so far from the Arizona Rub brand is that they aren’t as aggressive with the salt component, and that you really get to experience the flavors of chiles as a main component of their rub, with all the other components playing a supporting role. I was initially concerned about there being so much sugar in this line, but I’m starting to see that it really doesn’t play too much with the overall flavor, and gives it more of a BBQ sauce flavor than if it were missing. The end rating on this is a Notable. The balance of savory, salty, sweet, smokey, and spicy is done very well, and I think it might possibly be the first commercial rub that I’ve had that once moistened with a meats natural juices could be said to create it’s own spicy BBQ glaze while cooking. Also, since this in entirely a spice mix, you could use it to doctor up a variety of condiments from the grocery aisle and create your own flavors at home for marinating.