Posted November 21, 2007 by HSB Reviewing Team in Reviews

Review: Blind Hot Sauce Review #102 – Hot

Blind Hot Sauce Review #102

Warning: This is a fairly long review – if you can’t wait until the end to find out what the sauce is, just skip to the end here.

First Impression:
Reviewer #1: Wow, blind tasting. Without a label to make fun of, I’ve lost a significant amount of potential material. I guess I could call out Nick’s tape job, or his handwriting, but they are both pretty solid. I chose the one labeled hot for tonight, wanted to give myself a good kick in the pants after a long week. Since I was buying the food before tasting the sauce or seeing the ingredients, I knew I had to keep it simple. This leaves the hot sauce taster with 3 reliable options: eggs, pizza, or pasta. I decided to go basic as possible and try it on an egg sandwich type deal. Looking at the sauce while it was still inside the bottle, it reminded me of the sauce called Scorned Woman, which I never really liked, but I forget why.

Reviewer #3: It was a day like any other day: the sun was out, the air was cool, and the breeze was brisk. A package arrived at the door, and inside was a masked bottle. My mission, should I have chosen to accept it, was to do a blind review of this mystery sauce. So when I came back from Fantasy Land there was a package from Nick, and the bottle was taped up so I wouldn’t know what it was. I really like this idea; Cigar Aficionado and Wine Spectator magazines use this “blind” method, and they are the leaders in their respective fields. So I’m excited about this, and you, Dear Reader, will have to suffer knowing that my life is a tad more exciting than your’s. Sorry, but, ha ha!

Reviewer #1: Dark orange, prominent black flecks, perhaps pepper? Looks like a certain variety of pasta sauce. After pouring it, I am relatively sure it is not of the Scorned Woman line. It pours very slowly, to the point where I had to bang on the bottle a little, shake it, and wait for stuff to come out. Do I have a Heinz on my hands? Will good things come to me, who waits? I actually had to clear some stuff out of the neck to even be able to pour anything. It’s grainy and course, a rigid texture.

Reviewer #2: Twirling the bottle around, it looks like it’s mostly ground chiles, pretty thick, with small flecks of red and white and large flecks of black pepper. Pouring it out on the plate, it is reddish-orange, thick, gritty and menacing. 7/10

Reviewer #3: The sauce itself is dark orange with flecks of black. It’s fairly thick with a consistency of ketchup, and pours well out of the bottle. Deep and rich orange, thick and deliberate. Black pepper through-out.

Blind Hot Sauce Review #102

Reviewer #1: It smells like a classic sweet habanero sauce, like a Busha Browne’s Pukka or a Melinda’s, or a Tropical Pepper Co. It tingles your nose, but the scent alone is not a harbinger of insane heat. There is a moderate garlic nose and notes of something else. Because the sauce is orange, I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that it’s carrots.

Reviewer #2: All I can smell is fresh Habanero, or maybe Scotch Bonnet. Can’t smell much else. The bridge of my nose glistens at the very anticipation of tasting this sauce. 8.5/10

Reviewer #3: Fresh habanero smell with a hint of garlic and citrus, but strangely smells processed. The aroma is a combination of vinegar and citrus, leading me to think this is a habanero sauce with possibly Serrano chile blended in. There is a very faint hint of garlic, but over-all a very nicely balanced smell.

Reviewer #1: There is a sweetness that just settles in there for a good 4-5 seconds before a very gradual, but consistent build of heat. I think the black spots are black pepper, because I got a strong peppery palate just before the heat really started to kick up. There is a little garlic, but it is overwhelmed by a remarkable tanginess that comes out of nowhere. The problem is, there is no distinguishing flavor that the tanginess alone serves to justify. It could just be vinegar accentuating the peppers.

Reviewer #2: Pure Habanero, mostly in the aftertaste, once the heat subsided enough for my tastebuds to return. One can take comfort in the fact that if you O.D. on this sauce, as you lay dying, you will at least have a pleasant flavor of Habanero on your tongue before you leave this world. 7.5/10

Reviewer #3: A balanced combination of chiles and black pepper, but that’s over shadowed by the heat. If the heat could have been held off a little longer, the flavors could be sublime.

Reviewer #1: This heat builds and builds and builds, especially if you are tasting it straight and need to keep going back to try to discern flavor. It burns middle tongue, chest, and stomach if you haven’t had much to eat beforehand. I am actually suffering a bit right now and it’s a bit hard to concentrate on writing. The stuff is inducing a very slow breathing pattern that is making me quite lightheaded; believe it or not, I am borderline endorphine rushing. It’s just a pleasant headrush and some light numbness in my core. I am not kidding. The weird thing is, part of me doesn’t even consider it that hot. The heat has staying power. I am straight-tasting now, but I had eggs with it a little while ago (see below) and while the real intense part wore off after about 6 minutes, it took more than 15 to bring it down to acceptable levels, and it was still lingering a bit. I also noticed after the eggs a heat that chose to burrow itself under my tongue. I never really thought about all the different kinds of heat until I started doing these reviews, but different sauces choose different mouth locations to attack. The heat even has a bit of a nasal burn effect, though I may have mistakenly picked my nose, I don’t remember. The build of the heat was the most intriguing thing for me, and I’ve never had such long, gradual creep of intensity before. I’m wondering if perhaps this is the fabled jalokia, which I still have yet to try, but maybe this is just wishful thinking.

Reviewer #2: I am not an “extreme” chile taster, so for me, the heat level is nothing short of “devastating”. I dip the tip of a knife in the sauce and taste it without food. It attacks me straight away, with all of the powerful effects of a Habanero. Instant runny nose. Full mouth and throat burn. Instant activity in all sweat points. I am wondering if the naked Habanero can do this much damage without the help of something more concentrated. While I ponder that, I make a fatal mistake. I don’t wait for the initial effects to present themselves fully and I forge ahead with the tasting on food. I coat the end of my fork and mix it in my Jambalaya. It imparts that wonderful Hab character, but burns like hell. The only things that alleviate the burn are the salty ham in my Jambalaya and lashings of cold apple cider. Then, I double the dose. I’m instantly in trouble. Constantly wiping my eyes and nose, which are running uncontrollably. Serious mouth damage, to the point that I take sips of hot water in an attempt to release the oils. Extremities tingling, heartburn. I’m starting to worry that I’m at home alone, tasting this “bottled death”. 30 minutes later, my mouth is still numb. 5 hours later, my lips are still burning. 15 hours later, I am awakened out of a sound sleep by an endorphin rush. 24 hours later, well”¦suffice to say that I danced with the devil and the devil came to collect the next day. 10+/10

Reviewer #3: This heat is my kind of heat: Says hello right away, makes you take notice, and then takes it’s time to leave. Excellent back of throat burn that lingers.

Blind Hot Sauce Review #102

Blind Hot Sauce Review #102

Blind Hot Sauce Review #102

Reviewer #1: It was good on eggs, and good old faithful eggs did an admirable job, considering what we were dealing with, in quelling the burn a little. I also had some shredded cheese in there, which also probably softened the blow. I wasn’t terribly crazy about the flavor because I didn’t feel there was a huge amount there, but I’ve also never been a huge black pepper fan, and that was the one thing I thought was pretty pronounced before the heat set in. This all being said, I am sometimes willing to overlook these subjective flavor discrepancies in the interest of heat. This is definitely the case here. The intensity of the heat impressed me, but what I found the most compelling and just downright neat was the calculated method by which the heat reached full capacity. It was a strong heat with very unique character. It’s a clever little heat. Plus, it almost sent me to the ER (endorphine rush, if that isn’t hot sauce slang already it should be). So overall, this sauce is fine by me. I think it would be good in moderation in a meaty pasta sauce. For some reason I want to put it on shrimp or crab, just a light dusting, but I think that is merely a visual association.

Reviewer #2: For the average hot sauce lover, I would say 7.5/10. For the serious heat-seeker, it has to be a 10/10. I hope for everyone’s sake, this sauce carries a warning label. It owned me.

Reviewer #3: I prefer to use pasta with sauces I’m totally unfamiliar with because the starch tempers the heat while retaining the original flavor. I made linguini with a bacon-cream sauce, and put the hot sauce into the bacon-cream sauce, then drizzled the hot sauce on top of the finished product. In my experience, or tastes really, there can never be too much hot sauce in any finished product. The first taste I got was pure heat, which I really don’t mind. Again, there was a lemon/lime flavor, and now the black pepper really came out. What impressed me was that the sauce, while retaining its heat, retained its flavor-nothing broke down or came apart during the cooking process. And this sauce really complimented the over-all dish. I experimented with other foods; fried chicken, pizza, and chili, and the sauce really delivered a much needed capsaicin kick. Good, good stuff.
This is a sauce that has a lot going for it, but the heat dominates the overall package. That’s great if you’re searching for the heat, but unfortunate because there are other flavors in there that are wasted in effort. Still, this is a sauce that I would keep in the pantry because of the all-around construction. Good stuff.

Curious to know what sauce it is? Information on the sauce is available below the fold

HSB Blind Review #104: CaJohn’s Scorch Hot Sauce

Scorch Hot Sauce
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CaJohn’s Scorch Hot Sauce – The hottest all natural pepper sauce ever produced! Nick Panico, Reviewer, www.hotsauceblog.com. Just one of the many accolades given this sauce by the Chilehead Community. Produced with three of the world’s hottest chiles, it’s no wonder this sauce is pushing the limit on what can be acheived without the use of capsicum extract. Enjoy the burn! Mamma told you not to play with fire, but you’ll be fine once the fire subsides…

CaJohns Fiery Foods
2040 Oakland Park Avenue
PO Box 24010
Columbus, Ohio 43224

HSB Reviewing Team