Posted November 30, 2005 by John in Makers

Review: Blair’s Sudden Death Sauce

Blair's Sudden Death

After receiving my bottle of Blair’s LeMillion Reserve #341 in the mail, I simply had to try Blair’s Sudden Death Sauce, which was free with purchase.

I enjoy extract sauces. They are the easiest way to get the old style burn that I first loved about hot sauces, before I had any heat tolerance built up or sense of what flavors I liked.

But most extract sauces on the market simply don’t taste very good. They add heat alright, but all you can taste is extract.

My usual extract sauce of choice, Mad Dog 357, is a good example. Great for heat, tolerable for taste. But I usually use it in small enough quantities that the taste doesn’t dominate the food.

Ingredients: Red Habanero Pods, Cayenne Chilies, White Vinegar, Soybean Oil, Pure Pepper Resin, Clover Honey, Key Lime Juice, Siberian Ginseng, Spices. Contains absolutely no preservatives or artificial ingredients.

On First Taste
I tried a drop of Blair’s Sudden Death on a cracker. The consistency is thick, and the pour is very slow. Also of note, the bottle didn’t have the ring of black crap at the top like my other extract sauces get. Blair's Sudden Death on a CrackerAnd the sauce looked fresher than most extracts, with chunks and bits floating around. I took my first taste rather gingerly, not sure of the heat level of this sauce. A second passed, then yup, it pretty much tasted like extract. The heat followed quickly, which was ample but tolerable. The burn lasted for about 5 minutes, and I didn’t get much flavor. But with my tongue appropriately “warmed up”, I set off to see if Blair has packed any subtle flavors in his sauce to be discovered.

The second taste I took surprised me. The extract taste was less pronounced than I expected. Rolling it around in my mouth was much more pleasant than my previous experience; it brought out other subtle flavors I didn’t expect. A citrusy lime is in the forefront, and a tinge of honey sweetness is detectable. The extract taste is there the whole way, but it isn’t harsh or chemical tasting. The cayenne flavor is stronger than the habanero flavor, which is a fun change of pace for a sauce this hot.

On Food
Blair's Sudden Death Bloody MaryWhat better use for such a burner than in a Bloody Mary on a Sunday afternoon watching football? I mixed up my normal concoction of Bombay Sapphire Gin, Major Peter’s Bloody Mary Mix, and a few drops or Worcestershire. I added 4 drops of Blair’s Sudden Death, the same amount I usually add of MD357, and garnished with a dill pickle and 3 jalapeno and garlic stuffed olives.

The burn was noticeable, but it wasn’t as hot as I expected. No extract flavor came through to the drink, but it did add noticeable lime notes under the heat.

I added two more very generous splashes of Blair’s Sudden Death to bring the heat up to what I expected. And that amount sure kicked up the heat to a wonderfully blazing, rolling burn on each sip. And, despite the large amount used, no extract flavor came through. It tasted exactly like a stock Bloody Mary, maybe with a squeeze of lime added – but with terrific heat. I think I’ve found a new stock sauce for Football Season!

Blair’s Sudden Death is a very good extract sauce, by my reckoning. In small doses it add exceptional heat while slightly enhancing flavor. It stands above many other extract sauces in that it tastes good on it’s own.

In the large scale of things, Blair’s Sudden Death isn’t a major improvement over my other extract sauces. Most of the time I use them in such small quantities that they don’t dominate the flavor of my food, so I really won’t notice the better taste in common usage. But that being said, Blair’s Sudden Death does taste better than just about any other extract sauce I’ve tried, and that’s worth recognizing.

Overall Rating: 8.4 out of 10.0