Posted February 21, 2013 by David Kelly in Bloggers

Mic’s Chilli Inferno Sauce – Extreme

From his secret dungeon in the village of Kilcoole on the East Coast of the Republic of Ireland (about 15 miles south of Dublin), Mic has developed a range of chilli sauces that have recently been arriving on mainland Great Britain. Mic got bitten by the chilli bug back in 1994 during a trip to Belize in Central America and upon returning home to Ireland he decided develop his own hot sauces for the masses and launch Mic’s Chilli

The first thing to notice about Mic’s products is the fantastic design of the labeling. These have been developed by the artistic mind of award winning designer Steve Simpson, who has previously worked on the Beano comic and Danger Mouse cartoon series. The skeletal figures featured on the range of Mic’s sauce have clearly drew inspiration from the skeletal ‘Catrina’ figures seen in the ‘Día de los Muertos’ (Day of the Dead) festivals in Mexico.

On the bottle for the Extreme Inferno sauce the skeletal figure is fitted out as a Grim Reaper figure (scythe included) amongst burning flames with the hood. Steve has clearly had a lot fun designing these labels and the attention to detail is second to none such that even the barcodes have been illustrated too.

Currently Mic has a range of four ‘Inferno’ sauces with the Inferno Extreme being the hottest and the winner of a ‘Gold Taste Award’ in 2011. As a chilli product reviewer, when I see words like ‘Extreme’ used on labeling I can’t help but think that chilli extract has been used therein, but looking at the ingredients list I’m very happy to see that this isn’t the case with this sauce – it’s a completely natural extremity achieved through the use of 12 Habanero peppers.


12 Habanero Chillies (40%), Water, Distilled Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Spices, Salt, Garlic, Xanthan Gum

Bottle kindly supplied by Mic’s Chilli

Twisting off the lid releases the unmistakable fragrance of Habaneros and it’s clearly evident from the pungency that this sauce has a high percentage of chilli pepper usage. I can also note hints of the vinegar coming through too. Given that water, the second highest ranked ingredient, has been used as the solution for the Habaneros and other ingredients it is not surprisingly to see Xanthan Gum has been added to thicken it the sauce and hold the blended ingredients together. However its use has been judicious and the sauce, which is a caramel brown like colour, pours easily from the bottle onto my spoon. I can now more easily see that the sauce contains some chilli seeds and flecks of black pepper to give it some texture within the body of the sauce.

Tasting it brings an immense Habanero flavour along with hints of lemon, garlic and black pepper. Whilst vinegar has been used as an ingredient its usage has been well balanced so that whilst I can also detect it, it presence is not by any means overpowering or interfering with the other flavours. As for burn, well not surprisingly – Blamo! There’s an instant burn at the back of my tongue and after a slight delay its pervasiveness builds and spreads towards the front of my mouth, warming my lips. It’s an intense kick which is just what you would expect from 12 Habaneros. A few more spoonfuls and the crescendo of the burn still continues as does the other side effects of capsaicin – my mouth is now salivating like a Pavlov’s dog.

Overall this is a great tasting sauce that meets the needs of chilliheads who like a good, natural burn without having to resort to extract. I can see this working well with meats such as pork and beef. I’ve used it with some pork belly and the robustness of the Habaneros worked really well with the salty, caramelised flavours of the pork.

Mic’s Chilli products are available in the UK via Harvey Nichols, Planet Organic in London and via the online chilli wholesaler Scorchio priced from £3.79 for a 165g bottle.

Right, I’m off to try this sauce on a bacon sarnie…..

Value ********~~

*Please remember the heat ratings in reviews are reflective of the personal tolerances of each individual reviewer. We hope that this explains the apparent disparity in the heat marking given to the ‘Inferno Extreme’ sauce reviewed above and the ‘Inferno’ sauce reviewed recently which had a slightly higher heat rating.


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David Kelly