Posted July 20, 2007 by Gildo in Reviews

REVIEW: Gib’s Nuclear Hell Hot Pepper Sauce Formula #3

Gib's Nuclear Hell
REVIEW: Gib’s Nuclear Hell Hot Pepper Sauce ““ Formula #3
Reviewed by Gildo

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been on the hunt for the “perfect” basic red hot sauce. That quintessential all-purpose taqueria style hot sauce that has just the right combination of peppers, vinegar, spices and heat, and is as versatile as it is tasty ““ perfect for tacos, burritos, pizza, steaks, chops, soups, and stews. I’ve tried dozens of different brands, some coming close, but none have ever had that perfect blend, balance and flavor that I’ve been looking for.

When I first saw the Gib’s Nuclear Hell Jalapeno hot sauce that I was to review, I have to admit I had mixed emotions about it. Packaged inside a standard 5oz. bottle was this really incredible looking dark red sauce, but I found the label and name of the sauce to be a bit on the “been there seen that” side. There are a ton of sauces out there with not so original names and labels. It seems like everyone’s ass is burning, or their rectum has ruptured, or as in this case, Armageddon is upon us. Add to this some sort of a cliché-ish drawing on the label that illustrates the unoriginal name and viola”¦hot sauce for the masses.

Being taught to not judge a monkey by its fleas, I put my opinions about this sauce’s name and its label aside and focused on what really counts, the sauce itself.

It was taco night at the Gannon’s and a basic red taqueria style hot sauce was exactly what was needed to finish these guys off. I pulled out the Gib’s Nuclear Hell and cracked the top, taking a good whiff before putting any on my tacos. Wow! I took another whiff. Another wow! The aroma of jalapeno peppers mixed with the tomato paste and vinegar was well balanced and pepper forward. Too much tomato or vinegar can make for an unpleasant acidic smell, but the proportions here were just about right.

Ingredients: Tomato paste from red ripe tomatoes, distilled vinegar, jalapeno peppers, corn syrup, salt, spices and natural flavorings.

I poured a bit into a ramekin to check the color and viscosity. It has a nice redish-orange/brown color to it with little bits of seeds and skin from the jalapeno peppers. The viscosity is perfect. Not to thick and not to thin. It pours nicely and doesn’t run all over the place or take a power tool to get it from the bottle.

Gib's Nuclear Hell

Their motto is “A Little Drop Will Do Ya!,” so I ventured forth with caution as I tasted it. It’s hot alright. Not blow your head off hot, but a definite 5 on the HSB heat scale. A little drop won’t do it for me, but for those sensitive to heat, perhaps. The well flavored balance of jalapenos and tomato paste with the tanginess of the vinegar work well together and the heat is very upfront and in your face. The corn syrup adds a hint of sweetness and the spices and natural flavorings round everything out. This sauce was good on the tacos, not great, just good. I had it the next morning on a breakfast scramble and have tried it with steak and pork chops. It was good on all of them.

So have I found that perfect basic red hot sauce I’ve been looking for? No. But I did find a pretty good everyday red sauce that will work on a lot of different types of food. If you haven’t tried Gib’s Nuclear Hell yet, it just might be worth a try.

Gib’s Classics, Inc.
4433 Kiln Court, Building C
Louisville, KY 40218