Spicy Week II: XXXX

We came.

We cried.

We tasted.DSC_7179There was a cat.

It needs no introduction. Spicy Week II presents, the ultra-spicy collection.

Crazy Gringa Habanero Hot Sauce: Decent heat and natural tangy pepper flavor, with a crispness to it like a fresh pepper. Texture was watery, though. 7/10
98 Octane Ghost Pepper Reserve: Insane heat that prickled and intensified. Unfortunately, the only auxiliary flavor was vinegar, and I found myself craving a little balance to the heat. 4/10
Spittin’ Fire XXX: Definitely the best intensely spicy sauce- the flavor was addictive and easy to eat, if only to prolong the clean, hot burn. 8.5/10
Greene’s Gourmet Atomic Habanero: Not atomic. Clean habanero sauce, with a somewhat buttery finish. Not to my liking. 3/10DSC_7165
Firefly Atomic Fire: Tangy and lively, with a good build-up of heat. I don’t think it qualifies as atomic, but it’s certainly a good regular hot sauce. I liked the inclusion of lime juice, it smoothed out the pepper pulp and gave it a punch of acidity. 7/10
Tennessee Jim’s Trinidad Scorpion: While this was a flavorful sauce, the heat really took over some of the more subtle fruit and wine notes. 5/10 
Tennessee Jim’s Tennessee Cherry: Damn, this was a hell of a sauce. It had a citrus-like crispness to it, and the heat was tamed with the Riesling, which softened some of the harsher burn of the pepper. 8/10
Marie Sharp’s Belizian Heat: Like the Beware flavor we had earlier, this wasn’t quite the sauce I’d expected it to be. Something about their other blends really coaxed the sweetness of the carrots out- here, the flavors tasted dulled. 4/10DSC_7162
Scotty O’Hotty Ghost Sauce: This really went beyond the classic flavor profile of the first two sauces and introduced a sweeter element of brown sugar alongside the hot habanero. Much more successful than the hot sauce. 7.5/10
Shaia’s Lava Hot Sauce: Still had that strange, sulferic flavor and grassiness from the oil. I think changing the ratio or variety could help with that. 4/10
All Spice Cafe Cayenne Habanero Sauce: Bold, creamy buffalo flavors, but not much in the way of habanero. This would make a fine wing sauce and would adhere well, as it has a good hefty texture without being too gloppy. 7/10
Race City Cirque des Sept Enfers Sriracha: A mellow heat, with fermented garlic and pepper as the primary, skunky flavor. It grew on me, though I wouldn’t call it extra hot. 8/10DSC_7159
Mad Dog Ghost Fusion Oil: The oil and pepper purity clung to the tastebuds and shook them with a fervor. This is some good stuff. I’d love to try it on pasta as an added layer of fat and heat. 8/10
Ron Hot Habanero Tomato Stuff: This had the heat that I expected in the original, but still felt more like a chunky arrabiata sauce than a smooth hot sauce. 6/10
Ron Hot Habanero Hopper: Smooth and peppery, but little else to balance out the peppers. Dull aftertaste that craved salt. 5/10
Marie Sharp’s Beware:
Mad Dog Inferno: This is the hottest sauce we had, and left me running through my father’s house in search of ice cubes, milk, and bread. I found scallops. My eyes are still watering and I have the hiccups. 7/10
Crazy Gringa Ghost Pepper: This was the mediocre act that followed a superstar- texture was still watery and the peppers were peevish and feeble. The burn lingered, but faded out in an acidic ebb. 3/10
For Crying Out Loud…er: Sweet, tropical flavors and a yummy heat. The texture was still not really to my liking, and I found that it adhered strangely to the nuggets, but it had a good flavor. 6/10
Suicide Sauce: Creamy and salty, with a kick of heat, but it was difficult to discern the flavors. 6/10DSC_7154Lucky Dog Extra Hot Sauce: While I was tipped off to the inclusion of figs and apples in advance, I wouldn’t have needed the advance notice- the flavors are redolent, ripe, and piquant, with a jamminess and a spreading, fiery heat. 9/10
Hank’s Heat Hot Sauce: Classic- the quintessential hot sauce. Not death level, but sharp and zesty. This one was a little soupier, as it lacked the butter that thickened the previous three. 7/10
Jojo’s Sriracha (Hot): The sinus-clearing tang of heat gave way for a smooth, very bright flavor primarily garlicky with a little bit of sugar. This felt like a more typical sriracha sauce, with the more rounded, roasted flavor profile. 8/10
Kalahari Peri-Peri Sauce: A very good peri-peri sauce, with a heavy lemon and black pepper spice and a tangy-sweet sauce. However, ‘extra hot’ is a severe overstatement. If Jojo’s is a racecar, this is a reliable Honda Civic. Medium at best. 6/10DSC_7151
Dragon’s Blood Elixir Wild Elephant Deterrent: This was another favorite of ours- a ripe blueberry and apple cider tartness played alongside a naturally succulent, honeyed pepper called the ‘To Whom the Bell Tolls’ variety. 9.5/10
Grinder’s Near Death: Same strangely stale, fake butter and soy tastes underneath a layer of pepper- mild sting like red pepper flakes. 1/10
Mad Dog 357 Ghost Pepper: Pure spice, and not a whole lot of flavor alongside it. It just tasted like swigging a spoonful of liquified hot peppers. Heavy burn. 5/10
Dave’s Gourmet Ultimate Insanity: We agreed that, for a sauce labeled ‘insanity,’ it was fairly sane. A sauce that paid its bills on time and held a steady job, so to speak. Medium-hot burn. 5/10DSC_7150
Dead Heat Hot Sauce: Cayenne bite, little else. Dead heat was right, but it was more dead on arrival than much else. 5/10
Keenan’s Killer Be Afraid!!: Unless you’re afraid of spicy, snappy flavors and a slow, but fading burn, there’s not much reason to freak out. 5/10
Co-Op Batsauce: Woof. For all the blueberry and jammy flavors of the Wild Elephant, this was sorely lacking. Had an acidic hint of berry at the forefront of the palate, then subsided in a rush of heat. 4/10
Howler Monkey Amarillo: This was one of the best- orange, lemon, and grapefruit flavors ebbed to a nice, lingering pepper. 9/10

The three winners: Howler Monkey Habanero, Lucky Dog Extra Hot, and Dragon’s Blood Elixir Wild Elephant Deterrent. Excellent, spicy, and snappy! Tune back tomorrow for the final day of Spicy Week, the fruit-based sauces, and the final evaluation…

2 thoughts on “Spicy Week II: XXXX”

  1. You are effin HOT, Jess. Love it.

    BTW, Scoville technicians recommend fats like butter, cream, and avocados to douse the flames. Water only aggravates the fire.

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