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…


  1. Kevin

    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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