Hello again spice lovers and happy tuesday.
This week I bring you a type of sauce from Thailand that’s skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years. Yes, you know it, I’m reviewing a sriracha. But not just any sriracha, this one’s a little different.
Before I get to reviewing this sauce, however, I have to apologise. You won’t be seeing the packaging in pristine condition. I got this sauce from a friend who didn’t want it so it was already opened before I could take pictures. Don’t worry though, everything but the heat shrink top is in tact.
But why did I get it? Did they give it away because they thought it was a bad sauce? No, they gave it to me because it was a good sauce they knew I’d enjoy but also far too crazy hot for them to handle.
Wait, did I say crazy? I meant Mad.
Yes, that’s right, the Mad Dog range of extreme sauces now contains a sriracha. And, unlike many of their top end products, it’s all natural. Don’t think that makes it tame though because, as the name should have told you, there’s Carolina Reaper in here!
Of course, as ingredient ten out of twelve, it’s way down at the bottom of the list but it still alters the sauce quite dramatically, as I’ll be explaining later on.
For now, let’s have a quick look at the label.
At first glance we have what appears to be a very classic tattoo design; red roses weaving their stems around a skull that holds a banner between its teeth, all in varying degrees of metallic, providing a great eye-catching shine.
But everything is not quite what it seems, for the word “Reaper” between the teeth soon clues us in to the fact that those aren’t flowers. No, they’re Carolina Reaper pods, their scythe-like tails curling over the edges of the eye sockets.
It’s elegant, it’s as simple as it needs to be and has an artistic style that matches the tattoo-esque label design. The silver outline to all the text really makes it pop and the theme of death fits both with Mad Dog’s gun branding and with the heavy metal marketing of hot sauce in general.
But there’s one thing I don’t think it does so well. Aside from the red text at the bottom, not a single part of the bottle says sriracha.
Of course, I’m not planning on showing off this sauce after the review. I don’t really mind that it doesn’t look like sriracha on the outside. I’m more interested in what’s within and, chances are, so are you. So let’s move on.
Upon opening the bottle, I am immediately greeted by the strong smell of garlic, vinegar and red chillies, in that particular order. And yet, despite the strength it’s not immediately obvious what sort of each I’m smelling.
So obviously I had to try it.
Poured onto a spoon, you can see that this is both thinner and chunkier than most other srirachas on sale in this country. This is actually more authentic, however, as the original Thai sriracha was a sweet, more liquid sauce often added to soups and would have been made by hand, instead of machine blended.
That being said, this sauce is still far from thin and its chunks are small, almost to the point of being better termed granules. It flows well, neither too much nor too little, and it feels smooth to the tongue.
For the first thirty seconds to a minute, I get a flavour as strong as its smell, bold and anything but subtle with its garlic, just like the sriracha I know and love, with the aforementioned red chilli bringing up the rear. But the chilli isn’t just Jalapeño and the garlic isn’t quite raw. There is an unmistakeable hit of Cayenne in the taste of the chillies and maybe just the slightest hint of the sauce’s namesake Reaper before everything subsides into a garlic-tinged sourness and relatively quick-building burn.
In a matter of moments, the combined fire of Reaper, Cayenne and red Jalapeño has tingled the tongue, spread round the sides and gone full blast for the upper back of my mouth and throat. And it’s this last location where it hits the hardest, reaching what I will call a
But don’t be fooled by the relatively low number, this sauce is hot! In excess of a good Ghost Pepper product, in fact. The only reason it doesn’t score higher is because ten out of ten is reserved for the absolute top of the natural sauce range and everything is rated relative to that.
This sauce will blow your head off, be warned.
All in all, my friend was right. Mad Dog Reaper Sriracha may not quite fit with my idea of what a Sriracha should be but it still has a strong garlic chilli flavour that’s just as powerful and enjoyable. It will go with all the same meals, be they wings, roasts, soups, sandwiches, chips or any manner of other things. And it has the best consistency possible for all of them.
Because of its sourness, I wouldn’t put this sauce on everything and, because of its extreme heat, I wouldn’t advise you to either but, on those things I do put it, Mad Dog Reaper Sriracha is a sauce I love!