Happy tuesday again, folks, it’s time for another little hotty.
This time, it’s Death at the Crimson Altar – One of Devon Chilli Man’s hottest, shown here in its more portable, karabiner-adorned, mini bottle. Perfect for those who want hot sauce on the go, a sample size before committing to the full thing or simply something small for christmas.
Whatever your reason for picking up this particular version, though, you’re going to find it quite convenient. The small nozzle and squeezable plastic are perfect for adding just one drop at a time – Something that might be quite necessary, if its ingredients list is anything to go by:
Moruga Scorpion 20%, Red Savinas 10%, Naga 20%, Carolina Reaper 5%, Vinegar, Beetroot, Mango, Salt, Mustard, Liquorice, Spices.
Yes, that’s right, liquorice is the unusual one that drew me to this sauce but, before we see how that affects the taste, let’s take a look at those first four ingredients.
All of them are chillies, all of them have held a world record at some point and, put together, they total a whopping 55% of this sauce. It’s going to be hot.
But, that said, they aren’t in order, implying the same about the rest of the list. From it, alone, any one of those ingredients could be the largest in quantity.
That one small issue with the labelling on the back aside, though, let’s take a look at the front for a moment.
The image that showcases this sauce isn’t one to do with chillies, fire or even the death in its name. What we see here is a reaction shot. A man’s face, visibly sweating and with a look of absolute horror. All rendered in a tacky two colours and black.
But that’s the point.
This is designed to look a tad shoddy. It’s meant to remind us of the 50s. Of classic B-movies. Movies with titles just like that of the sauce.
Why? I’m not entirely sure. Perhaps someone who lived through that era could tell you. To me, however, it’s just oddly charming.
Well, that and ever so slightly representative of the contents.
This sauce is meant to inspire terror but, at the end of the day, it’s a foodstuff. A condiment, even. It may or may not be horiffyingly hot but, even if it is, it’s the sort of fear you put yourself through for fun. The sort we see in those harmless, cheesy, old films.
But perhaps its time I tried it, at least in part to see how scary this sauce really is.
I’ve loaded up my spoon with a good few squirts but I’ve not filled it. Given the ingredients we saw on the label, I feel like being at least a little careful.
Yet, even with what little I put on, I wasn’t totally prepared for what I got.
This sauce is smooth and red and beetrooty at first but it darkens up a little as the liquorice comes through. Then the chillies properly take hold, along with the real heat, and you can really tell it’s got a good deal of scorpion and red savina.
That distinctive, acidic, almost orangey fruitiness really grabs hold of you at the end. It’s a very interesting transition from a slightly sweet, slightly fruity start, with just a hint of mango, to a very savoury and completely differently fruity finish, through a brief mid period of no fruit at all.
And the burn starts growing in at that mid point, hitting every part of the back half of my mouth and throat but seeming to focus more on the roof. It’s not until you really taste the scorpion that it reaches its peak and it goes back down to a manageable level relatively quickly but, for a moment or two, it’s definitely a
Something that you wouldn’t want too much of but also something you could put a few drops of onto a kebab, burger or lacklustre red curry to really feel.
I can see why Devon Chilli Man offers this one in a travel bottle. It’s fierce but it’s also suited to a good deal of fast and takeaway type food.