Hey folks, here’s one that I promised pretty recently: The Psycho Juice Mustard Ghost Pepper, from Doctor Burnorium.
Me and Vitani talked about our expectations for this sauce, in an unboxing of 📽️ his others 📽️, last month. And, while they weren’t honestly all that high, I bought this sauce to review and I intend to give it a fair shot.
After all, just because his other ghost sauces have been harsh and abrasive doesn’t necessarily mean that this one will be. Or that that sharp heat and acidity won’t go with its other named ingredient.
I’ve enjoyed pretty much everything that Doctor Burnorium has made with other peppers and even liked the ghosts, in his exquisite chocolate, so it’s not exactly a write off just yet.
I’ll keep an open mind as I give this sauce a go.
Before I begin my tasting, though, it’s been quite a while since I last looked at the packaging of his Psycho Juices. And they are well worth spending some time on.
Imagery-wise, they don’t say a lot about the contents of the bottles but that isn’t to say that they don’t look good. They put the effort in to create a brand image, instead, with their focus on the name of the line and a smartly-dressed caricature of their creator.
It looks nothing like the real person – At least, not to me – but it definitely sells his persona.
Smartly-dressed, yet utterly unkempt, with hair spiked out at all angles and a clear five o’ clock shadow, framing his psychotically wide grin. His eyes are bugged out, even before his monocle magnifies one of them, yet that eyepiece also works to add a look of class. A slight sophistication to his madness that the dark suit collar and top hat really roll with.
The old doctor isn’t quite your usual mad professor but he certainly plays to a similar stereotype. One of an almost-victorian madman, running a strange and foreboding shop of wonders. An Aladdin’s cave, perhaps, full of untold treasures but making no promises as to your fate, should you lay your hands upon the wrong one.
It’s exactly the sort of half-benevolent, half-sinister style that I’ve come to expect from showmen in the chilli world. And I can’t say that I don’t relate to it, myself.
Packaging-wise, though, there’s more to his style than just his self portrait. The bottle is littered with metallic gold banners to match the band on his top hat.
Some of them state the size of the bottle and some carry his own name, whilst others swear in latin and one particularly large banner even wraps over the top of the bottle to state his sadistic motto:
Hallowed be thy pain.
Yet, despite their heavy use, these gold accents only edge the art and adorn the heat shrink. They don’t dominate enough for their metallicity to become garish and, instead, they work to further his sauce’s sense of class.
Unlike the skull and cross bones or the doctor’s grimy choice of font, which are far more focussed on his psycho side.
All in all, it’s impressive artistry but it is the exact same artistry that we’ve seen before, including on his Roasted Garlic Ghost. The only new aspect in today’s labelling is the colour. The deadly mustard gas green of the text and background, against which his black, sepia and gold is set.
Being the only real colour – Aside from the sauce’s own – and such a large part of the art, it’s all but unmissable. And it’s honestly quite amazing how much that one colour can say.
I mean, look at it. Look at it and look at the clear glass, where the sauce shows through. Which one of those actually looks like mustard? It isn’t the label.
And yet there’s nothing else that the label’s specific shade could signify, besides mustard and poison – The flavour and the “deadly” heat of this ghost pepper sauce. Everything that you need to know is right there in that one shade, whilst a warm golden-brown could be just about anything.
It’s honestly quite astounding!
But I’ve rambled for too long and I’m sure you’re all bored of me talking graphic design by now. That’s not what the majority of you are here for.
No, it’s time that I actually tried that golden sauce within:
It holds its shape at the edges, due to its high mustard content, but its actually a lot thinner than it looks and it pours very quickly. Couple that with a low
that’s well in excess of most ghost pepper products and hits the roof of the mouth up near my nasal passage, almost like Stephen Dixon’s Rampage did, and this becomes a product to handle with care.
It’s way too easy to pour too much of and its sharp, abrasive burn will definitely make you suffer if you do. Yet, this time around, that burn is working with the mustard’s own sting and it feels far more at home.
Not only do the two heats pair perfectly but so does the sauce’s array of sharp flavours. Warming, slightly sour ghosts, earthy, fragrant and unapologetic mustard, sharp, savoury cane vinegar, bright, acidic lemon juice and golden turmeric all come together into a grainy and punchy mustard number that really doesn’t seem like it should work. But it does.
And sure, it’s going to go well on roast meats but, for me, this is a cheese toasty kind of sauce. One that cuts through grease and fat with its bold, acidic flavour and will pair especially well with something as smoky as applewood.
Personally, I prefer a sweeter mustard sauce, like Daddy Cool’s or a smooth and creamy one, like Pepper Kitchen’s but, if unforgivingly hot and punchy is what you’re into, Doctor Burnorium has that down to a tee.
Here’s what goes into it:
Naga Jolokia (Ghost Pepper), Water, Onion, Mustard, Cane Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Sugar, Salt, Turmeric, Ascorbic Acid, Xanthan gum.
And here’s the encyclopedia page for its ghost pepper.
I didn’t think that I’d be able to recommend this one, when I sat down to start writing, but here I am, a thousand words later, to say that actually, I absolutely do. Give this one a go if you’re a mustard fan!