Happy thursday, everybody. As I mentioned in tuesday’s review, it’s now september and that means that we’re overdue for round four of my Hot Ones-style line-up. That set of ten sauces, that I update annually, designed to give you the best UK-centric replica of the show’s experience that I can.
I am, after all, a UK chilli reviewer. Which puts me in the perfect position to craft such a collection.
This year, however, I’ve been somewhat disappointed by the products showcased on First We Feast. They haven’t interested me nearly as much as those in past seasons.
So, instead of looking at what the real show does and trying to mimic it, I’m going to try and whip up the wildest collection of wing-friendly, ascending heat sauces that I can, this time.
But, if you are after a more traditional line-up, there’s always the Chilli Shop and Mojo’s Bar’s monthly 📽️Hot Ones challenge night📽️, here in leeds.
Hopefully, between that and today’s post, I’ve got all of the bases covered.
Getting right into this year’s sauces, the Screaming Chimp’s Vic’s Ol’ Smokey has been my wing one for two years running but it shall be so no longer.
It may make for a delightful, mild and flavourful opener, with its hints of smoke and spices, but I want to do something else with the company, this year, and put something bolder up first. Specifically, Tom’s Curious Sauces’ incredible chipotle number.
It’s rich, smoky and full-on, yet still not too much hotter than the Chimp’s creation. Making it absolutely ideal for starting off this year’s crazier set of flavours.
Whereas, for wing number two, I am saying “goodbye” to last year’s featured company. Not forever but for now, since, at the time of writing, I haven’t had anything from the new Chilli Alchemist range. Let alone anything as perfect for a UK hot ones as 💀their old matcha sauce.
Instead, I’m afraid, we’re going to have to settle for another new favourite. A scotch bonnet sauce, yet one that’s full of earthier notes and the strong, unmistakable taste of garlic. Which we all know that First We Feast are fond of, given their love of sriracha, Torchbearer’s Garlic Reaper and the new, garlic edition version of “The Classic”.
It’s as bold as today’s chipotle sauce, yet quite different, too. And it also provides a very different take on a garlic product, given those earthy, beetroot undertones and its almost mexican spicing.
I am, of course, talking about Chilli Scrumptious’ First Date. A sauce that’s surprisingly mild, for scotch bonnet, yet still tastes unmistakably of that pepper. A great way to get great flavour into this line-up’s second spot!
For its third, though, we’re really switching things up, today, featuring one of my blog’s very few white sauces.
There’s no mango here, this year, but we’re still amping up the heat with tropical fruit, in the form of Chilli of the Valley’s revamped Calypso. An item that’s sharp and tangy, on its own, but full of a creaminess that takes to the spotlight beautifully over chicken. A product picked more for how well that combo works than its own merits, though it’s far from bad, elsewhere.
Then, in position for, we see the Screaming Chimp return with my favourite of their sauces. A sauce that, when I realised I wanted to feature crazier flavours, I couldn’t help but reach for, because it’s my favourite of their entire range.
It’s their chocolate habanero and citrus sauce – Their Mon-Key Lime – A shockingly good, pepper-forward mix of brown chillies and zesty citrus that works far better than I could ever have expected.
It makes for another bold and unique taste, whilst also highlighting a fourth colour of chilli, alongside the red, yellow and smoke-blackened sorts that we’ve already seen. And I do so want to show off the variability of peppers, with this particular line-up.
Though our mid-way sauce disappoints a little, in that department.
For number five, I don’t have anything too fancy. Just a solidly hot and flavourful, mustard and ghost pepper sauce, from Dr. Burnorium’s Psycho Juice line.
Why? Because there are a few names you have to hit in every assortment, when you try to emulate Hot Ones. Names of peppers which the general public actually know and will sorely miss, if they don’t see them.
Each season of the actual show makes note of its ghost, scorpion and carolina reaper sauces and I feel obliged to follow suit. Whilst adding in a few surprises, of course.
So, with that in mind, the mid-spot in this line-up belongs to a particularly punchy ghost pepper product, with a flavour that’s not too unique but still different enough to stand out. And also one that leads into the next sauce, a bit.
Because, if you thought that mustard had a nasal heat, just wait until you get a load of the Rampage in spot six!
Coming to us from Hot Pods, this is the green sauce of the line-up and it doesn’t state what chillies go into it but that hardly matters. It’s the horseradish that provides its monstrous kick to the base of the nose. The chillies just ramp up its intensity.
And no, Rampage isn’t our hottest sauce of the day but it’ll definitely get you and your friends streaming before we head into the final stretch. So if you’re filming your experience, this is the one to watch for reactions!
Then it’s the Scorpion Scorcher, from Hot Face Sauces, at number seven – A bit of a step down from the 📽️Reaper Extreme📽️, that I used last year, but only a little one. And, while I, personally, preferred that reaper sauce, my preference isn’t what this change is about.
No, this is about keeping a similar blend of tasty scotch bonnets and superhots for a similar heat, without the extract. As well as crossing one of those previously mentioned big names off of my list.
We have, after all, got plenty of reaper in sauce eight. Even if it is named for something else.
Brighton Hot Stuff’s Armaggeddon was the first sauce on the market with the UK’s newest shot at the superhot throne and that armageddon chilli has done them proud!
Despite being made from a blend of different peppers, ranging from red habanero to some of the world’s official hottest, it’s the richer flavour and instant burn of the product’s namesake which really shine through. Making it more than just another ten on my heat scale.
Yet a ten it is, placing it right up there with the best of nature’s current record holders. The only ways up from here are either extract or breeding a whole new strain. And the former is by far the easier.
So, for number nine, it’s the Five Finger Death Punch from the makers of last year’s number eight, Burning Desire Foods. A slightly different twist on a red chilli sauce, with scorpions, nagas and twelve million scoville concentrate.
It’ll mess you up, if you’re not careful, but we’re going even further beyond, in twenty-twenty, with one final product from Wiltshire Chilli Farm. A small, black bottle, simply labelled 🔥Regret🔥.
It’s the hottest thing in any of my line-ups yet, making its deadly design and no-nonsense naming really rather apt. A perfect outro to my fourth season.
Here’s what the full list looks like, in order:
#1 – Tom’s Curious Sauces’ Chipotle (1.5/11)
#2 – Chilli Scrumptious’ First Date (2.5/11)
#5 – Dr Burnorium’s Psycho Juice Mustard Ghost Pepper (6/11)
#6 – Hot Pods’ Rampage (7/11)
#7 – Hot Face Sauces’ Scorpion Scorcher (8.5/11)
#10 – Wiltshire Chilli Farm’s 🔥Regret🔥 (52/11)
And, honestly, I’m quite proud of this one. Every single sauce stands out from the rest and there’s not one that wouldn’t get me, myself, excited, were it featured on the real show.
This is a true connoisseur’s collection and the best UK Hot Ones alternative that I can craft. I hope that you’re all prepared to give it a go!