Hello again, everyone. It’s time for another hot sauce review and today I have a very high profile import, courtesy of Dr. Burnorium’s Hot Sauce Emporium.
Yes, this week’s product is from McIlhenny Co.’s famous Tabasco brand, named after the state of mexico where their peppers first originated. And yet, this is not a tabasco pepper sauce.
No, this is the company’s extra hot scorpion sauce. Made with forty percent trinidad scorpion chillies and much loved, throughout america, despite the more fanatical of chilli lovers usually writing Tabasco off for its low heat, heavy use of vinegar and general lack of nuance.
So, given its unusually positive reception, I’m very curious to see what’s won people over about this particular product. Or if american chilli fans really are just all about the heat.
Visually, it’s impressive. Striking, even.
Yellow text on a black box, displaying one of the reddest sauces that I’ve ever seen. Every little detail screaming “Danger!”, including the scorpion made from the centre of the O.
And yet, as impossibly red as the product render appears, the real thing is even bolder. With the yellow and black of the label – Cut into their usual diamond – standing out even more, now that it lacks the black of the box, behind it.
It’s everything that it needs to be. A classic Tabasco bottle, yet classier and more deadly-looking than ever before. With the word “scorpion” wrapped around its neck, just to be sure that you don’t miss it.
McIlhenny Co. have nailed the packaging but how’s the sauce inside?
Well, it sure is firmly inside, I’ll tell you that much. So, if you like the idea of this sauce, you might want to consider opting for the hundred and fifty mil version. Because it took me several minutes to get even this much through the tight neck of the sixty:
The standard Tabasco bottles were definitely not meant for anything as thick and high in chilli content as what we have before us today.
And yet, as much of a pain as that sounds – And genuinely is – it bodes well for the sauce’s flavour. Because one of the biggest complaints about Tabasco – As I mentioned up top – is just how acidic and vinegary it is. Even for the louisiana-style.
There’s simply no way that something so thick could contain the usual McIlhenny Co. levels of acid, right?
As I raise the spoon to my mouth, I begin to wonder. It does smell quite acidic, yet it’s also deeply red and peppery, on the nose. Much as it is on the tongue.
There’s certainly some acidity to today’s sauce and it’s sour, like reaper, once the
heat hits the back of my throat. But that’s not all that it is.
No, it’s deep, red and peppery, with some of that same funk that I mentioned in Tom’s Ghost Pepper sauce, yet also quite fruity up front, from how the subtle addition of guava blends with the orangey flavour of the scorpions. As well as being a little saltier than I’m used to, probably because of the amount of fermented chilli mash involved.
So, if I were to sum this sauce up in a few key words, I would say that it’s red, pepper-forward, nuanced and as extreme as advertised. Not the strongest superhot sauce on the market but far more in line with Tropical Sun’s than Encona’s. To say the least.
Scorpion pepper (40%), distilled vinegar, sugar, guava purée, pineapple, salt, guava powder, pineapple powder, TABASCO® Pepper Sauce (distilled vinegar, red pepper salt).
And it’s very much a hotter, less vinegary Tabasco for those who have outgrown the regular and habanero versions. A general purpose sauce to splash onto most meals, which I’m probably going to find most use for over pizza, pasta and bloody marys. With perhaps a touch of fried chicken on the side.
It’s by no means my favourite scorpion sauce but it will definitely please fans of the brand and of the scorpion pepper alike, so I’d say that McIlhenny Co. have nailed it with this one.