Hello again, everyone, and welcome back to the third and, for now at least, final feature of Hop’t. A company who’s craft beer-inspired, hop-infused hot sauces have really impressed me.
I’d like to say that I’ve saved the best of them for last but they’re all so well made and so different that it really is quite hard to choose. All I can say is that today’s product has grown on me a lot lately.
And, of course, that it’s their Tropical Habanero Lager sauce. Described as fruity, crisp and fiery:
The style of its packaging hasn’t changed much since our last look at the company but the bold, brickish, orange-red used to distinguish this particular flavour contrasts beautifully with the company’s parchment yellow. Instantly standing out from anything around it.
And, while that’s all that first impressions give us, looking closer shows hops, pineapple, grapefruit and a particular shape of pepper that could only be a habanero. All hidden within the subtle shades of that colourful background.
So I have a pretty good idea what I’m getting into, by the time that I fill my spoon.
Its consistency is fairly average. Perhaps a little thinner than the company’s others but far from overly so. And, while it’s largely smooth and even slightly creamy, from the sauce’s hop oils, it’s still got plenty of fine shreds and seeds, strewn throughout.
Most of them are generic red chilli, according to its ingredients list, yet I still get a remarkable amount of heat in my throat and a fair bit across the tip of my tongue, too. A whopping
that I certainly wasn’t expecting from a mere three percent habanero.
Hop’t’s Tropical Habanero Lager is a punchy sauce!
But there’s more than just fire to it. Its flavour is equally punchy, with a strong, tart acidic kick of its own, coming in from all of its tropical fruit. Paired expertly with the subtle dry and astringent notes of the hop oils, for maximum mouth watering and puckering.
In many respects, it reminds me of Cornish Chilli Co.’s Red Snapper and, while it’s rather more nuanced and less harshly vinegary than that sauce was, I strongly suspect that I’ll enjoy it over many of the same fried foods. Especially a nice, crispy chicken wing, where the heavy use of red chillies and the gentle, creamy undertones should provide an almost buffalo sauce quality. Without losing any of the wonderful fruit blend.
Because, unlike that Snapper, Hop’t’s sauce comes packed with orange, lime and pineapple, to support its grapefruit bite with a wider variety of fruit flavours. As well as to balance it out with a bit of natural sweetness.
There’s a lot more depth of flavour to today’s product and even a touch of something earthy and slightly smoky, when I cook with it. Making it an excellent addition to many tomato-based dishes. Yet I still love it for the exact same reasons as that Snapper, even if I do think that Hop’t have outdone their predecessor.
This sauce is sour and delicious and will liven up greasy pub grub of all kinds.
Pineapple (26.7%), White Wine Vinegar, Pink Grapefruit Juice (13.4%), Red Chillies, Orange Juice, Lime Juice, Dried Habanero Chillies (3.3%), Olive Oil, Rock Salt, Garlic, German Hellertau Tradition Hop Oil (0.7%), Black Pepper, Gellan Gum, Hallertau Blanc Hops (0.1%)
And, while I can’t make whether it uses red, orange or gold habaneros, underneath its bold red chilli, I don’t think that I need to. There’s more than enough else going on with this one’s flavour already.