Welcome back, everyone! This week, I’d like to return to one of our old favourite suppliers, the Chilli Alchemist. Because they, in turn, have returned one of my old favourite items – The 💀Philosopher’s Dew!
Now known simply as their “Dew” and focussing rather more heavily on its citrus content, so I’m eager to see just how much it’s changed. But, same sauce or not, it won’t be alone in today’s review.
Russell, the current company owner, has added another new product to the range, alongside it. And this one appears to be all his own:
Let’s take a closer look at the pair, shall we?
Once again, the pair are wrapped in simple, yet sophisticated, white on black labels. With a single colour highlighting each one’s minimalist art and a brief description of its contents. A stark contrast to last week’s character-centric design but one that’s entirely in line with the Alchemist’s current range.
On the left, the Dew bares the alchemical symbol for water, overflowing with green droplets into an open palm below. Indicative of, at the very least, the long list of greener ingredients that have gone into it.
Whereas we see no such symbol on the Gold, to the right. Yet a very potion-style bottle is half filled with liquid of its namesake colour and the same colour marks grains of wheat, at its sides. Clearly hinting at its craft beer content.
In both cases, hints of red can also be seen on the company branding and around the sauce’s name but are kept to the minimum needed for those features to stand out. Which is quite small, considering that all three colours are rendered in metallic foil.
Personally, I feel like both could do a little more to get their full flavour across but, equally, both do hit upon their key selling point quite succinctly. And, since I have the pair in front of me, I can always crack them open to find out more:
Both appear quite chunky, on camera, but the Gold flows far more smoothly onto my spoon and feels a lot like mango pulp in my mouth. Even if that impression isn’t match at all by its blend of bright pineapple and deep red scotch bonnet fruit flavours. Turned savoury in both scent and taste by a serious garlic undertone.
A slightly toasted garlic, to match the sauce’s subtle hints of roasted yellow pepper and its yeasty, cooked beer overtone. All of which are extremely similar to what I got from Dorset Chilli Shop’s reworked Punch.
In fact, looking more closely at the label, today’s “Gold” looks to have the exact same ingredients:
Yellow pepper. sugar, pineapple, malt vinegar (malt vinegar, roast barley malt extract), craft beer (water, malted barley, wheat, hops) (7.34%), garlic, scotch bonnet chilli (6%), garlic powder, vitamin c, citra hop pellets (<1%).
And a bit of further digging confirms that both sauces are, in fact, produced by Russell Williams of Grim Reaper Foods. So it seems as if the two are one and the same, with this particular batch simply taking on a touch more of the colour and flavour of its chilli.
Though that scotch bonnet’s low
heat hasn’t changed in the slightest.
Whereas, while the Dew does appear to have been inspired by Russell’s own Rookie Goblin, it does not look to be the same thing.
Even if its bold, fresh, citrus and greenery aroma is quite similar and its ingredients are the same, the texture is not and nor are ratios on the bottle:
Vinegar, jalapeño peppers (20%), oranges, lime, ginger, garlic, spring onion, spinach, demerara sugar, coriander, rapeseed oil, salt.
Once again, though, the orange and lime form their own distinct citrus blend, which cuts through this sauce’s considerably stronger, leafy coriander and spinach base. That grassy, herbal taste almost overpowering the equally green chilli at this sauce’s core.
To that, the spring onions and ginger then add a gentle, fresh zing and light, almost wild garlic-like, allium element. All without pushing the product’s mild throat kick past a high
on my scale.
It’s nothing like the 💀Philosopher’s Dew that I knew and I do miss the smoothness of the matcha but I definitely enjoy this sharper, fruitier sauce, too.
The Dew is going to go stunningly over thai and seafood dishes but I’m also highly inclined to try it out over cheesy mexican meals, where its orange will serve as a surprisingly traditional way of cutting through the fat.
My only issue with it is a long-lingering, bitter aftertaste, which would imply that Russell has used citrus pulp, in with the juice. But, if that doesn’t put you off, everything else about the sauce is excellent. So it’s definitely worth checking out the Chilli Alchemist for that or for their big bottle of the Dorset Chilli Shop’s Punch.