Bell River Brand – Caribbean Hot Sauce
The last edition of my hot sauce line review of the Bell River Brand from Heartbreaking Dawns (HBD) is the Caribbean Hot Sauce. There is the same fairly conservative label we’ve seen in the line, centered around what appears to be a fetish of a deity, but something seemed off, so after looking in to a few Caribbean religions, it seems I can’t find any link to suggest that this would be a Caribbean fetish, but looks much more similar to those in Polynesian cultures, more like the Maori deities. Then I started getting curious. The Jalapeno Hot Sauce and the Chipotle Hot Sauce definitely had representation from the namesake ingredient, so does this mean that I should be looking for Caribbean on the ingredient list? If I do find Caribbean on the list, does this mean I’m about to consume what the cannibals affectionately refer to as “long pig”? Has Johnny discovered the secret ingredient the Pelegosto tribe was going to use to cook Jack Sparrow? Oh crap. What am I about to eat?
Lucky for me (and anyone doing PR work for HBD), Caribbean isn’t listed anywhere in the ingredients, so the concerns about possibly being patient zero in the zombie apocalypse from taste-testing this are gladly put to rest; however, ladies (and Scrovak), don’t let me dissuade you from your now-plotted attempts to slather Johnny Depp or Orlando Bloom in this hot sauce for your own carnal amusement. Everyone has some weird allergy these days, so in the interest of full disclosure ladies, here’s the list of ingredients you’ll want to review before plotting your spicy accosting of men who turned you on by wearing a blouse and acting like your hallucinating drunkard uncle – Water, Worcestershire Sauce, Red Habanero Pepper, Orange Habanero Pepper, Datil Pepper, Carrot Concentrate, Vinegar, Lemon Juice, Sodium Benzoate, Xantham Gum, Sugar, Salt, and Garlic.
The coloration of this sauce is a vibrant red with a touch of an orange hue, with a mild scattering of white seeds throughout. The texture is fairly thin, with nearly no chile pepper or spice particulates within the sauce. There is a very obvious aroma of habanero chile peppers, vinegar and lemon juice coming from this, and at the instant you open the bottle, the citrusy scent of habaneros fills the room. There isn’t much more detectable from smelling the sauce, so for lack of knowing there is more to this, I would presume it to be essentially a puree of habanero with vinegar and lemon juice. I left the sauce out on the spoon for a few minutes to let the vinegar breathe a bit, and now I’m actually starting to get the aroma from the Worchestershire and a little bit from the garlic.
There is definitely a quick bite of vinegar flavor up front that then quickly gives way to a citrusy habanero chile burn. The burn stays with you for a fair amount of time and then slowly backs off after about a minute or so. Even during the backing-off period though, the representation from the habaneros are quite pronounced, enough so that I would give this a Mean rating. There is slight representations from all the other ingredients, but the flavors in this really tend to come from the chiles themselves, with most everything playing in the background. If you like habanero, you’ll probably like this sauce quite a bit. It’s not my favorite chile, as I tend towards the chiles with more smoky and earthy flavor than the bright citrus flavors this will give you. In the end, it’s still a good sauce, getting the same rating as the other, at a Nominal rating. I’m not really sure that it fits my ideas of what a Carribean sauce is like, with a noted detraction of a tropical fruit and/or a sweet element to offset the habanero heat and give it a bit of that island feel. Out of the three I tried, I have a little bit more favoring to the Chipotle Hot Sauce.
A side note to Johnny from HBD. The trend I’ve noticed with these sauces is that they are thin enough to pour quickly, and this Caribbean sauce (which I see listed as Heat Level 4/10 on your website) is probably the heat level starting point for the mainstream user to start worrying about accidentally dumping too much on, so once you start getting in to the 5/10+ versions of Bell River, you may want to consider if orifice reducers are a desire for the market you’re targeting.