A couple of weeks back, I discovered a new addiction – Addiction Sauces, that is. Their Habanero variety, with its bold flavor and strong kick, turned out to be just the ticket to a counseling session. Now, though, it is time to turn up the heat. The North Carolina-based company also has a Bhut Jolokia-themed sauce, and it looks to be just as potently addicting as the previous one. If this sauce is anywhere near as good as the Habanero, I’ll be in for some trouble. It’s also a 2013 Scovie Award Winner, so it has that going for it as well. I’ve waited long enough for this, so let’s check it out.
Vinegar, Pineapple, Banana, Bhut Jolokia Chili Pepper, Kosher Salt, Bell Pepper, Carrots, Onions, Tomato Paste, Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
Although this list is similar to the one from the Habanero sauce, there are some key differences. First, of course, is the pepper itself. As any self-respecting chilehead knows, jolokia peppers are typically anywhere from three to five times hotter than habaneros. That said, the pepper here is listed slightly lower on this list, this time taking up residence behind the bananas. I doubt that will make too much of a difference, though. The other notable addition, for me, is the tomato paste. I don’t really want this to be a ketchupy sort of sauce, so hopefully the tomato flavor isn’t a huge part of this product.
As a matter of personal preference, this sauce is not quite as visually appealing as the Habanero, primarily because the thin red-orange liquid doesn’t exactly scream “Jolokia.” The habanero sauce was pulpy, whereas this one has a much more even consistency. Taken on its own merits, though, this is a fine-looking sauce.
Smell and Taste:
While the vinegar smell is a little bit stronger here, there’s also an interesting pineapple scent on top of that, one that I did not get from the previous sauce. I get a bit of the carrots, too, but not a truly distinct Bhut Jolokia smell. It’s weird, but this sauce smells more like V8 Splash juice than a typical ghost pepper hot sauce. The flavor isn’t all that reminiscent of the peppers, either. It’s more like a pepper-infused citrus flavor, which is pretty neat.
This one is definitely hotter than the Habanero sauce, but the other ingredients in it do bring the overall heat back down to an earthly Mean. The flavor isn’t quite what I expected, but I really do like it. Though it isn’t quite as addicting as the previous one, it is still tasty enough to earn a Nice in my book.
The citrus tartness of this sauce takes away a little bit from its overall versatility. I just tried it on some pasta, and while that wasn’t an awful decision, this would be much better on chicken.
If you only get one product from Addiction Sauces, my recommendation goes to the Habanero one. However, if you want a Jolokia-themed sauce that does something more than simply overpower your tongue with searing heat, give this one a shot.