In this business, there are numerous manufacturers who like to give their products names that promise pain, bodily function problems, or potential loss of life, with the idea being that you’re about to open up some seriously spicy sauce. While a good portion of those sauces are cheap imitation products that are little more than cayenne and vinegar, there is still the occasional concoction that delivers on its name. The other problem with those sauces, though, is that so many of them lose out on good flavor when they ratchet up the heat factor. Tonight’s product, the Widow Maker sauce from the Slap You Silly brand, seeks to deliver a unique flavor while still living up to its murderous name.
Water, Tomato Puree (tomatoes, salt), Habanero Puree (habanero peppers, salt), Chipotles in Adobo (chipotle pepper, tomato paste, water vinegar, sugar, garlic), Vinegar, Cayenne Pepper, Kosher Salt, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Ancho Chile Powder, Lime Juice Concentrate, Cilantro
I’m slightly disappointed to see that a sauce dubbed “Widow Maker” has nothing stronger than habaneros in it, but I’m at least intrigued by the fact that this stuff has a total of four different peppers in some form. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sauce with a list that remotely resembles this one. Right underneath the ingredients listing, the label claims that the flavor of this sauce comes with “a sweet honey chaser,” but I’m not certain where that falls in the list. There’s no actual honey listed, so I’m going to assume that there’s a honey-like sweetness to the mix.
I’m surprised that this sauce is as thin as it is, given the fact that two different purees sit towards the top of the list. The water and vinegar must be thinning this one out quite a bit, enough to the point that it comes with an orifice reducer. Otherwise, this is an attractive dark red sauce with mild stickiness, and a few pepper flakes are visible in the bottle.
Smell and Taste:
I’ve been quick to label other hot sauces as spicy ketchups in the past, and this one almost has that smell. Rest assured, though, that the overall scent here is a bit more complex than that. While the habanero and tomatoes do come out and blend quite well together, there’s also a wonderful smoky undercurrent from the chipotles. That almost makes it sound like a barbecue sauce, but that’s not at all the flavor I get from this. Ultimately, the tomato paste plays little role in the overall flavor, leaving a sauce that tastes like smoked habaneros. I’m not sure when the sweetness is supposed to come in, because I haven’t tasted it at all.
Although it doesn’t quite live up to the name’s claim that my wife will have to continue raising our son without me, the Widow Maker sauce is indeed quite hot, thanks primarily to that habanero puree. It’s pretty much on par with the peppers themselves, as it seems to lose little in the way of heat with the other ingredients. I’ll give it a solid Mean. I like the flavor, but it also isn’t really impressing me all that much. Honestly, what this sauce is lacking is some texture, which was my favorite part about Slap You Silly’s User-Friendly Habanero. The habanero puree in here is such a wonderful opportunity to provide some thickness to the sauce, but it just kind of goes to waste when it gets watered down. I’m giving it a Nominal.
That said, there are a lot of uses for this sauce. The adobo-themed flavor here is perfect for both chicken and beef, and would go great with a variety of Latin-style dishes. Tacos and burritos could especially benefit from having this poured all over them.
Though it didn’t floor me as much as the previous sauce from Slap You Silly, this one is still enjoyable. I understand that there’s an actual jolokia sauce under the brand, so I’m totally on board with trying that one out as well.