Many products in the spicy food market make bold claims. Of those, the vast majority are hyperbolic, cartoonish, or simply downright false. Nevertheless, I take each one seriously until proven otherwise, especially when a product straight-up warns me not to eat it directly, which is precisely what Red Tail says. If you don’t know us well by now, you need to know that the EAT MORE HEAT crew is fond of eating hot sauce straight out of the bottle. Our fearless leader, in fact, used to chug the stuff on camera. This isn’t an extract sauce, so how bad could it possibly be?
Vinegar, Tomato, Scorpion Chilies, Garlic, Onion, Salt, Xanthan Gum
I repeat: this is not an extract sauce. It relies solely on the Scorpion peppers for its heat, rather than some unholy concoction. This is also one of those simple lists that I love so much.
Red Tail is pretty basic in terms of appearance. It looks normal enough, though it is a little thicker than the average hot sauce. Otherwise, there’s nothing here that screams “IMMINENT DANGER.”
Smell and Taste:
The smell is strong with this one. More specifically, Red Tail’s scent is all about the peppers. Aside from the vinegar, I don’t smell anything else, leading to a hot sauce that truly smells hot. That’s also pretty much how it tastes: hot, with a little bit of vinegar.
The heat on this stuff isn’t absolutely unbearable, but it builds quickly and lasts for quite a while. I’m giving it the low end of Madness, because this is the sort of sauce that will Wreck you if you aren’t prepared for it. The flavor, however, isn’t really anything to write home about. It is inoffensive, so I’m not giving it a bad rating, but there’s not much to it other than peppers and vinegar. Had there been more of a tomato or herb flavor, I would happily rate this one higher, but as it stands, Red Tail gets a Nominal from me.
Fortunately, this is one of those sauces whose flavor is actually meant to be neutral (in terms of taste, not in terms of our rating system). Rather than eating it straight, the idea is to mix it into other things. Because all you’re really getting is added pepper flavor, you can pretty much mix this into anything: pasta sauce, salsa, chili, and so on. Even if you can handle the heat, I don’t really recommend eating this by itself, because the flavor doesn’t really stand on its own all that well. This is a sauce you use as an additive, and nothing else.
And please, don’t be an idiot about hot sauce stunts. Leave that sort of thing to the professional idiots.