Monday, May 7, 2012

Heartbreaking Dawns 1498 Scorpion Chili Sauce *Review*

OK, I confess, I'm a wannabe chili head.  Allow me to explain.  A "chili head" is someone who absolutely loves, and in some ways is quite addicted to, incredibly spicy, flavorful foods.  These usually include the peppers which are truly the hottest of the hot, the chilis that make Jalapenos taste like unflavored popcorn, and Habaneros akin to a quick night time snack.  I'm talking peppers like the Naga Viper, the Trinidad Scorpion (and similar strains like the Butch T or 7 pot), and of course the infamous Bhut Jolokia (Ghost Pepper).  All of these peppers boast heat ratings over a million Scoville Heat Units (SHU).  To put that in perspective, a Jalapeno is only about 3,000 SHU.  These peppers are HOT!!!!!

Chili heads also enjoy many sauces and spices created from these super hot fruits.  I've had quite a bit of experience with sauces myself, and have always liked challenging myself with what I've considered to be quite spicy foods, and am always looking to try the next level.  My tolerance to heat isn't bad, but it's nothing compared to the true chili enthusiasts, or perhaps I should call them "heat seekers."  However I am always looking to try the next step up, and decided I'd like to purchase a real powerhouse hot sauce and give it a go.  I  wanted one that would make Tabasco look like the wimpiest little bottle going, but still wanted one made with natural ingredients and actual peppers, not just super hot extract.

After a lot of research, I came upon a company called Heartbreaking Dawns, and let me be the first to say that while my experience with hot sauces isn't as vast as some, these folks blow everyone else out of the water.

Heartbreaking Dawns is a company based on home brewed sauces made with the tastiest combinations of natural ingredients you could ever come upon.  They've got everything from pineapple jalapeno sauces to super spicy yet flavorful ghost pepper varieties.

I, however, wanted something with a little more kick.  So I settled on their "1498" sauce, made with Trinidad Scorpions, one of the original peppers to dethrone the Bhut Jolokia as the hottest pepper in the world.  Boy was I in for a treat.

Flavor:  This sauce tastes absolutely fantastic.  It's not just a destructive, eye watering heat with no flavor to boot, oh no.  It has an extremely rich combination of ingredients (discussed in more detail later in the article) that taste FANTASTIC together.  This sauce went through many prototypes, and boy did they get the end product right.  It tastes great by itself, but even BETTER on food, and BEST on meats.  Seriously, it's got all sorts of fruity aroma, including hints of blueberry and scotch bonnet peppers as well as the very flavorful Trinidad Scorpion pepper.  It adds a lot of character to almost any meal, and honestly I can't really imagine it going poorly with anything.  It doesn't overpower, despite the intense heat.  Awesome!

Heat:  I won't lie, this stuff is HOT!  But I'll also say that it isn't killer.  Sure, if you think Tabasco is hot, you'll have a little bit of an adjustment period (and will want to go light on the sauce at first),  but it won't set your whole face alight.  It's got a "nice" burn to it that lingers, and makes you sweat it out for a little while, but actually feels good once you get used to it.  As you can probably tell, it's hard to describe.  All I can say is that if you're looking for a kick, this sauce will DEFINITELY give it, especially in larger quantities.  But it can also be used sparingly for a great heat without making you cry for hours.  Be prepared for tongue and throat burn though, they can get intense.

Ingredients/Nutritional Information:  Here's a picture of the ingredient list.

As you can see, the ingredients speak for themselves.  No extract, no artificial sweeteners, no HFCS, just all natural ingredients.  Nearly zero calories per serving, only a TINY bit of sodium (very unusual for hot sauces), and a blend that'll make even seasoned food critics quite intrigued.  It's fantastic, and it really brings a smile to my face to see such natural ingredients in such a tasty sauce.

Other comments:  Check out how cool that logo is, really tattoo-esque, right?

Overall, I highly highly HIGHLY recommend this sauce.  It's a perfect blend of heat and flavor, and is about as natural and healthy as you can get.  It'll add awesome kick to any food, yet will also compliment the existing flavors quite nicely.  You can't go wrong with Heartbreaking Dawns.  Be adventurous, get some heat in your life!