Fizz and Fire

Greetings everyone, today we’re looking at something a little less spicy.

This time we’re looking at one of Tabasco’s more obscure products. Something that’s been sitting in my fridge for a while not because I don’t like it but because it doesn’t go with most of the food I eat and didn’t really fit my review schedule earlier on.

But, instead of just telling you what it is, why not have a proper look at it?

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Sweet Chipotle and Cola Sauce & Marinade they call it. Something of a mouthful and at least four different fonts.

This text is white on red in classic Tabasco style and the only other colour on the front of the label is the green company name featured in their traditional diamond logo. The darker red of the text’s drop shadowing, however, is reused for their mild heat rating and a few other colours make a minor appearance on the back. It’s a style choice, not a saving on print costs.

The red of the label is enclosed within an upper and lower white bar, again with shadowing but poorly placed so that it doesn’t align with the edge of the white all the way around.

I’m not really convinced on the label, overall. It’s neither their simple and traditional usual nor anything particularly exciting or well made. It does, however, have one feature that appeals to me and gets across just what makes this sauce unique:

Bubbles.

Mc. Ilhenny Co. have patterned their otherwise block red background with single-shade white stylised bubbles to symbolise the cola content and, while this doesn’t fully make up for the mediocre label design elsewhere, it does at least up my opinion of it a little.

Appearances are far from everything, of course, and it’s the content that really counts so let’s get a good look at the sauce:

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On the spoon you can definitely make out how thick and sticky this sauce is but what you don’t see is just how strong the flavour is to match. Eating a spoonful like this is disgustingly overpowering. Do not try eating it like I do.

What it does tell me, however, is something I never would have guessed had I only put it on food.

This sauce has noticeable heat. Barely, mind you, clocking in at a low

1/10

Heat

but still more than I’d expect from a sauce who’s main chilli content is a dash of chipotle Tabasco. One of the company’s mildest that I wouldn’t rate above a one on its own.

Placed on food, this sauce becomes a lot more palatable, providing a rich, dark, sweet flavour not unlike your standard barbecue rib sauces. Unlike in those, however, that dark rich flavour isn’t entirely molasses and smoke. A lot of it comes from the sweet, black syrup that is boiled down cola. You can definitely make out that sarsparilla-based soda flavour.

In addition, it has something of a savoury tang to it, even if the majority of the flavour is rich and sweet, helping to take the edge off and prevent it from potentially becoming sickly.

If smoke is what you want, this sauce might underwhelm as that is by no means the bulk of its flavour, despite the chipotle elements it has. What it does do though, it does well and it’ll make an excellent rib sauce or barbecue marinade but that’s not what I use it for.

No, for me this sauce has just enough tomato and tang to it that it works really well with macaroni cheese.

It’s by no means the best thing ever but it’s unique, tasty and has a definite purpose. It’s certainly worth trying if you get chance to pick a bottle up.

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