Hello again everyone, today we get to take a look at the first of my ChimouliS sauces.
A little taster bottle of scotch bonnet sauce that they use for wedding favours and similar.
The labelling on this sauce, like the rest of their range, is very simple. On the front, it’s just their name, the sauce name, the heat and a short blurb about how you might use it, all set in front of a faint world map on an old parchment coloured background.
I get the feeling that they may say a little more on their full sized bottles though, especially as the information sheet they gave me calls this product “Salty Hot Scotch Bonnet” rather than only naming the chilli like its current label.
Given that, I’m not sure I can say too much about their packaging but I will say this:
The simplicity and colouring does give the impression of an old fashioned, lovingly crafted handmade product and I really do appreciate the elegant shape of the bottle itself.
So, with that said, let’s give it a good shake (this one separates a tad) and open it up.
The sauce is incredibly liquid. More so than Tabasco, even. Its first ingredient is water.
Going into this review, that fact concerned me greatly as, even if I’m not actually buying them, I don’t want to be wasting my time with watered down sauces that possess neither heat nor flavour.
Fortunately, I’m not doing. Water may be the first ingredient but this sauce still has a serious kick from its vinegar, interrupted almost immediately by a fast growing scotch bonnet fire that rates in at the bottom end of a
It’s pretty ferocious, up there with some of the strongest scotch bonnet sauces I’ve had, and it focuses on the tongue while it builds but soon becomes an upper back of the mouth fire. Personally, I still think their little warning about how hot this sauce is seems a touch silly but, given its remarkably drinkable consistency and tendency to pour, it might well be wise to caution the less initiated.
I was very surprised something so liquid could be so strong.
In terms of flavour, this sauce is definitely quite reminiscent of Tabasco. It has the same powerful vinegar sharpness and slightly noticeable salt content but I’m also picking up hints of onions and garlic.
What’s more, the vinegar isn’t your usual sort. The type ChimouliS uses is malt, distilled to take away some of its more overpowering and unpleasant aspects and leave it with a rather mellower taste. It’s unmistakeably malt vinegar but it’s a far nicer one than you’d get down your local chip shop.
Its golden taste goes gorgeously with the above mentioned onions and garlic and there is a definite fruitiness from the chilli but, because of how well the flavours blend together, I’m a tad unclear on exactly how much of the sauce’s golden fruity flavour is that of the scotch bonnet and how much is from the vinegar and onions.
Regardless, it all comes together beautifully and I’m thoroughly enjoying this sauce, despite it being a far cry from the normal scotch bonnet sort.
Usage-wise, it lends itself to dropping onto meals like Tabasco and I very much agree with the makers’ suggestion that it be used to add a bit of zip to soups and stews but I’d also like to recommend using it on noodles, as part of a salad dressing or in place of vinegar for a hot sweet and sour.
My only concern here is how easily this sauce flows. A Tabasco style drop cap would be really helpful when adding it to food so I do hope the full sized bottle comes with one.
ChimouliS also point out, as I have done, that its thin texture lends itself to drinking, perhaps in the form of shots for dares. Me though, I’d rather make cocktails with it.
Had it been more less vinegary in taste, my thoughts would be in the realm of mango and ginger beer for a truly caribbean concoction. As is, however, I’m inclined to stick to more savoury drinks like the classic bloody mary.
Feel free to experiment yourself and send me the results, just be a little careful as fizz can open up pain receptors in the tongue and increase your perception of heat a good deal.