When Chipotle Met Cherry

Another tuesday, time for another spicy sauce review but, with my focus back on my weird and interesting finds once more, it’s time we had a look at a rather unusual barbecue sauce.

One from the Hot Plot Chilli Co. that claims to be quite hot.

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Of course, this claim is in rather small print beneath the sauce’s flaming black name and doesn’t stand out too well against the flames that cover the bottom and sides of the sauce’s otherwise deep blue backgrounded label.

Visually, it doesn’t say a lot about the sauce but the blue background does set it apart from the rest of their range. What I personally really like about the label design, however, is the part that remains most consistent. The central company logo.

You see, Hot Plot Chilli Co. may have named themselves after the plot of land on which they grow their chillies but they seem to have fully embraced the other meaning of the word “plot”.

All their product names are things like “conspiracy”, “rebellion” and this one, “TNT”, but what really sells me on the theming is the cheery red Guy Fawkes mask they use as the main image of their entire line.

A mask that shows their connection to hot food in its chilli pepper horns.

It’s friendly, whimsical and even slightly cute. It shows they have a sense of humour and fits in perfectly with the company name, making them ever so memorable.

The print quality of the label may not be ideal but their logo really is.

But I didn’t pick this one up for its looks. No, I grabbed this sauce because I was interested in seeing how hot it really was.

There are, after all, very few actually hot barbecue sauces and the last one I had, while wonderful with an already smokey dish, didn’t provide quite the chipotle flavour I was looking for.

Upon closer inspection, however, this sauce is only one percent chipotle, with no other chilli to give it kick.

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Getting it out the bottle quickly confirms my suspicions. This product is a well flowing barbecue style sauce with all the desired stickiness but the burn just isn’t there.

It hits me as a low

1.5/10

Heat

across the roof of the mouth which then fades away quickly into just a little tingle.

It’s on the hot end compared to most barbecue sauces, I’ll give it that, but strength is still not where this sauce shines. No, this product is mild and all about the flavour.

The main body is the usual, slightly tomatoey, dark sugar and molasses base you find in nearly every barbecue sauce, with a little smokiness and extra depth from the chipotle itself blending in exquisitely.

But that’s nothing new. What sets this sauce apart from its competitors is the use of a cherry liqueur in place of the ciders, beers and whiskeys barbecue sauces more often contain.

It sounds weird but the rich, sweet fruitiness pairs wonderfully with the rich, sweet, smokey body of the sauce and any sickliness it might have caused is stopped in its tracks by the addition of real cherry juice. That slight tartness takes the edge off the sugar and liqueur sweetness, while the fruit itself only further boosts the unusual but ever so welcome flavour.

This one is smokey, it’s sticky, it’s sweet and it’s fruity. It goes with just about everything a barbecue sauce normally would and it was a real struggle to keep from using it all up before my review.

One of the best sauces I’ve had in a long time!

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