BRUTALITYYYYYYYY. I mean, I’ll give points for bad-ass naming…but this sauce isn’t quite as brutal as the name would imply, or the 13/10 on the label would lead you to believe. Culley’s Brutality hot sauce is a very good sauce, but I think it sacrifices a little of the flavor the brand is famous for, to bring in the heat that this sauce claims to have.
Culley’s is a long time favorite of mine after finding them at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo a handful of years ago. My old roomate and I bought a truly silly amount of sauces from them that day (at the time the shipping from New Zealand was crazy expensive). and for months and months they took up covetted fridge space. Most of what we bought was a sauce called No. 1, and it was our number one until we ran out of it a year later, and it solidified Culley’s as one of the top producers of sauces in my opinion. Even years later after moving across the country to San Diego I would have him go to the expo and send me a care package requesting “Get me a Culley’s variety, and whatever else you think is a stand out”. So my expectations are high for this sauce, maybe a little too high, but not every sauce can be a home run.
One of my favorite charastics of a great sauce is the ability to blend sweet, sour, salty, and of course spicy. The smell of Culley’s Brutality hot sauce isn’t something to joke around with. It is definitely brutal, one of those sauces that makes you pull back a little and question why you’re about to eat this. Your brain wants nothing to do with the Reaper, Bhut jalokia, and Trinidad Scorpion peppers that overwhelm the smell profile here. Whew, what a triple threat of peppers. There’s a little bit of vinegar and garlic floating around but mostly it’s hot peppers. The ingredients list passion fruit, roasted peppers, and mango but I’m getting none of those on the nose…we’ll see how they come through on the tongue.
Hey!! The passion fruit and the mango make an appearance! There’s a lot of heat here but it peaks early and within the first minute or two you’re stuck with a pleasant burn. This is certainly a hot sauce no doubt about it. But, is it a brutal sauce? Eh, it’s definitely up there in spice, but I’m able to get over the heat pretty quickly. The heat and fruit are initial flavors but I’m missing anything else, it’s a bit one note. This is a solid sauce, with all the options out there in the super spicy range Culley’s could put a little more of the fantastic flavors I know them for in here and really have a knockout sauce. It’s still a good sauce, don’t get me wrong…but I would love a v2 with a little more red peppers and maybe a little more heat.
Eat It With
I’ve been loving this sauce on beef. Goes great on steaks. It’s also good with charred asian flavors, sweet sauces, soy marinades, terriyaki. I would probably avoid eggs since there isn’t a ton of vinegar in this sauce, I also wouldn’t go for shell fish or seafood it would be too overpowering.