Here with go with the second hot sauce from the Hot Ones game show – ‘Hot Ones Eye Of The Scorpion’. I’ll tell you what, I’m really looking forward to this, and I’m viewing it as a bit of a redemption opportunity for the brand. I’m a fan of the standard sauces in the Hot Ones collection. The classic, Los Calientes, and The Last Dab are all really solid sauces in their own right. They all bring a proper mixture of flavor and heat to the party and that’s what I’m looking for from a sauce. There are some real spice fiends out there in the world looking for PAINNNNNNN, not me, I’m here for the flavor and the spice.
Anyway…the first sauce from the game show really destroyed me. I’m rocking a pretty high heat tolerance these days and the Hot Ones Brain Burner sauce was almost straight heat. Frankly, it was a little off-putting and a very extreme experience. I totally understand the reactions from the show contestants. That combination of Reaper and Scotch Bonnet peppers really hit the gut hard.
I’m a little confused about what to expect from Eye Of The Scorpion. The label has a very limited list of ingredients and no Reaper pepper. Scorpion Peppers, Distilled White Vinegar, Canola Oil, Garlic, Salt, Scorpion Pepper Powder.That’s not a lot of ingredients…and I can feel my optimism towards this sauce quickly waning. I do enjoy scorpion peppers, they give a super unique sharp painful spice that no other pepper can compare to. After looking over those ingredients it’s becoming apparent to me that the goal of these sauces isn’t flavor, it’s pain. To me this feels a little like Hot Ones and Heatonist are doing their best to imitate extract sauces without using an extract.
Shout out to Matthew Henning for the great label art.
From the label…
“EYE OF THE SCORPION stings your tongue and blurs your vision with its one-two punch of Scorpion pepper and Scorpion powder. With a hint of garlic it’s great for cooking – just remember to have ventilation going! This fire-breathing monster is not for the faint of heart.”
Well, those words have me quivering in my skivvies. Trembling in my boots. Expecting the worst, but praying for the best. Let’s pop the top and see what we’re working with here.
Ouchies. This is going to hurt I’ll tell you that right away. This sauce smells distinctly of Scorpion Pepper, no ifs, ands, or, buts (hehe I said ‘butts’) about it. There’s enough vinegar in there to burn the nostril a little bit, but this smell is overwhelmingly Scorpion. If there’s garlic in here it’s not poking through at all, and I’ll be surprised if it pops through at all on the taste. It smells vicious, and frankly there’s no way this sauce isn’t going to hurt…
Before I get into the taste, the texture of this sauce is just a little off for a premium sauce. They could have blended it a little more, it’s both chunky and liquidy at the same time as if it hasn’t been fully emulsified. It’s doing the classic chunky hot sauce thing where the sauce clumps at the top of the bottle. I usually see this in sauce that are super spicy and rely heavily on the pepper mash. I get it, and some of the sauces I see this in are great…but it’s still annoying and something that can be prevented to give a better experience. I want a hot sauce not a pepper spread. Ok, here we go, honestly I’m apprehensive about tasting this in a way I haven’t been about a sauce in a long time.
Ok ok ok. Man, that Scorpion hits so hard it’s amazing. Scorpion Pepper is the pepper that gives me the “woah, it’s like I’m tripping” feeling the most out of any pepper. This sauce hits like a freight train, you can feel exactly where it hit in your mouth, little stabs of pain just zinging around in there with no abandon. The initial flavor is nothing but heat and a tiny bit of a fresh tomato flavor (even though there are no tomatoes).
I should say that I’m enjoying this sauce much more than Brain Burner. It almost feels like they toned it down for the second sauce in the Game Show. I was a little surprised to see Reaper Pepper in Brain Burner and not in this sauce. I’ve never once said to someone “try this Scorpion sauce, it’s hotter than this Reaper sauce”, and that sentiment holds true here. Despite being more mild, this is a better hot sauce, it’s super simple, not much to write home about here other than it’s kind of a perfect basic Scorpion Pepper sauce. I love that there’s no reaper in here, and I love the Scorpion powder as a spice enhancer, it’s lingering in a wonderful way.
I could probably give it a couple more points for a better score…but once again I’m a little dissapointed for such a high profile sauce. This to me is the Tobasco of premium ultra spicy (non extract) sauces. It’s so basic, and fits so well into that role that there really isn’t anything to complain about, but there are also options out there that blow it out of the water. In terms of pain, it doesn’t get much cleaner than this. I’ll definitely be handing this to my hammered friends the next time they’re over, it’s a perfect “you think you can handle it???” sauce to sober someone up.
Eat It With
These super spicy sauces are so tough to pair with food, this section of the reviews is kind of moot here. 99.9% of people aren’t going anywhere near their food with this sauce. If you’re feeling adventurous….this sauce would be amazing on pizza. As in, I’m about to order a pie because thinking about putting this on pizza is making my mouth water. If you’re in the mood to assault yourself with some good clean old fashioned spice, this is the sauce for you.