Review by The Shepsters – Bottle kindly supplied by The Chilli Pepper Company.
The Chilli Pepper Company, belonging to Ged Fowler and based in Cumbria, is famous (or should we say infamous!) among the UK chilli community for creating insanely hot products such as the fearsomely fiery “20 Minute Burn” and ridiculously sweltering “Kiss the Devil” spray.
However, while these products may get scorched tongues wagging and the company name memorised, there is a much cooler side to the range on offer for those of us who are not quite so excited by extracts and brain-meltingly hot sauce. One such product is that which we have been given for review, the “Heavenly BBQ” sauce.
Bottled in a standard size and shape, and with the label clearly bearing the Chilli Pepper Company brand red devil image and logo, there is no mistaking whose product this is. The label, colour coded purple for quick identification of the sauce within their range, is good quality print and easy to read, carrying only what the customer would need to know – no more, no less. It looks inviting in the bottle and Sianne has a particular fondness for BBQ sauces so we’re looking forward to getting to the good stuff inside.
Ingredients: tomatoes, sugar, molasses, spices, chillies (cayenne and chipotle), garlic, hickory flavouring, salt, and pepper.
First impression is the aroma; sweet, spiced, and with a molasses tang in the background. The sauce is an unctuous dark brown colour. It is rich, thick, and smooth with an appealing glossy sheen and is well blended, showing no sign of splitting or settling – exactly what would be expected of a quality BBQ sauce. Texture in the mouth however is ever so slightly grainy – not enough to be unpleasant, but noticeable.
This recipe was developed in collaboration with Motor City Barbecue in the USA, so we really are expecting great things from the flavour. There is an initial hit of sugary sweetness which is gradually replaced by molasses tang and eventually smoky hints on the finish. There was a slight concern that the sauce may be a bit sickly sugary because the aroma is so sweet, but this was not the case. While it is a little over-sweet for our personal taste, the overall flavours are really very good.
The chilli heat is very mellow, making its presence known after the sweet smokiness has dissipated, and lingering for a short while afterward on the lips and tongue. This is exactly what was being aimed for, as the description on the bottle states it is “subtly spiced with cayenne and chipotle”.
Great as a glaze on ribs or chicken for the BBQ (giving fabulous caramelisation due to the sugar content) , lip-smacking with a batch of smoky bacon, or storming as a dip for some chunky chips (even better with cheesy chips!) – we reckon this is one that won’t hang around for long in anyone’s fridge once opened.
Available from The Chilli Pepper Company website, priced at £3.99 for a 140ml bottle.