18 Mar Fire Dragon Chillies: Smoky Dragon SH!THOT Chipotle
Review by Greg Wagenmakers
Product: Fire Dragon Chillies: Smoky Dragon SH!THOT Chipotle
Location of Manufacture: New Zealand
Ingredients: Manuka Smoked Chillies, NZ Organic Cider Vinegar, NZ Whiskey, Tomato, Onion, NZ extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic, Brown Sugar, NZ Sea Salt, Thyme, Marjoram, Bay Leaves and Manuka Smoke Concentrate
Review: Winning 3rd for Best Savoury Chilli Sauce and 5th Best Hot Sauce at the 2013 Mr Chilli awards and 1st for best smoked sauce at the 2015 Mr Chilli awards, I had very high expectations. I must beging with this sauce packs a serious wallop. The initial teaspoon taste test gave me involuntary head movements; predominately from the bizarre flavour that came first and then the blistering heat that kicked in and totally obliterated my face for the next 5 minutes.
Did I enjoy this sauce? No.
I enjoy sauces where I can taste the ingredients. On paper this sauce boasts some fantastic ingredients that typically explode with flavours and aromas, but they were totally lost in the heat. Absent. There was no hint of marjoram, thyme or bay leaves. There was tomato, onion and vinegar, but so does every other sauce.
I understand that there are chilli heads out there who wear their chilli hero badge with pride, but alas, I am not one of them. I prefer flavours to be at the forefront of a culinary experience.
This sauce was then used as it was intended (as a condiment) and put on a lunch dish, comprising of pumpkin and spinach ravioli. Being a fan of chilli I added what I believed was a liberal application while also being mindful of not ruining the food. From the first mouthful, it was evident that this was going to be a ‘swallow first, enjoy later’ meal. All I got was the typical tomato, onion and vinegar and a strange ‘chemically’ flavour, which I couldn’t quite pinpoint.
My mouth glowed for about 7 or so minutes, which I usually enjoy, but this sauce left me underwhelmed.
I need to be open-minded about Fire Dragon Chillies as they have a whole host of awards under their belt, so clearly they have a following who love the heat over flavour. But, for this review I must make a stand and not join the fans who stand by this sauce.
Flavour wise, I will rate this sauce 3/10 and a heat rating of 9/10.