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Summertime in the South and Hot as Hellfire…..Or Is It?!

Hellfire Hot Sauce Chilimaster's Reserve on veggies and fish

Hellfire Hot Sauce Chilimaster’s Reserve on veggies and fish

Two things I know….it gets really really hot in South Louisiana in the summertime. And the other thing I know is that who would’ve thunk that Lake Geneva, Wisconsin would produce a hotsauce that rivals a South Louisiana summer?! That’s right…..Wisconsin! Home of Brats, Cheeseheads, the Packers (one of my fav teams, by the way!), and Hellfire Hot Sauce! Born out of a steaming cauldron of chili (award winning chili, I might add!), Hellfire started producing gourmet caliber, artisan sauces back in 2008! And if you haven’t seen any of their collectible artwork bottle pieces, you are in for a treat! Merle and Diana sent me a couple bottles of their newer sauce creations recently and I took ‘em for a hot, sweaty, spicy spin around the bayou. So let’s check ‘em out!

The first sauce we are reviewing is Hellfire’s Chilimaster’s Reserve, which must have been born from Merle and Diana’s chili competition recipe book, because I bet it would make a dynamite chili flavor base. From the color to the flavor profile to the heat, it’s all there. Smacks of chili! Hot chili! Really, realllly good, hot chili. Cause this is a realllly, realllllly good hotsauce!! And it’s not just for chili! You can tell it’s a well thought out, complex sauce that packs some serious heat, but blended with a sweet mix of ingredients.

Get a load of what’s in this sauce: Chocolate Habanero, Scorpion, Jolokia, Naga, & 7-Pot peppers; Black Raspberries, Black Plums, Cherry Juice, Blueberries, Premium Chocolate, maple Syrup, Honey, Vanilla Bean, Cinnamon, Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey, Black Death Vodka, Salt, Vinegar, and “Spices”!!!!

Holy cow!!!!! Merle and Diana are either mad scientists, geniuses, or both! This sweet heat combo of flavors blends masterfully, belying whatever evil imagery Hellfire’s marketing is trying to concoct. There is nothing evil here, folks…well, except for the big heat punch that crawls up and scares the beejeebers out of you!! If it wasn’t so beautifully hot, I’d have to call this sauce Heavenfire….okay, that sounds weird, but you get the point! The peppers hit every sensor point….front end heat, middle of the palate, back of the throat, slow crawl, quick draw, you name it, it’s there type of heat! Probably a 4 Fiery World level heat! But while it lingers a bit, it isn’t so hot that you can’t repeat the experience bite after bite (as long as you aren’t drinking the stuff, but hey, that would be tempting!) And while you have a touch of vinegar tang, it’s tempered by the smooth bourbon note that compliments the chocolate, vanilla, honey and syrup so nicely; The raspberry, plums, and blueberries marry with vodka and the salt, and the cherry and cinnamon tag along for the gloriously hot and wonderful ride! While Dan Norton may carve some stunningly intricate, amazing collector bottle art for Hellfire, The dynamic duo of Merle and Diana match that artistry note for glorious note with this sauce!

Artist Dan Norton Creates Unique Collector Bottles for Hellfire Hot Sauce

Artist Dan Norton Creates Unique Collector Bottles for Hellfire Hot Sauce

Overall Impression: I LOVE THIS SAUCE! It gets a whopping 4 ½ Fiery Worlds – a huge score for this reviewer. I have rarely given any hot and spicy product over 4 Fiery Worlds! This sauce is that good, folks! I would be tempted to give it a full-on 5 Fiery World rating, but it’s a limited release sauce, which pulled it down a tad! This sauce has gone on so many things I can’t list them all. I’ve had the sauce a couple of months, so it’s been in stir fry, fish, veggies, baked potato, pork, chicken, steak (makes a pretty fine steak sauce!), on bread just plain, ice cream (not my fav use, but it worked), eggs, etc etc etc! Surprisingly, no chili! It’s too dang hot in South Louisiana for chili these days. But just wait….it’ll happen, and it’ll be a sweet, spicy party when it happens!

So head on over to Hellfire’s website, and get this sauce and any of the other fine creations hailing from unsuspecting Lake Geneva, Wisconsin! And when you do, just remember, Ladies and Gentlemen, tell them Chilehead Ken sent you and yes……It’s a Fiery World!

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