As is the norm for my reviews, let’s look at the label. Clean, bright, with a nice bold graphic of “Rogue” that sports a neat scorpion tail incorporated in the “G”, Rogue would be eye catching on a grocery store shelf, and isn’t that the point? The label coloring matches the sauce color, as I’ve found to be the case with all of High River’s sauces, Hellacious, Tears of the Sun, and Grapes of Wrath, and it makes a very eye appealing package. And unless customers have a chance to try a product at a show, or demo, etc., the only thing that sells it is packaging and accompanying marketing. I need to say that I think Steve Seabury has one of the brightest sales and marketing minds in the hot sauce biz! From great labels to catchy product names, to the way he markets and capitalizes on his heavy metal roots, is just genius! And not to mention, the man (and his lovely mixologist bride, who I’m sure adds to the creative gene pool here) has some serious flavor and heat profiling chops!
Speaking of heat and flavor, Rogue does not disappoint! I’m not a big fan of blood oranges, because I find the flavor normally heavier and bitter compared to a “normal” orange. But High River has done a masterful job capturing the full flavor of the blood orange without the bitterness by masterfully pairing apple cider vinegar with just enough apples and pears and brown sugar with the blood orange. It kinda reminds me of a good heavy metal concert – a hard, edgy look, and the promise of serious sweat-inducing head banging, but with a serious front end fake!! Rogue starts off softer than expected, like a nice acoustic ballad, and just as you wonder if it’s gonna get real, the Serrano peppers start a little lead heat rif, with a front end heat that serves to introduce the Marshall stack rattling full on heat of the Moruga Scorpion and Jolokia peppers. The background percussion rhythm section is rounded out with the ginger, lime juice, and garlic. But just like a good hard rock fan likes his music, there’s a great balance and flair to the flavor of this sauce. So many people criticize hard rock and metal for not having any sophistication or finesse, but just like High River’s Rogue Blood Orange Moruga Scorpion sauce, serious rock and roll comes with complexity, often times with very sophisticated classical and folk backgrounds, but using them to create a fullness of sound, or in this case, flavor and heat!
This sauce is worthy of an easy 4 Fiery Worlds! I would’ve scored it a little higher, but I felt it could’ve had the heat linger a bit longer than it does before having to get another dose! But don’t misunderstand, this is a great hot sauce, unique and flavorful, and definitely worth a trip to High River’s website! And while you’re there, check out their other great sauces, like Hellacious (reviewed previously by this blogger for Hot Sauce Daily), Tears of the Sun, and Grapes of Wrath. Tell them Chilehead Ken sent you, and remember ladies and gentlemen: It’s a Fiery World!
I love dessert! I love fruit, especially strawberries and blueberries! So logically, I love desserts with berries. I also love chocolate. And caramel. And yes, I love desserts with chocolate and/or caramel! So tonight I thought I’d share with you a couple of special, and spicy, desserts I whipped up.
With Spring having sprung, that means it’s strawberry season in Louisiana. So, in my house, that always means fresh Louisiana strawberries with angel food cake and whipped cream. Sometimes I put blueberries on angel food cake, too. And hold on to the chocolate and caramel shout out I made above. I’m gonna get to them in short order. I recently ordered some sauces from Red Hawk Premium Peppers: I bought Dan Lowenstein’s Strawberry Scorpion Sting sauce and his B3, or B cubed, sauce. The strawberry sauce also has a little vanilla and sugar in it, and the B3 is full of blueberries, bananas, and bhut jolokia peppers (Get it? B3? Nice play, Dan…) And just today, I received a care package from Renee and Ricky at Madison Chocolatiers West. They wanted my feedback on their brand new spicy confection, a dark chocolate and caramel dessert sauce infused with chocolate Habanero’s! Can you see where I’m going with this? It was a very good night at the Alexander house tonight!
As you can see by the pictures, I took an angel food cake muffin my wife made, a few Louisiana strawberries, and added Red Hawk’s Scorpion Stinger and B3 sauces, and filled the center with the chocolate caramel hab sauce! I added some whipped cream around the edge and even stirred some of the hot sauces into the whipped cream for a topper!
It was sweet, it was hot, it was tangy, and lastly, it was delicious! The pairing of the fruit based sauces with the berries and cake worked extremely well. The sweet of the berries, cake and whipped cream offset the heat (just a little) and any lack of sweetness from the sauces. Then add in the decadently smooth, creamy, rich flavor from the chocolate caramel habanero sauce, and I gotta tell you, my taste buds thanked me, my belly thanked me and I even think my pupils dilated a little when I took that first big bite!!! Just sayin………
Both of these companies have a lot to be proud of. Red Hawk has some very unique flavor profiles in their sauces, and Madison Chocolatiers West hit it out of the park with this Chocolate Habanero sauce of theirs. If they haven’t named it, they need to name it “Money” cause it should make them a lot of it! I will admit that Red Hawk’s B3 sauce is my favorite in their lineup. Not that I don’t enjoy the strawberry scorpion, because I do, but I find the B3 fruitier than the strawberry, and a little smoother, which made it an excellent pairing for dessert. And given that it has carrots in it, I was very pleasantly surprised! I’ve also had it on a Peanut Butter, Banana, and Jelly sandwich and it was superb! I didn’t enjoy it as much when I used it as a salad dressing. The banana flavor, which is discernable, and the texture didn’t work for me. And oh yea, on pancakes with syrup! The bananas and blueberries are a perfect complement! On the other hand, the strawberry scorpion makes an outstanding salad dressing, and that use should be promoted! I also enjoyed it on my PB,B, and J! Since this is a dessert post, i haven’t talked about their use with meat, but suffice it to say, it was outstanding on Chicken and fish!! And I didn’t do anything fancy with it other than turn the bottle upside down!
To round out my dessert theme, I threw in a picture of Ricky and Renee’s sauce on ice cream, and the B3 on ice cream (crazy good)! I’ve hyperlinked their website in the post, so go out and get you some soon!! And remember…..It’s a Fiery World!