A&E / NEWS BOSTON.COM -
Spotlights taste — not heat
By Chris Rattey, Boston.com | April 15, 2003
1 pepper: Mild
2 peppers: A comfortable zing
3 peppers: Hot
4 peppers: Very hot
5 peppers: Ridiculous
What do you get when you combine Aerosmith's Joe Perry with a hot sauce called the "Boneyard Brew"? You get an overwhelming urge to try some. I assembled a taste-test crew to see how the famed guitarist's "Rock Your World" Hot Sauce stacked up against some spicy competition.
Are these testers experts in the field of hot sauce, you ask? Well, through some research I discovered there was no actual Ph.D. offered in this particular field. So how are these eaters qualified?
Simple: They love wings. I've borne witness on numerous occasions to their debauchery of the 10-cent wing special at The Mill restaurant in Keene, N.H. At times it got downright ugly.
Three levels of rank exist within this motley crew of testers:
Steel-tongued (likes the hot), One-alarmers (likes some kick), and Crybaby (get out of the kitchen, fool!). We hope you can relate to at least one of them. All products are distributed by Ashley Food Co., Inc., based in Dedham, Mass. And if you're looking for something to blow your top, check into 'Mad Dog 357.' We banned Mad Dog from the competition and, quite frankly, it should be flat-out illegal.
So here we go... five different sauces (in order of tasting) and three testers with taste buds to burn.
Mad Dog Liquid Fire: This sauce uses smoking-hot peppers and "zesty" garlic. Great for Bloody Marys, hot wings, or chili. Steel-tongued: Got some zing, but not overwhelming. The bite sneaks up on you, but only a nibble.
One-alarmers: Definitely hot with a nice peppery flavor. Could put down a dozen.
Crybaby: The name threw me off, but not too bad. I like the pepper taste.
Heat index: 3 peppers: Hot
A fire-roasted habanero pepper sauce that is visibly loaded down with a boatload of spices.
Steel-tongued: On the mild side of hot, no doubt. Got a full, spicy flavor.
One-alarmers: Got a sweet flavor to it... but definitely spicy. It's a nice blend of peppers.
Crybaby: It's hot. That's all I can give you. Hot.
Heat index 2 1/2 peppers: A comfortable zing
Made with habanero peppers, onions, garlic, and lime juice with a hint of sweetness.
Steel-tongued: Definitely sweet, but a creeper that packs a wallop. Hottest yet.
One-alarmers: Something isn't right about this. Food shouldn't be this hot, period. Can hot be a flavor?
Crybaby: No opinion. Opted-out after previous tasters' reactions.
Heat index: 5 peppers: Ridiculous
Made with orange habanero peppers, celery seed, and red peppers, plus a number of spices.
Steel-tongued: Not that hot. Sweet. It's got a nice aroma.
One-alarmers: A heater. The lips are getting numb, though, and confusion is setting in.
Crybaby: It doesn't seem as hot, but I have no idea. My mouth is on fire
Heat index: 3 peppers: Hot
Rock and roll meet hot sauce in this smoky-smooth blend.
Steel-tongued: Mild, but very tasty. It's got a sweet, smoky flavor.
One-alarmers: It's got a barbecue-hickory flavor. Nice zing. The best tasting one yet.
Crybaby: Not butt-@ss hot, finally. It's got zing and good taste. My favorite.
Heat index: 2 peppers: A comfortable zing
Joe Perry's 'Rock Your World' Boneyard Brew