Alden is a serious Chilehead. He lives across the country in Maryland and we correspond about all things pepper. Almost a year and one half ago he started making a hot sauce from some very exotic peppers that he grew in his garden. They had names like Chocolate Scorpion and Congo. They sound hot. He made a mash and put in in a wooden barrel to age and ferment. He just recently opened this barrel and bottled this elixir. Yours truly received one of these special sauces. I jotted down a couple of notes from my initial tasting that I would like to share with you.
The aroma has the unmistakable hint of fruity exotic peppers. I immediately removed the flow restrictor (personal pet peeve dislike of flow restrictors) and poured a little on the back of my hand. The little I did taste ignited the heat scale to 4 out of 5 stars and this heat kept on climbing with afterburner goodness. I detected a little sourness maybe from the fermentation. I hate to use the word Umami but it did have the quality and savory that triggers craving for another taste. I realized I could not eat this straight so I opted for pizza. I admit that I did overdue it with sauce. It burns so good. Also this sauce has a balance and roundness of salt, sweet and sour with the pepper hint of fruitiness that I associated with exotics.(peppers). There is no comparison to the National brand of fermented sauce from Avery Island. This sauce has body and the National brand is watery in my opinion. I could go on and on about how great this sauce is and I will. I need to let my taste buds rejuvenate before I savor this sauce some more. I most likely did some taste receptor damage tonight. I do admit that I replaced the flow restrictor but only temporarily. Alden, Thankyou and Bravo.