Today I reviewed a total of eleven different hot sauces of varying brands and styles. I reviewed these sauces based on three different criteria: taste, spice, and versatility. I feel that these are the three most important aspects of a hot sauce. Hot sauce must have a decent flavor, a spice level that fits well with its flavor profile, and must be versatile enough to put on multiple different kinds of dishes and foods.
Tabasco scored high in spice but lacked both flavor and versatility. I would only really use Tabasco to spice up wing sauce recipes. The Cholula Chipotle had a rich smoke flavor coupled with a mild spice. It does well on different kinds of meats. The Moore’s Wing sauce had an excellent flavor with a medium spice level, but it is pretty specific to chicken wings because of the thickness. The Louisiana Hot Sauce is reminiscent of the Tabasco sauce in that it has high spice with little flavor, but the flavor it did have was not bad in any regard. It is fairly versatile as I would put it on really any kind of fish. The Cholula Original is similar to its Chipotle cousin in that it packs a rich flavor and a mild spice level and although this sauce is more specific to Hispanic food I would not complain if it found its way onto some basic chicken. The Great Value Hot Wing Sauce was fairly bland in both flavor and spice, making it versatile, but for the wrong reasons.The Tapatio is another Hispanic favorite, even more so than the Cholula, but has a higher heat level and a nice pepper flavor. The Frank’s Red Hot perfectly combines rich flavor and mild spice, making it extremely versatile. I would eat it on pretty much anything. The Tiger Sauce is sweet and sour sauce with a kick. I love the flavor and the spice but I could not eat it on anything that was not Asian inspired. The Sriracha shares this quality while boasting a better flavor and less heat. My final sauce, the Ghost Pepper with Blueberry was an odd assortment of painful spice and overly sweet flavor, while pleasant to taste I cannot imagine anything it would actually taste good on.
My top three sauces were the Tapatio, Tiger Sauce, and the Frank’s Red Hot. I enjoyed the Tapatio and Tiger Sauce flavors and heat levels, but they are just too specifically crafted to be considered versatile. The Frank’s on the other hand boasts great flavor, well blended spice, and versatility unmatched by any other sauce, making Frank’s the clear winner of this test.