Naga Snake Bite Ingredients: Onions, carrots, tomatoes, vinegar, Naga Morich, red chilis, ginger, Red Bell peppers, garlic, olive oil, salt.
Our friend Mark McMullan, creator of the famed pepper database The Chile Man.org, has been hard at work for the past year creating his first commercial sauce, the Naga Snake Bite Extreme. The official release date was this last Wednesday and I was lucky enough to receive a bottle.
There are two versions of this sauce. The rare, limited edition is called “Naga Snake Bite Private Reserve” and contains 10 pods of the Naga Morich (the World’s Hottest Pepper). The one I received is the normal release with only 5 Naga pods. Since all of our reader know about my insane love for this pepper, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that half of the bottle was gone within 8 hours.
Before I go into the taste aspect, I would like to take some time with the bottle and label design. The sauce comes in a 5 ounce woozie that is actually a little taller than your standard bottles causing this to stand out on my “shelf of doom” in the refrigerator. The black shrink-wrap on the top of the bottle also caught my eye because it had a gold band around it. The label is cool but has some problems. First, taking up barely under 3/4 of the bottle it is way to small and placed near the top of the bottle making it seem very out of place. Because the label is small all the text on the front is bunched up which doesn’t make the quick glance reading that consumers do when shopping easy. I love the snake’s head on the front, which I think is a cobra, and the little outline of the full snake in the upper right hand corner. I also got a kick out of the tag line, “like drinking cobra venom”.
Now onto what we all want to know, how does it taste and what’s the heat like? As Ralph Wiggum would say, “It tastes like burning”. The fumes of the Naga alone made me cough very briefly upon the first tasting of this extremely thick and chunky sauce. It was almost like inhaling gasoline fumes, which is always a mark of a good sauce in my book.
The first flavor that hits is actually a combination of sweet onion, carrots, and tomatoes with the emphasis being on the tomatoes. Then the Naga Morich makes its appearance, both in heat and in flavor. I definitely detected the familiar green apple taste of the Naga and the fond memories of my first experience with this pepper started to flow through my mind. In the background is a slight hint of Red Bell Peppers and the after taste is a nice combination of heat and garlic. The only part about this sauce I have a qualm with is the use of olive oil. It gives a slight bit of a slimy feel at times, but isn’t too distracting.
This sauce is very aptly named. When that heat hits you it is fast and hard, almost like a snake has just sank his fangs deep into your tongue and refuses to let go. In small quantities the heat tends to peek fast, maintain for about 15 seconds, and then dies down to a medium level, which is just enough to get a nice little endorphin rush. That’s why I dumped 1/4 of the bottle on a breakfast burrito and ate it as fast as I could. The heat just kept pounding me and pounding me and by the time I was finished tears were streaming down my now red face. My lips were burning, my tongue was screaming at me and is still confused as to what it ever did to me to cause me infliction such pain on it. That’s when the endorphin rush nearly knocked me out of my chair. This sauce produces a euphoric bliss so good that I’ve only found it’s like in one other sauce, Blair’s Jersey Death.
All in all, Mark hit a homerun on his first time up to bat. I still think this could have been just a tad bit hotter, but then again, I have high demands that are hard to meet when it comes to that area. Here’s hoping I can find a bottle of his private reserve to buy before it’s been sold out…
Taste: 9, Heat: 9.978