This review is long overdue and has been in the works since November. I met the fine folks from Crazy Uncle Jester’s at this last years Weekend of Fire where they proceeded to light me up in short order with their sauces. They were kind enough to donate a whole box of some of their products (and believe me, they have a big product line with some interesting sounding stuff). As usual, with large amounts of sauces to review, I’ll lightly touch upon each product with a taste run down, my thoughts, and heat description. Let the carnival of capsaicin commence!
Crazy Uncle Jester’s Jamaican Hellfire Ingredients: Pears (pears, water, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup), onion, Bell Peppers, brown sugar, sugar, Jalapenos, Serranos, Habaneros, honey, mustard, garlic, spices.
Starting this off with Jamaican Hellfire, a Calypso-Style hot sauce. I have no clue what constitutes a “Calypso-Style” sauce and some extensive web searches only brought up one other company that has such a style, and then there was a musical style as well. Thin consistency with some small chunks with a pear like, light brown color. Sweet pairs mixed with sugar comes right up front followed by the brown sugar and Jalapenos. Up next come the Bell Peppers mixed with honey, Serranos, mustard, Habaneors, then some basil hints. The garlic and onions fall in on the aftertaste. Some middle and front of the tongue burn with a tantalizing hint of a back of the throat grab. This really tastes fantastic and was used heavily on chicken!
Hellfire; Taste: 7.9, Heat: 3.42
Crazy Uncle Jester’s Select Reserve Ingredients: Pears (pears, water, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup), onion, Bell Peppers, brown sugar, sugar, Jalapenos, Serranos, Habaneros, honey, mustard, garlic, spices.
This one I was confused at first on because it has the exact same ingredients list as the Jamaican Hellfire then I noticed it was just a hotter version of that sauce. Slightly thicker consistency and it has a browner color to it. Almost the same taste rundown too but much more mustard flavor (I hate mustard) and more Habaneros.
When they say XXXtra hot on their labels boy do they mean it! This had an instantaneous hit of massive Habanero heat and a very recognizable extract type burn (but no extract on the ingredients…hmmm….). Monstrous levels of heat that had me doing an air suck in short ored. It bites hard and lingers with a light headed endorphin rush that made me take a seat. Nicely done!
Select Reserve; Taste: 6.5, Heat: 9.5748
Crazy Uncle Jester’s Spontaneous Combustion Ingredients: Vinegar, Habaneros, Serranos, Jalapenos, salt, spices, Capsicum.
Let me get this out of the way, I really never liked Louisiana-style, so this is going to be a bit biased. First of is the taste of vinegar fallowed by the bitter extract taste and loads of salt. After that all I taste are the Habaneros. This is the least favorite of the sauces with too much salt and vinegar and not enough flavor backbone to follow it up. There was a very dry aftertaste on this one too. Loads of heat though, with that signature, extract “sits in every pore of your tongue” burn. I threw it into my pizza sauce and it added a slight bit of heat instead of a large bit which I was expecting.
Spontaneous Combustion; Taste: 3, Heat: 9
Crazy Uncle Jester’s Inferno Jelly Ingredients: Sugar, vinegar, pectin, Bell Pepper, Jalapeno, Serranos, Habaneros.
Now onto the Inferno Jelly. There is a nice color to this one and you can see a lot of the ingredients floating amongst the pectin. First off is the taste of sugar and lots of it. Then comes the fruity Habanero flavor, Serrano, Bell Peppers, little hint of vinegar, and it finishes off with the Jalapeno. The heat is there and builds slightly before leveling off to a nice, low end medium.
I like jellies, they go perfectly with my eggs and toast that I eat every morning. That being said, this is a bit on the too sweet side of things. I had to put a very, very thin coating on my toast otherwise it was too sugary to eat. If it had a little more pepper solids and a about 30% less sugar this would be spot on perfect.
Inferno Jelly; Taste: 5.8, Heat: 3.9
Crazy Uncle Jester’s Afterburner Sauce Ingredients: Sugar, evaporated milk, water, brown sugar, cocoa, flour, butter, Jalapeno, Habanero, vanilla, marshmallow (corn syrup, sugar, dextrose, corn starch, gelatin).
Afterburner Sauce is the product that really sold me on the company when I was at the Weekend of Fire. Very rarely do I find a desert sauce that I like, mainly because I don’t eat desert, heck, I don’t really eat sugary items or candy much either (read: never). So to find a Hot Fudge Sauce that made me want to break out desert is saying something.
Instantly smooth, Chocolate and marshmallow goodness right up front with Jalapeno coming in second. There is a little vanilla that pops it head out briefly only to be quickly pushed out of the way by the Habanero which skips out into the aftertaste while holding hands with the brown sugar. Nice creeping heat from the Habaneros mixing with the front of the tongue burn of the Jalapenos. Really a fantastic sauce that goes great on ice cream, ice cream Sundays, and spooned directly out of the jar. Congrats Uncle Jester, you just earned yourself a very rarely given out 10 for flavor!
Afterburner Sauce; Taste: 10, Heat: 7
Crazy Uncle Jester’s Brush Fire BBQ Ingredients: Onion, vinegar, ketchup, Bell Peppers, Worchester sauce (vinegar, molasses, corn syrup, water, salt, caramel color, sugar, spices, anchovy paste, natural flavor, soy, tamarind), honey, lime juice, garlic, pectin, Jalapenos, Serranos, tomato paster (tomato paste, salt, spices, natural flavor, citric acid), liquid smoke, salt, spices.
I took one look at Brush Fire BBQ’s consistency and knew what I must do with it. Marinade a nice chunk of steak and grill it up! But before we get to that, let’s do a taste rundown of it right out of the bottle. Loads of onion flavor and crunch hit first followed by honey mixed with lime juice. Next come the ketchup, Bell Peppers and Worchester sauce. After that the Serrano, then Jalapenos, then liquid smoke come in to finish it off. The heat is a high end mild with an all around tongue tingle.
After a three hour marinade I grilled the steak up to nice results. There’s a fantastic onion/brown sugar/honey sweetness with a little center of the tongue burn. The sweetness is the main thing that makes this beautiful. It’s spot on. Not overly sweet but not under sweet, just spot on.
Brush Fire BBQ; Taste: 7, Heat: 2.
Crazy Uncle Jester’s Blazing Hot Mustard Ingredients: Vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, flour, turmeric, sugar, Pectin, Bell Peppers, Jalapenos, Serranos, Habaneros.
Since I can’t stand mustard, I entrusted my good friend and now full fledged, Passow Trained and Certified chili-head, Eric Chmielewski (aka Chem) with writing this portion of the review. So, without further ado, his thoughts on Blazing Hot Mustard.
“The mustard is a dark yellow/light brown color. It smells spicy and a bit like horse radish, also some nice sweet notes. Nice creamy, smooth texture and mouth feel. Tastes like mustard alright but a good Habanero pepper kick not present in other mustards I’ve had. The initial heat bite is not as intense up front as it has been in some mustards I’ve had with my egg rolls at Chinese restaurants, but the heat lingers much longer. The heat bite in the mustards there is very potent at first but dissipates very quickly and doesn’t linger like it does here. I do taste hints of brown sugar and the sweetness of Bell Peppers. I would buy this and it complimented by corn beef sandwich quite well.”
Thanks for the review on that one, Chem! Thanks also go out the fine crew at Uncle Jesters! Overall they have some really tasty products and are doing some great things with one of my favorite peppers, the Serrano (which is way underused in the industry in my opinion). I would be interested to try more from their fine company.