Tabasco tang, Sriracha thickness, a flavor all its own…
We’ll be honest, at first we weren’t really sure how we felt about Black Rose Hot Sauce. It has a vinegary tang like Tabasco, but as a Louisiana style dashing sauce it’s way too thick. That thickness is a lot like Sriracha, but the pronounced vinegar tang limits its uses compared to Sriracha. On our first few tastes, we were left with the feeling that this hot sauce was in a hard-to-place limbo zone between two popular flavors.
But Black Rose Hot Sauce has grown on us big time since our initial first impression. In fact, it has a flavor all its own, taking the best of those two popular hot sauces and mixing in a hint smoke and a delicious amount of grit.
What’s in Black Rose Hot Sauce?
More than a few heat sources star in this ingredient list:
- Distilled vinegar
- Red jalapeños
- Cayenne peppers
- Habanero peppers
- Red pepper flakes
- Black pepper
- Xantham gum
Red jalapeños are for certain the primary pepper (same as Sriracha), and it’s a pepper that always works well with tomato-based sauces. They tend to be sweeter than green jalapeños which helps to pull out the sweetness in the tomato.
The heat: Eatable medium spiciness
While the list of peppers in this hot sauce does include the likes of habanero pepper, don’t expect an extra hot kick. Black Rose has an eatable medium heat, in line with Sriracha, even slightly hotter. It’s the type of heat that’s spicy enough for hot sauce fans, but not so spicy that the flavors get masked by the fiery flavor.
The flavor: Sweet, tangy, hint of smoke
The short of it: Black Rose is the hot sauce you’d get if Tabasco and Sriracha had a baby. There’s a little of each here, plus more. It’s a thick hot sauce with a lot of flavor. At first you have that healthy Tabasco-like vinegary tang. It develops quickly into sweet-garlicky tomato flavor (enhanced by the sweetness of red jalapeño), then the heat and spices kick in. There is an undertone of smoke, but really only a hint, likely from a mix of the red jalapeño and black pepper.
And, then there’s the grit – which for us is a major selling point. The texture of Black Rose isn’t completely smooth – there’s a level of grittiness from red pepper flakes and other spices which helps give Black Rose its own unique flair.
Usability: Useful where tomato sauce or ketchup are used
This is where we were caught in-between with Black Rose. We always liked the flavor, but where does it fit? It’s too thick for a Louisiana-style dashing sauce like Tabasco and too vinegary to be a culinary Swiss army knife like Sriracha. But it can still shine, and we are finding new use cases every day. For basics, it works very well with eggs (most hot sauces do). And we’ve been absolutely loving it on burgers. For those that enjoy mixing ketchup and mustard to use on burgers, you’ll get a comparable sweet tang with Black Rose, along with a whole world of heat and additional spices. We can see this hot sauce working in many places that ketchup could, so that will color our use cases as we continue to enjoy our bottle.
Overall: Yum, with a few caveats…
If you like Tabasco, you’ll likely love Black Rose as a next step. If you like Sriracha, Black Rose is an interesting side journey featuring comparable heat with a heck of a lot more tang. The flavor is overall terrific, though use cases are limited due to the Louisiana hot sauce-like vinegar tang. Still, for when it works, it really works, and we keep on finding new ways to incorporate Black Rose into our spicy life. You likely will too.
Buy a bottle of Black Rose Hot Sauce from Pepper Palace’s website.