Heartbeat Hot Sauce – Blueberry Habanero is a sweet, mild (a bit surprisingly) habanero hot sauce. The blueberry flavor is very light and hits you on the back-end, while the light spiciness from the habanero hits you first. The flavor isn’t quite as well-rounded as you’d expect, but the sweet heat makes this a real crowd-pleaser and it’s actually more versatile than you may think for a berry-based sauce. You’ll end up using it a whole lot more than you think! Let’s break it all down.
If you like sweet sauces with an eatable level of heat, you’ll be a fan of Heartbeat’s blueberry habanero offering. There are quite a few ingredients in the making: Blueberries, Bell Pepper, Onion, Distilled Vinegar, Sugar, Red Habanero, Garlic, Lime Juice, Kosher Salt, Canola Oil, Blueberry Ale (Water, Malted Barley, Hops, Blueberries).
Habaneros can be big heat in some hot sauces, but that’s not the case here. It doesn’t come on too strong, adding just enough kick to make it fun. And the habanero’s naturally sweet, fruity flavor melds very well into the overall tastes in the sauce.
There’s both fresh blueberries and blueberry ale in the ingredients, so you’d think there’d be a potentially overwhelming blueberry experience here. Thankfully, that’s not at all the case. The sweetness of the blueberries is very subtle and balanced out by the citrus juices, fresh bell pepper flavor, and onion.
Frankly, I was scared I would hate this sauce because I like blueberries, but not THAT much. Luckily, this sauce – with its wide ingredient list – dilutes the berry flavor quite a bit. You get a hint of onion and bell pepper on the first bite, then the habanero kicks in. THEN, the slight taste of blueberries arrives providing for a really nice finish on top of the heat. It’s a sweetness that balances it all out, leaving you with an enjoyable mild burn.
One wish: I really wanted to taste more of the onion and bell peppers at the top. It’s there, but fleeting. You’re mostly just hit with a slight sweetness and then heat from the habaneros.
Heartbeat Blueberry Habanero is on the low-end of medium heat. You feel it right away, but it’s more a tongue burn than a full mouth explosion. The sweetness (and frankly how many ingredients are in this hot sauce) really downgrade the heat, so that it’s noticeable but not overpowering. That’s not particularly a bad thing, but when featuring a pepper on a label, there’s a level of heat expectation that’s either met or not met. The balance feels a little underwhelming in that light.
That said – this sauce is made to be used as more than a drop or a drizzle, and the level of habanero heat fits well in that light for everyday use. Just know that going in – habanero is an ingredient here (and its fruitiness works well), but don’t expect an extra-hot sauce.
This sauce slightly takes over whatever food you put it on with its berry sweetness, but quickly rounds out once you get chomping.
I added this to pizza and realized that I had found the missing ingredient I’ve been looking for to go with my ranch. Yes, I’m one of those. It was just the right amount of heat and sweetness that turned it into a gourmet slice.
I used this in place of my BBQ sauce on a burger and it was AMAZING! It adds just the right amount of spice and sweet, to make this a great addition on any meats where you’d normally use BBQ sauce.
The bottle is just a thin plastic squeeze bottle with an odd-looking three-pronged spout. So when you squeeze it, it comes out in three different drops. It’s actually pretty awesome for better hot sauce distribution. I just needed one squeeze on a burger and it hit the whole burger patty. Some people who want more control may not enjoy this spout design, but, for me, it works very well.
Their labeling is more attached to where this sauce comes from (Thunder Bay, Ontario) rather than the actual sauce. The skywriting plane is an interesting and classic look for a hot sauce bottle. It definitely draws you in to see what they’re offering. It’s different while also remaining a classic black label which adds to its gourmet look and taste.
It’s a nice looking bottle that shows well on the table – whether with burgers or something more gourmet. Though, it’s a little subdued (I’m sure on purpose to feel more gourmet) compared to a lot of other hot sauce options out there. The spout on this bottle makes it more of a collectible than anything else, especially if you’d prefer any other sauce to come out in a perfectly distributed three-dot process.
Don’t let the blueberry scare you away from trying this, because they did a great job making this very eatable. And remember – ranch with habanero blueberry pizza slice. Seriously, try it… you won’t regret it.
A surprisingly light blueberry taste and mild heat (for a marketed habanero-based sauce), but very tasty nonetheless. It’s also more usable than you may think for a sauce that’s berry-based. (Amazon)