My assumption before tasting Tabasco Scorpion Pepper Sauce was the heat wouldn’t really burn me, because, well….it’s made by Tabasco. How hot would they make it, really?
Oh was I wrong about that.
This scorpion pepper hot sauce brings real wrath to the table, much more than you’d ever expect from a Tabasco branded hot sauce. That alone makes this a fun collectible. But is it reasonably balanced and usable at this level of spiciness? Let’s take a closer look at Tabasco Scorpion and see how it fares.
Tabasco Scorpion is sort of a sauce within a sauce. The ingredients are: Scorpion peppers, distilled vinegar, sugar, guava puree, pineapple, salt, guava powder, pineapple powder, TABASCO® Brand Pepper Sauce (distilled vinegar, red pepper, salt).
So Tabasco’s original sauce (review here) is the base from which this wicked mix is crafted. It has a thinner consistency like regular Tabasco and it packs enough of that classic vinegar tang. But that’s where the similarities end. There’s so much more to this sauce.
Upon first bite you’ll taste the sweet heat from guava and pineapple mixed with the natural sweetness (and obvious big heat) of scorpion peppers. The sweetness doesn’t linger, though, because they did not hold back when bringing that scorpion heat. It hits quickly and fiercely alongside the vinegar tang. The backend is all heat. Tabasco Scorpion is front-loaded with the fruity flavors up top.
The sweetness here isn’t distracting or overwhelming; it makes Tabasco Scorpion just inviting enough for your tastebuds to crave that burn it leaves behind. I can taste the guava up top and when you taste that sweet tang it makes me think about a tropical day in the sun.
Obviously you don’t get this level kick here, but Tabasco gives their scorpion sauce a decent amount of heat – 50,000 Scoville heat units. That’s the equivalent of eating a hotter than normal fresh cayenne pepper. Compared to Tabasco Original (2,500 SHU), it’s night and day. This is a hot sauce made for heat seekers.
The good news is the heat balance works and is kind of fun. There’s a little sting hidden in that sweetness right at the get-go and a quick build of heat from there. It grows (and continues for 10 to 15 minutes), moving from your tongue to the back of your throat in the process.
For those who like to use about 10 dashes of regular Tabasco on one bite, an equivalency here is like a drop. This builds to a point where you’ll have to stop if you don’t want to be rushing for milk, versus regular Tabasco where you can go all day.
The heat will be too much for some, so it’s not as usable as the original – but it’s still plenty usable.
Since Tabasco Original Red Sauce is in the mix, anywhere you’d use the original you could give Tabasco Scorpion a go. Though it’s a little sweeter than a typical Louisiana-style hot sauce, so keep that sweetness in mind. It’s an excellent choice for sweeter dishes where Tabasco Original may have been too vinegar-forward to play. I added it to pineapple sorbet, and it changed the eating experience completely (in a good way.)
If you’re concerned about salt-intake, careful here. Tabasco Scorpion has 190 mg of sodium, which is about 8% of your daily intake. Regular Tabasco is only 2%, so it’s a big difference. That said, you don’t really notice it tasting too salty over the intense heat here.
If you’re a Tabasco fan, this is no doubt a fun collectible. Tabasco Scorpion was supposed to be a limited edition, but people went crazy for it so now it’s here to stay.
People don’t expect this level of heat from Tabasco, so it makes an excellent conversation starter. It carries a legend’s name, but with surprise inside! It’s sort of the needed addition to the Tabasco line to give it street-cred with the real hot sauce heat-seekers out there.
The label is just right, too. it has that traditional Tabasco brand style, but with the label colored black and two wicked-looking white scorpions drawn on each side of the logo. It looks pretty cool sitting next to your other Tabasco bottles, like something unique, special, and awnry. It’s like the dark wrath of the scorpion peppers peeking through.
Tabasco was very smart with this coloration as it does provide a warning, too. This is not your everyday Tabasco and don’t mistake it for it. You’ll be more than surprised by the heat here. It’s been called the new “King of Sting”, because it’ll sting ya nice and good if you’re not careful.
Take Tabasco Original and multiply the heat by 20, then add a little sweetness and a little less vinegary tang. That’s Tabasco Scorpion. It’s a fun addition to the Tabasco line, providing needed sting! (Amazon)