The Last Dab XXX Hot Sauce Review

Few hot sauces become as synonymous with extreme heat as The Last Dab XXX (a product of Hot Ones, First We Feast, and Heatonist.) After all, it uses the infamous Pepper X (three kinds, triple X!) as its chili pepper base, and they sit high up in the ingredients list. So blistering heat is to be expected. But is there more here? How is The Last Dab XXX Hot Sauce’s flavor? Is that extreme heat balanced or simply painful? And how about usability? Let’s open a bottle and cover all that you need to know.

Pepper X in the Wild
Last Dab XXX Hot Sauce
4.1
$29.95

The Last Dab XXX features three types of the super-hot Pepper X, and it’s a hot one for sure. But not quite as hot as you may have heard in our books. There’s good flavor here, too. Usability trails some (as it does with all extreme hot sauces), but The Last Dab makes up for it in spades with collectibility. 

Heat Level: Super-Hot
Pros:
  • Big on heat, for those looking for the extreme
  • Highly collectible
  • No sodium
Cons:
  • Not nearly as spicy as some reports say it is
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05/06/2022 05:16 pm GMT

Table of Contents

Flavor

You can tell just from a quick glance of The Last Dab Hot Sauce’s ingredient list that this is a serious heat-first sauce. But there’s more to it than those super-hot chilies. The ingredients are: Pepper X, chocolate Pepper X, peach Pepper X, distilled vinegar, ginger root, turmeric, coriander, cumin, and dry mustard.

We’ll get into the heat more below, but it does impact flavor almost immediately. There is no slow burn here, as the heat hits the tip of your tongue. So, you don’t lured into thinking “flavor depth” before the hammer hits (like some other extreme hot sauces.) The heat of this sauce really distracts you from picking apart all the flavors.

The predominant flavor you do get, once you get past the spicy shock, is a peppery sweetness mixed with tang and earthiness from the vinegar, dry mustard, and turmeric. The ginger does sneak in, sort of in waves in-between the extreme heat.

The pairing of three Pepper X varieties works very well with the general flavors you get from The Last Dab XXX. The peach variety likely adds to the sweetness some, and the chocolate Pepper X leans into that earthiness likely more than the common version of this extreme chili. So, there’s some method to the madness of why three Pepper X varieties were chosen.

Overall, it tastes good. There’s plenty of flavor, but it won’t wow you. To me, it’s not as nuanced as Elijah’s Xtreme Regret Hot Sauce, for instance. But hey — the spiciness is the star here.

On the sodium: There is no salt at all in The Last Dab XXX. So, add this to your list of no-sodium hot sauces (for those watching their salt intake.) Granted, you’re likely using this a single drop at a time, so even something high in sodium here would be very little in terms of usage.

The Last Dab XXX Hot Sauce on a spoon

Heat Balance

Let’s talk about the Pepper X for a minute since it’s the name draw to The Last Dab. The Pepper X is made by the same grower (and farm) as the Carolina Reaper: Smokin’ Ed Currie and The PuckerButt Pepper Company. And it likely tops the heat of the Reaper — Pepper X sits around roughly 3,180,000 Scoville heat units and the Carolina Reaper between 1,400,000 and 2,200,000 SHU. Why isn’t Pepper X officially the hottest pepper in the world then? Because it takes some time for new chili strains to become stable. And the Pepper X (as of this writing) isn’t stable yet.

–> Learn More: Pepper X Vs. Carolina Reaper

That could explain our experience with the overall heat.

It’s written right on the label, heat level 10 out of 10. I would agree with that, but with a big caveat. It’s not as hot as many report. The claim is this hot sauce sits at roughly 2,000,000 SHU. That’s extreme heat — the same as eating a fresh Carolina Reaper. To me, The Last Dab XXX is nowhere near that.

To me, Da Bomb Beyond Insanity Hot Sauce (at 135,600 SHU) is hotter than my experience with The Last Dab XXX. Maybe that’s because of the stability of Pepper X (it can impact overall heat.) Who knows. But what I do know is 2,000,000 SHU seems like an extreme exaggeration. That’s not particularly a bad thing, since 2,000,000 SHU is like eating military grade pepper spray. The Last Dab is much more balanced with less heat than that, given the flavor is not deeply nuanced.

In terms of the eating experience: even at Da Bomb Beyond Insanity levels of spiciness, The Last Dab is still an extreme hot sauce. It’s the same heat as eating a fresh habanero pepper (100,000 to 350,000 SHU.), so be prepared. It’ll linger on your tongue for a good 20 minutes and slowly dissipate to a warmth. It does build as you use it, so you may want to have milk by your side for back-up.

Usability

Extreme hot sauces all suffer on usability some, as, for the most part, they are simply heat sources for foods. So, if you want something super-spicy, The Last Dab is highly usable. If not, it’s not.

The flavor here (again, if you get past the heat), does work well with chicken and pork. I also enjoyed it with my breakfast eggs (a drop or two went a long way.)

The Last Dab has a medium thickness, so you can see fresh seeds and bits of ingredients right through the bottle. They look good as it’s being poured out. But for most, that requires way more of this sauce than you’d use in one sitting. The spout is the size of a dime, so you can over-pour this if not careful.

Collectibility

Obviously, if you’re a fan of Hot Ones, you’ll want to get your hands on a bottle. This is also (currently) the only way to taste Pepper X. So, if you’re looking to experience what that extreme chili is all about, you’ll want to pick up The Last Dab XXX. For those two reasons alone, the collectibility of this hot sauce is as high as can be.

The labeling does a good job at setting the tone for what’s inside, with the big XXX font treatment and the golden flames. Though, I will say the gold on red treatment for the text does feel a bit muted. Sure, it feels “special”, but it doesn’t quite pop as you’d expect.

The Score

The Last Dab XXX features three types of the super-hot Pepper X, and it’s a hot one for sure. But not quite as hot as you may have heard in our books. There’s good flavor here, too. Usability trails some (as it does with all extreme hot sauces), but The Last Dab makes up for it in spades with collectibility.

FINAL SCORE4.1
Overall Flavor4
Heat Balance4
Usability3.5
Collectibility5
X-Factor4.5
Based on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest)
  • The Hot Pepper List: We profile over 150 different chilies. Learn what’s behind the heat of hot sauce – each pepper’s flavor, overall spiciness, and much more.
  • Our Hot Sauce Rankings: We rank over 100 different hot sauces across flavor, heat balance, usability, and collectibility. Find your next “new favorite” hot sauce here!
  • The Hottest Peppers In The World: Want to explore the world of extreme chilies? We cover the spiciest peppers on the planet in this round-up.

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on May 6, 2022 to include new content.
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