One man, nine Colorado hot sauces, and a burning ring of fire
One splash of the hot stuff can turn your burrito from a meat football of sadness into a culinary dream. But since Tabasco is for basic bitches, we sampled the best Colorado-produced spicy sauces so you can upgrade your flavor game while keeping it local.
The Boulder Hot Sauce // Harry’s Habanero
Spice Meter: 6 out of 10
Harry’s Habanero finely balances the medium habanero heat and deep flavors of sweet onion and carrots in each spoonful we shovel into our mouths. Harry’s unique flavors and subtle heat won’t be for the faint of heart. Then again, the better things in life aren’t.
Redlaw Sauce Co. // Scorpion Hot Sauce Green Label
Spice meter: 8 out of 10
Breakfast just received the facelift Renee Zellweger wishes she had. This sauce awakens your senses with garlic and Serrano, then murders those senses with scorpion peppers that help you understand true pain. Redlaw considers this mouth fire “medium” heat.
Spice meter: 1 out of 10
Green Belly only makes one hot sauce, and that hot sauce happens to be one of the best we’ve had. Sweet, tangy, crisp and fiery are a few of the adjectives we use when salivating over the next drop of this cilantro blend. Finding the mixture takes some scavenging, but once you find it, you’ll never go back.
Small Batch Organics // Yin Yang
Spice meter: 5 out of 10
We never trust vegans, but Yin Yang might be our new reason to worship their existence. The small-batch vegan hot sauce is a game changer. Hot fired organic peppers and cool sweet organic fruit deliver drops of smoky magic we’d inject intravenously if they made larger batches.
Burning Desire // Roasted Jalapeno Chili Sauce
Spice Meter: 2 out of 10
Our love of Mexican food — often to the detriment of our afternoon work ethic — automatically makes us a fan of this hot sauce. It’s softer than Tapatio or Tobasco, with a salsa-esque undertone that adds flavor without transforming your meal.
Horsetooth Hot Sauce // The “O” Face
Fort Collins, CO
Spice Meter: 7 out of 10
Sadly, it doesn’t take much to bring out our “O” face, and Horsetooth found that out faster than our ego would have liked. Maybe it’s the orange habanero spice with juicy cantaloupe and sweet carrots. Or maybe we’re over-excited knowing Horsetooth makes five other hot sauces.
Chiporro Sauce Co. // Cilantro Jalapeno
Spice Meter: 3 out of 10
Sophistication was never easier to dump on your take-n-bake pizza. All Chiporro hot sauces belong in the restaurants we can’t afford. Luckily for you, Chiporro’s Cilantro Jalapeno is now a hot commodity in Colorado, giving you access to the entire bottle of fresh cilantro, garlic, tomatillo and jalapeno.
Overkill Hot Sauce // Red Habanero
Spice Meter: 7 out of 10
While other hot sauces boast a more refined use of the habanero pepper, Overkill proudly douses your tongue with Mother Nature’s natural aphrodisiac until you inevitably surrender to the bold, sweet flavors. Our friendly advice, enjoy the calm before the storm.
K-Sauce // Keenan’s Killer
Spice Meter: 9 out of 10
Should you wake up one morning thinking that the market for original, vinegar-based hot sauces has succumbed to mediocrity, Keenan’s Killer will dry up your tears and snap you back into brutal, spicy reality. Buffalo wings and bloody marys would be honored to have Keenan’s in their recipe.