When I was first approached by Brighton Hot Stuff I felt rather pleased with myself. I then realised that they made hot sauces and allowed my ego to recover a little before responding.
Brighton Hot Stuff was started in 2011 by Deen Lim through a passion for experimentation and using fresh organic products to produce unique and interesting sauces. Deen has managed to get his sauces into a number of local pubs and cafes and he delivers everything by bicycle. There is a strong ecological ethos behind the business and empty bottles can be returned for recycling or refilling. All of the sauces are also suitable for vegans so they can be enjoyed by pretty much anyone who wants to give them a go.
Despite once being a lover of all things hot and spicy my tastes have mellowed over the years. That is not to say that I don’t have a bottle or two of hot sauces in my cupboard at all times. I’m a big fan of a hit of chilli first thing in the morning with my breakfast, especially when I’ve had a few the night before. Hot sauces are an absolute must for any kitchen and there are plenty to choose from.
It is always great to hear about local small businesses and to give their products a try so when Deen asked to send me some to sample I was only too happy to oblige. A bottle of Hop Sauce was dispatched which I have been using steadily over the past month and I was also sent some samples of his standard range; below is the result of some taste testing of what Brighton Hot Stuff has to offer.
This sauce is Deen’s special edition sauce that uses equinox hops to augment his classic chipotle sauce. It has been made in collaboration with the guys over at Brewtorial who know a thing or two about hops and so it is a real meeting of minds.
Lovely smoky aroma with a tangy vinegar sweetness. In the mouth, it starts off very smoky and fruity with a slight hoppy note in the background. The heat comes on gently and lingers for a while, it doesn’t blow your head off but you know that you’ve had something hot. A great all round hot sauce that I have used to perk up eggs for breakfast, in hot dogs and in any Mexican style dishes. Would definitely make a top addition to a bloody mary in place of the traditional tabasco. This sauce is the perfect every day hot sauce that you will reach for again and again.
Much smokier and richer than its hoppy alter-ego and not so spicy either. Has something of a brown sauce quality due to the fruitiness but that deep smoked taste gives it a much classier edge. I could imagine cooking with this sauce and using it in a Chilli con carne or to perk up rich meaty dishes. Still has a decent level of heat but not so much that you lose the flavour. Would be great on things like cheese on toast or a rarebit to give a depth of flavour and some heat.
Very different, very fruity and very sweet and surprisingly hot. The first thing that hits you is a lovely sweetness from the pineapple, it is not a sickly sweetness rather a lively fruity hello. The flavour is such that I reckon you could get away with putting this in a dessert or cocktail if you wanted to make something quite different. Be warned though, and I am not sure whether this is because I am rubbish with heat or because there was a lot on the spoon, it does heave quite a kick. The fruity scotch bonnets see to that, and with the pineapple and mango this would certainly be a great addition to any Caribbean food.
Before I try this I have to say I am feeling somewhat worried. The bottle contains Trinidad Moruga Scorpion chilli peppers. These have been identified as the hottest in the world reaching an eye watering 1.2 million Scoville heat units. Given I am taste testing these as they come, and because I have very low heat tolerance, this is going to be a very small spoonful.
With my glass of milk poised I get my first taste of what is a surprisingly light and refreshing sauce. It has a tabasco quality to it giving no hint and the extreme heat that is lurking beneath this gentle pretence. Slowly the heat comes on, and boy does it come on. This is not a smack you in the face heat, it is the sort that wants to lure you into thinking you can handle it, allowing you time to say something suitably macho and misguided, before unleashing its full potential. Eventually it reaches a peak of heat that makes me feel like I’ve scolded my tongue with boiling water – and I only had a tiny amount.
For those out there who are looking for a big chilli kick and want to supercharge their dishes this is the one for you. Be warned it is pretty darn hot!
Check out the links below to take a look at Brighton Hot Stuff for yourself.