Chile Chapters

Review of Tabanero Hot Sauce Picante: A Solid Sauce, Subtle Agave Flavor

Posted in Reviews and Finds by Josh Winn | September 14th, 2013


Tabanero Picante Unboxing

Unboxing Tabanero Hot Sauce Picante

This Tabanero brand of hot sauce really has its act together. When I first received the bottles to review, I had the mistaken impression that this was some offshoot of the Tabasco brand. Their labeling, packaging, and website are realy professional. Rather, they are a company based out of Boca Raton, Florida.

The name is a catchy combination of Tabasco, and habanero. This sauce uses all natural ingredients, and habaneros from Tabasco, Mexico (it’s a place, and also a type of pepper, not just a brand):

In pursuit of the most flavorful, All Natural & downright Best Hot Sauce in the world, we have found ourselves in the fertile fields of Tabasco, Mexico; which receives the most rainfall in all of Mexico. Our team of hot sauce aficionados started the quest for the best hot sauce in the world back in 2004.

On to the review and taste test:

Labeling/Bottle:

I’m a fan of the label on the front and the logo. Real classy looking and a graphic designer was definitely involved. The back label is alright; it’s easy to read, and has a map with Tobasco, Mexico pointed out. There’s a Facebook logo on there too. I kind of laugh when I see facebook logos on products now, but maybe it will spur some people to like the page? While driving on the road recently, I saw a pickup truck for a local company that had logos for the different social networks stuck to it. I’m not sure what he was expecting, especially since I didn’t even see the name of the company.

The bottle itself is the thicker Tabasco™ style glass bottle, which I like. It’s a bit different in that the bottom tapers, making it easier to hold. It opened easily, and pours well. My only issue here is the text at the top that says “Voted the Best*”, and the asterisk with the vague “In independent taste tastes”. The best as compared to what? Whose taste tests? It just reads as self-promoting marketing speak.

Aroma:

A sweet smell , and a typical vinegar that you get with most hot sauces. Not overpowering at all. It smells fresh and appetizing.

Looks:

Make sure to heed the SHAKE WELL instruction on the top wrapper before using, as the ingredients can separate a bit. Otherwise you’ll get a weird watery substance.

Looking good. It has a smooth pour with a fine puree of ingredients. There is a uniform orange, orange/red color, that is a little transparent. After repeated usage, it continues to pour without clogging.

Taste:

There is a little sweet taste, somewhat unique, and not too strong of a flavor. There’s a natural vegetable taste with some of the carrot detectable, in addition to the peppers themselves. I see on their ingredients and description that it’s using agave nectar for its “subtle sweetness”. There’s grapefruit extract as well. Neither of which I can particularly identify; I will have to try some agave nectar on its own at some point, to see if I can notice the same flavor. It tastes great with eggs. Here’s a pic:

Tabanero Sauce On Eggs

Tabanero Sauce on Eggs

Heat:

The heat spreads on the tongue like a spice, with a nice sharp little kick. I can feel a little warming on the neck and face, but I just ate about half a tablespoon. I’m not taken aback or searching for a drink of milk. The lingering heat isn’t too bad. On a scale of ten, I’d say the heat level is about a 6 ½.

 

Tabanero Overall Rating:
4 / 5 - Really Good

This an excellent general use sauce that I’ve been using with a variety of foods. The flavor is sweet and subtle; it won’t overwhelm your food, and there’s just enough heat, without bring you to tears. With the large bottle and professional look, I wish they’d get this thing into all the diners to replace boring ol’ Tabasco. 

Order or find out more on their home page: tabanero.com