Welcome to day 6 of 11 in my Dave’s Gourmet Sampler Pack taste test. Dave’s is one of my favorite brands of hot sauce, and I’m excited about taking this hot sauce journey. The variety of different sauces and primary flavors that came in the variety pack I purchased was staggering, with each bottle offering something new and unusual. Let’s take a look at what the masterminds of mouth melting have in store for us this time.
Roasted Red Pepper & Chipotle
Presentation: Each of the Dave’s labels remains consistent. A red pepper sunning itself on a beach somewhere. The primary differences in labels come in the color, hot sauce name, single sentence description, and heat level. The label for Roasted Red Pepper& Chipotle is maroon, featuring the tagline “Fire Roasted Flavor That Won’t Quit”. On Dave’s own heat scale this ranks 3 out of 5 and is considered “warm”.
Color: The coloring of this sauce is dark brown. It has tiny flakes of spices floating in it that are barely visible when the sauce thins out around the edges. It reminds me quite a bit of a barbecue sauce, at least visually.
Smell: The first thing that catches my nose is this sauces’ smoky scent followed up by a distinct vinegar base. The smokiness is definitely its primary quality and that continues the trend of reminding me of a barbecue sauce.
Taste: This sauce primarily consists of roasted sweet peppers (or bell peppers for those who know them under that name) and this flavor shines through. Since it is a sweet pepper, carrot is added as a base that allows its sweetness to shine through, but the roasting of the pepper caramelizes some of the sugars in it leading to a smoky sweet flavor. Despite the onion content being very low, that is also the other flavor that stands out to me. The Chipotles themselves mix well with the roasted sweet peppers, but don’t seem to stand out as a discernible flavor on their own.
Mouth Feel: This sauce was rated “warm” by Dave’s, just like their Ginger Peach, however this one’s heat is back up to what I would consider a warm sauce as well. This sauce hits you mid tongue but doesn’t ignite, despite the presence of habanero pulp in it. However it’s that same habanero pulp that must be giving this sauce its bite since the sweet pepper isn’t known for anything more than a super mild sizzle. The smokiness is there, even in the way it feels on your tongue.
Overall: This sauce definitely lives up to its label in that the “roasted flavor” or smokiness, permeates the sauce thoroughly. The recommended uses include burgers, tacos, sandwiches, pizza and pasta. I, however, would say this flavor would match burgers the best as it can lend even a George Foreman Grilled burger a hint of smoky charcoaled flame-broiled goodness. I give this sauce a 4 out of 5 due to its rich smoky flavor and rarely used bell pepper primary ingredient.