Mad-Ass are new to the chilli scene, but that hasn’t stopped them from arriving with a bang. Sporting a range of sauces starting at mild and going through to extra hot, these all natural handmade sauces are definitely making an impressive initial impact. The sauce I have the delight of tasting today is Lip Tickler. On the Mad-Ass website this is described as a Thai sweet chili sauce style, but with bags more flavour and body, starts where the mass produced sauces finish, less sugar and way more flavour! Heat: 4-10. This isn’t quite accurate, but more on that shortly.
Lip Tickler is a medium red-brown colour and is quite thin, more so than a ketchup. It sits on the spoon nicely with an aroma dominated by tomatoes alongside a touch of cider vinegar noticeable too; it definitely has a pleasant nose to the sauce.
Soft Brown Sugar, Cider Vinegar, Red Chillies, Red Peppers, Red Onion, “The Garlic Farm” Garlic, Ginger, Citrus Juice and Zest, Tomato Purée, Salt, Cayenne Pepper, Cracked Black Pepper, Rice Bran Oil.
Lip Ticker is without doubt a great tasting sauce with the initial taste fairly well dominated by tomatoes with a hint of onion; it’s sweet but the wide raging 4-10 heat rating doesn’t quite ring true. This sauce is mild, and while there’s a nice tingle on the tongue, any serious chilli head would be able to drink the sauce like water. It could just be that the “red chillies” were simply a little bit weaker, as can sometimes happen from batch-to-batch. That said, it’s such a fabulous tasting sauce that the lack of heat really doesn’t matter too much and some may even prefer it in this incarnation.
Mad-Ass sauces come in two different sizes, the unusual 30ml at £2 a pop and the larger 150ml at £5. The smaller jars work as a sampler giving you the chance to try everything in the collection, but the chances are you’ll get through one fairly rapidly – 30ml really isn’t a lot of sauce, particularly when they’re so tasty. The graphics on the front appear fiery, with a chilli character that’s either pleased as punch at being there or diabolically evil looking – I haven’t quite made up my mind which of these it is yet.
There are plenty of other sauces in Mad-Ass’s range, so if this is an example of things to come, I’m very much looking forward to trying the others. Don’t expect to feel the burn, but do enjoy that rich tomato and onion flavour; sweet with a mild touch of heat. This is a sauce you could happily use every day.