Chile Chapters

Review of Lucky Dog Hot Sauces: Green, Red, and Orange

Posted in Reviews and Finds on August 19th, 2012 by Josh Winn

Lucky Dog Hot Sauces
Lineup of Lucky Dog hot sauces, with heat meters

I am a real lucky human to have received Lucky Dog’s new line of hot sauces to review. They sounded appetizing based purely on the description alone, and did not disappoint once I gave them a try. This is a real solid lineup of sauces that has a unique “fire-roasted” flavor.

The Lucky Dog brand was founded by California-based Scott Zalkind, who turned his hobby of 6+ years into widespread production this summer of 2012. Congrats to him! It’s a real testament to the quality of his product, for it to turn professional due to to demand. His aim was to create a balanced and versatile sauce (all natural, no extract), with a focus on the flavor:

"I believe in flavor above all else, which is why Lucky Dog Hot Sauce is created with savory fire-roasted hot peppers, sweet carrots, tangy vinegar, fresh onions, assorted dried peppers, and heaps of roasted garlic. It brings a complex taste with a respectable heat."

The three different sauces are differentiated by color; green, red, and orange (the hottest). They range in level of heat (respectively), and do not all have the same ingredients. I’m going to try and review them all in tandem here:

Lucky Dog Hot Sauces Poured Onto Plate
Poured out onto a plate; Green, Red, and Orange.

Label:

The labeling is clean and professional looking, with a consistent branding. Between the lucky horseshoe is the peering face of a black lab, vector/posterized style.

The only way to tell the difference on these bottles is the color background sunburst, or the heat meter on the back. I see that the labels are being updated to add ‘Medium’/‘Hot’ to the name after some feedback, which clears up the only issue I had with that. I also kept thinking that red was the hottest; on a scale, I think of green as being A-OK, orange warning, and red ALERT!

Aroma:

Mostly vinegars here; I’m getting a little bit of carrots/sugar and hints of the taste on the red and orange.

Looks/Texture/Consistency:

The hotter sauces appear thicker. The green jalapeno sauce is the most liquid, but not too much so. The orange and red sauces are pretty thick and were getting a bit clogged in the top of the bottle. The red and orange are a similar red/brown color. The green is a more clear yellow orange. I can see all the pureed ingredients at work here. The orange has some nice little chunks of garlic and peppers.

Taste:

The fact that the peppers and garlic are fire-roasted, is the key to the stand-out flavor of all 3 sauces. I want to say somewhat of a smokey, taste, but that isn’t the right word as it doesn’t sound as tasty as it really is. It’s that grill taste; like the prime crispy part of BBQ’d food. You taste the garlic, carrot, and a little lime too, with just a nice bit of sweetness. I bet these sauces would be the perfect compliment for anything straight off the grill. It complimented all the food that I’ve tried them on, including pizza. Yum. 

The red and orange are very similar in taste; they have the same ingredients, including an apple cider vinegar and habaneros,jalapenos, and serranos. The green sauce is sweeter, with some more of the natural flavors sinking in. It is using a regular vinegar, jalapenos and serranos (perhaps less cayenne? not sure). The green is an excellent jalapeno sauce; it doesn’t matter that it isn’t as hot as the others.

Heat:

The green has a low/medium heat; enough to feel it and not be let down. The red is a medium heat that leaves a little tingle on the tongue. The orange is not incredibly hot, but noticeable more so than the red. It has that late heat that kicks in and you can feel the warming on your face and cheeks.

Overall:

Green - 4.5 / 5
Red - 4 / 5
Orange - 4.5 / 5

With a lot of similar basic ingredients, sometimes I wonder how some hot sauces can have such distinct flavors. I was surprised at how the fire-roasting encompassed the flavor. The green bottle and hotter orange were my favorite. All three bottles are almost depleted, and they’re good enough that I would buy some more.

If you’re interested in picking up some bottles, they’re currently only $4.99 each at the Lucky Dog Hot Sauce website. Check them out at: luckydoghotsauce.com

If you'd like to review these sauces or check out the ingredients, they're now up in the hot sauce list: