Tabasco Sriracha – A First Look

Did Tabasco come up with a Sriracha sauce worthy of the legend that is Sriracha?
Or is this a Sriracha sauce that is worthy of the legend that is Tabasco?

Tabasco Sriracha Sauce

We review the new Tabasco Sriracha Sauce - good lookin' bottles!

According to the label, McIlhenny Co. Tabasco Brand Premium Sriracha Thai Chili Sauce is the official name of Tabasco’s new Sriracha sauce.

Just between us, we’ll call it Tabasco Sriracha Sauce for now.

Smack dab in the middle of the Sriracha controversy that was Huy Fong Foods vs. Irwindale, California, Tabasco® quietly released its new Sriracha sauce – in a plastic squeeze bottle that looks nothing like any other Tabasco bottle.

Here’s our first look at Tabasco Sriracha Sauce (and the bottle) that McIlhenny created.

Ingredients: red peppers, sugar, salt, garlic, distilled vinegar and xanthan gum.

Ingredients Tabasco Sriracha

Not much going on there; it’s amazing that such a simple list of ingredients can produce the flavor of sriracha. Then again, the McIlhenny family knows what they’re doing.

Texture and Appearance:

Tabasco Sriracha sauce closeup.

The dark orange color of the sauce is slightly pulpy – almost “puffy”. Yea, we’ve not used that term for a hot sauce before. It clings nicely to the spoon, and the body holds up well on a plate.

I think there is a nice bit of viscosity to the sauce – and Marilyn points out that it’s thinner than ketchup, but thicker than some tomato sauces.

Let’s face it, everyone will compare this to Huy Fong’s Rooster sauce. So here is a side by side pic of the two sauces in some clear spoons.

Tabasco Sriracha with Huy Fong Sriracha

I would be very disappointed if Tabasco’s Sriracha looked and and “felt” (texture, taste) like Huy Fong’s Sriracha. In fact I would be disappointed if any other sriracha sauce was similar to Huy Fong’s. Only because, A) Huy Fong is an original, and B) There is so much room on in the marketplace for new versions and flavors of sriracha.

With the explosion of Sriracha style sauces that are hitting the market in the past few years – TexasPete’s CHA!, store brands from Harris Teeter and Trader Joes, Sriracha Jerky, Rubs, BBQ Sauces (just click our Sriracha tag and you’ll see there are dozens of Sriracha products coming online), this is a very exciting time for Sriracha lovers. And we need not be beholden to just one or two!

Taste straight up:

The first smell is of peppers and vinegar – not unusual for a Tabasco brand sauce. The garlic is the next big aroma, as it should be.

Tasting off the spoon, I can’t shake the strong salty flavor here. Then there’s the peppers and vinegar again, followed by the garlic that really lingers. The heat comes up behind the garlic and hits you with a good sting.

The sauce coats and fills the mouth with the peppers first, pungent and sweet vinegar is next, and garlic and the sweet pulp of the pepper mash finishes everything up.

I want to address the initial saltiness we tasted straight up off of the spoon. The salty taste was evident and strong… but thankfully it dissipated when cooked on food. Maybe we are getting more sensitive to salt content in sauces and foods as we get older.

Heat level:

Both Marilyn and I give this a Rated 2.5 out of 5 Stars – 2.5 out of 5 stars for middle of the road, pleasant yet prominent heat. Nothing to shatter the world, but enough heat to be relevant for a sriracha sauce.

Tabasco Sriracha on Food

On Eggs

The Tabasco Sriracha worked well with my eggs… very flavorful and hot, although just a bit salty. I can’t shake that yet.

Tabasco Sriracha on eggs is another classic use of sriracha. Check out our post on HotSauceDaily.com

On Burgers

We have a Sriracha Burger recipe that we love to do on the grill, and so we slathered some of the Tabasco Sriracha sauce on a few burgers.

While it worked out good, the Tabasco Sriracha was a bit milder compared to other Srirachas on the burgers. This one just didn’t have the fire left after grilling. It got very mellow and lost it’s punch.

My apologies for overdoing the “artsy-fartsy” drizzle of sauce on the plate. That was partly due to the squirt top of the bottle. More on that below.

Tabasco Sriracha on onion burger - on HotSauceDaily.com

On Wings

Ok, while not truly cooked on wings, I did toss some Tabasco Sriracha Sauce with butter on some crispy wings from Popeye’s.

While it was a very unscientific test, Tabasco Sriracha sauce and butter made for some very tasty wings. The only thing missing was some real garlic bits, but the sauce made up for that in a small way with its garlic ingredient.

Tabasco Sriracha on Popeye's wings - HotSauceDaily.com

We will be making some deep fried wings soon to put the Tabasco Sriracha Sauce through the paces as a wing sauce.

Final Thoughts

Tabasco Sriracha Sauce’s flavor is true to a Sriracha sauce taste – the garlic and sun ripened peppers really stay on course with the overall flavor profile of a Sriracha sauce.

Overall rating: Rated 4 out of 5 Stars – Great effort from McIlhenney and Co on this sauce. For a domestic product, they nailed it.

They have a viable and delicious sauce – even though it’s in a weird bottle. Oh, speaking of the bottle and packaging…

The Tabasco Sriracha Squeeze Bottle

The bottle design is a huge departure from the classic glass shaker bottles of Tabasco’s other sauces.

Tabasco Sriracha flip-top - on HotSauceDaily.com
This squeeze bottle reminds us of a Dijon mustard bottle. It’s pear shaped and the label is a plastic wrapper that crinkles when squeezed. Very un-Tabasco-like. Just weird.

The “flip top” sports a very small opening that results in the sauce being squirted out at a very high velocity.

Wow, more terms we’ve never used in a review. Just take it slow… the sauce does come out fast.

Tabasco Sriracha squirting out of bottle.

Where to buy

For now, the only place we know of to order Tabasco® Brand Sriracha Sauce is on their Country Store website.

It’s buried on Page 2 of their “Home – Food – Chile & other Foods” page. (Very strange to make it so hard to find). Here’s the link:

http://countrystore.tabasco.com/TABASCO-Sriracha-Sauce/productinfo/03829/

Maybe our HotSauceDaily.com readers will email them and tell them we sent you for their newest sauce. It should be front page news!

Of course, if you get a chance to try Tabasco’s Sriracha Sauce – please let us know in the Comments below.

Disclaimer: We purchased this product for our own personal use and review purposes. No compensation was received. The thoughts and opinions expressed are our own.

Thanks for reading!

About Brian Meagher

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Comments

  1. Hello Brian,

    First and fore most, we hope that you are doing well with your recovery.

    Thank you for the review, we were wondering if the Elephant in the room was going to hit the Sriracha world, and they have. Good for them.

    Your description of the sauce more reminds me Sambel Asli. Seeing as how, Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia are relatively close cousins, I can understand the similarities in the individual sauces; Huy Fong’s Rooster Sauce and Sambel Asli. It is only a difference in percentages used in the overall sauce. Anyhow…

    Question how prevalent is sugar? It is listed as the second ingredient yet you only mention “Salt.” Personally, I am not a big fan of either necessary evil.

    Well, thank you both for the review, and we will keep our eyes open to see if this hits our local shelves.

    • Hey Vincent, thanks for being the first to Comment!

      I’m not familiar with Sambel Asli. Is it basically the same as Sambal Oelek?

      As to the sugar content, it’s the 2nd ingredient listed in Huy Fong’s and Texas Pete’s CHA! all claiming there’s only 1 gram of sugar per teaspoon of carbs.

      I mentioned a “salty taste”… I just may be over sensitive to salt these days. It wasn’t overbearing most of the time.

      “…we will keep our eyes open to see if this hits our local shelves.”
      I wonder how long that will be. Considering the sauce is only available from Tabasco’s site, and that it’s buried so deep – how committed are they to pushing it out to retail?

      We’ll see. 🙂

  2. Delilah says:

    I’ve already tried Texas Pete’s Cha and was wondering when Tabasco was going to launch their version of Sriracha. Since you gave them a 4 star, I guess I will have to add this to my list of new things to taste. 🙂

    • Delilah – yup, why not! And you may as well get started now. It looks like new Sriracha Sauces are popping up all the time.

      I know I have a couple on the back burner now that are new and up and coming.

      Thanks D!

  3. sonny mooks says:

    I actually bought two bottles and have used half of one. Its not bad, its actually pretty good. Its not sriracha, which is a good thing (I like Sriracha, this isn’t a knock on them), it doesn’t taste like a rip off or a clone. Its different, its not as hot, and the flavor tastes different just enough to make it worthwhile, but a heads up, its got the vinegar taste in there that Tabasco is famous for.

    • Sonny – you are correct sir – this is not sriracha.

      I agree – this is Tabasco (the company) and their signature vinegar taste comes through.

      Thanks for the Comment!

  4. Given the departure in bottle configuration, I wonder if this is something that they had made by a third party instead of at their own facilities. If they weren’t committed to it, it might be cheaper to sub out then to change over their own lines or alter production schedules. Maybe this is a test batch.

  5. Hmm. Thinking about giving this a try. I’ve grown to really enjoy Sriracha sauces lately and I pretty much always love anything made by Mcilhinney. Just love the unique flavor they have created. Thanks for the review.

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