Hot Maple Smokey Habanero Sauce

Hot Maple Smokey Habanero sauce from Portland, Oregon uses Grade-A Dark Amber maple syrup, a special blend of spices, and locally sourced Habanero peppers to create its unique sweet-smokey flavor.

hot maple smokey habanero sauce

Hot Maple Smokey Habanero

Hot Maple Smokey Habanero creator Matthew Hilla has crafted a delicious, smokey-sweet hot sauce using maple syrup and habaneros.

Long time readers of HotSauceDaily know that I’ve never been a big fan of habanero sauces. Once upon a time, the habanero chile or sauce was my least favorite.

Then something like Hot Maple comes along, and turns me completely around.

Ingredients: yellow onion, diced tomatoes (tomatoes, tomato juice, salt, naturally derived citric acid and calcium chloride), water, apple cider vinegar, habanero (habanero peppers, salt, citric acid), garlic, pure maple syrup (US Grade A Dark Amber). Contains less than 2% spices and liquid smoke.

hot maple smokey habanero on pizza

On pizza – nice view of texture and thickness

Texture & Appearance: This is a fairly thick sauce that is mildly pulpy. It won’t run off your food – it keeps its consistency. It smells smokey, peppery, and sweet. Full-bodied.

Taste Straight Up: Definitely a habanero sauce – the habby flavor is classic and spot on. The smokiness is no doubt due to the liquid smoke, but it’s not overpowering at all. And the maple syrup adds a unique sweetness to the mix. Good balance of heat, sweetness, and smoke. Good for everyday use.

hot maple smokey habanero on tacos

Perfect on tacos

Heat Level: Rated 2 out of 5 Stars – Mild. One of the mildest habanero sauces I’ve tried. It can light you up for a few seconds, then disappear behind the sweet maple syrup and smokiness. Pleasant.

Label/Graphics: The clear label wrap on the bottle really shows off the sauce. The logo and graphics are simple and classy – love the design.

hot maple clear label closeup

Not a fan of clear lables

But I’m not a fan of that clear style label. Usually, and quite so in this case, the graphics just don’t stand out or pop enough for me. Hot Maple’s color scheme almost matches the sauce, only adding to the lack of contrast. Those graphics really need some brighter colors on a clear label.

classy tops on bottles

Bonus points for the awesome metal cap on the bottle!

It’s wider than most 5oz. bottles, with a nice metal ‘zip strip’ and when the bottle is empty, punch a hole in that cap and use it for a salt and pepper shaker. ~ creator Matt Hilla

Final Thoughts

I loved Hot Maple Smokey Habanero on my tacos. It gave me everything I like about a taco sauce – sweetness, heat, and a thick texture.

On pizza, again another winning combo. As you can see from some of the pics, I really went through most of the bottle working on this review.

Overall Rating: Rated 4.5 out of 5 Stars – 4.5/5 stars – A perfect example of flavor over heat in a habanero sauce. Highly recommended!

Available in single bottles, a three-pack and even 1/2 gallon jugs at


Disclaimer: We received this product courtesy of the manufacturer for review.

Benito’s Chipotle Infused Vermont Maple Syrup

We received a nice surprise in the mail recently; a bottle of Benito’s Chipotle Infused Vermont Maple Syrup.

benitos chipotle infused vermont maple syrup

When we first unwrapped the bottle, we thought, “Hmm, we’re not really crazy about heat with our sweet, but we love maple syrup”, so we decided to give it a try. The first taste was a warm, smokey sweetness, with a nice heat that lingered for just a moment.

The first words out of my mouth were “I see pancakes and sausage in my future!”

benitos on pancakes

This morning, we cooked up sausage patties (we used a mild version so we wouldn’t affect the heat level of the syrup) and pancakes. With just a light drizzle on the pancakes, we were brought back to sitting by the campfire eating pancakes and sausage cooked over the flames. Smokey, sweet, with a nice mellow heat filling my mouth, I wound up dunking the pancakes into a bowl of the syrup. It was so good, I had to sit right down and write this review.

As you can see from the photos, this is a thin syrup, with a lovely amber color. According to the label, Ol’ Benito smoked the peppers himself:

“The pure maple syrup in this product was harvested by old-school Vermont sugarmakers in Jeffersonville, VT. It has been combined with the essence of organic smoked jalapenos grown with love at Foote Brook Farm in Johnson, VT. I smoked the jalapenos myself with a mixture of half hickory, half mesquite wood. It has a unique hearty smokiness, with a subtle heat. it goes well with any kind of bbq, chicken, pork or beef, sweet potatoes, vanilla ice cream, and breakfast sandwiches.”

Final impression:

WINNER! Perfect blend of sweet, smoke and heat. Rated 5 out of 5 Stars


VT Maple Syrup, organic chipotle peppers.

You can find this and Benito’s other sauces over at
And check out his 1st Place Scovie 2011 award winning Vermont Maple Chipotle Dry Rub