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.

Firie Habanero Hot Sauce Review

Firie Habanero Hot Sauce from Smoking J’s Hot Sauce Company out of Candler NC is a Caribbean style hot sauce.

Smoking J’s is a family owned business in western NC… they grow their own habaneros on their 10 acre farm, they smoke the peppers with applewood for hours and create their own mash. These guys are making small batch sauces with attention to fresh ingredients. They’re members of the Appalacian Sustainable Agriculture Project as well as the Appalacian Grown Fresh Foods group. While their Firie Habanero Hot Sauce was their first product to market, owner Joel Mowrey tells me they recently launched some other fiery goodies – namely Jamaican Ginger Hot Sauce, Roasted Ghost Hot Sauce and Smoky Mango Habanero Hot Sauces. They are also now offering a Pico de Gallo Salsa and a Roasted Ghost Salsa.

But this review is about the Firie Sauce… now, Firie is spelled F I R I E as in Irie. Irie Mon. It’s a Caribbean style sauce – made with smoked habaneros and mangos, along with vinegar, carrots, sugar, garlic, lime juice and curry powder.
I’ve never been a big fan of habanero sauces, as my tastes run toward darker, smoky flavors, but I’ve had a few that I like above the others – Orange Rush, Sting-Rays among a few. But this sauce is a quality sauce.

When I poured some of this Firie sauce onto a piece of pita bread and tasted it, my first thought was “pretty basic” tastes like a fruit and habanero sauce – like most others.
With it’s standard orange color, it also looks like every other habby sauce but then the burn kicked in. This stuff is hot! A medium hot hot.

Another pour and a few tastes later, my head was sweating and I was beginning to pick up on the subtleties of what clearly is a unique sauce. Mainly the smokiness of the habaneros started coming thru and there’s that hint of curry powder to give it a different spiciness.

I like it when hot sauce has some sweetness to it. A good balance. And the mangos, carrots and sugar bring a nice sweet blend, with the garlic very light and way in the background.

As I said, I’m far from the expert on habanero sauces, but I do like this one. And there’s no refrigeration needed so you can keep this out on the table for everyday use!

As I finish this up, I’m waiting for my taco meat to finish cooking – want to try some Firie Habanero on the tacos.

Texture & Appearance:Rated 2 out of 5 Stars – a thin consistency – when the first ingredient is water, it’s not gonna be thick.

Taste: Rated 4.5 out of 5 Stars – again a habanero flavor winner with me.

Heat Level: Rated 4 out of 5 Stars – lots of short lived heat here. Burns briefly, then it goes away.

Label/Graphics: Rated 1 out of 5 Stars – The label is very confusing with the Star of David behind two large peppers (we think they’re peppers), flames and palm trees are here too.

Overall Rating: Rated 3.5 out of 5 Stars – a winner of a habanero sauce for me… just needs some body and pulp for me to give it a 4 or 5 Star rating.

Ingredients: water, mango, vinegar, smoked habaneros, carrots, sugar, garlic, lime juice, salt, spices, xanthan gum, curry powder

Visit Smoking J’s Fiery Foods to order a few bottles of this very unique, fresh Habanero sauce, and tell ’em sent you!
You can follow Smoking J’s

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