- August 26, 2015

10 Austin Hot Sauce Festival Finds You Need In Your Life Right Now!

Festival season in Austin always means that every other weekend you can usually find a mass gathering somewhere around town. We recently ventured into the fiery depths of the 25th annual Austin Chronicle Hot Sauce Festival, appropriately staged each year during the sweltering month of August.


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In case you missed it, here’s a list of the sauces that we couldn’t, and you shouldn’t, live without…

10) Castaway Sauce Company Blackbeard’s Revenge


photo by Courtney “Tex” Clark

Bar none, the hottest sauce I had at the festival. If you fancy yourself a spice freak, you’d be hard pressed to find a sauce spicier.

Works on: A toothpick.

9) Damn Good Heat Habanero Garlic


photo by Courtney “Tex” Clark

Crazy Hot and Crazy Delicious. Prominent Garlic flavor before and after.

Works on: Salty tortilla chips.

8) Gypsy Grove Spicy Chimichurri


photo by Courtney “Tex” Clark

Quite possibly the most unique sauce at the festival. Calling it “Hot Sauce” May even be a bit of a stretch, but it packs enough punch to be mentioned.

Works on: Pita chips and hummus.

7) Trezaratti’s Salsa Marinara


photo by Courtney “Tex” Clark

Really strong mash-up of Italian and Tex Mex Flavors.

Works on: Bruschetta.

6) Salsa Maya Habanero Aioli


photo by Courtney “Tex” Clark

A really interesting take on a creamy staple. Even so, not for the novice.

Works on: Well-done steak.

5) Yellowbird Serrano


photo by Courtney “Tex” Clark

I’ve known of Yellowbird’s exploits for awhile now, but was awestruck after tasting the Serrano. A bit milder than their original Habanero Sauce, and just as good.

Works on: Carne asada or al pastor tacos.

4) Aztexan Pepper Habanero Sauce


photo by Courtney “Tex” Clark

On the hotter side of habanero, not for the faint of heart. Even so, it’s still quite complex and flavorful.

Works on: Eggs over easy.

3) Hobo Jim’s Morning Wrecker Molasses


photo by Courtney “Tex” Clark

I wanted to dismiss this sauce as gimmicky. I was wrong. Kind of salty, kind of sweet, all the way hot, and all the way awesome.

Works on: Pieces of brisket.

2) Winston’s Jamaican Hot Pepper Sauce


photo by Courtney “Tex” Clark

A complex array of flavors, but delivers a very direct, and very good heat all the way through.

Works on: Chicken nachos

1) Kala’s Kuisine Ledho-Achar


photo by Courtney “Tex” Clark

This sauce brings intense Mediterranean flare with a smoky aftertaste. The Achar had more flavor than spice, but nonetheless is a great edition to any arsenal of sauces. You won’t find this on their website for purchase though! Check the stores instead.

Works on: Grilled chicken breast or sautéed vegetables.

Editor’s note: Here’s the official list of winners from The Austin Chronicle. Thanks for another great festival, gang!