Review: Devon Chilli Man – Death At The Crimson Altar

Every Chilli Head has heard of the Carolina Reaper, it’s (currently) the worlds hottest Chilli, The official Guinness World Record heat level is 1,569,300 Scoville Heat Units, that’s not something you take likely! So, when I saw that the Devon Chilli Man had made a hot sauce, I had to try some!

I was browsing through my Facebook feed in early January and it caught my attention then. A couple of people and pages where sharing posts about Death At The Crimson Altar, a hot sauce featuring the fabled Carolina Reaper. I’d been after trying out the Reaper last year but never got the chance.

I wanted some.

I won’t ever claim to be an aficionado of hot sauce, I’ve had a fair few in my time but I know there are many that I’ll probably never even hear of, never mind try. But this one immediately grabbed my attention.

Luckily it wasn’t that hard to find any, the Devon Chilli Man has a website which you can order it from (and other things as well) – I had to ask a quick question about postage on his Facebook page (it’s the Royal Mail 1st Class Parcel option you need) but he was quick to respond and within a couple of minutes of his answer I’d placed my order.

He was kind enough to make sure that he sent out the order so I’d have it for the weekend, and it did, I ordered it late Thursday and it arrived on Saturday. Can’t complain at that, no unnecessary waiting around! The packaging was just right, wrapped in a good dose of bubble wrap so there was little or no chance of it arriving damaged.

Death At The Crimson AltarMy only regret about it is, that I couldn’t try it as soon as I got it as I was on my way out the door to go shopping with Mrs. Chilli Diaries.

Still, I knew it was waiting for me when I got home 😉

Got to say as well, I LOVE the label for this, I’m a big fan of all things retro and the way the label harks back to the old time horror movie posters is right up my street, even the name of the sauce evokes the same kind of feeling.

So, time for a taste! I took a look at the ingredients on the side of the bottle. 20% Moruga Scorpion, 20% Naga, 10% Red Savina and 5% Carolina Reaper.

I’d  had the Scorpion before from when I ordered a bunch of super hots from O.C.D. a little while back, I dried those out and they mostly got used in chilli grinders but a few found there way into my slow cooked Chilli, so I knew what to expect from those. Naga, I use a lot of the time in my Chillies anyway, they’re a favourite of mine. Both the Red Savina and the Carolina Reaper are new to me but I’d heard of them by reputation, obviously.

So, that is four of the Hottest Chillies I can pretty much think of in one sauce!

Obviously that’s not all there is, also listed in the ingredients is Vinegar, Beetroot, Mango, Salt, Mustard, Liquorice and Spices.

Certainly an interesting combination, I don’t think I’ve seen liquorice used before either, I could be wrong but certainly doesn’t ring a bell.

So, time to wrap it around my last remaining taste bud to see if this will be the thing to finally kill it off!

As soon as you open the bottle you can almost smell the heat, which is no way a bad thing, I’d be lying if I said I could smell the mango but there was definite undertones of the beetroot and liquorice as well.

I’ve got one taste bud, what does my nose know? 😉

As it turned out I had some Ritz Thin Chilli Crackers left in the cupboard from Christmas, they took the honour of being my food of choice for this little experiment.

I gingerly poured some of the satisfyingly thick, dark red sauce in to a small bowl, I didn’t use a massive amount as I just wanted to taste test it more than anything. In went the previously innocent enough Ritz Cracker…

I wasn’t disappointed in the slightest, the taste is phenomenal. Really rich, fragrant and yet somehow dark and rich across the tongue, it’s safe to say it’s a dominating taste with plenty of character.

The heat, as you’d expect is well up there, and, probably not one I’d recommend to anyone just used to “Super Market Hot” either! I was only a couple of crackers in before I started to get that familiar glow across the top of my shoulders (anyone else get that??). As you might expect from the Chillies used, it’s a grower – Each cracker I ate seemed to get hotter and hotter, but, also, tastier and tastier as well, it’s moreish. With a sauce like this I’m not sure if that’s a good thing or not.

In fact by the time I had eaten the sauce to the point I couldn’t get a decent amount on a cracker I literally had to stop myself from scraping the rest up with my finger, I somehow doubt I’d have appreciated the sauce in my eye as much as I did on my tongue!

I’m not afraid to admit, I didn’t use it all as a dipping sauce, I learnt my lesson I think the third time when I was a bit peckish after a Curry I’d made. I grabbed some crackers and put some in a bowl like I had before, only this time I still had the heat of the curry in my mouth (it was one I’d made from scratch so…) and this just built and built on that heat. I think I managed five crackers before I had to stop – At least now I knew what ‘normal’ people felt when they ate my food!

Some of it I used as a way to pep up a quick meal like Beans on Toast, it’s rare I’ll just opt for the beans just out of the can, I normally like to throw in a couple of spices and see what happens just to make it interesting but a quick glug of this in the beans and I was in heaven, gorgeous!

I got a bit cocky with it one night – It was a ‘fend for yourself’ evening, and I was in the mood for something dirty.

This is what I ended up with…

DIrty, dirty food (But DELICIOUS!)

What technical marvel is that?

That my friends is; 2 x Sausages and 2 x Smoky Bacon encased in Fried Bread (using the fat of the sausages and bacon, naturally) – With Halloumi and melted Mozzarella to keep it all in place. Just to make sure there was nothing clean about the meal, I through the beans into the same pan I’d used to fry the food and then went in hard with a big old dash of Death at the Crimson Altar…

So, so wrong – I think I could feel my arteries clogging as I ate it at one point. I might have even been able to hear them as well… BUT Delicious!

A few drops found its way into my Chillies as a way to take it up a notch, you don’t need a lot before your on the next level and wondering how much you’re going to regret your life decisions in a couple of hours time.

But then, this happened…

Empty Death at The Crimson Altar Bottle

Bad times indeed…

In short, I’ll be ordering some  more of this at some point soon. That in itself is saying something for me, normally when I finish a Hot Sauce, I move on and try something else. It’s not because I didn’t enjoy them, it’s because I want to try something else, like most of us I’d imagine, and there are so many different ones to try out there. But this one, in my opinion is a little bit special and I’ll look forward to having more of it soon!

In case you missed the link earlier > Have another one < – This sauce is definitely worth your time if hot and tasty is your thing!

I’ve got some Carolina Reapers growing myself this year and while my sauce making skills very much amateur I look forward to experimenting a little bit myself after trying this.


In closing, it IS incredibly tasty, and you DO want more – But you’re very aware it IS going to kick your ass. The bottle WILL last you a couple of months.

Too many Hot Sauces, and indeed, all things “Hot” seem to forget that there should be flavour as well; it’s an easy trap to fall into.

There is no point in making something “Hot” if you can’t taste it afterwards :-/

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