These may be just some of the ideas that blast into your mind like the sauce blasts your mouth into the burning abyss when you hear the name of any sauce associated with Dave's Gourmet.
Let's look at the facts: Dave's is often immitated and...often duplicated? Yeah, I said it, and it's true. Dave's made history in 1993 (editor's note: Dave himself read this blog and pointed out that it was 1993, not 1995, as I had stated earlier) when it became the first hot sauce to be banned from the National Firey Foods Show for being too hot. This fear-rendering stigma was only a gauntlet to be challenged by hot sauce fanatics, and in 2004 Dave's was offically surpassed by other hot sauce manufacturers claiming to use more capsaicin extract. Dave's retalliated, releasing hotter and hotter "reserve blends."
Long story short: with 180,000 Scoville units (Tabasco is 2,000), Dave's didn't just cross the line...it invented the line. The way hot sauce has become defined was changed forever by Dave's. Pure extract from hot peppers is what goes into pepper spray and some industrial varnishes. Now it was food. Hot Freaks continuously look for a way to top the sadistic heat in Dave's. Dave's is the trail (pardon the pun) blazing forerunner to hot sauces based on murdering you with spice rather than showcase a pepper's flavor and spice.
Good Hurt: Some normal readers looking for a solid review will call me a masochist. Some hot freaks may call me a sissy. But Dave's gets a 5 out of 5 when the nuclear fallout has cleared. A dark red color, Dave's uses habanero peppers for an intense and lingering blast. Be careful about getting this spice on your lips or in your eyes...they are not joking when they say it can remove stains from your driveway. Dave's should be treated and used like a fun chemical by spice heads. I personally find the spice somewhat meditative, provided you're ready for it.
Flavor: Look for a youtube video about this sauce, but Dave's is just like the nuclear tests in the 50's on Bikini Atoll. A tropical blast of flavor briefly preceeds an atomic explosion guarenteed to make your taste buds feel like they are suffering the aftereffects of radiation. Dave's flavor becomes muted against its own spice quickly, but that tropical, fruity blast at the beginning is distinct enough to earn it at least a few stars from me.
Availbility: Since the original insanity sauce is indeed too insane for mainstream USA, Dave's is often found in niche hot sauce shops or in gourmet markets that cator to eclectic tastes. Of course, Dave's is also available on their website, located right here.
Good for: Addendum to this section: this sauce is not good on anything for people unprepared for serious burns. For the rest of us, Dave's is best when either put on something to test your might as a spice aficionado (no, I do not advocate being a youtube jackass and drinking cups of it), but utilitarian spice heads will use Dave's to liven up mild or medium salsas or to add searing heat to a chili or soup. A little of Dave's goes an awful long way.
MY REVIEW: 9.0/10
In keeping with my theme of starting with generally well known hot sauces, Dave's is the measuring stick for insanely hot sauces and spicy food challenges. Dave's lays down a whole new law by using pure hot pepper extract, something really dangerous and different from the traditional method of boiling down spices and vinegar. I give it a 9.0 because it's one the best ever, the granddaddy of'em all, so to speak...but it can be beaten. There is, undoubtedly, a hot sauce out there that can provide solid flavor as well as searing heat. Time and taste will tell.