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The General's Hot Sauces: The ChiliZilla Review

Join us for our video review of the The General's Hooah Jalapeño hot sauce, Dead Red hot sauce, and Shock & Awe hot sauce. You can watch the video right here -- but if you're more of a reader, the complete transcription is below.


Hi, and welcome to ChiliZilla's review of The General's hot sauce products. We have a 3-fer today: The Hooah Jalapeño, the Dead Red, and the Shock & Awe. The Hooah Jalapeño is a mild heat, the Dead Red a medium heat, and the Shock & Awe a high heat.

Right. Louisiana is where The General's Hot Sauce company is based. From Louisiana to the foxhole come these novelty things. There's a lot of interest in the novelty packaging; what I want to get to is how novel is the hot sauce inside. Do they stand up, or are they just attractive bottles? 

Let's find out.

The Hooah Jalapeño

Looking at the ingredients list on these, they are peppers, vinegar, salt, and garlic. No surprise for a Louisiana hot sauce company, these are very Lousiana in style: Peppers, vinegar, salt, garlic, and that's it. So, that's what I expect to taste, and we're going to start off with the Hooah Jalapeño.

 The first thing I note is that when I take the cap off, I am instantly greeted by an explosion of jalapeño scent. It definitely has the vegetable flavor that jalapeños do -- no surprise there. So, I get jalapeños, and then I get the vinegar, salt, and garlic. 

No surprises here: If you like jalapeños, if you like mild-heat hot sauces, or if you want something to complement a vegetable flavor, this is a good sauce to grab.

Dead Red Hot Sauce

Next we have Dead Red, which is the medium-heat hot sauce in The General's hot sauce collection. Instead of jalapeños, you might guess that medium heat and a nice red color means cayenne peppers. If you guess that, you're right. If you guessed "crayons," you're totally wrong -- there's not a single crayon in this, I promise.

So -- cayennes, vinegar, salt, and garlic. Just like the jalapeño sauce, I expect this to taste like eating a fistful of cayenne peppers. We'll see how that goes.

And I do get that. It has a somewhat smoky, somewhat aged taste, kind of like Tabasco. It's a little milder than Tabasco, in my opinion, but the flavor is very reminiscent of Tabasco. It's very cayenne-forward. So if you like Tabasco, you like that Louisiana-style hot sauce, like Frank's maybe, you're going to like Dead Red.

Cut it with butter, and you're going to have great Buffalo chicken wings. Fun fact: Years ago I learned to make Buffalo wings in a restaurant in upstate New York. It was literally 50% Frank's hot sauce and 50% butter, and nothing else. Make of that what you will -- including Buffalo chicken wings, if you're so inclined.

Shock & Awe Hot Sauce

Last but not least, we have Shock & Awe. Shock & Awe, like the Hooah Jalapeño and the Dead Red, is mostly peppers -- except this time, it is mostly habanero peppers. 

It is fruity, and it is florally; both of those I expect with an habanero pepper sauce. It's close to 90% pure habaneros in this hot sauce. And actually, I should say that in all of The General's products, the pepper bill is 86%. It's 86% peppers in these -- so if you enjoy the taste of peppers, you're going to enjoy The General's hot sauces. There's nothing here to hide behind, flavor-wise: They're out on the front lines. 

All right. Habanero. It has a little bit of the slow creep burn of habanero, but it's not bad. It does have the fruity taste, and it does have the florally taste, of an habanero pepper, and it is delicious. If you like that, and you want to use this in a Caribbean dish, or maybe a marinade of some kind -- or anything else where you might kind of an island flair -- you're probably going to like this Shock & Awe hot sauce. 

It is not meltingly hot, I have to say; they have gone flavor over burn on all of these sauces. If that appeals to you, you're going to like these hot sauces. If the unique packaging appeals to you, you're going to like that. If you're a veteran or active-duty service member, or if you know someone who is and who enjoys hot sauce, these make great gifts.

The General's Hot Sauces Verdict

The flavor is there, and the packaging is unique and novel. The flavor is not novel, but it is solid and straightforward and great for anyone who wants to enjoy first and foremost the peppers that are in their pepper sauces.

Heat-wise, we use a scale of 1 to 10, where Tabasco sauce is a 5, for reference. On that heat scale, the Hooah Jalapeño hot sauce is a 3, the Dead Red a 4, and the Shock & Awe hot sauce a 6. Not too hot, but The General's hot sauces put the emphasis on flavor and packaging, and that's absolutely fine. 

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