Hot sauce aged for at least a year in a bourbon barrel? This sounds intriguing. Blis Gourmet Foods located in Grand Rapids has done just that. Blis is an acronym for ‘Because Life is Short”. This company has taken a blend of chipotle, cayenne and arbol peppers and stored it in a bourbon barrel for at least a year. These bourbon barrels have also held maple syrup, and stout beer. After a year the sauce is bottled and promises to give us a blast of Umami. This should be a fun and unique review. Let’s give it a try.
Real ripe peppers, vinegar spices, garlic, seasoning, sugar, salt, Blis barrel aged maple syrup, and Xanthan gum are the listed ingredients. Real ripe peppers I assume mean chipotle, cayenne and arbol peppers.
Aroma & Texture:
When the protective seal is removed and the top unscrewed a mash of pepper aroma tickles your senses. I want to smell bourbon but that does not happen. The sauce is a thick fluid and seed free. The color is of ripe red tomatoes/peppers.
Label and Bottle
This package of sauce is a vision of hot sauce beauty. The container is a thick bottomed 375 ml glass bottle. The label is bright and eye catching. The combination of label and bottle shouts out quality. This is a winning combination.
Wow, we have a whole lot going on here. Where should we start? First and foremost we have a pepper lift off. This mix of peppers is pleasing with it seductive mix. The cayenne teases with a gentle heat. The chipotle give a suggestion of smoke and the arbol adds a faint earthy accent. A sweet component from the syrup and possibly the bourbon barrel is prevalent but not overbearing. Vinegar and salt are in this mix but only complement and enhance. The heat is gentle and warming. There is a mouth feel that has you craving another taste. I believe I have experienced a blast of Umami. Sweet, savory, and peppers galore, this is a mix of ingredients and technique that is powerful in taste. Wow.
The heat meter will only warm to 1 star out of 5. This is a warming gentle heat.
Our go to meal of bbq chicken was the first vehicle to taste this sauce. It was accompanied by a potato salad dusted with bacon pieces. I could not get enough of this sauce on the potato salad. The mix of sweet, warm, pepper blend, with all of its components elevated this meal to culinary heights.
The lowly breakfast egg will never be the same with this sauce. This sauce has so many aspects of sweet, savory, warming and most of all pepper love that breakfast is no longer boring.
Best wings ever. That is about all I have to say.
This is a fantastic, complex sauce that may be one of the best sauces this reviewer has ever experienced. This was a fun journey with this pepper blend, the sweet components of maple syrup, and maybe bourbon nuances all with a bonus ‘Umami Blast’ finish. The flavors and feel of this sauce leaves you with a longing and craving for the next bite. This sauce goes with all food. This sauce is aged in a bourbon barrel that has also had stout beer and maple syrup before. Bourbon is not an identifiable component in this sauce. The aging in the barrel is a process that has married these ingredients and transformed them into an elixir extraordinaire. This sauce is a extraordinary find. Blis also makes a maple syrup that has been aged in a bourbon barrel. I cannot wait.