There may be a million pretenders out there who label their repackaged ketchups as “hot” or “fiery”, but once in a while you stumble across the real deal. Uncle Paul’s Habanero Hot Barbeque Sauce is a legitimate stand-up-and-holler-mercy barbeque sauce.

Sarah and I first tried this sauce at the Wisconsin State Fair in 2007. We happened across the stand, tried a few of their sauces by dipping pretzels in them, and bought one bottle. After that the bottle went into the basement because we already had a bottle of Memphis-style BBQ sauce in the fridge. Recently, we finished up the Memphis-style sauce, so when we had barbeques a couple of days ago we opened Uncle Paul’s. Neither of us could remember much about it, so we weren’t expecting much. Wow, were we surprised.

The sauce is thick, brown, and has a slightly sweet scent. When it first hits your tongue it tastes sweet and a bit fruity. Then, as you chew and swallow, the habanero pepper leaps out of the sauce like Greeks out of the fabled Trojan horse and starts a flaming assault on your taste buds.

Sarah probably would have expressed her appreciation for the sauce if she hadn’t been so busy trying to put out the inferno blazing away on her tongue. The more I ate, the more I started sweating and my tongue started burning, both signs of an extremely potent sauce.

In contrast to just about every other barbeque sauce on the market, you would recognize every single ingredient on the label of Uncle Paul’s sauce. There are no high fructose corn syrups, food starches, or caramel colors. What makes it sweet? Brown sugar and pure maple syrup. What makes it spicy? Habanero pepper powder. What gives it that fruity flavor? Apricots and orange juice. Natural ingredients, all around.

In short, Uncle Paul’s Habanero Hot Homestyle Barbeque Sauce is the real deal. It’s probably far too hot for most people to enjoy, but if you’re a fire eater, then this is the stuff you seek.