Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce Review (.002)

You simply don’t know what to think when you see that label on a bottle of Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce (.002). So simple – to the point – listing a handful of primary ingredients, including chipotle peppers and Carolina Reapers, and seemingly random numbers. And yet, I can’t look away. So what’s behind the label? Does this small batch hot sauce from Brooklyn deliver the goods? How flavorful is it? How well-balanced? Let’s get into a bottle and find out. 

SUMMARY
Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce .002
4.9
$13.99 ($2.80 / Fl Oz)

Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce (.002) delivers both sweet, smoky flavor and bold extra-hot spiciness using mainly the delicious natural flavors of the chili peppers in the bottle. Carolina Reapers, habaneros, and chipotles all shine here. Plus, their label strategy, while simple, is among the most unique on the market. 

Heat Level: Extra-Hot
Pros:
  • Great flavor with well-balanced heat
  • Good usability
  • Lower sodium
  • Unique label and branding
Cons:
  • Not obvious that habaneros are a primary pepper here
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06/04/2023 10:36 pm GMT

Table of Contents

Flavor

On Señor Lechuga’s FAQ page (which is totally entertaining – give it a read), they put out there that one of their goals is to deliver “maximum heat without compromised flavor.” There’s a whole bunch of both here, s let’s start with flavor.

A portion of the ingredients list is, of course, listed right on the front of the label. But what’s not mentioned is rather significant. Specifically, habanero peppers are also here high-up in the list, right after vinegar. The ingredients, in order, are: vinegar, habanero peppers, dried chipotle peppers, red onion, dried Carolina Reapers, garlic, and Himalayan salt.

So habaneros are the first chili pepper mentioned – meaning they likely are the predominant pepper in this sauce. Technically, Señor Lechuga .002 is more of a habanero hot sauce than not. But the Carolina Reaper and chipotle are what you see on the label and remember, as they generate the two key features of this hot sauce – the heat and the smokiness.

Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce (.002) on a spoon

Still, you get those habs on first bite. You’re hit with a vinegar tang that immediately morphs into a sweetness (from those habaneros, along with some from the Reapers.) Mid-bite things morph once again, as the chipotle peppers provide the expected smoky flavor. And right as things start to get truly spicy, a fruitiness comes back into the flavor profile. Through it all is a little pungency from the fresh garlic and onions. 

I’d say, Señor Lechuga delivers what they promise here. For a pretty “f’ing hot!” (their words) hot sauce, the flavor profile is really deep. This isn’t an extreme hot sauce that simply tries to make you scream for dear life. No, Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce .002 is making a flavor statement. Frankly, if you’re a fan of smoky hot sauces and bigger heat, this hot sauce sits among the best flavor balances I’ve had.

Now, there is Himalayan sea salt here, too. And there’s a lightly salty undertone to the hot sauce. But it’s quite light. In fact, Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce has just 20mg of sodium per teaspoon serving. That’s just 1% of your daily value. As this is a very spicy hot sauce, for most people, you won’t be having much more than that in any one serving as it stands. 

Heat Balance

There are some big-heat chilies used in Señor Lechuga .002. Carolina Reapers are the pinnacle of extreme heat, running from 1.4 million to 2.2 million Scoville heat units (SHU.) And habaneros, while much milder, are no slouches in the heat department – 100,000 to 350,000 SHU. Chipotle peppers (dried, smoked jalapeños) are a mere 2,500 to 8,000 SHU in comparison. So how much of this spiciness carries over into the hot sauce?

I haven’t seen a reported Scoville heat rating for Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce .002, but if I were to guess – I’d put it in the extra-hot category for hot sauces. It’s hotter than Tabasco’s Scorpion Sauce (roughly 50,000 SHU), but the heat falls short of Da Bomb Beyond Insanity (135,600 SHU.) So I think Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce .002 sits somewhere in the 60,000 to 100,000 SHU range. That puts it in line with eating fresh Thai peppers (50,0000 to 100,000 SHU.)

And it’s a sneaky heat, which is a good thing for flavor. You really get to taste the deliciousness of Señor Lechuga before the hammer hits. The heat comes on after a few seconds and then lingers. Even a small bite will linger for up to 10 minutes. And this spiciness really builds the more you eat, so expect the spiciness to stick around. 

Usability

As long as you like hotter hot sauces and smoky flavor, you’ll find a lot of use cases for Señor Lechuga .002. Really, anywhere you’d pull out a chipotle hot sauce is fair game here. So use it on Mexican food, eggs, chicken, and steak for sure. And this is a great sauce for barbecue of all types.

Take note: The spout is the size of a dime and the sauce is a little on the thin side, so it does come out of this bottle quickly. With the amount of heat here, take care with how quickly you pour. I’d also recommend a good bottle shake to get those fresh ingredients that have settled a chance to join the party, so you get the perfect bite every time.

Collectibility

This label. I can’t get enough of it. It’s simple and yet detailed, even a bit mysterious. It’s just a white label with type-written text. That’s all. But it cuts through the clutter of competitive super-hot sauces that rely on (often over-used) graphics of grim reapers, chili peppers, and flames.

The numbering system I find genius. The hot sauce covered in this review is .002. It’s not obvious what it is from a glance at the label – it just sits right under the name. And, if you’re like me, you want to know. It reminds me of the mystery of the number on the bottom of a Tabasco bottle. The simple truth is their core sauces are simply numbered .001, .002, and .003. For more on it, check out their FAQ linked above.

I also love the small batch touches of printing the batch and bottle numbers. It feels special to have a bottle. This is great branding that totally goes in the opposite direction of nearly all other hot sauces on the market.

The Score

Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce (.002) delivers both sweet, smoky flavor and bold extra-hot spiciness using mainly the delicious natural flavors of the chili peppers in the bottle. Carolina Reapers, habaneros, and chipotles all shine here. Plus, their label strategy, while simple, is among the most unique on the market. 

BUY FROM AMAZON
Señor Lechuga Hot Sauce .002
4.9
$13.99 ($2.80 / Fl Oz)
Buy Now
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.
06/04/2023 10:36 pm GMT
FINAL SCORE4.9
Overall Flavor5
Heat Balance5
Usability4.5
Collectibility5
X-Factor5
Based on a scale from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest)

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on May 23, 2023 to include new content.
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