Welcome back to our dive into Canada’s hottest treasures. Today, we’re getting into something that sounds like it should be a summer hit – Lynx Lava by Meow! That’s Hot, straight outta Ottawa, Ontario.
Picture this: watermelon and habanero peppers teaming up in a hot sauce. Sounds wild, right? You’ve got that sweet, refreshing watermelon vibe mixed with the fiery kick of habanero. And to top it off, there’s a hint of basil in there.
I really wanted to fall head over heels for this one, but, it kinda left me hanging. Instead of that sweet heat I was dreaming of, it leaned more on the woody side, with a peppery punch that’s bold but not exactly the spice fest you’d expect.
Let’s break it down and see where it hits and misses.
Introducing: Lynx Lava by Meow That’s Hot
Meow! That’s Hot isn’t just your average hot sauce maker; these folks have carved out a spicy niche in Ottawa, Ontario, with a flair that’s all their own. The first time I stumbled upon their sauces was at a local eatery, where their bottles graced every table.
Though the exact flavor escaped me, it was enough to pique my interest.
What sets them apart? Well, for starters, all their sauces rock a cat theme – talk about branding! But they don’t just stop at sauces.
They’ve got a kitchen/bar in Ottawa where you can sip on cocktails jazzed up with their fiery concoctions. With a variety of flavors at a pretty sweet price point (around $10CAD a pop), they’re making heat accessible to everyone.
Now, onto Lynx Lava. This concoction brings watermelon and habanero peppers into the mix, aiming for a blend that’s as intriguing as it sounds. It’s on the watery side, which I reckon is due to the watermelon, leading to a lighter texture and fewer bits and pieces floating around than you might expect.
While it doesn’t hit the mark of being the standout sauce of the year, it’s got enough kick to make you break a sweat. And if you’re keen to try, snagging a bottle is easy – they’re available online or at various retail spots, including their very own kitchen and bar in Ottawa, all for about $10CAD.
Ingredients: Wine Vinegar, Watermelon, Red Pepper, Habanero, Garlic, Basil, Spices, Salt, Xanthan Gum
Get Your Exclusive Spicy Gear!
When you first lay eyes on Lynx Lava, it’s clear this isn’t your run-of-the-mill hot sauce. Housed in a classic 150mL woozy bottle, it carries that familiar shape we all know and love. The label keeps things simple yet appealing – a sleek grey backdrop with an eye-catching graphic of a cat, formed from lava, superimposed over a volcano.
It’s straightforward but definitely draws you in.
Peek inside, and you’re greeted by a sauce that’s got the vibrant red of a Caesar or Bloody Mary, but with a twist. Thanks to the watermelon, there’s a subtle pink hue that almost makes the sauce glow, mimicking the look of actual lava.
But don’t let its fiery appearance fool you; this sauce is on the watery side, almost too eager to leave the bottle. It tends to drip right off whatever you’re pouring it onto, giving your food a light coating of its watery base rather than clinging with a rich texture.
Floating amidst this thin sauce are seeds, bits of spices, basil, and garlic – the only solid evidence of the ingredients within. It’s a sauce that’s more about the hint of what could have been, rather than a full-on flavor explosion.
Cracking open a bottle of Lynx Lava, your nose is immediately greeted with an intriguing blend of aromas. The basil leads the charge, its presence pronounced, mingling with the sharp tang of vinegar. There’s a certain woody character to it as well, hinting that the basil might lean more towards the dried variety, carrying that distinctive dry spice aroma.
It’s savory, yet the tanginess really hits you, making the whole experience quite zesty. Interestingly, it conjures up the essence of a Caesar cocktail, suggesting this sauce could be a stellar stand-in for Tabasco in your next brunch drink.
The smell alone isn’t overwhelming; rather, it’s just intriguing enough to pique your interest and make you wonder how it translates into taste.
Taste and Flavour
Diving into the taste of Lynx Lava, I’ve got to say, the experience was a bit of a rollercoaster. Right off the bat, the watermelon I was hoping would shine through was missing in action. Instead, what hits you first is a strong wave of vinegar. For me, it’s a bit too front and center, kind of overshadows the other flavors at the start.
But if you stick with it, the sauce begins to show its true colors. The habanero peppers make a welcome appearance, delivering that beloved spicy kick I always look for. That part was definitely a highlight.
The basil is surprisingly bold here, even more noticeable than the garlic, which usually takes center stage in hot sauces. There’s also a discernible peppery note, likely from black pepper, which adds a nice depth to the mix. Honestly, this sauce screams to be paired with a Caesar, where its vinegary bite and spice blend could really shine.
However, there’s this underlying woody flavor that’s a bit of a head-scratcher. It lurks behind the vinegar’s tang, accompanied by a subtle hint of Chinense pepper, adding complexity but also a bit of confusion to the palate.
Overall, while the sauce has moments of brilliance, especially for habanero lovers and those into a tangy kick, it’s somewhat overshadowed by that intense vinegar punch and the peculiar woody aftertaste.
When it comes to the heat level, Lynx Lava sits comfortably at a 4 out of 10. It’s not going to blow your head off, but don’t let that number fool you – the heat it brings is both sharp and enduring. It’s got that distinctive Habanero sting, the kind that catches you first on the tip of your tongue, and then spreads its warmth a little to the sides, making its presence known without overwhelming.
What caught me off guard was the physical reaction it triggered. This sauce had me sweating from just about everywhere – cheeks, forehead, hairline, you name it. It’s like all the classic signs of facing off with a seriously spicy challenger were there, minus the extreme heat you might expect. Instead, Lynx Lava delivers a warmth that’s both sharp and cozy, sticking around just long enough to remind you of its power.
It’s a peculiar mix of not being “hot hot” but still packing enough of a punch to get your body reacting as if you’ve just taken on a fiery feast.
Conclusion: Overall Thoughts
Wrapping up my dive into Lynx Lava, I’m landing at a solid 3.5 stars. It didn’t quite hit the mark with my usual go-to dishes, but I can see it shining in a Caesar, drizzled over a fresh salad, or adding a kick to soups – really, anything on the lighter side would benefit from its unique profile.
The vinegar aspect was a tad overbearing for me, edging out even Tabasco in that department, but it compensates with a richness in flavor that’s hard to ignore.
I was left wishing the watermelon came through stronger and the sauce packed a bit less liquidity. That said, I see a lot of potential here.
Meow! That’s Hot seems to have their hearts in the right place, and Lynx Lava could definitely carve out its own niche in a hot sauce aficionado’s collection.
If you’re into exploring diverse flavors and don’t mind a vinegary kick, this sauce is worth a shot. It’s clear they’re onto something good, and I’m all for giving props where due. So, yeah, I’d recommend giving Lynx Lava a try – it just might surprise you.
Please remember that taste is subjective and everyone will experience hot sauce uniquely. These reviews contain my own thoughts and opinions. If you think you’ll enjoy a hot sauce then you should definitely try it out.
Welcome to The Hot Sauce Guy! I’m Mike, your guide to the spicy world of hot sauces and the creator of Spicy Riffs Hot Sauce. From Canada, I share the hottest reviews, pepper-growing tips, and sauce recipes with a touch of rock and roll.
My passion? Crafting the perfect blend of heat and flavor. Whether you’re here for the fire or the flair, get ready for a journey into the world of spicy delights.
Let’s turn up the heat together!