Painmaker is an ultra hot sauce produced by a German company called "Buecher & Co." It's rather obscure outside of the German speaking world, however, I recently was exposed to it at Wacken Open Air earlier this month. Apparently it is one of the hottest sauces around that does not rely on capsaicin extract being added during production.

It comes in a miniature whisky bottle with a black label and a cap shaped like a skull, and promises to be "Hardcore" und "200.000 Scoville" and "keep away from children." Colourwise, it's dark slightly brownish red, a bit like barbecue sauce, which it sort of tastes like a bit.

Once you've got over the immediate and extremely intense chilli kick, that is.

My first exposure to this was at the chilli stall at the above mentioned fest, where one could buy chilli in four levels of heat - "Hippie," which was weak as piss, "Rocker," which was boring, "Headbanger" which was fairly warm, and "Headbanger's Death," which is what I had, and which contained this stuff. I didn't like the chilli con carne that they served because they put sweetcorn in it and I hate sweetcorn because it makes me retch. However, eating around said yellow peril, I found that after just two spoons I was streaming from every orifice on my face (including my ears, inexplicably). But this didn't last all that long. I asked how much of this stuff was in it and he said, "a stripe," meaning he upended the bottle in a line over the pan. As someone who fortifies their dinner by the teaspoon, this was a bit of a shock.

I would say that 200,000 Scovilles is rather conservative a rating. Dave's Insanity Sauce is 180,000 Scovilles and it was much hotter than that. Hotter even than You Can't Handle This Hot Sauce which is 232,000 SHU. Painmaker, I would estimate, is probably about 320,000 SHU. Which is almost Mad Dog .357 hot. However, it is a very short, sharp heat, and after that tastes a bit like barbecue sauce as I have said.

Incidentally, assuming the 200,000 rating is correct, this makes it 7,900% hotter than Tabasco sauce. Assuming it's blatant lies, comparing Tabasco to this is like comparing a sling to an APFSDS tank cannon.

This stuff is hard to come by outside of the German speaking world, as I have said, but worth trying if you like that sort of thing. It seems to have the same sort of place in Germany as a naga jolokia pepper has in the Anglo Saxon world, in that Youtube is full of people daring each other to swallow a tablespoon of it. This is not recommended.

Speaking of things that are not recommended, there exists also "Painmaker Extract," which is a 1,000,000 Scoville concentrated version. This comes in a little dropper bottle which informs you that you cannot eat it directly without "serious harm" resulting.

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