The sensation started with a tingle on the end of the tongue.
Sweet notes of orange and pineapple struck first, causing mouths to pucker. Indiana honey provided a hint of sweetness. Then the habanero chili kicked in, finishing with a slow burn.
Jim Kirk watched as people sampled a few small drops of his Sweet Orange Oblivion on a cracker. He judged from their reactions whether his creation was too intense or not saucy enough.
“I’m not into making a hot sauce that’s the hottest thing you’ve ever tried, where your mouth is on fire. We’re more about taste,” he said. “I want hot sauce that’s warm, certainly, but not one that you’ll miss the flavor because it’s so hot.”