Burning Chili Pepper - Fire Flame
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Why These Collectible Hot Sauces Cost Hundreds of Dollars

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Burning Chili Pepper - Fire Flame
ThomasVogel/istockphoto

The Heat is On

While most hot sauce fans just love to spice up their eggs and gumbo, there are some people who love collecting hot sauce just like any other hobby. Those chile heads drive the market for super expensive sauces thanks to artful bottles, sauce maker signatures, and outlandishly hot formulas. Here are some of the most expensive collectible hot sauces that'll spice up your life. 


Related: We Tried 20 Popular Hot Sauces — and These Are the Best

Swamp Dragon Private Reserve
Swamp Dragon

Swamp Dragon Private Reserve

$250-$500


All of Swamp Dragon's hot sauces use liquor as a base instead of vinegar to avoid the vinegar's relentless acidity. The lineup of standard Swamp Dragon sauces are only around $6 a bottle, but occasionally the company comes out with a Private Reserve. There have been two editions so far, and the first used a $500 bottle of 60-year-old champagne cognac as the base, while the second used a $1,300 bottle of rum, resulting in $250 and $500 hot sauces, respectively. 


Related: Can You Handle These Hot and Spicy Dishes?

Blair's Reserve 16 Million Crystals
eBay

Blair's Reserve 16 Million Crystals

$3,700 from eBay

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Blair's, a New Jersey hot sauce company, is known for its intense, insane heat and unique packaging featuring skulls and multiple kinds of sealing wax. The 16 Million Reserve Crystals aren't really a sauce at all, but pure capsaicin — the stuff that makes chiles hot — crystals in a pharmaceutical vial. There were only 999 of the $545 bottles produced, so it was an instant collectible. Your best bet to get it now is on eBay for $3,700.


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Blair's Reserve Caldera
eBay

Blair's Reserve Caldera

$975 from eBay

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There are three sauces in one in Caldera, all packaged separately and stacked on top of one another to form a foot-tall bottle. The sauces range from 1.5 million to 10 million scoville units and actually have capsaicin crystals floating in them. The unusual bottle is coated in Italian wax and topped with a skull dipped in 24 karat gold. You can still find one on eBay for $975.

Hellfire Art Bottles
Hellfire Hot Sauce

Hellfire Art Bottles

$500


Sometimes the value of a hot sauce is almost all in its unique bottle. That's the case with the Hellfire art bottles lineup, which have been produced by artists for a number of years. There's usually only a handful of each art bottle made, making them exceedingly rare. They also happen to be really cool little works of art, so it's easy to see why fans are enamoured with them. If you can get your hands on one, expect to pay in the thousands for it. 

Dave's Insanity Private Reserve 2003
eBay

Dave's Insanity Private Reserve 2003

$500 from eBay

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Dave's Gourmet is one of the old school hot sauce companies, and helped spark the hot sauce craze. The flagship sauce, Dave's Insanity, was one of the first sauces to be made with capsaicin extract, making it hotter than almost every other sauce at the time. Each year, they bottle a Private Reserve version, which is about four times hotter. The bottle is signed by the namesake Dave and packed in a wooden coffin. You can purchase these once a year from the company, but you're more likely to get your hands on an aftermarket bottle, like this one from 2003.

Tabasco 2018 Limited Edition 150 Years Diamond Reserve
Hotsauce.com

Tabasco 2018 Limited Edition 150 Years Diamond Reserve

$175 from HotSauce

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This limited edition Tabasco sauce is the ultimate collectible for superfans of the brand since it marks its 150th anniversary. It's made with specially selected tabasco peppers, some of which were aged for up to 15 years to bring out their flavor. They were blended with sparkling white wine vinegar, which is why the sauce comes in a wine bottle. Compared to regular Tabasco, this one is much thicker and is like "Tabasco concentrated." 


Related: Things You Didn’t Know About Tabasco

Original Juan The Source 7.1 Million Collectors Extract
Amazon

Original Juan The Source 7.1 Million Collectors Extract

$118 from Amazon

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Originally created in 2002, The Source is a 7.1 million scoville unit extract, which means it's only good for using in the tiniest quantities to heat up other things as an additive. It won a number of awards when it came out, and the little 1-ounce bottle is packaged in a box decorated with ancient carvings and figures. The product warning and liability release are so important that they've printed on the back of the bottle. 

Blair's 3 A.M. Reserve Extract Signed
Hotsauce.com

Blair's 3 A.M. Reserve Extract Signed

$55 from HotSauce 

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For a more affordable Blair's collectible sauce that still looks striking, grab a bottle of 3 A.M. Reserve. The story goes that it got its name from the company's founder after patrons at his bar wanted to stay past closing time into the wee hours of the morning. In order to do that, they'd have to eat wings made with insanely hot sauces on them, which were eventually bottled. This is the second edition of the sauce and commemorates the 20th anniversary of the company and clocks in around 2 million scoville units.

Artifact Extreme Burn 3 Million Scoville Pepper Extract
Amazon

Artifact Extreme Burn 3 Million Scoville Pepper Extract

$40 from Amazon 

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Anyone who wants something that looks cool on their shelf that can also knock their socks off will love this hot sauce. It comes in a glass skull bottle that's topped with a river of gold wax dripping down the sides. The small batch, made-by-hand sauce is 3 million scoville, so you'd only want to use a tiny drop to heat up a huge batch of chili or soup. In other words, don't ignore the warning and caution labels on the box. 

The General's Hot Sauce Sergeant Major
Amazon

The General's Hot Sauce Sergeant Major

$40 from Amazon

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The schtick with The General's hot sauces are the cool glass grenade bottles they come in, making them stand out even in a big collection. This Sergeant Major sauce is especially eye-catching because it's huge, standing at almost 9 inches tall. It holds over 25 ounces of a cayenne and habanero pepper sauce that's made from 86% peppers. 

Da'Bomb The Final Answer Extract
Amazon

Da'Bomb The Final Answer Extract

$34 from Amazon

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While the label proclaims the "quest for the hottest sauce ends here," that may have only been true over two decades ago when it won awards. It clocks in at 1.5 million scoville units, so while that's still way too hot for the casual hot sauce fan, it's not nearly the hottest sauce out there today. Unlike the other extracts though, this one is made with other ingredients like habaneros, mustard, apricots, and spices.