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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on,
the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

PRODUCT: Tabasco Reserve Pepper Sauce (Grab It While You Can)

Tabasco has been a table staple since 1868, when the McIlhenny Company first produced it (read the story).

Over the past few years, the company has expanded its line beyond Original Red Tabasco to Green, Garlic, Habanero and Chipotle Tabasco and Sweet & Spicy Sauce.

Few people know of a seventh product that the company has produced since the early days, available only to family and close friends: Tabasco Family Reserve Pepper Sauce.

Each year, a portion of the finest peppers grown on the company’s property on Avery Island, Louisiana are hand-selected for their superior color, texture and robustness. These special peppers are mashed with premium white wine vinegar and a small amount of local salt. The mash is placed in white oak barrels and aged for up to eight years (compared to three years for regular Tabasco sauce).

This year, a small batch of Tabasco Family Reserve Pepper Sauce is available to the public. You can pick up a bottle (five ounces) for $24.95 (the regular five-ounce bottle is $9.00).


The 2011 Family Reserve Tabasco sports a
medallion. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.


The company calls this special release a “collector’s item.” The expiration date on our bottle, 4/14, suggests that you have a few years to decide when to consume it. You’ll have to pry through the green wax seal to get to the sauce.

How does it taste? We can’t tell you: We’re keeping ours as a collector’s item! Is it 2.7 times as good as the $9 bottle? If you’ve tried it, please weigh in. The company press release is mute on how Family Reserve tastes compared to Original Red. Aging produces rounder flavors, honing the rough edges. In general, the more a product ages, the more mellow it becomes and the more complex the flavors become.

The special edition is available only at the Avery Island gift store and online. Let your Tabasco-loving friends know, before it sells out.

  • Get the Tabasco 2011 Family Reserve.
  • Try all the flavors of Tabasco.
  • Want to make your own hot sauce? Here’s the Tabasco recipe.
    As with most pantry products, hot sauce will keep better in a cool, dark area.


  • Related Food Videos: For more food videos, check out The Nibble's Food Video Collection.

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