Do you believe the Dragon’s Breath pepper is hotter than the current Guinness World Record Champion: The Carolina Reaper? With all the press, media, and other hype we do not know what to believe. So we are growing it for ourselves and growing it big for our patrons. We have planted row upon row this year.
An Honest Review
I detest it when growers and seed folk repeat the media hype about a new pepper. So I haven’t had much to say about the Dragon’s Breath until today, when I examined and sampled peppers I grew myself. Do I think it is hotter than the Carolina Reaper? Maybe hotter than the Moruga Scorpion? No, I do not. Although my tongue falls asleep at about ghost pepper level, there are other tells.
First tell is that when I slice into a fresh Dragon’s Breath pepper, I do not get that near overwhelming smell of capsaisin. Obviously that is not an absolute or finite test. The heat you feel from a pepper is not a matter of capsaisin content alone. But it is a good indicator. As an example, the smell of our 7 Pot Brown floors me more than the Carolina Reaper or Moruga Scorpion. Still, scent is an indicator.
The next thing I noticed was what looked like a lot of placenta in the center. The placenta is where most of the capsaicin is produced. In fact, the difference between a hot pepper and a super hot pepper seems to be an amount of placenta on the walls of the pepper, not just in the center. Although the placenta did seem large in the Dragon’s Breath pepper, compared to the Carolina Reaper and the Moruga Scorpion, the placenta contained many more seeds. Contrary to popular thought, the seeds do not contain much capaicin at all. Its the placenta surrounding the seeds that produces the capaicin.
Is it the same as Infinity Chili?
There is much belief that the Dragon’s Breath pepper is the same thing as the Infinity Chili. Now that I have grown it and sampled it, I can say it is definitely not the same as the Infinity Chili. It does not look the same. It does not taste the same. I suspect the belief that it is a rebranded Infinity Chili might be founded in the growing out of the Infinity Chili.
“Since the controversy with the Infinity Chili and Naga Viper, both of which appear to have been stressed unstable hybrids measured at a peak, and with the increasing number of contenders for hottest chili pepper, Guinness World Records has required more verification of heat levels and of cultivar stabilization.” from Wikipedia
Perhaps the Dragon’s Breath pepper is an off shoot of the stabilization of the Infinity Chili. To put this into perspective, I have crossed the Carolina Reaper and the 7 Pot Douglah. In growing the cross out, two distinctly different peppers have emerged. One is a monster in size and appearance, it is red. The other looks like a chocolate Carolina Reaper but does not seem to be nearly as hot. Both seem to pod and ripen a lot earlier than either Douglah or Reaper.
Is the Dragon’s Breath Stable?
From growing one season of plants, yes I think it is as stable as most of the new cultivars in this niche. Thus far, all plants have thrown very similar pods. Pods are all the same shape and general size. They have about the same amount of seeds and placenta. The only variances I have noticed is a mild one in texture. None are smooth, but some are less bumpy than the others.
Dragon’s Breath Pepper in the Media
As mentioned above, I do not believe the hype. Frankly, my reputation means a great deal to me. So I would like to inform my patrons rather than sell by sensationalism. The Dragon’s Breath Pepper is reportedly hotter than the Carolina Reaper. Photographs of SHU testing report this pepper as coming in at 2,480,000 SHU. Its Wikipedia page makes that claim, but also says Pepper X is even hotter. Thus far Pepper X has not been shown to so much as exist. Seeds for Pepper X are not available and its color seems to change. Many feel Pepper X will go the way of the same creator’s so called Death Strain. Never to be seen after the media circus. At least Dragon’s Breath has shown itself to exist. Is it hotter than the current Guinness champion? My personal opinion is no. However, time and proper testing will be much more accurate than my mouth.
What we do know is that genuine seed have been made available by a UK business called ChilliBob’s. A friend that we trade seeds with tells me that a small number of plants were also sold. Reportedly, a small batch of hot sauce was made, sold, and shared which contained Dragon’s Breath peppers. From what I can tell, the creation of the Dragon’s Breath peppers were an honest effort. It seems to be the media hype that brought out the sensationalism and then less think honest seed dealers took advantage. All in all, I do not think the developers themselves deserve the back lash. Even if it turns out not to be as hot as some claim, it is described to me to be a very hot and very tasty new pepper.
Reportedly, the Dragon’s Breath pepper chili farmer Neal Price as par of a study for plant food created by NPK Technology. Various reports say the Nottingham Trent University was involved in the study hoping the essential oil that could be extracted from the pepper might be an alternative to various anesthetics. For one reason or another, it was later cultivated by Mike Smith and shown at the 2017 RHS Chelsea Flower Show. Its about that point where the controversy began.
Dragon’s Breath Pepper Controversy
Just like the Carolina Reaper, the controversy surrounding the Dragon’s Breath pepper began before seed stock was even released. Like the Carolina Reaper, people argued if it was as hot as reported. That is to be expected. But other similarities in reporting are even more striking. With the Carolina Reaper, many argue the pepper is just a rebranded 7 Pot Primo Pepper. With the Dragon’s Breath Pepper, many argue it is just a rebranded Infinity chili. Now that I have grown Dragon’s Breath pepper, I really do not think it is a rebranded Infinity Chili.
To be completely forthcoming, I don’t know what to think about either pepper and hope the creator(s) and public opinion can sort it all out eventually. As a grower and developer, I want to think the very best of other growers and developers. So I am hoping all the controversy is shown to be misunderstandings. Maybe misunderstandings complicated by the media.
Dragon’s Breath Seeds for Sale
Initially ( 2018 Season ) Dragon’s Breath pepper seeds were once available only from Chillibob in the UK. I understand he also made a limited number of plants available. Chillibob is the source of our original seed stock. We then grew our peppers in isolation with barrier protection. We have started offering seed stock in September 2018 and will continue to grow this variety for year to come.
Dragon’s Breath Peppers for Sale
As the seed was scarce and the demand is expected high, the plants received extra care from my son and I. We first set our rows with a traditional Germanic method called Hügelkultur. While we do this every year, it is so time consuming that we rotate which rows receive this treatment. The rows for Dragon’s Breath peppers were on top of that list.
Dragon’s Breath Peppers Special Attention
I have some very serious challenges with my legs. The plating of the Dragon’s Breath peppers lined up with really bad leg days, so they got extra special treatment. Not wanting a day with nothing accomplished, I sat my self down with a hand shovel and a son for help and company. He brought me some of the best of our home made compost. Aged manure, leaves, wood, and yard waste. Material we have aged long enough that it is a potting soil consistency. For each Dragon’s Breath pepper plant, we dug into the row, filled with the compost, and then planted the plant. Individual attention that each of the thousands of other pepper plants do not receive due to the time constraints. We then watered heavily with compost tea to help the compost and top soil mix and settle.