April 01, 2016 03:37 PM

Burger King; Shay Spence

Who Tried It: Shay Spence, PEOPLE Associate Food & Lifestyle Editor

When I first heard about the new “Angriest Whopper” from Burger King, I was intrigued in the way that one is intrigued by a Kardashian semi-knude selfie. It’s nothing ground-breaking, nothing we haven’t seen before, just the latest episode of the never-ending sitcom we call America. And, yet, I was intrigued.

The burger, which most notably boasts a bright red bun with hot sauce baked into it, is also stacked with fried onions, pickled jalapeños, bacon, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo and something called “spicy angry sauce.” Artificially-colored buns have become something of a recent trend in fast food, and I have to say it’s something I don’t quite understand.

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Being that loving hot sauce/spicy foods in general is a large part of my personal identity, though, I was cautiously optimistic about this one. After having a light apéritif of nacho cheese sauce alongside a pretzel dog at the office, I marched to our neighborhood BK to see what the deal was.

First, let’s talk aesthetics, because we are a shallow species. Shockingly on-point! Look at that height! I was anticipating just-out-of-bed Danny DeVito and what I got was Karlie Kloss in stilettos.

Now, for taste. On its own, the bun was not exactly bringing the heat. The infused hot sauce flavor was so subtle it could easily go unnoticed. The “spicy angry sauce” tasted sort of like a sweet-and-sour sauce with a minor kick, which was actually a necessary balance to all of the salty stuff going on with the rest of the burger.

Beyond that, the fried onions were actually crispy, the bacon was just thick enough to make a name for itself, the jalapeños packed a punch that justifies calling the burger “spicy,” and the lettuce and tomato were exactly what you’d expect out of fast food lettuce and tomato.

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Final verdict: undeniably good. As a cohesive bite, it all works together. The red bun may be redundant and gimmicky, but if it wasn’t, nobody would be reading this article.

Shay Spence, @chezspence

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