Dave Kernaghan describes himself as a “rock plater”… and with good reason.
A hot sauce lover, Dave, from Helen’s Bay in Co Down, has already created spicy flavors with rock legends Snow Patrol and Metallica to sell to fans at concerts around the world.
Owner of quirky Rock A Doodle Do Sauces, Dave has just developed the Original Maple BBQ Sauces using Dunville Irish Whiskey, a legendary and award winning brand that has been revived by the Echlinville Distillery in Kircubbin.
Dave’s original Dunville brand sauces were developed in collaboration with the team at Echlinville for sale online and in the distillery store. Founded in 1808 and originally produced at the Royal Irish Distilleries in Belfast, Dunville was once among the most famous whiskey brands in the world until the distillery fell silent in 1936.
The whiskey and brand were successfully revived by seasoned entrepreneur Shane Braniff in 2012.
“Using Dunville’s Three Crowns1808 and Peated whiskeys, we’ve created a pair of chipotle-smoked BBQ sauces that are perfect for anyone looking to add something extra special to their next meal,” says Dave.
“The relationship with Dunville is the result of my search for a local whiskey to give sauces a little extra flavor.
“I made contact with Echlinville about using their whiskeys and then visited the very impressive distillery to sample some of their award-winning products. Everyone there was extremely supportive. It’s also a great place to visit to learn more about great whiskies.”
He was particularly drawn to two premium Dunville blended whiskeys – the Three Crowns Peated Blend of select aged malt and grain whiskeys and the Three Crowns 1808 blend of malt, grain and pot stills.
“Dunville also has a remarkable heritage as one of Ireland’s oldest and most successful whiskeys, particularly in the pre-prohibition US.
“It’s exciting to see whiskey recovering sales there and in other international markets,” he adds.
Dave worked for several months to create the unique sauces for retail sale.
“The peated Dunville whiskey added a rich, smoky flavor that enhanced the hot chipotle pepperiness of the sauces,” he explains.
The connection with Echlinville reflects Dave’s long-standing focus on creating hot sauces under his established and successful business Rock A Doodle Do – Belfast Hot Sauce, whose aim is “to create BBQ hot sauce combinations that are exceptional in quality and taste”. .
Apart from the fiery chillies, all sauces are mainly ingredient based, from other local traders and include smoked salt and pepper from North Coast Smoke House in Ballycastle and Farmageddon’s Golden Pale Ale from Comber.
An IT professional who has worked in sales and marketing for international industry leaders, Dave combined a passion for hot sauces and hard rock in the sauce business, creating rock music themed sauces.
He had been creating his red hot sauces for around 30 years, launching the unique Rock A Doodle Do range in 2015. The artisanal enterprise, run by Dave part-time, now has customers in around 30 international markets, mainly through sales online. His sauces are also commonly sold at rock concerts around the world featuring Snow Patrol in particular.
“I’ve always loved hot sauces, the hotter the better, with my snacks and meals,” explains Dave. “I spent some time in New York and learned a lot about hot sauces, especially Carolina Reaper, the hottest chili pepper in the world. And now it’s in a lot of my sauces.”
His first hot sauce was named after the British metal band Iron Maiden.
“The first CD I ever bought was from the band,” he continues. “While I’ve been listening to Iron Maiden for years, there are loads of other rock bands that I love like Metallica, Blue Oyster Cult and, of course, our legendary Snow Patrol,” he continues.
His sauces are “not for the faint of heart.” They are sauces with “stay” and the names he’s chosen for them like ‘Fear the Reaper’, ‘Extreme Reaper’, ‘Banshee’ and ‘Disaster Button’ are warnings to those lovers of mild flavors to stay well clear .
Some of the sauces are even available in skull-shaped bottles for added effect!
The collaboration with Snow Patrol comes from an approach by Johnny Quinn, the band’s drummer, who also likes hot sauces and had heard of Dave’s range.
He adds: “Many groups regularly support charities. Snow Patrol were keen to help the charity Music for All and decided to link up with me to create sauces that could be sold at concerts to raise money for the charity which provides musical experiences for all through free lessons, instrument loans and across different communities and educational backgrounds.”
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