Smokey Dave’s Bird Bath and Grilling Sauce (3/5)

Recently I had North Carolina-based David Burch send me a bottle of his Smokey Dave’s Bird Bath and Grilling Sauce for review.
Smokey-Daves-Front
Outside the Bottle
I really like the concept behind this sauce. It’s focused on a particular area versus calling itself a jack of all trades.
Too many sauces do the opposite and tell you “Use this sauce on everything:  Beef, Pork, Chicken, Seafood, Vegetables, Ice Cream, to remove stains, and to clean your dishes!”  OK maybe not that much, but most sauces are aimed at particular usage such as a mustard sauce being great on pulled pork, and a thick sweet sauce for ribs and chicken, and so on.
Smokey-Daves-Story-Copy
I also like it when a sauce tells me or the user how we should use it. So Smokey Dave is telling us right off the bat that it is to be used as a bird bath (with chicken).  This sauce aims at chicken first, then also lets you know where else it might be good.   The label is fun and shows a cartoon pig roasting the chicken a lot like the Chik-N-Filet cow tells you to “Eat Mor Chikin”   It gets the point across well.  HEY.  Use this stuff on chicken!
One comment on the name is that I like to see the people when a name is referenced i.e. “Smokey Dave” in cartoon, caricature, or photo form.  It personalizes the sauce and makes it feel like you are really supporting the little guy.
Inside the Bottle
Smokey-Daves-Ingredients
The ingredients list is fairly average with some artificial colors and preservatives.   The consistency is a little on the thin side but does hold to meat well.  So the label and the concept gets a 5, but I found it to be too safe in the flavor department – like a regular cup of coffee when I’m really looking for a gourmet blend espresso.
I did enjoy the sauce and it’s mild undertones of onion and garlic, but it felt a little too safe at times veering not too far from a ketchup flavor and lacking an oomph that makes someone’s favorite BBQ sauce.
There’s a simple smoothness here that is nice, but the flavor melts away when cooked.   In general I find that people prefer extremes in their sauces. Pick a couple elements here and make it as strong as can be:  thick, sweet, tangy, smoky, spicy, fruity, flavorful.  If we look at the top sauces in the country, we see that holds true.
The top ten BBQ sauces in the country (as of  09/15/12) are

  • Sweet Baby Ray’s
  • Kraft
  • In-Store Brands
  • KC Masterpiece
  • Jack Daniel’s
  • Bull’s-Eye
  • Stubb’s
  • Famous Dave’s
  • Open Pit
  • Hunt’s

Most of them are thick and sweet (Sweet Baby Rays, Kraft, Bullseye, KC Masterpiece).  Some are thick and tangy (Open Pit, Stubbs).  Some combine Smoky flavors (Kraft, Hunt’s) and some add in unique flavors (Jack Daniels).

Once you’ve got your base really nailed, then you can add in a spicier version that is your regular + heat version.

Bottom Line

Smokey-Daves-BBQ-Plate

This is a good, mild sauce with a great name, label, and concept, but could use a bit more flavor inside the bottle.  It’s a little saltier and spicier than ketchup but not too far from ketchup either.  One way to market the sauce is to tell people how great it can be as a base.  Use it on top of your favorite  spice rub, or combine it with something spicy or tangy.  But if people are going to be paying specialty food prices (i.e. $5 per bottle) then I’m not sure this is going to be a suitable approach.

Website:   http://mysmokeydavesbbq.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Smokey-Daves-BBQ/123064224424429

News Article:  http://www.heraldsun.com/chherald/chloclal/x1791817947/Creator-of-Smokey-Dave-s-barbecue-sauce-proud-of-new-product

Site Editor, BBQ Sauce Lover, Family Guy, Hi Tech Marketer by Day. He recently wrote the Ebook “How to Market Your BBQ Sauce” which can be purchased on this site.

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Comments

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