I enjoyed the Indian Wells Special Reserve Root Beer so much that I was thrilled to see a Black Cherry version of the brand. Indian Wells is a brewery based in California that has a significant presence in the craft soda world, but the Special Reserve varieties stand out. They make some cutesie sodas as well (the Gross Gus line of sodas, for example), but these are classy from the marketing to the ingredients to the finish.
The bottles are big, the caps are wax dipped, and the ingredients are premium. They tout juice from Ohio cherries (should have been Washington cherries), pure cane sugar, artesian spring water, and a unique barrel aging process. That’s a lot of fancy talk, but is it a fancy drink? At $6.99 for the 22 ounce bottle it better be.
I poured the soda into a small taster glass and could immediately smell what I’d describe as a “natural” cherry aroma. It was nice. Something else I noticed was that the color of the soda was a muted crimson. That’s a stark contrast from any other cherry soda I’ve seen on the grocery store shelves. It looks like cherry juice, go figure!
You might have already guessed, the soda tasted like cherry juice as well. It’s not too sweet, it goes down smooth, and there’s a nice level of carbonation. Personally, I felt that the root beer I reviewed previously was a more impressive beverage, this was also very good. I paired the soda with black bean burgers (with bacon) and wasn’t disappointed.
Would I drink this again? You bet. If given the choice between this soda and a high-end root beer, I’ll probably take the root beer. Even so, I give the Black Cherry Soda an 8 out of 10. The ingredients, technique, and packaging put it firmly in the craft family.
Purchased at the Rocket Fizz in Seattle, WA. Sampled on 9/11/2016