This little treat was picked up at the local BevMo here in Tempe and it goes by the name of 101 Root Beer. Big Wave Soda Co. makes a line of sodas called 101 Sodas, and each of their labels has a different classic car or motorcycle on it. You can see many of the labels they use on their website gallery. The labels are not specific to the flavor, meaning not all root beers have the 1965 Chevy Impala like the one i selected. Minor detail, so if that's what you're into then that's great. Whatever. On a more interesting note though, 101 Sodas claims that their drinks go perfectly with classic cars (hence the labels) and that the sodas they make are instant classics. They also make bold claims like they make the best root beer possible. You can't possibly get any better than this stuff. Well you know who else says that? This guy. My point is that a lot of people say that, and if you talk big game, you gotta be able to back it up. So how does 101 Root Beer hold up? Let's just see...
It comes in a 12 oz. stout brown glass bottle, which is my favorite bottle next to IBC. The label is very colorful, and as i mentioned above has a picture of a classic car. The name of the soda is printed as a road sign. This one says "Root Beer 101", but if you got a different flavor it would say "Strawberry 101" or whatever. Apparently Strawberry is a pretty popular flavor for these guys, but let's just stick to root beer, shall we?
Anyway, when i first picked it up i called it Route 101 Root Beer and it immediately reminded me of Route 66 Root Beer, which we all remember as a terrible attempt at producing a consumable beverage. That stuff is terrible. But i am glad to say 101 Root Beer is not terrible. In fact, it is far from it. Yes, 101 Root Beer is very good. They live up to the hype (to a certain degree) and put out a solid root beer. It has a nice taste of honey, and Thomas Kemper would do well to take notes on the amount of honey to use from 101's example. It's not overpowering in the slightest and makes for a really good tasting root beer, which may be the first one with a good honey taste that i actually like. 101 also uses cane sugar, which gives it a sweet, sugary aftertaste that isn't sickly sweet like the most terrible drink on Earth (that being Weinhard's). My wife says it tastes like candy, and i agree that it kind of gives me the impression of eating smarties. All in all though, it's a great root beer. It's not IBC, but it's in the caliber of some of the finer root beers i have sampled in my long and illustrious career.
My official review is that 101 Root Beer gets 8 (eight) IBCs. In my book, this one is indeed an instant classic. I am not so much drawn to the car thing as i am not a big gear head or into classic cars as much as i am into great root beer. Well luckily, this one has it all. Well done 101 Root Beer. My hat is off to you.