I cracked into this the other afternoon:
Brand: Empire Diet Root Beer.
Origin: Bristol, Rhode Island.
Purchase Place: "Minnesota's Largest Candy Store," Jordan, MN.
Review: Empire seems to do everything right. Except root beer or diet root beer. I really didn't care for their root beer (it was one of the first sodas that I reviewed on this blog), and I really don't care for this either. I don't mind diet sodas, but this tasted horribly fake. There is a strong anise flavor (which I know many root beers have, and that's fine), and there's a "sharpness" to this with no smoothness or drinkability at all. No thanks.
Score: 3 out of 10.