I brought this with me to my office by the darkroom (which explains the cameras in the background) - it was my 2nd Zia from the stash my friends brought me:
Brand: Zia Root Beer.
Origin: Taos, NM.
Purchase Place: Smith's Food and Drug, somewhere in Utah.
Sweetener: Cane Sugar.
Review: I was ready for this to be "fancy" as it had a big list of ingredients after the "normal" ones: anise and licorice aren't ALL that unique, but then it has clove, mint, yucca root, and madagascar bourbon vanilla. That's an interesting list. And the root beer is REALLY dark - one of the darker sodas I've seen.
And it WAS a little interesting. What first struck me was a big of a smokiness it had - I think that's the cloves coming through that way. And there's a hint of the mint that feels like normal wintergreen in a root beer. Overall, it's pretty smooth and has a real earthy, herby, smoky flavor. I prefer something a little sweeter, but this is a nice and unique "adult" root beer. (I say "adult" because it's not super sugary - it would not be as popular with kids.) On taste alone, I think I'd give this a 6, but I'm bumping it up for the uniqueness of the experience.
Score: 7 out of 10.