Definitely identical to the root beer barrel candies.
With 3 flavor "shots", this is almost obnoxious out of the box. Gave me a headache. I didn't expect the anise aftertaste, nor did I expect it to persist for minutes and minutes.
The previous comment about coil head penetration is true-- any cotton that you saturate with this will forever taste like anise, be warned. I'd expect that using a plastic tank with this would be an equally terrible idea.
Hopefully gets better with steeping-- I ordered a 250ml recalling that it was something I loved about 2 years back, but can't stand it now. Might just be a personal preference.