As I was finishing up the root beer in the fridge, I put a bottle of batch #2 up against my revised batch #3. Number 3 had the same amount of sugar, and had licorice root too, but wasn't as sweet. Both batches had gone in, then back out of the fridge, but I put #3 on top of the fridge to ferment further and gave it even a little more time. This, on top of the fact that I felt like I'd had a wee bit to drink when I drank a bottle this morning, makes me think a fair bit of the sugar got consumed. I kind of like the dryness, but perhaps a little more sugar would be a good idea, and perhaps a little more licorice.
Flavor-wise, #2 definitely had a more sarsaparilla taste. I had cut that root back a bit and put more sassafras in #3. Back to more sarsaparilla without cutting the sassafras is probably the next step. The additional flavors in #3 gave it good complexity, especially the smokey cherry flavor, so those are keepers for the next refinement, which I'll have nothing but cream soda and ginger ale to compare to.