American Macro Week 2: Natural Ice

American Macro WeekNatural Ice is a relative newcomer to the Anheuser-Busch family, introduced in 1995. (Natural Light was introduced in 1977.) Along with the Busch line, the "Natural" beers are part of A-B’s "value priced" category—also called "subpremium-priced."

The beer is 5.9% alcohol by volume (which seems to be the trend among the ice beers, I’m noticing) and by and large the packaging (in this case, the 24-ounce can) is fairly generic. There’s just not a whole lot distinguishing it from other offerings on the shelves.

Natural IceAppearance: Clear golden in color, nice look to it. White head that fell quickly as usual.

Smell: Smells more like "beer" than the previous beers this week; grainy, a bit of sweet, no real hops.

Taste: Crisp and clean, very decent for the style. A touch of that sweetness evidenced (I think) by the higher alcohol, i.e. sweeter than a typical American macro lager, and at the same time, not as cloying as Keystone. Dry barley notes and a bit of steely grassiness.

Mouthfeel: Light but more body than typical. Prickly carbonation at first, then finishes crisp and clean.

Overall: Better than I would’ve expected, frankly. Solid contender for the category.

On BeerAdvocate, it scores and overall grade of D-. On RateBeer, it scores 1.01 out of 5 and—I’ve never seen this—is marked "n/a" for their overall percentile.