Review by: Cory Smith
New owner? Check. New Offensive and Defensive Coordinators? Check and check. New head coach and young team full of potential? Check. For the reasons listed above I made a bet; one that I will regret for a very long time. I bet Ron that my Cleveland Browns could beat his Miami Dolphins in the opening game of the NFL season.
I was so confident in my team that I actually made two bets: one was that the loser had to change their twitter profile picture to the other team’s logo (I chose to use the one below), and the other was that the loser had to review Natty Ice. If you follow the NFL, or can guess by deductive reasoning, I have lost that bet and am finally fulfilling my part of the agreement.
While I’m kind of a beer geek now, I am not above buying a cheap domestic lager from time to time. In fact, when I’m out on the weekends, I usually am drinking a Bud Light because I kind of like the crispness the rice brings to the table, and I can drink for a majority of the night without being overly full and overly intoxicated. But, let’s be honest, there’s no reason to buy Natural Ice once your college years are through — of course, unless, you lose a bet.
You can make fun of Light Domestic Lagers all you want, but the big boys know how to make a consistent beer that has the exact qualities they want. One thing I’ve always been impressed with is just the brilliant clarity they achieve. Natural Light is no exception. The beer pours a golden yellow, straw-like, pee-like color that is so clear you could read a book through it. At first I was impressed by the head of the beer, it was about an inch thick and fluffy and pure white, but in a matter of seconds it dissipated to nothing — literally nothing. Even the bubbles that rise through this beer do nothing to sustain any form of head.
To be honest, it’s hard to get much of an aroma off of this beer. If anything I can smell grain, corn, and a faint hint of alcohol. If the aroma of Natural Ice was made into a movie the title would be College: the Morning After. It smells like every bar that doesn’t clean itself regularly and is left with a stale aroma. Smelling this beer makes me feel like my floor is sticky.
Watery, yet slightly bubbly, Natural Ice has a very… wet… mouthfeel? It has almost no body, and the carbonation is full of a small amount of larger bubbles, as opposed to say a naturally carbonated beer which has smaller more abundant bubbles. Natty Ice’s carbonation does nothing to enhance the experience of the beer, but merely lets you know, “Hey, I’m carbonated, see? See?”
Have you ever brushed your teeth and then drank orange juice? Yeah, do that instead of drinking this beer. Natural Ice tastes more like stale cardboard than it does malt, and more like rotten apple than it does hops. The rank aftertaste lingers in your mouth, and makes you feel like you shouldn’t go talk to anyone soon, at least not at a close distance. While I’d rather try to pick up girls with Natty Ice breath than garlic or onion breath, it’s not an easy decision. How anyone in college has a girlfriend with Natural Ice breath is one of life’s greatest mysteries.
After all of that, Natural Ice does have one redeeming quality, after the initial ten sips it just tastes like water, water that is almost 6% ABV. When you’re looking to have fun and drink for a long time, alcohol that tastes like water is a good thing.
The fact that I lost a bet and had to review this beer should tell you all you need to know. To give this a rating I’d give it a 20 or a solid F-. I haven’t had all of the beers in the world, but this may be the worst (update: Oculto is the worst). The only reason I didn’t give it a zero is because a.) that’s the typical response of a beer reviewer (go check other reviews), b.) it serves its purpose well and is exactly what it promises, and c.) it is still beer with no unintended off flavors. I might not love the flavors, but at least it was intentionally this bad!
It is what it is, and it does what it promises. No one is claiming that this is a world class beer, It’s demographic is college students who are looking for a cheap, quick way to get drunk, and at 5.9% alcohol, this fits the bill. Ron would claim that he likes it, but I think it’s just because of what I said, he is familiar with it, and he uses it solely to have fun, isn’t that what beer is all about?