After decades of direct experience with that axiom I must say that it holds true. Some things labeled "natural" are quite good, while many others using that label are not tasty at all. This is the case with Natural Brew Hand Crafted Root Beer. It falls into my "not good" category. The label states that it is a "complex flavor of sweet birch, licorice root, sarsaparilla, cinnamon, clove, anise and wintergreen." Complexity does not necessarily make for a tasty beverage and in this case it certainly held true for me. The taste which we normally identify as Root Beer, specifically "Draft" Root Beer, which Natural Brew claims to be is almost totally lacking here. The flavours of sarsaparilla, licorice and the other ingredients combine to make a taste which is not pleasant, in my opinion.
The brewers of Natural brew make a note to tell the consumer that they add pure vanilla to their product...unfortunately that vanilla, like any Root Beer flavour it may have possessed is lost amidst the jumble of the other mismatched flavours in the Brew. While I am certain that this drink has many fans out there, otherwise they would not continue to make it, I am never going to be one of those folks. Sorry.
One the props side, tho Natural Brew does have a nice head, decent mouthfeel and nice carbonation. The cloying quality of the aftertaste tends to put me off, as well. Since this brew comes from the Smucker Company I can feel comfortable in saying that this is more mass produced swill. And not very good swill at that. It's a bad use of ingredients.
Sparkling Filtered Water
Evaporated Cane Juice
Licorice Root and Sarsaparilla Root Extracts
Carbonation: Fine with a bit of a bite
Mouth Feel: A bit of creaminess
Root Beer Flavour: Not even remotely. What small hint of Draft Root Beer Flavour that exists is covered up the hodgepodge of flavours from the other ingredients. Too much sarsaparilla, as well.
Aroma: It smells like it tastes. There's no easily identifiable Root Beer scent here.
Head: Natural Brew has a nice head. That's a mark in the plus column.
Aftertaste: A cloying sweetness that just lasts for entirely too long a period.
Overall: Unpleasant to my taste buds and not something I plan on revisiting any time soon. This is not a good Root Beer.
Natural Brew gets a 2/10 an F
Natural Brew, Root Beer, Smucker