The caramel coloring shouldn't be a surprise.
What is surprising is that the US brewers making the stuff under contract are so up front about telling you they use it!
In any case, there's nothing wrong with using it...many of the best ales brewed in the UK evidently make use of it, since it can make a subtle flavor contribution as well....they just don't usually mention it on their labels.
You're right about it being easy to drink and I do remember enjoying it for precisely that reason. I found it to be pretty nicely balanced.
(I last tried it out of curiosity when the Miller made version appeared on the shelves) .