Haffenreffer Private Stock - Private Stock Brewing Co.

Not Rated.
Haffenreffer Private StockHaffenreffer Private Stock

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BA SCORE
74
okay

65 Reviews
THE BROS
82
good

(Read More)
Reviews: 65
Hads: 105
rAvg: 3.15
pDev: 15.24%
Wants: 15
Gots: 5 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Private Stock Brewing Co. visit their website
Massachusetts, United States

Style | ABV
American Malt Liquor |  6.90% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 11-19-2000

No notes at this time.
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Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 65 | Hads: 105
Photo of Reagan1984
1.5/5  rDev -52.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

In an effort to officially try each style (and review) I picked up this 24oz can while shopping yesterday. Too bad they didn't have the bottles with the picture puzzle under the cap. I liked those. Been forever since I've had one of these. What I find interesting is that the ABV is only 7%. I always imagined "malt liquor to be much higher.

Pours with a 2 finger bright foamy head that immediately settles and fades. The beer is a bright clear gold/brass color with a speck of carbonation. Lacing.... um.. no

Aroma is sweet and grainy. Like boiled vegetables.

Wow, I am really surprised here. The flavor is much worse than I imagined. Sweet, mushy and of cardboard. I am honestly shocked how poor the flavor is. I think they forgot to put any hops into this beer.

A combination of sweet in your mouth with an almost powdery finish.

Good thing I bought this just for the experience. No need to do that again. Man we had no taste in college, did we?.... (957 characters)

Photo of chaduvel
1.52/5  rDev -51.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 1 | feel: 2 | overall: 1

Saw this on the menu at a restaurant in Cambridge, thought hmmm, I'll give it a try, never heard of it. I asked the waitress what type of beer it was; her reply "it's a malty beer" gee that tells me a lot?! Well I'll give it a shot was my reply--D'oh. It came in a fat quart bottle with olives set across the top (what the?), and malt liquor written on the side, uh oh. I asked for a glass and poured it in (kept the olives separate?!). Clear gold/yellow in color with no head and not much lacing. Smelled clean of cereal grains. Taste was malty grains and corn and then came an awful aftertaste of adjuncts or something? Skunk urine, maybe Fox? Anyway, don't bother. (667 characters)

Photo of feloniousmonk
1.75/5  rDev -44.4%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2

First off, I must admit a guilty admission: I've never drunk malt liquor, not to the best of my knowledge, sir. It just never seemed like an appealing choice, as I've always appreciated the flavors and nuances of a beverage, above the rush to drunkenness. And add in the ordinary associations, the filthy guy on the bus with a 40 in a paper bag, all the empties in the alley, it just seems like slumming. So call me a snob.

Clear, ordinary yellow color, big white head, that crackles and sizzles. Aroma is nonexistent. Slightly sweet, notes of corn and..nothing else. Smooth, clean, light, easily drinkable, but not enjoyable. Completely lacking in flavor, or anything else to appreciate. No, wait,..here it comes...the booze!

Thin, flinty, but afloat with grainy sweetness, no finish or body or texture, but hey, how drunk am I now? And where do I gotsta go to get me some crack?
By the way, it's the malt liquor "with the imported taste". Ooo, la, la! (961 characters)

Photo of TastyTaste
1.78/5  rDev -43.5%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 1.5

Brewed by the Narragansett Brewing Co. which was mentioned on Family Guy a while back. 16 oz. green glass bottle, that is "Malt Liquor...with imported taste." Clear, extremely light gold color, almost no head on the pour, a couple visible bubbles in the beer rise steadily. Very light grain in the nose, also some skunk, not a whole lot going on. Taste is skunky and stale tasting. This reminds me of beer from the perspective of me, before I liked beer. Pretty bad, I would definitely skip this one, whether it has imported taste or not. (538 characters)

Photo of bewareOFpenguin
1.9/5  rDev -39.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

They used to brew this over in Jamaica Plain in Boston. And we used to call it "The Green Death". Two is all it took. I went down memory lane the other day to try to recapture my early youth. As I twisted off the puzzle cap, and that familiar industrial smell filled my nostrils, I summoned up the courage to take a sip. This beverage is not for pouring into a glass. Just a paper sack around it, and your good to go. It still tasted the same, foul, overprocessed, etc. I thought I was tasting my fillings, but alas, it was Private Stock. I offered the remains to man collecting cans, who more appreciated it's fine qualities. (626 characters)

Photo of woodychandler
2.49/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

What a fantastic weekend! I have decided to up my numbers to figures divisible by ten before recommitting to The CANQuest (TM) for which I should be committed. My local has a plethora of inexpensive 40s for sale and so I am revisiting some beers that I initially had in a CAN as further penance for my sins.

Dang! I poured a good, rocky two fingers' worth of bone-white head, then I began typing and looked away and by the time I looked back, it was gone! In the interest of equal time, it did leave a good bit of lacing in its wake. Color was a deep golden-yellow with NE-plus quality clarity (I could read my next door neighbor's Sunday comics). Nose was, well, when I initially unscrewed the cap (yeah, you read that correctly), skunky. It may or may not be attributable to the green bottle. Taking a whiff from the glass, it was less pronounced than it had been following the pour and I am willing to give it the benefit of the doubt. Would they really use Saaz hops in a cheap AML? Taste was not skunky at all, but it was sickeningly sweet. Wow! Between yesterday's malty love fest and this, I may yet develop adult-onset diabetes to go with my adult-onset asthma and my early arthritis. Great. The mouthfeel was thin-to-medium with a sugary sweetness laced with a mild hoppiness on the tongue. Phew! Man, I would rather have fusel heat than sticky sweet, but at least, it is mildly palatable. I have had some beers that could not even make that claim. Finish left me thankful that it was cold and that I was not out in the alley, drinking with my neighbors. (1,564 characters)

Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.5/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Haffenreffer Private Stock doesn't have the colorful history that Crazy Stallion has, but it has a longer one. The original Haffenreffer brewery started brewing again in 1933 and merged with a little outfit called the Boston Beer Company in 1956. Probably no relation to the current one, but it'd be interesting to find out more.

This review is the second half of Malt Likkapalooza V and this can of Private Stock will be judged in comparison to Crazy Stallion. I don't know if this one has the advantage right off the bat, but it seems likely. The can informs the drinker that it's the 'Malt Liquor... with the imported taste'. Sounds pretty impressive to me.

Private Stock has a less attractive can, but is the more attractive beer in the glass. It's classic amber in color (no clear winner here) and has a brighter, slightly more impressive head. Now, the only question is whether or not the differences deserve different scores.

Other than having slightly more power, there's nothing separating these two noses. One might think that being able to more easily smell a malt liquor would be a bad thing. Not necessarily and not in this case. There's no offensiveness to be had, and very little alcohol.

The flavor profiles are pretty close as well. This beer is slightly less sweet and slightly more hop-flavored. It also has more of that malt liquor alcoholic spiciness that is the reason most people drink this stuff (other than the obvious reason of course). After a few more large mouthfuls, I do believe the difference is enough to warrant different scores.

Despite the fact that Crazy Stallion's mouthfeel is slightly more full, I actually prefer this one for its cleanliness. I wish it had the other beer's slightly spritzy carbonation however. Again, too close to call.

Haffenreffer Private Stock (... with the imported taste) is the winner of Malt Likkapalooza V, although it was anything but a clear victory. My suspicion is that the extra alcohol, and less overall sweetness, secured the trophy more than anything else. Maybe Custer should have fortified himself with a 40 or two before the Battle of the Little Bighorn. It couldn't have hurt. (2,173 characters)

Photo of Drew966
2.55/5  rDev -19%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Haffenrefer Private Stock pours a orange/copper color with a thin white head that dissipated quickly from a green sixteen ounce bottle. Smells like corn. Has a decent malty taste, maybe a flash of metal for a moment, and finishes ok. Selterzy mouthfeel. Not bad for the style. (276 characters)

Photo of jantonius
2.56/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

A: Darker Golden Color

S: Very Alcohol Forward

T: Slightly Sweet and Strong with Alcohol

M: Very Bubbly, almost stings

D: A little on the heavy / strong side.

I rate this my #3 Malt Liquor - Used to drink in high school in Philly. Before I moved on and traded up to Crazy Horse and Eventually Mickey's. (308 characters)

Photo of RonaldTheriot
2.61/5  rDev -17.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured from a 40 oz. green bottle, Haffenreffer Private Stock has a very thick, creamy, cream-colored head, a clear, bubbly, golden appearance, and lots of fairly thick lacing left on the glass. The aroma is a sickly-sweet grain husk smell. Taste is of sweet & sour grain husks, old bread, some hop bitterness, and it's fairly cloying and alcohilic. Mouthfeel is leaning towards medium, and Haffenreffer Private Stock finishes semi-dry, crisp, and rough. Drinkability is not particularly high with this. When I tried this from the can in 2009, when it was still owned by Pabst, it was much better. I rate this iteration 1.5 stars (ordinary).

RJT (646 characters)

Photo of TheDeuce
2.62/5  rDev -16.8%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance-clear golden and fizzy, head sticks around for a little before dissipitating.

Smell-fusel alcohol aroma, some corn and DNS surrounds it, maybe a mild touch of hop and malt.

Taste-actually light and pleasent initiailly, before it's alcoholic club spits in your face at the end. WHOOOSH.

Mouthfeel-surprisingly not overdone, leaves an aftertaste of corn in your mouth.

Drinkability-for a malt liquor? Not bad, not bad at all.

Overall-for a malt liquor this is good, not overtly disgusting and not too alcoholic, but jeez does this make me wish I had a real beer in front of me, I need to get a real job... (630 characters)

Photo of mooseisloose
2.63/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Picked up for a barbeque brew to enjoy in the heat. Nice hefty 16 oz stubby bottle. Real malty smell. Taste is a little light on carbonation but not the real sweet bite usual of a malt liquor. A little bit watery but consistent flavor through the finish. Good beer to sit out in 90 degrees and imbibe while cooking drunk chicken. Slight kick but a good sessioner in the heat. Note this beer is listed a Pabst Brewing Co. Wilkes-Barre , PA Reminds me alot of an old classic: "Green Death", Special Export from G. Heileman. (521 characters)

Photo of TheManiacalOne
2.65/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured from a 24oz can into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a light yellow color, with a short white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma contains grain, light malts, adjuncts and a faint touch of hops.

T: The taste starts out with a strong malt sweetness even for the style. Then bready flavors of grain and adjuncts follow. The hops presence is very mild but brings some balance. The after-taste is kind of sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, light-to-medium body, medium carbonation, finish is slightly sticky.

O: A little tasty, goes down easily, not too filling, decent kick, good representation of style, considering that this beer is intended to be an inexpensive way to get drunk quickly it’s not that bad, but that’s all there is to any quality in this beer. (814 characters)

Photo of mrasskicktastic
2.67/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 1.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A very pale straw yellow color with only a twinge of bubbles around the top of the brew. Very clear save some small particulates. No lacing.

S - Corn, stewed summer squash, rice and the slightest bit of grassy hops. Not the greatest smell in the world, but the abv is well masked.

T - Sweet corn, light malt and a touch of cheap vodka. Aftertaste is lingering sweet corn.

M - Smooth, thin, extremely refreshing.

D - I am thoroughly impressed. For a malt liquor, this is low in grossness and high in drinkability. If I am looking fro forties in the future, the cheap and quaffable Haffenreffer is where I'll turn. (628 characters)

Photo of mrhiccups
2.77/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Of all the American Malt Liquors, this is my choice. The smell is not that bad, detect a bit of pine smell, nothing overbearing. Since graduating to IPA's and the like, have not had too many malt liquors, but the taste is probably better than most AML's, not too thick, or overly alcoholic. I will grab one once in a while to reminisce over my college years.... (361 characters)

Photo of chOAKbarrell
2.82/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This is the first 40oz I've had in years. A friend bought it for me at a 7-11 as a joke.

I remember malt liquor as being similar in taste to the water flowing in your average city street's gutter. Suprisingly, this one really isnt that bad. The worst aspect of Haffenreffer Private Stock is the sickly pale yellow color. Not very inviting. A fairly decent-size head built up on this one (which quickly died away to nothing).

Smell is faintly of malt, with watered-down rubbing alcohol mixed in.

I suppose the taste is the strongest aspect. It is not nausea-inducing like other 40s I have had. It is made by PBR, and pretty much tastes like PBR as well. Maybe a bit stronger in the alcohol. Pleasantly ignorable as it slides down your throat and infects your bloodstream.

Mouthfeel is similar to PBR, or any other pale macro pilsner. A mildly repulsive aftertaste. Maybe this bottle is skunked.

Drinkability? Well, how many 40oz bottles can you drink in 1 sitting? Probably not more than 2, unless you are masochistic/suicidal/hate yourself/hate those around you/etc. (1,082 characters)

Photo of HardTarget
2.84/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

Bottle Inspection: Green bottle, one pint, twisty, with the only warning: store in a cool place.

Aroma: Pale malt and light wet grain meet the nose, with a subtle hop presence, noble hops? Maybe that gives it the “imported taste”.

Appearance: Clear deep yellow mug with a firm half finger of snowy white head that leaves thick sheets of lace with tidemarks.

Flavor: Wet grain is the main flavor, some mild hop, a slight metallic twang, and very light fruit ester. What I don’t taste is alcohol, which given the style, is a good sign.
As it warms a bit, the flavor goes down hill, with the metallic note growing joined by a bit of cloying sweetness. Serving Suggestion: go cold, in a frosted mug.

Mouthfeel: Light body, fizzy carbonation, dry finish.

Overall Impression: First sip brought a hiccup and a mild head rush. This isn’t bad, but it has a certain “macro” lack of taste. I’d prefer a Mickey’s myself. It needs a little depth.
Still, thanks to Pegasus for the sample, erm, sorry, shout out to my homie Peg for the hookup, yo? (1,059 characters)

Photo of BeerResearcher
2.85/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Oh No! "The Green Death"!!! In my youth, this was produced by Narragansett of Rhode Island. Today it's brewed in Indiana, but it sure brings back memories...foggy memories. Pale gold with a medium grainy body and a mildly astringent taste. The medium metallic hops with a trace of grapefruit fruit peel make you scream out for Zantac. Wet bread-like aroma is not altogether unpleasant. There's an odd assortment of watery flavors, but it's drinkable. Halfway through the glass, the alcohol kicks in and is the predominant flavor. The fine and soapy bubbles disappear quickly. It's a pretty inexpensive means to create a buzz...and if you need practice knee-walking... (667 characters)

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
2.9/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

16oz. single purchased at a local mart in Union. Pale straw color as you would find with a beer like this, smells skunky. Tastes though not bad, the skunk I smelled is barely in the taste (this was a green bottle) Overall, it is a better than average malt liquor, maybe if it was in a brown bottle it might be even better. (322 characters)

Photo of Slatetank
2.91/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

My first real-time review - picked this up for $1.50 at the Class Six, poured chilled into my DFH Shaped pint.

A - A pillowy cloud of white foam tops the straw gold after the audible pssft from the cap. The head measures about 1.5 inches and has a smooth sudsy consistency w/ a tight bead. Endless streams of bubbles rise to greet the white cap.

S - The aroma is sweet w/ a slight hop scent and the aroma of alcohol basically as expected w/ a subtle cereal or corn aroma.

M - Crisp and bubbly at first followed by a softer creamy feel mid swallow and finishes smooth w/ a sweet and gently warming feel.

T - The flavor is fairly gentle w/ of a grainy taste at first w/ more adjunct flavor noticed and corn in the flavor as it warms. There is a nice dry malt on the tongue as the carbonation adds to the creamy light malt flavors, subtle spice that only acts to complement the malts dominant role similar to a Helles bock.

D - I consider this to be a fairly good representation of the style, actually better than most, but still as far as overall drinkability for me is is just alright. (1,089 characters)

Photo of at7000
2.95/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Do they still make this stuff? And perhaps more importantly, do people still drink Haffenreffer???? Okay, I'm going to cheat on this review, and proceed entirely from memory, as the last time I sampled one was in my college days, 28 years ago. I have not had one since. Although in fairness, maybe I am fit to be a proper judge, as I must have consumed dozen upon dozen cases of the stuff. I'm really curious if the modern version, tastes anything like the version from 25 years ago. The drinking age was still 18 years old in those days.
The one poster who stated- "This was the King, the Elite of malt liquors" was right. At that time, we drunk it from green bottles, often a bit skunky tasting, something like Heineken but with an alcohol kick to it. My dorm-mates and I always had cases of this stashed for parties and beer busts. And of course, the parties had predictable results- People passed out and strewn about on the floor, fights breaking out, students running through Boston naked at 5:00am and jumping into the toxic Charles River for a swim, students disappeared for days, etc. Wild stuff. Forget Mezcal con gusano, absinthe, etc... Haffenreffer will take your mind places it does not want to go, places where it should not go. When consumed in mass quantities, it feels more like magic mushroom trip than an alcohol buzz. But getting back to taste- We would freeze these things, and they would slide down easy, smooth for a malt liquor and had a dry finish even. I have not seen it for years in any stores, this might be a regional thing. I will have to hunt some down for old times sake! Remember the little symbol puzzles on the bottom of the cap??? Classic stuff. (1,684 characters)

Photo of Hibernator
2.95/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Haffenreffer Private Stock
40 oz green bottle
Served mainly out of the bottle, but also used an 8 oz juice glass for appearance

* Summer 2006 Malt Liquor Review Series: Part I *

Pours a shiny and golden shade of yellow. There was a sudsy head, but it vanished quickly. Tiny carbonation bubbles race to the top of the glass.

Whiffs of corn and rice.

First sip provides flavors of a basic cereal mix. Hints of corn and grains. A tad sweet and straightforward at first, but there is a nice mini hop snap on the finish. This is the kind of beer that is definitely better the colder it is and out of the bottle.

At $2.39 for a 40 oz bottle, I think this has to be one of best malt liquors on the market. Not all that bad when price and drinkability level are factored in. (786 characters)

Photo of Beeeeeerman
3/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This was my most beloved beer growing up in RI and we used to call it Green Death because of the colors of cans and bottles. It is a malt liquor so it is strong. I used to get six packs of it in 16 ounce containers for about 2 dollars. (237 characters)

Photo of Wetpaperbag
3.02/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

You know 40oz should be a serving type. I'm also guessing that this one was sitting in the sun for a while. I'm looking forward to malt liquor...with the import taste. Thanks to IBUnit63 for sending this one as my losings in the LNBA 09 FF.

A- Super clear straw colored beer with a good head to it. Seems pretty standard so far.

S- A good deal of grain straw comes though with this astringent alcohol smell mixed in. There is something that is kinda fruity in smell most likely as a result of the lager yeast.

T- There isn't much of a taste here. I am getting a great deal of a metallic taste though. Other then that this is pretty tasteless. I would equate this to carbonated water mixed with a weak barley tea.

M- Fizzy with a good deal of carbination.

D- Well water is pretty drinkable, and so is soda water, so yeah this has drinkability. (849 characters)

Photo of barczar
3.03/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Spent a good week in the car, so...

Pours a brilliant light golden yellow with a foamy one inch white head that dissipates somewhat quickly with large bubbles.

Corn, grain, and alcohol esters are accompanied by light floral notes. There's a bit of a solvent scent.

Flavor is somewhat sweet, with a grainy astringent character hitting mid palate, finishing slightly bready. The underlying estery alcohol character dominates as it warms.

Body is moderate, with carbonation moderate to a touch high, and a hint of alcohol burn.

Not very experienced in the malt liquor region, but it's better than some I've had. Definitely hot, but at least the esters aren't offputting, and there is some malt backbone. (705 characters)

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Haffenreffer Private Stock from Private Stock Brewing Co.
74 out of 100 based on 65 ratings.