Haffenreffer Private Stock
Private Stock Brewing Co.

Haffenreffer Private StockHaffenreffer Private Stock
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Style:
American Malt Liquor
ABV:
6.9%
Score:
68
Avg:
2.96 | pDev: 25.34%
Reviews:
67
Ratings:
116
From:
Private Stock Brewing Co.
 
Massachusetts, United States
Avail:
Retired (no longer brewed)
Wants
  18
Gots
  10
SCORE
68
Poor
Haffenreffer Private StockHaffenreffer Private Stock
Notes:
View: Beers
Reviews: 67 | Ratings: 116 | Log in to view all ratings and sort
Reviews by Todd:
Photo of Todd
3.76/5  rDev +27%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: One pint (16oz) custom, fat, green, twist-off bottle. The one thing that sticks with me about this beer is the bottle cap. The inside has those cool picture puzzles where you try to make a word or saying. Mine has "rush" + a hen + a dress + a sink = Russian Dressing. Hehehe ... how lame is that? Serving instructions suggest that I serve it "well cooled in a tall glass or on the rocks." It also states that it's the "Malt Liquor ... with the imported taste." Classy stuff.

Appearance: Crystal clear gold with the thinnest of white laces. Dissipates to no lace eventually.

Smell: Clean smelling. Light grain and steely aromas.

Taste: Full bodied. Smooth. Malt flavour is steady, light. Mild sweetness. Soft herbal hop flavours. Bitterness is lemony with a brief sharpness. Finishes a bit dry with grain notes and residual sweetness. You can't really taste the alcohol, but you can feel it on your brain. Eating it.

Notes: This is it. This is why I was born, to drink Haffenreffer all day long until I become comatose. In my opinion, the best malt liquor on the market. Be careful of this beer. It's instant crazy juice. 6.87% alcohol by volume.

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More User Reviews:
Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.58/5  rDev +20.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #44 (Sep 2010):

Good ol' Green Death always came across as a respected beer among its peers. Filtered clear-golden color; crack- ling white head only leaves a thin ring of lace. Bit of sweet-cooked corn in the somewhat clean nose--yes, even malt liquors want to be smelt up. Big smoothness with a snap of crispness. Clean and on the sweet side. Some bitterness from the hops and a kiss of alcohol help to balance. Drinkable with a clean finish; a charmer compared to the rougher of its ilk.

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Photo of bewareOFpenguin
1.9/5  rDev -35.8%
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.

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Photo of Jason
3.52/5  rDev +18.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A well rounded malt liquor with not many flaws at all, minimal head and thin malt with cereal grain flavours and aromas. Sad they stopped doing the fat quart bottles, now all I see are 22 oz, 40 oz. and pints ... though the pints come in six packs.

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Photo of Pegasus
3.68/5  rDev +24.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Medium golden color with a small snow-white head, moderate carbonation, lots of broken lace. Aroma is grainy and fairly sweet, quite pleasant overall. Taste begins with smooth malts, and a sting of carbonation, citrus hop bitterness in the middle of the taste, towards the finish sweet and warming alcohol notes appear. Smooth mouthfeel and very easy to drink, quite pleasing in every way. At $1.89 for a forty ounce bottle, this is a dead on bargain.

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Photo of TastyTaste
1.78/5  rDev -39.9%
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.

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Photo of IrishRedRock
3.59/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

"Sippin on Private Stock, way back when I had the red and black Lumberjack, with the hat to match" -- Notorious BIG

Ah, the Private Stock. Infamous. Malt liquor, with the imported taste! Fancy looking label on this here green 40 oz bottle. I have a personal law that 40's need to be swilled straight from the bottle, preferably inside a brown bag. But for reviewing purposes, I poured some of this into a pint glass. Textbook clear golden color with a pillowy white head, that quickly turns to a fine lace. Aroma is grassy and malty. Mouthfeel is actually quite nice, especially in comparison to other malt liquors. Smooth with no harsh metallic or rice aftertaste. Subtle hint of alcohol in the finish, following the somewhat malty middle. As far as 40's of Malt Liquor go, this is the one to get, in my opinion. Even not undrinkable when it warms up a little, though I still wouldnt recommend it. This is the king of the dirty 40 oz.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
3.28/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From a fat, green, quart bottle - but without a funny saying under the screw-top cap! I guess I'm screwed!

A crystal clear-golden body is topped by an inch or more of bright-white foam that holds exceptionally well and actually leaves thin sheets of lace about the glass. They eventually erode into nothingness but form anew an inch or so above the level of the beer as it drops. Thousands of very fine bubbles race towards the surface, adding to the appearance and helping to maintain its solid head. Quite a nice appearance - especially for a malt liquor! The nose is clean and expresses a mild fruitiness over a lightly grainy malt and some grassy/floral hops. The body is solidly medium; and its crisp in the mouth. The flavor delivers the slightly grainy/adjunct laden malt that's common for the style, but it's not as sweet as many examples. There's a low-level bitterness that helps to dry it out; and even some very mild hop flavor. It finishes crisp and dry with a minimal note of residual semi-sweet malt. The alcohol is very well hidden and doesn't appear until close to the end of a 32 oz. bottle. An impressive malt liquor!

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Photo of BeerResearcher
2.85/5  rDev -3.7%
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...

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Photo of feloniousmonk
1.75/5  rDev -40.9%
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!

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Photo of JISurfer
3.91/5  rDev +32.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 5

I was reluctant to buy this when I saw the 32oz for $1.19 and it said it had the imported taste. I laughed to myself and decided to take a gamble. After all, that is what Beer advocacy is about, taking chances and explaining those risks to others. Well, I can honestly say that this was a good risk on my part. This is by far THE best malt liquour I have ever had. It was a nice lighter on the malts kind and had more flavor than just alcohol, like most malt liquours. I really noted the strong taste of creamy butter with some malts. It had a creamy mouthfeel as well, to go with the buttery taste. Will I get this again? Oh yeah!!!

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Photo of HardTarget
2.84/5  rDev -4.1%
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?

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Photo of chaduvel
1.52/5  rDev -48.6%
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.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
2.5/5  rDev -15.5%
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.

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Photo of fdrich29
3.2/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

16 fl. oz. bottle. Haffenreffer Private Stock Malt Liquor...with the imported taste. The label advises to store this product in a cool place.

This is my 50th review. I was going to give the honor to one of the Best of BA brews in my beer fridge but decided to go with the Haff (I always thoght it was Heff?) because this was my first BA experience, from a certain point of view.

I started drinking beer when I was 17 and early on I knew I didn't like Bud or Coors. I wasn't drinking Belgian's or anything, I hadn't even found Guinness at that point, but I did find Haffenreffer and there was something about it I liked better than Bud. So for reasons of a sentimental nature I make Haffenreffer my 50th review.

Pours a crisp golden color, looks like ginger ale. Smells sweet, malty and of alcohol. Very little head to speak of. What little there was disappeared almost as quickly as my youth.

Not a lot of taste, but there is sweetness and malt. Smooth mouthfeel, leaves some lingering bitterness at the end. Easy to drink. Don't forget to check under the cap for the puzzle. Mine was 7 and the spade symbol.

I have no memory of how this tasted 8 years ago when I first tried it or if there has been much change. Can't think of an occasion I'd go out and buy this now but it sure did bring back memories.

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Photo of drabmuh
3.07/5  rDev +3.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

New tradition starting tonight, 40 ounce Thursdays. For the following several months, every Thursday possible, I will review beers served in 40 ounce bottles or beers that are on the "Bottom of the Barrel List"...tonight I'm starting with a shining star of the Malt liquor world...in a distant THIRD PLACE HAFFENREFFER! by Pabst. Beer poured from the 40 into a half liter glass.

Beer is yellow and clear and heavily carbonated. Forms a pretty thick head that leaves some lacing on the glass. Neat. The carbonation is really big bubbles that rise quickly through the beer. Makes the beer appear pretty thin, which I suppose is accurate. Looks fine.

You won't believe me but it kind of smells like a bar of soap. Shit, I have to drink this whole thing? Damn it.

It tastes like nothing at first, then really sweet, then like boiled corn. D'oh! Beer is thin and there is surprisingly little carbonation on the palate. There is no real bitterness but there is an aftertaste that grows. It gets better the more I drink but its not going to get to "good" anytime soon. As far as malt liquor is concerned....eh, I guess I'll develop a palate for them over the coming months.

I drank the whole thing, this beer eventually started to dry my mouth out.

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Photo of steinlifter
3.14/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 2 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

ahh! Private Stock!...Many beer memories as a ute, drinkin this stuff!...well, let's see....
appearance, classic 40 oz. green bottle , label proclaiming to have the "imported taste"!!..pour left no head,clear yellow, that is actually deeper than most of the brews in this vain.
smell was not as repugnant as I thought it might be, actually not too bad,..might even detect a whiff of hops in there! Taste really was not that bad either, no worse than a Bud, or Miller, etc.... slightly sweet, but not sickeningly so, ghost like hops. fairly smooth without an unpleasant aftertaste.
mouthfeel was fairly full, and creamy.
In the final analyses, I'd have to say, better than a lot of cheap stuff, and no worse than the big 3!...I was amusingly surprised!...I thought it'd be GOD AWFUL!....but not so... wish it had the friggin riddle on the cap!...That was half the charm!
edit: Nasty hangover followed!..not recommended.

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Photo of woodychandler
2.49/5  rDev -15.9%
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.

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Photo of ramrod666
3.62/5  rDev +22.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

i purchased a case of this stuff on a whim. I was impressed to say the least. i've had many malt liquours in my time but, this is now my favorite.
this beer pours straw yellow with a very small head that eventually disappears completely. the taste is not overly sweet as most malts are but, crisp and refreshing. This will definately be making its way back into my fridge at $9.99 a case. Damn that's cheap! Malt Liquor....whith the imported taste, a stretch but so drinkable. Trying to not drink too many of these and go to work will be a challenge at 6.9%. will have fun trying though.

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Photo of Hibernator
2.95/5  rDev -0.3%
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.

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Photo of DrJay
3.36/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

24oz can. Clear, bright gold with a thin collar of white bubbles and a bit of slightly sticky lace. It doesn't smell like much at all, maybe a bit of sweetness and cereal - that's about it. Bitterness was almost non-existent. Quite sweet, slight cereal and grain flavours. Clean overall with just a hint of fruitiness in the finish. Not too much alcohol flavour or warmth either. Medium bodied with coarse carbonation that thankfully was fairly low and mellowed after about 15 minutes. Overall, not bad. It's clean and about as inoffensive as you're going to get from this style.

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Photo of TheDeuce
2.62/5  rDev -11.5%
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...

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Photo of Noelito76
3.25/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Photo of BEERchitect
3.23/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

To my surprise, this is actually a pretty good American lager. Of course there is that adjunct-laded emptiness where the meat-and-potatoes of the beer should be, but the beer has a medium malt / grain balance with few flaws. The medium straw color gives a foamstand that is both fizzy and replentishing. Efforvescent carbonation gives a light prickle on the mouth. Clear and bright throughout. Aromas of sweetness (corn sugars) help the malts, but also gives the beer an artificial taste and texture. Light on the vegitable, grain, and sulfurs for ease of drinking. Quite clean throughout, but with a persistant residual corn sweetness that detracts from the malts in the end.

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Photo of baldmasterflex
3.1/5  rDev +4.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

After hearing such good reviews about this malt i decided to give it a shot. And after finding a 24-pack of 16 ounce cans for under $12 at my favorite local distributor, i couldnt resist.

The label claims that it is the "malt liquor with the imported taste." I cant agree with this statement more. Upon the first sip i am reminded of a Becks or a Heineken, but shortly thereafter i am hit with a definite reminder of its malt nature. I must say that this is by far the best malt liquor i have ever tried. It is much lighter in the mouth, without the repulsive taste of familiar malts; it is also smoother in the throat, as well as being lighter in the stomach than any other malt liquor i have tried. If you want a cheap, pallatable, 6.87% serving of alchohol you cant go wrong with this selection.

I did not take into consideration the coloration or actual appearance of the liquid since i was trying to keep it ghetto ... enjoying it striaght out of the can.

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Haffenreffer Private Stock from Private Stock Brewing Co.
Beer rating: 68 out of 100 with 116 ratings