Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The malt liquor with the imported taste

Haffenreffer was usually was the go to beverage in my younger years . . . like when I was in high school and it was the only thing us whippersnappers could score . . . to get sh!tfaced.  In those days, we didn’t think we were drunk enough until we could no longer feel our teeth.  It’s not easy getting to that point without spewing Haffenreffer from every orifice but we seemed to be able to achieve that goal more often then I’d like to remember . . . well maybe I don’t actually remember the experience too well.

So now that I’m older and more experienced, I tend to opt for more refined beverages.  I also have a better sense of drinking in moderation  . . . drinking for pleasure not for getting ‘faced.

So why, I’m sure you're asking yourself, am I writing about Haffenreffer and, worse yet, how I could actually bring myself to drink it again?  You can blame my beloved spouse who happened upon an article about Haffenreffer and suggested that it might make an interesting blogpost. And, I was kind of curious, too.  What would the drink of my delinquent youth taste like now that I'm all sophistimacated?

The question, then, is this . . . are you interested?

If so, read on . . . 

Haffenreffer Private Stock is labeled as a malt liquor with an imported taste.  I can’t tell you what “imported” is supposed to taste like and I can't imagine whose keeping a private stash of this stuff but I can explain what malt liquor is.

All traditional malt liquor is beer but not all beer is malt liquor.  (Traditional malt liquor as opposed to something like Mike's Hard Lemonade, which is labeled as malt liquor.)

Malt liquor is brewed using bottom fermenting yeast . . . which means the yeast sinks to the bottom of the tank and feeds off of the malted barley and whatever adjuncts like rice, corn, and sugar are used.   Malt liquor tends to be sweeter and less bitter . . .  sweeter because those adjuncts are always added, less bitter because little to no hops are used.   Because of the ingredients, malt liquor tends to be a low quality brew with a high alcohol content.  So the end product is a cheap means to an intoxicating end . . . probably a hang over, too.

Cheap? A resounding yes!  This is probably the major contributing factor as to why we were drinking it as kids.  I think I paid $3.00 for a 40 ouncer of the green bottled, skunky smelling, watered down tasting stuff . . . but I drank it and did manage to catch a buzz.  Like I said, cheap and intoxicating.

It tasted like the same old crap but I did notice a difference . . . a big one . . . from the Haffenreffer of my youth.  In the olden days, there used to be puzzle under the cap . . . screw cap  . . . that we would try to solve after we swilled the bottles contents.  Nowadays?  No puzzle . . . poop.

Now, here’s the interesting . . . if not amusing . . . part of this experiment.  Our friends don't seem to pay much attention to what we drink.  I could pop open a $21 craft brew and no one bats an eye.  But when I bust open some cheap ass beer everyone’s ears perk up and the comments start flying.

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