Peg Leg Imperial Stout | Heavy Seas Beer

1,413 Ratings
no score
Send samples
Peg Leg Imperial StoutPeg Leg Imperial Stout

Brewed by:
Heavy Seas Beer
Maryland, United States

Style: Russian Imperial Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.00%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
Deep mahogany in color with aromas of roasted coffee, molasses and dark chocolate. Subtly hopped, making it astonishingly smooth and easy drinking for such a big beer.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 09-03-2004

For Trade:
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters
Ratings: 1,413 |  Reviews: 698
Photo of smibroncos
3.31/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A. Poured a red coffee color with an ample brown creamy head and good lacing.

S.Coffee, roasted malt,

T. Bitter-sweet, coffee, dark chocolate, malt, alcohol

M. Full bodied, lightly carbonated, creamy

D. A good imperial stout lots of coffe and dark chocolate flavor

 269 characters

Photo of mpyle
4.18/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

App - Very nearly opaque, but shoes some red hue under fairly bright lights. Pours a decent tan head, creamy and with good retention.

Smell - Dark fruit (raisin) and some chocolate. Roasty with a bit of alcohol. Rich, clean aroma.

Taste - Chocolate and coffee tinged roasty malts dominate the early flavor. Finishes roasty bitter with a slight lingering chocolate sweetness. Some alcohol flavor, but it is complimentary and secondary, and well within the style.

MF - Med-full body, medium carbonation, no astringency, but a very nice gentle level of alcohol warming.

D'ability - Being on the low end of ABV for an Imp Stout, and tasting like a big stout rather than a cartoonish huge beer makes it eminently drinkable. Finds the sweet spot between big and flavorful and overpowering.

 790 characters

Photo of beachbum1975
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Brown 12 ounce bottle with a freshness date marked stating - drink before May of 2009. Got this in a variety 12 pack, so let's see how it drinks... Consumed 4/1/2009.

Pours into my over-sized cab glass a dark, clear brown, but as it sits in the glass, I can't see through it. 1/2 inch, average, medium tan head with average retention.

Smells of light cardboard, sweet, malty coffee flavors. The nose is rather light overall, on this one - especially for it being a RIS...

Like the nose, a big wave of sweet malts starts in and follows with a medium rush of coffee flavors. The coffee flavor is average... In other words, it's not screaming fresh, burnt or coffee grinds. There are hints of chocolate in the mix, but it is in no way a dominant flavor.

Nice and easy drinker, but a weaker example for its' style. Can't beat the price - worth a try...

 852 characters

Photo of drink1121
2.82/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 2 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I think stouts are def one of the best looking beers, especially when made right. I was extremely disappointed with this beer overall and it started from the moment I poured it.

A- Very disappointing. The only thing it had going for it was nice lacing. The head poured to about 1 finger and disappeared immediately.

S - Nothing here really. Light coffee.

T - Coffee here for sure. Light toffee.

M - Doesnt feel like a RIS at all, more like a everyday ale.

D - WIth no big flavor or creaminess, its easy to drink, maybe i will play beer pong with it.

 555 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3.95/5  rDev +8.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz single bottle poured into a unlabeled pint glass.

A- Clipper City Peg Leg comes out of the bottle dirty brown and once settled in the glass it has a black look to it although it really is a dark brown color. A nice inch tan/beige head graced the top with good retention, ok lacing.

S- Reminds me of a much lighter version of Brooklyn BCS with roasted malts, grains and chocolate. Not getting any coffee and the hops have died down. The smell while not powerful is nice to sniff.

T- Peg Leg is just ok right out of the fridge but some warming made me see the light. Roasted malts, sweet chocolate, cocco and no bitterness at all. While others have noted coffee I just don't pick up on it. Creamy smooth milk chocolate esque.

M- Very smooth and goes down all to easy, medium bodied with light carbonation. One of the smoothest stouts that i've had the pleasure to drink in a while. The flavors come and then quickly dissapear.

D- When warm I could of literally drank the entire beer with ease quickly, although I probably would of took a nap afterwards with the 8%. Not complex enough to be classified as a RIS and it's bordering on not being imperial in my mind but close enough. In fact this is a nice change of pace from the big daddy stouts I find myself drinking all to often.

 1,289 characters

Photo of Yesac
4.17/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Date on bottle says Feb. 08 (13 months old)

A - Solid black.. thin tan head

S - Sweet over all, roasted malts, dark fruits. Not a typical stout aroma. Almost like a barleywine.

T - chocolate and roasted malt. mild spice.

M - Medium bodied. Frothy mouthfeel.

D - Smooth and fairly complex. Price and taste make this one easier to drink.

Solid stout, and seems to age well.

 380 characters

Photo of cdizinno
3.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Purchase before notched dat of APR '?? (Can't see the year notch but I believe it is '09)

A: Pours black with no visible light showing when held up to or directly over light. Slim tan head with minimal lacing.

S: Very mild roasted aroma with a hint of dark chocolate.

T & M: Very mild and not much of a taste at first. However, the more I sip the better it gets. Over the course of the beer I get more of an after taste of dark chocolate. It has a consistent, minimal roasted coffee flavor, but hidden behind the mild dark chocolate taste.
Medium to light bodied.

Not my favorite stout and definitely not good if categorized as 'imperial' but it is very good if you are a regular beer/ale person and enjoy a mildly flavored drink.

 736 characters

Photo of goatgoat
3.98/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Best by: March '09.

Pours an opaque black. A heavy dark tan head forms and falls within a few minutes. A light bit of stick foam here and there.
Aroma is heavy, dark fruit, chocolate. Slight and hard to find hop aroma as well as a bit of alcohol.
Taste is big, malty, and roasted. This gives way to a balanced moderate bitterness. Finish is gently bitter with some remaining chocolate. Surprisingly clear flavor for a RIS. I enjoy it.
Very low carbonation which does lend to a bit of a watery feel. But otherwise very smooth and silky.

This isn't the biggest RIS. But it's a solid one. One of the few I'd drink more than one of in an evening.

 644 characters

Photo of becktone
3.35/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

From notes 2-12-09

Done horizontally with Yeti Imperial Stout

Eye: To begin with this one poured very nicely, black in color with a nice tan head. However the head has collapsed to a fairly thick blanket-1/3 finger. The texture of the head also is not as appetizing as the Yeti...this one is closer to soapy in appearance with some spotty lacing, well after taking a few sips there is no lacing, and this is out of a glass that always givs me good formation, retention, and lacing. Formation was nice, but retention needs work.

Nose: Big aroma fills the room once the bottle is opened and even moreso once it is decanted. At about a foot away I can get huge dark malt character and some chocolate tones. On closer inspection there is some dark fruit in there as well...plums. Also some coffee tones and roasted tones but both these are more in the background. I also get some lactose in here, like a cold glass of milk smells. When compared side to side with Yeti, this one pales in comparison. Its hops and burnt characteristics come through more clearly when side to side and seem out of place. The aroma was initially stronger when poured, it filled the room but after getting Yeti's aroma, this one is much less robust. The more I smell it the less I like it, the more it pales in comparison to Yeti.

Tongue: One of my first impressions is this is a bit watery. Big coffee notes follow that as well as big/heavily roasted/burnt flavors. Malt sweetness is akin to that of malt balls. This one leads toward the sweeter side of the specturm, those coffee notes playing off the malt sweetness. After coming back to it, this one definitely seems to have some lactose in it. It is really playing towards the malty side, not enough bitterness or roasted grain to balance it out in my opinion.

Feel and Drinkability: Low carbonation hurts this beer. I think that it should be a bit higher, it would help to offset the sweetness of this one, yet at the same time it would take away from the creamy milky feel I get here. The body on this is full yet it feels a bit thin all the same. Flavor is fairly long lasting, that malt sweetness being the dominant flavor in the aftertaste balanced by some bitterness from roasted grains and black malt. Coffee is there in the aftertaste as well to lend some balance. This is one I'd consider drinking again, yet I think I'll prolly be going for the Yeti in the future when it comes to these two. Feel is overall lacking, and I think it has something to do with the overtly sweet charcter of this beer, there's not enough roasted grain bitterness, the style should have more. At first I could find it, but after drinking Yeti, I can't even place it, that's how low in character that roasted grain and black malt bitterness is. Again I feel that there is some creamy milkiness in here, and yes it works well with the sweetness. However, I'm begining to find this one much more difficult to drink, it just doesn't hit me right.

 2,967 characters

Photo of kbeals
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out relatively thick with a deep black appearance with virtually no head and no lacing whatsoever. There is a bit of a brown-sugar colored crown, but that's it. Smell was of roasted coffee and bitter dark chocolates. Also a bit of an aromatic, almost fruity smell. Taste was very roasted, a bit of sweetness and booziness to it. Finishes off a little bitter from the dark chocolate. This beer was very smooth with not much carbonation. Had a medium body at best. It wasn't my favorite stout, but it is relatively drinkable even at 8% ABV. I hardly felt the alcohol after one.

 581 characters

Photo of biegaman
3.52/5  rDev -3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Perhaps "black-ish" but most certainly not black; I might even go so far as to say brown when being held into the light. It fails to look at all thick, the appearance is more syrupy. The tiny bubbles that once floated about like constellations have, along with every other sign of carbonation, completely vanished. Stouts that look weak usually are...

The aroma gives a solid push back in the right direction although I'm not convinced yet. These notes of syrupy, sweet chocolate and heavily roasted malts are undeniably pleasant but far from what I'd consider complex or gratifying. Cocoa powder and instant coffee can only take you so far. Besides, the scent seems to have faded fast.

Peg Leg drinks great - if it were an American Porter. It has plenty of bittersweet chocolate, flat coffee, and a significant amount of green, zesty hops - more than fine if it were a porter. Unfortunately, its creators deemed this an RIS, a style where the bar is set much higher. This would need a lot more malt, complexity, and distinction to be a player in that league.

With a little more warmth it reminds me of a cold hot chocolate or the fudge topping for dressing ice cream. Most of this, I believe, is conjured by the fact that it shares the same kind of unauthentic chocolate flavouring. There seems to be a touch of lactose even. This drinks infinitely "easier" than a typical RIS but it also trades in all the character and most of the taste. I'd rather take my time with a bigger, better beer.

A really good RIS is something you couldn't even drink standing up because it makes you buckle at the knees. Not because of it's strength but because of how wonderfully, fantastically, mind-blowingly incredible it can be. This is a fine beer, no doubt, but I think the name "Peg Leg" adequately indicates to expect a stunted example of an Imperial Stout.

The fact that the write-up describes the beer as "dangerously dark yet very drinkable" reveals a lot about who this beer was intended for. The suggestion that a beer could actually be dark *and* enjoyable is presented as something untypical, shocking even (dark *yet* drinkable!). The word "dangerously" also implies that dark beer is something to be weary of. Clearly, this isn't intended for aficionados...

 2,264 characters

Photo of sonicdescent
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a black with brown highlights around the edges. Head is nice and foamy but quickly becomes a crown. Doesn't pour extremely thick.

Smells of sweet molasses, dark fruit. Roasted malts are present but in the background.

Tastes very creamy and has a coffee/chocolate aftertaste. I am having difficulty detecting much else. Even the molasses and fruit from the nose are barely present if at all. Goes down like a milk stout.

Feel on the other hand is superb, very thick and medium on the carbonation.

I wouldn't likely buy this again. It wasn't bad, just really not anything that would driver me here over some other readily available impys.

 648 characters

Photo of DoctorDog
3.96/5  rDev +9.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz. bottle into a nonic. "For Brewery-Fresh Taste, Purchase Before" is notched at May 09.

A- Deep brown/black, completely opaque in appearance. Pours with 1 1/2+ fingers of light brown head, which fades fairly quickly, leaving a thin cap. Good lacing.

S- Sweet, earthy notes dominate the nose. Nothing offensive, but not much going on here.

T- Quite sweet, malty cocoa, with a bit of roasty/coffee. Alcohol is essentially imperceptible. For a brew this sweet, surprisingly tasty blend. I can't quite pin down exactly why, but this is really doing it for me.

M- Medium-full, smooth, and pretty creamy. Despite a bit of lacking in fullness, I'm enjoying this.

D- Quite good. Goes down incredibly quickly for a RIS. This has the makings of an absolute knockout dessert stout, or dare I say it...getting wild and making a beer float.

Future outlook: For a beer this sweet, this was surprisingly enjoyable, and one that I look forward to purchasing again specifically for dessert pairings.

 1,006 characters

Photo of scottyshades
3.83/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a deep rich brown that actually looks black. No light seeps thru this brew, just a nice brown highlight around the edges. Even when poured aggressively, the coffee colored head is only one finger wide, which perhaps prevented me from giving the appearance a 5.

S: Very sweet nose, primarily molasses, coffee, toffee, and burnt malts. Also, when the beer settles to the right temperature, dark fruits become noticeable

T: Again, sweet flavor profile, but nicely balanced. Although the hop character isnt too noticeable, I was still able to notice the hops when I was looking for them. The notes in the profile include; burnt malts, molasses (and no shortage of it), coffee, dark fruit, and just enough hops.

MF/D: Very smooth, nice body on this brew (although more body would not have hurt), sweet going down, and does not finish as dry as I had anticipated.

Overall a nice offering from Clipper City, and I must say that I am looking forward to their other brews as soon as I can locate some!

 1,007 characters

Photo of Seanibus
3.7/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours jet black with a fluffy, slow developing off-color head that falls fairly quickly. The aroma is roasted and sharp, rather sweet, with a bite of alcohol. The Flavor is thinner than you might expect, with a roasted, plummy, chocolate-like character. There is a flat woodiness on the finish and the alcohol comes out on the back end. The alcohol leaves a boozy burn down the throat. The mouthfeel is thin, but a little milky, with a sharp bite of carbonation.

Not bad, but a little sweeter than I'd like and the alcohol is not well integrated

 546 characters

Photo of dfillius
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Served in a wine glass. Enjoyed with pumpkin pie, chocolate chips and vegan pumpkin ice cream.

A: Moderate pour yields 1/2 finger of off-white head that quickly dissipates. Clear and dark reddish brown - should be darker.
S: Chocolate cake, alcohol and tropical fruit. Not much smell at all though.
T: Modest cocoa and slight coffee; rich chocolate upon further contemplation. Some fruitiness also but kind of off fruit - like Hitachino Nest lacto-stout. I would give more points if this were an imperial lacto stout.
M: Very smooth - again, lacto?. The creamy mouthfeel is my favorite part of this beer.
D: Good, like I could have a couple. But this is an RIS, it shouldn't be this drinkable, and it is lacking in smell and taste, so minus points.

 749 characters

Photo of PerzentRizen
3.56/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a Duvel glass this beer's color is just how I like my stouts dark and oily looking. The head does not stay and the lacing even reduces to nothing which is a bit disappointing.

The smell is a bit muted but reveals coffee and tart dark chocolate - yum.

Taste is so much like Old Rasputin I can't even believe it. It has a dried fruit, coffee, and bittersweet chocolate flavor (very background) that is very tasty. The only thing here is there is a bit of a vinegar/tannin finish that is not so appealing. If that were not there this would get a 5.0 in my opinion.

Mouthfeel is a bit light for my taste. The light mouthfeel does make this a more drinkable beer and I may go grab another. In fact I think I will!

 723 characters

Photo of Brad007
3.31/5  rDev -8.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours the color of pitch black with a very thin brown head into my pint glass.

Aroma is nice and full of roasted coffee that dominates. Only a small hint of chocolate.

Taste is dominated by the roasted malt, imparting a nice roasted coffee flavor with a bit of astringency in the middle. Not much else seems to be there.

Mouthfeel is full of astringency with only roasted coffee and alcohol warmth.

Seems rather uninspiring for an imperial stout. You could do worse but this really isn't special in any sense of the way.

 526 characters

Photo of TMinton22
4/5  rDev +10.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a opaque dark black, with a thin khaki colored head.

Smell: Smells of sweet hocolate, and dark raisins with a hint of coffee. Also, some roasted malts.

Taste: Sweet chocolate and dark raisins with a lingering milky aftertaste. Bitter up front, but more balanced the rest of the way. The alcohol is hidden pretty well.

Mouthfeel: medium bodied

Drinkability: Pretty decent stout to just drink. Isn't overly special

 436 characters

Photo of jnn4v
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is my default beer when I'm in the mood for an Imperial Stout, and it's the beer by which I set the middle-of-the-road benchmark for all Imperial Stouts. It has a very neutral flavor for that genre - some chocolate, some coffee, some alcohol, but not extreme in any dimension. Very well balanced. Excellent with strong-flavored foods, and a great value overall. Seriously, it's a bargain-priced imperial stout with acceptable quality. What's not to like here?

A: Dark brown / black and very thick. Opaque.

S: Toasted / burned malts. Hints of coffee and chocolate.

T: It has a very neutral flavor for that genre - some chocolate, some coffee, some alcohol, but not extreme in any dimension. Very well balanced.

M: Not quite as thick as its appearance or as some other imperial stouts, but it's definitely a mouthful.

D: Very drinkable. One of the most easily drinkable imperial stouts I've had.

 906 characters

Photo of mmmbeer
3.85/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with two identical labels, conditioned, with June '08 notched; sampled a month before that. Brewed with English pale, crystal and chocolate malts, roasted barley, and hopped with Fuggles and Styrian Goldings. The beer is just about black, with an inch of fairly frothy head that eventually reduces to nothing, and leaves little lacing. Dark and sweet chocolate in the nose, with roasted and coffee notes, some earthiness, a touch of ethanol, and some slowly-emerging green hops. The flavor is almost identical, but with the addition of a medium bitterness. The body is dry and at times powdery, with lively carbonation and a medium finish. A very easy-to-drink imperial stout. Not a huge, over-the-top version, but solid.

 735 characters

Photo of Onenote81
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep brownish black with about a half inch tan head on top. Retention was lacking. Decent webbing on glass edge. No sip rings. Smelled of espresso, slight cocoa, some citrus, and bread.

Creamy mouthfeel. Velvety smoothness coats the palate as this is sipped. Taste is pretty underwhelming. Comes across more like a regular stout rather than a RIS. Some hints of cocoa and coffee, finishes slightly tart. Very easy to drink. Nothing horrible about this beer, but nothing that spectacular either.

 504 characters

Photo of Buebie
3.94/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to gford217 & d0b for this nice extra.

Date notched on the bottle is May '09.

Poured from a 12oz brown bottle into a snifter. Semi rigerous pour produces a smallish half inch light brown head. Spotty thin lace and no retention. Black in color, no light penetration.

Aroma is pretty nutty with a chocolate mixture and cocoa nibs. Mild hints of coffee, sweet lactose aroma, and cereal grains.

Mouthfeel gives way to a pretty generous amount of carbonation disapearing at the swallow. Its mildly slick with a touch of heavy cream.
Creamy dairy like sweetness comes in at the swallow with more chocolate and a cocoa powder flavor.
No alcahol warming at the knose or on the pallet. I do appreciate that. I really liked this one. Another hit from Heavy Seas.

It seems like more and more RIS' are going after who can get the most alcahol in there. Solvent and RIS do not go hand in hand and this is spot on for the style. Nothing amazing, but definatly a great RIS.

 970 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.05/5  rDev -16%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Peg is punching out of its weight class.

Nothing wrong with this beer, but it should lower its expectations down a notch to American Double, or even a regular stout. It's very thin for an RIS, the nose is nothing to write home about, & the overall taste is pretty standard. A little toast, bit o' malt, chocolate, etc. Nothing stands out.

Not a bad beer by any means, but unable to rise above the crowd.

 407 characters

Photo of TheTrevor
3.45/5  rDev -5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This beer poured a dark opaque brown with a two-finger tan head. The smell is mostly toasted malt with some coffee and chocolate characteristics. The taste starts off of with some bittersweet chocolate-tasting malt that's followed by a dark fruitiness that's cut with some coffee and bitterness that gives way to a little alcohol in the finish. The mouthfeel is fairly thick with some fine carbonation. This is a pretty heavy sitting beer, but I wouldn't expect anything else from a Russian Imperial. My socks weren't knocked off, but for the price I think it's definitely worth a try.

 585 characters

Peg Leg Imperial Stout from Heavy Seas Beer
3.63 out of 5 based on 1,413 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.