Heavy Seas - Peg Leg Imperial Stout | Heavy Seas Beer

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Heavy Seas - Peg Leg Imperial StoutHeavy Seas - Peg 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

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Reviews: 696 | Ratings: 1,401
Photo of ism
4.02/5  rDev +10.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

1-finger sandy tan head rescinds gracefully tiny bubble by bubble into a nearly obaque dark brown body with ruby highlights, leaving piddling lacing. Chocolate and coffee with a refreshing spicey hop note. Moderate carbonation in a medium-full body, fluffy and just slightly astringent, roasted malts, just a tad biscuity. Goes down clean with a pleasant refreshing finish. Hides the alcohol nicely. Very well-balanced but not as rich as it could be.

Bottle tagged as Oct 06 so I assume it's the new recipe.

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Photo of Fish113d
3.63/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Needing to hit my stash of brews in the closet, this seems to be the one i need most after a long day at work and dealing with an 8 month old puppy! ARGH!

Pouring at room temperature into a tulip glass, it pours a dark brown color, mostly opaque with a tan colored surface layer. Actually a bit of head at first, but dissipates very quickly. Decent look.

A bunch of alcohol hits my nose with this one. However, bakers chocolate with some hazelnut or almonds on the nose. Nice roastiness and just a bit of hops on the backside.

Sweet chocolate hits me first followed by a nice dose of roast malts and then a big twang of alcohol on my tongue that tingles the end of my tongue for 15 seconds after the swallow. AT room temp, the alcohol really comes forth...maybe a bit thin of flavor and a bit high in the alcohol. However, its decent.

Medium to full bodied, a lot of alcohol noticed on this one. Tasty, but could be even better if some alcohol was a bit better hidden. CArbonation is balanced.

Drinkability is average to above average in my book. Again, chilled this one is a bit easier to drink. At room temp, the alcohol comes out a bit more killing off some flavor. The next one I have will be chilled for a bit.

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Photo of villainchiwwin
3.9/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into goblet

very dark brown color with a tan edge of head and no real lacing.
malty nose - bready and nutty - dates, mocha, chocolate and some coffee.
sweet chocolate and faint hazlenut before buttery chocolate and some roasted french coffee. somewhat understated.
fuller that medium bodied, but not full bodied per se; a bit thin for an imperial stout. creamy mouthfeel before a dry finish with residual crispness on the palate.
extremely tasty but not overwhelming for the style or belly-filling (easily consumed in succession with pleasure)... watch out for the 8%...

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Photo of Frozensoul327
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Likely the most drinkable RIS i've ever had. Pours out to a dense black color that turns to dark ruby red when held to the light. Small head of brown foam, lower level of carbonation. Aromas are powerful and consist of hops, cocoa, and roasted malts. Nice. Taste is very unique for an imperial stout, yet still quaffable; roasted malt, coffee, dark chocolate, hops, grain, earthy notes of wood. Alcohol isn't noticeable, making this one a creeper (creeps up on you). Nice. Mouthfeel was light and slightly smooth. Drinkability is north of average. Not what comes to mind when discussing a RIS, yet it's got it's moments. Worth a try. Special thanks goes out to HimerMan for the sample.

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Photo of Gritsak
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A- dark cola color with a nice dense tan head. reddish hues show through when put up to direct light.

S- nice roasted toffee, slightly grassy, carmel, vanilla,

T- well balanced with light carmel and toffee notes, a touch of hops near the finish.

M- although its a nice medium mouthfeel, for the style its way to thin.

D- if any "RIS" was highly drinkable, this would be it.

overall- i think clipper city accidently put down imperial stout rather then baltic porter. While this is has a great flavor and im really enjoying it, its just way off target for a RIS. If this was classified as a different style, it would have much better ratings.

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Photo of copasetic
3.33/5  rDev -8.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A number of the beers from the Heavy Seas series at Clipper City have made their way into my heart. Good cluster of high-ish gravity beers with their own little twist.

Does this one warm my heart? Well, it's hard to say. On first blush, it pours a dark walnut (distinctly not black) with weak wisps of foam but no real head. The smell is toasty and and sweet, like dark chocolate. Not bad at all. It's delicious and complex, for sure, but characteristic of a baltic porter. Yeah, there's a weak kick of roasted barley, but it's heavy, malty, and dominated by caramel and plum notes. Mouthfeel is thick and there's a zing of alcohol.

Ok. I like this one. Not so much to style, but a good dark complex beer nevertheless. Catch me on a cold winter night and I might like it a bit more.

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Photo of BeerRun13
3.61/5  rDev -0.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours very dark with a crimson color coming through just barely. A great creamy tan head lasts and laces for the entire beer.
Smells of roasted malts with a cherry like aroma and a little chocolate.
A light roasted barley/coffee flavor. A little chocolate, and a slight bitterness that lingers. Here's the deal it tastes great, but I don't think it fits the style profile quite right thus the 3. A porter, I would have bumped it up.
Medium bodied, again just seams like an RIS should be bigger.
This one is very drinkable. Light enough to have a few of these. Again, this is good beer just not quite an RIS to me.

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Photo of HimerMan
2.31/5  rDev -36.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

12oz bottle, poured into the Corsendonk Christmas Goblet.

As most stouts, it looks good. The strange thing was that the head looked like sponge cake, and then odd lacing with sudden-fermenting bubbles.

Smell is hops. This is an ideal stout for a "hophead", but not very close to the style of Russian Imperials, in my opinion.

Taste - Meh, its a decent beer, with a lot of hops right upfront. I prefer the hops in a stout to kick you a bit at the end, not on the frontline.

Not impressed overall with the beer, I would say it is a decent beer that I would have once in a while - but wouldn't go out of my way for this one.

Positive note - again, this beer has a clear hop aroma and flavor - so if you are trying to ease into stouts from IPAs or other similar styles, this may act as a good transitional catalyst.


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Photo of edchicma
3.26/5  rDev -10.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours dark, dark brown..very good head, great lacing. Light malt, hop undertones...very understated. Taste is somewhat one dimensional..strong malt, some hops at the end...dissappointing. Mouthfeel is slightly chewy. Drinkability is avearge, with some alcohol hit in the finish. Not a good representation of the style.

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Photo of sinstaineddemon
3.65/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - typical RIS black, with that rocky, tan, 1/2 finger thick head that you'd expect

S - malty aroma, not as bitter smelling as i'd expect, a faint chocolate hint with the alcohol aroma

T - not impressed at first, rather bland, perhaps i shouldve chilled it a little more, then the bitter RIS flavor ive come to adore kicks in at the end and has a great aftertaste, its kind of a roasted nutty flavor throughout though

M - very smooth, could use a little more sweetness, a rich coffee flavor wouldve been great, i say that, but then every RIS stout IMO hould be like Sam Smiths, this is a fine tasting and feeling stout, just needs a little more flavor

D - high, and easyily pounded stout

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Photo of WesWes
3.5/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

The beer pours a dark brown color with a thick frothy tan head that slowly fades to lacing. The aroma is decent. It has a dry, roasted scent that boasts of chocolate and roasted malts along with a slight patent malt earthiness. The taste is decent as well. It has a very dry dark malt flavor that goes down slow and finishes with some roasted malt overtones. It's not too intense and seems a bit calm for an Imperial Stout. It's more like a high powered brown ale. It lacks the rich black malt content although there seems to be quite a bit of chocolate malt present. The mouthfeel is fine. It is above average. It is a full bodied beer with adequate carbonation. This is a decent drinker, but a poor example of an IS.

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Photo of arguemaniac
3.58/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours an opaque black with some barely noticeable copper highlights and a creamy and well-retained light brown head (it never really disappears). Sweet malt, some definate roastiness and a touch of floral hops in the nose. The complex palate features a clean toasted grain flavor, a touch of burnt coffee bitterness, some caramel, chocolate, a somewhat mild hop bite and very smooth note of vanilla, which is particularly noticeable towards the finish. The mouthfeel is slightly thicker than medium-bodied with mellow carbonation.

Very drinkable and easygoing for an imperial stout. While the mouthfeel is lighter than most other imperial stouts the complexity is still there. It is, however, a bit watery. Still, recommended.

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Photo of mrasskicktastic
3.77/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A very dark brown with a one finger head the quickly dissipates leaving a tiny uneven ring of lace on the glass.

S - Very hoppy crisp pine odor with a bit of coffee and chocolate.

T - A bit of sweet chocolate and weaker caramel malts, a nice mild pine backing (nothing like the odor would lead you to expect though). The aftertaste is a lingering mild sweet caramel and chocolate flavor. It is pretty good, but IMO way to mild for a Russian Imperial Stout. A mislabel is not a big problem though, pretty good beer.

M - A bit chewy, refreshing.

D - Clipper City surprises me yet again. The beer isn't too complex, but it is a joy to drink for certain. Too strong to session. I wouldn't mind another though. It is a good beer, not the greatest stout, but a solid fall back for certain.

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Photo of kdmorse
3.23/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Dark (blackish) brown with ruby highlights at the edges. One finger of tan head that quickly recedes to a thin film. Film leads to lacing which paints the glass.

S: Roasted (burnt) malt and fresh piney hops.

T: Roasted, sweet, coffee malt and lots of hops at the finish. Coffee IPA? I don’t know what this is, but it’s not a RIS. Sourishly bitter.

M: Lots of carbonation. Lots of sour flavor in the finish.

D: Pretty easy going. Not what I would buy/drink when looking for a RIS (or any stout for that manner), but an interesting venture.

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Photo of GreenWBush
2.91/5  rDev -19.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This comes out of the bottle spry and less viscous than expected. Beached white head instantly dies to a 1/16" cap. Light phalanges of upward-pointing lace cling to the glass.

The first and continuing impression of this beer is that it has a weird and out of place green/fresh hoppiness. No RIS is this, more a DS. Roast (and spent ground) coffee is observed, smacking up unceremoniously to the herbal hop-tincture going on. Ethyl alcohol and wall-paper paste poke up towards the nostril too. Later I realize the 'hoppiness' is just the lack of beefiness.

Constantly walks the line between subtle and watery. Hits at first with classic beefy DS character, then bottoms out to watery roast flavors and ends strong on a hop-ballast.

Green, thin, soda-like. Refreshing RIS? This is an over-hoppy American Stout. I'll be fine iwth one.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
3.27/5  rDev -9.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Opaque hazel... until backlit with a bright blast of morning sunshine that reveals the beer's not so opaque nature. Uh oh. Imperial stouts that one can see through, under any circumstances, are never a good thing. Not only that, but the cap is light ecru, airy soft and has no character whatsoever. Needless to say, there's no lace formation, not a shred. A bad omen.

The nose is okay, but still isn't anywhere near what a good Imperial stout nose ought to be. It manages to achieve averageness (barely) thanks to a semi-pleasant stouty mix of chocolate, coffee and dark fruit, favoring the first of those three. If judged strictly according to style, it's probably subpar, but I feel like cutting it a little slack.

Peg Leg tastes like a garden variety stout from a third tier craft brewery, not a member of the vaunted Heavy Seas line from Clipper City. What the hell happened with this one? Let's forget all notions of a Russian Imperial stout (actually I did so immediately after the pour). It isn't even flavorful enough or full enough in the mouth to be considered a double stout. More like a moderately bitter milk stout.

Bittersweet chocolate is still in charge, but doesn't have a whole lot of other flavor elements to boss around. Weak coffee, citrus fruit, faint echoes of black licorice... not much else. The fruitiness is of a hoppy nature and comes, no doubt, from the Fuggles and Styrian Goldings that comprise the hop bill. There's a little more strength of flavor and depth of flavor with warming, though I'm still overwhelmingly underwhelmed.

Since I'm no longer reviewing according to the stated style, I'll give the body/mouthfeel the benefit of the doubt. Several sips later... it just isn't very stout-like and the doubt has crept back in. Too light and not the least bit chewy or expansive in the mouth. On a good note (have we had one of those yet?), the 8.0% ABV is very well masked.

I can't emphasize enough how disappointed I am with this beer. I hope Loose Cannon DIPA and Below Decks Barley Wine have more in common with the first three Heavy Seas beers that crossed my palate than with this one. When it comes to calling Peg Leg an Imperial Stout, Clipper City doesn't have a leg to stand on.

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Photo of Px2GrafX
3.74/5  rDev +3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark brown with a light tan head in a stein mug. color is too light for an imperial stout. head seems too light as well, but sticks down the glass. aroma is very much like a good stout. chocolatey and coffee aromas. not huge, but nice. first taste is sweet with chocolate and a touch of vanilla. there are some balancing hop bitterness. not overly complex. flavor reminds me of a sierra nevada stout. not very big at all. the alcohol that you normaly experience in an imperial stout is missing. finishes sweet with a chocolatey caramel flavor. mouthfeel is a bit light. a little too crisp. carbonation is good and swallow clunks a bit for an impy stout. drinkability is excellent for an impy stout, but again, very much like a traditional american stout. goes down easily as the alcohol that's there is well hidden. overall, a very good beer. easy to drink and quite tastey for an american stout. but this is supposed to be an imperial. the ratings have to be downgraded based on style.

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Photo of clvand0
3.62/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

This brew pours a slightly dark brown color (seems a bit light for the style) with a small head that is gone fast and doesn't leave any lacing on the glass. Not impressive looking. The aroma is faint, but notes of coffee and chocolate are there. No hops in the nose. The flavor isn't impressive either. It has a biting bitterness and follows up with a hint of sour on top of a coffee backing. As it warms, the bitter bite draws back a bit and a little more chocolate comes forth, but it just doesn't have what it needs. The sourness was only present on the first sip, as I haven't noticed it since ... maybe that was a bad call on my part. The body is rather thin, but the drinkability is good. This isn't a bad beer, it's actually kinda tasty, but it needs a lot more 'umph' to make a good imperial stout. On another note, the alcohol is well hidden.

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

Served at cellar temperature in an imperial pint glass. Drink by date is notched Dec. 2005.

Appearance- A rugged, three finger head sits aloft this dark brown stout. As it settles, spotty lacing patches sparingly down the sides of my glass. Light-bodied for the style.

Smell- Initially, a bold, "green" hop component leaps out of the glass, masking the coffee and chocolate notes beneath. As the beer comes to temperature, the hops subside and allow the richer, molasses-like characteristics to come forward. Still, the balance isn't quite right.

Taste- A rich, dense interplay of molasses, chocolate, and coffeish notes duke it out on the tongue... all mingle nicely except for the slight off-flavor I'm getting in the finish. On the label, there is a note about the yeast at the bottom of the bottle (which I have swirled in)... it could be the reason for this observation.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- A moderately prickly carbonation offsets the bold, dark flavors going on. The beer leans heavily towards blackstrap molasses with its distinctive flavor, and that keeps me from enjoying this beer even more. I love the style, but this doesn't make me want another anytime soon.

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

This one was little less strong, as I like my RIS, but that's what made it appealing to me. I guess you could kind of consider it a RIS Light. This one would be easy for those who can't handle a stronger tasteing beer, but still strong on the alcohol. This bad boy went down really easy, which makes it even more dangerous. Overall not an awesome RIS, but still not bad either. I would buy it again.

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Photo of Oxymoron
3.21/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Shiver me timbers and all that arrrrgh stuff. Pours a opaque of black demise. A very frothy head that was well carbonated (guess I should have opened it a little sooner). The head was a medium tan color and left a few off white lacing marks.

The smell was rather light for a Imp Stout. Malt tone of roasted grains and light caramel mixing. Background hints of chocolate and some hoppy notes as well.

The taste is fairly malty with some dry aftertaste. The malt is notably roasted malt with subtle chocolate and burnt tastes in the shadows. Some lasting caramel leaves a somewhat chalky presence behind in the aftertaste. The hops are noticeable, which isnt always the case for Imp Stouts, but has a herbal flavor to it.

The body is a medium feel and could stand some more body. The carbonation is high which may have something to do with it. Overall I would have liked more body and malt flavor but still a good beer. Plus it will make me say “arrr” for the next hour and a half.

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Photo of Higravity
2.63/5  rDev -27.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The only stinker in the Heavy Sea's line. A pathetic Imperial stout that should either be discontinued or reformulated. Yes very dark beer with a slightly off-white head and some lace. Smell was unimpressive as it had some markings of roasted malt and little else. The taste was like a middle of the road stout with a gelatin coating in my mouth. Some alcohol in the finish. Mostly this beer becomes like porter but its still too thin. Could I drink more sure, but would I pay a premium for this next year hoping it gets better? I can't give up on the locals but I refuse to support bad beers.

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Photo of cubedbee
3.78/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a very dark opaque brown, with just the slightest bit of light coming through at the bottom of the pint glass, a finger and a half of dense beige head, pretty decent retention, some spotty lacing. Nose is subdued, but is a pleasant blend of dark malt, caramel, and mocha. Taste is a little on the sweet side for an imperial, with sweet milk chocolate, espresso, and roasted malt dominating the flavor, giving way to a mild hop finish and a lingering roasted flavor. Alcohol comes through a little, more when served too cold. Body is too thin for an imperial stout, almost seems watery at times. Overall, this is a decent beer, but probably my least favorite of the Heavy Seas line, and since lots of brewer's make excellent imperial stouts, it's not one I buy often.

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Photo of NEhophead
3.3/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Foamy, coffee colored head that recedes to 1/2" and holds firm. Spotted and thin lacing with good strength. Deep brown with a ruby hue; light for the style.

Roasted mocha and freshly ground coffee beans. Mild vanilla/toffee sweetness. The aromatics are not as harsh/overpowering as is typical for the style; too tame.

Creamy mocha and dark chocolate. Smooth, roasted maltiness; almost watered down. Hints of alcohol that are a bit unbalanced. The bitterness is incredibly mild; almost creamy. An aftertaste of chocolate covered cherries with a touch of bourbon.

Medium bodied; I hate to fault a brew for being creamy, but this doesn't fit all that well for the style. Light and airy.

Probably the lightest Russian Imperial Stout I've ever had. This reminds me of a milk/sweet stout. Decent flavors but off the mark for the style.

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Photo of warriorsoul
3.03/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Thanks to fitzIPAtrick for this one...
Pours a thin, black color with half a finger of cocoa colored head that disappears quite rapidly and very little lacing forms.
Bread like aroma with some very little coffee and chocolate mixed in...slight alcohol burn in the nose.
Taste is just ok...a bit too sweet with no real backbone. It is not hopped up which I am thankful for, but is also lacking in those dark chocolate or coffee flavors that I crave in a RIS.
Mouthfeel is very thin for the style and finishes again, a bit too sweet. Not disliking it, but it should be something I'd want to finish the night with and this aint it for me.
Oh well, really enjoyed all of their other brews so far...this was was just ok for me.

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Heavy Seas - Peg Leg Imperial Stout from Heavy Seas Beer
3.63 out of 5 based on 1,401 ratings.
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