Beer Reviews, Events, Stouts

Review: Cask-conditioned Heavy Seas Peg Leg Imperial Stout

firkin |ˈfərkən|
noun, chiefly historical
a small cask used chiefly for liquids, butter, or fish.
• a unit of liquid volume equal to half a kilderkin (about 11 gallons or 41 liters).
ORIGIN Middle English ferdekyn, probably from the Middle Dutchdiminutive of vierde ‘fourth’ (a firkin originally contained a quarter of a barrel).

The first Thursday of every month is Firkin Thursday at Fireworks Pizza.  Each month, this gourmet, wood-fired pizza joint in the middle of downtown Leesburg offers a different cask-conditioned craft beer. Once the cask has been tapped, the beverage flows till every drop has been consumed.  Get there early if you’re interested it partaking of more than one glass!

This month, they featured Heavy Seas’ Peg Leg Imperial Stout.  Heavy Seas is brewed by Baltimore’s finest Clipper City Brewery who is known for producing “richly flavored beers” that exhibit excellent “finesse and balance.”  The Peg Leg Imperial Stout does not disappoint, and is a perfect candidate for a cask conditioned beer.  The process of cask conditioning fosters a natural carbonation process to help fully develop malts and hops into a much richer flavor than you’ll find in your every-day keg fermented beers.  Even the best craft beers can’t stand up to the kind rich flavors that cask conditioning can produce.

Peg Leg’s a huge beer with a wonderful blend of all the things you would expect in a stout.  There’s a wonderful bouquet of molasses and roasted coffee, followed by the slightly bitter aroma of dark chocolate.  I’m not usually a fan of super dark beers, and Peg Leg isn’t something you can see through, but this brew is smooth and drinkable… even at the room temp that cask beer is served at.  When you think “warm beer” think about being invited in from the fall weather with this guy.

Despite its huge flavor it pairs well with big food.  If you’re at Fireworks, I highly recommend enjoying this beer with their Organic Greens Salad (complete with tomatoes marinated in balsamic) and one of their wood-fired pizzas with a balsamic glaze to it — my personal favorite is adding balsamic to their Segundo Pizza; the rich flavors in Peg Leg add depth and experience to the bold flavors of the balsamic and smokey local-raised bacon.  Luckily, Peg Leg’s dark chocolate under notes will make your dessert experience out of this world… so don’t skip Fireworks’ molten chocolate chip cookie sundae.



  • Beer Name: Peg Leg Imperial Stout
  • Brewer: Heavy Seas/Clipper City Brewing Co.
  • Origin: Baltimore, MD
  • Price: N/A
  • IBU: 30
  • ABV: 8%
  • Date Sampled: September 2, 2010
  • Special cask conditioned

Brewery’s Website

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