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Zonker Stout - Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Zonker StoutZonker Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.

230 Reviews

(Read More)
Reviews: 230
Hads: 404
Avg: 4.18
pDev: 11.72%
Wants: 136
Gots: 25 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub visit their website
Wyoming, United States

Style | ABV
Foreign / Export Stout |  6.00% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001

A rich, well-balanced foreign style stout with a huge amount of roasted barley as well as chocolate, black, and caramel malts. The intense roast character is the main attribute of this black colored beer. The alcohol content is 6.0%. Zonker has been recognized time and again as one of the top foregin style stouts.
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Zonker Stout Alström Bros
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Reviews: 230 | Hads: 404
Photo of tourdot
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with half inch tan head
Smells of chocolate and roasted coffee
Huge taste of chocolate and dark malts with a great finish
Medium full bodied beer that is really quite smooth
I am very happy to have hunted this down, this is a great stout that I will buy frequently

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Undated can at 42 degrees into snifter
From a trade with @JayWhitson
Aroma of roasted malt and chocolate, lasts entire glass
Head average (3.5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy, slowly diminishing to three mm ring and layer
Lacing good – complete curtain of tiny to small bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor begins with roasted malt and milk chocolate, hint of caramel, ends slightly bitter; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.5, Aroma 4.25, Palate 4.25, Flavor 4.5, Overall 4.25

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Photo of Benish
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: nearly jet black in color with a little bit of transparency while pouring. Very niche thick foamy brown head after pouring which dissipated to a skim of brown foam surface.

Smell: notes of milk chocolate, caramel, vanilla, mocha.

Taste: very chocolatey, some sweetness and finished with a strong notes of coffee. It's not sweet like a milk stout but still closely resembles a milk stout considering the flavors of chocolate and coffee.

Mouthfeel: smooth, rich, and creamy.

Overall: this beer is so good, there are no flaws. While it's relatively low in alcohol, its almost like drinking an imperial stout; excellent appearance, strong aromas, and full-bodied. I recommend this.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce can into a snifter.

Pours like motor oil, thick and viscous and produces very little head. What head does emerge is frothy and dark khaki in color and seems undecided on whether it's head or lace. Seems more like an imperial stout than a stout based on appearance. 4.25

Roasted malts, light coffee and chocolate and cream greet me. A kiss of sweetness but mostly roasty and bitter. 4.25

The nose tells you what you're getting with this. Very consistent from nose to palate. Bitter and roasted malts with a touch of smokiness, dark coffee and bitterness. Actually, this may present more smoke than the nose let on. Getting that bacon and campfire going here too. Dark chocolate also becomes more assertive as it follows the smoky character and offsets it. 4.25

Great drinking beer. Rich and creamy in body with faint sweetness and a bitter finish. Viscous and thick on the tongue, luscious could well describe this. 4.5

Excellent brew. Needs more love in the beer world.

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Photo of apasternak
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Trying to get a beer from every state and was shocked that my 2nd to last state had something this good. Dark bitter chocolate flavor was really prominent in this. This was definitely delicious!

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Photo of Tone
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of roasted malt, sweet malt, hops, hint of oatmeal, alcohol, hint of spice, and slight chocolate. Fits the style of a Foreign / Export Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a slight dryness from the roasted malt. Tastes of sweet malt, slight chocolate, hops, slight alcohol, and a hint of spice. Overall, good appearance, body, blend, decent complexity, and good aroma.

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Photo of ManBearPat
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This a great stout.

L- jet black with dark tan head

S- roasty

T- very roasty, lite coffee

F- subtle carbonation, great for this particular beer

O- one of my favorite 'low abv' stouts I've ever encountered. Had it on nitro in their taproom and knew it needed to be carbonated to be properly enjoyed. Grabbed a 6er, and was more than happy with the choice. Really wish I would have got several cases, to be honest. The canned, regularly carbonated version of this really delivered, though I would drink the nitro version again in a pinch ;)

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Photo of rawfish
3.67/5  rDev -12.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours exceptionally thick and black from the can. A nice half finger of mocha head. Very good retention as well.

Chocolate based sweetness, a solid roasty character without swinging into the coffee or burnt range. Notes of licorice, fig and earth.

Begins well with thick roasted malt, bakers chocolate and earthy hops. Quickly turns south with a shrill metallic astringency, mild acidity and an appropriate earthy bitterness in the finish.

Terrific body and thickness for a stout that only clocks in at 6%. Nice carbonation but the metallic finish of this stout leaves improvement to be made.

A really well constructed stout but the off flavors really twist things in a negative light. Loved the body, aroma and starting robust flavors of this beer.

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Photo of dtumminelliob
4.85/5  rDev +16%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It pours a beautiful deep brown, with a milky brown head. The smell is very strong with roasted malts. The flavor is all roast, but with quite a bit of nuance and layers. It is nearly creamy, despite not being a milk stout, but maintains a certain dryness. The roasts fill up the palate without overwhelming. An incredibly tasty beer.

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Photo of Billolick
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz can w/o dating/freshness info.

Thanks to my friend Daver for slipping this one to me.

Dark and murky, darkest of dark heads, leaving solid low sheeting

Dark malt/coffee/chocolate on the nose

Full flavor, full bodied, smooth and enjoyable waves of chocolate and yes more coffee
and dark malts...Big flavors, has that rich chocolate/coffee/beer milkshake feel to it - high quality stout

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Photo of alarmclock314
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can with no date. Pours reddish black with a large brown head. Smells of piney hops and roasted malts. Balanced taste of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and hops. Some tartness and drying finish. Average body thinness and medium-high carbonation. Has a strong roasted malt presence and stays fairly true to the style.

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Photo of kemoarps
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful. Vibrant black body that maintains hue even in the light. Good finger of thick frothy dark brown (for beer head) that takes its time settling. Hell, even the pour itself, it looks thick and viscous and velvety coming out of the can. Excellent lacing, as well.

Roasty threatening char but never quite making it that far with layers of chocolate and coffee. Nothing jumps out, but that's not a bad thing: this brings forth a beautiful blend of quintessential stout-ness. Nailed it.

Starts out real black with more burnt grains and bitter coffee before slowing it down and taking more of a dark chocolate tone. Layers of roast and bitter dark chocolate coat the tongue and stay there. This is an excellent basic, no-frills stout. Not quite as thick as the pour had promised and a little bit more carbonated than I prefer, but definitely neither one is to a problematic level. Just when you're this close to perfection, one notices these small things. Also: pure personal preference. Finish is long and thick and bitter. Excellent brew and I'm really really glad to have grabbed it while I was on the road

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.51/5  rDev -16%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

APPEARANCE: Black, with a slow-fading brown head which quickly drops from about a half-inch into a thin, wispy cap. Interestingly, it foams up a good deal with just the slightest agitation. Setting the glass back down on the table creates a big boost to the head. I don't think I've seen anything like this before.

SMELL: Roasty notes are all over this beer, with dark chocolate and hints of vanilla behind it.

TASTE: A big coffee flavor is to be expected with the roasty nose...and this coffee flavor is huge. A touch of nuttiness can also be tasted beneath the darker flavors of chocolate and coffee. A bit of vanilla rounds it out.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to big bodied with a silky mouthfeel. The roast leaves the palate feeling like it has been charred a little bit...it's probably too much.

OVERALL: Good, solid stout, but again, the roasted malt is a little too intense. If it were just a little more mellow in that department it'd be outstanding.

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Photo of cbutova
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Live review at my campground in Colorado Springs, CO. Grabbed while visiting Jackson, WY and I certainly got the impression that Snake River is one of the premier breweries in WY after trying a few of their beers at the pub.

A- Deep black bodied pour from the can to a goblet. A head rises up beyond one finger with a dark mocha brown hue. Thick creaminess and great head retention. Lacing starts out with webbed sheets and drizzled spots coat most of the glass below that.

S- Pouring out of the glass is a deep milk chocolate note and a hefty dose of dark roasted grains. Toasted nuts, cereal grains, moderate sweets, earthy hops and dark fruits as well.

T- With the hefty bitter chocolate notes that lead off it is hard to say this finds a balance but it somehow does. After that fades I find earthy hops, toasted nuts, wheat cereal grain, caramel, spiced raisin, cherry and coffee notes joining in with the deeply roasted malts.

MF- I think this could get away with a really thick body but the medium body here supports the flavors just find with a texture that is slightly chewy and creamy. Carbonation comes down on the high side for a stout and it all ends with a roasty bitterness.

Right when I opened the can and got a smell of the rich chocolate and roasted grain aromas I knew I should have purchased more. Perhaps I can find more before I return to the East but at least I know Snake River is holding down WY very well. I hope to find myself at the brewpub again in the next few years. Between this and Pako's, WY is doing just fine.

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Photo of Foyle
3.96/5  rDev -5.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Appearance: 1 1/2" beige head. Color is black (zero light penetration)
Aroma: coffee, licorice, cocoa powder
Mouthfeel: very viscous, medium to heavy mouthfeel with a mostly dry finish
Flavor: dark coffee, roasted malts dominate with some earthy and peppery hops backbone

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Photo of sommersb
4.14/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tasted On: 04-18-2014
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. can
Glassware: Nonic pint
Purchased: 6-pack from the brewery

Black and opaque beer with a big, foamy tan head. Both retention and lacing are good. Aromas have toasted malts, coffee and chocolate. Maybe even a little smoke too.

The taste has notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Rich, it has sweetness but also carries a bitterness — more from the dark roast than from hops. Mouthfeel is creamy with a low amount of carbonation. The dry finish has flavors of French roast coffee and bittersweet chocolates.

Pumped to review my first brew from Wyoming! Export and Irish stouts are not a personal favorite of mine, but I'd say this is an excellent rendition of the style.

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Photo of bennett_loves_good_beer
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black, thick but not motor oil thick. Two fingers of tan head looks great. No light penetrating through this beer.

Smell: vanilla and roasty notes hit the nose straight from the pour. Smells exactly like a good stout should.

Taste: chocolate, roasty, perfectly balanced with hops. yumm. cant ecplain the taste very well but it is fantastic with fantastic feel as well.

Overall, this is my new favorite stout. SImply fantastic. I can easily see why it has won so many awards. This review does the beer no justice but just a great everyday readily available go to stout.

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Photo of dwren89
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: ink black, opaque, dark tan head

Aroma: chocolate, coffee, and roasty caramel, clean yeast

Taste: great chocolate flavor that fades To caramel on the finish, with a semisweet coffee and caramel hint to it. Smooth and easy drinking. Exceptionally well balanced

Mouthfeel: smooth, creamy, thick, and soft. A great sipper with full body and low carbonation

Overall: Fantastic overall. Great semisweet chocolate with coffee and caramel hints. Well balanced, creamy, and easy drinking.

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Photo of kagent777
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a six pack with a best before (not a canned on date) of 12-30-13. I poured this one into my beer goblet.

Appearance: Obviously a black beer. No light going through this one. It has a thin dark tan head. Laces a little bit.

Smell: Roast and char with some cocoa and vanilla. Maybe a hint on earthy hops. The cocoa is quite nice to balance the bitter. As it warms up, there is a husky grainyness that shows up.

Taste: Wonderful bittersweet cocoa, roast and ash. The creamy sweetness of the cocoa perfectly balances the bitter of the roast. This one really threads that needle so well.

Mouthfeel: Wonderful creamy mouthfeel with lower carbonation.

Overall: This is an amazing stout. I initially tried this one ten years ago, and did not like it for some reason. This was before I really knew anything about quality beer. I missed a lot of time enjoying this beer, and now I need to try to make that up again. This is an instant buy any time I see it. All of this in a regular release canned beer. It does not get much better.

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an impenetrable black with a decent tan head. Good retention; okay lacing.

Nuts, coffee, chocolate. Very "stouty." Pretty much what one would expect.

Delicious waves of rich malty goodness. Lots of bitter chocolate flavors pairs with a nutty feel on the whole. Really delicious.

Surprisingly prickly considering how the rest of the beer is, but also suitably creamy and filling. Medium-heavy body. Slightly warming with a lingering nutty finish.

Zonker is a great beer plain and simple. Rich and hearty as a meal but still fairly drinkable. The flavor is exactly what/how it should be and the mouthfeel is divine. A great brew all-in-all.
Would always have one of these. Worth trying.

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Photo of FondueVoodoo
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Big thanks to MilwaukeeCrusher for delivering us this beer.

A: Pours a deep and opague brown-black with 2 fingers of espresso tan head.

S: Roasted coffee and cocoa powder together with malty ovaltine, molasses and wet earth.

T: Follows the scent with bitter coffee and chocolate bar, and education by sweet malts and molasses. Background notes of wet earth. Finishes with a slight bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with a slight creaminess.

O: A very tasty stout that offers perfect bitter notes while balancing them out with large amounts of malts

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Photo of RoamingGnome
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Snake River Zonker Stout

Thanks to Dr. K for the can... I poured this into a CBS snifter lightly chilled.

A) As dark as a dark brown can be, so pretty much, it was black. A nice creamy mocha head. Nice retention and lacing.

S) A fair amount of roast, light coffee, milk chocolate, and a whiff of caramel sweetness.

T) The taste is very near the nose, with the exception being a lingering hop bitterness, and a little charcoal. I didn't pick up on any of that in the aroma.

M) Full bodied with light carbonation. This is soft and quite smooth. Even better at room temp. Slightly bitter, earthy aftertaste. Dry finish...

O) I cannot recall a beer I've enjoyed more from the State of Wyoming.

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Photo of WoodBrew
3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The Zonker...is quite tasty and definitely worth a try. The beer pours an opaque dark with ecru head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent carries dark chocolate and roast. The taste has a mild espresso with semi-sweet chocolate tones that makes for a very good stout. The mouthfeel is medium to light in body with smooth carbonation. I would like a bit more body. Overall this is a good stout and I could session this mofo.

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Photo of MadScientist
3.89/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Black and opaque with a deep garnet showing on the edge when held to the light. The head is medium brown with mostly cream, compact bubble interspersed with some medium, soapy bubbles. it has an average retention period.

A: Rich roast, coffee and chocolate aromas at a medium-strong level along with a moderate caramel sweetness.

T: A great balance between medium-strong dark malt flavors, sweetness and medium hops bitterness. There are the dark malt flavors like in the nose with roast and coffee dominating, backed by some chocolate and caramel. There is a low citrus hops flavor. The balance is slightly towards the sweetness and the finish is medium. The aftertaste is of dark roast, a little bitterness and some slight charcoal.

M: A medium-full body and a slight creaminess with medium-strong carbonation.

O: A pretty tasty American Stout that I keep being inclined to call thin even though it isn't. It has good balance with a nice mix of dark malt flavors. Good enough that I'll seek out other beers from the brew when possible.

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Photo of plaid75
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger foamy off white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured soft coffee and cocoa tones with a bit of charcoal.

The taste consisted of round roasted malts with notes of smoke and charcoal. Perhaps a slight lactose sweetness detected as well.

The mouthfeel was full with a dry finish.

Overall a very well made stout.

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Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 230 ratings.