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Zonker Stout - Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Zonker StoutZonker Stout

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

352 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 352
Reviews: 222
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 127
Gots: 23 | FT: 1
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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 352 | Reviews: 222
Photo of sporklift87
4.53/5  rDev +8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from can to pint glass. Pours very appealing two fingers of dark brown solid and creamy foam. Excellent retention and sticky lacing walls. Thick film of head simply will not fade away, all the way down. Pitch black, no light visible. Smells of dark chocolate right off the bat. Toffee notes as well. Tastes much like nose, with a solid caramel and chocolate malt. Feels soft and creamy, has a mildly metallic astrigency, and leaves little viscosity. Thick, but flows quite smoothly. I'm impressed! Not only will I buy this again, I will actively seek it out.

Photo of kemoarps
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
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
4.5/3.75/4.25/4/4

Photo of Boccu
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great stout. With tones of Carmel and a nice roast finish.

Photo of claybob43
5/5  rDev +19.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Eat with ribs. It is amazing.

Photo of StoneTSR
3.51/5  rDev -15.8%
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.

Photo of cbutova
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

Photo of Foyle
3.96/5  rDev -5%
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

Photo of sommersb
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Photo of bennett_loves_good_beer
4.46/5  rDev +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.

Photo of dwren89
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
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.

Photo of kagent777
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

Photo of TheDoctor
4.51/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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

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

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

M:
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.

O:
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.

Photo of FondueVoodoo
4/5  rDev -4.1%
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

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of WoodBrew
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
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.

Photo of MadScientist
3.89/5  rDev -6.7%
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.

Photo of plaid75
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
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.

Photo of dbrauneis
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear yet opaque jet black in color with some moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation at the surface of the beer and some cola brown highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy dark tan head that slowly reduces to

S: Moderate aromas of roasted dark and chocolate malts along with a light amount of earthy hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of roasted malts with some slightly lighter flavors of chocolate malts. Light notes of earthy malts that contributed to the overall moderate amount of bitterness which lingers for quite a while.

M: Just shy of full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This beer is very easy to drink, is well balanced, and has a moderate ABV making it pretty darn close to being sessionable for me. I like the roasted flavors of the malts and it is definitely an enjoyable brew.

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I just picked up all the cans from this brewery on a recent trip to NYC. I didn't know what I was getting.

Thick. Heavy molasses on this one. Wads of malts. Tons of 'em. Toasted tones on here as an accent. This is one thick and consistent beer that truly holds to style. Surprised to be getting what I did, and happy to have done so. Highly suggested.

Photo of PhantasIPA
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This brew is a thick, black color with a dark brown colored head. The head pours thick from a can into a glass and leave a heavy, pronounced lacing on the glass as you drink, leaving tell-tale rings along the glass.

The smell is heavy, thick coffee, caramel, chocolate and spice. Really nice, dark scent that you would hope and expect from a decent porter.

Taste is great! Smooth sweet flavor followed immediately by the bitter, coffee flavor and then ends with a dark chocolate-esque, heavy flavor. Great balance between the bitter coffee, chocolate and sweet barley (caramel and toffee) flavors!

Mouthfeel is nice, syrupy and smooth with little carbonation. Very good fro the winter!

Overall this beer is very nice. Balance and solid flavor. Could be heavier on the ABV but 6% is right down the middle and the flavor really comes through. Nice! Worth a try most definitely!

Photo of katan
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz into a pint

A - Pours dark brown, almost black with just a few amber highlights. Strong mocha head formation, well retained.

S - A smooth nose of chocolate, lightly roasted, some hopping in the background.

T - Starts off lightly hoppy, not really accentuating the malt portion. Mid-stream brings in the bittersweet chocolate. Finishes with a little bitterness on the center of the tongue.

M - Moderate body - creamy and smooth. No alcohol warmth. A little sticky in the finish.

O/D - A well done stout - a very quaffable and easy drinking beer. Not very filling, abv is not out of line. Recommended.

Photo of RuckusDu
3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 can into Tulip. Poured about a finger of good lookin mocha head. Body is black of course. Goes to about 5ml to see any light through it. The smell is very foreign/oatmeal stout like. Smooth chocolate is how I would describe it. Nutty. Not really my style. Flavor is full and easy drinking. Lots of coffee and chocolate. Slightly bitter. Some cream. The mouthfeel is great. Tons of carbonation (but works for the beer) and slightly thicker body.

Overall this is such a drinkable beer. I would compare it to Ten Fidy in that why wouldn't you pick some up when it is on the shelf?

Photo of metter98
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin tan head that quickly dissipated, leaving some lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: The smell has moderately strong aromas of roasted chocolate malts.
T: Moderate to strong flavors of roasted and chocolate malts are present in the taste, which also has a light amount of bitterness from the underlying hops. The chocolate malt flavors linger through the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: For a beer that is quite easy to drink, this beer is really packed with flavors and has a nice balance so that the roasted malts are not too strong. I could easily drink several of these in one sitting or the beer year round.

Photo of mdaschaf
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at Snake River. Review from notes.

A: Zonker is dark black with a dark tan head on top, decent retention leaving a small cap on top, which eventually becomes just a ring. Nice lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Some rich cocoa and mocha mixed with plenty of roast. There is a faint hop kick that comes in after. The roasted/toasty malts dominate the aroma though.

T: Charred/Roasted malt mixed with chocolate and a little bit of coffee. Has a definite bitter flavor to it. There is a little caramel in there as well that helps to balance the roast.

M: Medium to full bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. Surprisingly easy drinking.

O: Liked this beer quite a bit. Well balanced in terms of flavors and very smooth on the palate.

Photo of Dope
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark brown with a huge fluffy medium brown head. Fades oh so slowly, leaving a funny sort of swiss-cheese effect on the head (lots of huge holes but it holds up the general shape for a long time). Great head retention, never really seems to fade. Lots of thick fluffy lacing everywhere.

S: Lots of bitter roasted malt character, primarily char and chocolate. Smoky too, almost a meaty type of smokiness.

T: Lots of smoke and bitter char up front. Loaded with it throughout the beer. Bitter dark chocolate in the middle and just a hint of caramel in there to sweeten it up. Finishes with more smoke and char. That dark chocolate lingers between sips nicely. Quite creamy and smooth despite the roasted malt harshness. Definitely let this one warm up to room temp for maximum enjoyment.

M: Creamy, smooth and medium bodied. Surprisingly robust for only 6%.

O: Certainly a stout that pushes to the extreme of smoke and char. It's pervasive in every aspect of the beer. They made it smooth enough and just sweet enough to keep it from tasting like a campfire, however which is a feat in itself. Definitely packs a big roasted malt character for such a "light" beer.

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Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 352 ratings.