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Zonker Stout - Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Zonker StoutZonker Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

326 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 326
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.09%
Wants: 110
Gots: 13 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 326 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of armock
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured a black color with a tan head that leaves lacing behind

S - Is of roasted malt that gives off coffee scents

T - Follows the nose roasted malt with coffee and chocolate flavors

M - This beer has a full body with lighter carbonation to it

D - This is a very good stout it has a good taste and is very easy to drink this is one of those beers that you could drink too many too quickly worth getting to try sometime

armock, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of tpd975
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Thanks to fogdog for this one.

A: Pours a nice dark black hue with a nice mocha head. Good retention and some nice lace noted.

S: Nice roasty stout. Bold roast, chocolate, coffee, and a bit of smoke.

T: Very similar to aroma. Bold roast, bitter chocolate with subtle notes of coffee. A nice smokey char hides beneath. Solid tasty treat.

M: A little thin in body

D: Good. Thin is about all I can say bad about this one. I like the roast, the slight smoke, with big chocolate notes. It's a new state rating to boot.

tpd975, Feb 27, 2009
Photo of mattcrill
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Label notched with a "best by" October '05

Appearance: Pure black pour into the snifter with a tan foamy head. It dissolves and leaves a tan ring around the glass. Pretty much what you would expect a stout to look like. Nothing penetrates this bad boy.

Smell: Strong chocolate profile with just a touch of a vinous and alcohol character. It comes out in the form of some ripened dark fruit. It's very subtle though. The chocolate dominates the nose.

Taste: Strong bitter chocolate presence. A hint of some oak, vanilla, and some dry roasted nuts. Again, the chocolate malts dominate here. The dry chocolate profile is very well done here.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crisp. Hedging towards over-carbonated but still on the good end of things.

Drinkability: A great stout for sure. Nice and roasty and can easily do a session with the lower ABV. Not sure I would agree with "outstanding" but I would highly recommend it. A classic example of an American Stout.

mattcrill, Aug 30, 2005
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle to snifter

A: Pours jet black, I actually mean black, not brown. Medium-brown head that stays supported for some time and ends up leaving a bit of lacing. Looks great.

S: Slightly toasty malts with strong dark fruit notes and a strong molasses smell. Maybe a bit of cocoa. Smells more complex than I expected.

T: Lightly roasted malts taste great accompanied by some dark fruit and slight hints of chocolate with a weak semi-bitter coffee finish. Tastes good, but not anything amazing.

M&D: Mouthfeel is very, very smooth with just enough carbonation. Very light and silky. Drinkability is very high on this one, as someone said it's way more drinkable than you'd expect from a 6.0abv.

Overall: I'm glad I picked this rando in a make-your-own 6-pack. It looks great. The taste and smell are good, but the drinkability and price are what will get me to but this one again. This one's worth a try if you can find it.

AdmiralDiaz, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of txbrewer
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

From the Snake River site - "A rich, well-balanced foreign style stout with a huge amount of roasted barley as well as chocolate, black, and caramel malts." - That being said, if you don't drink coffee, you probably don't want to drink this beer. I have yet to meet anyone who likes this but does not like coffee (and I am not talking some frozen cream and sugar loaded concoction, I mean black coffee).

For such a dark beer it just looked clean in the glass, not cloudy or creamy - just clean. Heavy on the malt flavor while you taste a bit of the hops, it was mostly the malts comings through. I can only imagine what the place smells like when this stuff is cooking (and I think I would like it). While this would not be a regular drinking bottle for me, I would definitely look for this when I want something with good heavy flavor just to sit down and sip down.

txbrewer, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of mdaschaf
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

mdaschaf, Nov 30, 2012
Photo of dirtylou
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz single, Brennan's on University

best by date is September, but I'm not too worried about this one

appearance: pours a dark mahogany, near black, slight ruby highlights...glorious creamy chocolate brown head, prety solid lacing on this one

smell: very powerful aromas, which was a nice sign...dark roasted coffee hits the nose first, a very smoky aroma only seems fitting for a Jackson Hole stout, cocoa powder is prevalent, plenty of roasted malts...delicious aromas

taste: well, this is a top notch stout. rich and dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, some sweet cherry, plenty of smoke, nicely roasted malts, light caramel and toffee, a mild clean hoppiness balances this one out nicely

mouthfeel: creamy, medium bodied

drinkability: quite drinkable

dirtylou, Dec 20, 2005
Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks goes out to the kind BA who sent me a beer from Wyoming. Finally another state to knock off my list. This is actually my first beer in three days, and I sit here this afternoon and enjoy it. Served chilled and poured into a pint glass, this one was consumed on 01/15/2009.

The pour was very nice. Rich dark brown in color, nearly black with no light shing through on this one at all. Nice small head of tan on top that settled down to nothing, but did leave a little big of lacing on the sides and bottom.

The aroma was rich roasted malts, touches of molasses and a hint of light smoke and chocolate. More of the same in the flavor as a light sweet flavor wrapped over the tongue. Smooth, mellow carbonation let that light smoke flavor set it and gradullay mixed with a light molasses flavor and a smooth dry finish. Easily a nice, warm session stout I had no problem with putting this one down.

Overall a very solid little stout, and a nice little afternoon snack. I would have no issue having this one again or trying another beer from snake river.

mikesgroove, Jan 15, 2009
Photo of xnicknj
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle with "Oct drink by" on label, poured into glass

A - Pours a thick oily black with a thin, yet foamy coffee colored head. A little retention and lacing as well.

S - Plenty of roasted malts along with dashes of caramel and chocolate.

T - Holy roastyness! This kicks off with a ton of warm malts, which slowly gives way to flavors ranging from coffee to cocoa. A dry finish envelops each and every swallow.

M - The flavors are pretty bold but Zonker avoids becoming too clunky or heavy while drinking. It's dry, medium-bodied, and goes down smooth.

D - Easy drinking here, especially for a stout. 6% abv is almost a relief amongst so many crazy booze loaded imperial stouts.

A really nice dry, tasty stout here from Snake River Brewing. It's too bad I can't snag some more of these, because I'd definitely pick up a sixer.

xnicknj, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of kirok1999
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Managed to find a single bottle of this in a health food store. Go figure.
Appearance- Pours a pitch black with slight brown lacing that clings stickily to the glass. No way you're going to see through this one.

Smell- Nice, slightly sweet malts with a bit of coffee and light chocolate.

Taste- A slightly bitter balance to the malt sweetness that hangs on the tongue for quite a while. Kinda nice. Not much dominates. Hopped well enough to be balanced with the malts. I'm a fan of the bold and wish there was something here that stood out and slapped me in the mouth. Not a put down at all, it's a great beer.

Mouthfeel- Slick and clingy. Very nice.

Drinkablilty- I would definitely buy this one again. Not as good as Storm King, but what is?

kirok1999, Jan 09, 2006
Photo of ThaBobfather
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a highly blackend color with a small ring of off-white/beige head.
Smell is very sweet with some high roasted malt character in the aroma.
Taste is well roasted-some coffee and caramel throughout the flavor profile.
Finish is very dry with a sweet, candy like after-taste.
Drinks solidly-no boozy quality to this brew-pretty smooth.

ThaBobfather, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of RoamingGnome
4.09/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

RoamingGnome, Sep 27, 2013
Photo of biboergosum
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, from a Safeway in Bozeman, MT.

This beer pours a solid black, with ever so slight cola edges, and two roly-poly fingers of Brown Cow head, which leaves a stellar loose honeycomb pattern of lace around the glass as it sinks away. It smells of roasted malt, chocolate shake, mild sour black fruit, and a somewhat metallic hoppiness. The taste is baker's chocolate duelling it out with the underlying singed malt, black fruit, mild cherry and overripe plum most prevalent, and earthy, mountainous (?), evergreen hops. The carbonation is average for the style, the body medium-full in weight, smooth, and aspiring to creamy. It finishes fairly sweet and malty, all assaulted at the core by a somehow gentle-seeming hoppiness.

I quite enjoyed my quick visit to the brewpub earlier this summer. Nice now to try one of their brews more tailored to a winter climate, as ours closes in. As for the beer - a lovely, dessert-tempting, booze obfuscating, Doonesbury-referencing(?), example of the style. Foreign to me, so, giddee-up!

biboergosum, Sep 16, 2011
Photo of dbrauneis
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

dbrauneis, May 03, 2013
Photo of Mebuzzard
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice thick black looking brew. Rocky brown head with some lacing as it went down.
Smell of cocao and coffee, some plum and biscuit. A hint of bite from malted hops.
A good taste. Just the right amount of cocao and coffee, but a bit thin compared to its appearance. The dry hops make it feel like there's a wad of powdered cocao on my tongue, interesting.
A good brew overall

Mebuzzard, Jan 11, 2007
Photo of jwinship83
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle with no freshness information drank from a standard pint glass.

A- this one pours out a black colored body with a finger of coffee colored head. the head lasts a while and leaves behind a thin wall of lacing.

S- the first thing i notice are the dark and almost burnt malts coming out of my glass. theres also lots of both milk and dark chocolate. a strong coffee finish.

T- the taste is much like the smell. very dark and almost burnt. full of milk and dark chocolate. a strong hoppy/coffee finish. bitter and dry.

M- medium bodied and could be a little thicker. a nice low level of carbonation. leaves my mouth dry.

D- theres a lot of flavor packed into this almost sessionable bottle of beer. very pleasantly surprised. ill try to get my hands on this one again soon.

jwinship83, Jan 24, 2010
Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The beer pours motor oil black with ruby highlights when held to the light. The dark brown head is very small and does not last long at all. The aroma is chocolate, coffee, and some sweetness. The flavor is coffee, slight chocolate and roasted malt. The body is medium. The finish is dry coffee.

GCBrewingCo, Dec 30, 2003
Photo of mikeyv35
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date: 04/28/2011
Type: 12oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2008
Glass: Chimay Chalice

Pours dark as night w/ a 1 finger tan head that produces pretty heavy lacing. Aromas of chocolate, a touch of molasses, charred malts, and biscuit. The taste was light chocolate, molasses, breadiness, char, and ever so mild hop bite. Thin to medium bodied. Very easy drinker.

Overall, foreign-export stouts are not really my thing, but it fits the style category perfectly. Also, this is the best example of the style I have ever had!

mikeyv35, Apr 29, 2011
Photo of Murph
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours black as night with only the slightest bit of light creeping around the edges and a nice creamy brown head that slowly sinks and leaves minimal lace. Huge roasted malt nose with big coffee characteristics and an nice burnt background. The taste is more of the same on the tongue with a starter of slightly sweet malt that soon turns bitter with a big roasted malt bite that is somewhat like a nice dark roast coffee. The roasted flavors fade towards the finish as a nice burnt flavor comes in and lingers slightly just to remind you what that last taste was like. The mouthfeel of this brew gets better and better the longer it sits as it becomes a bit smoother and seems to almost thicken into a medium heavy body. A very drinkable stout that would be great on draught and is sure to see some more time in my fridge.

Murph, Mar 06, 2003
Photo of ppoitras
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle from russpowell via trade. Thanks for the opportunity.

Poured into an imperial pint glass, formed a 1/2" dark tan head above the almost opaque dark brown brew. Dense head fades at a moderate pace, with lasting sticky lace. Aroma is dark malts, light chocolate and coffee tints. Taste matches the nose perfectly. Mouthfeel is creamy smooth, and drinkability is quite good. Nice stout.

ppoitras, Apr 22, 2008
Photo of flexabull
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Great looking stout. Big tan foamy head, and deep black color.

Beer has a roasted coffee like nose, also some dark roasted malt sweetness... nice aromas.

Flavors are of bitter chocolate, some hop notes, and a hint of roasted malts on the finish. Pretty clean tasting.

Mouthfeel is the only real weakness for this beer. It just seems a bit too lean for a stout, beer is a bit light tasting on the front.

Tasty stout. I like the bitterness, and coffee like notes. A well done stout that'd I'd have no problem drinking again. Good stuff.

Thanks Wasatch for this very good beer.

flexabull, Dec 16, 2006
Photo of FirstMan
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Knuckles picked this up for me in Montana along with a number of other delicious beers. Many thanks yet again for Knuckles and his 2005 beer safari.

Pours a very nice, deep dark brown - almost black from the squat bottle that I had. Overall the coloring was good, but I can't say that there was really anything to set it apart from other nice American Stouts that I've had. A coffee-colored head of tiny, round bubbles came up, but didn't linger quite as long as I had hoped.

Smell is wonderful on this one. Coffee, smoke, with a somewhat sharp woodiness to it. There's malt in there for sure, but the thing that gets me the most are the sharper elements in the nose.

Taste is good, but just a tiny bit disappointing after the nose. One thing I can say for sure is that this beer warms up well. My first sip didn't have the same kind of malty tones that my later ones did. Definitely there are notes of chocolate and smokey grains in there, but these are a little weak until the beer has had a chance to warm up.

The initial mouthfeel of this beer when it's cold may be its weakest point. It's almost too dry for me. I like an American stout to give you that creamy rich malty mouthfeel and this one didn't really get there until after it had warmed up a bit and then only a little.

If you like a dryer stout, this may not be a problem for you at all.

Overall this is a really good stout and one that I would have absolutely no problem drinking on a regular basis. I'd just make a point to let it sit for a few minutes before I started.

FirstMan, Aug 30, 2005
Photo of GClarkage
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

09/04/05- On tap via samplers at the Snake River Brewery in Jackson Hole, WY.

Presentation- Two 5oz samplers via the tap.

Appearance- Deep black color with a light chocolate brown colored head. Excellent lace.

Smell- One of the best scents from a stout I have set my nose upon. Huge hit of burnt coffee grounds, plus some dark chocolate and cigarette smoke smell.

Taste- Super deep burnt flavor. Large smoky taste as well. First you get the coffee grounds, then the rest is mostly smoke flavoring. I would almost put this in a smoked beer category.

Mouthfeel- Super smooth, close to velvety. Very small carbonation effect.

Drinkability- Not a huge fan of the smoke, but it worked fairly well with this beer. Lots of flavor in this one for sure.

GClarkage, Sep 05, 2005
Photo of karengarys
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This pours like motor oil with 20,000 miles on it - just like a stout should. Few bubbles, which dissipate rather quickly. The foam ring laces the side of the glass.

Smell of coffee. Some chocolate, some "bitter".

Tastes quite coffee like, but hints of carmel and unsweetened chocolate come through, along with, to me, roasted malts.

Mouthfeel is good, very creamy for a stout.

Decent body. Not thin.

The finish is very creamy, chocolatey, and at the very end some dry hops come along and clean the pallette, leaving the empty mouth with a clean fresh taste.

This is really good, I recommend it!

karengarys, Mar 21, 2005
Photo of Fatehunter
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this bottle poured at a restaurant, so the total lack of head may not have been the fault of the beer. It is jet black with the slightest dirty-white lace.
The smell is amazing: a little black licorice, lots of molasses and ending with a little smoke.
Great tasting too, following the smell: molasses, mild hop bite and more molasses.
It seemed crisper than normal for its style and lots of carbonation.
Overall it is a great stout, though the mouthfeel was off-style.

Fatehunter, Oct 01, 2011
Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 326 ratings.