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Zonker Stout - Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Zonker StoutZonker Stout

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

346 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 346
Reviews: 219
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 128
Gots: 20 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 346 | Reviews: 219 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of bjohnson
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to JahNoth for hooking me up with this sought after brew.

A: Did the lights go out? Black as night without the moon to guide you. Caramel colored one finger head that settles nicely leaving a slick film as if a slug just slid across the top of my beer. Retention on the sides of the glass, per usual.
S: Roasted barley notes with a twang of dark juicy fig that had been sitting in a oak barrel for awhile. Soft chocolate notes also hit the nose.
T/M: Sweet from the drop. Juicy fig and dark fruit notes. Slight woody notes coupled with the fruit. Chocolate malt and roasted barley notes. Bitterness detected towards the finish. Pretty smooth with a big body.
D: Love me a fine stout and this is one of them. Nice balance of this beer. Rich and full bodied make this a fine winter offering. I'm sure many a skier has enjoyed this after a hard day on the slopes.

Photo of sholland119
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours an absolutely jet black with a thin tan head and good retention. Looks very deep and rich for the style and ABV. Nice!

S-Smells great. Rich milk chocolate and chocolate syrup notes dominate with some roasted malt in the background.

T-Taste is very good as well, if not as mind blowing as the nose hinted it might be. Mostly roasted malt in the front and middle with a hint of chocolate sweetness and a nice hop bite in the finish.

M-Medium bodied with carbonation on the light side of moderate.

D-Very tasty. Nice flavor and great aroma for a 6% stout.

HV

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 woosterbill
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz brown bottle into a shaker pint.

A: Rich, thick-looking black body that only shows ruby at the utmost edges when held up to direct sunlight. ON top is an inch of brown foam that's simultaneously frothy and creamy. Average retention and lace. Good, serious-looking stout.

S: Rich, straightforward aroma of pure chocolate roasted malt. Dark, bitter, and elegant.

T: Big, rich, and hugely roasty. Tons of bittersweet chocolate and, on the tail end, plenty of dry burnt malt. One of the roastiest stouts I've had, and yet not overly astringent. Great for the style.

M: Medium bodied with plenty of carbonation. A little sticky.

D: Quite good for the intensity of roasted malts.

Notes: This was a thoroughly enjoyable surprise on my trip to the Tetons - who knew that the best Foreign/Export Stout in the country came from Snake River Brewing? Well, not me at least. I had this both in bottles and on tap at the brewery, and thought it was actually a bit fuller and richer out of the bottle, fwiw. The brewpub is definitely worth a visit, though, if you're in the area. Zonker should not be missed.

Cheers!

Photo of mattcrill
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

Photo of dancinwillie
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Pours black, with a modest cocoa head, which drops quickly, leaving a little bubbly island of foam in the middle of a dark sea.

Smells really big, and by that I mean like a RIS. Coffee, chocolate, alcohol, plums.

Tastes like what the aroma told me it would. Roasty/toasty, semi-sweet chocolate, raisons, faint plums. Very good tasting stout.

The mouthfeel is my least favorite thing about this beer. It seems like there is just a little too much carbonation. With just a tad less, this would be liquid velvet. It doesn't seem to match up to the taste, in fact it seems to take away somewhat.

Overall, a very good beer. I will be purchasing many more of these, and enjoying them throughout the fall and winter. Very drinkable, and sort of between RIS, and American Stout. Get some.

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 Pintofbrown
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one into a glass stein.

Appearance- The maple colored head built to about two-fingers and is velvety smooth. A nice amount of bubbles in the cap and some sheet lacing as it degrades.

Carbonation columns can be seen in the side of the glass, but other than that, good luck seeing anything else in this black body.

Smell- I am not getting much through the foam cap. There is a little malt sweetness, caramel-like. I also sense some roasted quality going on.

Taste- This is a nice, balanced stout. Roast is certainly there, malt has been cooked almost to perfection. It is not overwhelming or lingering really long in the finish. There are also notes of tobacco and definitely anise adding some pepper to the finish.

There are also hints of vanilla under everything. Even a little tobacco makes its way into the lingering end of the drink. Milk chocolate is in the mix as this one warms.

Mouth feel- This is where Zonker really hits its stride. It coats the mouth really well. The body is full and perfectly creamy, super easy to drink stout.

Overall- Zonker has a lot of great things going on. The well balanced flavors on the palate, the almost perfect mouth feel are the great things about this beer. If only the nose was a little bit better.

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 sirsteve42
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

Photo of armock
4.13/5  rDev -1%
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

Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.13/5  rDev -1%
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.

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 dirtylou
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
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

Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

It's been a while since I've reviewed. Reason? $$$, capped out on available styles, but mostly $$$.

Big plumb nose with hints of dry, bittersweet chocolate. A little too dry towards the ends, but nontheless, pleasent. This is a beast of a chocolate bomb. Reminds me of a desert at the St. Franics Hotel, circa 1982.

Overall a worthwhile beer if you can get your hands on it.

Photo of beveragecaptain
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle. Pours out thick and black, with little head even with a hard pour. Roasted coffee and chocolate aroma. Big roasted flavor. High acidity. Bitter chocolate. This is a very flavorful stout. More hops than usual for this style of beer. Pretty drinkable for the style. While I enjoyed everything about this beer, nothing really blew me away. Still, this is definitely a stout worth looking into.

Photo of GClarkage
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of ThaBobfather
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
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.

Photo of txbrewer
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of mikesgroove
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of mikeyv35
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
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!

Photo of xnicknj
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of tpd975
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
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.

Photo of kirok1999
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
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?

Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 346 ratings.