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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

334 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 334
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 125
Gots: 17 | 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: 334 | Reviews: 218 | Display Reviews Only:
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 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?

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 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 flexabull
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of Mebuzzard
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
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

Photo of jwinship83
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

Photo of FirstMan
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Photo of GCBrewingCo
4.07/5  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.

Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 334 ratings.