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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

227 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 227
Hads: 393
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 7.89%
Wants: 131
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
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Reviews: 227 | Hads: 393
Photo of hopfacebrew
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My man KC hooked me up with a few bottles after his recent trip to Jackson Hole! Thanks man!

The beer was poured from a brown 12oz bottle to a schooner glass.

A - The beer pours a deep black color with a deep dark brown on the edges. The head is a massive 2.5 finger brown fluffy head with great retention and lacing.

S - Great roasted malt character along with a mild hop character. Very pleasant.

T - Just the like nose the beer starts and finishes with a nice roasted malt character. Nice roast malt character with chocolate and coffee and toffee tones. The middle of the beer brings a moderate bitterness. Finishes with the roast on the tongue and lingers. Very very nice.

M - Nice full bodied well carbonated beer. Smooth. Good.

D - Extremely.

Overall, I was really blown away by this beer I had never heard of. Great flavor and mouthfeel. Very nice.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 02-27-2011 02:48:51 (1,055 characters)

Photo of TheDoctor
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
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. (709 characters)

Photo of sporklift87
4.53/5  rDev +8.4%
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. (565 characters)

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

Best enoyed by date is the end of april...

Pours dark mahogony to black witha 3 fingers deep toffee colored head. Good lacing & very good head retention

Smell: rich roasted malts, chocolate& slight coffee notes

Taste: Rich roasty grainy/malty notes with chocolate. Dryness and some fruitiness on the finish

MF: Rich & silky, very good carbonation

Pretty darn drinkable & darn tasty stout. Hits all the right notes for a stout to me. Give this a shot

I need to get back to that store & try the vienna amber from snake river I saw there (553 characters)

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. (1,033 characters)

Photo of kmpitz2
4.57/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz stubbie. Pours a nice solid black color with a finger of dark tan head that falls quickly to a nice coating over top of the brew. This is a nice dark beer, and clarity is not discernable. A few stray bubbles climb the side of the glass, but otherwise, this one is not showing off any carbonation. This brew smells really damn good. It has a big blast of chocolate and coffee, with lighter notes of fig, and a very solid creamy character as well. I think this one smells fantastic. Flavor is solid, while not being overpowering. The initial sip is mild coffee with sweet chocolate back notes. It moves to a mild pine hop that accentuates the coffee notes. It finishes with a moderate bitterness and the chocolate and coffee fade to a moderate chocolate coated fig. As it warms, I get very nice creamy notes that lead me to believe there is some oat in this beer. I like the transitions in this brew. Nothing is too strong, and balance is nice. The mouthfeel is moderate to thick, with a very solid creamyness and very light carbonation. The carbonation makes this one come across more thick than it really is. This is a very drinkable beer. The aroma and flavor are in harmony with each other. The flavors transition well and play well with each other. Nothing gets in the way in the beer and the lower ABV makes this one something to drink more than one of in a night. I will enjoy the rest of the 6 pack that I have for sure. (1,432 characters)

Photo of brew3crew
4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-wow. Nice dark body with a great tan head that stays around for awhile

S-nice blend of roasted malt and chocolate. Almost a peanut butter smell. Deliciius

T-alot like it smells. Fantastic. Blend of roastiness and chocolate

M-medium body and oh so smooth

O-great brew. Will be searching it out for sure (307 characters)

Photo of scoobybrew
4.59/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass

A - deep dark, nearly black, color with a thick tan head that settles somewhat into a chunky foam collar

S - rich roasted grain aroma most reminiscent of chocolate and coffee, hops noticeable

T - rich malt character that is much like the aroma: chocolate, coffee and rich roasted grains dominate the flavor profile; there is a very slight hop finish and for all its malt richness is somewhat relatively dry

M - silky medium body with moderate carbonation

D - This is probably the best American stout I've had in a very long time. I'm very pleased to have tried it and would definitely recommend it to a friend. It's too bad I don't have any more at the moment. (690 characters)

Photo of BeerFMAndy
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle poured into an Imperial pint. Best by Jun notched on label. Yeah, but what year?

A - On the pour I noticed the beer coming out a clear mahogany amber/red. In the glass however, it was completely opaque black and poured out like warmed syrup: thick and quite. The one-finger creamy tan head rose up, stayed shortly, and left to leave a ring and small ridges of lacing.

S - Dark, rich malts, roasted to perfection meld with rich molasses and brown sugar with a touch of marshmellow and chocolate. As a matter of fact, it's really close to a s'more in aroma. A roasted coffee bean resides in the back.

T - Oak aged flavor immediately jumps out with a bitter coffee bean roasted flavor right behind it. Strong malts also populate the flavor from chocolate to caramel. Also making an appearance is molasses, maple syrup (just a touch), and a dash of brown sugar. I've been looking forward to a stout like this for a while.

M - Full-bodied and rich, it's creamy and smooth as velvet. Zonker's viscosity makes it flow down the throat nice and slow which produces just a small bit of alcohol warming. A small carbonation crispness can be found on the finish but really it sticks with being a smooth operator.

D - Totally awesome! This beer is fantastic and it quenched my thirst for a really strong, dark, and delicious beer devoid of hop flavor. I'm taking my sweet time with it though. Its much more of a sipper. (1,424 characters)

Photo of trep
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Found a random 6-pack of this at my local shop so I bought a single bottle after reading the good reviews on it.

Pours as black as any imperial stout i've seen except maybe expedition. Creamy chocolate brown head...tons of lacing as it fades. 0 light penetration. Looks about as good as i've seen for an American Stout. Vibrant chocolate, raisins, a bit of alcohol. Roasted coffee and the smell of wet tobacco. If this beer tastes as good as it looks and smells i'm definitely going back for the rest of the 6'r.

Smooth coffee and chocolate glide you through to the roasted coffee finish. Very sweet, almost like a milk/sweet stout. A good bit of tobacco also. Reminds me alot of Mackeson XXX Stout. This is incredibly good and smooth as can be. Probably the single best American Stout ive ever had. To think that this is a less than 6% stout and has this complex of flavor is mindblowing.

Creamy, smooth, medium-full bodied. Think melted chocolate ice cream consistency. Quite perfect. Incredibly drinkable also, I am officially going back to get the rest of the 6'er. (1,079 characters)

Photo of brewcrew76
4.6/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Thanks to kmpitz2 for this one.

A - Pours a jet black with a thin brown head that disappears to a ring around the side of the glass with a little oil slick like skim in the middle.

S - Strong roasted malt and chocolate. Hints of coffee in the background.

T - Coffee is more prevalent than in the aroma. Roasted malt and a nice rich chocolate. Good balance between sweet and bitter but not even close to astringent.

M - Full and creamy but not heavy and filling.

D - A wonderful stout that I could drink all night long. (534 characters)

Photo of dqderrick
4.61/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served at 47°F.

Nice frothy chocolate milk colored head that has staying power. Awesome. Nice lacing on the side of my glass. I'm not sure a beer this style could have a better appearance. 5.

Chocolate hits the nose with roasted malts. The smell isn't as strong as I hoped, but quality is better than quantity I suppose. 4.

Taste is mellow, dark roasted, a little sweet honey, maybe a hint of tobacco with a pinch of cocoa and maybe... I'm reaching here, a little coffee. Fun stuff here. 4.5

Mouthfeel bangs it out of the park. The carbonation plays on my palate and makes for a bubbly mellow experience that begs for more... and more. What a great 6.0 % beer! 5.0

I could drink several of these. The flavor is approaching imperial stout levels which blows me away. I don't drink many regular stouts, but I've had Mad River's Stout, SN's Stout and a couple other within the last 6 months... this one is better. Not by a lot, but it stands out. 4.5

In closing, I got this through a trade with JohnGalt1 who has always been a GREAT trader. I can't get this local to me in San Diego so I probably won't be getting more any time soon. Maybe I'll throw this on my WANTS in case I can pick one up as an extra.... hmmm. (1,219 characters)

Photo of electricfields
4.62/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Gave it an aggressive pour and came up with a quickly dissipating finger-and-a-half hot chocolate brown head with an opaque dark reddish-brown body.

S: Lots of roasted malts and caramel. A slight coffee bitterness. Smells really delicious.

T: Sort of tastes like a bitter mocha. Chocolate and coffee of course, with a nice light honey style sweetness. This is probably one of the better stouts I've had lately, and definitely renews my faith in a style that i wasn't really sold on before.

M: Nice and thick without being syrupy. A little sticky, but refreshing. Very creamy with a good amount of carbonation. Pretty much exactly the exact texture I expect from a good stout.

D: This is about as drinkable a stout as you're going to find. Good from the second it's poured 'til the second you're pouring another. (819 characters)

Photo of cokes
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Looks like liquid sin poured from the bottle. Absolutely pitch black, seems non-carbonated as it is poured, then a decent tan head cascades up from nowhere and decides to stick around and leave filthy amounts of lace down the sides of the glass.
Burnt dark fruit, strong coffee and earthiness are all over the aroma and the taste buds, with a quelling sense of milk chocolate. The hops kick in and add peppery spicy notes to the melee. More earthiness and coffee follow, and ride long past the swallow.
While intense in all aspects, this beer delivers what a top notch stout should. Certainly a treat for stout lovers. (620 characters)

Photo of mentor
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by mattcrill, ala BIF16. Actually, that bottle arrived empty, but then I saw the same beer at Liquor Mart (Boulder) a couple days later. I never would have tried it otherwise, thanks for the suggestion. The freshness notch on the side of the bottle is Oct. Pours a half finger brown-tan head over a black liquid. Poured thicker than I expected from a stout, more like a very dark B-wine. Smells tamed coffee. Roast, but sweetened and with a hint of chocolate. It's got a lactose smell to it, which is a scent I often get in oatmeal stouts, too. Overall the smell is subdued and simple. Tastes of coffee muted with a milk and caramel sweet. I can't tell if the roast is gentle or if the other characteristics steal away the bitter punch of the roast. It's got a little bit of an alcohol sting and some grassy hop character which is coming across to me as Williamette. The sweet runs out in the finish leaving the beer dry and with the feel of roasty bit on the tongue. Wow, I'm really impressed by this simple little stout from a small brewery in the state to the north. Mouthfeel is md-thick and, although the carbonation is fine, it's a bit sharper and more than I would expect. As the beer warms, a sour (from black patent) appears, but this is new challenge of angst is countered by a thick chocolate that has also risen. Well done, this was a really nice offering. (1,384 characters)

Photo of CHickman
4.64/5  rDev +11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.75

Came with the Beer of the Month Club. Pours black with zero visibility and a 1/2 inch creamy chocolate milk like head; smells of coffee, roasted malts, caramel, burnt wood and maybe some rum or raisin...this is a robust odor that's quite pleasing and is a cross between a nice roasted or burnt coffee and a chocolate shake.

Tastes like it smells with coffee, roasted malts, caramel, burnt wood, coco and/or chocolate, nut, molasses and light hops at the end. It has a heavy feel but smooth or maybe slick on the tongue and the malts dominate with medium carbonation, yet the hop finish makes it feel crisp and lighter than it is as it goes down smooth overall. The carbonation is actually perfect and allows for savoring of the complex malt and coffee mix that is present throughout this brew. The finish is on the dry side where the nut and roasted malt flavor peek through before the hops make an appearance.

A really enjoyable beer for anyone who likes stouts, or coffee for that matter. A definite recommendation, as this brew is not too sweet and yet the malts carry the taste with such a nice mix of coffee, chocolate and roasted flavor. Drinkability is very high, as I could drink this beer all night or have it with a meal. Glad this arrived in the mail! (1,266 characters)

Photo of DanThomas
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Easily the best stout, of any kind, that I've tried to date.

A- Simple. Black opaque, minimal foam rim, no lacing.

S- Pure roasted barley dominates, and a mild nutty coffee undertone.

T- The roasted barley dominates initially (and it's an extremely dark roast), but the finish is a nice melange of complex roasted flavors, particularly coffee and maybe hazelnuts. Finish is a good amount of bitter.

M- Sharp carbonation in between the initial intake and the finish, maybe a little too much, but it helps introduce that wonderful roasted complexity on the finish. Beer feels substantial, too, like drinking (or chewing) french press coffee as opposed to something like drip.

D- It's both strong and robust, perfect for cold winter nights by the fire, and light and refreshing for warmer weather/ lighter occasions. I don't know how they do it, but this is a fantastic stout for any occasion. Unbelievable. (910 characters)

Photo of orfeu
4.65/5  rDev +11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I've been wanting to try this stout for quite some time, and now through the gracious efforts of one pimpp I have an opportunity (x3, in fact) to do so. Best before the end of January (2008, I presume). Oily, viscous, pitch body with densely packed, fat head of dark tan foam. Sticky clumps of lacing. Chocolate, roast, dark toffee, slight herbal hop aroma. Firm roastiness wrapped in robust baker's chocolate and coffee flavors. Soft mineral twang and leafy-musty hops accent the lingering, char-inflected finish. Silky smooth body, gorgeous in its balance of substance and unobtrusiveness. Incredibly drinkable. Reminds me of why I love stouts so much. I wish they all could be as fantastic as this one. (705 characters)

Photo of brewdlyhooked13
4.72/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Prepare yourself for this one, it's a keeper. The pour reminds me of the 20W-50 I used to put into my VW. Not as thick, but this is a solid beer. Awesome looking mocha head that I initially thought had a shot at lingering due to its creamy foam, but alas it was gone inside of two minutes.

Interesting aroma experience for me. I detected some kind of grassy, earthy smell that I couldn't quite identify, seemed a little out of place for a stout, it had me thinking this was going to be a break from the mainstream stout style. Towards the end of the glass the smell turned abruptly to strong chocolate and coffee persuasion. I'm not sure how that happened. I had been munching on popcorn prior to the tasting, maybe that affected my olfactory pickups for a bit until the stout burned on through. Fantastic aroma eventually, though.

The is a different stout in that it starts out with more of a bite than the typical stout. A very smooth mouthfeel, nice mellow coffee tones at first, followed by a slightly bitter finish. Towards the end, the chocolate started coming through really strong, it's unusual for a beer flavor profile to change like that from beginning to end. Maybe I was just picking up the flavors better as the liquid warmed up a bit. Wish I'd had another to explore this more thoroughly, I see a mail order in the future...

This beer is quite well-balanced between the malt and hops, it's an easy drinker for the whole six pack, a difficult statement for a stout as my mouth can become anesthetized (sp) after a few dark ones. This beer makes quite the statement, however. (1,597 characters)

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. (496 characters)

Photo of WVbeergeek
4.75/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pitch black dark all the way through after a rough pour forms a standard sized two finger width head dark tan in color that as it dwindles leaves behind fine even lacing. Aroma: Robust milk chocolate creamy edge with coffee accents what an excellent smelling brew with just a touch of hops to balance. Taste: Ideal stout, Wyoming has it good robust sweet chocolate slight coffee very creamy just rolls along the palate bringing an immediate smile to this imbiber's grill. Does a finish a tad on the dry side with just noticeable amounts of alcohol session stout, pick this one up by the case you won't be sorry. Mouthfeel: Full body creamy texture doesn't even attempt to sit heavy with me what a perfect mouthfeel with dead on carbonation, great stuff. Drinkability: Perfect I'm a believer in the things I heard of this stout all expectations of this rare brew have been met, thank you for being available in Cleveland. (932 characters)

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 ;) (544 characters)

Photo of andyo
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

What else can I say that hasn't been said from the other reviews? I had this on Labor Day almost on accident. I reached into my buddies cooler (in the dark) and pulled this beer out, as well as an Old Rasputin. Having had the Rasputin on several occasions, I opted for the Zonker Stout. I'm glad I did.

Jet black in appearance, with an earthy, chocolate nose. Upon first taste I was pleasantly surprised! This beer is fantastic! It's not that it is far too different from most stouts, it is just somewhat better. It seemed to me that all the best qualities of a stout were just magnified in this beer a bit- kicked up a notch! This beer resemebled milk chocolate flavors, with a faint nutty vanilla background. Nice espresso notes come through with a bit of hops in the finish. Very balanced, very good.

This beer could easily become a session stout for me. I will definately be visiting this one again. (909 characters)

Photo of kaszeta
4.8/5  rDev +14.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

The beer camed with a deep, deep black body and a thick dark caramel head that lingered. The beer sports a strong roasted malt aroma with plenty of mocha turns, and a bit of a pleasant burnt smell. Tastewise, this was a wonderful stout: a bit of initial bite, plenty of sweet maltiness rolling over your tongue, fading to coffee and roasted malt aftertaste. A well-balanced, smooth, rolling mouth feel. A very drinkable stout, easy one of my top five. I highly recommend it. (474 characters)

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. (334 characters)

Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 227 ratings.