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Zonker Stout | Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
237 Reviews
BEER STATS
Reviews:
237
Ratings:
444
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
8.85%
 
 
Wants:
149
Gots:
32
For Trade:
2
Zonker StoutZonker Stout
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
Wyoming, United States | website

Style: Foreign / Export Stout

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 6.00%

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.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001

User Reviews
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Reviews: 237 | Ratings: 444
Photo of kculrich
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 12oz can, served in a tulip.

Look is pitch black with a formidable two-finger cap of tight, tan foam. Good retention for a stout with, at least initially, sheets of lacing which somehow go away the moment I'm not paying attention.

The nose is all about blackstrap molasses and burnt coffee pot.

On this beer, mouthfeel and taste are totally inseparable as it defies the nose's expectations by delivering a wave of silky smooth vanilla caramel, and a richness and creaminess totally unexpected from a small stout. Burnt barley, baking chocolate and hint of orange peel are accentuated by a piranha attack of superfine carbonation. There is, perhaps, the slightest suggestion of a sour, acerbic aftertaste which I feel a little dickish for even mentioning.

Overall, it's hard to believe that such a mighty beer came out of such a little can - I actually looked at it several times to make sure I'd read the abv right. This is not a complicated fuck-I-taste-like-stars-on-a-summers-night kind of stout: it only hits a handful of notes, but it hits the bejeesus out of them. I'm glad I have one more of these left that I can just sit and drink without thinking about it and trying to pick it apart, just enjoy the crap out of it.

Hat tip to @TheDoctor for furnishing yet another highly satisfactory tasty beverage.

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
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!

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Photo of joefuzz
4/5  rDev -4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz can poured into glass

This is one awesome looking beer pours pitch black with a finger and a half mocha head

Smells kind of like coco pebbles cereal

Some bitter dark chocolate and plenty of roasted malt...very well balanced

Mouthfeel is lighter...this beer doesn't feel heavy with all the flavor in it. carbonation on the lower side.

Overall I love lower abv stouts that are huge on flavor and this beer is perfect of that.

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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.

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Photo of bagpiper2005
4.32/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour: Motor-oil black in color with two fingers of chocolate-brown head that retains well and laces the glass like crazy.

Smell: Big roasted malt aroma up front. Hints of chocolate, coffee, and caramel. Light hops. An invitation to drink.

Taste: Can you say toasty? Lightly sweetened, huge roasted malt flavor kicks things off, with underlying hints of chocolate and caramel. Deliciously balanced coffee and hop bitterness at the back, and finishes kinda dry.

Mouthfeel: Moderately thick with medium carbonation. A little bit creamy and incredibly smooth.

Drinkability: Despite its heavier body and bigger flavor, it's actually quite sessionable. Drinks easy and you could definitely have a few of these.

Final Notes: A very well-executed stout that doesn't have the unpleasant burnt taste that some other stouts do. Deliciously balanced and satisfying, it would pair well with a variety of grilled/barbecued veggies and meats.

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Photo of dancinwillie
4.14/5  rDev -1%
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.

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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.

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Photo of aggiearcher13
3.88/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours quite dark, very tan head.

S: Coffee, roast, some smoke perhaps.

T: Very large coffee component, roasty, seems like smoke but I don't think they used a smoke malt. Finishes very clean.

M: Pretty good, I wouldn't mind a little more body but I think for the style it works.

D: Very drinkable, I really enjoyed this beer.

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Photo of Tolnik
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured this deep cola colored beer into a pint glass to enjoy. Gave a good amount of head when poured and reduced to a good amount of lacing lingering on the rim of the glass. The aroma of cooking chocolate greets the nose and gives hints of the spice. The coffee grounds and sweeter then expected chocolate taste. Overall this is a great tasting stout that I would recommend anyone try!

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Photo of tedpeer
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce poured into a pint.

A - Poured black with a huge tan head that settled to an eighth inch layer. Lacing to the end.

S - Roasted/smokey.

T - Roasted. Coffee, chocolate. Smoke? Minor bitter in the finish.

M - Thin to medium. Good carbonation.

D - Pretty good.

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Photo of JNewbs
4.22/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance is black as night with a small off white head that doesn't go away. Decent lacing as it drinks.

Smell is exceptional - sweet with a malty background and hints of coffee and caramel.

Taste is more coffee than was in the smell, but the roasted malt and chocolate still come through.

The mouthfeel was pretty typical of the class. Thick but not Imperial thick, if you know what I mean.

Drinkability was superb. I could house a 6er of these no problem, and the psychosomatic effect of the coffee taste would keep me going all night.

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Photo of bennett_loves_good_beer
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
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.

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Photo of germaniac
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Inky blackness from a 12oz stubby bottle.

The aroma of sweet malts and chocolate dominate, with hint of coffee bean in there, too.

Taste is roasted malt, with a slight hoppiness that fades into a baker's chocolate sweetness.

Has a medium body and carbonation levels, smooth and easy to drink. Really enjoyable. I think I might have found a replacement for 8 Ball and Sierra Nevada Stout.

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Photo of hopsleeroy
3.92/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Thanks to JohnGault1 for this traded bottle. Poured a black stout with slight lightness about it-not really viscous pour with that oily look. Smelled of toasted malt, chocolate, and maybe some darker fruits. Taste followed up the smell with a roasted coffee, vanilla flavor. Some dark bitter cocoa was there. I didn't pick up a lot of fruit but maybe a slight bit of caramel. Fairly full in the mouth but crisp for a stout. Hops are there but don't add floral or citrus maybe add to an earthy feel on the swallow. I could drink a few of these in a row. Nothing that will blow you away, but this is a well crafted, well balanced beer that highlights classic stout flavors.

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Photo of jhammerly
3.76/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. bottle with a notch in the month of Jan. on the label. Compliments of JohnGalt1.

Near solid black body with a frothy, mocha head. Roasted coffee aroma, and the same goes for the taste. Aftertaste of coffee flavors lingers on the tongue with some hop bitterness right before. Good carbonation. Not a heavily bodied beer. A very nicely balanced stout that is extremely drinkable. One of the better stouts that I have had in awhile that didn't have "Imperial" or "Russian" in the name.

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Photo of tar
4.38/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I first tried this beer while doing field work in Wyoming and made sure to bring a few back with me to Chicago (wish I had brought more). Pours a nice thick black-even when held up to a light, none passes through. A thinish, red-brown, foamy head diminishes fairly quickly to a thin layer of light brown bubbles. Wonderful smell of roasted malt, coffee, and chocolate. Full bodied, smooth, and very tasty. Lovely coffee and chocolate malt taste. Filling but highly drinkable. An outstanding beer and definitely one of my favorites.

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Photo of crhensel
3.82/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Bottle into English pint) Pours a velvety black with a small tan head that fell fast, except around the edge of the glass, leaving a nice lacing as it went. Aroma is, as expected, of the roast with some hints of chocolate and a slight hint of smoke. Very smooth in the mouth, there is a little more jump to the carbonation than I expected, but it helped to pull the nice roast chocolate flavor forward, as well as a bit of a sharp hop bite, which was a pleasant surprise. I would have liked a little more of a sharper finish with that bite, but the flavor just seemed to linger a hair too long. Not the best example i have had of the style, but FAR from the worst!

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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.

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Photo of OompaMentor
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a pint pour from tap at Snake River Brewing.
A- deep dark color with very nice brownish colored head
S- strong hint of roasted coffee and cocoa
T- coffee on front and cocoa on back
F- full bodied flavor

A descent (coffee) stout but certainly not a Coffee Ruckus brewed by Melvin!

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Photo of Knuckles
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I moved to Bozeman, Montana back in December of 1995. Being a native Seattleite, this was my first exposure to real winter. It was a harsh introduction, as I quickly realized that there was no such thing as a "snow day" (of course, I didn't have a car, either, so that made life a little difficult as well). It was with great joy, then, when I dragged my frozen ass into Osco and picked myself up a six pack of Zonker to warm myself up (and, quite seriously, thaw out my ass). I've loved this stout ever since, and a decade's passing hasn't cooled my ardor. Come to me, sweet, sweet, Zonker. Knuckles misses you terribly.

Appearance: This may not be the Beer of the Sith that the Silver City Imperial Stout is, but it could pass for Palpatine's underpants of evil. Black, but not totally opaque. Slight hints of light brown/ruby around the edges if held up to the light, but the center of the glass is completely impenetrable, much like my wife.

Smell: This thing is so much more than I remember: oak, raisins, caramel and smoke. Pinot Noir? Syrah? Damn. Am I at the casino with my kids, or am I huffing beer? It's fantastic.

Taste: My initial reaction on drinking this beer is this: Wyoming! Fuck Yeah! Even though I don't care much for Wyoming itself (but by GOD do they have the nicest goddam rest stops I've ever had the pleasure to pee in), and Jackson, WY is about as representative of that state as Kenny G is of Washington. It's smoky, vinuous, raisiny and delicious. Stouts like this one just aren't fair to the other stouts of the world. I love you, Zonker Stout. You make me happy.

Mouthfeel: Again, if you could drink Salma Hayek's pants (and please god, let me try at least once!), this beer is the zymurgic equivalent. Understand, of course, that is is purely an idealized construct of what I envision Salma Hayek's pants to be in liquid form, and that I would drink them if covered with cat hair cigarette butts, and mold. But that's neither here nor there. This beer is one velvety smooth motherfucker, and strikes a perfect balance between malt character and malt body. A mouthfeel that belies its relatively low ABV. Yow.

Drinkability: Well, here I'm in a bit of a quandary. Not everyone can suck down stouts like I can, and this beer is only distributed as far as Montana (as far as I know). That said, I have downed so many cases of this spectacular beer that I'm going to rate it at a solid 4.5. Any stout that clocks in at a mere 5.8%, and tastes like a stout rather than an ill-named brown freaking ale needs to be supped as much as possible. Sadly, I only have one bottle left, squirreled away in my basement (ok, it's not IN my basement yet, but it's in my kitchen. Which is by my basement. Sort of. I'm working on it.).

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Photo of FirstMan
4.07/5  rDev -2.6%
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.

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Photo of RJUGA03
3.6/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Poured a used motor oil colored body with a slight medium-brown head.
S-Aromas of coffee, chocolate, nut, and malts.
T-On the draw it offered flavors to the coffee and chocolate smells. The sip finished smoothly.
M-At first it was quite viscous and flowed into a lingering coffee bittered aftertaste.
D-This is a great year round stout beer and I do enjoy it. It has a bit of a hard time standing apart from other stouts in my humble opinion.

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Photo of PhantasIPA
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
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!

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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.

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Photo of lespaulrocker
4.3/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the brewpub.

A: Very dark. Lets through no light. Small brown head that doesn't really fade. Moderate to heavy lacing.

S: Sweet. Earthy hops with hints of malt. Hints of coffee.

T: Great taste. A little sweetness up front, maybe some cherry? Coffee and chocolate finish. Amazing.

M: Full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall, this was an amazing beer. One of the best I've ever had. I will definitely seek this one again.

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Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 237 ratings.