Zonker Stout - Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Zonker StoutZonker Stout

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BA SCORE
93
outstanding

226 Reviews
THE BROS
100
world-class

(Read More)
Reviews: 226
Hads: 391
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 7.89%
Wants: 130
Gots: 24 | 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: 226 | Hads: 391
Photo of flexabull
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
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. (590 characters)

Photo of orbitalr0x
4.17/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Snake River Zonker Stout pours from the stubby bottle into my glass a deep black with a dark brown edge and a finger of light tan foam on top. Aromas of dark roasty, charred malts with plenty of chocolate in the background. Roasty, burnt coffee shows up in the background. Some hops are lurkin in there as well. Rich and malty goodness.

First sip brings a smooth, deep roasty malt character with a somewhat burnt quality to it as well. Chocolate flavors are there as well as a burnt coffee midway through..almost a tad smoky. Subtle bitter hops run in the background. It flows down with a touch of sweetness. Overall, just a solid, tasty stout.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat chewy...good stuff overall. Doesn't ever get to be too heavy on the palate. Plenty of carbonation and a tad dry on the finish. Overall, this is a soild stout that I would easily grab if it was more readily available. Makes me want to try more Snake River brews. Thanks kmpitz2. (972 characters)

Photo of bjohnson
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
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. (874 characters)

Photo of Musky
3.24/5  rDev -22.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured silky smooth with a thick reddish head that has small and larger bubbles intermixed. The aroma of coffe and chocolate are strong. Smooth and tangy this one is as the bubbles dance on your tongue leaving a roasted barley aftertaste or burnt however you describe it. Mouthfeel is not as rich as you would normally see from this style of beer and very carbonated. A decent example of the Stout style, does have more hop flavor than I would expect from this style. (467 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 Westsidethreat
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Poured thick, looks chewy. Didn't appear to have much carbonation so when a decent head formed I was pleased. Head fell quick but left a thin dark tan layer across the entire beer.

S: Huge roasted barley, black patent malt, campfire moments and some chocolate milkshake aromas.

T: Begins with a soothing chocolate milk personality. Burnt wood...charcoal like aura surrounds this beer, very subtle. Touch of lactose like sweetness pools in the center of the tongue. Finishes chocolate butter cream and gnutella on toast.

M: Medium body, smooth and silky.

D: Enjoyable beer but not a lot of complexity. Very, very nice flavor though. This would be a good contestant for some barrel aging. (701 characters)

Photo of warmstorage
2.55/5  rDev -39%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

As sometimes happens, I'm left wondering if I tasted the same beer as others. This beer was a big reason I had high hopes for Snake River, and simply put, it disappointed.

I had it both on CO2 and then cask. The notes below are primarily for the CO2, except as specified.

Aroma: muted, as it was served way too cold. As it warmed, roast and slight chocolate.

Appearance: medium black, appropriate for style, but held up to light it shows a dark ruby with light shining though. I'm left wondering what the hell they are packaging in the bottle that has people describing it as so much darker than what I had on tap. Average head, medium/average carbonation, some lace, tight bubbles that fade fairly quickly. (Cask pour a little different, mostly a nicer, tighter, lacier head.)

Taste was heavy roast and some chocolate, with no noticeable hops. An unpleasant burnt wood/creosote very noticeable, and finishes somewhat sour. The most interesting thing about it was how terribly uninteresting it was, especially for a beer that has received so many accolades and awards. Cask had more pleasant chocolate, and a tiny bit less unpleasant burnt/creosote, but was only marginally better.

Overall, it's a very medium-average American/robust stout. I wouldn't complain if someone else was buying, but I certainly wouldn't go out of my way to get this. (1,363 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 Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Finally got around to this brew. Pours a black color, some carbonation, tiny head, not much lacing afterwards. Scents of malts, toffee, caramel, and chocolate. The taste is very toffee/caramel like, a little sweet as well. Medium body. Very drinkable, a pretty tasty stout in my book, pretty thick as well. If you can get your hands on some, do it. (348 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears black with a small dark tan head that slowly fades into a small cap. Tons of scattered lace is left around the glass.
Smell is of chocolate milk, malt balls, vanilla, caramel, and coffee with a hint of anise.
Taste is of the same aromas with some roasted notes being present, along with a dark fruit flavor that melds with the complex richness that is based in cocoa and caramel with coffee notes.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, smooth, sweet, sugary, roasty, chewy, and dry. There is a mild thin feel about halfway through the swallow but overall it's just a minor glitch in the grand scheme of this brew. (612 characters)

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

Deep, inky black, with a thinnish, roasted tan slab of foam.

Big espresso nose, roasted malts, dates, cocoa, molasses...nice, wide open, and earthy.

Slick and delicious...nice oily feel on the mouth...good heft in the body. A meal in itself, without being too much. Good, smooth, nice drinking stouty stout.
Good, gritty grab on the tongue. Long, chocolate malt finish.

Good stuff. Enjoy it if you can, please. (422 characters)

Photo of jwc215
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured very dark brown - almost black with a very slight tan head that quickly became a small patch.

The smell is of roasted coffee and a touch of chocolate wrapped around dark fruits.

The taste is of smoky charcoal, roasted coffee and a hint of chocolate. A dark fruitiness peeks through adding another dimension to the wonderful complexity and richness. It is full-bodied with a sweetness that is balanced with a touch of bitterness, so that the sweetness does not become cloying. Well-balanced, well-blended and layered, the flavors are combined very well.

It's very smooth. It thins ever so slightly in the mouth, but the flavors hang on, especially the smokiness.

Wonderfully rich, complex and delicious, this is a very good example of an American Stout and a delightful treat!
My thanks goes out to bitterbill for including two of these in our trade! (869 characters)

Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.81/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an absolute perfect thick oil black with a massive one inch thick chocolate brown head. Nose is very enviting with zesty smokey malt, and tones of chocolate. Nicely aromatic. Enters the mouth and coats the tongue with silky black maltyness. Slightly soured bitter twords the end of the palate. Lacks the richness that I would have expected from a stout this dark, but not bad. Hints of sweetness do exist. Thes is really decent for a low doe stout. Very drinkable and a nice surprise considering the price. fineshes to a belly warming crisp dark bitter. (559 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 Zorro
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark black colored beer with a good brown head.

Smell is smell is sweet and malty with a good amount of licorice and chocolate in the aroma. Hint of C hops lends this a little bit of a carrot aroma.

Taste is sweet chocolate with coffee roasted to nearly char in the first taste. Lots of roasted flavor here with a hint of smoke from it. Mild amount of acid in the taste from the dark malt. This beer is sweeter than you would think with lots of caramelized and burned sugar flavor. Bitterness seems understated to me, I get far more smoke and deep roasted flavor here than bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good.

A very good drinking stout with a very robust flavor. I agree with most that this is a good stout but I find that this is to my senses nearly a coffee stout emphasizing the roasted and smoky flavors the most. (824 characters)

Photo of Backer2004
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thank you to Brent56 for letting me try this one at the Carolina Brewmasters BBQ. Although way too hot to be drinking too many stouts, this one really was nice for the style. Very deep and dark color and bit more carbonation than expected. Nice smooth mouthfeel and (proabably) easy to drink more than one given the right setting. I will keep my eye out for this one again. (379 characters)

Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a coal black color with an espresso cap that lasts forever and leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Wonderful dark roasted malt aroma redolent of dark chocolate, coffee and burnt sugar

Taste: Starts out with a roasted flavor that becomes increasingly assertive with chocolate notes after the swallow; the finish reeks of chocolate and charcoal

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation; thins out a bit on the finish

Drinkability: There is a lot to like with this flavorful concoction; the awards are well-deserved

Thanks, ThomasHardy, for the opportunity and to douglas88, for the chance to revisit (633 characters)

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

Full roasty aroma has strong coffee and and chocolate notes. Deep black body with a long lasting two finger thick mocha head. It’s a looker. Fore is almost salty and quite bitter with roasted notes. Chocolate is not present, but stiff coffee is abundant. The bitterness is big, but being from the roast it incorporates well into the beer and gives it a wetness you don’t get with predominately hop bitterness. It could have more range and some underlying dark fruit accents, but it works well as it is. (504 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 CRJMellor
4.27/5  rDev +2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to trbeer for the bottle.

Pours inky black with a deep tan and wispy chocolate head that leaves scattered pockets of lace on the glass.
Aroma of chocolate cocoa and sweet caramel in front of a coffee/mocha type of scent.
Flavor has just the right balance between smooth and juicy malts and bittering of coffee and chocolate. Hint of brown sugar also appears as it warms.
Mouthfeel is very full-bodied and coats the palate with a pleasant sugary coffee-like feeling.
Drinkability is excellent really excellent example of a full-bodied and flavored stout which can stand the round about trip to MI. (610 characters)

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? (749 characters)

Photo of granger10
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Never heard of this brewery or beer but I got it down in Ohio over the holidays on a whim. Definitely a good choice!

Pours an opaque black with a medium airy caramel colored head. Head reduces to nothing and lacing is a bit weak.

Aroma is strong on rich, high quality dark chocolates. Roasted barley and smoky undertones accompany the chocolate. A bit of half and half seems to be there as well.

Taste is similar to aroma but an espresso precense I didn't get in the smell arrives. More of a dry yeast flavor also comes midway through to even out the chocolates. Finish has a bittersweet chocolate taste with a touch of acidity to clean it up.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, but its not really smooth. Its very thick and chewy. Odd but I like it.

Overall quite drinkable and enjoyable. I regret only buying one bottle. (834 characters)

Photo of mntlover
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black, black with a dense brown head that falls with gobs of sticky lace left behind on my glass.

Aroma is roasted malts light coffee and light chocolate flavors mingled together with some light citrus hops.

Taste is nice roasted malt some epresso and dark chocolate intermingle but neither dominates. A decent stout flavorable but not anything extraordinary either. Finish is bitterness from the coffee like roasted malts and a light citrus hop presence.

Mouthfeel is a big medium with nice mellow carbonation.

Drinkabilitys is good an enjoyable easy drinking stout, great for everyday drinking. Thanks go to mentor for this extra treat he threw in. (670 characters)

Photo of dirtylou
4.12/5  rDev -1.4%
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 (774 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
4.35/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle a pitchblack with a smalish head that dissipated quickly leaving just a wee bit of lacing around the edge of the glass.

The smell is all about the roasted malt and the promise of good things to come.

The taste is pretty complex; roasted malt with chocolate and coffee tones up front and in the middle and a note of bitterness at the end. A very well made stout that is sure to satisfy. I'm very glad this is available locally! (451 characters)

Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 226 ratings.