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Zonker Stout - Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Zonker StoutZonker Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

316 Ratings

(view ratings)
Ratings: 316
Reviews: 216
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 8.85%
Wants: 108
Gots: 11 | 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:
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 added by: BeerAdvocate on 12-26-2001)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 316 | Reviews: 216 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gueuzedude


3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A vigorous pour into my 25cl tulip glass produces a deeply browned, pale cocoa colored head. The beer is a near jet black color that doesn't allow any light to pass through its depths. The aroma smells nicely of richly toasted whole grain, lightly of dark coffee notes and amply roasted malt are all quite noticeable. A touch of roast grain chalkiness finds its way in towards the end of the nose and some alcohol notes produce hints of Bourbon somehow. This is a pretty straight forward roast smelling nose, there doesn't seem to be much in the way of dark sweet malt character based on the nose and in fact reminds me of a super roasty Irish Dry Stout (we'll see if the taste bears that out).

Dry and roasted tasting, burnt grain notes linger on the palate after my first sip and make this finish even drier. Quite smooth tasting, but also very light bodied, this beer is quite quaffable; it is extremely light bodied in fact and definitely much like Guinness in body, though it has worlds more flavor than that beer. Flavors of darkly roasted coffee, roasted whole grain bread crust, unsweetened cocoa powder and some roasted grain husk flavors. There is a touch of burnt acidity to the finish, but only a touch; despite the ample roast character this manages to not be overdone at all.

This is a nice, simply focused stout; it showcases dry, roasted grain flavors without getting too harsh, too bitter, burntly acidic, or astringent. Very nicely done, I could see myself quaffing a few pints of this beer quite easily.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2010 16:00:11 | More by Gueuzedude
Photo of SpdKilz


4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Randomly found a box of some older BOTM club beers (stouts and porters) I had not drank for some reason. Threw this one in the refrigerator to review. Best date notched on the label is March (of 2010 I am assuming from when I got this beer).

Appearance - Pours a pretty damn dark chocolate color with no light coming through the glass nor around the edges. About two fingers of mocha colored head is achieved with a moderate our, that dissipates relatively fast leaving light lacing.

Smell - Loads of roasted malts up front, caramel, cocoa, coffee. A great smelling stout.

Taste - I wasn't at all afraid about having this beer past it's "drink by" date considering we all know about aging certain beers. This is no exception. Taste is similar to the nose, though honestly even heavier on the roasted malts. Nice bitter chocolate/cocoa flavors mixed with slight coffee. Just a hint of hops comes through which is a nice surprise, especially with the age on this beer. In addition, as the beer warms up there is a distinct nutty flavor in addition to almost untraceable dark fruits - literally I feel like half of my sips they are present, the others they are not.

Mouthfeel - Medium bodied, decent carbonation.

Drinkability - Damn quaffable. A very enjoyable stout - reminds me of Old Rasputin a bit. Glad I sat on this one for a while and was able to bust it out tonight.

Serving type: bottle

10-04-2010 01:27:31 | More by SpdKilz
Photo of bagpiper2005


4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

09-21-2010 23:59:17 | More by bagpiper2005
Photo of woosterbill


4.18/5  rDev 0%
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.


Serving type: bottle

08-30-2010 13:54:19 | More by woosterbill
Photo of xnicknj


4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-24-2010 01:34:59 | More by xnicknj
Photo of u2carew


3.98/5  rDev -4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. stubby.
A) Black as night with a espresso foam colored head. The head / lacing is tight and sticky.
S) Roasted grain. Bready. Subtle chocolate. A noticeable coffee bean aroma.
T) Bitter chocolate upfront. Milky. Slight coffee flavor. Finishes with a subtle hop bite and lingering coffee roasted-ness.
M) Dry. Full body but seems a bit light. Smooth.
D) A well crafted stout. I'd have another.

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2010 00:45:22 | More by u2carew
Photo of TMoney2591


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

Served in a Dogfish Head shaped pint glass.

I do so love brewery-direct shipping. This result pours a straight obsidian topped by a half-finger or so of ecru foam. The nose is rather roast-centric, with some light coffee, chocolate, light-ish molasses, and vanilla bean rounding things out in the nasal department. The taste follows the same basic plan, with the roasted malts leading the way, followed by some dark chocolate powder, molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, and a hint of toffee. The body is a nice solid medium, with a light carbonation and a rather smooth feel. Overall, a very nice stout, one that I could easily see being a staple if I lived on the other side of the Rockies.

Serving type: bottle

08-06-2010 11:00:13 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of JNewbs


4.2/5  rDev +0.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-04-2010 19:18:14 | More by JNewbs
Photo of dtivp


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

Pours black with a small tan head that dissipates into slight lacing.

Very strong coffee aroma with a hint of hops.

Taste is dominated by the coffee with a slight taste of dark chocolate.

Medium body beer with very moderate carbonation, very silky smooth.

This is a very nice stout that starts with a coffee kick and then ends with a slight smoothness. I hope to find this beer again in the future.

Serving type: bottle

04-27-2010 03:00:22 | More by dtivp
Photo of KeefD


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

Pours a pitch black color, thick and viscous pour, with a generous dark tan head, and tons of lacing on the tulip. Almost looks like an imperial. I could smell the roastiness as it was pouring. Nice, deep roasted goodness, chocolate, little hops. Taste follows the nose. Good roast, coffee, chocolate, a touch of caramel. Again, hops are nearly absent. Great, bittersweet dark chocolate finish. Body is a bit thinner than what I was expecting after the pour, but this is solid stuff. A great, tasty, lower alcohol stout that has much flavor as many imperials. Excellent stout.

Serving type: bottle

04-13-2010 01:28:59 | More by KeefD
Photo of hardy008


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

Pitch black color with a small tan head with good retention. Coffee and chocolate aromas were noticeable as soon as I opened the bottle along with some hops. The taste is the same as the aroma, nothing to extreme, just a good, delicious stout. Sometimes less is more. This beer is not overly complex, but is quite good. Medium bodied, low carbonation, and somewhat dry. Worth seeking out if you have a chance.

Serving type: bottle

03-09-2010 02:22:52 | More by hardy008
Photo of txbrewer


4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-21-2010 16:58:26 | More by txbrewer
Photo of ThaBobfather


4.1/5  rDev -1.9%
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-15-2010 22:22:18 | More by ThaBobfather
Photo of scoobybrew


4.58/5  rDev +9.6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-28-2010 03:18:46 | More by scoobybrew
Photo of kylejohnson03


3.73/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a pint glass. Pours pitch black, and lets absolutely no light through. A fairly impressive looking one inch caramel colored head, but fades away too quickly. Smells of roasted malt, coffee, and just a hint of smokeiness. All those notes come back in the taste, along with some bitter chocolate. Dry finish, low carbonation. Drinks very thin, combined with almost no trace of the 6% ABV = good drinkability. Overall, a very average American Stout. Would drink again if offered, but probably wouldn't go out of my way to seek it out.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 02:46:06 | More by kylejohnson03
Photo of crhensel

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -7.9%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 20:44:48 | More by crhensel
Photo of jwinship83


4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-24-2010 04:45:41 | More by jwinship83
Photo of FLAbeergutinMASS


4.15/5  rDev -0.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-19-2010 21:35:14 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Photo of armock

New York

4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
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

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2010 22:34:09 | More by armock
Photo of Wilyum

New York

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

A very dark brew with a creamy tan head and a smooth, mellow mouthfeel. Very well balanced hops and malt with a great toasty, roasted flavor and aroma; this beer is very easy to swallow and I could drink it all night. It went very well accompanied by a plate of kraut with sausage!
I think anybody who hates this probably shouldn't be drinking beer! Best regards, W

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2010 21:55:48 | More by Wilyum
Photo of CHickman

New York

4.68/5  rDev +12%
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!

Serving type: bottle

01-15-2010 03:45:56 | More by CHickman
Photo of bonkers

New Jersey

4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I got this as part of my botmc, I poured from a 12 ounce bottle into my SA perfect pint glass. It is jet black, 2 finger sticky head and lots of lacing. It has big coffee and chocolate notes in the aroma. The taste follows teh nose. The finish lingers with dark bitter sweet chocolate. It is medium to full in body. This was a pleasant suprise, This is a beer to be seeked out.

Serving type: bottle

01-05-2010 22:19:43 | More by bonkers
Photo of samoblue


4.18/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a tulip glass at approximately 45 degrees F.

Pours a deep, inky black. Absence of light black. Black as my soul black. The shit's black. A finger of medium- to dark-tan head disappeared rather quickly.

Dark chocolate and roasted barley on the nose, but my sense of smell is terrible so I'm sure the reviews that caught other aromas aren't inaccurate. All the same, the chocolate has got to overwhelm everything else here.

On first sip, more dark chocolate, and espresso--definitely more pronounced than the typical coffee flavors one can get from a stout. Roasted, nutty notes, and sweetness...sweet like dried or candied fruit...probably more raisin-y than prune-y.

Mouth feel is pretty smooth. Fairly low to moderate carbonation. I expected it to be thicker, given the dark, dark color (did I mention the shit's black)? Semi-dry on the finish.

Although I can appreciate a good one, I've never really been much of a stout guy. I really, really liked this beer, though, and would certainly be into others that walked these lines.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2010 22:53:32 | More by samoblue
Photo of OneDropSoup


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

Excited to see this one in the December package of my BotM club. Heard good things about it, had never seen it in the flesh before.

Poured into a pint glass black with no apparent highlights. Half-finger of brown sugar head drops to a ring & dusting, with sweet "swamp-moss" lacing.

Sweet baking smells emerge, cocoa, mild roast coffee. Good, solid smells, but not real forthcoming or assertive. Just right there.

Taste starts off with a cola-like caramel, quickly moving into cocoa & vanilla. Some bitterness from dark coffee-like roast & some hops follows. Aftertaste is defined by a chocolate & marshmellow sweetness, with residual bitter dark chocolate.

Moderately full body, very creamy. This one really delivered: full of flavor without being overwhelming or intoxicating. Reminds me of FBS without the heavy bitter roast or alcohol, one destined for repeat performances.

Serving type: bottle

01-04-2010 00:27:37 | More by OneDropSoup
Photo of bsp77


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

Received in December shipment of my BOTM club.

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into Nonic Imperial Pint.

Appearance: Pure black with nice brown head (at first) and slight lacing. Looks almost Imperial.

Smell: Bittersweet chocolate, molasses, licorice, roasted barley, and a light touch of alcohol.

Taste: Chocolate, coffee, molasses, with a light roasted and almost musty character. Fairly light bitterness at the end for an American Stout.

Feel: Low carbonation, pretty smooth, medium body that seems a smidgen thin for a Stout, semi-dry finish.

Drinkability: While a nice drinkable, even delectable Stout, I would have preferred a little more body, roasted character or bitterness (or maybe all three) to elevate this above simply "very good" status. Still quite pleased overall.

Serving type: bottle

12-27-2009 13:44:26 | More by bsp77
Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 316 ratings.