1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Zonker Stout - Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Zonker StoutZonker Stout

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding

323 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 323
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.11%
Wants: 109
Gots: 13 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Zonker Stout Alström Bros
Ratings: 323 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Thorpe429
Thorpe429

Illinois

4.22/5  rDev +1.2%

Purchased from the Snake River website. Very glad to finally knock off this state, which brings my total up to 48. Come on OK and ND. Also, this happens to be a highly-rated FES. Score. Served in a snifter.

Beer pours dark brown with a good off-white head. Moderate amount of lacing and a thin collar throughout. The nose is roasty and dry with some coffee notes and a bit of dry chocolate. Taste is an improvement from there, with the roast, coffee, and chocolate notes all bringing dryness but not taking it over the edge. The fact that it gets a 4.5 here is all the more impressive given that someone mentioned Two Girls One Cup while we were drinking this. Finish is dry after a medium-bodied beer. Nice and drinkable; glad we ordered this.

02-14-2011 21:56:23 | More by Thorpe429
Photo of Huhzubendah
Huhzubendah

District of Columbia

4.35/5  rDev +4.3%

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The beer appears a near black shade in the body, with a dark brown hue near the crest. The beige head is a finger thick, and leaves a good trail of lacing on the glass. The aroma is quite roasty, with scents of chocolate in there as well. Very pleasant tasting, with a good balance of roast and chocolate flavors. Medium bodied and smooth, this beer has a nice feel on the palate. Very drinkable, I would certainly have this again.

02-12-2011 18:26:13 | More by Huhzubendah
Photo of drabmuh
drabmuh

Maryland

4.22/5  rDev +1.2%

The #2 FES and a beer from Wyoming? Yes please.

Beer is black and pretty thick looking as it is poured into my Russian River wine glass. Beer is overcarbonated and forms a big tan head of small and medium bubbles, moderate retention and lots of lacing left on the glass.

Aroma is strong, chocolate, bitter, coffee roast, some sweetness and a mild alcoholic nose. Interesting.

Beer is nice and smooth, mild bitterness at the end with a shadow of an aftertaste on the finish. The beer is mildly sweet at the lead off and the midpalate has this nice chocolate to it. The finish is gradual, creeping up after the swallow with a little late ashiness. It's a good beer.

02-06-2011 01:02:13 | More by drabmuh
Photo of jpmclaug
jpmclaug

South Carolina

4.18/5  rDev +0.2%

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass.

A - Black body with a nice sized brown head. So far so good.

S - Nice mixture of roast with notes of vanilla and chocolate. Maybe some coffee notes. Pretty good.

T - Follows the aroma with a nice malty base, roasted presence for sure with hints of vanilla. Big chocolate notes in the finish and a bit of coffee.

M - medium to heavy body, a fair amount of carbonation

D - Goes down easy. A solid stout for sure. I would drink this again anytime and would purchase more if I had the chance.

01-05-2011 02:46:38 | More by jpmclaug
Photo of oberon
oberon

North Carolina

4.15/5  rDev -0.5%

Poured into a Guinness pint glass jet black with no light getting thru,a thinner but well sustained mocha colored head atop.Wow,what deep mocha aromas,heavy roast intertwined with chocolate,very inticing to say the least,smells like a coffee house.What a creamy feel,almost feels like its nitro dispensed,very rich.Deeply roasted and quite dry on the palate,to me it has almost a dry stout flavor to it,light bitter chocolate underneath dark roast coffee.A great stout,it straddles a few different styles but whatever it is its great.

As it warmed more dark fruit made a presence making it more true to its labeled style.

12-22-2010 21:49:04 | More by oberon
Photo of bishopdc0
bishopdc0

Maine

4.38/5  rDev +5%

The color is black with a tan head it dissipates slowly leaving a very nice tan lace.
The aroma is sweet chocolate roasted only slightly but beautiful life a rich chocolate milk. love it
The mouth starts and continues smooth. The taste is a sweet stout starts with a creamy chocolate taste and has a slightly roasted taste in the middle it finishes with only a slight roasted taste that lingers nice....is definitely better on draft but still one of the best stouts

12-09-2010 00:54:43 | More by bishopdc0
Photo of DanThomas
DanThomas

Minnesota

4.7/5  rDev +12.7%

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.

10-24-2010 23:52:46 | More by DanThomas
Photo of Gueuzedude
Gueuzedude

Arizona

3.85/5  rDev -7.7%

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.

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

Illinois

4.13/5  rDev -1%

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.

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

Idaho

4.33/5  rDev +3.8%

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.

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

Kentucky

4.18/5  rDev +0.2%

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.

Cheers!

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

Pennsylvania

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%

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.

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

Massachusetts

3.98/5  rDev -4.6%

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.

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

Illinois

4/5  rDev -4.1%

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.

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

Ohio

4.2/5  rDev +0.7%

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.

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

Pennsylvania

4.35/5  rDev +4.3%

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.

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

Minnesota

4.38/5  rDev +5%

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.

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

Minnesota

4.22/5  rDev +1.2%

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.

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

Texas

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%

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.

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

Ohio

4.1/5  rDev -1.7%

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.

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

Indiana

4.58/5  rDev +9.8%

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.

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

Oklahoma

3.73/5  rDev -10.6%

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.

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

New Jersey

3.85/5  rDev -7.7%

(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!

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

Illinois

4.08/5  rDev -2.2%

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.

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

Massachusetts

4.15/5  rDev -0.5%

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.

01-19-2010 21:35:14 | More by FLAbeergutinMASS
Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 323 ratings.