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Zonker Stout | Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

239 Reviews
For Trade:
Zonker StoutZonker Stout

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: 239 | Ratings: 447
Photo of Atron67
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- pours a dark black with no particulates in it. An offwhite head that was pretty fluffy lasted a good time, and left a film around the glass.

S- slightly sweet roasted malty. a little chocolate

T- a solid maltiness with a well balanced, and pretty heavy bitterness as well. Roastedness is strongly present in the malt flavor, with a chocolate flavor playing a more subtle role.

M- a thicker body, with a solid carbonation on the tongue

D- an awesome stout

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Photo of OKCNittany
4.4/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

stumbled into this in a pizza joint in West Yellowstone & while the chicken parm made me wish I was back in NEPA, this stout more than made up for it.

12 oz bottle into a pint glass

A: Near black body. 1/4" light brown head w/ good retention & lacing.

S: Big chocolate nose - I thought I picked up some roasted coffee & malts too, but chocolate ruled the day.

T: The coffee & roasted malts showed up a little more in the taste - complemented the bittersweet chocolate very well.

M: The body was not as full as I wanted it to be, but the carbonation was low enough that it was still pretty smooth.

D: Went down very easily. It would make a pretty good session beer if you're a stout, chocolate, and/or coffee lover.

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Photo of Georgiabeer
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very nice stout, and my first beer from this brewery. Pours black and viscous from the bottle. Very intense looking liquid, but unfortunately with no real head or lacing. What head there is is quite dark. Aromas of coffee, a touch of citrusy hops, and a bit of licorice ropund out the smell. The taste is quite robust but also quite smooth, with flavors of vanilla, coffee, coconut, and syrup drenched bacon. Complex and tasty. The mouthfeel is smooth and creamy and medium bodied. I really enjoyed this. It is not quite world class, but very, very solid and packs a lot of punch for the reasonable abv.

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Photo of TheManiacalOne
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Acquired via trade from Slats, so a big "Thank you" goes out to him. Poured from a 12oz. bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a deep dark brown color with a short light brown head that fades slowly and leaves a thick and even lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is of rich & creamy coffee and chocolate along with dark roasted malts and the slightest touch of hops.

T: The taste is bursting with dark chocolate, black coffee and roasted malts. It starts with a touch of sweetness that quickly fades into a strong bitterness from a mild hops presence, but mostly from the flavors mentioned previously. The after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and very smooth, medium-to-heavy body, light-to-medium carbonation, dry and slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down easily, slightly filling, decent kick, good representation of style, this is the versatile type of stout that you can either pound down for an evening or sip slowly as you just relax and watch TV.

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Photo of Vancer
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hey, many thanks to brent56 for the sample, in a nice trade.

Black gold came bubbling outa the bottle like Texas crude. YummY! Tan head appears and flattens quickly, leaving a thin sheet of lace.

Enticing aroma of toasted chocolate smores. Dry stout like tastes of burnt toast – dry finishing dry and gritty. More yummy as it’s well balanced with a subtle hop backbone. And I do believe some dark fruits, especially cherry have been tossed into the mash tun.

Another great American craft beer, disappointing that this one is just generally available locally. Thanks be to BA and the trade network, as this one should be on your try list – if you’re a stout person.

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Photo of mountdew1
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a regular glass from a bottle notched best by March (drank on April 5th). Poured a very dark opaque black with a nice thick foamy brown head. Head lasted the whole glass with lacings towards the end. Aroma was slightly sweet, but had a definate burnt malty oatmealy to it. Tasted of sweet, chocolate, oats. Very easy to drink. No bitterness or excess carbonation. Very solid beer.

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Photo of Ricochet
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Average for a stout or average for beers? When a stout is black, with no see through and has a creamy head with a thick lace, how can that be average? Smells like an imperial, totasted malts, some coffee but not overpowering and then there is alcohol. It was blended nice. Addend to the appearence, it was yellow/amber and very sticky foam, bonus! Mouth washed creamy, chewy with a stout-typical aftertaste.

What impressed me was the defined almond flavor I got in the taste, It was a well defined burnt malt, slight bitter chocolate and good balance of alcoholic after flavors, but the almond note, nutty, made this a step above. Outstanding.

I kept this in the fridge too long, it would likely be even better if it were warmed, but this is up there with Brooklyn Chocolate and Flying Dog Gonzo and even my fave porters. Great stuff. Get it and and get it again as I will.

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Photo of Tyrawlings
3.68/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz. Bottle poured into a pint glass.

A: Soft black in color. Fluffy brown head pours two fingers thick and dissolves ever so slowy. Good retention. Nice sticky lacing.

S: Roasted coffee. Chocolate. Dark sugars. Earth. Hops.

T: Delicate roasted coffee is folowed by milk chocolate with a tiny hop tingle on the tongue. Roasted barley and caramel malts balance everything out quite well. A slight hint of nuts and a very earth like finish.

M: Silky smooth and creamy. Moderate carbonation. Slighty dry.

D: The only thing holding one back from knocking down a sixer is the full body of this brew. Surprisingly tasty with varied flavors throughout. Recommend.

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Photo of jhammerly
3.76/5  rDev -9.8%
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 rowew
4.34/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz short bottle, twist off. Best enjoyed moth notched on the side of the label.

Appearance: Pours very dark, just a slight hint of red when held up to the light. Thin off white head, fades to just a hint of lacing.

Smell: Coffee, a bit sweet. Some hops and roasted aromas too.

Taste: Medium to thick bodied. Lots of cocoa flavor, roasted malt, and a bit of hops. Coffee here too.

Overall impression: Very nice - good variety of flavors, highly drinkable. This one is a winner.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz. bottle poured to a standard pint glass (Abita); Best enjoyed by end of April.

A: Thick and virtually black, capped with an enormous frothy/rocky 3-finger mocha-colored head. Though the color is dark as midnight, a few zippy streams of tiny carbonation bubbles fizzle to the top. Long-lasting head retention and clumpy bits of creamy lace.

S: A considerable amount of cocoa-sweet chocolate maltiness, tempered with bittering herbal hops and a few hints of sour oxidation.

T: Tastes like rich cocoa, maybe milk chocolate. Finishes gently bitter, a blending of roasted coffee, smoky malt and mild lactic sourness. Bold and lasting flavors.

M: Medium-full body with a substantially carbonated mouthfeel. Starts almost too active in the mouth, then mellows, gains some smoothness & creaminess. Then a long-lasting bitter sweet chocolate bitterness kicks in - lasting 10-15 minutes after the final sip.

D: A bold, flavorful, great-looking and -smelling stout. Almost too easy to drink. Ranks up there with favorites from the likes of Rogue and Bell's, which puts it in very good company. Definitely one I'd love to have again.

Thanks to Wasatch for sending this bottle.

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Photo of Mebuzzard
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A nice thick black looking brew. Rocky brown head with some lacing as it went down.
Smell of cocao and coffee, some plum and biscuit. A hint of bite from malted hops.
A good taste. Just the right amount of cocao and coffee, but a bit thin compared to its appearance. The dry hops make it feel like there's a wad of powdered cocao on my tongue, interesting.
A good brew overall

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Photo of ybnorml
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A very dark brown/black beer. Completely opaque no light gets thru. Has a big foamy brown head and good lace. The aroma has a strong coffee character with some chocolate notes and a hint of piney hops in the background. A big roasted malt character covers your tongue with a lot of bittersweet chocolate twang.The finish has some coffee bitterness mixed with a hint of piney hops for a nice dry finish. an inviting and appeasing brew.

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Photo of flexabull
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.17/5  rDev 0%
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.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of Musky
3.24/5  rDev -22.3%
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.

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Photo of brewcrew76
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
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.

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Photo of Westsidethreat
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
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.

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Photo of warmstorage
2.55/5  rDev -38.8%
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.

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Photo of trep
4.6/5  rDev +10.3%
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 Wasatch
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
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.

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Photo of weeare138
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
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.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
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.

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Photo of jwc215
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
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!

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Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 239 ratings.