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Zonker Stout - Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

Not Rated.
Zonker StoutZonker Stout

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

325 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 325
Reviews: 217
rAvg: 4.17
pDev: 9.35%
Wants: 110
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
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Ratings: 325 | Reviews: 217 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%

Poured from the bottle into a Nonic pint glass.

An almost black motor oil pour out of the bottle, makes a wonderful SUPER tight light brown four finger head. This head goes nowhere FAST. WOOT. Perfect pinhole sized bubbles too. Body is almost black as midnight, but just hint of brown.

Great chocolate malt smell off this. Dry malt to go with it, boy this smells like something good is coming. Real simple, real solid and very very good. Husky dry grain quality to it.

Taste is a simple solid perfectly balanced malt, carbonation, hint of hop lingering feel, and tasty grain. Wonderful body on this with hints of silk and tinges of milk stout cola but not overpowering or excessively sweet. Hints of sweetness but not dominant, gets almost into toffee territory. Strangely though I don't get that much roast character off this, but I don't even care!

Overall it's just wonderful and enjoyable in every way. At 6% I would have this all the time. Fantastic brew.

smakawhat, Mar 17, 2011
Photo of Scotchboy
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium sniffer.

A: pours ink black, opaque. Great one and a half finger head that's too dark to be tan, it's basically brown. Small and big bubbles in the head, with good retention and great lacing. Really good looking beer all around.

S: awesome roasted malt character, this beer smells like it could be a coffee beer there is so much coffee bitterness. The malt bill really shines here, with a little hop bitterness underneath.

T: roasted malt character, with bitter coffee and dark chocolate. There is a mild and very pleasant bitterness in this beer.

MF: full bodied but not too thick and viscous, well carbonated and drinkable.

Snake River nailed this one. What a pleasure.

Scotchboy, Mar 14, 2011
Photo of Thorpe429
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.

Thorpe429, Feb 14, 2011
Photo of Huhzubendah
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.

Huhzubendah, Feb 12, 2011
Photo of drabmuh
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.

drabmuh, Feb 06, 2011
Photo of jpmclaug
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.

jpmclaug, Jan 05, 2011
Photo of oberon
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.

oberon, Dec 22, 2010
Photo of bishopdc0
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

bishopdc0, Dec 09, 2010
Photo of DanThomas
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.

DanThomas, Oct 24, 2010
Photo of Gueuzedude
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.

Gueuzedude, Oct 15, 2010
Photo of SpdKilz
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.

SpdKilz, Oct 04, 2010
Photo of bagpiper2005
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.

bagpiper2005, Sep 21, 2010
Photo of woosterbill
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!

woosterbill, Aug 30, 2010
Photo of xnicknj
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.

xnicknj, Aug 24, 2010
Photo of u2carew
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.

u2carew, Aug 19, 2010
Photo of TMoney2591
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.

TMoney2591, Aug 06, 2010
Photo of JNewbs
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.

JNewbs, May 04, 2010
Photo of dtivp
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.

dtivp, Apr 27, 2010
Photo of KeefD
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.

KeefD, Apr 13, 2010
Photo of hardy008
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.

hardy008, Mar 09, 2010
Photo of txbrewer
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.

txbrewer, Feb 21, 2010
Photo of ThaBobfather
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.

ThaBobfather, Feb 15, 2010
Photo of scoobybrew
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.

scoobybrew, Jan 28, 2010
Photo of kylejohnson03
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.

kylejohnson03, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of crhensel
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!

crhensel, Jan 24, 2010
Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 325 ratings.