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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

330 Ratings
THE BROS
100
world-class

(view ratings)
Ratings: 330
Reviews: 218
rAvg: 4.18
pDev: 9.33%
Wants: 114
Gots: 14 | 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: 330 | Reviews: 218 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

txbrewer, Feb 21, 2010
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.

ThaBobfather, Feb 15, 2010
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.

scoobybrew, Jan 28, 2010
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.

kylejohnson03, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of crhensel
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!

crhensel, Jan 24, 2010
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.

jwinship83, Jan 24, 2010
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.

FLAbeergutinMASS, Jan 19, 2010
Photo of armock
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

armock, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of Wilyum
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

Wilyum, Jan 18, 2010
Photo of CHickman
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!

CHickman, Jan 15, 2010
Photo of bonkers
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.

bonkers, Jan 05, 2010
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.

samoblue, Jan 04, 2010
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.

OneDropSoup, Jan 04, 2010
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.

bsp77, Dec 27, 2009
Photo of Beerandraiderfan
3.71/5  rDev -11.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours black, gets your hopes up quite a bit with how deep and thick it appears. Good roasted malt smell, chocolatey.

Taste, a straight forward stout with no surprises. The usual coffee/chocolate blend, no spice, average hop presence. Not too bitter despite the coffee aspect of it. Hangs tough throughout, worth picking up a 6er of it when you can find it, which doesn't seem too often. Does everything well.

Beerandraiderfan, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of mooseisloose
3.68/5  rDev -12%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A fresh pot of the box BOTMC. Let's give it a whirl. Smells delicious of roasted malts and earthy hops with a hint of coffee. Pours to an opaque jet black with a dark tan head. Taste is a very consistent roasted malt with a good bit of bitterness but the bitterness stays behind the heavy roasted malt. Finish is a sweet yet bitter, staying consistent with taste throughout. Aftertaste lingers on the tongue and roof of mouth leaving both slightly bitter. Mouthfeel is smooth as silk with good carbonation. A very good stout, fresh tasting and flavorful.

mooseisloose, Dec 24, 2009
Photo of RJUGA03
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A- Poured a used motor oil colored body with a slight medium-brown head.
S-Aromas of coffee, chocolate, nut, and malts.
T-On the draw it offered flavors to the coffee and chocolate smells. The sip finished smoothly.
M-At first it was quite viscous and flowed into a lingering coffee bittered aftertaste.
D-This is a great year round stout beer and I do enjoy it. It has a bit of a hard time standing apart from other stouts in my humble opinion.

RJUGA03, Dec 17, 2009
Photo of csmiley
4.03/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to colts9016...

A - Pours pitch black with bareley a sliver of dark brown that show around the edges. This one looks darker and thicker that some Imperial Stouts that are out there. The thick tan head tops out at just under two inches. It takes on a rocky look after a minute or two and then the waiting game begins. Retention is pretty crazy for this beer. Lacing is also plentiful. Very nice.

S - Aroma has a nice sense of balance to it. Kind of tough to pick out a beginning and end. Every thing just kind of hits the nose all at once...but in a good way. Charcoal and milk chocolate come through on the first sniff. Chocolate and alcohol come through on the second whiff. That's really about it. I like it.

T - Starts out with a nice toasted / smokey flavor that stays throughout the flavor. Espresso shows itself about midway and then wham! More espresso. This is a nice touch that works well with my palate. Some dark fruit finishes it off. It's hard to pinpoint but here goes...plum and what I'd have to say comes close to fig. Plum easily has the upper hand though. Interesting.

M - Pretty full bodied overall. It almost has a chalkey feel. Carbonation is a little overdone. Finish is very dry with a slightly sweet ending.

D - Drinkability is well above average. With less carbonation, I could drink this beer all night with no problems at all. The alcohol is masked pretty well and the combination of flavors really has a nice balance that I don't come across too often. It's good enough to make me want to seek out more of this beer and other selections from Snake River. Highly recommended for any stout lover.

csmiley, Dec 12, 2009
Photo of AdmiralDiaz
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle to snifter

A: Pours jet black, I actually mean black, not brown. Medium-brown head that stays supported for some time and ends up leaving a bit of lacing. Looks great.

S: Slightly toasty malts with strong dark fruit notes and a strong molasses smell. Maybe a bit of cocoa. Smells more complex than I expected.

T: Lightly roasted malts taste great accompanied by some dark fruit and slight hints of chocolate with a weak semi-bitter coffee finish. Tastes good, but not anything amazing.

M&D: Mouthfeel is very, very smooth with just enough carbonation. Very light and silky. Drinkability is very high on this one, as someone said it's way more drinkable than you'd expect from a 6.0abv.

Overall: I'm glad I picked this rando in a make-your-own 6-pack. It looks great. The taste and smell are good, but the drinkability and price are what will get me to but this one again. This one's worth a try if you can find it.

AdmiralDiaz, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of kegger22
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Zonker compares very favorably to Old Rasputin. Drinkability is higher with a 6.00 ABV and feel is a little lower because Zonker is only medium bodied with good carbonation. All other attributes are similar. Dark brown in color with a short lasting tan head. Good coffee and chocolate aroma. Taste following closely on the heels of aroma, i.e. coffee and chocolate. I think I'm just going to have to make that trek to Jackson Hole to try one of these babies on tap.

kegger22, Dec 02, 2009
Photo of drpimento
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Yummy! Great stout. Poured with a nice sized tan head and good lace. Color is opaque. Aroma is exactly as it should be: nice and roasty, malty, and a bit earthy. Ditto flavor. Add a little chocolate and roastiness and this is truly delicious. Great finish. No off flavors. Satisfying. Body is just fine with great carbonation. Good clean finish. Drinkable beer.

drpimento, Nov 26, 2009
Photo of morimech
4.43/5  rDev +6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Probably one of the best American Stouts out there. Just left room in my score for something better if it is out there. Pours very dark, almost completely black with a large mocha colored head that has great retention. The head eventually settles to a thick cap. Heavy lacing is left on the glass. The aroma consists of malted milk balls, coffee, and roasted malts. Could be more upfront with the aroma. Has a great roasted malt flavor. Hints of coffee, dark chocolate, and some floral hops. Bitterness is moderate which comes from a combination of roasted malt and hops. Just a faint hint of alcohol. Has a rich, thick body but with just a hint of overcarbonation. Otherwise this would be perfect. I am very happy to see this beer make it to this market. I would be more than happy to buy and drink this again.

morimech, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of WYVYRN527
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours black as night, with a nice tan head that has excellent retention. Lacing is good as well and the carbonation is very fine.

S: All-out roasty, with hints of espresso, chocolate, and toast. Hops take a back seat to the maltiness of the beer.

T: Chocolate, coffe, and fresh bread are up front, with some dried fig and prune notes following. Hops give the beer a nice dry finish. Almost a bit floral.

M: Full bodied and very creamy. Fine carbonation dances around the palate, but not over-done.

D: A very good stout. I'm glad to have brought this one in. The best beer from Snake River I have tried to this day.

WYVYRN527, Nov 25, 2009
Photo of sholland119
4.13/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-Pours an absolutely jet black with a thin tan head and good retention. Looks very deep and rich for the style and ABV. Nice!

S-Smells great. Rich milk chocolate and chocolate syrup notes dominate with some roasted malt in the background.

T-Taste is very good as well, if not as mind blowing as the nose hinted it might be. Mostly roasted malt in the front and middle with a hint of chocolate sweetness and a nice hop bite in the finish.

M-Medium bodied with carbonation on the light side of moderate.

D-Very tasty. Nice flavor and great aroma for a 6% stout.

HV

sholland119, Nov 22, 2009
Photo of electricfields
4.63/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

A: Gave it an aggressive pour and came up with a quickly dissipating finger-and-a-half hot chocolate brown head with an opaque dark reddish-brown body.

S: Lots of roasted malts and caramel. A slight coffee bitterness. Smells really delicious.

T: Sort of tastes like a bitter mocha. Chocolate and coffee of course, with a nice light honey style sweetness. This is probably one of the better stouts I've had lately, and definitely renews my faith in a style that i wasn't really sold on before.

M: Nice and thick without being syrupy. A little sticky, but refreshing. Very creamy with a good amount of carbonation. Pretty much exactly the exact texture I expect from a good stout.

D: This is about as drinkable a stout as you're going to find. Good from the second it's poured 'til the second you're pouring another.

electricfields, Oct 15, 2009
Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 330 ratings.