Zonker Stout | Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

248 Reviews
Zonker StoutZonker Stout

Brewed by:
Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
Wyoming, United States

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

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Reviews: 248 | Ratings: 474
Photo of Rogerlb
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Can from a 4-pack. Pours quite black, mate. Finger and a half head that's sudsy. Aroma is chocolate, smoke, some coffee. Smells quite rich.

Taste is instantly pleasing, bitter chocolate, ashy coffee, a thick mocha feel and none of this is overpowering. Cream, nutty, all that yet surprisingly smooth for what presents as pretty rich. As BA user @Benish says, it drinks like an imperial although it's only 6%.

Malt, tobacco, good roast characteristics. Honey? All this and WW2. Finish is sticky and a bit chewy.
Great body and feel. Bitter is slight on this, more a subtheme than the main plot. Finishes with a slight chocolate-covered cherry.

Really, it's just a base roasty stout with tons of great nuances. For 6% I'm still getting some of the alcohol as well. Pretty amazing foreign stout, a style I don't have a lot of experience with. Quite recommended.

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Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.19/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can dated 6/6/16. Oh boy. Poured into Kane glass.

L: 1F tan head with decent retention, some lacing, leaves thin tan cap and ring. Beer is dark black.

S: AFAIK it's still in good shape. This stout is all in the roasted malts and grains - barley, chocolate, caramel. If it was more intense than this months ago, that must be something.

T: Comes through here as well. All roasted chocolate and caramel malts, along with roasted barley and a coffee character that naturally results from the roasting. May have lost a little bit over the months, but definitely not a significant amount.

F: This is light to medium body, almost porter-like. Light carbonation. Roasty taste lingers on palate and stays neutral throughout. Good construction and balance.

O: Reminds me a lot of Carton Adjunct, just an excellent no-frills basic stout. Reputation definitely earned and deserved.

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Photo of Act25
4.36/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Best 6% stout ever, sets a new high mark.
A) rocky, jagged head that lasts and laces over a jet black body.
S) Best part, char, coffee and chocolate duking it out along with hop bitterness and a major, fruity, prune like malt base.
T) Abundant, following the smell, a charred, woodsmoke feast with coffee and chocolate on the simmer, and a long drying herbal, pruney finish.
F) Just weighty enough without being heavy and that long, slow dry finish.
O) Could make this my go-to beer, or could be black & Tanned with any beer for great improvement. Try 24. A personal best.

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Photo of ChipChaight
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

12oz can from Noble Grains NYC on the UES
Pours pitch black with nice mocha head and great lacing, smell is sweet and smokey malts that transitions into coffee bean bitterness that lingers, this beer is medium bodied with great carbonation. A very solid and flavorful roasted stout.

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Photo of arizcards
4.04/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Picked up a single from Craft Beer Hop Stop in late July for $1.66. Canned on 4/3/16.

Beer poured black with a beautiful tan head on the initial pour.

Nose is strongly roasted malts.

Taste is heavy on the roasted malts, maybe a touch of smoked malts in the mix. Touch of coffee and cocoa detected. Decently hopped for a well balanced finish.

Feel is medium bodied and very smooth for a smaller brew.

Overall a very good stout that i would recommend. I have been to the brewpub twice (never rated it) and always get this as my first brew. Glad to see limited distro has hit Arizona!

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Photo of bloatednemesis
4.33/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Very dark, with a tan/brown head. Smells like coffee. Taste has lots of coffee, just enough bitterness to complement the deep dark malt flavors. It is medium to big bodied for a 6% stout, silky smooth. Overall this is EASILY my favorite stout.

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Photo of Treyliff
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz can poured into a snifter

A- pours a thick jet black color with a one finger creamy and silky dark-brown head that has great retention, leaving some lacing behind

S- big earthy roasty notes up front with notes of coffee, dark chocolate, caramel malt & creamy vanilla

T- taste follows aroma for the most part; smoky chocolate malt gives a dark chocolate bitterness, along with some sweet caramel and vanilla notes. Mid-palate gives notes of charcoal and some nuttiness with some earthy hops on the finish

M- medium body and carbonation leads to a foamy mouthfeel that continues into a creamy & silky dry finish

O- in the world of adjunct everything, sometimes it's nice to have a straight up stout, and this is one of the best I've had in a while

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Photo of Patinthebronx
5/5  rDev +19.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Jet Black with a thin but steady head.
Smell of roasted coffee, dark chocolate
Very dry taste, chocolate notes on a very smooth pallet.

This is the best (Non-imperial) stout that I have had. It's nothing short of an awesome beer. If you find this beer, drink it, and you too will love it.

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Photo of rodbeermunch
3.53/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Black pour, plenty of malt in this one, solid appearance of thick texture. Beige head, 1/2" deep. Plenty of roast and chocolate malt in the nose, this is running very straightforward thus far.

More of the same in the taste, lots of two row, chocolate, black patent malt, all significantly roasted. Some coffee malt flavors, some hopping making it probably 50ibu. Everything done well and as expected for style.

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Photo of tone77
3.58/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a 12 oz. can. Has a black color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is of roasted malts, some chocolate. Taste is roasted malts, coffee, hops are present, a bit of lactose, light bitterness. Feels medium bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer.

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Photo of Bluecrow
4.29/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

-deep brown tap pour with dark tan fine foam. Aroma is toasted malt. Flavors include mild coffee, dark chocolate and a wisp of wood. Full bodied with a relatively dry finish.

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Photo of kculrich
4.23/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 12oz can, served in a tulip.

Look is pitch black with a formidable two-finger cap of tight, tan foam. Good retention for a stout with, at least initially, sheets of lacing which somehow go away the moment I'm not paying attention.

The nose is all about blackstrap molasses and burnt coffee pot.

On this beer, mouthfeel and taste are totally inseparable as it defies the nose's expectations by delivering a wave of silky smooth vanilla caramel, and a richness and creaminess totally unexpected from a small stout. Burnt barley, baking chocolate and hint of orange peel are accentuated by a piranha attack of superfine carbonation. There is, perhaps, the slightest suggestion of a sour, acerbic aftertaste which I feel a little dickish for even mentioning.

Overall, it's hard to believe that such a mighty beer came out of such a little can - I actually looked at it several times to make sure I'd read the abv right. This is not a complicated fuck-I-taste-like-stars-on-a-summers-night kind of stout: it only hits a handful of notes, but it hits the bejeesus out of them. I'm glad I have one more of these left that I can just sit and drink without thinking about it and trying to pick it apart, just enjoy the crap out of it.

Hat tip to @TheDoctor for furnishing yet another highly satisfactory tasty beverage.

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Photo of BigGold
4.05/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

First had at the Beerhive Pub, SLC, Utah, poured from 12-oz. can into thick-walled tumbler. Zonker Stout might be best lower-gravity stout I have ever had.

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Photo of Catracho5
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce can poured into a pint glass

A: Pours black with a tan colored head, head is full and creamy, lots of tiny bubbles in it, good amount of lacing, very little light comes through, looks really good.

A: Dark roasted coffee, dark chocolate, roasted malts, hint of sweetness comes through, really faint, overall it's just a roast bomb, smells good.

T: Dark roasted coffee, roasted malts, bitter dark chocolate, char, moderate amount of bitterness in the middle, finish dry and clean, very tasty.

M: Medium bodied with a dry finish, could use a little more body but at 6% ABV, it's pretty good.

O: Very impressed with this beer, this would be a regular during the winter months, a solid stout with a big roast character.

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Photo of OompaMentor
4.06/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had a pint pour from tap at Snake River Brewing.
A- deep dark color with very nice brownish colored head
S- strong hint of roasted coffee and cocoa
T- coffee on front and cocoa on back
F- full bodied flavor

A descent (coffee) stout but certainly not a Coffee Ruckus brewed by Melvin!

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Photo of stevoj
4.08/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Can from Brewers haven. Chocolate and coffee up front in the aroma and taste. Black with beige head, nice roast grain bitterness. Slightly sweet lingering palate. Delicious!

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.83/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Can from RobertDale, Big thanks for helping me acquire this!
Dark brown/ black color with a huge frothy tan head that persists forever. Roasty light fruit and earthy with touch of caramel and chocolate. Creamy thick body with a light level of carbonation. That's a pretty good stout right there.

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Photo of chrishiker1409
4.26/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

L: Black with a tan head. Leaves some lacing.

S: Some chocolate and burnt coffee notes.

T: Follows the aroma. Some nice chocolate with a good strong taste of burnt roasted coffee.

F: Medium bodied lightly carbonated.

O: A nice one. Glad we get this in NY.

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Photo of tourdot
4.4/5  rDev +5.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours black with half inch tan head
Smells of chocolate and roasted coffee
Huge taste of chocolate and dark malts with a great finish
Medium full bodied beer that is really quite smooth
I am very happy to have hunted this down, this is a great stout that I will buy frequently

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.37/5  rDev +4.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Undated can at 42 degrees into snifter
From a trade with @JayWhitson
Aroma of roasted malt and chocolate, lasts entire glass
Head average (3.5 cm, aggressive pour), light brown, creamy, slowly diminishing to three mm ring and layer
Lacing good – complete curtain of tiny to small bubbles
Body dark brown/black, opaque
Flavor begins with roasted malt and milk chocolate, hint of caramel, ends slightly bitter; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation

Appearance 4.5, Aroma 4.25, Palate 4.25, Flavor 4.5, Overall 4.25

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Photo of Benish
4.21/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Appearance: nearly jet black in color with a little bit of transparency while pouring. Very niche thick foamy brown head after pouring which dissipated to a skim of brown foam surface.

Smell: notes of milk chocolate, caramel, vanilla, mocha.

Taste: very chocolatey, some sweetness and finished with a strong notes of coffee. It's not sweet like a milk stout but still closely resembles a milk stout considering the flavors of chocolate and coffee.

Mouthfeel: smooth, rich, and creamy.

Overall: this beer is so good, there are no flaws. While it's relatively low in alcohol, its almost like drinking an imperial stout; excellent appearance, strong aromas, and full-bodied. I recommend this.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.28/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12 ounce can into a snifter.

Pours like motor oil, thick and viscous and produces very little head. What head does emerge is frothy and dark khaki in color and seems undecided on whether it's head or lace. Seems more like an imperial stout than a stout based on appearance. 4.25

Roasted malts, light coffee and chocolate and cream greet me. A kiss of sweetness but mostly roasty and bitter. 4.25

The nose tells you what you're getting with this. Very consistent from nose to palate. Bitter and roasted malts with a touch of smokiness, dark coffee and bitterness. Actually, this may present more smoke than the nose let on. Getting that bacon and campfire going here too. Dark chocolate also becomes more assertive as it follows the smoky character and offsets it. 4.25

Great drinking beer. Rich and creamy in body with faint sweetness and a bitter finish. Viscous and thick on the tongue, luscious could well describe this. 4.5

Excellent brew. Needs more love in the beer world.

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Photo of apasternak
3.8/5  rDev -9.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Trying to get a beer from every state and was shocked that my 2nd to last state had something this good. Dark bitter chocolate flavor was really prominent in this. This was definitely delicious!

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Photo of Tone
4.24/5  rDev +1.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a black color. 1/3 inch head of a tan color. Great retention and great lacing. Smells of roasted malt, sweet malt, hops, hint of oatmeal, alcohol, hint of spice, and slight chocolate. Fits the style of a Foreign / Export Stout. Mouth feel is sharp and crisp, with an average carbonation level. There is also a slight dryness from the roasted malt. Tastes of sweet malt, slight chocolate, hops, slight alcohol, and a hint of spice. Overall, good appearance, body, blend, decent complexity, and good aroma.

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Photo of ManBearPat
4.78/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This a great stout.

L- jet black with dark tan head

S- roasty

T- very roasty, lite coffee

F- subtle carbonation, great for this particular beer

O- one of my favorite 'low abv' stouts I've ever encountered. Had it on nitro in their taproom and knew it needed to be carbonated to be properly enjoyed. Grabbed a 6er, and was more than happy with the choice. Really wish I would have got several cases, to be honest. The canned, regularly carbonated version of this really delivered, though I would drink the nitro version again in a pinch ;)

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Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
4.18 out of 5 based on 474 ratings.
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