Zonker Stout | Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

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241 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: 241 | Ratings: 458
Photo of Treyliff
4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
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 rodbeermunch
3.53/5  rDev -15.3%
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 -14.1%
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 +2.9%
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 +1.4%
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 -2.9%
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 +7.4%
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 -2.6%
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 -2.2%
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 -8.2%
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 +2.2%
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 +5.5%
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 +4.8%
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 +1%
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 +2.6%
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 -8.9%
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 +1.7%
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 +14.6%
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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Photo of rawfish
3.67/5  rDev -12%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours exceptionally thick and black from the can. A nice half finger of mocha head. Very good retention as well.

Chocolate based sweetness, a solid roasty character without swinging into the coffee or burnt range. Notes of licorice, fig and earth.

Begins well with thick roasted malt, bakers chocolate and earthy hops. Quickly turns south with a shrill metallic astringency, mild acidity and an appropriate earthy bitterness in the finish.

Terrific body and thickness for a stout that only clocks in at 6%. Nice carbonation but the metallic finish of this stout leaves improvement to be made.

A really well constructed stout but the off flavors really twist things in a negative light. Loved the body, aroma and starting robust flavors of this beer.

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Photo of dtumminelliob
4.85/5  rDev +16.3%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

It pours a beautiful deep brown, with a milky brown head. The smell is very strong with roasted malts. The flavor is all roast, but with quite a bit of nuance and layers. It is nearly creamy, despite not being a milk stout, but maintains a certain dryness. The roasts fill up the palate without overwhelming. An incredibly tasty beer.

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Photo of Billolick
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12 oz can w/o dating/freshness info.

Thanks to my friend Daver for slipping this one to me.

Dark and murky, darkest of dark heads, leaving solid low sheeting

Dark malt/coffee/chocolate on the nose

Full flavor, full bodied, smooth and enjoyable waves of chocolate and yes more coffee
and dark malts...Big flavors, has that rich chocolate/coffee/beer milkshake feel to it - high quality stout

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Photo of alarmclock314
4.21/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

12 oz can with no date. Pours reddish black with a large brown head. Smells of piney hops and roasted malts. Balanced taste of roasted malts, dark chocolate, and hops. Some tartness and drying finish. Average body thinness and medium-high carbonation. Has a strong roasted malt presence and stays fairly true to the style.

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Photo of kemoarps
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Beautiful. Vibrant black body that maintains hue even in the light. Good finger of thick frothy dark brown (for beer head) that takes its time settling. Hell, even the pour itself, it looks thick and viscous and velvety coming out of the can. Excellent lacing, as well.

Roasty threatening char but never quite making it that far with layers of chocolate and coffee. Nothing jumps out, but that's not a bad thing: this brings forth a beautiful blend of quintessential stout-ness. Nailed it.

Starts out real black with more burnt grains and bitter coffee before slowing it down and taking more of a dark chocolate tone. Layers of roast and bitter dark chocolate coat the tongue and stay there. This is an excellent basic, no-frills stout. Not quite as thick as the pour had promised and a little bit more carbonated than I prefer, but definitely neither one is to a problematic level. Just when you're this close to perfection, one notices these small things. Also: pure personal preference. Finish is long and thick and bitter. Excellent brew and I'm really really glad to have grabbed it while I was on the road

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Photo of StoneTSR
3.51/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.75

APPEARANCE: Black, with a slow-fading brown head which quickly drops from about a half-inch into a thin, wispy cap. Interestingly, it foams up a good deal with just the slightest agitation. Setting the glass back down on the table creates a big boost to the head. I don't think I've seen anything like this before.

SMELL: Roasty notes are all over this beer, with dark chocolate and hints of vanilla behind it.

TASTE: A big coffee flavor is to be expected with the roasty nose...and this coffee flavor is huge. A touch of nuttiness can also be tasted beneath the darker flavors of chocolate and coffee. A bit of vanilla rounds it out.

MOUTHFEEL: Medium to big bodied with a silky mouthfeel. The roast leaves the palate feeling like it has been charred a little bit...it's probably too much.

OVERALL: Good, solid stout, but again, the roasted malt is a little too intense. If it were just a little more mellow in that department it'd be outstanding.

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Photo of cbutova
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Live review at my campground in Colorado Springs, CO. Grabbed while visiting Jackson, WY and I certainly got the impression that Snake River is one of the premier breweries in WY after trying a few of their beers at the pub.

A- Deep black bodied pour from the can to a goblet. A head rises up beyond one finger with a dark mocha brown hue. Thick creaminess and great head retention. Lacing starts out with webbed sheets and drizzled spots coat most of the glass below that.

S- Pouring out of the glass is a deep milk chocolate note and a hefty dose of dark roasted grains. Toasted nuts, cereal grains, moderate sweets, earthy hops and dark fruits as well.

T- With the hefty bitter chocolate notes that lead off it is hard to say this finds a balance but it somehow does. After that fades I find earthy hops, toasted nuts, wheat cereal grain, caramel, spiced raisin, cherry and coffee notes joining in with the deeply roasted malts.

MF- I think this could get away with a really thick body but the medium body here supports the flavors just find with a texture that is slightly chewy and creamy. Carbonation comes down on the high side for a stout and it all ends with a roasty bitterness.

Right when I opened the can and got a smell of the rich chocolate and roasted grain aromas I knew I should have purchased more. Perhaps I can find more before I return to the East but at least I know Snake River is holding down WY very well. I hope to find myself at the brewpub again in the next few years. Between this and Pako's, WY is doing just fine.

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Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
4.17 out of 5 based on 458 ratings.
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