Zonker Stout | Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

BA SCORE
93
outstanding
248 Reviews
Zonker StoutZonker Stout
BEER INFO

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

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
248
Ratings:
474
Avg:
4.18
pDev:
8.61%
 
 
Wants:
156
Gots:
37
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
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Reviews: 248 | Ratings: 474
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 RblWthACoz
4.44/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I just picked up all the cans from this brewery on a recent trip to NYC. I didn't know what I was getting.

Thick. Heavy molasses on this one. Wads of malts. Tons of 'em. Toasted tones on here as an accent. This is one thick and consistent beer that truly holds to style. Surprised to be getting what I did, and happy to have done so. Highly suggested.

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Photo of sweethome
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Jet black. Big sweet malts and plenty of roast on the nose. Choclate in there too. Dark tan head. A full mouthfeel of sweet malts. Soft feel. Hops present through the roast. The roast malts develop very well with chocolate flavors. The finish has a nutty taste, but very long roast flavors and plenty of hop bittering. A near perfect balance. Despite all the flavor, it still reatains a somewhat delicate mouthfeel.

A beer full of flavor. The last sip leaves you wanting another. SImply outstanding

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Photo of bennetj17
4.45/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Very dark body, dark tan foam reaches 1/2 inch leaving a thick frothy ring in its wake. Inviting nose of dark chocolate, espresso, and light smoke. Quite potent, it is easy to take in a few whiffs before moving on for a sip.

This is my kind of stout flavor, rather unsweetened, toasty malt flavors with a nice dryness and a bitter finish. Lots of flavor and mild on the alcohol. The mouthfeel is very smooth and silky with a skim-milk level of thickness. Subtle, foamy carbonation hits the tongue just right.

Amazing drinkablility, almost a session stout for sure. I wish I could get more of this stuff...

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Photo of bennett_loves_good_beer
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Pours jet black, thick but not motor oil thick. Two fingers of tan head looks great. No light penetrating through this beer.

Smell: vanilla and roasty notes hit the nose straight from the pour. Smells exactly like a good stout should.

Taste: chocolate, roasty, perfectly balanced with hops. yumm. cant ecplain the taste very well but it is fantastic with fantastic feel as well.

Overall, this is my new favorite stout. SImply fantastic. I can easily see why it has won so many awards. This review does the beer no justice but just a great everyday readily available go to stout.

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Photo of Wilyum
4.46/5  rDev +6.7%
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

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Photo of bditty187
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Imposing black hue, it poured from the bottle very heavy, I’ve seen thinner Imperial Stouts! No light could penetrate the liquid. Impressive. The head was russet in color and about one finger in height. Head retention was very good; it slowly faded to a soapy cap that lasted the entire consumption. Subsequent lacing was unorganized and patchy. It’s a great looking stout. The nose is inviting, big, bold blast of roast that encompasses coffee, hints of cocoa beans, char, oat and sugary sweetness. At the distant back is a hint of earthiness. Formidable potency, it is loud enough. I find the bouquet on this stout to be ideal for the style. I love it… mouthwatering good! Inviting. Close to perfection. The palate is not a let down. My word this brewery is topnotch, it makes me want to move to Wyoming. Okay, not quite. ;-) Anyway, the palate is simply lovely. Roasted malts are dry for a while, cocoa beans, in the middle a flash of hops materialize and offer some bitterness to counterpunch the astringency. There is just a hint of citrus juiciness. This plays very well with caramel hints and oat-like sweetness. The finish is coffee and char. Simply lovely stuff, this stout really impresses me. It is a great American Stout/Dry Stout, nothing more and nothing less. Great. Medium/medium-full in body with ticklish carbonation that produces a mouthfeel that is pleasant, it is just big enough and yet have finesse. Extremely drinkable! There is no flaws, no complaints. It is a terrific stout! Give me a steak. I really wish Snake River beer were sold in Nebraska because I’d buy their beer regularly. I purchased a 12-ounce bottle in Brookfield, WI. The next time I see this beer I am going to buying more. Recommended.

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Photo of jwc215
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
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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Photo of granger10
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Never heard of this brewery or beer but I got it down in Ohio over the holidays on a whim. Definitely a good choice!

Pours an opaque black with a medium airy caramel colored head. Head reduces to nothing and lacing is a bit weak.

Aroma is strong on rich, high quality dark chocolates. Roasted barley and smoky undertones accompany the chocolate. A bit of half and half seems to be there as well.

Taste is similar to aroma but an espresso precense I didn't get in the smell arrives. More of a dry yeast flavor also comes midway through to even out the chocolates. Finish has a bittersweet chocolate taste with a touch of acidity to clean it up.

Mouthfeel is nice and creamy, but its not really smooth. Its very thick and chewy. Odd but I like it.

Overall quite drinkable and enjoyable. I regret only buying one bottle.

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Photo of Atron67
4.47/5  rDev +6.9%
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 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 BarrytheBear
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Lows in the high thirties make me depressed in September! 12 oz bottle with a best by date notched at June. No year provided. Poured into a snifter.

Dark and mysterious pour allows no light penetration. Head roars to a fiery cinnamon colored full inch deep fluff. Upon settling thick puddles of the sticky cover pool and settle into substantial islands of big rich bubbles: quite enticing. Lace pummels the surrounding glass.

Smells of baker's dark chocolate, bark, hops and has a bitter creamy quality.

This is quite enjoyable. Rich and bitter dark chocolate segues to a creamy mocha with a sharp hop fade that oozes an oak quality despite the lack of any barrel presence. Nice and roasty with a welcomed bitterness that helps cleave into the roast and provide a nice balance in the flavors. Really damn smooth.

At 6% this drinks creamy and medium bodied. This does not fall prey to the shortcomings of some regular stouts that fail to have the body to carry the weight of the flavors and expectations. Carbonation is prickly but complimentary. Overall this is a damn fine stout.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.48/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Jet black with the slightest glimmer of light at the edges. Without a doubt, Zonker is the blackest non-Imperial stout that I've seen yet. The head is light-medium brown, pitting, rocky, relatively long-lived and leaves thin rings and small sheets of lace.

The nose is nice and strong, with plenty of roasted black malt and chocolate. Coffee is in there as well, but chocolate is more aggressive. So far, so good.

The flavor is absolutely wonderful. Coffee makes more of a statement on the palate and dark chocolate has come on like gangbusters. There's a pleasing background bitterness, but it isn't overdone as in some stouts.

This beer strikes the perfect balance between maltiness (major key) and hoppiness (minor key). The finish is long, with sweetness early and a bitter tightening late. The mouthfeel is impressively full and creamy, with no hint of heaviness.

Zonker Stout hits all the right notes. It's solid in all respects and is my new favorite stout. Too bad it isn't available in this state because I could drink this stuff all year round.

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Photo of Jason
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Presentation: 22 oz brown bomber with a best enjoyed before date clearly printed.

Appearance: Ink black with a brown lace that does not fade.

Smell: Roasted coffee with a little sweetness, a bit earthy with a touch of hops also.

Taste: Full bodied, rich roasted barley palate with a smooth and textured mouth feel. Equal amounts of hop bitterness and flavour within different levels of this complex stout. Roasted flavours range from espresso to charcoal with a vague nutty back round and mild acidic twang. The twang seems to linger for a while with an earthy character.

Notes: A kick-ass robust style stout that would make any brewery proud to be the creators of such a fine beverage. It has over 16 awards for proof if my word is not enough.

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Photo of beerbroker
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the brewpub (great place if you're ever in Jackson).

A - Very dark with light tan head, decent lacing

S - Chocolate, coffee, smoke

T - Slightly sweet with coffee then smoke then chocolate finish. A ton of flavour but very well balanced.

M - Well carbonated with medium body.

Notes: Almost imperial in flavour but lacking the sweetness and alcohol. Excellent.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of RustyDiamond
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into my SA special glass. 'Best Enjoyed By' end of December notched on label. Pours jet black with a fantastic brownish head, with 1 finger of froth. Aroma of strong espresso, sweet molasses, chocolate cupcakes. Head quickly dissolves, leaving little lacing in the glass. Very roasty in the mouth, as all American stouts should be. Sweet body with some pronounced hop bitterness transitioning nicely into a dry, slightly hoppy finish. Simply delicious...this stout has it all.

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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 Knuckles
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I moved to Bozeman, Montana back in December of 1995. Being a native Seattleite, this was my first exposure to real winter. It was a harsh introduction, as I quickly realized that there was no such thing as a "snow day" (of course, I didn't have a car, either, so that made life a little difficult as well). It was with great joy, then, when I dragged my frozen ass into Osco and picked myself up a six pack of Zonker to warm myself up (and, quite seriously, thaw out my ass). I've loved this stout ever since, and a decade's passing hasn't cooled my ardor. Come to me, sweet, sweet, Zonker. Knuckles misses you terribly.

Appearance: This may not be the Beer of the Sith that the Silver City Imperial Stout is, but it could pass for Palpatine's underpants of evil. Black, but not totally opaque. Slight hints of light brown/ruby around the edges if held up to the light, but the center of the glass is completely impenetrable, much like my wife.

Smell: This thing is so much more than I remember: oak, raisins, caramel and smoke. Pinot Noir? Syrah? Damn. Am I at the casino with my kids, or am I huffing beer? It's fantastic.

Taste: My initial reaction on drinking this beer is this: Wyoming! Fuck Yeah! Even though I don't care much for Wyoming itself (but by GOD do they have the nicest goddam rest stops I've ever had the pleasure to pee in), and Jackson, WY is about as representative of that state as Kenny G is of Washington. It's smoky, vinuous, raisiny and delicious. Stouts like this one just aren't fair to the other stouts of the world. I love you, Zonker Stout. You make me happy.

Mouthfeel: Again, if you could drink Salma Hayek's pants (and please god, let me try at least once!), this beer is the zymurgic equivalent. Understand, of course, that is is purely an idealized construct of what I envision Salma Hayek's pants to be in liquid form, and that I would drink them if covered with cat hair cigarette butts, and mold. But that's neither here nor there. This beer is one velvety smooth motherfucker, and strikes a perfect balance between malt character and malt body. A mouthfeel that belies its relatively low ABV. Yow.

Drinkability: Well, here I'm in a bit of a quandary. Not everyone can suck down stouts like I can, and this beer is only distributed as far as Montana (as far as I know). That said, I have downed so many cases of this spectacular beer that I'm going to rate it at a solid 4.5. Any stout that clocks in at a mere 5.8%, and tastes like a stout rather than an ill-named brown freaking ale needs to be supped as much as possible. Sadly, I only have one bottle left, squirreled away in my basement (ok, it's not IN my basement yet, but it's in my kitchen. Which is by my basement. Sort of. I'm working on it.).

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Photo of Morris729
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours pitch black in color with a fat creamy tan colored head with a very nice retention. Nose is roasted chocolaty malts and fresh brewed coffee. Fairly full in body and smooth and creamy in texture. Taste is dominated by flavors of bittersweet chocolate with some additional notes of espresso and smoky charcoal. This is a fantastic stout and is a beer that I would always keep on hand if it were available here. Purchased from Vintage Cellar.

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Photo of alexgash
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown coffee with a tight, cocoa-brown head that lasts. Sweet, milk chocolate, molasses, rum, roasted coffee, and some earthy bitterness make up the nose. Yum. Taste starts with dark fruit and chocolatey sweetness. Roasted barley comes on strong, leading to a coffee bitter, well-hopped finish. Lingering roasty sweetness. A great stout, right up there with Shakespeare. Big bodied, full, creamy mouthfeel. Delicious.

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Photo of hopfacebrew
4.5/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My man KC hooked me up with a few bottles after his recent trip to Jackson Hole! Thanks man!

The beer was poured from a brown 12oz bottle to a schooner glass.

A - The beer pours a deep black color with a deep dark brown on the edges. The head is a massive 2.5 finger brown fluffy head with great retention and lacing.

S - Great roasted malt character along with a mild hop character. Very pleasant.

T - Just the like nose the beer starts and finishes with a nice roasted malt character. Nice roast malt character with chocolate and coffee and toffee tones. The middle of the beer brings a moderate bitterness. Finishes with the roast on the tongue and lingers. Very very nice.

M - Nice full bodied well carbonated beer. Smooth. Good.

D - Extremely.

Overall, I was really blown away by this beer I had never heard of. Great flavor and mouthfeel. Very nice.

Note: This review was a re-post from my former account, jmkratt, which was hacked and I lost all my reviews...sorry for the redundancy.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 02-27-2011 02:48:51

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Photo of TheDoctor
4.51/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A:
Pours an impenetrable black with a decent tan head. Good retention; okay lacing.

S:
Nuts, coffee, chocolate. Very "stouty." Pretty much what one would expect.

T:
Delicious waves of rich malty goodness. Lots of bitter chocolate flavors pairs with a nutty feel on the whole. Really delicious.

M:
Surprisingly prickly considering how the rest of the beer is, but also suitably creamy and filling. Medium-heavy body. Slightly warming with a lingering nutty finish.

O:
Zonker is a great beer plain and simple. Rich and hearty as a meal but still fairly drinkable. The flavor is exactly what/how it should be and the mouthfeel is divine. A great brew all-in-all.
Would always have one of these. Worth trying.

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Photo of russpowell
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Best enoyed by date is the end of april...

Pours dark mahogony to black witha 3 fingers deep toffee colored head. Good lacing & very good head retention

Smell: rich roasted malts, chocolate& slight coffee notes

Taste: Rich roasty grainy/malty notes with chocolate. Dryness and some fruitiness on the finish

MF: Rich & silky, very good carbonation

Pretty darn drinkable & darn tasty stout. Hits all the right notes for a stout to me. Give this a shot

I need to get back to that store & try the vienna amber from snake river I saw there

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Photo of kagent777
4.55/5  rDev +8.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

From a six pack with a best before (not a canned on date) of 12-30-13. I poured this one into my beer goblet.

Appearance: Obviously a black beer. No light going through this one. It has a thin dark tan head. Laces a little bit.

Smell: Roast and char with some cocoa and vanilla. Maybe a hint on earthy hops. The cocoa is quite nice to balance the bitter. As it warms up, there is a husky grainyness that shows up.

Taste: Wonderful bittersweet cocoa, roast and ash. The creamy sweetness of the cocoa perfectly balances the bitter of the roast. This one really threads that needle so well.

Mouthfeel: Wonderful creamy mouthfeel with lower carbonation.

Overall: This is an amazing stout. I initially tried this one ten years ago, and did not like it for some reason. This was before I really knew anything about quality beer. I missed a lot of time enjoying this beer, and now I need to try to make that up again. This is an instant buy any time I see it. All of this in a regular release canned beer. It does not get much better.

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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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