Zonker Stout | Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

Zonker StoutZonker Stout
Liked This Beer
4.17 w/ 485 ratings
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

User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 485 |  Reviews: 252
Photo of weeare138
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears black with a small dark tan head that slowly fades into a small cap. Tons of scattered lace is left around the glass.
Smell is of chocolate milk, malt balls, vanilla, caramel, and coffee with a hint of anise.
Taste is of the same aromas with some roasted notes being present, along with a dark fruit flavor that melds with the complex richness that is based in cocoa and caramel with coffee notes.
Mouthfeel is full bodied, smooth, sweet, sugary, roasty, chewy, and dry. There is a mild thin feel about halfway through the swallow but overall it's just a minor glitch in the grand scheme of this brew.

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Photo of bjohnson
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Cheers to JahNoth for hooking me up with this sought after brew.

A: Did the lights go out? Black as night without the moon to guide you. Caramel colored one finger head that settles nicely leaving a slick film as if a slug just slid across the top of my beer. Retention on the sides of the glass, per usual.
S: Roasted barley notes with a twang of dark juicy fig that had been sitting in a oak barrel for awhile. Soft chocolate notes also hit the nose.
T/M: Sweet from the drop. Juicy fig and dark fruit notes. Slight woody notes coupled with the fruit. Chocolate malt and roasted barley notes. Bitterness detected towards the finish. Pretty smooth with a big body.
D: Love me a fine stout and this is one of them. Nice balance of this beer. Rich and full bodied make this a fine winter offering. I'm sure many a skier has enjoyed this after a hard day on the slopes.

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Photo of sholland119
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
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.


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Photo of PhantasIPA
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

This brew is a thick, black color with a dark brown colored head. The head pours thick from a can into a glass and leave a heavy, pronounced lacing on the glass as you drink, leaving tell-tale rings along the glass.

The smell is heavy, thick coffee, caramel, chocolate and spice. Really nice, dark scent that you would hope and expect from a decent porter.

Taste is great! Smooth sweet flavor followed immediately by the bitter, coffee flavor and then ends with a dark chocolate-esque, heavy flavor. Great balance between the bitter coffee, chocolate and sweet barley (caramel and toffee) flavors!

Mouthfeel is nice, syrupy and smooth with little carbonation. Very good fro the winter!

Overall this beer is very nice. Balance and solid flavor. Could be heavier on the ABV but 6% is right down the middle and the flavor really comes through. Nice! Worth a try most definitely!

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Photo of woosterbill
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

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.


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Photo of mattcrill
4.15/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Label notched with a "best by" October '05

Appearance: Pure black pour into the snifter with a tan foamy head. It dissolves and leaves a tan ring around the glass. Pretty much what you would expect a stout to look like. Nothing penetrates this bad boy.

Smell: Strong chocolate profile with just a touch of a vinous and alcohol character. It comes out in the form of some ripened dark fruit. It's very subtle though. The chocolate dominates the nose.

Taste: Strong bitter chocolate presence. A hint of some oak, vanilla, and some dry roasted nuts. Again, the chocolate malts dominate here. The dry chocolate profile is very well done here.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied and crisp. Hedging towards over-carbonated but still on the good end of things.

Drinkability: A great stout for sure. Nice and roasty and can easily do a session with the lower ABV. Not sure I would agree with "outstanding" but I would highly recommend it. A classic example of an American Stout.

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Photo of Wildman
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured an amazing jet black color and formed a very nice dark brown, bubbly head that left some nice lace. I had an aroma of malt, hops and coffee. The flavor was of malt and coffee. The finish was a touch bitter and had elements of the coffee. A very nice stout.

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Photo of tylerstravis
4.16/5  rDev -0.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of oberon
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of orbitalr0x
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The Snake River Zonker Stout pours from the stubby bottle into my glass a deep black with a dark brown edge and a finger of light tan foam on top. Aromas of dark roasty, charred malts with plenty of chocolate in the background. Roasty, burnt coffee shows up in the background. Some hops are lurkin in there as well. Rich and malty goodness.

First sip brings a smooth, deep roasty malt character with a somewhat burnt quality to it as well. Chocolate flavors are there as well as a burnt coffee midway through..almost a tad smoky. Subtle bitter hops run in the background. It flows down with a touch of sweetness. Overall, just a solid, tasty stout.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and somewhat chewy...good stuff overall. Doesn't ever get to be too heavy on the palate. Plenty of carbonation and a tad dry on the finish. Overall, this is a soild stout that I would easily grab if it was more readily available. Makes me want to try more Snake River brews. Thanks kmpitz2.

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Photo of SkeeterHawk
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a dark black color with no light passing through it, but the beer looked to be pretty clear as it was going into the glass. There were very few bubbles to make a head, and it was small and tan for only about 20 seconds. There is a little bit of lacing left on the glass after the beer is gone.

Aroma: Lots of chocolate with a little bit of roast, and no real hops to speak of. There is some toastiness to the malt and a little bit of dark caramel, but the chocolate malt is the aroma in charge here. As the beer warms up some, you can start to pick up a little bit of the hops put in this beer as well as a little bit of alcohol in the nose. It isn't "hot" alcohol, but it is getting more noticeable.

Taste: Yep, it's chocolate. It has a nice flavor with the dark malts being the predominant flavor, but not so overpowering to make you feel like you need a water chaser to wash the soot off your palate. This beer is dark, and driven by dark malts, but there are enough supporting flavors as to make it pretty well balanced. AS the beer warms up some, there is a slight ashy flavor coming out as well as some hops are starting to make their way in to the limelight. You can also start to pick up the alcohol a bit as it warms up further.

Opinion: I actually like this beer quite a bit. I think that it has a nice blend of flavors and I like the malty balance that is persistent the whole way through. The chocolate is showcased in this beer, and that is not a bad thing. They could almost sell it as a chocolate beer. Either way, I think that this is a prety good beer, and I would certainly try it again.

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Photo of ItsYourBoyBlue
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Jerk_Store
4.17/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Boccu
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great stout. With tones of Carmel and a nice roast finish.

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Photo of jpmclaug
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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.

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Photo of tronester
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a coal black with a rich, dark brown head. Smells of dark chocolate and espresso. Taste begins with a semi-sweet chocolate beginning, followed by some rich toffee, and an herbal, dry bitter finish. Mouthfeel is rich, medium carbonation. An exceptional stout indeed. I wish this was available in my area to purchase.

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Photo of msubulldog25
4.18/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A 12 oz. bottle poured to a standard pint glass (Abita); Best enjoyed by end of April.

A: Thick and virtually black, capped with an enormous frothy/rocky 3-finger mocha-colored head. Though the color is dark as midnight, a few zippy streams of tiny carbonation bubbles fizzle to the top. Long-lasting head retention and clumpy bits of creamy lace.

S: A considerable amount of cocoa-sweet chocolate maltiness, tempered with bittering herbal hops and a few hints of sour oxidation.

T: Tastes like rich cocoa, maybe milk chocolate. Finishes gently bitter, a blending of roasted coffee, smoky malt and mild lactic sourness. Bold and lasting flavors.

M: Medium-full body with a substantially carbonated mouthfeel. Starts almost too active in the mouth, then mellows, gains some smoothness & creaminess. Then a long-lasting bitter sweet chocolate bitterness kicks in - lasting 10-15 minutes after the final sip.

D: A bold, flavorful, great-looking and -smelling stout. Almost too easy to drink. Ranks up there with favorites from the likes of Rogue and Bell's, which puts it in very good company. Definitely one I'd love to have again.

Thanks to Wasatch for sending this bottle.

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Photo of johnyb
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of beerbrains
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Zonker pours like well used motor oil topped with a thin espresso like head.
The nose is mostly bitter chocolate and coffee.
The taste follows the nose closely finishing with the chocolate and some underlying smoke.
Where this beer really stands out is drinability. It is very mellow and easy drinking. I could drink several of these without getting bored or blowing my palate.
Drank this one on it's own, no food paired.

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Photo of Uconnelmo
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of IvoryFoxhole
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
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 jgeddis
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Photo of Lucoli
4.19/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Photo of Thorpe429
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

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.

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Photo of Duff27
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

"Best Enjoyed By September"...who knows of what year hah.

A- Half-inch of medium mocha head that recedes over a minute or two to a thin layer. Beer is a black color. Some lacing left on the sides of my glass.

S- Extreme roastiness, okay with this kid! Bakers chocolate mmm.

T- More with the roasted malts, leaves the mouth watering for the next sip. Hint of coffee. Subtle sweetness nicely balances with hops.

M- Creamy mouthfeel, great carbonation.

D/O- "Damn, this is a good beer." Couldn't find one flaw while reviewing, all good things. Low(ish) ABV encourages drinkign more...my type-a-beer. Will be on the lookout for more of this...gotta get my people some!

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Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
Beer rating: 91.3% out of 100 with 485 ratings
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