Zonker Stout | Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
241 Reviews
Zonker StoutZonker Stout
BEER INFO

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

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:
241
Ratings:
458
Avg:
4.17
pDev:
8.87%
 
 
Wants:
153
Gots:
35
For Trade:
1
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 241 | Ratings: 458
Photo of feloniousmonk
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Deep, inky black, with a thinnish, roasted tan slab of foam.

Big espresso nose, roasted malts, dates, cocoa, molasses...nice, wide open, and earthy.

Slick and delicious...nice oily feel on the mouth...good heft in the body. A meal in itself, without being too much. Good, smooth, nice drinking stouty stout.
Good, gritty grab on the tongue. Long, chocolate malt finish.

Good stuff. Enjoy it if you can, please.

 422 characters

Photo of jwc215
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
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!

 869 characters

Photo of SPLITGRIN
3.81/5  rDev -8.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours an absolute perfect thick oil black with a massive one inch thick chocolate brown head. Nose is very enviting with zesty smokey malt, and tones of chocolate. Nicely aromatic. Enters the mouth and coats the tongue with silky black maltyness. Slightly soured bitter twords the end of the palate. Lacks the richness that I would have expected from a stout this dark, but not bad. Hints of sweetness do exist. Thes is really decent for a low doe stout. Very drinkable and a nice surprise considering the price. fineshes to a belly warming crisp dark bitter.

 559 characters

Photo of kmpitz2
4.57/5  rDev +9.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

12 oz stubbie. Pours a nice solid black color with a finger of dark tan head that falls quickly to a nice coating over top of the brew. This is a nice dark beer, and clarity is not discernable. A few stray bubbles climb the side of the glass, but otherwise, this one is not showing off any carbonation. This brew smells really damn good. It has a big blast of chocolate and coffee, with lighter notes of fig, and a very solid creamy character as well. I think this one smells fantastic. Flavor is solid, while not being overpowering. The initial sip is mild coffee with sweet chocolate back notes. It moves to a mild pine hop that accentuates the coffee notes. It finishes with a moderate bitterness and the chocolate and coffee fade to a moderate chocolate coated fig. As it warms, I get very nice creamy notes that lead me to believe there is some oat in this beer. I like the transitions in this brew. Nothing is too strong, and balance is nice. The mouthfeel is moderate to thick, with a very solid creamyness and very light carbonation. The carbonation makes this one come across more thick than it really is. This is a very drinkable beer. The aroma and flavor are in harmony with each other. The flavors transition well and play well with each other. Nothing gets in the way in the beer and the lower ABV makes this one something to drink more than one of in a night. I will enjoy the rest of the 6 pack that I have for sure.

 1,432 characters

Photo of Zorro
4.33/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark black colored beer with a good brown head.

Smell is smell is sweet and malty with a good amount of licorice and chocolate in the aroma. Hint of C hops lends this a little bit of a carrot aroma.

Taste is sweet chocolate with coffee roasted to nearly char in the first taste. Lots of roasted flavor here with a hint of smoke from it. Mild amount of acid in the taste from the dark malt. This beer is sweeter than you would think with lots of caramelized and burned sugar flavor. Bitterness seems understated to me, I get far more smoke and deep roasted flavor here than bitterness.

Mouthfeel is good.

A very good drinking stout with a very robust flavor. I agree with most that this is a good stout but I find that this is to my senses nearly a coffee stout emphasizing the roasted and smoky flavors the most.

 824 characters

Photo of Backer2004
4.03/5  rDev -3.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A big thank you to Brent56 for letting me try this one at the Carolina Brewmasters BBQ. Although way too hot to be drinking too many stouts, this one really was nice for the style. Very deep and dark color and bit more carbonation than expected. Nice smooth mouthfeel and (proabably) easy to drink more than one given the right setting. I will keep my eye out for this one again.

 379 characters

Photo of brentk56
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Pours a coal black color with an espresso cap that lasts forever and leaves plenty of lacing

Smell: Wonderful dark roasted malt aroma redolent of dark chocolate, coffee and burnt sugar

Taste: Starts out with a roasted flavor that becomes increasingly assertive with chocolate notes after the swallow; the finish reeks of chocolate and charcoal

Mouthfeel: Medium to full bodied with moderate carbonation; thins out a bit on the finish

Drinkability: There is a lot to like with this flavorful concoction; the awards are well-deserved

Thanks, ThomasHardy, for the opportunity and to douglas88, for the chance to revisit

 633 characters

Photo of Jredner
4/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Full roasty aroma has strong coffee and and chocolate notes. Deep black body with a long lasting two finger thick mocha head. It’s a looker. Fore is almost salty and quite bitter with roasted notes. Chocolate is not present, but stiff coffee is abundant. The bitterness is big, but being from the roast it incorporates well into the beer and gives it a wetness you don’t get with predominately hop bitterness. It could have more range and some underlying dark fruit accents, but it works well as it is.

 504 characters

Photo of russpowell
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
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

 553 characters

Photo of CRJMellor
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to trbeer for the bottle.

Pours inky black with a deep tan and wispy chocolate head that leaves scattered pockets of lace on the glass.
Aroma of chocolate cocoa and sweet caramel in front of a coffee/mocha type of scent.
Flavor has just the right balance between smooth and juicy malts and bittering of coffee and chocolate. Hint of brown sugar also appears as it warms.
Mouthfeel is very full-bodied and coats the palate with a pleasant sugary coffee-like feeling.
Drinkability is excellent really excellent example of a full-bodied and flavored stout which can stand the round about trip to MI.

 610 characters

Photo of kirok1999
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Managed to find a single bottle of this in a health food store. Go figure.
Appearance- Pours a pitch black with slight brown lacing that clings stickily to the glass. No way you're going to see through this one.

Smell- Nice, slightly sweet malts with a bit of coffee and light chocolate.

Taste- A slightly bitter balance to the malt sweetness that hangs on the tongue for quite a while. Kinda nice. Not much dominates. Hopped well enough to be balanced with the malts. I'm a fan of the bold and wish there was something here that stood out and slapped me in the mouth. Not a put down at all, it's a great beer.

Mouthfeel- Slick and clingy. Very nice.

Drinkablilty- I would definitely buy this one again. Not as good as Storm King, but what is?

 749 characters

Photo of granger10
4.47/5  rDev +7.2%
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.

 834 characters

Photo of mntlover
3.71/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a black, black with a dense brown head that falls with gobs of sticky lace left behind on my glass.

Aroma is roasted malts light coffee and light chocolate flavors mingled together with some light citrus hops.

Taste is nice roasted malt some epresso and dark chocolate intermingle but neither dominates. A decent stout flavorable but not anything extraordinary either. Finish is bitterness from the coffee like roasted malts and a light citrus hop presence.

Mouthfeel is a big medium with nice mellow carbonation.

Drinkabilitys is good an enjoyable easy drinking stout, great for everyday drinking. Thanks go to mentor for this extra treat he threw in.

 670 characters

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

12oz single, Brennan's on University

best by date is September, but I'm not too worried about this one

appearance: pours a dark mahogany, near black, slight ruby highlights...glorious creamy chocolate brown head, prety solid lacing on this one

smell: very powerful aromas, which was a nice sign...dark roasted coffee hits the nose first, a very smoky aroma only seems fitting for a Jackson Hole stout, cocoa powder is prevalent, plenty of roasted malts...delicious aromas

taste: well, this is a top notch stout. rich and dark chocolate, dark roasted coffee, some sweet cherry, plenty of smoke, nicely roasted malts, light caramel and toffee, a mild clean hoppiness balances this one out nicely

mouthfeel: creamy, medium bodied

drinkability: quite drinkable

 774 characters

Photo of Bitterbill
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle a pitchblack with a smalish head that dissipated quickly leaving just a wee bit of lacing around the edge of the glass.

The smell is all about the roasted malt and the promise of good things to come.

The taste is pretty complex; roasted malt with chocolate and coffee tones up front and in the middle and a note of bitterness at the end. A very well made stout that is sure to satisfy. I'm very glad this is available locally!

 451 characters

Photo of germaniac
4.3/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Inky blackness from a 12oz stubby bottle.

The aroma of sweet malts and chocolate dominate, with hint of coffee bean in there, too.

Taste is roasted malt, with a slight hoppiness that fades into a baker's chocolate sweetness.

Has a medium body and carbonation levels, smooth and easy to drink. Really enjoyable. I think I might have found a replacement for 8 Ball and Sierra Nevada Stout.

 397 characters

Photo of Ellbert
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Appearance: A dark stout with a nice tan head. Small bubbles. The head doesn't last forever but there is some lacing.

Smell: Sweet fruits are upfront in the nose. Burnt caramel notes with a smokey finish.

Taste: Heavy roasted/smokey flavor. Figs and other dark fruits. Hops add a light spice to the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium mouthfeel is okay. I like a thicker stout.

Drinkability: This could easily be a session beer. It was for me on my last brew session.

 469 characters

Photo of Viggo
3.28/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

Pours a very opaque black, some brown highlights, a medium tan head and lots of lace. Smell is sweet, with roasted malt, chocolate, coffee and a sweet smokiness. Taste is bizaare, as its watery and tasteless until the end of the sip when you're hit with a strong chocolate and roasted coffee bitterness. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, low carbonation and silky smooth.

 365 characters

Photo of UnionMade
4.28/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Picked this up on a whim while on vacation out west. My first brew from Wyoming!
Pours a deep, dark brown, basically black, topped with a large bubbled, toffee colored head. Entirely opaque. Impressive amounts of lace, clinging to the glass everywhere. Smells fairly standard for an american brewed stout. Charry malt, mild citric hop notes, cocoa, coffee, and a dash of toffee for good measure. Pretty clean, with perhaps a soft note of oak, cracked nutshells and damp earth. The flavor opens with a surprisingly smooth dark roast coffee presence. Burnt malt, cocoa, and a light hint of cream. Is this an oatmeal stout? The mouthfeel is super smooth, gentle carbonation, just gliding into the finish. A touch of woody/nutty flavor, like walnuts, into the finish, meeting a well balanced, mildly piney hop flavor. Excellent bittersweetness from the malt, lingering on the palate long after each sip. Roast, roast and more roast. Bigger bodied than I expected, on the fuller side.
Quite complex for a beer of session strength. Absolutely delicious, this is a gem of a beer. Now to figure out how to get more.

 1,110 characters

Photo of DrJay
3.28/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A dark brown head a half inch thick, composed of fine bubbles, topped this black beer that had faint chocolate highlights. Decent head retention too and some lacing to boot. The aroma was creamy, with a light roast coffee character and milk chocolate. The flavour started out quite weak and watery, but sweetness soon followed. Things picked up at the midpoint, with chocolate and hop flavours accompanying a moderate bitterness. A thick, lactose sweetness also showed up at this point. It finished roasty and off-dry, with some lingering acidity. Silky, viscous body and low carbonation with a bit of slickness. Overall, it had a good flavour once it kicked in, but I found myself enjoying it less as I proceeded through the bottle. Thanks Viggo!

 747 characters

Photo of mentor
4.63/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Bottle provided by mattcrill, ala BIF16. Actually, that bottle arrived empty, but then I saw the same beer at Liquor Mart (Boulder) a couple days later. I never would have tried it otherwise, thanks for the suggestion. The freshness notch on the side of the bottle is Oct. Pours a half finger brown-tan head over a black liquid. Poured thicker than I expected from a stout, more like a very dark B-wine. Smells tamed coffee. Roast, but sweetened and with a hint of chocolate. It's got a lactose smell to it, which is a scent I often get in oatmeal stouts, too. Overall the smell is subdued and simple. Tastes of coffee muted with a milk and caramel sweet. I can't tell if the roast is gentle or if the other characteristics steal away the bitter punch of the roast. It's got a little bit of an alcohol sting and some grassy hop character which is coming across to me as Williamette. The sweet runs out in the finish leaving the beer dry and with the feel of roasty bit on the tongue. Wow, I'm really impressed by this simple little stout from a small brewery in the state to the north. Mouthfeel is md-thick and, although the carbonation is fine, it's a bit sharper and more than I would expect. As the beer warms, a sour (from black patent) appears, but this is new challenge of angst is countered by a thick chocolate that has also risen. Well done, this was a really nice offering.

 1,384 characters

Photo of GClarkage
4.12/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

09/04/05- On tap via samplers at the Snake River Brewery in Jackson Hole, WY.

Presentation- Two 5oz samplers via the tap.

Appearance- Deep black color with a light chocolate brown colored head. Excellent lace.

Smell- One of the best scents from a stout I have set my nose upon. Huge hit of burnt coffee grounds, plus some dark chocolate and cigarette smoke smell.

Taste- Super deep burnt flavor. Large smoky taste as well. First you get the coffee grounds, then the rest is mostly smoke flavoring. I would almost put this in a smoked beer category.

Mouthfeel- Super smooth, close to velvety. Very small carbonation effect.

Drinkability- Not a huge fan of the smoke, but it worked fairly well with this beer. Lots of flavor in this one for sure.

 762 characters

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.

 990 characters

Photo of FirstMan
4.07/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Knuckles picked this up for me in Montana along with a number of other delicious beers. Many thanks yet again for Knuckles and his 2005 beer safari.

Pours a very nice, deep dark brown - almost black from the squat bottle that I had. Overall the coloring was good, but I can't say that there was really anything to set it apart from other nice American Stouts that I've had. A coffee-colored head of tiny, round bubbles came up, but didn't linger quite as long as I had hoped.

Smell is wonderful on this one. Coffee, smoke, with a somewhat sharp woodiness to it. There's malt in there for sure, but the thing that gets me the most are the sharper elements in the nose.

Taste is good, but just a tiny bit disappointing after the nose. One thing I can say for sure is that this beer warms up well. My first sip didn't have the same kind of malty tones that my later ones did. Definitely there are notes of chocolate and smokey grains in there, but these are a little weak until the beer has had a chance to warm up.

The initial mouthfeel of this beer when it's cold may be its weakest point. It's almost too dry for me. I like an American stout to give you that creamy rich malty mouthfeel and this one didn't really get there until after it had warmed up a bit and then only a little.

If you like a dryer stout, this may not be a problem for you at all.

Overall this is a really good stout and one that I would have absolutely no problem drinking on a regular basis. I'd just make a point to let it sit for a few minutes before I started.

 1,557 characters

Photo of Reidrover
3.3/5  rDev -20.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

came ina 12 oz brown short neck.
Very attractive looking dark, dark almost pitch black beer with purpleish toes, small very dark tan head good for the style.
Very strong and appealing aroma of dark unsweetned chocolate and sweet overripe black cherries.Cocoa powder and malted milk also
Weird after the great aroma I was expecting more, but what i got was a very sour , lactic tasting stout, with barelly a bit of chocolate flavour near the end and a very sweet aftertaste.
Mouthfeel was pretty mundane and too watery for the style.
I found this beer not very drinkable..a let down .
I hope this was just an odd bad bottle.

 629 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • Free Trial Subscription

    Reside in the US? Interested in a free 1-month trial subscription to the print edition of BeerAdvocate magazine?

    Yes! Sign Me Up!