Welcome to BeerAdvocate!

Looking to talk, rate or trade beer? Join today by creating your free account.

Dismiss Notice
Curious about recent updates to the site and app? Check the Announcements forum for updates.
Dismiss Notice
Love Belgian Beer?

Join us Sep 17 in Portland, Maine for Return of the Belgian Beer Fest, featuring hundreds of authentic Belgian beers and Belgian-inspired offerings.

Tickets + more: beeradvocate.com/belgian

Zonker Stout | Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
93
outstanding
240 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:
240
Ratings:
452
Avg:
4.17
pDev:
11.99%
 
 
Wants:
152
Gots:
35
For Trade:
2
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 240 | Ratings: 452
Photo of sommersb
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Tasted On: 04-18-2014
Freshness: Not indicated
Packaging: 12 oz. can
Glassware: Nonic pint
Purchased: 6-pack from the brewery

Black and opaque beer with a big, foamy tan head. Both retention and lacing are good. Aromas have toasted malts, coffee and chocolate. Maybe even a little smoke too.

The taste has notes of roasted coffee and dark chocolate. Rich, it has sweetness but also carries a bitterness — more from the dark roast than from hops. Mouthfeel is creamy with a low amount of carbonation. The dry finish has flavors of French roast coffee and bittersweet chocolates.

Pumped to review my first brew from Wyoming! Export and Irish stouts are not a personal favorite of mine, but I'd say this is an excellent rendition of the style.

 745 characters

Photo of bennett_loves_good_beer
4.46/5  rDev +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.

 581 characters

Photo of dwren89
4.75/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Appearance: ink black, opaque, dark tan head

Aroma: chocolate, coffee, and roasty caramel, clean yeast

Taste: great chocolate flavor that fades To caramel on the finish, with a semisweet coffee and caramel hint to it. Smooth and easy drinking. Exceptionally well balanced

Mouthfeel: smooth, creamy, thick, and soft. A great sipper with full body and low carbonation

Overall: Fantastic overall. Great semisweet chocolate with coffee and caramel hints. Well balanced, creamy, and easy drinking.

 496 characters

Photo of kagent777
4.55/5  rDev +9.1%
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.

 1,033 characters

Photo of TheDoctor
4.51/5  rDev +8.2%
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.

 709 characters

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

Big thanks to MilwaukeeCrusher for delivering us this beer.

A: Pours a deep and opague brown-black with 2 fingers of espresso tan head.

S: Roasted coffee and cocoa powder together with malty ovaltine, molasses and wet earth.

T: Follows the scent with bitter coffee and chocolate bar, and education by sweet malts and molasses. Background notes of wet earth. Finishes with a slight bitterness.

M: Medium bodied with a slight creaminess.

O: A very tasty stout that offers perfect bitter notes while balancing them out with large amounts of malts

 551 characters

Photo of RoamingGnome
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Snake River Zonker Stout

Thanks to Dr. K for the can... I poured this into a CBS snifter lightly chilled.

A) As dark as a dark brown can be, so pretty much, it was black. A nice creamy mocha head. Nice retention and lacing.

S) A fair amount of roast, light coffee, milk chocolate, and a whiff of caramel sweetness.

T) The taste is very near the nose, with the exception being a lingering hop bitterness, and a little charcoal. I didn't pick up on any of that in the aroma.

M) Full bodied with light carbonation. This is soft and quite smooth. Even better at room temp. Slightly bitter, earthy aftertaste. Dry finish...

O) I cannot recall a beer I've enjoyed more from the State of Wyoming.

 695 characters

Photo of WoodBrew
3.98/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

The Zonker...is quite tasty and definitely worth a try. The beer pours an opaque dark with ecru head that is leaving a spotty lace. The scent carries dark chocolate and roast. The taste has a mild espresso with semi-sweet chocolate tones that makes for a very good stout. The mouthfeel is medium to light in body with smooth carbonation. I would like a bit more body. Overall this is a good stout and I could session this mofo.

 427 characters

Photo of MadScientist
3.89/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

A: Black and opaque with a deep garnet showing on the edge when held to the light. The head is medium brown with mostly cream, compact bubble interspersed with some medium, soapy bubbles. it has an average retention period.

A: Rich roast, coffee and chocolate aromas at a medium-strong level along with a moderate caramel sweetness.

T: A great balance between medium-strong dark malt flavors, sweetness and medium hops bitterness. There are the dark malt flavors like in the nose with roast and coffee dominating, backed by some chocolate and caramel. There is a low citrus hops flavor. The balance is slightly towards the sweetness and the finish is medium. The aftertaste is of dark roast, a little bitterness and some slight charcoal.

M: A medium-full body and a slight creaminess with medium-strong carbonation.

O: A pretty tasty American Stout that I keep being inclined to call thin even though it isn't. It has good balance with a nice mix of dark malt flavors. Good enough that I'll seek out other beers from the brew when possible.

 1,044 characters

Photo of plaid75
4.25/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Poured a deep black hue with a one finger foamy off white head. There was decent retention and lacing.

The smell featured soft coffee and cocoa tones with a bit of charcoal.

The taste consisted of round roasted malts with notes of smoke and charcoal. Perhaps a slight lactose sweetness detected as well.

The mouthfeel was full with a dry finish.

Overall a very well made stout.

 385 characters

Photo of dbrauneis
4.08/5  rDev -2.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear yet opaque jet black in color with some moderate amounts of gentle visible carbonation at the surface of the beer and some cola brown highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy dark tan head that slowly reduces to

S: Moderate aromas of roasted dark and chocolate malts along with a light amount of earthy hops.

T: Upfront there are moderate flavors of roasted malts with some slightly lighter flavors of chocolate malts. Light notes of earthy malts that contributed to the overall moderate amount of bitterness which lingers for quite a while.

M: Just shy of full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation. Light amounts of dryness in the finish.

O: This beer is very easy to drink, is well balanced, and has a moderate ABV making it pretty darn close to being sessionable for me. I like the roasted flavors of the malts and it is definitely an enjoyable brew.

 896 characters

Photo of RblWthACoz
4.44/5  rDev +6.5%
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.

 352 characters

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!

 879 characters

Photo of katan
4.22/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz into a pint

A - Pours dark brown, almost black with just a few amber highlights. Strong mocha head formation, well retained.

S - A smooth nose of chocolate, lightly roasted, some hopping in the background.

T - Starts off lightly hoppy, not really accentuating the malt portion. Mid-stream brings in the bittersweet chocolate. Finishes with a little bitterness on the center of the tongue.

M - Moderate body - creamy and smooth. No alcohol warmth. A little sticky in the finish.

O/D - A well done stout - a very quaffable and easy drinking beer. Not very filling, abv is not out of line. Recommended.

 610 characters

Photo of RuckusDu
3.96/5  rDev -5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

2012 can into Tulip. Poured about a finger of good lookin mocha head. Body is black of course. Goes to about 5ml to see any light through it. The smell is very foreign/oatmeal stout like. Smooth chocolate is how I would describe it. Nutty. Not really my style. Flavor is full and easy drinking. Lots of coffee and chocolate. Slightly bitter. Some cream. The mouthfeel is great. Tons of carbonation (but works for the beer) and slightly thicker body.

Overall this is such a drinkable beer. I would compare it to Ten Fidy in that why wouldn't you pick some up when it is on the shelf?

 584 characters

Photo of metter98
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: The beer is jet black in color. It poured with a thin tan head that quickly dissipated, leaving some lacing on the surface and a thin collar around the edge of the glass.
S: The smell has moderately strong aromas of roasted chocolate malts.
T: Moderate to strong flavors of roasted and chocolate malts are present in the taste, which also has a light amount of bitterness from the underlying hops. The chocolate malt flavors linger through the finish.
M: It feels medium- to full-bodied on the palate and has a moderate amount of carbonation.
O: For a beer that is quite easy to drink, this beer is really packed with flavors and has a nice balance so that the roasted malts are not too strong. I could easily drink several of these in one sitting or the beer year round.

 774 characters

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

Had on tap at Snake River. Review from notes.

A: Zonker is dark black with a dark tan head on top, decent retention leaving a small cap on top, which eventually becomes just a ring. Nice lacing all the way down the glass.

S: Some rich cocoa and mocha mixed with plenty of roast. There is a faint hop kick that comes in after. The roasted/toasty malts dominate the aroma though.

T: Charred/Roasted malt mixed with chocolate and a little bit of coffee. Has a definite bitter flavor to it. There is a little caramel in there as well that helps to balance the roast.

M: Medium to full bodied with a smooth mouthfeel. Surprisingly easy drinking.

O: Liked this beer quite a bit. Well balanced in terms of flavors and very smooth on the palate.

 746 characters

Photo of Dope
4.13/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a very dark brown with a huge fluffy medium brown head. Fades oh so slowly, leaving a funny sort of swiss-cheese effect on the head (lots of huge holes but it holds up the general shape for a long time). Great head retention, never really seems to fade. Lots of thick fluffy lacing everywhere.

S: Lots of bitter roasted malt character, primarily char and chocolate. Smoky too, almost a meaty type of smokiness.

T: Lots of smoke and bitter char up front. Loaded with it throughout the beer. Bitter dark chocolate in the middle and just a hint of caramel in there to sweeten it up. Finishes with more smoke and char. That dark chocolate lingers between sips nicely. Quite creamy and smooth despite the roasted malt harshness. Definitely let this one warm up to room temp for maximum enjoyment.

M: Creamy, smooth and medium bodied. Surprisingly robust for only 6%.

O: Certainly a stout that pushes to the extreme of smoke and char. It's pervasive in every aspect of the beer. They made it smooth enough and just sweet enough to keep it from tasting like a campfire, however which is a feat in itself. Definitely packs a big roasted malt character for such a "light" beer.

 1,183 characters

Photo of match1112
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Once again big time thanks to bitterbill for sending this my way!

a: thick oily lookin body with a gigantic thick frothy brown cap. suds and lacing till the end.

s: big time roasted barley and malt goodness!

t: chocolate and caramel with a small hop bite and barley. very sweet, and a lot of roasted flavor.

m: lighter than it looks, still a heavy oily feel. carbonation is nice.

o: wow! this is one of the best regular stouts I have had. don't have anything bad to say, but think i need to seek out more in the future.

 525 characters

Photo of jellikit
3.82/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark. Black. Red hue on edges when held to light. Thin head with small bubbles. Thin lacing clings to glass.

Smell: toasty, roasty, smokey.

Taste: chocolate malt and roasted barley are balanced well to give it a smoothe roasted and dark malt flavor. Hops match well with malts. Balanced well.

Mouthfeel: medium to medium-low carbonation. Dry with a slightly sweet beginning. Thick, big body. Think Kim Kardashian.

Overall: this is a good example of an American Stout. Not great, not bad. I would drink it again.

 527 characters

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

12oz can poured into glass

This is one awesome looking beer pours pitch black with a finger and a half mocha head

Smells kind of like coco pebbles cereal

Some bitter dark chocolate and plenty of roasted malt...very well balanced

Mouthfeel is lighter...this beer doesn't feel heavy with all the flavor in it. carbonation on the lower side.

Overall I love lower abv stouts that are huge on flavor and this beer is perfect of that.

 433 characters

Photo of cosmicevan
4.38/5  rDev +5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

well, it has been more than 2 and a half years since i was blown away by this beer and finally got my grubby hands on some more...this time in a can!!! enjoyed from my kentucky bourbon barrel ale snifter. huge thanks to pokesbeerdude!!!

a - just as i remembered...black as night with a nice creamy tan head. lacing is relatively chunky and really coats the glass in thin foamy hunkys.

s - as i mentioned in the bottle all those moons ago, this one has tons of chocolate. don't pick up caramel, but do get a decent amount of roasted malts with a hint of char. thick and rich.

t - more roasted and less chocolate than the nose suggests, but a monster of a beer. more char too. kind of tows the line between stout and porter, but more on the stout side of things. then again, this is a foreign export stout...has you almost fooled into believing it is an american stout. the char gives it that foreign vibe, but it is subtle...so tasty. some coffee notes, but mostly soft roasted char.

m - AMAZING body. full bodied and rich in flavor, but drinks like a champ. not too heavy. smooth. balanced. even. great body for an export stout.

o - just as good as i remembered. still blown away by this beer. snake river needs to start getting beer on my shelf! really great example of the style...carries just a bit of that irish cream char thing that i love about the style. much richer than most others of the style that i've tried. really just a wonderful beer. glad to have a 6'er of these, but i don't envision them lasting long.

 1,525 characters

Photo of spark3148857
4.42/5  rDev +6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Snake River Brewing:

AP: Pitch black with almost no light on the edges. Frothy mocha head that sticks around.

AR: Bitter coffee and chocolate, great balanced roasted malts.

TS: Absolutely delicious. Roasted barley, chocolate, coffee, subtle dry bitter fruit.

MF: Above average mouthfeel, coats the mouth.

OV: One of the best foreign style stouts I've had. A treat to have. Definitely recommended.

 412 characters

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.

 321 characters

Photo of hopfacebrew
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
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

 1,055 characters

Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
93 out of 100 based on 240 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.
  • Return of the Belgian Beer Fest

    BeerAdvocate Brings its All-Belgian Fest to Portland, Maine on September 17, 2016. Tickets are on sale now.

    Learn More
  • Get the Mag

    Become a BeerAdvocate magazine print subscriber today.

    Subscribe