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Zonker Stout | Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub

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244 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: 244 | Ratings: 460
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.

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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.

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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 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

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Photo of divineaudio
3.62/5  rDev -13.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle into my deschutes snifter. thanks to dcloeren for the trade on this one.

a - pours a greasy black, like used motor oil. only got a thin film of head and leaves a few small legs of lacing in my glass.

s - prunes, leather, molasses, smoked sausage or bacon maybe.

t - roasted malt right up front followed by faint molasses and dark fruity notes. finish is on the dry side with a light, coffee like bitterness.

m - medium in body and carbonation.

o - nothing amazing going on here, just a good, solid beer that drinks well. if they distributed to michigan i'd certainly buy more.

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Photo of Pintofbrown
4.14/5  rDev -0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this one into a glass stein.

Appearance- The maple colored head built to about two-fingers and is velvety smooth. A nice amount of bubbles in the cap and some sheet lacing as it degrades.

Carbonation columns can be seen in the side of the glass, but other than that, good luck seeing anything else in this black body.

Smell- I am not getting much through the foam cap. There is a little malt sweetness, caramel-like. I also sense some roasted quality going on.

Taste- This is a nice, balanced stout. Roast is certainly there, malt has been cooked almost to perfection. It is not overwhelming or lingering really long in the finish. There are also notes of tobacco and definitely anise adding some pepper to the finish.

There are also hints of vanilla under everything. Even a little tobacco makes its way into the lingering end of the drink. Milk chocolate is in the mix as this one warms.

Mouth feel- This is where Zonker really hits its stride. It coats the mouth really well. The body is full and perfectly creamy, super easy to drink stout.

Overall- Zonker has a lot of great things going on. The well balanced flavors on the palate, the almost perfect mouth feel are the great things about this beer. If only the nose was a little bit better.

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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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Photo of Fatehunter
4.04/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this bottle poured at a restaurant, so the total lack of head may not have been the fault of the beer. It is jet black with the slightest dirty-white lace.
The smell is amazing: a little black licorice, lots of molasses and ending with a little smoke.
Great tasting too, following the smell: molasses, mild hop bite and more molasses.
It seemed crisper than normal for its style and lots of carbonation.
Overall it is a great stout, though the mouthfeel was off-style.

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Photo of BarrytheBear
4.48/5  rDev +7.4%
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 biboergosum
4.06/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle, from a Safeway in Bozeman, MT.

This beer pours a solid black, with ever so slight cola edges, and two roly-poly fingers of Brown Cow head, which leaves a stellar loose honeycomb pattern of lace around the glass as it sinks away. It smells of roasted malt, chocolate shake, mild sour black fruit, and a somewhat metallic hoppiness. The taste is baker's chocolate duelling it out with the underlying singed malt, black fruit, mild cherry and overripe plum most prevalent, and earthy, mountainous (?), evergreen hops. The carbonation is average for the style, the body medium-full in weight, smooth, and aspiring to creamy. It finishes fairly sweet and malty, all assaulted at the core by a somehow gentle-seeming hoppiness.

I quite enjoyed my quick visit to the brewpub earlier this summer. Nice now to try one of their brews more tailored to a winter climate, as ours closes in. As for the beer - a lovely, dessert-tempting, booze obfuscating, Doonesbury-referencing(?), example of the style. Foreign to me, so, giddee-up!

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Photo of zhanson88
3.83/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very dark brown color, appears black in the glass. About one inch of tan head forms, nice lacing and retention. Looks pretty appealing.

Smell: I get a lot of chocolate-like malts, with maybe a hint of roast. Light hops as well.

Taste: Chocolate malts,a hint of coffee, and light roast. Moderate amount of hops on the back end. Coffee on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Pretty light bodied with high carbonation. Fairly smooth drinking, but would like to see a bit more body. Not going to lie, when I drank this I was under the impression that it was a regular American stout, and wasn't overly impressed. Once I found out it was brewed as an export stout though, my estimation of it went up quite a ways. I ended up increasing my score a pretty decent amount. Overall, a pretty damn solid export stout that I would have again.

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Photo of ditmier
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

2008 Bottle - Pours black with a small tan head...aroma is toasty malt, white chocolate, fruit...flavour is nicely bitter on the front end, very dry, char char bitter, dry fruit but not malty...smells bigger than it tastes, but is still very nice...way to go wyoming...

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Photo of SkiBum22
4.35/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle

A - Black as night with a nice one finger creamy tan head. A nice looking stout.

S - The smell is pretty average. I get some chocolate and some caramel.

T - Wow! this is a toasty stout. Roasted malts, chocolate and caramel.

M - Very smooth and balanced. Good carbanation on this one.

O - I really like this beer. I go to Jackson Hole once a year and I always grab a 6-pack when I'm there. I don't know much about the foreign export category but I imagine this has to be one of the better ones out there.

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

Ordered a couple pints of this at the brewpub in Jackson, WY a few nights ago. Following review based on notes taken at that time.

Served in a standard pint glass.

Appearance: Opaque, pitch black body with a brown, creamy head that retains for the entire session and drags tons of goopy lace all the way down. Damn near perfect.

Smell: Roasted barley, mocha, and cocoa powder come to mind right away. Very full and malty with a clean hoppy finish. Not too complex, but certainly enjoyable.

Taste: Dark chocolate, roasted barley, red currants, char, and earthy bitterness make up the bulk of the flavor profile. Bold, complex, and surprisingly smooth. Borderline imperial stout, although it looks like that's acceptable with this style. I dig it.

Mouthfeel: Big, roasty, creamy, and prickly. Carbonation is fine and moderate in strength. A lot going on here, but everything comes together very nicely.

Overall: Fantastically smooth, complex, and drinkable. Keep 'em coming!

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Photo of FosterJM
3.78/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

504th review on BA
Bottle to snifter
12 oz
Best by June, 2011

App- A nice dark garnet with chocolate brown highlights. A nice one finger head and sticky lace all over the glass.

Smell- Very bright hops with grains, mostly oatmeal and chocolate. A little espresso I feel was detectable.

Taste- At 1st sip this was very bitter. The hops came next with a little creamy chocolate and followed up with a lot of espresso and coffee.

Mouth- Medium bodied and medium carbonated. Very bitter on the finish.

Drink- Glad I got to try it and tick off another state. Was a bit spritzy and bitter for me, but seeing as its a foreign export, kind of expected that.

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Photo of brew3crew
4.58/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A-wow. Nice dark body with a great tan head that stays around for awhile

S-nice blend of roasted malt and chocolate. Almost a peanut butter smell. Deliciius

T-alot like it smells. Fantastic. Blend of roastiness and chocolate

M-medium body and oh so smooth

O-great brew. Will be searching it out for sure

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Photo of mikeyv35
4.1/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Date: 04/28/2011
Type: 12oz. Bottle
Vintage: 2008
Glass: Chimay Chalice

Pours dark as night w/ a 1 finger tan head that produces pretty heavy lacing. Aromas of chocolate, a touch of molasses, charred malts, and biscuit. The taste was light chocolate, molasses, breadiness, char, and ever so mild hop bite. Thin to medium bodied. Very easy drinker.

Overall, foreign-export stouts are not really my thing, but it fits the style category perfectly. Also, this is the best example of the style I have ever had!

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Photo of THECPJ
4.27/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes:
Thanks goes out to bitterbill for sending this one my way.

appearance: dark brown black with 1 finger mocha head

smell: coffee, malts, mocha, chocolate,

taste: coffee, chocolate,

mouthfeel: mild carbonation, medium body, smooth

overall: a nice full flavor stout. Lots of coffee with small hints of chocolate and a smooth mouthfeel, really made me want some more.

the CPJ

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

Had on tap at the brewpub.

A: Very dark. Lets through no light. Small brown head that doesn't really fade. Moderate to heavy lacing.

S: Sweet. Earthy hops with hints of malt. Hints of coffee.

T: Great taste. A little sweetness up front, maybe some cherry? Coffee and chocolate finish. Amazing.

M: Full bodied with a decent amount of carbonation.

Overall, this was an amazing beer. One of the best I've ever had. I will definitely seek this one again.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.5/5  rDev +7.9%
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 Scotchboy
4.2/5  rDev +0.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle poured into a New Belgium sniffer.

A: pours ink black, opaque. Great one and a half finger head that's too dark to be tan, it's basically brown. Small and big bubbles in the head, with good retention and great lacing. Really good looking beer all around.

S: awesome roasted malt character, this beer smells like it could be a coffee beer there is so much coffee bitterness. The malt bill really shines here, with a little hop bitterness underneath.

T: roasted malt character, with bitter coffee and dark chocolate. There is a mild and very pleasant bitterness in this beer.

MF: full bodied but not too thick and viscous, well carbonated and drinkable.

Snake River nailed this one. What a pleasure.

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

Bottle shared by Thorpe429. Thanks Mike!

The beer appears a near black shade in the body, with a dark brown hue near the crest. The beige head is a finger thick, and leaves a good trail of lacing on the glass. The aroma is quite roasty, with scents of chocolate in there as well. Very pleasant tasting, with a good balance of roast and chocolate flavors. Medium bodied and smooth, this beer has a nice feel on the palate. Very drinkable, I would certainly have this again.

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

The #2 FES and a beer from Wyoming? Yes please.

Beer is black and pretty thick looking as it is poured into my Russian River wine glass. Beer is overcarbonated and forms a big tan head of small and medium bubbles, moderate retention and lots of lacing left on the glass.

Aroma is strong, chocolate, bitter, coffee roast, some sweetness and a mild alcoholic nose. Interesting.

Beer is nice and smooth, mild bitterness at the end with a shadow of an aftertaste on the finish. The beer is mildly sweet at the lead off and the midpalate has this nice chocolate to it. The finish is gradual, creeping up after the swallow with a little late ashiness. It's a good beer.

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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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Zonker Stout from Snake River Brewing Company & Brewpub
4.17 out of 5 based on 460 ratings.
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