I had to go to Jackson Hole for work and while there I had the chance to sample some of the local brews from the Snake River Brewing Company. The brewery was established in 1994. And, when the founders retired in 2007, the brewery was sold to Ted and Noa Staryk thus continuing its history of family ownership. Snake River makes about 50 different beers and has received a lot of recognition in its role as a small brewer. All I can say is for an out-of-towner; I was pleasantly surprised by the variety and quality of the beers that I had the opportunity to sample. One of those beers was the Zonker Stout. Zonker Stout is a foreign stout which is somewhere between a traditional stout and an imperial stout. It is sweeter than a traditional but has a less robust flavor than an imperial and the ABV falls in between the two styles as well.
From the Snake River site:
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 foreign style stouts.
I found the Zonker’s Stout to have the following characteristics.
- Appearance: Black with good foam and a lot of lacing.
- Aroma: Heavily roasted malt with notes of coffee and chocolate.
- Taste: Full-bodied with a roasted flavor that was more coffee than chocolate and a slightly bitter finish.
- ABV: 6%
This was a very good beer. Had it leaned more toward chocolate than coffee, it might have been a great beer. Of course, that is just my inherent prejudice as I don’t really care for coffee. The folks at Beer Advocate have rated the Zonker Stout a 93 and the folks at Rate Beer have rated it a 97 so maybe my opinion is a bit clouded and this really is a great beer.