“Foreign Stout” is an underrated and seemingly forgotten sub-genre in
the stout world. You’d think they’d be more popular since beers of the
style tend to be plenty robust and complex but without the massive
booziness of an imperial stout. That’s exactly what Snake River Zonker
Stout is and exactly why it’s an excellent brew.
I poured a 12oz can into a goblet. There was no freshness date and it cost $3.40 ($0.28 per ounce).
Appearance: Deep black hue with slight brown highlights. Pours to a
large, dark tan, frothy head which laces and retains tremendously well.
Smell: Chocolate syrup and black licorice although a dank, piney hop aroma is present too.
Taste: If I were to describe the beer’s palette without any other
context you might think I was talking about a huge hefty stout, but this
beer is actually more middle-of-the-road. Strong bitterness right away –
similar to black coffee. Immediately it becomes sweet with a delectable
flavor of black licorice and dark chocolate. The hops bite back on the
finish with a noticeable bitterness, though they’re much danker this
time. It really complements the dark malty character. Overall, it’s a
tasty and well-balanced brew; I’m really impressed.
Drinkability: At 6% ABV, Snake River Zonker Stout is definitely not a
weak beer, yet much too light to be considered imperial by any means.
I’m impressed it has so much flavor and complexity for this weight and
is also remarkably pleasing to drink. The mouthfeel is smooth and soft,
but in no way thick or sticky. I get no alcohol taste or warming
sensation, though the hops do linger momentarily. This is strong enough
to stand up to a savory dinner and sweet enough to complement a dessert.
Drink it as you see fit.