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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,581 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,581
Reviews: 1,267
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 63
Gots: 168 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu visit their website

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  7.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-06-1999)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Spaten Optimator Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,581 | Reviews: 1,267 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Tballz420
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark cola-colored brew, with a bubbly head following a nice cascade of carbonation. Light caramel malt scent. For the taste, it is mainly a caramel, slight toast malt scent. Some bitter hop presence, but nothing earth shattering. Med/full bodied, some creaminess to the feel. Not my favorite doppel, but overall a pretty solid brew.

Tballz420, Sep 04, 2004
Photo of nekronos
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Veyr strong, it says it is a barley wine, so something is missing here. The taste is evry malty, not big foam, but the colour is dark and somewhat coffee alike in memories. Probably the first Barley wine I had, strong but with personality. HAd it while chilling out from a rehearsal.

nekronos, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of Rumrunner
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. bottle.

Pours a healthy ruby red mahogany color. A deep tan head. This one left some great lacing across the glass. The scents seemed held back by a grassy and grain scent. I could also smell some sweet malts. Dark bread an spices. Good scents.

Flavors are rich and ripe. Nice sweet malt. Molasass and maple. Some peppery spice for bite. A bit of hoppiness. Nice sweet fruits and raisins with a creamy milk flavor. Some smooth carob at the end. Good balance of flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. A slight hop crispness in the middle of a taste. There is a nice stickyness to its drinkability. A bit of an alcohol sting on the mouth but it is only a wake up call. A fine drinking dopplebock.

Rumrunner, Oct 22, 2003
Photo of marburg
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Eh. Kind of a middle-of-the-road dopplebock. It's brown, as it should be, but it's a bit pale. It's a little thin as lagers tend to be, but there are plenty of fuller-bodied dopplebocks, so there's something to shoot for there. Tastes like a mish-mash of muted flavors with no real pronounced taste beyond a sort of bready vegetable flavor. It's hardly bad; it's just not unexpected, exceptional, or fun in any way.

marburg, Apr 11, 2003
Photo of erz316
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a couple of these guys into my huge new Spaten seidel!

A - a dark red brown color, like that of coke-classic, thick tan head with little or no lacing. as light shines through it, there are some nice ruby hues coming through.

S - the malt smell comes through like a good thick molasses, very pungent. there are some spicy alcohol notes as well. not very complicated, but still very attractive.

T - great roasted malt right up front, with some chocolate like bitterness. a very creamy smooth beer finish is a bit bitter, with some stronger coffee biterness. aftertaste is a light sweetness and roastedness of malts.

MF&D - a very thin beer, would have liked it thicker. too much like water in my case. the drinkability is fine, but the texture from the lack of viscosity is a bit off putting.

erz316, Jan 30, 2009
Photo of fountainofyouth
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Purchased at RFD in Washington, DC. Poured from a bottle into a weizen glass.

Appearance: Translucent red-amber, like an Irish red ale. Tiny white head, leaves little bits of lacing. With a darker color, this thing would look pretty menacing.

Smell: My first whiff reminds me of a grassy field -- the hops are out front in the scent. Behind the hops is the sweet and complex malt. Smells of sweet dark fruits and caramel.

Taste: Similar to the smell, a battle of hops and malt. The hops are most present at the beginning and on the long, dry finish. In between, the caramel maltiness is more apparent. The flavors blend well. It's sweet, but not cloying. I thought I detected a milky-mocha flavor that reminded me a lot of a Duck-Rabbit Milk Stout, actually. Despite the 7.6% ABV punch, I hardly tasted any booze. Also, there's a small spicy bite to the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy body and slick. There's a kick of crisp carbonation up front, but it subsides. There's a satisfying feeling of alcohol warmth that runs down your gullet after the swallow -- like drinking a liqueur. It's also quite filling; nobody's going to down five of these at a party.

Overall: Spaten knows what it's doing. And for the relatively inexpensive price (cheaper than a Celebrator), it's a pretty good value. Those who appreciate the genre should definitely try it.

fountainofyouth, Jul 08, 2011
Photo of CaptJackHarkness
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served on tap into clear german style beer stein.

A deep brown almost black with red highlights to the body,relatively small white head that did not last long.Tasted very much of dark fruitcake!(Nice)a hint of clove perhaps? The alchohol is well hidden.

CaptJackHarkness, Oct 16, 2011
Photo of blackc5
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured at 45F from their 1 pt .9 oz bottle into a beer mug.

A - Pours a dark reddish brown with a moderate head on a quick pour. Head dissipates rapidly and leaves zero, nada, zilch lacing.

S - Mild scents of chocolate and raisins. Malty with yeasty herbal undertones. Overall a nice mix of scents, but quite mild.

T - Toasted malts and brown sugar, with dark fruit, mainly raisins and prune, especially as this one warms up. Very light spicy hop finish. Hearty and warming. Best served cold and consumed fairly quick - it gets quite sweet as it warms up.

M - Smooth and thick. Full-bodied with moderate carbonation and just the right amount of oiliness. Perhaps its strongest aspect.

D - Pretty high given the abv. You taste a bit of the alcohol, but for the most part this is just pure warmth and easy to down.

blackc5, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of ADR
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at St. Paul, MNs Glockenspiel dining hall.

Nice dark color, rocky one inch head. Minimal mostly sweet aroma. Roasted sweet malts, minimal to no bitterness. Slight chocolate tones. Rather than a metallic taste at the end, I noticed a severe flavor fall off, which might be intentional. Liked it more as it warmed up. Was thinner in body than I expected, but it was highly drinkable

ADR, Apr 11, 2002
Photo of glid02
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bottle from a mixed pack received as a gift.

Pours a chocolate-brown color with a one-finger tan head. The head recedes into a thin layer on top leaving solid lacing.

Smells of thick and sweet caramel malts with a hint of toastiness and lighter hints of milk chocolate.

Tastes similar to how it smells. Loads of sweet caramel malt flavors up front are joined by mild amounts of milk chocolate and hints of earthy hops. These flavors carry through to a sweet ending.

Mouthfeel is alright. It's a bit on the thin side with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability is good. I didn't have a problem finishing the bottle and could have another.

Overall this was a good beer for the style but there are certainly betters out there. Worth a shot.

glid02, Dec 29, 2009
Photo of watermelonman
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This poured to a nice dark brown with hints of orange. The head was fairly small and faded, while lacing was minimal.

The smell is nice, with caramel coming through strong. Toasted malts and caramel dominate the taste, with hops coming through in the finish. The mouthfeel is fairly rich, yet the beer remains easy to drink.

watermelonman, May 20, 2005
Photo of aval89
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a dark almost molasses color with a thin head. went kind of easy on the head. very decent looking beer, very inviting..

the smell is very complex. sugar cane, brown sugar, raisins, prune, sweet toffee, caramel, roasty malts, coffee, and even a little chocolate in there.

taste is very much like the smell.. brown sugar, syrup, almost like a dark tea flavor, raisins, bitterness comes from the malt, slight coffee in there.

mouthfeel is somewhat chewy, thick, heavy..leaves a lingering herbal resin taste on the palate..

drinkablity is easy.

not bad for my first dopplebock

aval89, Apr 03, 2010
Photo of RichScherle
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - classic dark bronze doppelbock color. Rich beige head that lingers.

S - sweetness, some dark, brooding roasty notes, a slight whiff of alcohol and spice.

T - malt bomb! A bit one dimensional in that respect - approaches cloying levels but doesn't get there which is admittedly is nice. Rich, robust malty sweetness with middle notes of roasted barley and backend of ever so slight hops and a good dose of alcohol. Finishes wet and sweet. It just lacks a certain depth and complexity of flavor that other doppels I like better have (such as herby notes, yeasty notes, and a more elegant approach balancing out the malts)

M - very good. thick and voluptious.

D - its drinkable but strong and sweet. So its not something I would drink all night long but definitely something I get every time i'm at the german bar after a few pints of a nice pilsner.

RichScherle, Mar 12, 2011
Photo of tone77
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a green 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is a bit sweet, and malty, a bit bready. Taste is also bready, sweet, lots of malts, very easy drinking. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer worth checking out.

tone77, Dec 07, 2009
Photo of LiquidAmber
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 4/2010 notes. Poured into a Celebrator pokal. Pours a dark reddish brown, light tan head and lacing. Strong pleasant aroma of sweet malt, caramel. Moderately sweet, malty start and middle. Pleasant malt and caramel finish. Seems muted in flavor, but well balanced and quite nice. A definite buy again.

LiquidAmber, Aug 04, 2012
Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured very dark amber (near black) with a thin white head. Only a very light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are moderate aromas of dark, bready malts in the nose along with some notes of raisins.
T: Similar to the smell, malty flavors similar to brown bread dominate the taste along with some notes of dark fruits. There is a mild amount of sweetness in the overall taste.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and a moderate amount of carbonation is evident.
D: The alcohol isn't that apparent in the smell or taste so it's very drinkable although I'm not sure how many of these I could have because itls very filling and feels like you are having a meal.

metter98, Jul 02, 2010
Photo of martinmayhem
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

been on the doppelbock tip lately and this one definitely doesn't disappoint. Great big sweet but not overly sweet malt character w/ hints of caramel. It's medium bodied that fringes on full. The drinkablity is a little better than average for the style. Its definitely no Celebrator but worth drinking again.

martinmayhem, Oct 29, 2009
Photo of gabedivision
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle to a SA Imperial snifter

A- Pours a clear deep reddish brown, with a 2 finger head that slowly disappears until there is almost no trace of retention left.

S- Rich maple malts, figs and cherries.

T- Caramalized toasted grain, dark fruit, dry red wine finish.

M- Medium bodied, low carbonation, malty, dry.

O- I love Optimator, great year round beer. Tasty full of flavor reasonably priced and always available.

gabedivision, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of dedrick
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Somewhat dark. Reddish color. Appears to be quite bubbly. Only about a half inch of head which was gone within a few seconds.

Smell: A bit musty. Hoppy and distinct.

Taste: It's a little bit harsh but in a good way. At 7.2% it has a tiny bit more bite than some beers. Some bitterness and almost a little tangy? Finishes with a slight sweetness. Pretty good overall for being somewhat of a higher alcohol beer. I've had some 7 and 8% beers similar in style that do not seem to make sense with the amount of alcohol. In other words it sometimes seems that the extra harshness from the alcohol doesn't mesh with the beer.

Mouthfeel: Seems like the effervescence is slightly more than usual. Nice feel on the tongue. Creamy and smooth but with that subtle bite at the end.

Drinkability: VERY drinkable for a 7.2%. Smooth, not too sweet or heavy.

dedrick, Dec 11, 2009
Photo of velosuds
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz bottle into a clear pint glass. No freshness date apparent. Paid $2.29 on sale at local grocer. Normally sells for $2.99.

A-Pours a medium chestnut brown with a one + finger light tan head that recedes quickly leaving only scant lacing.

S-Somewhat subdued but roasted and caramel malts with a slight chocolate aroma.

T-Malty sweetness followed by the balancing bitterness of the hops finished with a nutty-chocolate flavor reminiscent of chocolate covered cherries.

M-Tad harsh from over carbonation.

D-This is my first Doppelbock and although good, it was not especially impressive.

velosuds, Oct 16, 2010
Photo of AcesFullup
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This beer is an example of affordable goodness. I bought a six pack on special for under $5 in Atlanta. There are very few, if any, six packs that can equal its value at this price.

I first had this beer in Disneyworld in 2005. It was served in Epcot at the Germany district to an eager dad with two kids. I have fond memories of my youngsters running around Disney with a fine Optimator in my hand. I quickly returned for a second outrageously expensive pint. Perhaps these memories biased my opinion, but drinking this beer takes me back to the summer our family spent in Disney.

Anyway, the only criticism that I have for this beer is the long and syrupy aftertaste. It has a nice feel in the mouth and the 7% is perfect for its flavor.

AcesFullup, May 14, 2006
Photo of Whiteweasel
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle and drank from a seidel.

Appearance: A deep brown, almost reddish colour. It yields very little head, but the little head it does give is creamy, slightly brownish and rather persistant in the glass. Clear with no signs of sediment or yeast.

Smell: A slightly strange smell; very malty. Almost reminds me of smelling a 40. The taste was thankfully better than the smell

Taste: The Spaten Optimator is definitely one of my favourite lagers. Dark and rich, but not overpowering. It has a prominant toasted flavour with a significantly lighter aftertaste. Sweet and malty, with no hoppy bitterness. It just gets better and better as you go.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with no particles or sediment. The alcohol is not overpowering and it leaves a pleasant feel in the mouth

Drinkability: I can see why a doppelbock is referred to as a "meal in a glass." Its much more filling than your average beer, but also extremely satisfying to drink. Its more of a sipping beer, but its very smooth.

Whiteweasel, May 29, 2009
Photo of champ103
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Clear dark red color. No head and no lace.
S: Lots of toasted and caramel malt. A pleasant bready aroma with some dark fruits. A soft and enjoyable nose.
T: Follows the nose. Loads of dark malt and fruit. The flavor is a bit metallic, but not enough to really detract from the overall experience.
M/D: I was a bit disappointed in the mouth. Very thin and watery. This is a good sipping beer though. Smooth and easy to drink, but you don't want to drink it to fast. The alcohol is well hidden and can sneak up on you.

I like this beer. Very malty and pleasant. This is something to look for.

champ103, Feb 21, 2008
Photo of chickenflea
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, with a frothy tan-colored head, sweet toasted and caramelized malt nose, with a toffeeish accent, brown sugar, hint of dark dried fruits fruitiness in the aroma follows through on a medium-bodied palate with a very sweet toasted malt character with some brown sugar, hint of nuttiness, dried raisins and plums fruitiness, leading towards a rich malty finish.

chickenflea, Sep 09, 2010
Photo of jsprain1
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a chestnut brown with a thin tan head that lasts pretty well.
S- The smell is roasted malt. little else going on.
T- Roasted malt, more nutty flavors than chocolate. Hops are faintly there as well along with a slight metallic hint.
M- SLightly on the full side, with low, but this is a positive here.
D- A good, but not quite great doppelbock. I enjoyed it and the price point on it is pretty good.

jsprain1, Oct 22, 2010
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,581 ratings.