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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,528 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,528
Reviews: 1,264
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 64
Gots: 150 | 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
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Ratings: 2,528 | Reviews: 1,264 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of carlspeed
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow. I forgot I had this in my fridge, and I forgot what it tasted like. Too bad. I just opened this up and it all came back. Delicious, thick, refreshing, and now that I've finished the one bottle at 7.6% ABV, I'm a little buzzed too. Definitely remembering to buy more.

carlspeed, Feb 11, 2013
Photo of Wildman
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark amber color and formed an off white bubbly head that was bit sudsy and left some lace. The aroma was of malt and caramel and a touch of chocolate. The flavor was of malt and chocolate with a touch of caramel. The body was a bit light for this style and not as creamy as others. The finish was light, but didn't find it as bad as others mentioned, just a touch astrigent.

Wildman, Aug 14, 2002
Photo of mnredsoxfan69
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

mnredsoxfan69, Today at 10:06 AM
Photo of hunteraw
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First beer I've had at Hogan's in Gainesville - I'd never realized there was another beer bar aside from Stubbie's.

Appearance: Dark, but light comes through with a distinctly red hue. Decent head and retention but little lacing.

Smell: Malt and dark fruit predominate the aroma.

Taste: Nice and malty. On the sweeter side, but not cloying. Good bit of dark fruit for a lager, Cocoa at the finish. Wouldn't have guessed this was 7.2% at all. Little in the way of hops.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, well-carbonated.

Drinkability: No complaints here.

hunteraw, Jan 30, 2007
Photo of riversider76
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a redish brown. Tan head lasts just long enough. Good amount lacing. Roasted,nutty smell. Thick mouthfeel. Flavor is malty and sweet. No bitter taste here at all. Finish is smooth and sweet. I could'nt stop at just one!! I recommend this beer.

riversider76, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of schroederm
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

served in a tulip.

good looking beer, nice color and good head. smell was a little weak, but i definitely got green apple out of it. tasted very solid, stereotypical doppelbock - malty malty malty. nice, refreshing bitter finish. mouthfeel was ok, a little thin, but decent carbonation. this is an extremely drinkable beer. i could (and wanted to) clear a six pack.

overall: for what it lacks in certain areas, it makes up for in high drinkability and a clean refreshing taste. great bang for your buck.

schroederm, Dec 27, 2008
Photo of fltmedic
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The bottle was tipped aggressively to a pint glass and the head rose up nicely to about 1 inch of off while foam. The color is rich, dark brown with little light passing through.

In a pint glass I had to really sniff deeply to get much aroma. The first scents are dark pitted fruit and molasses. Then there is strong roasted malt followed up with a little caramel or brown sugar and chocolate.

This beer evolves very quickly on the tongue. I got malt upfront with light chocolate notes. The body is more rich malt with rum. There is a fade of fruit and hops.

Mouthfeel is warm with alcohol and brighter than expected for such a rich beer. Really quite nice.

Overall this is a very well rounded beer. I like the strength and complexity of the flavors. It will stand up well to strong food pairings.

fltmedic, Sep 24, 2011
Photo of donteatpoop
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber color, almost a chocolate brown; a thin tan head resting on top.

Smelled of dark roaster caramel malts.

Tasted much like the scnet, dark roasted malts and caramels. Hints of chocolate and coffee were also present.

Goes down smooth with a nice mellow level of carbonation. Leaves the palate a little dry, though.

Definately a solid session beer, I could drink this all night.

donteatpoop, May 29, 2008
Photo of scotorum
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of two bottles purchased last June at the Frankenmuth Lager Mill in Michigan. Saved for colder weather.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

a: Clear dark ruby with a finger thick offwhite head which took a long time to recede to thin surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Dark malt.

t: Dark malt with fruit tones of prunes.

m: Medium. Good body and smooth.

o: A fine quality and tasty dopplebock, although the prune flavor eventually becomes a bit cloying.

scotorum, Jan 23, 2014
Photo of Flightoficarus
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Serving type - 16.9 oz (1/2 liter) bottle into a pint glass

Appearance - A very dark amber, but not quite black. Very minimal foam head, and what did result was gone quickly.

Smell - Roasted malts, dark fruit, some slight chocolate notes.

Taste - Malty and nutty. Slight chocolate notes, and flavor from hops. Sort of reminds me of some brown ales I've had for some reason, but definitely a dopplebock.

Mouthfeel - A nice, full bodied mouthful without being very foamy, giving you the true character of the beer. Not recommended for fans of lighter beer! But fans of potent beers will rejoice.

Drinkability - This is a heavy beer. I wouldn't drink more than a pint or two of these. Filling and satisfying.

Overall, a very solid offering. Probably not my favorite dopplebock, but definitely recommended for fans of the style.

Flightoficarus, Sep 09, 2009
Photo of mickeymac
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown with hints of red and an off-white head. The smell is malty sweetness with just a slight hoppiness and a bit of a metallic smell. Surprisingly, the flavors didn't seem to develop as the beer warmed. It also seemed just a bit thin. After drinking Salvator, Optimator was a little disappointing.

mickeymac, Jun 11, 2002
Photo of spaceranger
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this cheet is good. darkness with a cream head. a plum/prune/chocoate presence. sweeeet. alkie declared at 7.2, whoa, easy boys! it'll kick. carbonation is what I will call perfect - not too prevelant but more than just noticable. Spaten is probably a kind of "run-of-the-brewery" ordinary in Germany, but here in the states, where most beer sucks, It Is Wunderbar! I likey too much. Have a six or two. I think you'll see what I'm talkin' about...

adios amoebas...

spaceranger, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of bfree
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: very dark, with a red hue when held up to the light, thin head with some lace that lingers

S: caramel, roasted malts, and tart fruits (grapes/raisins)

T: the grape/raisin taste makes it a little tart and the roasted malts give it a smoky flavor

M: not syrupy thick but has some viscosity, there is a little carbonation but not much

D: I do not know much about doppelbocks but this beer is tasty, easy to drink and smooth for such a dark beer

bfree, Sep 13, 2010
Photo of Gambrinus1184
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Draft served in my mug club glass at Billy O's English Tavern, Southington, Conn.

A: Poured a great dark brown with some ruby highlights and a nice finger of sticky white foam which left some pretty nice lacing.

S: Smells of sweet roasted malt, some dark fruits, like fig and raisin, and a bit bready and dry.

T: Full blown malt with no hop bitterness to be found. The taste is toasted caramel malts and a smoky, earthy dry finish. The palate is a little oily but also creamy, with a nutty sort of twang to accentuate the dark, rich fruits.

M: Mouthfeel is medium-full, but somehow still crisp; the carbonation is very nice and balancing.

D: It's a deep, dark, rich brew that's a little jacked up in the ABV department, so I wouldn't recommend trying to session a 6-pack, but it's great to have one or two of these on a chilly night.

The idea of these Spaten styles being brewed year-round is a dual edged sword; on one hand, the styles and beers themselves are done well and are unique, in that they're available year-round, but also, doesn't it tarnish it a bit to be classified as an "imported macro" of sorts? While you ponder that, I'll have another Optimator.

Gambrinus1184, Dec 29, 2007
Photo of Naerhu
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A deep dark brownish red body with minimal head. Minus a half a point for appearing in a green bottle.
S - Very light aroma. Hard to describe other than bocky. Primarily malt, but with a hint of hopps.
T - More bitterness than I expected, this is a lot more like Deadguy ale than any other bock I have ever had. Although there is an abundance of sweet malt flavor, this is by no means a sweet beer. Pretty complex with some dark dried fruit and hints molasses.
M - Moderately carbonated with a nice soft broad body.
D - Nice balance of sweet and bitter with a surprisingly dry finish.

Naerhu, Oct 20, 2005
Photo of xymyl
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is brown/copper with a compact creamy very light brown head. Small bubbles and good carbonation.

Aroma is milk, malt and caramel with an overal hoppy floral note mixing with crisp and clean alcohol.

Taste is light sweet malts and fruity notes that keep rolling into darker, richer and at the same time, sweeter notes. Around the middle the sweetness fades back and the dark malts blend with the hops to create a single unified bitterness for a short while. Following that, there is a lingering (lightly smokey) dark sugar note that sticks around for a while.

Body is medium but the taste is rich and the sugar is sticky.

Overall, this beer has a great flavor profile but isn't super complex (despite my description). It has a reasonably rich profile but isn't on par with a Celebrator. It is good with certain spicy German and Hungarian sausages.

I buy a 24 pack once a year and it works out perfectly... this is my last one and it is time to get more.

xymyl, Sep 27, 2006
Photo of Titanium147
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

Titanium147, Jul 19, 2014
Photo of SShelly
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with low white head that fades fairly fast.

Nice biscuity malty aroma with no hops, very clean smell.

Tastes of light malt with a low finishing bitterness on the sides of the tongue, exteremely drinkable, light munich malt flavor is left in the mouth.

This beer drinks itself, fairly refreshing.

SShelly, Dec 04, 2008
Photo of Fear4Beer
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I was making an Irish recipe that called for Guinness and being the rebel that I am I decided to try a different beer. I heard that Dopplebocks are strong beers so I figured it would be a good choice (this is my first Dopplebock). This beer got good reviews and it was cheap at my local store so I purchased it for the recipe.

I was a bit shocked to find out that this beer is not strong in flavor but it is in alcohol. I was actually REALLY surprised how smooth it was. I was disappointed for the recipe that I was creating because I was looking for something with a strong flavor. But as a drinkable beer (that's what you are supposed to do, am I right!?) this is a VERY smooth and a tasty beer. I know I will sound like a heathen but this reminds me of an American lager. Although I'd rather drink this if it was handed to me compared to most popular run of the mill lagers. I'm not wowed by this beer but it is very enjoyable and refreshing. It was very cheap at my local store too. It's a good bargain beer.

Now I'm confused what a Dopplebock is supposed to be like since this came straight from Germany. Now my impression of Dopplebocks are that they aren't that strong in flavor but they are in alcohol content. This is the country that made the Dopplebock. I guess I'll have to try more to find out if this is a fluke.

Fear4Beer, Mar 25, 2014
Photo of lordofthewiens
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Had this at a little German restaurant in my home town of Brunswick. Served in a stange, it was a reddish/brown color with a thick white head that left a little bit of lacing. Aroma was caramel and raisins. Taste also caramel and raisin, but also a hint of chocolate. Perhaps a bit on the thin side. I think there could be more of a malt presence. Still, I enjoyed this beer, and will drink it again.

lordofthewiens, Jan 25, 2009
Photo of teejay76
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a couple inches of beige head with excellent retention and no lacing. Beer is very dark brown.

Smell- Sweet aroma with defined roasted malts and a hint of yeast.

Taste- Sweet and malty, a slight bite of alcohol and more yeast than hop presence. Full bodied, not for wussy watery beer drinkers.

Mouthfeel- Moderately carbonated and mouthcoatingly thick.

Drinkability- You won't pound a six pack of these. This is a very filling beer but delicious on the way down. Full flavored. I'd recommend it highly.

teejay76, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of haddon
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The beer pours a caramel color with an off-white head.

starts a bit dull on the nose but eventually displays some nice caramel and dark fruit sweetness, as well as some doughy bread.

pretty typical flavors on the palate that one would expect from a Doppelbock: caramel, raisin, and black cherry came through.

Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

DB is not my favorite style of beer but I rather enjoyed this one. pleasant experience from start to finish.

haddon, Jun 20, 2012
Photo of Elemental
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ahhh....a nice doppelbock. I have had this both on tap and in the bottle and out of the bottle the beer is almost as good as the draught beer. Its got a fair amount of head as you would expect for a doppelbock. Dark yet clear with a good hop aroma. This beer melts in the mouth as it goes down. Its smooth and flavorful with the perfect balance of hops.
Bottom line: For this price you won't find much better...

Elemental, Jun 11, 2003
Photo of dunit697
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is probably the darkest german beer i have ever had. I liked it a lot, but I personally prefer the paulaner salvator because its a bit more smooth to me. This beer is great and if you think the darker the better, this could be your favorite beer and I would highly recommend it.

dunit697, Nov 08, 2011
Photo of Gmann
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown color with ruby highlights; an average off white head settled into a light ring. The aroma is of brown bread, some soy, raisins, and stale coffee. A good punch of flavor. A big bready malt with vinous characteristics, light soy sauce, and honey. A coffee flavor pops through in the after taste. Typical dopplebock flavors or at least what I expect. Definitely a good malt presence but the feel seems thin to me, though it is fairly crisp, which is nice. A very nice dopplebock, not too sweet or syrupy. Has a bit of a roasted malt presence to offset the sweetness.

Gmann, Dec 27, 2008
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,528 ratings.