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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,673 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,673
Reviews: 1,271
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 64
Gots: 208 | 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)
View: Beers (17) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,673 | Reviews: 1,271 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Hagbard
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The Optimator! A doppelbock, one of the styles I haven't yet completely wrapped my arms around. Sometimes I love them, sometimes they rub me the wrong way. This one pours a deep dark ruby color with bright red flames where light makes a valiant effort to escape. The aroma wafts up as dark overripe fruit, plums perhaps. I can't really pick out anything else in the aroma. The taste, however, is very complex. It begins with the dark fruit notes, but quickly fades to a bread taste. Fitting, considering the doppelbock's history. The bready taste fades into an alcoholic bite on the back of the tongue. The finish and aftertaste both exhibit more of the bready taste, this time even more magnified. This beer truly does seem chewy. The mouthfeel seems creamy and full, contributing to the chewy feel. I prefer this beer served cooler, in the 48-50 degree range. When it warms, the sweet fruit aspect dominates and becomes cloying. I've seen this in other dbacks, including Celebrator. I'm not sure if it's just me or not...

Overall, I wouldn't say I think this is a great or fantastic beer. However, I did enjoy the 6 pack I bought and I'll probably buy it in the future. It's very solid and interesting, plus the price is very reasonable.

Photo of Dukeofearl
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a nice root-beer/chocolate brown with a pretty frothy head. Seriously, if I din't know better, I would say this looks like a very nice root beer.

Aroma is very pleasant- malty, bready, slightly sweet, very light spices. Chocolate and nuts. Flavor is a very nicely balanced presentation of the aroma, with the biggest addition being a slight hop bite at the end combined with a sharp alcohol "burn".

Drinkability is good, but the high end alcohol at the end keeps the score down a bit. I actually paired this with some chocolate cookies, and it went surprisingly well. I have also used this to marinade some steaks before grilling (a la the brothers' article on grilling) and it worked very nicely, although as a marinade it may need more spices to kick up the meat.

Photo of HoustonTX
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Spatan Optimator... has a ring to it.

A - Dark brown, off white head, decent retention and lacing.

S - Strong dark fruits and yeast in nose.

T - Upfront carmalized malts, dark fruits (plums especially), clove, spice, and yeast. Fades to a pear/apple aftertaste. Not bad.

A solid Doppelbock, and one that hides the abv very well.

Photo of carln26
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer poured from the tap into the mug a deep brown with ruby highlights, and a decent sized tan head. Wonderful sweet malt aroma rich with fig and sweet candy. The taste is like biting into a caramel apple. Toffee, caramel, and a rich sweetness. The mouth feel is smooth and rich, and despite the alcohol content, this beer is very drinkable.

Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pint bottle into pilsner glass.

A: Dark brown with ruby highlights; big, thick, sticky tan head.

S: Malty sweetness and some alcohol. Also picking up some dark fruitiness and caramel.

T/M: Very malty and sweet. Caramel and dark fruit flavors, with little if any bitterness. Getting a slight spicy note...maybe the alcohol? Medium-heavy body cut by tight, light carbonation.

D: I don't think taste would be a hindrance at all to drinkability. Malty sweet stuff tends to go down easy for me. But I do tend to watch myself on higher alcohol stuff, and that's where this ceases to be a good session beer.

Photo of moosemoose
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

bottle into mug

A: Very dark with off beige head, an inch thick. Good retention and lacing.

S: Butter, caramel, chocolate, malt.

T: I got pretty much the same things I smelled in the taste.

M: A little watery for my taste, but definitely creamier than most beers.

O: I didn't like it as much as everyone else apparently. It seems to have a little bit of skunk to it.

Photo of nickynick
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Spaten Optimator poured a very dark reddish brown, with a very nice tan head. Smell was of sweet malt and a bit of hops. Taste was of sweet malts and chocolate. It had a nice bittersweet finish. Mouthfeel was good. Not to thick, but thick enough that you know its a doppelbock. Drinkability was ok. That 7.2 ABV hit me, and I knew I could probably only do one or two of these. Overall a nice doppelbock. One I will go back to.

Photo of soupyman10
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Waitress told me this one was "real hoppy," which I'm going to call bullshit on, but that's neither here nor there. Pours a dark brown, light white head, pretty appetizing. Scent is mostly sweet malt. Taste is lots of caramel malt, that normal bocky flavor, a little roasted coffee too (although very mild). Feel is medium to thin bodied, a little less full than I would've liked. Tasty, one that I'd go back to, although a little thin for my book.

Photo of kmo1030
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the aroma is dominated by malt and fruit. caramel, brown sugar and nutiness on the malt end an d plum-y dark fruit on the fruity end.
the flavor begins with soft roasty, nutty caramel, followed shortly by molasses covered dark fruit, plum and raisin stand out. there are some rum type flavors in there to accompany a touch of warming alcochol.
the mouthfeel is on the fuller side. the carbonation is about just shy of moderately active.
drinkability is good dispite it becoming a touch cloying when it approaches room temp. it's not you typical doppelbock; it's a little fruitier, and one gets the feeling that the malts in this one are, on average, roasted a bit less than your usual doppelbock, but it's still a solid beer that is always sure to please especially on tap.

Photo of whiplash3825
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass stein... this is the darkest beer I've ever had! Very dark brown/copper color, tan two-finger head collapses quickly. Smell is a sweet, slightly burnt malt and caramel, and you can definitely detect the alcohol. Tastes of roasted hops, caramel and even slight anise and coffee, with a medium dry finish and some warmth from the high ABV. Goes down pretty smooth, but this sure is a change from my usual weitzen! The sweetness would probably discourage me from drinking too many of these, but I'm on my second so we'll see! Overall, much better than I expected from a doppelbock.

Photo of allforbetterbeer
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served in a snifter.

Pours revealing a clear, smoked ruby body under a finger of nearly white soft lush head.

Smells of thick chewy malts, in the best German tradition. Caramel and dark-grained bread are forward, with toasty notes in the back. A little swirl reveals a hint of something like hops, but this in minimal.

Caramel candy with darker thick malts is what my palate picks up the most in this flavor. No hops show up (as expected), but a little bitterness is present and does its job keeping this from being to sweet. The flavor is very malty but rather singular, which is good but not as good as the best, which typically exhibit notes of dark fruit, chocolate, and a greater smattering of malt flavors. Also, alcohol is slightly noted in the flavor.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy even when served at fridge temp. Impressive.

Photo of soju6
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark mahogany color with a small tan head and virtually no lacing.

S: Aroma of roasted malt, caramel, with some spice and bit of sugar sweetness.

T: Flavor of roasted malt, some dark fruit sweetness and bit of spice. Very subtle bitterness with a dry finish.

F: Medium body, smooth and creamy. Nice touch of alcohol warming. Very well balanced.

O: Very enjoyable. Nice offering of the style. Good beer to relax with.

Photo of cvstrickland
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured aggressively into a tulip yields a deep clear brown body with cranberry highlights capped with a milk-colored beige head of 3 fingers that retains at a fine-bubbled fluffy sheet and leaves wide webby bands of fine lacing.

Smell is faintly malty with a nice touch of chocolate.

Tastes sweet and chocolatey with a fruity note of alcohol and a little twang of coffee. Malts linger in the aftertaste with a faint hop bitterness.

Smooth and medium-bodied with minimal carbonation on the tongue. Delicious and very drinkable.

Photo of marc956
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Excellent beer, a bit on the dark side (it is a malt liquor after all) something else to keep in mind (in my personal opinion) too high of an ABV at 7.2% for a session beer, but if only having a few it's very good. Lots of flavour, not too overpowering. Just had a few after playing hockey but would probably be better suited to accompany food such as pizza.

Photo of natelocc787
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice black-brown color with a tan head. Leaves good lacing, medium thick and it hangs around for a few before sliding down the chalice. First thing about the nose is it's very sweet and nutty. Reminds me of Dinkel Acker. Lots of almonds and molasses in the nose with a creamy sweet maltball character. The taste offers more candied nut flavor like brown sugar coated pecans, roasted almonds and lots of maple syrup. Very malty up front and not much in the way of hops anywhere, walnuts drowned in molasses in the finish and a little shot of dark chocolate. The mouthfeel was medium in thickness and even though it wasn't over carbonated the size of the bubbles gave it feel like a soda pop. Somewhat dry for the style. Good example and an old school classic.

Photo of sinistrsam
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown-red color with a medium head.

Smell: Aroma was mild, but had hints of malt and hops.

Taste: The taste was bitter and had a lot of flavor, and finished sweet. Very pleasurable.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation. Finished crisp and refreshing.

I most certainly need to try more Doppelbocks but enjoyed this one very much.

Photo of tgbljb
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

poured a deep mahagony color with massive creamy tannish head. Left nice lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is dark fruity and malty. Taste shows more of the malt flavors with an initail strong hop presence that slowly fades to present a nice balancing effect as the beer slowly warms. Nice creamy mouth feel with a slight nate of alcohol at the finish. Nice and drinkable. Very enjoyable.

Photo of JWU
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle poured into a straight sided pint glass.

A- dark brown with ruby highlights. Thin off-white almost tan head, that dissipates quickly No lacing.

S- dark brown sugar, some dark fruit, not much aroma is there.

T- Dark brown sugar, dark fruits, toasted caramel, and some light herbal hops. The taste overall is a little rougher than some more refined examples of the style.

M- medium-high carbonation. Semi-dry finish.

O- while it's not on the same level as Ayinger Celebrator, it's also half the price. A very good basic introduction to the style for those who haven't enjoyed a doppelbock before.

Photo of cdkrenz
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Medium brown colored body with a nice, thick, frothy pale tan head more than three inches tall. When held to light the body has a nice deep purple accent.

S - Medium roasted malt with a hint of pungency.

T - Robust medium roasted malts with a slight bitterness and alcohol presence. The finish is sweet.

M - Sticky and thick for the part. Just like I like a good Doppelbock.

~ This is a good beer. I'm a big fan of the style and I'm a big fan of this brew. Now if I could venture to Munich and try a fresh one from the tap.

Photo of filabrazilia
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with amber hues. A small tan head sits atop and leaves trails of lace on the glass.

There is a slight toasted malt aroma with a light sting of alcohol. Nothing too remarkable.

The flavor is good with a deep malty nut flavor. A gentle sweetness balances the alcohol bite in the finish. Interesting and enjoyable.

This is a medium bodied and creamy smooth beer in the mouth. A touch of alcohol resonates pleasantly in the taste.

This is a solid dopplebock that is fun to drink. It's a nice spring or fall beer.

Photo of Bonhoeffer
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Three words come to mind when i sip an Optimator: sweet malty goodness. Doppelbocks make lagers interesting, and this is a prime example of the style. IMHO, every bit as good as Ayinger Celebrator, but usually half the cost.

Just enough hops to keep it from being cloying, but barely. This is a fairly sweet beer. Nice little alcohol warmth accompanies each sip.

I've had this both in 12 oz bottles and 500ml bottles. Haven't discerned any difference in taste between the two.

Photo of clayrock81
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A thick, cola like blackness oozed into my glass and left a small head and minimal lace rings. A malty smell of coffee and roasted malt (maybe cocoas) and some sweet smells also. A coffee, roasted malt taste with an overlying smoothness brought on by caramel. Moderate dryness on the backbite, as the alcohol is somewhat noticeable but doesn't ruin the beer. A tad simplistic but a solid beer worth trying and having a couple at the bar.

Photo of xnicknj
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at brauhaus schmitz in philly

Pours a deep brown, almost black with plenty of bubbly head leaving a collar of lacing on the glass.

Scents of heavily roasted malt, licorice, caramel, and some soft hop bitterness in the nose.

A wave of roasted malt coupled with some rich sweetness. Raisin and licorice slice through the palate with some other assorted dark fruit. Light hop bitterness with some piny notes. Slight alcohol warmth with sweetness in the finish.

Fuller rich body, medium carbonation, smooth on the palate. Decent drinking with enjoyable flavor and a solid example of the style.

Photo of watchnerd
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, the Optimator. Many many many many years ago, when I first turned 21, this was one of my first "non standard" foreign beers. Back when beer diversity was much lower, but Spaten could often be found. It's still a quality brew, although I could have sworn the ABV used to be higher long ago; I seem to recall that it used to be 8.9% ABV. In any case, a nice malty double bock, nicely balanced. Worthy of trying, although the Spaten Dunkel-Weisse is still the best beer they make.

Photo of cbn
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Traslucent deep amber color with a beige head dissipating quickly leaving a thin cap, active carbonation with little lacing.

Subtle sweet malt, and thin flowey hop aromas.

Clean,sweet, malty, slightly bready, crisp slightly bitter finish.

Soft and smooth with a medium body and good carbonation, fairly subtle an complex.

Above average drinkability for ABV, filling and satisfying.

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
88 out of 100 based on 2,673 ratings.