1. Don't miss our 7th annual American Craft Beer Fest featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers this May 30 & 31 in Boston, MA! Buy your tickets now!
  2. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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

2,277 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2277
Reviews: 1247
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%

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 (15) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Ratings: 2,277 | Reviews: 1,247 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of BradC


3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft into a 20 oz imperial pint glass, not much head and a dark reddish brown color with a little lacing.

Smells bready and caramel

Taste is caramel sweet with hints of dark fruit, raisin, toffee, don't taste any hint of hops or the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin, I like a chewy doppelbock.

Overall, a good doppelbock, not great. Easy drinking, I would drink again but not go out of my way to find it.

Serving type: on-tap

02-13-2014 13:40:17 | More by BradC
Photo of MattNidiffer

South Carolina

4.63/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beer was on-tap, poured into a pint glass with a light, half-finger head.

Appearance: Dark, with a light beige, sudsy head. Not very frothy, lacing is consistent throughout.

Smell: Dark, toasted malts, small notes of apple and syrup. HInts of salty caramel are picked up after the first initial whiff, and once the head clears, the apple aroma comes through a bit more strongly.

Taste: Very round, dark caramel flavor, followed by a strong flavor of roasted malt. Light hints of pepper, and small notes of hoppy bitterness. Well-rounded, hoppy finish, that leaves the palate with a sweet, almost bread-like aftertaste. Very pleasant all-around.

Mouthfeel: Slightly soft carbonation, very smooth to drink. When sipped, it leaves the palate feeling surprisingly tingly for a darker beer. (Think Guinness, but slightly more carbonation.)

Overall: Very pleasant beer all-around. For all you seasonal beer-drinkers out there, this might not be your first choice while lounging at the beach or by the pool, but you can't beat sitting by the fire with a glass of this stuff in hand on a crisp autumn day. The flavor and the mouthfeel are this beer's strong points, if we're looking at it from an overall experience standpoint. With its roasty caramel notes, finished up by its sweet breadiness, this beer is one of the smoother dark beers out there.

Serving type: on-tap

01-16-2014 07:03:35 | More by MattNidiffer
Photo of Matthew_Phoenix


4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this at a bar. Never heard of it and the name just kind of stuck out to me. Bartender explained to me that it was a German Lager and I just had to have it.

A - Nice, dark amber color that shows little carbonation. Creme colored head that goes away after about 2 minutes, leaves little lacing.

S - Smell is somewhat toasty and fruity. Dark fruit like figs.

T - Real toasty and bready. A little bit of toasted hop presence that balances it out. Not real bitter at all. Goes down real easy and clean. Can't really notice the presence of alcohol. Not bad at all.

M - It was light-medium, but had a somewhat slickness to it, almost creamy thing going on that sticks on your pallet after your done drinking it that makes you want more.

I really enjoyed this, so much so that later that night I ordered another one. They were $4 a pop. Try it.

Serving type: on-tap

01-03-2014 08:10:15 | More by Matthew_Phoenix
Photo of NoFoamyBeer

3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A. Dark reddish brown Dopplebock. 2 finger head after beheadinging that sticks around for a bit.

S. nothing special here. I get A hint of cherry and molasses with malt. Slight alcohol smell

T. The malt really comes out. Slightly sweat with the molasses taste but malt is the predominant taste.

M. Slight carbonation. Another reviewer used silky to describe the mouth. I would agree. The malt and sweetness hang around a bit.

O. Overall this is a very drinkable beer and it's seems easy to order a follow up or two. The high ABV let's the beer buzz catch up pretty fast. This was served in a 0.5 liter Spaten branded glass.

Serving type: on-tap

09-08-2012 22:19:37 | More by NoFoamyBeer
Photo of jokelahoma


4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at 5th Street Bar in Pittsburg, KS

Pours a nice deep garnet with ruby highlights. Crystal clear, but little head.

Smells of pilsner malt, caramel, toffee, and not much else. Good clean "German" aroma, and that's a good thing.

Taste is also clean as it can be. Again, the continental pils malt comes through, with it's signature grainy sweetness. The caramel and toffee notes follow, but aren't as strong as the aroma suggests. It's sweet, but not as sweet as many doopelbocks. And it should be sweet, per the style. Just clean, malty without being cloying. Good example of the style.

Mouthfeel is rich without being chewy. Again, just as it should be.

Doppels aren't everyone's cup of tea. Or, uh, beer. Sweet, malty, the polar opposite of an IPA. But if you want a good, strongish, clean German lager, it's hard to beat this.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2012 00:01:13 | More by jokelahoma
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-20-2012 02:56:55 | More by haddon
Photo of beer256


4.93/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I tried this beer at a german pub in South Carolina and i thought it was great. I had two 16oz. glasses,the smell was nice with a variety of aromas pretty typical for the style. A touch of molasses and a lot of sweet malt.The taste is delicious and addicting. .A fantastic Doppelbock, I'm definitely going back for some more!

Serving type: on-tap

04-09-2012 06:19:43 | More by beer256
Photo of KellyL


3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, light tan head with no retention.

S: Roasted malts along with plum, moderate alcohol smell as well.

T: molasses, roasted malt, caramel, alcohol taste remains for a bit.

M: medium-high body, smooth on the palate.

O: it's a good beer, can't drink very many with the high-ish ABV. It's nice to have and sip with dinner... Or lunch as I did.

Serving type: on-tap

02-11-2012 01:40:41 | More by KellyL
Photo of stalker5

New York

4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber brown, tan head with good retention. Smelled roasted malts, dark fruits, a little alcohol. Can definitely taste some the dark fruits, roasted, carmels, brown sugars, very slight alcohol. Mouthfeel is heavy, smooth, and velvety. A good doppelbock; one I recommend for sure. Definitely better if you can get it on tap.

Serving type: on-tap

01-10-2012 22:23:22 | More by stalker5
Photo of spinrsx

Ontario (Canada)

3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Appearance – Reddish brown colour with an average size frothy and fizzy beige coloured head. It’s hard to make out the carbonation level due to the darkness of the beer and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell – Malts, dark fruits, butterscotch

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, butterscotch, nuts and some raisins. The beer finishes with a malty and grape juice sweet aftertaste.

Overall – An enjoyable beer that is very drinkable and has great balance. I remember there being more of a smokey taste when I had it from the bottle. I'd buy it again.

Serving type: on-tap

11-21-2011 15:39:14 | More by spinrsx
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.

Serving type: on-tap

11-08-2011 02:54:36 | More by dunit697
Photo of CaptJackHarkness

New York

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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-16-2011 01:56:47 | More by CaptJackHarkness
Photo of oline73


3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at Max's. Served in a Spaten mug.

Appearance: Pours a reddish brown with a half finger of off white head that disappears completely.

Smell: Very sweet. Malt along with some caramel and some grape as well.

Taste: A lot like the smell. Very malty with strong hints of caramel and grape. There is some alcohol and a mild bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the thick side of medium with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a nice beer to drink in the fall. Quite malty. I would have liked a little bit less grape flavor.

Serving type: on-tap

09-27-2011 00:23:56 | More by oline73
Photo of Phelps


3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tall, skinny Spaten glass.

Plum in color, dark yet clear and topped with a two-finger head of mocha cream. As the head collapses, jagged mountains of sticky bubbles grasp upwards, fighting to retain their height.

Interesting blend of ripe plums and toasted bread in the nose, with tart cherries in the background.

In the flavor, hints of sweet red apples quickly develop into raisins and plum, as if being dehydrated and intensified while in the mouth. Candy sugar and toasted biscuits show up in the middle. Just a bit of booze, with lingering bitter chocolate and toast on the back end. A smooth blend, soft yet deep with flavor.

The velvety, creamy body is medium and tongue hugging. Very nice. Carbonation is lightly peppery, giving way to the softest bit of fizz. Alcohol numbs the tongue slightly.

Smooth in the mouth and easygoing in flavor, Optimator’s a doppelbock you can drink easily but rewards deeper pondering as well. It’s best enjoyed when sitting in front of a fireplace in the dark.

Serving type: on-tap

08-25-2011 21:00:20 | More by Phelps
Photo of navinsula


4.63/5  rDev +19%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beer came in a small 10oz stien. the color was a nice dark red that was almost not transparent, with a thick white head.

the smell is very nice with some rich chocolaty notes and small amount of roast.

the tast is great with rich chocolat and toffey, but not overtaking.

mouthfeel is very smooth and full body

one of my favorit beers of all time when its on tap, and is still pretty great out of a bottle

Serving type: on-tap

08-09-2011 03:28:28 | More by navinsula
Photo of dhannes


2.83/5  rDev -27.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap, paired with Italian pasta, which might have been a mistake.

A=Nice dark amber, appealing

S=Slight wiff of hops

T=I haven't had one of these in years, but recall it being better than what I had. Not only did I find this beer somewhat lacking in flavor, but it was a bit sweet...not something I would go out of my way to get. I used to love bock beers, but have been disappointed in many to date, so maybe I've just lost my taste for bocks.

M=Good...bit too watery.

O=I simply did not enjoy this beer as much as others and will likely not try again.

Serving type: on-tap

06-30-2011 12:39:41 | More by dhannes
Photo of Rifugium


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

First had: on tap at Brauhaus Schmitz, Philly, PA

A tasty, toasty German bock. Poured a hazel-brown with reddish highlights, moderate carbonation, and a thin off-white head. Mild and smooth aroma of sweet, toasty malts and caramel. More sweet toasted malts in the taste, toffee, raisin, and apple peel. Maybe just a hint of alcohol. Medium mouthfeel, and pretty easily drinkable.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2011 21:01:38 | More by Rifugium
Photo of Brouwerij78

New York

4.72/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very delicious dark, thick, full beer. Oddly atypical for a German Brewery - they are most famous for their strong weiss beers and mid-range dark beers. This is a roasty, malty and slightly sweet brew full of rich carmel notes and coffee hints. I had this in a pint at "Wolfe's Beirgarden" in Albany NY. Served non-ice-cold was best and this is definitely a higher-end leisurely drinking beer to enjoy with some wurst and spatzel...delicious!!

Serving type: on-tap

06-17-2011 14:45:24 | More by Brouwerij78
Photo of TMoney2591


3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a flared flute glass at Bauer's Brauhaus.

Still sittin' at the Brauhaus, watching the Cubs tank another game. Sad, really. Anyway, this brew pours a clear dark sunset burnt sienna-amber topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises buttery caramel, very light roasted malts, brown sugar, and Belgian candi sugar. The taste holds notes of buttery caramel, light roasted malts, brown sugar, cinnamon, faint-ish dark greens, and some mild cocoa powder. The body is a rather light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a solid d-bock, a bit on the thin side, but mighty tasty and enjoyable.

Serving type: on-tap

06-06-2011 03:25:23 | More by TMoney2591
Photo of Kelly88


3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had on tap at the Cock and Bull. Served in an imperial pint glass.

A- the darkest of browns, maybe even black. Whitish tan head tops This dark brew and eventually calms to a halo of bone white ring. No real lacing to speak of.

S- really sweet and roasty malts. Lots of caramel and sugar. Very unique. I like this smell But it could be more aggressive.

T- sugar sweet chocolate with lots of sweet dark fruit. A touch of alcohol on the finish balances out the sweet.

M- pretty light. Kind of sweet but not in a totally overbearing way. Light enough to enjoy a few but has enough feel to deliver Nice flavor.

Overall a good beer that has nice flavor and good looks. I really enjoy the combination of really dark beer That is more sweet than roasty. Nice and a good representative of the style

Serving type: on-tap

04-14-2011 23:09:11 | More by Kelly88
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.

Serving type: on-tap

03-12-2011 19:38:35 | More by RichScherle
Photo of katybee


3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

My second round of this beer, to see how it compares to my first impressions, leaves me feeling its a good tasty all around joe, but not quite deserving of it's gold-foil "champagne" label, lol.

A bit of a glorified Budweiser, in my book, although it is a better mouthfeel, lightly medium-bodied and creamy. But a little high in carbonation, and predominant hop character, which couldn't fool the tastebuds if the eyes were blindfolded to the beautiful clear brown color of the ale. Maltiness tones down the hops, and there are no citrus notes, with a nice peppery spiciness its true. And there is some sweetness as well, but without any chocolate or coffee character, and lacking fruity esthers as well.... much more carbonation and hops than porter and stout.

Highly drinkable, perhaps more pairable with general foods than a barleywine, but not exceedingly unique...a bit of a glorified Budweiser-type lager in taste.

Serving type: on-tap

02-26-2011 05:30:41 | More by katybee
Photo of nickthetick


3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear dark mahogany/ burnt wood with maybe a half finger of off white head that doesn't hang around much.

S: there's not a whole lot of nose behind this beer, sweet malts and that's all I detect.

T: a lot more here then in the nose. Nice robust malt profile, sweet and smokey. Dried fruits, brown sugars and belgian sugars. Some wheat in back.

MF: medium body and very effervescent, full flavor and not at all astringent.

D: an excellent doppelbock and the one I would pick out of the four on tap at my local beer bar I would pick first.

Serving type: on-tap

02-12-2011 18:07:20 | More by nickthetick
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.

Serving type: on-tap

01-23-2011 05:44:17 | More by xnicknj
Photo of largadeer


3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

Mahogany hued, capped by a thin beige head. The nose is heavy on raisins and prunes, with nutty, bready malt beneath. There's a slight vinous aroma that lends some complexity. The palate is very similar; a lot of raisin and prune flavor above a backbone of toasted malt. Moderately sweet, fairly vinous toward the finish with some metallic astringency. This isn't bad, but it's far from my favorite doppelbock. Too reminiscent of prune juice.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2011 22:15:32 | More by largadeer
« first ‹ prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | next › last »
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,277 ratings.