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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
Ratings: 2,277 | Reviews: 1,247 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of HardTarget


4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: A rich dark malt. I noted some toasted hints, with a slight alcohol nose, but not strong.
Appearance: Dark, looks kind of like coke. When back lit shows nice clarity. I got a nice thin tan head that lasted throughout the beer. The carbonation, while not overly bubbly, was strong and lasting.
Flavor: There are just enough hops to balance the first impression, but the malt quickly takes over for a long sweet aftertaste. I couldn’t note any real hop taste, but again, just enough to keep the beer from being too sweet. You can note the alcohol in the aftertaste, but not very strongly.
Mouthfeel: As dark and rich as the malt is, the mouthfeel is a bit light. While this detracts from a completely satisfying experience, it does lend itself to drinkability.
Overall Impression: A rich dark malty drinkable beer. Fine German craftsmanship.

Serving type: bottle

07-10-2003 23:57:54 | More by HardTarget
Photo of LarryKemp


4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This dopplebock poured a clear deep brown with a tall stand of a fine dark tan head. The head did not last particularly long but left a nice lace on the glass. The aroma is malty and has no hoppiness. The taste follows suit and is dominated by malt. Their seems to be a fruitiness that hides behind the malt. This beer is not sweet but yet malty. No roasted taste. Not hops. With a little alcohol taste. The biggest weakness in this drink is its less than full-bodied mouthfeel. I would rate it medium at best. Overall, this is a great dopplebock. I find it a very good beer to sip and enjoy its delicious varieties in aroma and taste.

Serving type: bottle

07-04-2003 17:31:57 | More by LarryKemp
Photo of JohnnyDuvel


4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The first couple of times I had the Optimator, it seemed so sweet and strong, and quite powerful. It was my first doppelbock. I hadn't drank it in quite some time, and had one last night along with a Celebrator and a Korbinian (in a head to head taste test). The Optimator was outclassed. It tasted like a Beck's dark, only stronger. It had that sweetish, almost skunky smell and taste (green bottle?). Not bad, but in that competition, clearly not at the same level. You can save a little money on this one, but it's not in the top 5 for doppelbocks (IMO).
(the next time I had this, it was much better. Maybe the green bottle did the other one in. Nice taste, good balance. Still not in the top 5 for doppels, but good nonetheless).

Serving type: bottle

06-13-2003 21:48:31 | More by JohnnyDuvel
Photo of Darkale


4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Head is thick and fizzy, quite thick at first, creamy and uneven, and then subsides to a "don't give up" skim. Good lacing.

Body is very clear and the color of cherry wood.

Deep malty aroma, sweet with hints of caramel.

Has almost a barley-wine taste, burning, slightly chewy, rich, and slightly sour afterward.

A very pleasant beer. Taste becomes almost nutty as it warms up.

This was one of the first very dark beers that I ever tasted, many years ago, and I returned to it when I saw one sitting there, almost forlorn, on the single beer shelf. Perhaps a bit sweet for some, but a reliable and deep beer, full of character.

Serving type: bottle

06-01-2003 17:58:32 | More by Darkale
Photo of Indybeer


3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark brown with little to no head and no lace. Aroma and taste of malt is strong, with little to no hop bitterness. Lack of any real carbonation, brings out an almost sweet, syrupy flavor. Not a bad doppelbock but nothing really stands out.

Serving type: bottle

05-30-2003 20:04:28 | More by Indybeer
Photo of AudioGilz


4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It's brilliant dark amberish brown in color with a fairly large head. The aroma is very malty and slightly alcoholic. It's toasty and medium bodied....doesn't really come across as "chewy" as other doppels. It's very malty nonetheless with a lingering sweetness. Alcohol shows up after it warms a bit and adds a nice touch.....great doppelbock.

Serving type: bottle

05-29-2003 11:20:29 | More by AudioGilz
Photo of hotstuff


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

This brew poured a large tan head. There was virtually no lacing observed on the sides of my glass. It had an amber body to it. There was no carbonation observed with this brew. It had a fairly smooth taste to it. All in all this was a very good drink.

Serving type: bottle

05-23-2003 06:37:10 | More by hotstuff
Photo of BeerBuilder


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This one pours to a ruby-brown color with a light brown head. The aroma is malty, bready, and roasty. The flavor is malty, bready, chocolatey, with a bit of roastiness. This is a full-bodied, alcoholic brew. Very malty and tasty. I really enjoy the malty doppel bocks.

Serving type: bottle

05-13-2003 05:02:58 | More by BeerBuilder
Photo of kbub6f

New York

4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The smaller, 12oz green bottle bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), a few days in my fridge, reviewed 45F-65F.

A dense tan head coughs up big bubbles. It collapses slowly. Lacing is thin but sticky. Ruby highlights show up in the dark dark beer if you hold it to the light.

What a nice, toffee malty smell. Mere traces of fonk. The front is malty, but also quite fruity. Creamy caramel takes over in the middle leading to a toffee finish with a touch of spice. Aftertaste is sweet toffee caramel and a surprisingly pleasant alcohol flavor.

Man, what a great beer! Deep. Complex. Sweet but not too sweet. Yum!

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2003 13:33:34 | More by kbub6f
Photo of Winter


3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 pint, 9 .oz bottle. Gold foil around the neck with the words "Imported" printed several times diagonally across it. The red Spaten logo also appears centered on the front. Poured a clear, very dark copper in color with a khaki-colored head. Decent aroma consisted of roasted malt, toffee, caramel and a hint of sweet spice. Medium-bodied mouthfeel. The taste is decent, yet very uninspiring. Not bad, just bland. Somewhat vinous finish. 7.2% alcohol is evident in the taste. As far as doppelbocks go, Optimator was a big let down for me primarily from a taste standpoint. I expected much more here.

Serving type: bottle

04-21-2003 17:12:37 | More by Winter
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-11-2003 17:27:35 | More by marburg
Photo of bierman2000


4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sweet and dark copper/brown. Very malty with a pronounced thickness compared to other Dopplebocks. It is highly drinkable but also the alcohol comes through after it warms. A good style of Doppelbock that is not given its due. One to try and compare to others.

Serving type: bottle

04-09-2003 12:37:21 | More by bierman2000
Photo of AtLagerHeads


4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is a very good dark beer and one I'm glad I tried. The pour created a beautiful dark, dark amber to mahogany look with ruby highlights. The head was voluminous and a deep tan color. The head did fade a bit quickly, but it left behind a good lacing that lasted through half the glass. A big malt nose with some hops sense. The taste is sweet, but finishes with a very real hop bitterness. Alcohol comes in quickly, but there is good balance with the other flavors. I'll try this again and recommend to friends.

Serving type: bottle

04-04-2003 20:22:18 | More by AtLagerHeads
Photo of Scooter77


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

Pours a deep brown almost black color with a slight ruby tint. A thick tan head arose and slowly died down leaving a thin lace. The aromas were quite complex with dark malts, caramel, chocolate, and a touch of fruity sweetness. The taste is somewhat complex also; there were hints of nuttiness mixed with sweet fruit and caramel. Alcohol taste was quite apparent, but it wasn’t overpowering so it mixed well with the other flavors. A mild alcohol and malt aftertaste was left in my mouth. This is a very complex and balanced brew; a must try.

Serving type: bottle

03-29-2003 04:53:14 | More by Scooter77
Photo of oberon

North Carolina

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

One of the first bocks I ever had,poured a nice rich brown color with foamy head.Smell was very sweet and alcoholic,taste was buttery and caramelly and creamy.Since trying more doppelbock's I noticed this was a little thin in the mouthfeel dept. but still a really well made doppelbock.

Serving type: bottle

03-28-2003 06:08:39 | More by oberon
Photo of pezoids


4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured out a dark amber brown color. The head was large at first, then fizzled out quick. The nose was of sweet malt with a touch of hops. Caramel in the taste. A full flavored and almost overwhelming beer. Very well made. I enjoyed this one.

Serving type: bottle

03-27-2003 20:34:14 | More by pezoids
Photo of texascarl


3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance = dark amber/copper, thick tan head, nice lacing

Nose = toast, malt

Taste =toasted malts, sweet, buttery, thick...caramel & some hops. 'Chewy' mouthfeel. Dryish finish.

Nice doppelbock, sweet and malty. Good availablity, goes on sale here often - when it becomes quite a bargain.

Serving type: bottle

03-26-2003 21:46:20 | More by texascarl
Photo of Reidrover


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Bought in the 1 pt.9 oz bottle..With the two shovels on the label.
This beer is like an old friend..its been a while..
The beer looks fantastic poured into my mug..great frothy off white head atop a dark red /brown beer..very impressive.
As would be expected the malt is very evident in the aroma..also slight coffee and chocolate accents ..very inviting.
MM i like the taste of this beer..its slightly sweeter than many doppelbocks..but I believe it to be well balanced by the astringent after taste..and the dark chocolate flavour.Not the greatest but one of the best in my opinion.
Feels pretty comfortable on the tongue not too carbonated at all..smooth.
Overall a very very drinkable doppelbock..I have had better tasting Doppels but none as drinkable as this .
NOTES..This was my very first doppelbock..way back in 2001..LOL seems like a life time ago..my first real taste of German beer other than bloody Becks. It has fond memories for me..I first tasted it on a camping trip to the Oregon High Desert..me and the wife went to get over a terrible tragedy in our lives..I drank this out of the bottle ( 8 of them) It helped me forget for a while..like I said It's and old friend..

Serving type: bottle

03-24-2003 18:58:00 | More by Reidrover
Photo of Delirium


2.58/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 1

Clear dark brick red pour gives way to quickly settling head with floating clusters of bubbles around the edge if the glass. Smells like a fruit salad left in the sun all day. Acidic and sweet like bile and corn. Maybe this beer tastes better on tap in Munich, tastes to me like concentrated ghetto 40oz.

Serving type: bottle

03-15-2003 11:12:29 | More by Delirium
Photo of rabidawg


4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Deep ruby bier with a shimmer of carbonation. Two finger, tan, small-bubbled head that settles to a skim of foam that hangs around.

Smell: Malty caramel with roasty confectionary notes. Alcohol noticeable but not overwhelming.

Taste: More caramelized sugar and roasty malts, with just a hint of hops to balance things out. Sugary aftertaste, with just enough hop bitterness to lead me to lift my glass again.

Very creamy, but thin mouthfeel for a doppelbock. Very drinkable beer, almost dangerously drinkable at this ABV. At $6.99/6-pack, it's a great deal on a pretty decent bier.

Now my reviews count! Yeah!!!

Serving type: bottle

03-03-2003 19:50:52 | More by rabidawg
Photo of IrishRedRock


4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The name of this beer reminds me of Ahhhhnold...the Terrrrminator. Then I drank some, and everything about this beer is Ahhhnold.

The aroma is malty, but I also got some rather off scents...my initial thinking was "mom's beef stew and cooked greens." As it warmed I got some of those nice dark malts, and the world was right again. It's a nice deep brown, and the tan head retains quite nicely.

There is plenty of flavor...I wouldn't say it's complex, but it is flavorful. Dark malts, hints of chocolate...did I mention the malts? A slight bitter fruitiness appears as well. Oh, and there's some kick-ass malts. Wonderfully enjoyable creamy mouthfeel. This seemed very light for a Doppelbock, and I had no idea the ABV was over 7%. It's very easy to drink and would make a great session beer. Spaten...the Terrrrminator. I'll be baaack.

Serving type: bottle

02-19-2003 10:04:10 | More by IrishRedRock
Photo of Bruiser81


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

This beer poured a deep brown with a little amber hue when held to the light. A very small white head that didn't last long, but I did give it a real slow pour. There was a ring left around the edge of the brew that lasted for a while. The aroma was powerful, with an extremely malty note. The smell also had a sweetness to it.
The first sip is full of malty sweetness along with light tannens and small bits of raisins. The sweetness fades in the middle with a slight hoppy finish, although not enough to balance the malts.
The mouthfeel is medium and the beer goes down smooth. Initially I didn't like this brew but its growing on me.

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2003 15:11:58 | More by Bruiser81
Photo of ElGuapo

New Jersey

3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours to a dark brown with a decent white head that will die a little quickly, but it leaves a lace that remains on the sides of the glass. Aromas of dark malts, caramel, and a little bit of alcohol come out at you.

If you look at this beer in the 6-pack, you may be mislead but the words dark beer. You may just think it is simply a dunkel. If you know a little about it, you will realize it is a doppelbock, just not really labelled as such. It has a great rich body with a fairly good malty flavor. It is very smooth with a low carbonation, and a well-hidden alcohol content. I was very happy with this beer. It is certainly not amazing, but I was happy after waiting so long to try this one. It is a fair representative of doppelbocks. It is similar to a Paulaner, but it is a little more mild on the flavoring, and it seems to be a little thinner.

Serving type: bottle

02-14-2003 20:36:55 | More by ElGuapo
Photo of shirfan

New York

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

Dark, transparent brown, a hint of ruby. Fine-bubbled, 3 finger head, retained fairly well. Decent lacing.

Smell is clean and sweet, malty tones. Not especially pungent.

Taste is huge on malt; starts with a very sweet, almost brown sugar kick, slightly alcoholic middle, and a bittersweet finish, just enough bitterness to balance the extreme malt going on here.

Notes of molasses and raisins, not overly complex or heavy however. Very friendly and drinkable for a 7.2 ABV brew.

Optimator says to fridge: "I'll be bock."

Serving type: bottle

02-09-2003 13:27:54 | More by shirfan
Photo of Mitchster


4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Hrmm..yummy. Poured agressively, this clear deep amber-ruby brew formed a peaking head, but thinned quickly, leaving wisps of brussels lace. Moderate carbonation, medium to small sized bubbles. Nose is malt, malt, and more malt with a peppery hint of alcohol, some faint noble hops, and loads of caramel. Mouthfeel is thick and somewhat cloying, but not as syrupy as Celebrator or Salvator. Taste starts out with some bold flavor hops, fades to a potent amber malt background of figs, dates and raisins, gives a big peppery kick of alcohol and some spicy bittering hops, and ends in a lingering burnt-caramel sweetness with a soft metallic tinge. For the timid, this is a really good introduction to the world of dopplebocks. Not quite as cloying and sweet as Salvator, not quite as complex as Celebrator, and somewhat more drinkable than both.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2003 19:11:19 | More by Mitchster
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,277 ratings.