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: 1248
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: 1,248 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of FlatRabbitRed


4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good beer, bold body and flavor, will be going back for more!

Darker in color ... all the bocks I have had are darker, but I do understand there are lighter colored ones out there also.

Good balance of coffee and caramel notes, and not very heavy for 7.6 % ABV. Balanced well with the hops also, you really can't taste the hop character to much. Bocks seem to have a sweeter quality then a Porter ...(which I would probably get confused during a blind folded taste test) ..and this one works it well that way.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2013 23:17:40 | More by FlatRabbitRed
Photo of TheMarkE


3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Deep, dark amber with a very nice head and lacing.

Smell: Chocolate and dark roasted malts.

Taste: Chocolate, caramel, molasses, raisins and dates and other dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: Thick, with a slight bitter raisin aftertaste.

The Verdict: Not bad. It’s nowhere near the best doppelbock I’ve had, but I enjoyed it. Plenty of chocolaty goodness, this would pair perfectly with a chunk of gourmet cheese.

Serving type: bottle

04-05-2013 02:02:35 | More by TheMarkE
Photo of BlackHaddock

United Kingdom (England)

4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

7 Feb in my room at The Fishermans Wharf Sheraton in San Fransisco, picked from some all night store round the corner. This beer is wonderful, even out of a plastic beaker!

Deep brown body with a creamy biege head.

The nose is malty sweet: roasted/toasted caramel, red berries, toffee and trees.

The taste is a lovely sweet malty molasses mix: too sweet for some maybe, but not for me, I loved it.

The body is rich and full, the alcohol just about noticeable within the flavours.

A true classic.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2013 10:41:52 | More by BlackHaddock
Photo of RichieS2


4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Samuel Adam's glass.

A - A deep ruby color, only able to see through when it is held up to the light. Respectable carbonation and a frothy white head.

S - Very malty, a promise to the sweetness to come.

T - Very sweet, it hits from the moment the beer hits your tongue and does not let up. Some slight hoppiness at the end.

M - Pleasingly warm and thick.

O - Great, try this one!

Serving type: bottle

03-02-2013 23:51:21 | More by RichieS2
Photo of Sunnanek


4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours all head, beige and compact, at first. As the head dissipates the liquid rises, copper-colored. Decent lacings.

S: Dark dried fruits; sweet but also a bit light in smell. Some chocolate and some licorice. Bready malt. Some bitter hops lures in the back.

T: Molasses; sweet dark dried fruits. Very syrupy bready. A faint smoked tone in the well roasted malts. Some bitter cherry notes. Chocolate in the back. Well balanced.

M: Full body, low carbonation - just like I like a Doppelbock! Aftertaste is short but both sweet and kernel-bitter.

O: A very sweet and well balanced Doppelbock.

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2013 19:36:15 | More by Sunnanek
Photo of GossageBrewery


3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured this Doppelbock from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a dark brown color, produced an average tan head, nice retention and nice lacing. The aroma of this ale consists of toasted malt, caramel and white pepper. Medium in body, the ale contains a foundation of malted grain, sweet caramel, roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate and earthy hops. Nice example. of the style, not outstanding but it is worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 20:33:36 | More by GossageBrewery
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.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 22:53:21 | More by carlspeed
Photo of d1ckvanswype


4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from 12oz green(!) bottle into a Duvel glass, formed a finger of khaki head which died quickly. Appears dark brown, but shows a deep garnet when held to the light. Smatters of lacing.

S: Caught a slight whiff of skunk from the bottle, but it aired out by the time I poured it. Dried cherries, prunes, raisins, a touch of coffee, molasses, honey, wheat, sweet roasty malts. Man, this smells really, really good, if a tad sweet.

T: Almost exactly the same as the nose, with a nice twinge of nuttiness, barley syrup. Very mildly astringent, which leads to a very clean finish. Aftertaste is almost better than the sip.

M: Mild carbonation and a pleasantly lush mouthfeel leaves you feeling refreshed, but the sweetness does tend to get a bit sticky after a few sips.

O: While I have to knock off some merits for the green bottle, this is a remarkably good brew from a macro brewery that needs to be shipped across the ocean to reach me. I'm glad to see one of my gateway beers actually tastes better now that I'm a bit more knowledgable.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 04:42:02 | More by d1ckvanswype
Photo of Murrhey


3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a weizen glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Finger and a half width off-white head. Appears to have some bubbly lacing. Ruby-walnut color, deep and dark, but high clarity when held to a light. Two minute long retention with a nice ringed floater head.

S- Sweet, dark malts. Noble hops present. Candied flavors, prunes maybe? Sweet dark fruits are the main smell I get. Wheat is around too.

T- Sweetness of the malts and some bitter, noble hops. Candied dark fruits. Some alcohol notes, its a strong lager.

M- Medium bodied, well-developed carbonation.

O- Great beer, great example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 03:05:31 | More by Murrhey
Photo of mfnmbvp


3.13/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, given to me gratis from the bar at a funeral banquet, RIP to my neighbor Bob. No bottled on date present on this beer. Poured into some kind of pint glass looking thing, forgive me beer god for not knowing what it was. Reviewed in detail on the back of a CVS reciept.

A - Pours out a fizzing cherry cola type appearance with some visual carbonation and virtually no head whatsoever.

S - Smells of malts & vague bourbon spiciness. Aside from that, there isn't much action happening.

T - Dark fruits reminiscent of fig, dates, and dark cherry. Light unsweetened chocolate taste. Not phenomenal by any means, but still a worthy drinkable beer,

M - Smooth clean, slightly watery finish. Decent level of carbonation. Highly drinkable, and not a heavy sitting beer.

Overall, a drinkable, smooth, light doppelbock, if anything it is one to turn the beginners on to craft beer. Probably not a beer I'd go out of my way for, and in no way is it compatible to the world of true craft beers, but decent enough, worth a try, and clearly the best beer that this banquet hall had to offer.

Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu Spaten Optimator ---3/5

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2013 23:23:18 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of Utica_Brew_Review

New York

1.94/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

First off, this beer has an awesome color--dark amber. Green bottle is followed naturally by a skunky aroma. Taste matches the smell. Mouthfeel isn't that bad apart from taste. Our sample may be old or spoiled since our review differs so much and if this beer knew our opinion it'd be embarrassed.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2013 05:07:35 | More by Utica_Brew_Review
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pilsener glass. Dark amber/garnet, clear with lots of visible carbonation. Thick off-white head dissipates after a bit, not leaving any lacing yet. Smell is sweet malts all over. Taste is smooth, sweet malts up front, finishing sticky-sweet with hot alcohol on the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is slick and full-bodied. Even if this is a macrobrew in its home country, it still blows American macros out of the water.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 04:12:12 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of mikeg67

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours dark read with a long lasting, thick, off-white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of toffee, bread crust, cherry and hint of noble hops. Body is full and slightly crisp. Caramel malt, grain, noble hops and alcohol fill the mouth. Long drying finish. Outstanding bock.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 22:04:28 | More by mikeg67
Photo of kvnstfrd


4.59/5  rDev +18%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a 12 oz. mug.
Dark copper color when held to the light with a tan head that dissipates quickly into a sticky lace. Smells of caramel, toasted malt and some spicy alcohol fumes. Big, viscous body with light carbonation. Taste of toasted, bready malt, caramel and a grainy, cereal-like flavor. A light dose of alcohol and hop flavor in the finish. Not as sweet as a Paulaner Salvator and not as hoppy as Ayinger Celebrator; somewhere in between. One of the better doppelbocks I’ve tried, and one of the lesser expensive ones.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 18:02:53 | More by kvnstfrd
Photo of leokbelo


3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark cherry wood color into a pint glass, with an inch mocha head that dissipates quickly into a fine lacing.
Caramel malts on the nose, with hints of raisins and figs.
Sweet raisin on the palate, with coffee and dark chocolate tones. Sweetness from the malts comes through, with the alcohol a bit too much present. Hop bitterness is kept at a minimum.
A decent Doppelbock, even though it comes from a Macro brewery.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 18:12:48 | More by leokbelo
Photo of TastyAdventure


3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Very dark amber, translucent. 1/2 finger head that dissipates to paper thin. the bubbles are very tiny

S - Dried out raisin bread, some sweetness

T - Dried figs? very sweet, slight roasted. Alcohol covered up real nicely by sweetness.

M - Nearly cloying. smooth.

O - Very nice for the price. Rich. A sweet treat.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2012 16:39:04 | More by TastyAdventure
Photo of 1234Jack

4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On sale at my neighborhood QFC at $2.81 per pint.

500 ml bottle. Gold wrap around the cap and neck. Double-spade front icon, medieval "Optimator" on front.

"7.6% Alc/Vol". Label also says "Malt Liquor".

Smell out of bottle is a flood of maltiness. Later smells in glass add apple. Even later are aromas of licorice.

Barely transparent dark red amber-brown in glass. Head is not super aggressive, bubbles like to remain tiny towards the lace, which isn't super sticky.

First taste is chocolaty malt. Similar to the flavor of chocolate malt milkshake.

Second taste notices a comfortable feel on the mouth, with carbonation present but not overpowering. Bubbles feel micro.

Aftertaste is pleasant. Bitterness just barely dances on sides of tongue.

Nice flavor. Perfect winter/festive/seasonal beer.

This may be one of my favorite beers. Alcohol content with flavor that isn't like drinking a mud-meal. :)

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 07:29:02 | More by 1234Jack
Photo of Anais

3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Spaten Optimator is a dark brown malt beer with hints of red. Full-bodied nutty taste.A strong malt taste, very low in hops. This beer also has a hint of caramel. The overall aftertaste is strong but not bitter, and definitely not fruity. Very affordable, especially if you want a beer with a strong taste.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 04:33:21 | More by Anais
Photo of Bouleboubier


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

here's notes from a sampling of a bottle of indeterminate age:

SEE: tight 1/2" tan head, some big bubbles, did not last long, no lace - deep garnet color and ultra-clean

SMELL: dark-toasty, lightly-melanoidin, German-malty aroma - bold, but not "rich" or exhibiting depth - slightly floral-alcohol perfume, black cherry - a lil "roasty"

TASTE: dark vinous, stone fruits, a tiny bit of molasses (flavor, not feel), floral alcohol - very clean, as in the malt flavor drops off in the finish, with only mild alcohol lingering

FEEL: medium mouthfeel, dry finish - not enough malt roundness? - slowly emerging warmth chasing each sip - a bit of carbonic bitterness(?) which borders on sharp - but, a dry feel by and large - overall certainly quaffable

OPINION: coming back to this for the first time in years, it's not what i expected nor recall - but it's got all the technically-correct nuances of a model doppelbock - drinkable in quantity despite the finish being a lil too hot and floral (leads me to think the ferment was rushed or something) - this example speaks to me as a regular, traditional bock with the presence of additional alcohol - maybe they just brewed a regular bock and added extra ethanol - don't know why anybody would do that though....

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2012 23:28:33 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of srqbrent

4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Follower of BA reviews for some time; decided it was high time to contribute. This is my first review, so take it with a grain of salt. Also, not familiar with the style, so can not comment on that.

From a bottle, chilled in the fridge for about an hour. After pouring inside in the light, I enjoyed this on my back porch at dusky-twilight.

Appearance: poured a brownish, 1" head. Dark tea color, a nice deep shade of red. Clear. Head fades to a lacy cover and finally a ring. Didn't read reviews ahead of time and not familiar with the style, so was pleasantly surprised by the nice color.

Smell: I get molasses and a little banana?

Taste: First impression-sweet raisins or maybe prunes and noticed the alcohol but not overbearing. Finishes a little bitter, made me pucker towards the end. After taste is like bitter banana peel, like if you try to eat one too green, but a nice flavor.

Mouthfeel: velvety-watery.

Overall: Very nice beer. Wouldn't sit down and drink two or three in a row, but would definitely purchase this again and recommend. Warms up an empty stomach.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 23:49:10 | More by srqbrent
Photo of Hopswagger

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: Dark mahogany brown body with a thick creamy French vanilla colored head.

S: Dog food, thick molasses, subtle dark fruits and roasted toffee. Nose is somewhat bland.

T/M: Nutty, caramel, sweet molasses, prunes, raisins, burnt toffee, apple peels, wood, herbs and spiced rum. Medium sticky body with prickly carbonation that finishes chalky. Burnt spiced apples in the after taste.

O: Nice well rounded doppelbock that improves once warmed. I really want to try this on tap.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2012 02:30:46 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of pkalix


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

tall paulaner .5 L glass allows the dark ruby transparency with a small amount of head.
smell is sweet and caramel-ly
taste is sweet and malty and caramel-ly. and yummy.
mouthfeel is thicker, heartier; richer.
overall, has always been one of my all time favorites. all time. kind of like coming home again, ya know? love the style. love the brewery (even if it is very commercial). love the beer. this is what i think of when i think of a good german brew. not bitter, not tart. if anything, guilty of being sweeter than most might prefer, but i like my sweets. i thought twice about the three 5's. and this IS my first beer of the evening (afternoon?), so i'm not yet buzzed. i love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2012 22:32:22 | More by pkalix
Photo of starrdogg

District of Columbia

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

Pours a dark reddish-brown with a small off-white head. Smell is a bit nutty with caramel, dark fruit and sweet malts - actually quite nice, smells a bit quad-like. Flavor has a lot of the same characteristics as the nose, but it doesn't all come together quite as well as I would've liked. The flavors all come together nicely on the front end, but it gets this strange bitter/alcohol thing on the finish which lingers. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, but a little on the thin side for the style, could use a little more heft. Overall, this is a decent doppelbock, but not a great one. I wish the flavors came together a little better, but it's certainly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 23:14:45 | More by starrdogg
Photo of dougbassett


3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the "1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die" -- #5 for me.

Curiously, I think this is something of an underrated beer. Pours a very nice dark mahogany brown, although I was a bit disappointed that there was no head retention. Nose is very nice, raisins over light molasses over sweet malt -- the nose improves as it warms up, incidentally. Unfortunately the flavors aren't quite there, mainly just a hit of malty syrup, although I do like the finish, where the raisins come back noticeably.

Not perfect, but likable, and I think deserving of a better score than I see here on this site. I do suspect this beer might be noticeably improved on draft, where (with luck and hope) the flavors would be brought forward more.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 16:36:58 | More by dougbassett
Photo of Jsteez


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

Poured from a bottle into a pokal glass.

A-Amber-brown, ruby highlights and off-black. Nice and creamy tan 2 finger head. Minimal lacing left on the glass when finished. The head dissipated into a thin tan bubbly surface, which eventually disappeared entirely.

S-Not a lot in the smell, just some burnt molasses and sweet malt. Sometimes a little chalky in the nose.

T-Raisins, plum, molasses, sweet malt. The aftertaste consisted of raisins and prunes. It was a sweeter aftertaste. This is a malty beer that is perfect for autumn drinking. It tasted better the warmer it got. I could taste the alcohol.

M-Full bodied with minimal carbonation. The plum/raisin/sweet molasses aftertaste was quite sticky.

Overall-This beer is good for a chilly autumn evening. It is not sessionable in my book, but it is good if you want a dark beer. If you're in the mood for a malty/molasses brew with a sweet aftertaste, this brew's for you!

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 15:03:07 | More by Jsteez
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,277 ratings.