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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,297 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,297
Hads: 2,886
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 18.25%
Wants: 87
Gots: 355 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu visit their website

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  7.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-06-1999

No notes at this time.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Spaten Optimator Alström Bros
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Reviews: 1,297 | Hads: 2,886
Photo of Sammy
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very average brew. A dark amber appearance with a great head that fades slowly and that's it. No smell, no real taste. Carbonation spice and medium-light mouthfeel. Some malt in aftertaste. Nothing offensive I can say, disapointed. Maybe its better on tap with a spicy lunch.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear cola color with a nice 2 inch tan head. Thin ring lacing on the drink down. Smells of caramel malt, brown sugar, and maybe some apple peels. Taste is of caramel malt, plum/prune, slight cocoa powder. Slight hop bitterness after each sip. Good level of carbonation with a lighter body than I would have expected for this beer. Slight alcohol burn is present but doesn't detract from the beer. Good drinkability on this beer. I would love to have this at a German restaurant with some sausages and sauerkraut.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite doppelbocks right behind Celebrator and the Asam Bock from Weltenburg. Granted I've only tried a dozen or so.

The beer poured a clear dark red color into my pint glass. It had an inch tall tan/brown head that was fairly thick and creamy. Decent retention, no lacing.

The smell was very sweet and included some grape and some plum. There was also the cara-malts and little bread/yeast. Pleasant and soft.

The flavor is more intense but along the same lines. Very little bitterness to balance the crazy sugary fruit flavors. Some dark fruits and some dark malts are present. There is the tiniest bit of alcohol in the flavor.

The body is moderately heavy for a german beer and goes down real smooth. Can be a sipping drink or something to drink a big stein of.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: half finger head on a deep amber hazy body.

S: sweet caramel and chocolate malts and cocoa.

T: malts with dark fruit and lots of dark chocolate with some toasted malts.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is a nice beer but a little less spicey than I like for the style. Still a good beer to have routinely.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured very dark amber (near black) with a thin white head. Only a very light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are moderate aromas of dark, bready malts in the nose along with some notes of raisins.
T: Similar to the smell, malty flavors similar to brown bread dominate the taste along with some notes of dark fruits. There is a mild amount of sweetness in the overall taste.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and a moderate amount of carbonation is evident.
D: The alcohol isn't that apparent in the smell or taste so it's very drinkable although I'm not sure how many of these I could have because itls very filling and feels like you are having a meal.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice looking brown color with some shades of red in it. The head in a bit fizzy and white not leaving much on the glass after each sip. The smell of the beer has a very nice malt back bone to it with a light sweetness coming though. The taste of the beer brings the malts onto the tongue full force and really leaves a good pleasing flavor in your mouth. Theres a bit of brown sugar in the flavor too with a pretty good bitterness in the end. The mouthfeel isn't heavy but just about medium. Overall I think that this is probably my favorite from Spaten, the Oktoberfest being second.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear ice tea color with a moderate head that descends to a film with some bubbles around the edge; a decent amount of lacing

Smell: Unexpected for a doppelbock, the aroma is hard to describe but is malty and meaty with roasted tones

Taste: Starts out with a biscuity/raisiny aspect that bursts into a caramel malt flavor by mid-palate and lingers for a while, after the swallow; a touch of dryness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied (unexpectedly light for a doppelbock) with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not as complex as other doppelbocks but also not as sweet; as a result, much more of a drinker than a sipper

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

Your typical Dopplebock. Malty as hell! Strong aromas or roastedness, toastedness, caramelization, and molassas. Flavors are the same, but heavy on the barley malt and molassas flavors. Not cloying, but very sweet. Thrown in some chocolate and smoke subtleties. No hop bittering, flavor, or aroma. A bit nutty and woodsy. Uses dark grain for bitteriing. A thick viscocity to the mouth and palate. Finishes a bit alcoholic and lasting sweetness. Not the most well-rounded Dopplebock that I have had, still nice.

From the tap, this beer has a much more rounded flavor, balance, and softness than is exhibited from the bottle. The aromas are soft to the point that they are harder to detect. Flavors of the malts seem softer...in the range of confectionate sugar, cotton candy, or marshmellows. The malts, still rich, toasty, and fruity are delicate with a nice earthy hop bitterness. These are way too easy to throw back, compared to the bottle.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. The beer that once disgusted Amyliz4 but that she now loves.

Pours a moderate brown caramel color win a light tan head with some good lasting power in my pilsner glass. Nose brings caramel, toffee, and some light drugs. The taste is a bit sweet with some caramel, though not too much depth. Nice body and carbonation. A beer I used to drink fairly often and don't mind coming back to at all.

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Daalamar: Poured a deep burgundy/brown color beer with a huge foamy head with great retention. Aroma of banana is really dominating and greatly enjoyable. Taste has also some definite trace of banana bread with a very nice presence of sweet malt. Alcohol is very well hidden and sadly the body is a bit too thin. Apart from that , this is a very good example of a style that I don’t have a chance to enjoy often.

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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.

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

355ml bottle, from a grocery store in Waikiki. Waves currently crashing outside on Kona-area beach, screwing with my beer appreciation environment-ometer...

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish amber hue, with two fingers of dense, cake-like foamy tan head, which leaves a few broad streaks of lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of raisin-heavy dark fruity malts, some secondary, but still prolific caramel/toffee, and a mild nutty chocolate twinge. The taste continues with the big dark fruity malt, a bit of toasted bready yeastiness, and very subtle earthy, leafy hops. A slight warming pervades once things near room temperature.

The bubbles are quite sedate, lending well to a medium-full body, that is quite smooth, with silky tendencies. It finishes fairly sweet, the prune and raisin malt seeing just faint challenge from the tingly hops and booze warming.

A pretty decent doppelbock, nice and sweet, and balanced, mostly, with a deftly integrated elevated ABV. I would recommend this, especially if the weather wasn't so, well, tropical.

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Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a golden/orange color with flecks of brown. A small, off-white, foamy head left minimal traces of soapy lace.

S - Very sweet smelling: caramel, toffee, some vanilla and slight floral notes.

T - Nice sweet flavor with notes of caramel, toffee and some chocolate and vanilla.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A little soft on the tongue, too. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice dopplebock. Smooth and tasty.

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

Ruby-infused dark walnut brown. The jewel tone red looks more orange when there's less beer to peer through, such as at the bottom edge of the glass. The pale cinnamon head is large to start, has a nearly blemish free surface and is a bit sticky where foam meets glass. Not too much lace, a few scattered splotches is all.

The nose is of roasted malt with a wee whiff of alcohol. It's somewhat disappointing since there's little chocolate or other interesting aromas that would give it depth or character. Then again... the nose takes on additional aromas--dark caramel especially--with warming, but still doesn't open up as completely as the flavor.

The flavor and the mouthfeel elevate things considerably. While the beer is nice and malty, apparently the malt wasn't roasted long enough to bring out much chocolatiness. Some cocoa flavor and some nuttiness is evident however. Hops are clearly subservient to malt, but I can still appreciate their flavor contribution, their bitterness and their ability to take the edge off of the malted milk ball sweetness.

I'm beginning to pick up some fruitiness and the beer is developing more layers of flavor, more nuance, as I enter the bottom half of the bottle. It's definitely coming into its own with warming; room temperature is the optimal Optimator temperature one might say. The body is medium-slightly full. More full than Celebrator, less full than Liberator. What was lightly silky initially is now silky and creamy.

Spaten Optimator is a good-very good doppelbock, but doesn't quite rise to the heights of my two latest beers in the style (Hooker Liberator and Sam Adams Double Bock). If you like doppels though, Optimator more than suffices. Just don't make the mistake of drinking it too cold.

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Photo of oberon
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.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

So...after my last not so satisfying review of a Dopplebock, I figured I needed another one to try and make sure it wasnt just the style that I was having some issues with. In scouring(well not really) the shelves of my local store I saw the Spaten Optimator. Now I love me some Spaten, and I figured if someone could do the style right it would be a german brewery. So, with all that being said, I dive into the optimator...

Poured a very clear, dark amber, almost a hazelnut brown in appearence. No head what so ever, which I am starting to realize is more the style then anything. Great carbonation as evident from teh streaming bubbles coming from my glass throughout the session. A bit of lace, but nothing spectacular throughout the glass. Overall the appearence was decent, nothing knocked me over and even though it was crystal clear, it did not look thin in any way. Very nice color overall and clarity is a plus.

The smell was rather light. What was detected was some nice roasted malts and a bit of a sweetness. Did not really knock me over in the aroma, however it wasnt old, or musty smelling. It had a nice crisp, fresh air about it. And the overall sense of a dark or roasted feel was definatly there. Decent on the aroma, and better then a couple others I have tried, I just had wished it had a little more punch to it, just somethign to let me know it was there a bit more. but definatly not bad, I would have to go average here for this one.

So, I have really not like the feel of the Dopplebocks I have tried lately, but let me say right off the bat this was much, much better. A great smooth, albeit light, but not degradingly so, feel was very clearly evident. Great carbonation though made it go down as smooth as water. Great malted profile. It gave me a fullness I had not expierenced with the others I have tried. Lots of roasted barly and earthy tones were clearly evident. A nice spicey, almost fruity note in the back, but ever so faint. This really was a malt bomb. The bread tones were fantastic, and it really felt like a meal. A slight touch of alcohol, but nothing too terribly rough at all. Great feel and flavor, I really did enjoy sipping this during dinner.

Well, well, well this may have single handedly brought me back to the style. I really love my German beers, and grandma would be proud. Spaten did not let me down, as I am now definatly looking forward to try a few more from this style. This went very well with hamburgers of all things tonight, it was just light enough to be sessionable, sort of, more likely drinkable during a hot night, but yet dark enough to peak intrest and really get you into the sipping mode for a while. Overall I am really glad I picked up a six pack pf this, I will be enjoying it very much over the next couple weeks. A fantastic beer from a great brewery.

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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.

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

A: The beer pours a caramel color with a small off-white head. Not terribly impressive.

S: At first the nose is quite harsh. Slightly burnt with a little bit of a funkiness to it. However, as I let it warm up, the beer starts to come around and displays some nice caramel and dark fruit sweetness, as well as some toasted bread.

T: Similar story with the flavor. The first few sips are harshly alcoholic and astringent with a little bit of cough syrup. As it warmed up, some of that went away and some of the more traditional and pleasant flavors of caramel, raisin, and black cherry came through.

M: Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Hard to rate this beer as it did have some good flavors, but it also had some bad ones.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark reddish-brown body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Somewhat sweet-smelling aroma of carob, dark fruits, and apples.

Taste: Mild dark caramel flavor mixed with some carob sweetness. Accompanying notes of dark fruits and chewing tobacco. Very minor hint of apple. Only a faint amount of hop spiciness, but no real bitterness. Touch of alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a pleasant middle-of-the-road doppelbock.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
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.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep-crimson/mahogany in color with an off-white head that drops shortly after pouring but maintains a good-sized creamy collar and more than adequate surface foam. Very nice. The aroma expresses rich, toasted Munich malts; a hint of fruit; a slight whisp of alcohol; and a light touch of background hops. The body is medium/full with a very fine and slightly moderate carbonation that leaves it smooth and creamy across the palate. The flavor delivers a rich toasted malt that's laced with fruit and some minimal hop flavor; as well as some clear alcohol. It's very well balanced and the sweet malt is always kept in check by a firm, underlying bitterness. It finishes dry with just a swirl of fruit and alcohol; and the malt never clings to the palate. Very well done! One of the classics of the style.

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

The aroma is quite distinctive-- something like stewed prunes and gummi worms, but I mean that as a compliment. Attractive brown-amber in the tulip glass. Very pleasant lacing and creamy mouthfeel. Quite sweet, like a malty pudding. Rich, warm flavors with lots of caramel. I hope it's from malted barley, but it's good. Hint of hops. Aftertaste of candy.

I wasn't expecting to like this as much. It grows on you if you like the sweet malty style. But I would say there are more interesting examples of Doppelbocks, including American-made versions, but for a widely-distributed major beer that actually makes the boat trip, it's a winner.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.17/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz green glass (really!?) bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high; I usually dislike the style but I love this brewery.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and decent retention. Colour is a nontransparent non-opaque dark brown. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Pleasantly nutty, with very bocky dark and biscuit malts. Some cream comes through. No real obvious hop aroma. An average strength aroma.

T: Pleasantly malty, with subtle nut notes. It's rich and layered, but lacks true subtlety or complexity. Some nice caramelization on the finish. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Hop character is very mild; background floral hopping adds depth but doesn't really contribute to the flavour profile. It's got a nice full body; it's quite filling. I could subsist on this if I were a badass German beer monk. That said, there's just nothing impressive or unique about it.

Mf: Smooth, full, wet, a bit creamy on the finish, and moderate on the palate. It has presence, but there's little to intrigue. Suits the flavours well, but it still comes off as boring. Dry on the finish; it shouldn't be.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable for the style. Definitely one of the better ones I've had. It's quite filling - and I'm sure I could use this for sustenance on a fast - but it's not fantastic. This brewery has better beers. Well priced. Hides its ABV well. Very well done for the style, but still underwhelming all around. I wouldn't get it again, but fans of the style should definitely give it a spin.


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Photo of oriolesfan4
2.91/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a single of this for about $1.50.

I've had a few doppelbocks in the past and didn't like them at all so I tried this main stream one... and my verdict is... I don't like doppelbocks. While this is the best of the ones I've had, I still don't enjoy them. A total lack of aroma except for a harsh alcohol smell and the taste is lackluster as well. Malty with more biting alcohol... just not what I want in a beer. At least this doppelbock I can finish unlike the others I tried.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is loaded with dark fruit, with a little caramelized malt and a touch of hops.

T: The flavor is fruity & sweet with flavors of brown sugar, caramel, berries, plums & raisins. A little bit of hops comes in to provide some balance and transitions the taste into a heavy bitterness, but the bitterness is more from the dark fruits than the hops. The malt character is hearty and the after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of a style that is starting to grow on me, it isn’t quite the best in the style, but it's right up there and it’s pretty good. It's one of those beers where the taste gets better as you continue to drink it. This is a beer that I could stick with for a whole evening.

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first ← prev | 1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75  | nextlast
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 1,297 ratings.