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Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
1,312 Reviews
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Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

Brewed by:
Germany | website

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-06-1999

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Reviews: 1,312 | Ratings: 2,962
Photo of nklatt
2.74/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Deep amber color, small head, mild sweet flowery smell. Caramel-sweet taste, not strong alcohol - or anything else. Sticky, thin mouthfeel. Wouldn't want to drink more than a couple of these.

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Photo of cedricwarner
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is standard for style - Dark copper with tan head.
Smell is freshly baked bread, but somewhat faint.
Taste is initially sweet, raisiny, giving way to soy sauce and a slight bitterness, ending with a somewhat metallic aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is rich and full as it should be.

Out of the Doppelbocks from Germany that I've tried, this is my least favorite, as well as my least favorite offering from the Spaten brewery. It doesn't have the strong maltiness of Salvator, Bajuvator or Korbinian, it doesn't have the complexity of Celebrator or Andechser. It's not horrible but there are way better Doppelbocks and Starkbiers out there.

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Photo of Madmax99
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoy this beer a lot because it's a darker beer that I enjoy drinking year round. Very little head and a non existing lace, and a deep redish amber color round out the appearance of this fine brew. This beer drinks very well even though a slightly higher alcohol content, which doesn't over power. The sweetness of the beer is well balanced with a slight dryness, but the maltiness will linger on the palate.

I like to pair this beer with romano and asiago cheeses, try it sometime


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

Poured from a 16.9 oz BROWN bottle into a pint glass (and then refilled the pint glass once I finished the first serving). The brew poured an opaque amber-brown color with a slight tan head that dissipated quickly without keeping its lacing.

The initial smell was that of caramel. As the beer warmed up, it began to smell and taste better. There is a slight, slight hint of apple taste and, of course, plenty of malt to go around. I would recommend getting this in the brown bottle, as there is no skunky smell that often comes from the imported green bottles.

The taste got better as the beer warmed, as it really became discernibly flavorful. The taste of caramel carried throughout and once warm, the alcohol became more prevalent. I let my friend try it and he said it was "super-bready". The bread taste makes the beer quite filling, especially in the 16.9 oz variety. Immense taste of malt and a dry, crisp aftertaste left the beer quite drinkable.

This is quite the smooth Dopplebock. Despite the opaque appearance, it is quite light in body with little to no carbonation, making it go down very smoothly. Felt great on the palate.

Drinkability is sneaky, because this is still a 7.2% abv brew. I read someone saying one could get into trouble by not realizing this and I agree. It goes down much smoother than a beer should at this alcohol content level and in the bigger bottles, it's common habit to try to finish it before it warms (though I still stand by my belief that this beer tastes better warm). All in all, an above average Dopplebock - 4s across the board.

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Photo of RichScherle
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
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.

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Photo of JetFeather22
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best Doppel Bocks i have ever had, I cant believe i payed 9 bucks for a six pack of 12 once bottles.. Considering the price and the quality of the beer i'd say it doesn't get much better than this, I got to say that this beer deserves a higher rating that 87, Maybe it's the green bottle maybe some people have gotten a few skunky beer, Thankfully i haven't

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Photo of mhaws000
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured a nice deep brown with a light tan head that quickly receeded to a light lace that maintained throughout the beer.

S- toasted grain with a slight alcohol warmth.

T-Very well balanced with a full malty body that is wonderfully balanced with just a hint of hoppy bitterness and a nice warm heat from the higher alcohol content

M-Nice full-bodied feel but not syrupy. Enough "chewiness" to get noticed but not enough to make you think about it too long. Just right as far as I am concerned.

D-This is a long time favorite of mine and every time I have another I reaffirm that feeling. This is a very well made beer. Every aspect of it feels well thought out and executed. This is a great example of how good beer should be. The only reason I dont give this 5's is because Optimator doesn't "blow my mind" When I drink it I think "Damn that is good...really, really good." But this isn't the type of beer that makes you change the way you think about a style. It doesn't make me think that there isn't anyting better, but it certainly does make me realize how much better it is than alot of the crap that is out there.

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

Poured on tap and into a Spaten Bier Stein. White head that created a good two fingers at the top of the stein. Retained the head for most of the stein. No apparent lace to be found. Ruby red to Dark brown in color. Faint brambly fruits on the nose back with a nice chocolate to caramel malt nose. No fruit presence in the taste, alcohol on the initial taste that followed by malty sweetness. Easy to drink considering the ABV.

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Photo of andyinsdca
3.02/5  rDev -22.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass: Head is good solid and lasted a while. Color is a very deep red, almost opaque.
Smell: Some sweet smell.
Taste: Starts out with a great chocolate/carmel taste, lots and lots of flavor. As the glass wore on, the flavor left behind just a strong malty flavor without anything interesting.
Overall: Too bad the flavor didn't last. A good beer overall, I'd drink it again, but no go out of my way for it.

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Photo of Clamwacker
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one poured into a 16 ounce pilsner glass with about half a finger of pale head, the brew itself being a deep red/amber color when held to light, almost black otherwise. The head dissipated quickly and leaves little lace.

Aromas of roasted chestnuts, honey and molasses, with a bit of dark malt.

The flavor is my favorite part, I was pleasantly surprised by this brew. The honey and molasses aromas carry straight through and dominate until the last moment. I detected a hint of root beer aroma and flavor if I swallowed with the glass still held to my nose. Nice!

Mouthfeel is pretty average, medium carbonation with no particular lingering effects. The relatively high alcohol content is masked very well with the extra malt. No real hop balance to this one, it's malt forward all the way.

I would probably only drink one of these at a time, primarily because it is fairly strong at 7.2%, but also because it's a very unique flavor that I wouldn't want to desensitize myself to.

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Photo of BoilerMo
4.91/5  rDev +26.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

a: Copper and browns, tanish head.

s: Carmel and sweetness

t: complex carmel and sweets through out.

m: thicker with a sweet and smooth finish

o: My favorite dopplebock by far and I've tried many German and most American versions. That being said I like the carmel, sweet, bread like finish personally. This is a fridge beer(let it warm before drinking of course) for me. Easy to drink, high alcohol per volume but you would never know it.

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

a- cola colored with a one finger tan head that leaves a little lacing.

s- sweet and malty, some toast and prunes.

t- the taste is somewhat bitter, with coffee, waffles, tobacco, dark flavours

m- coats the mouth with a cough syrup like feel. i like it as it is not very heavy but still fills you alittle.

d- three of these are all i can drink

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Photo of ToggleEyes
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured a rich cola color and formed a head that faded quickly with a little bit of lacing. The smell was of malt, brown sugar and floral hops. The taste and mouthfeel almost remind me of a pilsner, which make this an easy to drink beer. Its not as syrupy as Paulaner Salvador or as Celebrator, but in the same sence it does not have as much flavor as those doppelbocks do. This is Ok for me because I can easily consume more than one per session. Overall I think this is the most drinkable doppelbock I have tried but not the most flavorful.

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Photo of binkman
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from a bottle. Freshness is unknown but assumed to be relatively fresh.

A - very dark, almost stout-like but red when held to light. Not much head, disappears fast, but leaves lace on the glass.

S - very little smell at all, but very malty, perhaps a little fruity.

T - initially very malty followed by osme lighter fruity notes, then hoppy and a bitter burnt flavor. It finishes sweet and bitter.

M - Smooth and not very carbonated

D - You could sip this one... its not one to pound. I would only consider drinking one or two in a sitting.

O - Good beer overall but a little too malty and under carbonated for me. Seems like it would go well with rare, red meat. Personally, I don't think I will be trying it again soon.

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

A- Opaque with ruby undertones. Fairly calm pour. Bubbles with thin lacing that linger for only a moment.

S- Sweet, slightly fruity --very subtle.

T- Bitter dark malt with hints of Ovaltine style sweetness. Heavy on the dark malt.

M- Thick but not chewable. Healthy amount of carbonation.

D- High drinkability. Holds itself as a heavy beer but several can be enjoyed in a single evening.

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Photo of stalker5
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
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.

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Photo of Bosazga
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

What I love about this beer (and Germans) is that they never change. THis is as close as I could get to a microbrew before I turned 21 (in 1989) so it has sentimental value...

It looks and pours great, with a dark caramel color that resembles coca-cola with a tighter head

smells malty, alchoholic and german - unforgettable (offensive, but not the same as) a BMW 320i with a leaky sunroof

taste is not much different from any other german beer, which makes you wonder when they bottled it. Still, it satisfies and helps one consider other cultures as they relate to brewing.

I've had this come across way too carbonated - it's almost as if the bubbles are bigger - I don't know if that's a thing, but there's a time and a place for it.

Thankfully, my local corner store owner's wife likes this beer, so I'll always have it close by for the foreseeable future...


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Photo of lordbrad1
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up the Optimator more for the humor of drinking something that sounds like governor Arnold would name a beer than anything else. However I was pleasantly surprised by it. I bought in a 6 pack of bottles, and poured it into my trusty beer glass.

The appearance was very dark and "chocolately" There was no head to speak of, but I don't expect a 7.2 abv beer to have much head. The smell was hoppy and pleasant with undertones of "burned" maltiness.

The taste was very smooth, and the beer went down the gullet easy with no bad aftertaste. There was nice malt notes, and again the term "chocolatey" comes to mind. I really enjoyed the flavor.

Mouthfeel....I'd have to say it's a little heavy, and coats the tongue a little, which is something I don't care for, but for this beer it's to be expected, and with that in mind it's perfect fine. So over all a good mouthfeel.

For me the drinkability is definately there. I've had 7 or so as of the writing of this review. So I could definately do a session with this beer. I like heavy beers though. So if your preference is a lighter style of beer it might be ok with a dinner or something like that, but may not be your ideal session beer.

In closing I really like this brew, and I recommend highly.

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Photo of Roguester
2.91/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I got this beer after having been recommended to me by workmates. This beer pours well, very small head that lingers a bit. Smell is sweet in that almost salty fermented way that I am not so fond of... Taste is much of the same... overly fermented sweetness. Mouthfeel is quite light however despite the heavy taste. This beer might make a good winter warmer, however I'll likely stick with Rogue's Santa's Private Reserve or a nice barleywine when the weather turns cold... Not a bad beer by any means, but I probably won't have it again due to personal preference.

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Photo of YesFest
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No notes on appearence, as I drank it in the dark... you know, to heighten the other senses.

Smell: mild fruity coffe, with a hint of booze.

Taste: Very light coffee on the front of the tonge. Heavy malts the rest of the way with interesting hints of spearmint and molasses in the finish. Still manages to finish dry.

Mouthfeel: Delightfully prickly for a beer of this weight, although for a Doppelbock, it's not that heavy to begin with. Sticky residue on the toungue, a bit of sweetness on the teeth.

Drinkability: It all comes together to be quite drinkable, a seemingly sneekily perfect finish, classic noble hop ballance. Mischieviously slick for 7.2% abv.

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Photo of liquidsunshine
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have recently been trying hard to broaden my beer palate, and as such have been buying a different kind of beer every week. Stumbled upon this in my local liquor store and decided to give it a try.

A- I loved the pour, its color is full and robust but lacks any inviting sparkle or luster. Poured with about an inch of head, which stuck around for a while. Had some nice lacing early on.

S- Has the kind of smell that really fills your nostrils, almost as if you can taste it already. The malts are apparent, with a roasted scent. Has a hint of something sweet I can't quite put my finger, or nose for that matter, on.

T- This is a serious beer, really giving you a rich roasted malt taste. Noticed some caramel overtones as well, especially once it got a little warmer after the pour. Not particularly heavy on the carbonation which lets your really taste the flavor unmasked. Overall the taste was very appealing for me, one of my favorite parts of the beer.

M- I would call this a "heavy" beer, almost weighs my mouth down when i take a swig. The beer feels like its proud of itself and hangs out in my mouth for a long time after I drink it.

D- Definitely not the easiest beer to drink, but i say that in a positive way. It really never leaves your mouth once you start drinking, until a little while after you are done with the entire beer. I would not ever have more than three in one sitting.

Overall I would say its a very nice beer, strong in many traditional elements. Drinking a few of these will raise your appreciate of beer, while it puts some hair on your chest.

Cheers, and good drinking!

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

A: Dark brown with red undertones, light brown/tan head with good retention, filtered bright.

S: Prune, plum, raisin-good malty nose. Hint of chocolate. No hop aroma, diacetyl or DMS.

T: Malt dominant-nearly port-like. Dark fruits, light alcohol, chocolate in background. The sweetness in the finish is caramelly with no noticeable bitterness.

M: Good body-not too full. Low astringency, but slightly caprylic. Good carbonation, smooth alcohol.

D: Nice beer, not as complex as some (Celebrator), but hits the style well.

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Photo of alfistheman
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Being a recent fan of the hefe's, the more citrus sweet wheat variations, this has been the beer to change my mind and mix it up.

A- Deep oak red color transparent enough to see shapes through. THe head is carmel thick, and laces beautifuly.

S- Carmel and Brown Sugar Malts, some hops and sweet chocolate in there, very apealing

T- Smooth brown sugar, toffee and carmel flavor to the malt... after I taste grassy, rather earthy hops, very well balance of bitter and sweet.

M- Mid Body, smooth and great carbination, not too much or too little. I don't get the oily after taste I get in many thick dark styles of beer like some porters, very smooth.

D- Even with the high ABV i find myself wanting to chug these. Once the ABV sets in a bit I am able to slow down. Might be best to alternate with a less ABV's if you like to pound beers like myself.

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Photo of navinsula
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
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

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Photo of FSUplumber
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first German Munich and I am very Impressed. almost like a brown ale but smoother and cleaner. Pours a nice deep copper color with a thin tan head that spreads to the sides quikly. Mouth feel is very nice and nice carmal taste with hints of chocolate and fruit.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 1,312 ratings.