Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

1,289 Reviews
very good

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Reviews: 1,289
Hads: 2,824
rAvg: 3.9
pDev: 7.18%
Wants: 79
Gots: 310 | 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 (17) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
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Reviews: 1,289 | Hads: 2,824
Photo of tempest
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a tall head that quickly disapates and sadly leaves no lace. However, it the body its a beautiful darker than dark amber that lets little light through.

The smell is a bit weak, but its a classic strong bock smell. A little bit roasted, and a little whatever "bock" is.

Very smooth and mellow for a doppelbock or really anything at 7.2% abv. Its actually so smooth that it reminds me more of a normal bock. I'd expect at least a little kick from a doppel, like an Ayinger doppel. It's a rich taste that finishes with a bitter note and a slight, but pleasant aftertaste.

Feels great in your mouth, nothing extraordinary, it just does what it supposed to here.

Great drinkability. Goes down easy for a high content beer and tastes good at the same time.

While not an amazing beer, $8 a sixer is very hard to beat if your looking to get buzzed or even blotto off of real beer. For a doppel it could use a tad more punch, but its still a solid beer. Recommend to anyone who likes bocks and likes to feel the effects of alcohol. Cant say I dont. (1,062 characters)

Photo of Georgiabeer
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hadn't had one of these for a while and so picked up a sixpack. My mother-in-law was coming to town and she likes malty, dark, German brews, so I figured this was perfect- fits the bill without being too challenging. She had a couple before I realized that these were 7.2%! They certainly don't taste that strong and it had been years since I had any. Pours a very dark chestnut, not quite opaque and with very little head. Nice estery and malty nose with some light spiciness, malt, warming alcohol, and thin caramel. For me, what comes through mostly in the taste is the thin caramel rather than a rich maltiness. I like my Dopplebocks a little maltier tasting than this, but it does have a fairly elegant profile. Relatively thin in the mouth, but very smooth and way too easy to drink. I'd prefer a Celebrator if I'm having it alone, but this does pair very nicely with food with its smooth maltiness. (905 characters)

Photo of weeare138
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark reddish brown with a 1 finger tan cap that slowly fades. Tiny spotty lacing have a bit of a hard time sticking.
Smell is super malty, nutty, caramel, molasses, and sourdough.
Tate is equal to the aromas and measures up nicely.
Mouthfeel is sweet, with dark fruit and mild sourness balancing out this malty mix. Very smooth. (341 characters)

Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Subdued head pours a very dark clear brown.

Smells good, Heavy molasses and grain smell.

Heavy flavors, chocolate and molasses, malt, raisins.
It is a bit sweet and bitter, but it balances out.

Mouthfeel is good.

It is drinkable, one of my standard beers when I want something heavy. (297 characters)

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.49/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep amber color with good carbonation and nice white head. Nose is faint, Munich malts, grainy unimpressive. Taste is much better than nose leads you to believe. Nice heavy, chewy, malty and tastes of Munich and maybe Crystal malts. Caramel, brown sugar maybe, syrup, dried prunes, figs, and raisins perhaps. Mouthfeel is coating and good. (349 characters)

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle for "German Night" in the house. Drinking with brats and kraut. Poured into a mug, this is a lovely dark brown/caramel coloring with a large, foamy, light head. The smells are rich in malt. The increased carbonation helps to balance the heavy molasses flavoring. It's sweet and bitter at the same time in mouth, and surprisingly smooth. Very easy to drink, especially with this type of meal. Fantastic to drink, and even better to cook with. (457 characters)

Photo of biegaman
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Spaten Optimator's appearance conveys more than just good looks: its deep caramelly, prune-y colour designates its rich flavours, a sturdy head illustrates the quality of its construction, while the immaculate clarity attests to its clean, smooth disposition. Even without lacing, expectations of a first-rate beer set in even before the first sniff.

A very slight chocolatey scent presents itself and, especially with more warmth, the bouquet smells of chocolate-covered prunes. There may also be a whiff of light caramel, but there's scarcely enough sweetness to warrant it. The whole aroma is very clean (but with trace Noble hops) and, despite some melanoidins, has absolutely no roast and even little toast.

Doppelbocks not bursting with robust flavour are about as rare to find as Siberian tigers, still this particular example has a taste worth commending. Prune juice puree is augmented with notes of browned bread crusts - it may sound like the champion breakfast of the elderly, but I assure you it's the received flavour profile of a champion doppelbock.

That decoction mashing had the desired effect: the beer is rich in toasty melanoidins. Underlyingly sweet, it is impressively well attenuated. The mouthfeel really authenticates this as a genuine, time-honored German doppelbock; not only is it full and rich, but it's been expertly lagered with a finesse only the Germans are capable of.

Doppelbock is a style that's been brewed for hundreds of years; it's an incredible relic of German brewing tradition. While I, personally, feel that Ayinger Celebrator is the epitome of the style, I must insist that there exists few (especially among German brewed) examples that don't exemplify its rich, gratifying wonders. Optimator certainly does. (1,763 characters)

Photo of rhoadsrage
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a dark brown body with a nice thick tan head that last and last. The lighting and opacity of the body didn't show the carbonation.

S- The aroma of crisp dry caramel malt with crystal malt and a hint of biscuit as it warmed gave a nice complex aroma.

T- This beer has a nice dark malty flavor with good depth. There is a nice soft noble hop finish that enhances the malt flavors. No real note of alcohol in the finish, which was pretty clean with a slight malt note hanging on with the hops. There was some nice dry biscuit notes as it warmed.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with no real astringency or alcohol heat.

D- This is a good malty lager that has nice complexity and really accents the depth of malt with some nice hops to keep them in check. (831 characters)

Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a deep amber hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet caramel and full cereal malt.

The taste consisted of a musty sweet malt, buttery bread and some dark fruit.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a pretty good dopplebock. (356 characters)

Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark brown with a huge head which slowly dissipates. Leaves some nice lacing. Scents are of sweet coffee/malt. There's a nice sweet taste with a medium body. This is not a Celebrator, but true to the Doppelbock style. Still it is very drinkable and many can be had, a nice session brew. (299 characters)

Photo of Axnjxn
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Weizen glass. no bottling date.

pours a dark brown/red with a half inch thick head that quickly dissipates. a bready and malty aroma on the nose, quite typical of a doppelbock. taste is very much as expected from a doppelbock, bready and malty and sweet, just like the nose. its pretty good, not great. good feel for a doppelbock, easy to drink. medium bodied with light carbonation.

overall a fairly standard doppelbock thats very drinkable and a good representation of the style. this beer is available everywhere, and its worth picking up if you enjoy doppelbocks. (588 characters)

Photo of dcmchew
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown, very poor tan head that goes to a very thin lace in seconds.
Smell is very nutty (peanut, Brazilian nut, faint almond, cashew), with caramel, some faint sugar, roasted grains, low dark fruit and tiny bit of skunk.
Taste starts with sweet dark malts and caramel, a bit fruity with some apricots, plums, raisin, faint sweet cherry. Toffee follows, sweet dark bread, spices with clove, cinnamon, faint licorice and anise, hints of honey. Touch of roast and light coffee in the finish, lots of (somewhat minty) herbs and a mild hoppy bitterness.
Very light bodied for its style, a bit syrupy tho, medium carbonation. Aftertaste is damaged by some cloying syrupy sweetness and a bit of booze, otherwise quite fruity.
A weirder doppelbock, highs and lows, so it falls somewhere in between. (806 characters)

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz picked up at the Coop for about $2.00.. poured into my New Belgium goblet.

Short lasting off white head.. with only spotty lacing.. brew is walnut with garnet highlites.

Aroma is all dark bready malts.. some toasted malts with a good whiff of cocoa.. dates and other dried fruits come through.. dark caramel becomes predominant as it warms.

This is my idea of a dopplebock.. I like them with a touch more malty sweetness. Dark malts at the front of the palate.. slides into a chocolate fig concotion.. with a light cocoa and dark malt finish... slightly chewy malt presence is apparent through the entire sip and adds greatly to the overall complexity... very smooth.. sorta creamy and long lingering flavors for a German lager... nuttiness as it warms... very very clean and super smooth... finish is very long.

I am a sucker for German lagers, and Optimator is great. For some reason, I rarely buy them. (915 characters)

Photo of ppoitras
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Enjoyed on tap from the Hofbrauhaus, in the Food Court at The Big E, West Springfield, MA.

Clear plastic pint cup presentation. Pleasing 1/2" beige head over the deeply reddish brown brew. Aroma is deeply of grain, with a slight alcohol presence notable. Taste is dominated by malts, and a nice warming feelign as it goes down. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good. An excellent brew. (391 characters)

Photo of LiquidAmber
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 4/2010 notes. Poured into a Celebrator pokal. Pours a dark reddish brown, light tan head and lacing. Strong pleasant aroma of sweet malt, caramel. Moderately sweet, malty start and middle. Pleasant malt and caramel finish. Seems muted in flavor, but well balanced and quite nice. A definite buy again. (313 characters)

Photo of Duff27
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Foamy one-inch off-white head. Optimator is a translucent light brown. Solid head retention and some lacing.

S- Sweet and bready.

T- Dark fruits, more specifically grapes and apples. Leaves the mouth watering. Slight...toffee? hard to put my finger on it.

M- Mid-to-low carbonation. Medium mouthfeel.

D/O- This is the second time I've ever had this (the first being last summer) and its just as pleasing as I remember it. A solid, if not leader or flagship of the style, example. A great way to start off Dopplebockfest 2011 with fdkayti. (545 characters)

Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark, ruby red when held up to the light with an average 1 finger light, creamy capping topping things off leaving a fair lacing.

S: rich, dark and sweet toasted grains with some dried fruit (raisins).

T: full and malty with a nice breadiness, and roasted malting dominating. There was some semi-sweet molasses, and raisins sneaking in adding a layering of complexity. There was also slight hints of toffee and dark cocoa beans with a subtle alcohol warming very well to style.

M: creamy, smooth with a nice full caramel viscous and noble flowering.

D: Very good drinkability and certainly good to kick back with a few. (638 characters)

Photo of Derek
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another nice product from Spaten-Franziskaner.

A: Ruby brown, nice head/lace.

S: Fruity, malty (caramel?).

T: Bready, caramel, hint of chocolate, prunes, slightly fruity (more than most lagers/dopplebocks). The taste fits right between Salvator and Celebrator.

M: Light-to-moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable.

I think this one's under-rated. It's better than Salvator! (406 characters)

Photo of flagmantho
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 16.9 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: dark woody brown with a two-finger persistent tan head. Quite nice.

Smell: thick malt with a little pear aroma tossed in. It's also got a bit of an unctuous tartness in there which I feel I cannot adequately describe. Still, pretty interesting.

Taste: lots of malt which develops into the same pear/tree fruit that was present in the aroma. Fruity is a good word to describe it, but it is a heavy, syrupy fruity which means serious business. I don't know from doppelbocks, but this tastes pretty good to me.

Mouthfeel: big body but it doesn't coat the mouth like syrup. Pretty good.

Drinkability: this stuff is pretty tasty to me, but it is a little bit of a one-note song (OK, a two-note song--malt and pears--but you get the idea). I'll finish this one gladly, but it's a little sweet and monotonous to session. (876 characters)

Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
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. (601 characters)

Photo of DrJay
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tulip glass, this beer was a pleasing toffee brown colour with a thin, tan head. The foam settled to a ring of very fine bubbles and produced solid, yet short-lived, sheets of fine lacing. The aroma was rich and malty, full of caramel and fresh milled grain. The flavour had hints of fruit sweetness, but the dominant character was warm caramel and toffee maltiness. There was also a kiss of floral hops in the finish. Well-integrated, fairly low carbonation coupled with a medium body and light alcohol warmth gave it a refined texture. Quite a nice beer. Satisfying. (580 characters)

Photo of tone77
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a green 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is a bit sweet, and malty, a bit bready. Taste is also bready, sweet, lots of malts, very easy drinking. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer worth checking out. (269 characters)

Photo of Bighuge
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Russet brown with very little head. Thick sweet maltiness on the nose. Here's a beer you can chew on. Massive malt blast on the tongue. Great taste. Pretty viscous brew. Hops are only around to balance the huge malt load. Very little hop taste or bitterness present. I get some roastiness, but not a lot. Seems pretty complex. Molasses taste is slight. I have actually had this beer for over a year and it may have developed some faint new layers. This is a great brew. (481 characters)

Photo of Bitterbill
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pors from 16.9oz bottle a deep amber with a medium sized head of foam that shrinks to just a ring around the edge of the glass and a little lacing.

The smell is of caramel malt.

The taste on first sip has a huge malt character. Lots of roastiness and grain with just a bit of caramel. Further sips in and I'm getting some of the alcohol but it's not intrusive; also, there's some chocolate and fruitness there, mostly a plum flavour that shows up mostly near the finish which itself ends up slightly on the bitter side. It certainly is smooth enough and easy drinking so I'll have to watch it...;^)

Bottom line: This is a good Doppelbock that is worthy of a try. (671 characters)

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.96/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Brown pour, a bit more than than expected for something kinda revered. Nuts and toffee aroma a little metallic feel.

Taste is warm, like a brown ale, aged a bit (this may have been unintentionally). Thankfully doesn't have the rubbing alcohol feel of a lot of doppelbocks. Has something prickly to it, maybe not hops, or those Euro hops I don't have too often, a nice subtlety. Mouthfeel too thin to get to into it, and neither is the price. (443 characters)

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
88 out of 100 based on 1,289 ratings.