Dismiss Notice
Save $5 when you subscribe to 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine and select auto-renew.

Subscribe now →
Dismiss Notice
Join Our Email List →

And we'll send you the latest updates and offers from BeerAdvocate, because knowing is half the battle.
Dismiss Notice

Pre-order your Respect Beer "Hipster" Hoodie today!

Plus: Free shipping (US only) on orders of $25 or more until 12/18/15. Just select "Free Shipping" at checkout.

Shop now →

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: 88
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
Reviews: 1,297 | Hads: 2,886
Photo of WetCoaster
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an absolutely beautiful clear ruby with active carbonation and a finger of off-white head. Decent retention and thin lacing.

Smell: The usuual suspects. A bit of apple and bready yeast up front, followed by a big blast of brown sugar/pineapple malt. Simple, but pleasant.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very good, full, but the zesty carbonation keeps it lively and dare I say a bit crisp? The flavor isn't quite as interesting. It's smooth and tasty--sweet, malty, bready, a bit roasty--but pretty straightforward otherwise.

Drinkability: Fot a 7%+ brew, very. It tastes good, the alcohol is very well concealed, and the carbonation makes it seem much lighter than it is.

Again, nothing really stands out about this bock, but there's certainly nothing unpleasant about it either. Simple, but solid.

 832 characters

Photo of far333
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chestnut colored with ruby highlights, a beige head rises up thickly, then settles very quickly to a fine cap of bubbles that rise up along the edges of the glass. Aroma is malty with hints of berry and cocoa. Taste is sweet malt, with fig and currant, some plum, plus a bit of metallic flavor riding beneath, maybe contributed by the ABV. A bitter tingle rising up in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is moderate to thin, a little bubbly.

 432 characters

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

Finally got around to this doppelbock.

Purchased at Wilbur's Wine & Spirits in Ft. Collins, CO, $6.99 a six pack of 12-ounce bottles. (BTW, for you north-Colorado folks, Wilburs is moving and expanding -- they will have SIXTY coolers of beer at their new location, and will keep about a thousand different brews in stock! A THOUSAND! Wow!)

Optimator is everything you look for in a d-b. Warm, almost spicy malt aroma, medium, long-lasting lilght-tan head on a nice amber-hazel brew

Nice malty taste, with a hint of could it be nutmeg? Long slow aftertaste of malt and unsweetened chocolate.

The mouthfeel is thick and rich. This is really what I think of for a cool-weather German beer.

Drinkability is good for a d-b, but still, a few of these will kick your butt..

 781 characters

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

poured a deep amber, head not as good as on tap, faded quickly. smell was malty, and sweet, taste is quite good, malty, hints of chocolate, alcohol bite on the end, mouthfeel is medium carbonated, with a rather creamy feel, very nice! drinkability is good, but...be careful these can knock you for a loop! good beer!

 316 characters

Photo of mobyfann
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Paid $2.09 for a 500mL bottle.

The appearence is a beautiful amber lager type base with a fluffy thick light-brown head that lasts for a few minutes, then fades. The lacing is pretty evident but not too much... The aroma hints of something sweet and something of a grain, that's about it.

The taste is pretty sweet with touches of malt, nothing supreme, maybe a bit to much sweetness??? The mouthfeel is pretty nice for a 7.2% bock bier and the drinkability is also good as I enjoyed this very much.

Final Thought: Like most German biers, this one fits in with the crowd, especially the Spaten-Franziskaner crowd. Prost!

 629 characters

Photo of 99bottles
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a rich amber-brown body with a weak fizzy head that had poor retention. Thin off white lace remains atop the beer while being drank. Some slight lacing on sides of the glass.

Smell: Not very impressive. Some very sweet malt notes, but not very strong. Soft and round buttery smell.

Taste: Bland, I thought. The main taste is of sweet carmel malt and rich dark malts. Somewhat good interplay between a dry toasty aftertaste and a syrupy sweet forefront. This really lacks the nice fruity esters of some of the better dopplebocks. Alcohol is not obvious, but it is apparent. Very understated hop taste.

Mouthfeel: Decent. Smooth and rich, minimal cloying. Very faint carbonation.

Drinkability: Nothing wrong with it, I could have a few. The question is, why would I go to town with a boring dopplebock with the likes of Celebrator and Salvator out there? Take the training wheels off and go for a slightly more interesting take on the style. This is not bad in any way though. Oh yeah, this review was for a green glass bottle from a cooler, but I don't think that threw it off any, as I've had it before and thought it was constant.

 1,161 characters

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

Poured a clear and warm-looking deep brown in color. Thick off-white head foams up initially then settles down to a respectable 1" thick layer. Distinct rings all the way down the glass. Aromas are up there as well, with a roasty-toasty malt dominating, carrying some dark fruits along as well. Flavor was tasty. Quite malty, with a dash of bitterness at the end that paired nicely with the slight ABV warming effect. There was a chocolatey splash in the middle as well. It's sweet, but certainly not in a bad way. Medium-full in body. I'm sorry that I've waited so long to try this, as it's been sitting in the beer fridge for a few months. I'd like to try the draft version.

 676 characters

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

Creamy torrents of fluff on top of walnut brown liquid...
The aromas are doughy and sweet as bread. Buttery, brioche-like and pure. On the palate there is an up-tempo turnstyle of sweet fruit syrup, burnt grain and milk. Caramel flavored coffee flavors surge in the attack, then roll over to reveal rustic, grainy acidity. Responsive, uncomplicated beer.

 355 characters

Photo of mschofield
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark garnet with a one finger tall dark tan head that quickly settled to a film (not disappointing due to the ABV), didn't lace at all.
Malty aroma, sweet, caramel, a bit of apple and raisin.
Again the taste is malty sweet with notes of toasted bread, raisin, caramel and a roasted note.
Full bodied, there is alcohol present in the aroma but not in the taste.

 377 characters

Photo of soper2000
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Enjoyed on tap at Chumley's in Lafayette.
Pours a nice brown color with a minimum head. Smells very sweet, almost sickly sweet in my opinion with faint notes of alcohol. Very interesting flavor on this one. Malt flavor sticks out the most followed by a sweet finish. Nice mouthfeel on this beer and drinkability is good. I like this beer but I was just put off by the aroma, maybe it's something i'll grow to love.

 415 characters

Photo of govtmule
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I've been drinking Spaten Pils and Oktoberfest at one of my local pizza joints for a couple of years. For some reason I never grabbed the Optimator at the store. I read a little about dopplebocks last week and it inspired me to grab a six.

Pours a nice dark reddish-brown, more brown than red. The head is a shade darker than heavy cream, about an inch that settled but some hung around through most of the beer. A nice thick feel in the mouth. You definitely feel like your drinking something substantial. For a 7.2% ABV it was well balanced and easy to drink, easily a session beer for me.

The taste was distinctly Spaten. It has some nice roasty sweetness and leaves a pleasant trail of alcohol.

As the bottle says, "The Classic Dark German Beer".

 759 characters

Photo of jwilli7122
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark, clear mohagany with lots of tiny bubbles and a smallish off-white head which is twice as tall on the edges of the glass as it is in the middle. Good lacing.
Smell is dark fruits and alchohol.
Taste is much the same- big grape/prune taste with some sweetness and some alchohol flavors. Malty, moderately thick, highly carbonated. Smooth.

 352 characters

Photo of daledeee
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I was not very optimistic. The head was just not there even with a very agressive our. It appears no bottle conditioning; there is no yeast and the beer is absolutely clear but still nice dark brown.

Smells like caramel.

This is one rich beer. Very thick tasting laced with sweetness, caramel, malt and a little stronger finish. Very nice. Classic German brew. And the lace did not go away dispite the weak head.

Mouthfeel is a little on the edge but I like that.

Very drinkable.

 485 characters

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

The double shovel means double trouble with Spaten's most dangerous beer. I can think of no better way to optimize my evening then with Z Optimator.

The Arnold Schwarzinager of beers, Z Optimator's strength is immediately apparant, both disgusting and delighting with its erste taste. Sometimes difficult to consume at first, as if your body is warning against its mighty conents, Z Optimator becomes smoother and more pleasing with each sip.

I can not recomend this beer enough to those who love strong and beefy beers that carry a bazooka for a buzz. I truely believe that there is something more to this beer then its high alcohol content. Consumers beware, this beer can lead to strange and unexplainable occuances and should be taken in cautiously.

I suggest splitting a 24 ounze bottle to begin an evening. Any thing more and you could be diving into a lake, half nude, in search of a cell phone that you thought fell out of your pocket. But oh wait...I don't even own a cellphone?

It wasn't one of my finer moments but how can the Univesity of Wisconsin sell such large pitchers for such a low price and not expect trouble?

 1,142 characters

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

Dark brown with maroon highlights, small head fades quickly. Aroma is subdued, carmel and a little alcohol. The flavors come in waves: initial sweetness on the tip of the tongue, followed by carmel malt, a little fruit and light coffee, a hint of hops, and finishing up with a nice alcohol warmness at the back of the throat. Enough body to coat the mouth nicely. Man, I love this stuff! I've had trouble deciding on a favorite beer style... but I'm thinking doppelbocks just might be it! I really need to do a side-by-side comparison with this and Salvator (another favorite of mine) some time!

 595 characters

Photo of canucklehead
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Picked up in Point Roberts Shell Station.

This Double Bock poured darker than some other German versions but the surprise for me was the intensity of the malt that follows the first sip. Salavator and Celebrator are more slow to flex their muscle while the Spaten version comes across as slightly sweet
and bigger. I don't know how many pints I could drink but I sure liked the one bottle I had.

 399 characters

Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.16/5  rDev -18.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a warm deep brown color with a very thin head. It sort of has that Belgian Ale look - bubbley and thick. Couldn't get much of a nose off of this beer.

This beer seems to combine dark fruits and sweet malts. First impression: Raisins, plums and related dark fruit flavors meet with gentle matly flavors. I'd like to try this beer again under different circumstances and perhaps paired with the correct food. It is otherwise too sweet and too fruity.

 467 characters

Photo of Beastdog75
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When one thinks of the Spaten brewery in Munich, the first brew that probably pops into their mind is their Optimator doppelbock. This is a very good brew that I can imagine being well accepeted by even beer newbies. It isn't a truly complex beer, but it is a sweet, malty meal in a bottle that isn't offensive in any way and doesn't overload the drinker with a heavy alcohol taste.

Optimator pours a nice darker amber/brown color that is mildly translucent. A one finger off-white foam forms but disappears in under 30 seconds. I thought the smell was quite pleasing despite the green bottle. Aromas of coffee mixed with caramel, roasted grain notes, and light cocoa powder. The mouthfeel is smooth but just a bit thinner than expected and had just a little bit of carbonation. A sweet, malty flavor is the dominant force with notes of caramel, roasted malts, chocolate-covered "dark fruit" (maybe some blackberries, dates, figs?). The latter flavor notes were a bit subtle and certainly do not overwhelm the beer. An alcohol flavor is present, but it too does not see the need to conquer the entire flavor. A mild dryness shows up in the finish. This is a beer where the malts take charge, not the hops. Surprisingly clean aftertaste, with some apple like notes, dark fruits and light dryness in finish, and some more light alcohol flavors. For a higher alcohol brew, there is just some mild alcoholic warmth to round things out.

I have to say this beer was more mild than I expected, but that turned out to be a plus. This is a dark brew that can be very quaffable. Mild, subtle, but thoroughly enjoyable. Certainly beats the Sam Adams Double Bock, which was a bit heavy in alcohol flavor in my opinion. This a good beer for the Spring thaw.

 1,750 characters

Photo of rdrummer
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had the Optimator in a bottle. It didn't impress me, but this beer on tap has a lot of different characteristics. The beer pours a very, dark brown with reddish tones, with a smallish off-white head. There was considerable lacing during the drinking. It has a strong, roasted malt aroma with a little fruitish undertone. The beer is primarily a maltfest, but there is a grapy, fig or currant taste that adds body to it. There is a quick hit of hops at the end. I love the mouthfeel of this. It is thick and creamy with just the right carbonation. Altogether, a surpisingly nice beer from Spaten. I had come to not expect much from the brewer. I had this at Ludwig's in Philadelphia so it was served that way it should be.

 728 characters

Photo of filabrazilia
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with amber hues. A small tan head sits atop and leaves trails of lace on the glass.

There is a slight toasted malt aroma with a light sting of alcohol. Nothing too remarkable.

The flavor is good with a deep malty nut flavor. A gentle sweetness balances the alcohol bite in the finish. Interesting and enjoyable.

This is a medium bodied and creamy smooth beer in the mouth. A touch of alcohol resonates pleasantly in the taste.

This is a solid dopplebock that is fun to drink. It's a nice spring or fall beer.

 540 characters

Photo of nomad
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

In a big Spaten tumbler at Ludwig's Garten, this doppel has a deep brown-ish burgundy color that is clear, shiny, and true. Plenty of fine carbonation streaming to keep up a thin head.

Fruity with an interesting tone, this beer smells licorice-like from a dark, deep, and almost musty shade. Shows notes of complex grapes and noble hops. Opens to a deep, big, burly sense of roasty meat-like malt. Soft and lager in impact, but a big bear of a character.

Taste is meaty as all heck from a thick and dark roast, yet balanced by flavors of Cabernet grapes and snappy, underripe figs. The murk of deep flavors doesn't change much as it warms, merely showing more of a green hop finish. Fairly smooth but a little thin of a mouthfeel, which is surprising given how meaty it tastes.

A good doppelbock and tastes even better because its pretty cheap for an import. Impressive depth given such a low price. Much prefer this on draught than in a bottle, as the latter doesn't seem as deep and meaty, instead coming across with too much underripe fruit flavors.

 1,062 characters

Photo of RedDiamond
3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light chocolate malt aroma with a few off notes. Soft carbonation forming a scant head with no lace. Clear, tarnished bronze color. No sediment in the bottle. No expiration date.

The taste is thin though pleasing with hints at spice complexities that are never fully revealed. In fact, the flavor really doesn't go far, making ordinariness the most notable feature of this "malt liquor". The bitterness is mildly unpleasant, the finish is abrupt, and the mouthfeel somewhat dull.

 483 characters

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

This is really an area of German Biers that I have not gotten into much just yet. But I will be visiting it again soon. This malty and rather herbacious brew was a real winner. The roasted goodness stayed in the nose, and lasted through to the last sip. This is a solid Bier.


 286 characters

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

12 oz bottle, no freshness dating.A classic that pours dark and ruby, best described as a cola color. The first thing that struck me that is this is a full flavored brew and that its strong alcoholwise. Malt dominates. Toffee, chocolate, licorish. Not much bittering going on here. In general, rich, strong and smooth stuff. A nice example of a dark German lager.

 363 characters

Photo of ChrisBowers
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent example of the style... Nose is of chocolate, toffee and caramel. Sweet malty richness with the first sip, and a satisfying mouthfeel. Alcohol is quite warming. Some fruity esters present here. Lots of rich chocolate undertones and a well balanced finish. Excellent brew.

 281 characters

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 1,297 ratings.