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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,294 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,294
Hads: 2,859
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 18.25%
Wants: 82
Gots: 332 | 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: 1,294 | Hads: 2,859
Photo of hyuga
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark mahogany with a light tan head. The head stays well enough for a while if you give it a good strong pour, but still eventually fades away. Very interesting aroma of sour grape character and caramel with grain and just a hint of hops. On the palate, lots of malty flavors including caramel, molasses, and a touch of grain. Some spiciness rounds everything out. Not as "big" as the perfect doppelbock. Seems kind of like an overgrown märzen. It's still interesting and worth a try.

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

Pours a dark, clear, mahogany. No wait, its a dark ruby red. Catches the light nicely. 1/2 inch tan head that dissipates and leave virtually no lacing. Smells like you would expect a doppelbock to smell: sweet and malty, malty, matly.

Tastes of dark malt, burnt malt flavors. Sweet and (again) malty. Molasses flavors with a light bitter finish. Feels thick on the palate. The taste kind of slides down the back of your throat like a raw oyster. Warming as it goes down.

Quite drinkable to me, especially when the weather gets to changing up here. Smooth enough to have on a regular basis and a solid doppelbock.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Picked up a mixed 6-Pack of Spaten Optimator and Premium Lager at Trader Joes. The Optimator comes in a 12 fluid ounce green glass bottle with a deep copper colored main label that has a metallic look about it.

Appearance: I thought this was lightly hazed at first, but once the carbonation released from solution after the rather vigorous pour settled and helped form the head, it revealed a dark, but lucid brown. The head was much smaller than expected given the high levels of carbonation, and it settled to a beige colored smooth covering.

Nose: What the….???....not the expected nose at all. The best way I can describe it is as a conglomeration of Malt Extract used in Brewing mixed with the odor of a partially baked loaf of Wholemeal Bread. Sweet and malty smelling in character, which at the same time is quite a restrained in strength.

Taste: A very sweet beginning, the sweetness never goes, it just fades in strength throughout the drink making way for a more malty profile that is much more appealing in the ending. It has a smooth body whose flavor profile includes molasses, malt extract, some dates and sweet dark chewy bonfire toffee that licks the ending with an average malty body. It’s fair to say that the tastes are never one-dimensional, or even overpowering – but they are rather middle-of-the-road. Just scrapes a 4.0. No surprises, or shocks, for a Doppelbock.

Mouthfeel: The sweetness invades all aspects of this beer it seems, the nose, taste and mouthfeel. But the malty character eventually wins the day and balances the beer well, effectively hiding the 7.2% ABV rather well. Above average strength.

Drinkability: The malts are nice, but the sweetness is just a little too high for my overall enjoyment to be anything more than the odd glass, or two, maybe. Still, that being said, it is still a very drinkable beer that I could see would have appeal for those that may not even enjoy Doppelbocks.

Overall: Not bad, but this would only ever be the occasional beer for me.

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Photo of grynder33
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a dark brown color.It had a strange unexpected aroma, sort of like sourdough bread. The taste that followed however was typical and nice. Nice molasses sweet roasted flavor. This became a nice carmelly taste in the middlewith a sweet coffeeish aftertaste. Very little bitterness. It had a nice light feel to it, one of the few doppels you could drink after strenuous exertion on a hot day.

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

Had this last weekend at Oktoberfest in Cincinnati. Raisiny brown in color, nice head retention. Smell is malty sweet. Taste is outstanding, sweet malt with a little bitterness in there. Nicely balanced and a joy to drink, especially with a Brat in hand!!

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Photo of Mustard
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz. green bottle; no "bottled on" or "best before" warning, though none probably needed; purchased as a stray single from Trader Joe's for $1.00.

Appearance: Pours a garnet-tinged, dark brown; smallish, beige-colored head; b-cup's worth of lace; not much in the way of head retention.

Aroma: Somewhat faintly of dark bread and molasses.

Taste: Sweet, thick malt profile, albeit understatedly so on both accounts for the style (in my experience); primary flavors are of toffee, plum-like fruits, molasses and grain; medium-full body; smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

Notes: Timid taste profile for the style.

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Photo of cerevisiaephilus
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer is one of my favorites. A ridiculously malty beer, that isn't to sweet. Its just right. This beer has a great nose on it from which one can detect a bit of alcohol and a good dose of malt aroma with maybe a little honey scent in there too. Almost no detectable hop presence, but I'm sure without hops it would taste odd.

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Photo of beerguy101
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, medium white foamy head. Aroma is malty and rich. Deeply roasted malts. A full-bodied Dopplebock. Malts are slightly sweet with a nice caramel flavor. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty and dry. Great beer.

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Photo of Gavage
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first experience of this on tap. It poured a lovely dark brown / burgandy color with a very thin head. The aroma was nice, but I expected some more sweetness and roasted malt in the nose. I expected a thick malty beer, and that's exactly what I got. The malt lingered long on the tongue and the sweetness was not overpowering. The drinkabilty of this good, as I could have easily had more than one in a session. This would be a great to drink on a cold winter night, as the alcohol definitely warms the insides.

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

Optimator is my favorite doppelbock. My local frequently has it on tap, which is a treat.

It's nice and dark, with a real malty-sweet-molasses taste. But it isn't overpowering like some other doppelbocks. Not much of a head.

A great beer to drink a liter of! With an above-average alcohol content, however, I would suggest limiting yourself to one liter.

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Photo of BeerResearcher
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This Dopple Bock is in a league of its own. Its Ruby/Cordovan color and rich creamy head invite you to gulp. A pleasant aroma of roasted malt, hops and mild alcohol lasts. A heavy, thick body is creamy and lush. Sweet, yet sharp edged. Smooth and creamy...an enigma. The flavors jump out and introduce themselves separately then sort of meld and balance towards the end of the glass. A must try!

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Photo of steelreign
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Jeez, if the bar I had this at didn't have about 60 more comparable beers like this, I would have drank this all night! What a fantastic display of the style....rich, dark brown in color with tons of sweet malty goodness balanced nicely by the hop level. Smooth, luxurious mouthfeel, with some spicy notes along with the roasted malty complexity. Very much recommended, especially if you typcially like big beers in this mold (Celebrator, etc...)

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Photo of 86MonteSS
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Sure, why the hell not.

It's a deep brownish coloration with just the right head.

A sweet, full-bodied aroma made my heart cry for joy... seriously.

The taste is thick and malty, but just hoppy enough to keep the kids from loving it.

The finish says "hey, you just had one hell of a beer, ya fat, lazy bastard."

And I say, Spaten Optimator must be the best German beer I've ever had.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Heroe's Bar & Grill, La Verne, CA

Appearance: clear brown with a thin tannish head. No discernible carbonation.

Smell: strong sweet malty aroma with hints of raisins and plums. Faint alcohol astringency.

Taste: nice malt flavor with pleasant fruity undertones. Slightly bitter finish. Mild alcoholic bite.

Feel: medium-bodied, smooth, slick.

Drinkability: easy to drink, thanks to smooth and velvety feel and good taste. % ABV is a small detractor. Overall, a good beer to sit back and relax with.

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Photo of BierManVA
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A very smooth bier with a malty, alcoholic caramel smell. Pleasant aftertaste (I also like scotch) and good mouth feel. Not as sweet as some dopplebocks, no chocolate or burnt taste.

I'm sitting here drinking it and I am near to the bottom of the glass already! All and all a very good Doppelbock.

Oops! guess I need another!


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Photo of woemad
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brown color with an off-white head. Generous lacing. Smell of toasty malt and dark fruits. Tasted of toasty malt, with a figgy, raisiny dark fruit flavor. Hops were minimal. Creamy mouthfeel. This was a nice dopplebock, but not terribly remarkable.

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Photo of clvand0
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very dark amber color with a small tan head and a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is very malty and strong but still pleasant. I found this beer to be extremely smooth - slid down very nicely. The maltiness is very apparent in the taste and it is just sweet enough. There is also some chocolate that can be found in the taste. The carbonation is there in the taste, but it is very thin - almost like the bubbles are extremely tiny - dunno how to describe this. The aftertaste is malty with a hint of alcohol. Nice beer.

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

This brew poured a large head of light brown bubbles that were of fine to medium sizes. It had a dark brown almost opaque body with no carbonation evident. With a mild aroma of malt, it has a complex flavor full of spices, malt, caramel, some chewiness and a very mild aftertaste. It goes down very smoothly and leaves a good lacing as it does.

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Photo of HardTarget
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4.5

Aroma: A rich dark malt. I noted some toasted hints, with a slight alcohol nose, but not strong.
Appearance: Dark, looks kind of like coke. When back lit shows nice clarity. I got a nice thin tan head that lasted throughout the beer. The carbonation, while not overly bubbly, was strong and lasting.
Flavor: There are just enough hops to balance the first impression, but the malt quickly takes over for a long sweet aftertaste. I couldn’t note any real hop taste, but again, just enough to keep the beer from being too sweet. You can note the alcohol in the aftertaste, but not very strongly.
Mouthfeel: As dark and rich as the malt is, the mouthfeel is a bit light. While this detracts from a completely satisfying experience, it does lend itself to drinkability.
Overall Impression: A rich dark malty drinkable beer. Fine German craftsmanship.

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Photo of LarryKemp
4.48/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This dopplebock poured a clear deep brown with a tall stand of a fine dark tan head. The head did not last particularly long but left a nice lace on the glass. The aroma is malty and has no hoppiness. The taste follows suit and is dominated by malt. Their seems to be a fruitiness that hides behind the malt. This beer is not sweet but yet malty. No roasted taste. Not hops. With a little alcohol taste. The biggest weakness in this drink is its less than full-bodied mouthfeel. I would rate it medium at best. Overall, this is a great dopplebock. I find it a very good beer to sip and enjoy its delicious varieties in aroma and taste.

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Photo of jcalabre
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Originally sampled on 1 March 2003. I am writing this review from my notes. draught: This pours a dark brown color. The body is a lot lighter than I expected. It has a lots of malty, roasty flavors. it's a very nice beer, enjoyable, but not outstanding in my opinion.

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

The first couple of times I had the Optimator, it seemed so sweet and strong, and quite powerful. It was my first doppelbock. I hadn't drank it in quite some time, and had one last night along with a Celebrator and a Korbinian (in a head to head taste test). The Optimator was outclassed. It tasted like a Beck's dark, only stronger. It had that sweetish, almost skunky smell and taste (green bottle?). Not bad, but in that competition, clearly not at the same level. You can save a little money on this one, but it's not in the top 5 for doppelbocks (IMO).
(the next time I had this, it was much better. Maybe the green bottle did the other one in. Nice taste, good balance. Still not in the top 5 for doppels, but good nonetheless).

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

Ahhh....a nice doppelbock. I have had this both on tap and in the bottle and out of the bottle the beer is almost as good as the draught beer. Its got a fair amount of head as you would expect for a doppelbock. Dark yet clear with a good hop aroma. This beer melts in the mouth as it goes down. Its smooth and flavorful with the perfect balance of hops.
Bottom line: For this price you won't find much better...

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Photo of Darkale
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Head is thick and fizzy, quite thick at first, creamy and uneven, and then subsides to a "don't give up" skim. Good lacing.

Body is very clear and the color of cherry wood.

Deep malty aroma, sweet with hints of caramel.

Has almost a barley-wine taste, burning, slightly chewy, rich, and slightly sour afterward.

A very pleasant beer. Taste becomes almost nutty as it warms up.

This was one of the first very dark beers that I ever tasted, many years ago, and I returned to it when I saw one sitting there, almost forlorn, on the single beer shelf. Perhaps a bit sweet for some, but a reliable and deep beer, full of character.

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Photo of Indybeer
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle. Pours a dark brown with little to no head and no lace. Aroma and taste of malt is strong, with little to no hop bitterness. Lack of any real carbonation, brings out an almost sweet, syrupy flavor. Not a bad doppelbock but nothing really stands out.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 1,294 ratings.