1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,749 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,749
Reviews: 1,295
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 72
Gots: 260 | 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: Ratings & Reviews
to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Ratings: 2,749 | Reviews: 1,295
Photo of BeardedBoffin
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Optimator arrives in a green bottle with a brown, gold trimmed, label. The beer itself is a brown, ruby color with a creamy cap of foam. Roasted malt, husky grain, dark fruit in the aroma. The body is medium to full as it smoothly slithers across the tongue. A carbonated bite preludes the light touch of hops. The 7.2% ABV shows through in a good way. Very Bockish.

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

12oz green bottle
7.2% abv

Spaten Optimator was a very dark red-brown color with good clarity when held to a light. It had a light tan head with good retention and lacing. The smell was sweet dark malt and a touch toasty. The taste was malty and sweet as well with a little hop flavor coming through towards the finish. The finish was long and semi-dry. It was medium-full in body with medium carbonation. Drinkability was good. This is a good Doppelbock that is well worth trying out. This beer improves as it warms with some fruitiness and a touch of alcohol coming through.

Photo of heavy216
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Bottle was 12oz, amber with s light tint of red. 2 finger head, good lacing that lasted the whole time.

S: malt smell.

T/M: Enjoyed when very cold, as it warmed up it got sweeter, a little heavy mouth feel..strong after bite
Carbonation is perfect, hides alcohol level.

D: good cold, however as it got warmer not as good.

Photo of tapman
4.21/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with deep, deep ruby highlights, verging on violet. Rich head that when poured aggressively can give you however many fingers you want, in my case three. Like I said, head is rich, creamy and light sand in color.

Deep prune aroma, like prune puree.

Taste is dark raisins, dark toffee (i.e. slightly burnt sugar) and a rich, butter-like character. Hops are way in the back and come out briefly for bitterness and a soft earthiness.

Not too chewy, but not too light. Just right for the style if you ask me. Maybe a little more carbonation, but a small discrepancy.

I love this beer and, more notably, my girlfriend likes this beer. And my girlfriend hates beer. A fine example of the style and at a fantastic price (10.99 at Famous Liquors on Roosevelt Rd. in Lombard, IL.). At approx. $1 per bottle and at 7% abv, I think we have a winner.

Photo of e11iott
3.05/5  rDev -21.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Bottle was 12oz, dark cherry red. 2 finger head, lacing that lasted the whole time.

S: Carmel and malt smell.

T/M: Enjoyed when very cold, as it warmed up it got sweeter, soild after bit.
Carbonation is perfect, hids alcohol level.

D: Thought the beer would be thicker based on the color, prefered it when colder.

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.

Photo of ramseye4
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= Pours a dark red color, 1.5 finger head with minimal retention, but with spectacular lacing
S=some dark fruit, a bit of molasses, very sweet smelling
T=Darker malts, some bitterness, candied fruit comes out in the aftertaste
M=Medium carbonation, medium body, sticky and sweet
D=Good flavor and mouthfeel combined with medium body make this one that can be downed over and over again

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

Poured a clear, dark brown from a 12 oz bottle with ABV (7.6%) on the label. No freshness date, but the bottle had a newer black label as opposed to the brown labels available until recently. Ruby red color along the edges when held against light.
The head was massive after a slightly vigorous pour and dissipated very slowly. Very nice lacing along the glass as the head dissipated.
Aroma is dominated by malts, and as the beer warms up, the aroma of raisins, dark fruits with hints of alcohol becomes noticeable.
Taste is also dominated by malts with hints of fruity sweetness. The finish is a nice blend of sweet and bitter. The taste becomes better as the beer warms up.
Drinkability is good and the ABV is certainly masked very well.
A solid doppelbock made by one of the classic German breweries. Definitely worth a try.

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

On tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: At first glance, the color is black, but upon further inspection it is lightly transparent ruby throughout. Nice creamy foamy off-white head. Foamy lace drips forms and drips away down the glass.

Smell: Molasses, roasted malt, ripe dark fruits. A touch of spice.

Taste: Molasses, plums, raisins, a light general spiciness - all spice or nutmeg maybe. Along with a roasted malt, these flavors form the basis of the flavor. Earthy hops sneak up on me, making themselves known as the sip comes to a close. Finishes lightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation fizzes and bubbles away in my mouth, eventually relenting to a creamy feel. Lightly sticky, with above average carbonation wrapped in a fuller than medium body.

Drinkability: Although I am not usually a lager person, I have been getting more into Doppelbocks recently, and this is a nice example of the style. Really drinkable at 7.2%. Definitely better as it warms.

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

Reviewed from notes on 07/07/10
$2 for 33cl @ Huck's in Spokane, WA.

Poured from bottle to snifter.

A: Pours dark cherry brown with excellent clarity. No head, appears flat.

S: Smells like a symphony bar! Toffee, cocoa, toast. Very pleasant.

T: Surprisingly bitter given the nose. Rye toast, cocoa, toffee still there, just not as evident as before. Slight earthen flavor.

M: Low carb flows well over tongue and after sweetness feel, but dries quickly and dries with the bitterness.

D: A bit thin for the style IMO, prefere a bit more body. Otherwise, strong offering from a classic brewery.

Photo of in780
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Here we go:

A - Reddish-brown, lets through a little light, very little head. No lacing

S - Sweet smelling, licorice, brandy

T - Roasted malts, but the taste is watery. Not the mouthfeel, but just the taste - like there was supposed to be more but someone forgot to put it in. A letdown from what I was expecting

M - OK, low carbonation which is fine for the style

D - I could drink more, the alcohol is pretty well hidden, but I don't think I want to.

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

This beer takes on a rich flavor with a distinct malty taste. I enjoy it's chocolate and amber flavors. You get just enough without it being to overpowering. This beer also has a nice alcohol percentage of 7.2% which is just right for this style of beer, you tend to not notice the alcohol with the balance of the malt.

Photo of Brewbro000
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep brown that when held to the light shows hints of ruby red with a one finger off white head. The head retains for a few minutes but resides to a faint rim around the glass with patches in between
S- Very powerful malt aroma with little to no recognizable hop character. Hints of caramel, raisins and molasses
T- Malt backbone is the dominate flavor in this beer, from the caramel and roasted flavors to the residual sweetness provided. This beer cleans up quite quickly at the end of each sip, despite its alcohol content and mild sweetness.
M- Medium bodied but not too thick or chewy, which i assumed was part of this style, i expected it to be slightly more chewy to say the least.
D- You feel the alcohol on this pretty quickly although it isn't immediately noticed when consuming, leading me to think i could drink a number of these, i assume i would easily be feeling it after 2 or three!

Photo of jj311
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 Ounce bottle into a Pint Glass.

Appearance: Pours a Dark Brown color with a copper tone and slight reddish highlights. Has a thick 2 finger, frothy tan foam-head which dissipates after a few minutes. Leaves a sticky lacing.

Smell: Sweet Toasted Malt, Carmel, and herbal aroma, as well as a hint of brown sugar and apple peel.

Taste: Initially a taste of toasted malt and caramel shines through, followed by grainy and slightly bitter finish. It's got some sweetness but definitely well balanced.

Mouthfeel: A slick, and oily mouthfeel. Carbonation tingle on the tongue. Medium to full bodied.

Drinkability: I found this to be nearly exceptional in the drinkability category. The flavors and the fact that it's neither too light, or too thick, make this one easy to consume.

Overall: Although I admit I haven't tried a wide variety of doppelbock, this one rates up there among the better ones that I have tried. If I had access to this beer more often, it would easily become one of my regulars.

Photo of BeerCon5
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber-red color with 1 finger of off-white fluffy head, retention is not very good.

The scent is of sweet caramel malts not much else.

The taste is of raisin, sweet caramel malt, a little buttery, notes of alcohol.

Full bodied, smooth a little creamy, with a dry finish, low carbonation.

This is a decent doppelbock, good flavor, I wouldn't mind having another one but I wouldn't look for it.

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

appearance; dark brown with a light tan head. Retention is in the form of a thick surface film a chunky collar. Lacing is patchy at best.

smell; some toasty malts and herbal hops. The hop odor is a little strong for this style and the malts are not powerful enough.

taste; malty sweetness with a bit of alcohol form a nice liqour soaked plum flavor at first. The rich toastness of the malts comes out in the finish, side by side with some mild hoppy bitterness.

mouthfeel; full bodied but not as thick in the finish as to be expected from the style. Best described as not as chewy as expected.

drinkability; the finish is a little dry and annoying but overall, this is a fine drink and a good introductory beer to the Doppelbock style.

Photo of falloutsnow
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a transparent reddish-amber in color into my Celebrator glass. Head is off-white, about 1.5 cm, and lasts a minute or two. Descends to a thin ring around the glass for the rest of the session. Lacing is very present, pronounced, and quite nice. Some minute amounts of visible carbonation.

Contrary to what seems to be consensus among other drinkers, I don't find this beer to be anything more than average in scent. I pick up heavy malts, a very slight amount of vague dessert spice, and syrupy dark fruits (think dried plums, not figs, which as a grower I can assure you are not necessarily "dark").

In taste, I pull up heavy, bready malts at first, blending into essential nutmeg oils, ending with a dash of alcohol and brown sugar. The aftertaste is a overly sweet, a bit cloying. Could have used a tad more hop character to cut this. As a side note, this is definitely a beer that improves in taste character as it warms.

Moderate carbonation fitting for the heavy thickness of the beer and its style. Finish is fairly dry and astringent, though not completely. All seems in order here.

The Optimator remains one of those standby doppelbocks if one can't find any superior beers of the style available. The price is generally right, and this is an standard bearer of the style, but it still pales in comparison to the pinnacles of the style due to its lackluster scent and somewhat tame taste.

Photo of WeezyBoPeep
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a standard pint glass.

A: Dark, dark clear red with a brownish hue. Light, wispy half finger head with good retention.

S: Sourdough raisin bread, malty goodness, dark cherries, light cocoa and ginger. A fragrant doppelbock.

T: Not as complex as the smell, but very, very good. Lots of fruit; bananas, raisins and prunes. Hints of cloves and cinnamon on the finish, which is clean.

D: Superb. Even at the high ABV I'd kill a sixer no problemo.

Photo of Andrew644
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- very deep brown color with a tinge of red in it. Has a nice tan head.

S- mostly malty aroma but some of the hops kind of poke through a little which is different from most beers of this style.

T- the maltiness is good in this beer and it is the main component. While being strong though the hops balance it out more and make it better I think. It is not sickingly sweet which makes it better.

M- moderate carbonation with a little creaminess feel to it which fits the flavor very well.

D- very drinkable for the style

Photo of GarthDanielson
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
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.

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

Presentation: 1 PT .9 OZ Brown bottle with crushed gold foil around cap. day code on lower left of label, but no freshness date.

Appearance: Dark amber color, with 1 finger of tan head, head retains very well, with lacing ring throughout the pint.

Smell: Hints of caramel, sweet and toasted malt, chocolate, slight hint of orange.

Taste: lovely rich malt flavor similar to a brown ale. abv very well hidden.

Notes: one of my favorites, Breakfast beer it is. a little thrown off by the label reading "malt liqour" on the side, guessing no hops.

Photo of BigPlay1824
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Served in a tumbler

A: pours a very deep brown non translucent color with a thin amount of creamy brown head that dissipates quickly, leaves a small amount of lacing

S: nice deep scent with nice caramel notes

T: very nice deep caramelly malt flavors backed by a slight sweetness that helps it to finish smoother

D/M: beautifully smooth drinking especially for a dopplebock, drinks much lighter than expected and yet still has a great depth of flavor that really makes it an enticing brew

Photo of BerkeleyBeerMan
4.76/5  rDev +22.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Dark, non-transparent

Smell: Malts: Caramel, butter-scotch candy. Hops: Mild and clean hops that don't interfere with the malty characters.

Taste: The Malts come out strong and thick. It has a grainy coffee-like character to it. It is strong on the hops. The hops accentuate the body of the beer but never intefere with the overall flavor.

Mouthfeel: Heavy body with a mild coarseness like a well pulled espresso. Not very carbonated. Doesn't go flat.

Drinkability: This has been a favorite beer of mine for a while even before I thought about reviewing beers. It's a heavy beer that doesn't require a refill because it satisfies so much. You'll want to pick up an Optimator to help you wash down your dinner or to celebrate.

Photo of beergod1
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep ruby/brown pour with a medium foamy head that sticks around a while. Aroma of sweet roasty caramel malt and light sweet fruitiness. Flavor is the same. Loads of roasty malt and hints of Caramel. A bit of alcohol bite on the finish, but not enough to be distracting, still smooooth. Body needs to be a bit heavier. Not the Best Doppel Bock....But this is well worth it. Thanx Doug K.

Photo of brewcrew76
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep ruby red with a thin tan head that leaves a ring of foam remaining.

S - Sweet caramel malt, bready, toffee with ripe fruit.

T - Bready malt with a bit of caramel sweetness, toffee and ripe fruits. A hint of roast in the finish with a touch of alcohol. Gets an herbal note as it warms.

M - Rich and chewy. A touch sticky from the malt sweetness.

D - A solid doppelbock a touch on the sweet side.

to view all ratings, reviews and sorting options.
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,749 ratings.