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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,499 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,499
Reviews: 1,262
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 62
Gots: 142 | FT: 0
Brewed by:
Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu visit their website

Style | ABV
Doppelbock |  7.60% ABV

Availability: Year-round

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: BeerAdvocate on 04-06-1999)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,499 | Reviews: 1,262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of roadhouse


4.33/5  rDev +11.3%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pilsener glass.

Appears a chestnut brown color with a slight orange tint to it. A one inch off-white head rises to the top and falls to a cap, leaving a good amount of lace on the glass.

Aroma is full of sweet caramel malts with a bready, toasty undertone. There's some dark fruit in there as well, notably raisins.

Taste is sweet up front with lots of caramel character. Toastiness comes in next and is met by the aforementioned raisiny fruitiness. In the finish some slight nutty and chocolate tones come out, but it's nothing that I would call roasty.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied, with a smooth and creamy texture to it. Highly drinkable.

I really like this one, it's even better because it's so easy to find. Underrated in my opinion.

03-01-2009 08:31:38 | More by roadhouse
Photo of Vengeance526


3.48/5  rDev -10.5%

Pours a dark reddish copper color with a 2 finger tan head that lasts for a good while before slowly subsiding leaving some nice lacing.

Smell is slightly bready, slightly nutty but definitely a roasted malt character.

Taste has a nutty profile along with raisin and some bready notes. It hit me at first that this is not my favorite tasting doppelbock but it gets better as you drink it.

Thick and full bodied with medium carbonation. Not the most drinkable doppelbock for me. This one isn't bad by any means but compared to many others, Optimator just doesn't hold up.

02-28-2009 05:59:50 | More by Vengeance526
Photo of Colt4540


3.48/5  rDev -10.5%

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark amber color with a finger high off white head that leaves decent lacing and leaves a film at the top of glass throughout the beer.

S- First smell is that weird green bottle beer smell. It gives way to a sort of bread smell with a slight hop smell.

T- Has a real strong malty bread flavor. It's sort of sweet with no real bitterness. Tastes way better then it smells.

M- It's really smooth and not to chewy with just of a carbinated crispness.

D- A really smooth easy drinking beer. You could drink alot of these if the 7.2% ABV didn't eventually catch up with you.

02-26-2009 02:10:25 | More by Colt4540
Photo of cedricwarner

New York

2.78/5  rDev -28.5%

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.

02-22-2009 22:05:53 | More by cedricwarner
Photo of skrib09


3.63/5  rDev -6.7%

poured out a nice deep brown with an off white head. good looking color, something with substance.

smells immediately of bread or dough. in other words, malt. a nice hint of darkness in the smell, almost something roasted... almost.

it tastes full-bodied, maybe a hint of sweetness on the tongue. malt goodness with a rich undertone.

hearty mouthfeel.

average drinkability.

02-21-2009 04:44:59 | More by skrib09
Photo of jujubeast6000


3.33/5  rDev -14.4%

Reviewed 7/25/2007 (16.9oz bottle):

Pours a medium to dark reddish brown, big tan head, lasting. Very sweet malty aroma, wood and toffee, grape juice, but not very strong an aroma. Taste of some coffee, chocolate and grape juice, effervescent. Not heavy like I thought. Good.

02-15-2009 22:26:08 | More by jujubeast6000
Photo of maskaggs


4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

The head was about half an inch thick; it quickly shrank to about a quarter, a thickness which it maintained throughout the session. One word (or name, rather) came to mind when I gazed upon this German genius: Coca-Cola. Yes, it's that dark, lovely colour of non-alcoholic American deliciousness. Once I plunged my nose deep into the glassware, memories of my grandmother's kitchen came to mind, as the distinct smell of vegetable soup came from this beer. The Optimator carried a bit of vegetable soup taste to accompany the nose, but the biggest part of what I tasted was bitterness. The mouthfeel was decidedly creamy, almost milky (perhaps skim). The throat and aftertaste was rather spicy. This was how the beer tasted throughout most of the session, although at one point toward the end I noticed a slightly coppery minerality.

02-15-2009 05:46:07 | More by maskaggs
Photo of KI9A


3.88/5  rDev -0.3%

A: Nice, clear, cola brown-minus a shade or two. Puffy head, fades in to some lacing.

S: Butter bread. Thats the 1st thing I noticed. After a taste, then another wiff, I picked up a little bit of dark fruit-raisin smell.

T: Butter bread. Raisiny, malty, not complex at all. Just a straight forward dop.

M: Somewhat oily, coats the mouth with sweet goodness.

D: 7.2%? Well, it's borderline for me to have more than a couple of these guys. It's not heavy, like a Celebrator, but, damn near as good, but, in a different way...lighter maybe.

02-15-2009 05:03:54 | More by KI9A
Photo of JayNH

New Hampshire

3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

A- Pours a clear burgundy color with a small foamy head.

S- sweet raisins, buttery with a very tea like bitterness. A touch of alcohol warmth appears as the brew warms.

T- sweet, a very buttery maltiness. The hops are very earthy and tea-like.

M- Light to moderate body. Moderate carbonation.

D- Very drinkable. Nothing overwhelming but goes down easy for a DB.

02-14-2009 21:28:17 | More by JayNH
Photo of cnally


4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

see-through dark brown amber color. not a lasting head to be had.

nutty, malty scent, very mild and not overwhelming.

great alcohol bite right up front. chocolately, malty, nutty, almond taste. very round, full flavor and really a stayer on the pallate.

sneaky carbonation. distracting.

very decent here, really great flavor. the parts around it make it less appealing overall, but a great option if i am in the mood for a dark beer.

02-14-2009 04:00:27 | More by cnally
Photo of latercol


4.3/5  rDev +10.5%

pours a Deep brown color with some red highlights, not a lot of lacing to speak of.

Smell is subtile but pleasant some what yeasty and bread like.

Taste...Nice. Sweetish but not too much.I notice dark fruit overtones along with that bready taste. I was told by a buddy that this was a strong beer, and I guess if you go by the alcohol content that it is moderately strong, but it will certainly not rip anybodys face off. I could drink several of these. I wish I had a few more of these right now...

Mouthfeel is pleasant and medium bodied with medium carbonation.

Highly drinkable considering the 7.2 alc. I like this and will get again in the near future. Nice Beer:)

02-13-2009 02:18:07 | More by latercol
Photo of webbcreative


3.8/5  rDev -2.3%

Dark Brown, with 3 finger head. at first i thought this to be too syrupy sweet. but after i let it sit and warm up just a bit, it seems to have really mellowed out a bit, and seems more balanced. although still a tad sweet, its not overpowering, nice bitter hops comes through in the end and helps balance out. I would get this again, and would like to sample it on tap.

02-11-2009 05:53:06 | More by webbcreative
Photo of BitterLover

North Carolina

4.05/5  rDev +4.1%

Poured from a 12oz bottle. The first one that I opened seemed to have 'skunked', so I'm reviewing the second one that I opened.

Appearance: Looks like the color of Dr. Pepper, with a rich one finger+ head that settles quickly, leaving very little lacing. Very slight carbonation.

Smell: Brown yeast bread, brown sugar.

Taste: Malty sweetness dominates, hints of dark caramel, finishes with a slight bitterness more reminscent of dark chocolate than hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Thick and syrupy, no carbonation.

Drinkability: A little sweet for my taste, but a nice beer nonetheless. I could easily drink a couple of these in a sitting, especially with a plate of crunchy bratwursts, some sauerkraut, and a tub of spicy mustard to go along with them! Yum.

02-11-2009 03:22:50 | More by BitterLover
Photo of pandashaver

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -2.3%

A - Cola colored body with lightly tan 2 finger head, decent lacing but fades fairly fast.

S - Rasin, malty, bready, musty, aged cheeses, a little bit roasted as well.

T - Fairly sweet, a little bit bitter, and somewhat acidic.

M - Medium bodied, very full flavored, thick and syrupy in the aftertaste.

D - The malts are nice, but a little too dominating for me to drink alone. That being said, I'd have a few of these with a nice meal of pork or beef and potatoes.

02-10-2009 02:54:32 | More by pandashaver
Photo of dogfishandi

New York

3.55/5  rDev -8.7%

picked this one up because of a recomendation from a fellow employee. im not hugely familar with german beer or doppelbock beer but it is indeed good stuff. it pours a real clear dark brown amber color with some off white almost tan head that fades fairly quickly to a nice ring around the class that lasts to the end. it has some decent lacing as well. not a huge nose on this beer but its definately there. some roasted malts are definately present, as well as a slight hop presence. i also got some flowers, caramel, chocolate and a little alchol, almost like you would find in a wine. the taste is pretty exceptional, lots of roasted malts, a very nice grain taste goin on, some caramel, some nice bitterness from the hops, really quite nice. the body is pretty moderate, and the carbonation is almost perfect for the style. the 7.2 % kind of limits you as far as drinkability goes, but you can definately take down 2 or 3 and be fine. i really enjoyed this one, not a whole lot goin on, but it is definately nice if you want something other than american micro's.

02-05-2009 23:41:08 | More by dogfishandi
Photo of JoeyBeerBelly

New York

4.43/5  rDev +13.9%

12oz bottle served in a 14oz glass mug.

L - clear dark amber color with a beige head that settles to a foamy ring/thin layer that left a good coating of lace.

S - sweet roasted malt aroma, very nice scent.

T - roasted malt flavor is dominant with a touch of bitterness on the dry finish.

F - medium bodied with a good carbonation feel.

D - goes down nice and easy.

02-01-2009 21:07:38 | More by JoeyBeerBelly
Photo of greenlance


4.28/5  rDev +10%

This beer was recommended to me by a friend who use to work at a brewery in Seattle. I was wary of it at first because Munich, Germany is quite the hometown. Upon trying the Spaten though, I'm excited about what else Munich offers.

This beer is dark with a subtle "wood" smell to it. The taste is my favorite of any dark beer because while it has a traditional and robust flavor your mouth won't feel under attack, it will feel soothed, and your throat will appreciate a cool and stimulating aftertaste.

I would definitely have this beer again.

01-31-2009 06:32:22 | More by greenlance
Photo of erz316


3.93/5  rDev +1%

poured a couple of these guys into my huge new Spaten seidel!

A - a dark red brown color, like that of coke-classic, thick tan head with little or no lacing. as light shines through it, there are some nice ruby hues coming through.

S - the malt smell comes through like a good thick molasses, very pungent. there are some spicy alcohol notes as well. not very complicated, but still very attractive.

T - great roasted malt right up front, with some chocolate like bitterness. a very creamy smooth beer finish is a bit bitter, with some stronger coffee biterness. aftertaste is a light sweetness and roastedness of malts.

MF&D - a very thin beer, would have liked it thicker. too much like water in my case. the drinkability is fine, but the texture from the lack of viscosity is a bit off putting.

01-30-2009 20:19:53 | More by erz316
Photo of CMW


3.45/5  rDev -11.3%

The pour yields a dark almost amber color with a nice thick head of around 2 inches. After just a few seconds the brew settles and gives you the perfect trace of head to accompany the darkness of the beer. The smell is roasted malt with a hint of caramel.

The taste is thick and full flavored but very smooth. Many different tastes come to mind. Roasted malt and hops are the first things to hit the taste buds. As I savor the drink a little more I taste hints of chocolate and fruit. There is a slight bitterness in the aftertaste but it finishes dry.

01-27-2009 20:01:01 | More by CMW
Photo of liquidsunshine


4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

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!

01-26-2009 05:18:59 | More by liquidsunshine
Photo of projectflam86


3.88/5  rDev -0.3%

Went to a nearby German bar to try out some new beers and thought the Optimator looked like a good choice.

A- Pours a decent 1" tan head with ok retention and some lacing throughout. Color was nice dark amber.

S- Strong roasty malt smell with coffee overtones and little bit of hops

T- Very full roasted malt flavor with coffee and caramel taste present. Mild carbonation and a little bit of yeast. Not quite liquid bread as I've heard but I could see where some would get that :)

M- Medium body and surprisingly smooth considering the high ABV. The aftertaste stays around for a while which seems to be mostly roasted coffee in flavor.

D- Overall a pretty good beer. I would have it again considering that it is pretty easy to drink and had an interesting flavor (which was present better as the beer warmed a little bit). Just watch out for the 7.2 ABV. It might sneak up on you if you want to enjoy a couple!

01-25-2009 16:42:52 | More by projectflam86
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Had this at a little German restaurant in my home town of Brunswick. Served in a stange, it was a reddish/brown color with a thick white head that left a little bit of lacing. Aroma was caramel and raisins. Taste also caramel and raisin, but also a hint of chocolate. Perhaps a bit on the thin side. I think there could be more of a malt presence. Still, I enjoyed this beer, and will drink it again.

01-25-2009 14:13:42 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of patobandito

New Mexico

3.55/5  rDev -8.7%

Funny how the taste buds change. I probably would have loved this beer six months ago, but now I am really digging IPAs, and the darker beers just don't do it for me anymore. Still, I will review this to the best of my meager skills.

Pours dark with a thin head and slight lacing. Smells malty. Taste of malt, a slight roasted flavor with some Carmel notes. In my opinion it seems to be on the thin side, but still very drinkable. The ABV can sneak up on you, as I cant detect the alcohol in this beer at all. Pretty good all around.

01-20-2009 05:04:53 | More by patobandito
Photo of angelmonster


4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

Pours a 1 finger tan head which faded kinda fast. Very dark brown in color with almost no lacing at all

Smells of sweet roasted malt, some chocolate, and raisins. Not much on the hop side

Taste is of slightly smoky roasted malt, some chocolate and raisins. Alcohol is hidden well for being a Doppelbock

Perfect amount of carbonation, smooth, medium bodied.

Great beer, full of flavors. Full bodied yet highly drinkable. Another high quality product from Spaten

01-17-2009 16:49:21 | More by angelmonster
Photo of sweetbrew82


3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

500 ML bottle into a pilsener glass/ no freshness date

P: Poured golden brown from the bottle, and sat deep walnut brown with a crimson twist in the glass. Light tan head was loose, a bit fizzy, and was gone in a short amount of time. No lacing as it sank to form a halo on top.

A: Toffee, caramel, toasted malts, chocolate, and a wee bit of hops.

T: Toasted pale malts are definitely dominant, while cocoa, toffee, caramel and some faint fruit provide a good flavor. But, the hops don't do a good enough job of providing the ying to the malt yang. Obviously, the hops are supposed to be subservient to the malts, but they just don't stand up and contribute enough to the brew, in my humble opinion. I do detect some pepper on the back end, with a sharp & spicy alcohol presence in the dry-enough finish.

M: Medium-full body, moderately carbonated and smooth.

D: It was pretty easy to drink, but the taste certainly didn't make drinking another one sound good.

Notes: Personally, I thought this was just barely an above-average brew. Nothing too special going on here, but a commendable effort nonetheless. Although, I will say that this is considerably more tasty closer to room temperature. Overall, it's not too bad but nothing special.

01-16-2009 04:35:31 | More by sweetbrew82
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,499 ratings.