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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,727 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,727
Reviews: 1,285
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 69
Gots: 245 | 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
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Ratings: 2,727 | Reviews: 1,285 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of longbongsilver
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good deal for an import, figured whatever. Brownish-red, head is off-white & GENEROUS, takes a bit to pour actually. Smell is mostly caramel w/ a whiff of peanut (seriously, that's what it reminds me of).

Caramel malt comes through in the first swig even more than the smell would suggest. Not a bitter drink at all, can't really distinguish much hop flavor, yet it's not annoyingly sweet either. Goes down creamier than I'd have thought otherwise.

For German beers this is probably considered an average. This balance between refreshment & character is a revelation here though.

Photo of Shakesbeere
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber-caramel brown. Smells of roasted malt, caramel, molasses, and just a hint of licorice. Tastes of roasted caramel malt, brown sugar, and notes of fig and nut. Very smooth. Well-balanced and full-bodied. "Blessing of your heart - you brew good ale." In this case, 'strong lager'. --Shakesbeere

Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint served at the Fort Worth Gingerman.

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma has notes of caramel with some dark fruit mixed in. The flavor is just as good if not better. I get some caramel malts, bready malts, grapes, dark fruit and molasses. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

Photo of vdread
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Spaten Optimator pours very dark amber, appearing black until held up to light. the tight collar winds down

smells sweet with dark fruit, dark caramel malts

tastes roasty, nutty, and sweet, dominated by dark fruits and caramel. there is a bit of pungency here that i like. it's warming and enjoyable.

mouthfeel med full, but creamy and easy going down. sweet fruit and caramel lingers.

overall a very drinkable beer, and probably one of my favorite doppelbocks i've tried to date. not overly sweet or aggressive in any way.

Photo of rtepiak
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a more pf a tawny dark coca cola in the light color. with a off white head. nice and frothy and somewhat thick but not as thick and some other doppelbocks i've had. nose is toasty almond and molasses. palate is where it should be with a particularly sweet quality to it. brown sugar, almost honey. with definite nutty molasses quality. easy to find and most typical of drink. good. consistent but too dessert of a doppelbock for me. nice abv quality. not a trace.

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

A - Medium brown colored body with a nice, thick, frothy pale tan head more than three inches tall. When held to light the body has a nice deep purple accent.

S - Medium roasted malt with a hint of pungency.

T - Robust medium roasted malts with a slight bitterness and alcohol presence. The finish is sweet.

M - Sticky and thick for the part. Just like I like a good Doppelbock.

~ This is a good beer. I'm a big fan of the style and I'm a big fan of this brew. Now if I could venture to Munich and try a fresh one from the tap.

Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured very dark amber (near black) with a thin white head. Only a very light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are moderate aromas of dark, bready malts in the nose along with some notes of raisins.
T: Similar to the smell, malty flavors similar to brown bread dominate the taste along with some notes of dark fruits. There is a mild amount of sweetness in the overall taste.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and a moderate amount of carbonation is evident.
D: The alcohol isn't that apparent in the smell or taste so it's very drinkable although I'm not sure how many of these I could have because itls very filling and feels like you are having a meal.

Photo of jonziefle
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a clear dark brown, almost black. One finger bubbly khaki head with minimal retention. Visible carbonation. Not much lacing.

Smell: Sweet malts with a strong cider nose. Dark roasted malts, above average sweetness.

Taste: Sweet roasted malt flavor, with hints of chocolate/smoke flavors. On the sweeter cider with a hint of apple flavors. Hops don't make much of an appearance.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: A good doppelbock with dark roasted malt flavors. A little too malty to drink by itself, but pairs very well with German cuisine (known for meat centric dishes)

Buy Again? Yes

Photo of impending
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375ml into a tulip. Dark amber brown, minor head, mild carbonation. Nice malt aroma.

Taste is all malts. This is my first in a long while, I remember having liked it more than I seem to now - it doesn't seem so special. However, for being a doppelbock from Germany this is very inexpensive so maybe it was price/performance.

I would rate this beer much higher if it lost a single attribute - the metallic taste towards the end. I can't help but be conscious of it and it mars an otherwise superior lager.


Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.96/5  rDev -23.9%
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.

Photo of Bizz88
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a dark mahogany brown with a one fingered offwhite head. Sweet malty aromas with hints of carmel and brown sugar. Taste as it smelled, with a boozy finish that wasn't over bearing. Nice medium body with good carbonation. Desent enough brew with a nice clean finish.

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

Poured from a 1 pint .9oz (I believe) bottle into an imperial pint glass. Dark brown color with a finger and half or so of creamy off-white head. Pretty good looking beer!

It smells strong of burnt malt, slightly metallic and definite hints of caramel. Slight hints of dark fruits too, maybe raisins?

The taste is more of the same, in fact it's almost an exact parallel to the smell. Malty, hints of fruit and caramel, the alcohol isn't too strong but it's just slightly there.

Feels pretty good in the mouth, not too thin and watery, not syrupy either.

Definitely an enjoyable doppelbock.

Photo of rosmhuire
3.19/5  rDev -18%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

HAd this on tap at a German bar in San Fran (Schroeders). Bartender was smokin hot!

A: Dark brown coloring, significant head that dissapates quickly

S: All malt on the nose.

T: Very sweet and malty. Almost too sweet. I'm unfamiliar with this style, so I don't know if this is representative.

M: Medium-bodied

D: Average. I could maybe have 2 of these.

Photo of grittybrews
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep nutty brown into a Duvel tulip with around two fingers of creamy tan head that slowly receded to a thin film.

Mild aroma of sweet caramel and malt. Moderately high carbonation and a nice full mouthfeel without being too thick or heavy. Creamy, toasty flavor with honey, nut, and more caramel. Finish seems a bit thin or watery at first, but some malty chocolate bitterness eventually comes forward.

A good beer across the board. Nothing truly exceptional, but easy drinking and inexpensive to boot.

Photo of ufotofuturo
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I was initially unimpressed with this beer, but over the past few days, my opinion has improved somewhat. Pours out with a great head, which dissipates fairly quickly. Emits a subtle, almost apologetic, typically German odor. Color is dark, but not thick. Flavor ranges from tolerable to delicious- can't really decide. I probably wouldn't buy it again, but then again, maybe I would. I can't really decide.

Photo of feelmefoam
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lighter mahogany or maple syrup color with a decent amount of visible carbonation and two fingers of off-white head that lasts for a decent amount of time. Light brown highlights when held up to the light.

Dark roasted malts and some darker fruits (I'm thinking plums, maybe some raisin) pervade the nose. Not terribly complex, but aromatic and inviting nonetheless.

A smooth, slightly roasted malt flavor shows up immediately, later accompanied by a slight nutty aspect. That dark fruit makes another appearance through the middle of the beer, especially as it starts to warm up. A slight hint of cocoa and earthiness shows up as the flavor finishes. Not overwhelmingly flavorful, but mild complexity and intensity makes for a nice, calming drinking experience.

The mouthfeel works well with the flavor. Dead on medium bodied with carbonation in moderation to give a smooth, creamy feel that accentuates the nutty, roasty malt flavor nicely.

All in all, a very drinkable doppelbock that hides the alcohol very well and provides an easy sipping beverage for a relaxing night. I kinda wanna try this on tap to see if the flavor is a bit different. Either way, another solid offer from the Bavarian folks at Spaten.

Photo of beer2day
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark caramel pour with 1-finger cream head. Nice retention and very nice lacing.

The good bocks always evoke a green apple smell for me. The really good ones bring out a caramel apple. This one is really good. Nice warm, caramel apples. Little bit of dried fruit backing that up, with cherries mainly.

The caramel malt comes on fast and really exerts itself in the finish. Little bit of tart fruit as in the nose. Slight bit of coffee in the finish as well.

Good malt body here. Not syrupy at all, just strong.

This has always been one of my favorite German beers and the latest tasting bore that out.

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

I had this Spaten Optimator on draft at Volksfest at Deutches Haus in New Orleans in May, 2010. It has a thin, beige head and a moderately carbonated, dark brown appearance. Taste and aroma is roasted and caramel (to an extent). Body is medium, and this finishes heavy. Optimator is a delicious beer and I highly recommend it.


Photo of udubdawg
2.48/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

wow, this pours a gorgeous deep amber/brown color, topped by an inch of tan dense head that fades to a finger before sticking around quite a while. Spots of lacing are even left here and there.

Sadly the beer goes downhill quickly from the looks department. Definite "skunked" note in the aroma. It's not even very old. Vague sweet toasty Munich notes, but also a bit of a tart edge, and definitely a decent amount of metallic. Not impressed.

There is promise in the flavor, but too much wrong with it. Fairly sweet, some browned/toasted malt, nothing I'd call rich or "meal in a glass". Bitterness is low, metallic is not overwhelming but noticeable. Not roasty, but no chocolate either. Sweet malt with a touch of tartness is the lingering flavor on my palate. I either need it with a fuller mouthfeel and a richer malt profile if it is going to be this sweet, or I need it drier, more bitter, and maybe more alcohol. Either would be fine.

Body is surprisingly thin. Carb is appropriate, and as it is thin and not terribly high in alcohol, it is reasonably drinkable. The best thing that I can say about this beer is that it is a "looker"...but that isn't enough for me to buy it again.

Photo of elricorico
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes: Medium brown, see-through on the edges. Finger of tan head to start, faded after about a minute to a thin cap.

Quite malty to the nose, notes of toffee, dark chocolate and a bit of ash.

Sweet tasting, malty and smooth. Toasted bread with caramel. Something of a cola flavour in the finish, with a lingering coffee-like bitterness.

Medium body with a carbonation that I find to be a little high. Just average in the mouthfeel.

Goes down pretty easy. Could be a good spring or fall drink.

Photo of zoso1967
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with a parchment head that fades quickly, but leaves nice lace. The aroma is very malty with plenty of brown sugar, toffee and toasty notes as well as a slight nuttiness. Flavor is also very malty but is balanced out well with a burnt sugar character and some bitterness. Plenty of brown sugar, toffee and some fruity sweet notes as well. More herbal hops than I had expected, but they are still far in the back ground. I find that this beer lacks a bit of the doppelbock punch you usually get, and while good it is a bit subdued. The body is on the fuller side of medium and is fairly sticky. One of the most drinkable doppelbocks I have had, but not the most exciting.

Photo of FSUplumber
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first German Munich and I am very Impressed. almost like a brown ale but smoother and cleaner. Pours a nice deep copper color with a thin tan head that spreads to the sides quikly. Mouth feel is very nice and nice carmal taste with hints of chocolate and fruit.

Photo of RedSpecial1
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out a dark brown, with very little off white head, and even this little bit dissipates rather quickly. Lots of malt and caramel scents come off of this beer, as well as just a hint of alcohol which, fortunately, stays mostly in the background. This beer tastes very malty and to a lesser degree has some caramel flavor to it. The mouthfeel for this one is pretty good, not as heavy as you'd expect from a beer at this ABV, but I wouldn't call it thin by a long shot. The main reason I think this beer suffers is because its high ABV impairs its drinkability somewhat. While tasty, this isn't a beer you're going to sit down and drink through a six pack.

Photo of Optimator7
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I will only write this review, to profess my love for this beer. Ok, I've had 3 and feeling pretty damn good right about now.... yes they are 7% so you may get the idea that they will give you that warm fuzzy feeling pretty quick...

I've tried a bunch of beers and I keep coming back to this one. Thankfully it isn't the hardest to get. I was recommended to it by a German doctor. The point is, the guy has the money to buy what he wants and this was the one he liked. I'm usually disappointed by the rest of the beers I try and wish I had my Optimator instead. Ok, the Korbinian was damn good and so was the Celebrator. But they're more expensive and not more impressive. Seriously. This is the one to buy. A+++

Ok, just a bit about it. It is dark, rich, and sweet. If you want dry and bitter look elsewhere. This one will pair with a nice dessert or just about anything as far as I'm concerned. Yes, it does get better as it approaches room temperature but I haven't made it all the way there because it tastes too damn good. Enjoy and only rate it if you can appreciate a truly damn good Doppelbock.

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

Got this at a discount food store, $1.25 for a single bottle.
I have no idea about how fresh it is.
It's nice and dark, has a pungent aroma...looks like something Friar Tuck might have drunk.
So smooth for a 7% malt liquor, this is a good tasting brew.

Drink up, boys and girls!

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,727 ratings.