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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,639 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,639
Reviews: 1,270
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 63
Gots: 192 | 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: 2,639 | Reviews: 1,270 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of MrGraybeard
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a 14-ounce tumbler at about 45 degrees. Tan head grew to about two fingers deep before gradually diminishing, leaving a light coat of lace behind.

The beer is sparkling clear, dark brown with a lovely reddish hue when held to the light.

Subtle hints of prunes and figs in the smell.

Bittering hops flavor is ample for a dopplebock, which really balances the flavors out. The malt isn't huge, but it plays well against the hops, leaving behind a fruity touch at the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel is a little light but certainly nothing to object to.

This is a very drinkable beer -- smooth but not cloying. It's not really a sipper. I could go through three or four of these if my better judgment didn't prevail.

MrGraybeard, Sep 04, 2009
Photo of teejay76
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance- Pours a couple inches of beige head with excellent retention and no lacing. Beer is very dark brown.

Smell- Sweet aroma with defined roasted malts and a hint of yeast.

Taste- Sweet and malty, a slight bite of alcohol and more yeast than hop presence. Full bodied, not for wussy watery beer drinkers.

Mouthfeel- Moderately carbonated and mouthcoatingly thick.

Drinkability- You won't pound a six pack of these. This is a very filling beer but delicious on the way down. Full flavored. I'd recommend it highly.

teejay76, Aug 30, 2009
Photo of ThaBobfather
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful ruby cored dark brown with about an inch of thin/medium tan head.
Smell is a nice blend of almost chocolate malts and bready grain.
Taste is malted barely all the way, great sweet taste with some grains on the end.
Finish is a bit wet, but is clean with a nice after-taste that is slightly sweet.
A medium body and sweetness makes this very smooth.

ThaBobfather, Aug 27, 2009
Photo of BierFan
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 ounce green bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: Dark brown body has a nice tan head.

Smell: Sweet caramel, leafy hops.

Taste: Alcohol is noticeable but not overpowering. Caramel and a little toastiness from the malt. Hops manage to not be drowned out by the malt sweetness.

Overall: Good but not great.

BierFan, Aug 26, 2009
Photo of mcoh1030
4.97/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have been drinking this beer since I was a kid. Was hard to find may years ago and originally it was only available to me at one place and on tap.

Sat down with a couple of bottles of it last night in order to write this review. First, make sure your drinking this beer very cold. Not frozen mind you, but very very "cold". I like pouring it into a frosty mug or glass.

Before pouring, let the bottle sit open for at least 3 minutes. Pour it moderately fast so as to get a nice head. Loads of smells here. Liquorish, coffee and fruits are easily detected.

The color and texture could be stronger/deeper. But I'd still give them a 4.5 to 5. Drinkability is outstanding. This is a beer that's made for empty stomach pounding. It's a meal within itself. So make sure your not drinking it on a full stomach. Lite food fair or a small amount of prezels at most with this one.

Taste is perfect. Lots of fruit but underneath not too out front, as it should be. Makes for a great drinking doppelbock.

Best in winter. Very heavy for a hot summer day/evening.

mcoh1030, Aug 20, 2009
Photo of hockeyhead
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured into over sized wine glass
A: pours very dark ruby red with a nice tan fluffy head that stays on the beer
S: smells is very sweet carmel nose with a slighty floral hop aroma but mostly the malt comes through alot
T: taste is really sweet intense bready notes, and then some nice fig fruitness comes through with a finishing drying carmel bitterness mmm
M: feels thick and chewy in your mouth but goes down like velvety liquid that warms as it goes down probably the abv content of this beer gives it that
D: i have had better double bocks but this one is still really good if you just want one cause it fills your belly ha ha

hockeyhead, Aug 17, 2009
Photo of FLBeerGuy
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cola color with a thin tan head that leaves a small amount of lacing.

Smells of sweet malt and some sweet fruit

Taste is sweet malt and fruit with a trace of hop bitterness on the aftertaste.

This is a solid doppelbock, very drinkable, worth giving a try.

FLBeerGuy, Aug 12, 2009
Photo of confer
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A- Pours a cola like color with a nice tan head.

S- Sweet malty aroma.

T- The maltiness rules but it is not overpowering. There is no hop flavor prensent .

M- These bottle was fairly carbonated.

D- A doppelbocks go this one is very drinkable. It is one that I would definitely enjoy again.

confer, Aug 11, 2009
Photo of blackc5
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured at 45F from their 1 pt .9 oz bottle into a beer mug.

A - Pours a dark reddish brown with a moderate head on a quick pour. Head dissipates rapidly and leaves zero, nada, zilch lacing.

S - Mild scents of chocolate and raisins. Malty with yeasty herbal undertones. Overall a nice mix of scents, but quite mild.

T - Toasted malts and brown sugar, with dark fruit, mainly raisins and prune, especially as this one warms up. Very light spicy hop finish. Hearty and warming. Best served cold and consumed fairly quick - it gets quite sweet as it warms up.

M - Smooth and thick. Full-bodied with moderate carbonation and just the right amount of oiliness. Perhaps its strongest aspect.

D - Pretty high given the abv. You taste a bit of the alcohol, but for the most part this is just pure warmth and easy to down.

blackc5, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of OlRasputin989
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: dark brown brew that is ruby red when held to he light. decent off white head

S: dark chocolate and cherries. very simple but nice

T: dried fruit, brown sugar and an oak barrell flavor. finishes with a hoppy and spicy, chocolatey oarnge peel fade

M: medium body with good carbonation and an oily entry fades to slightly oily and dryish

Overall, This is a very good dopplebock and a fine example. This beer is always good when i don't know what to buy.

OlRasputin989, Aug 10, 2009
Photo of ColForbinBC
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On-tap at the new Brauhaus Schmitz in Philly; served in a 0.5L optimator glass

Dark reddish brown body with a one finger tan head that looks beautiful in this glass. Transparent body with very little visible carbonation.

Dark bready malt (pumpernickel), cherries, raisins, and a good shot of caramel. Not mind blowing, but pleasing.

Sweet cherries lend a syrupy flavor up front with a hearty, bready backbone and a finish of raisins, toffee, and caramel. This is a very robust, hearty beer. Very satisfying.

Just a shade below full bodied with perfect carbonation. A very thick, lush mouthfeel. Big fan of this component.

The abv is extremely well hidden however this is a pretty heavy beer for the style. A slow drinker with wonderful complexity.

ColForbinBC, Aug 01, 2009
Photo of abar22
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Optimator poured a clear dark brown that turns purple when held to the light. The head was a bit underwhelming. A 2 finger foamy cap settled quickly into an almost non existent cap. A little island remained with no lacing what-so-ever.
The nose had hints of dark roasted malts and perhaps a hair smokey. I also get something that reminds me of pasta. Quite nice actually even though it is not an in-your-face aroma.
As I take a sip the first thing that hits is moderate carbonation followed immediately by a dark sour flavor similar to vinegar, though not in a bad way. A nice smooth body gave way to dry tart finish similar to a dark wine.
The 7.2% ABV is well hidden in the sip but it is effective in warming the stomach. Overall this beer is a pleasure to drink and I have no problem putting down a couple.

abar22, Jul 23, 2009
Photo of Kendo
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark reddish-brown body with a small light khaki head.

S: Malty in general -- sweet with a touch of nuttiness.

T: Very malty, as expected for the style. Caramel malt with hints of chocolate. Generally sweet but with a touch of hop bitterness on the finish and lingering into the aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied in heft.

D: OK.

Kendo, Jul 21, 2009
Photo of rfgetz
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with full khaki head.

S: Bready malts and hints of dark fruit. Very appetizing.

T: Toasted malts with a sweet touch and hints of dark fruit and spice.

M: Perfectly smooth and thick for the style.

D: Excellent, pure German double Bock.

rfgetz, Jul 13, 2009
Photo of atpben
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured it into a pint glass and it came out a nice reddish brown color with a deep head. Aromas of mostly brown sugar and some hops. Very smooth in the taste with chocolate, brown sugar, and very light caramel. This beer is very drinkable. It ends nicely with the typical Spaten bitternes with a very light metallic aftertaste. Very nice beer.

atpben, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of danadeny
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber body with a decent bubbly head. Smells malty, caramel, biscuit, a hint of fruit sweetness. Taste has excelent balance. The malt and alcohol are both present just at oposite ends if the flavor timeline. Caramel and toasty malt, the hops are hard to pickout. Mouth feel is oily and thick. Drinkability is high because it hides the alcohol well. But too heavy and too potent for a sesion beer.

danadeny, Jul 09, 2009
Photo of Newmerator
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

1pt .9 fl oz brown bottle

pours a auburn color, almost some purple or copper hues.
once i popped it open the fruit esters poured out. little to no head, and zero lace.

smells very fruity. i get some cherry, fig, plum, almost something lite also, like apricot. very malty and sweet

taste is much the same. very malty and kind of grape tasting back end.

drinks like a sweet water with complex flavors and carbonation. this beer is easy to pound down (like most dopples for me).

it's good, it's no celebrator or aventinus, but it is a good dopplebock.


Newmerator, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of WalrusJockey
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz into Duvel tulip.

A- dark amber unto brown, with a reasonable creamish head.

S- lots of grape and fruit esters over a thick, rich, malt bed. Not much roast character in the nose, but a very distinct sweet malt smell.

As the beer warms, the grape esters recede to reasonable levels, while the coco, and grain flavors dramatically increase, making the beer much more enjoyable.

T- more subdued than the nose, with solid, sweet malt, but fairly unaccented. Grape juice flavors are very noticeable, but not as strong or powerful as in the nose. The aftertaste is thick and grape-y.

M- substantial and satisfying mouthfeel, perhaps over-thick on the way down.

D- a little too vinous for my taste, I think I would aim more in the direction of a less estery dopplebock in the future.

WalrusJockey, Jul 08, 2009
Photo of Kraken
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Consumed 2/17/09

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. Firm pour calls fourth 1/4 inch of head that fizzles somewhat quickly. Moderate lace. Color is a deep dark brown, cola colored. Very pretty.

Nose- Some alcohol, plums, raisins, and some light coco. As it warms the nose really develops. Fairly subtle.

Palate- Excellent, Deep caramels, coco, bakers chocolate. Some light sweetness, dates and raisins. Alcohol is very well hidden. Very good.

Mouthfeel- Finishes short and dry. Not as heavy as it looks.

Drinkability- Excellent.

Kraken, Jul 07, 2009
Photo of generallee
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: It was poured from green 12oz bottle into a smooth mug. There appears to be no freshness date and the label reads "malt liquor".

Appearance: The body has a deep brownish mahogany color with a dark reddish amber hue and good clarity. On top there is an average size (about 1 finger thick) light tan head. It is slow fading and leaves behind good lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma has a sweet almost fruity nose with some dark grin notes and a slight hint of a mild sweet alcohol.

Taste/Mouth Feel: The flavor has a big sweet malty character and full body with notes of caramel roasted grain and toffee. Hop bitterness is very light and really only comes out a little bit in the finish. There is also the slight presence of a mellow alcohol that adds a little more complexity to the overall character. The palate has a slick full mouth feel with soft carbonation.

Notes: This was a very enjoyable doppelbock. Also this is the only Euro imported beer I have seen that is 12oz and not 11.2oz.

generallee, Jun 30, 2009
Photo of Onenote81
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the First St. Draught House in town on 6/19/09. Reviewed from notes.

Came out a deep chocolate brown with an inch-sized tan head. Retention was pretty weak, but it left some moderate lacing on the glass. Smells of brown sugar, cocoa, cream, and big time caramel. Very nice.

Mouthfeel was crisp, yet smooth. Easy drinker. Flavor was of sweet caramel, toffee, some coffee cake, fresh dark breads, and finished sweet as well. This is a very good Doppel, but may be too sweet for some. I, for one, enjoyed it.

Onenote81, Jun 24, 2009
Photo of jbphoto88
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bronzed ruby in color leaning more towards the redder side of things. Not so dark that you can't see through it and extremely uncomplicated leading to clarity. The head is soft, khaki and disperses quickly. Poured from an olive bottle that seems a little on the light side of things but at least it's not green.

Optimator smells lightly malty. I'm left thinking there should be more character here but there just isn't. Not to say it's bad just a little lack luster for a doppelbock.

We are back on track in the flavor department. The weak nose gives way to a powerful malt structure that starts sweet and then moves towards a clean nuttiness. The beer isn't over roasted but you can taste a little singe on the grains , yielding a slight cocoa/ toffee yumminess. A cantaloup fruitiness tries to slice it's way through the blanket of malt to no avail.

The feel of this brew is also quite nice. There is a touch of bitterness that puts the malts into perspective. Soft and smooth on the palate except for a kick of alcohol that dries things a little and warms my belly.

The nose is deceiving on this one. Behind the lame fragrance lies a superb brew that changes as it travels towards room temperature. The warmer it gets the more pronounced and complimentary the fruit flavors get. The optimator is a tasty brew worth your attention.

jbphoto88, Jun 20, 2009
Photo of Patrick999
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Abraxas.

A - Pour came in a pint glass, a deep ruby. Minimal head but easily roused.

S - Aroma I find similar to many Belgian darks...lots of raisin, vanilla, maple.

T - Taste is exactly what you'd expect given the aroma. Kinda like drinking a loaf of raisin bread. Not quite as sweet as some others I've had in this style, which I appreciate.

F - Medium full bodied, but again, less sticky than others of this style, which I like.

D - Still a relatively full beer that can put a hurting on you. One is enough for me.

Patrick999, Jun 14, 2009
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 05/14/2009. 12 oz. bottle. Pours a clear dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of pizza dough and roasted lager malts. Flavor is nice and doughy with some sweetness in the finish. A touch vegetal. Nice and pleasant to drink. An ok beer.

LilBeerDoctor, Jun 11, 2009
Photo of Psyopticon
4.72/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This will be my first review of a Beer and I'm truely excited to start off with the Spaten Optimator. With this said, keep it in mind this is my first as I go through the A.S.T.M.D of it.

I came across this beer in a German style tavern located in Silver Lake, CA named "The Red Lion Tavern". I never really expanded my tastes passed the normal domestic beer, so this was my first real break outside of common grocery store beer. I randomly picked Spatan Optimator and this is how it went.

Appearance: At first, I was rather intimidated. It was dark, and was barely transparent towards the bottom.

Smell: The smell was actually quite nice, different than any other beer I've smelled at the time. Had a rich caramel smell to it.

Taste: The ultimate. I never really understood why people liked tap beer at the time I tried this. But after tasting this out of a bottle later on, I realized why. Like the smell, it tasted of Caramel which is quite nice, and really makes this one of my favorites.

Mouthfeel: The S.O does have somewhat of a syrup-like texture yet somewhat smooth, but this isn't something that really concerned me.

Drinkability: With this beer having a decently high ABV of 7.2%, it's not really a beer you can have a few of and be fine. I had 3 glasses the first time and it pretty much kicked my ass at the time being the lightweight that I am. But it was the perfect drink to go with a pretty gnarly bratwurst & sauerkraut.

This is at the currently point in time, my favorite beer right now, and It's a joy to bring a 6-pack of it to a friends place and watch them enjoy it as well.

Psyopticon, Jun 10, 2009
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
88 out of 100 based on 2,639 ratings.