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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,532 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,532
Reviews: 1,264
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 63
Gots: 150 | 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: 2,532 | Reviews: 1,264 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer - my favorite casual drinker that isn't lightish (that would be the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale). I'm definitely into darker beers, and while this Spaten isn't really insanely dark, it pleases my tastes. I probably drink this beer more than any other as it is affordable but still has a ton of flavor and and character. Recommended!

Purchased at Kokoman Fine Wines and Liquors in New Mexico.

prsguitarsr4me, Aug 07, 2008
Photo of Nibbley
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely dark brown with a nice tight cream colored head. Aroma is of fresh baked bread and a hint of apple strudel. Tastes of fresh bread and big yeasty doughnuts with a good mouthful of carbonation. This is one of my favorite beers and i enjoy it daily.

Nibbley, Aug 01, 2008
Photo of jkdrummer
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with a medium foamy head that soon dies down to a perimeter lace.

Nice steady flow of CO from the bottom though.

Initial taste is a mouthful of roasted malty goodness. And a sneaky bitterness, a true dark lager in mouth-feel. Smooth and creamy. A bit of an alcohol bite though. Labeled a "malt liquor" probably because of import label laws.

Nice strong beer! Recommended for those that have never tried a true German Munich dark lager.


jkdrummer, Jul 31, 2008
Photo of Brianmerrilyn
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Finally tried this at the Hop Devil grill after seeing reviewed on BA as well as wanting to try something beyond the Spaten Munich.

A: Poured into a pint glass with thick 2 fingers khaki head, receding promplty to a cap that broke into a ring after a few quafs. Lacing comes with each shake of the pint and good but mild retention to my tongue.

S: Nose gave me rich chocolate and toasted malts and smoked hops.

T: Followed the nose closely with coco coming first but overlayed by big malt presence. Deteted an ester and ABV ensuring balance of taste does not get muddled.

M - Medium to light, low retention, with sublte sweet finish but again nothing pushes any other ingredient out of the way.

D: Having less than a dozen dobblebocks under my belt, I would say this one is not as sweet as a Troegenator and tarter and tighter in many aspects. Thinner and more complex in the style, I enjoyed and will pull for again.

Brianmerrilyn, Jul 28, 2008
Photo of Domingo
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is a really good doppelbock that skirts the line of what direction they wanted to take it.
Doppels tend to be either very sweet and caramel based (a la Salvator) or thicker and more like chocolate covered raisins(a la Celebrator).
This one does a good job of having the strong caramel flavors but still maintaining the chocolate and raisins to keep it from being thin or cloying. There are even some hop hints on the back end.
Not the best doppelbock out there, but it's certainly one of my favorites. It's my favorite style, so I definitely enjoy it.
It's balanced and shockingly more common than I expected.
If you like the style, I can pretty much guarantee you'll like this brew.

Edit: As I find myself ordering this more and more as a Falling Rock nightcap, I'm pick up some maple and molasses type flavors in there, too. On-tap this is one of the best doppels you'll find in the states. The bottled version isn't quite as rich, but it's still very highly recommended.

Domingo, Jul 13, 2008
Photo of ibashmuck
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer.Small foamy head on a very dark amber body. Smells of a typical dark, yet very subtle. Not much else going on. Taste is okay, but the coffee was a bit much, rather overpowering, as was the alcohol. Beer gets lost in those characteristics. Not typically my favorite style, but this is okay. I've had better.

ibashmuck, Jul 12, 2008
Photo of KeefD
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark amber-brown color which produced a 1/4 inch head but disappeared in less than a minute. No lacing, no cap. Man, what a disappointment in the appearance. Hmmm... Carbonation just isn't there. Aroma of dark fruit, some bready malt and a little skunkiness. Damn these green bottles! Taste is much better. Dark fruit, raisins, burnt caramel, slight nuttiness and good hop bitterness in the finish. Slightly sweet, but not overpoweringly so. Mouthfeel is surprisingly crisp and thick at the same time. Goes down pretty easily, and alcohol is well-hidden. A good doppel, but I've had much better.

KeefD, Jul 10, 2008
Photo of dcam1437
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank out of a pilsner glass

Poured a dark amber/dark brown color

Not too much of a smell to this beer

Initial taste is a semi-dry semi-sweet vanilla, oat,cherry and chocolate

Feels heavy in the mouth

The beer is very drinkable, I would not drink many of these back to back but it is a good sipping beer with a lot of character.

dcam1437, Jul 08, 2008
Photo of BeerCheese
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured the color of cherry coke with very little head - crystal clear, no cloudiness. Light aroma, mostly malty in character. Initial taste was malty with a hoppy finish and alcohol warming going down, which was a bit of a surprise with an ABV of 7.2%. Very tasty beer. Light carbonation, which explains the lack of head. Medium body. Very drinkable.

BeerCheese, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of andyinsdca
2.95/5  rDev -24.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass: Head is good solid and lasted a while. Color is a very deep red, almost opaque.
Smell: Some sweet smell.
Taste: Starts out with a great chocolate/carmel taste, lots and lots of flavor. As the glass wore on, the flavor left behind just a strong malty flavor without anything interesting.
Overall: Too bad the flavor didn't last. A good beer overall, I'd drink it again, but no go out of my way for it.

andyinsdca, Jul 03, 2008
Photo of loosey
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz import

poured a dark toffee color into a mug with a nice sized off-white head that stuck around for quite a awhile

smell is not overwhelming.. sweet, syrupy and malty, some roasted coffee

a thick, sweet, low carbonation shovel of roasted malt... coffee, butter and a slight note of chocolate... slick with a slow floral hop finish... the feel was good but just a tad sticky for me

heavy, and strong, its beertime turned mealtime... if it were 1972 and i was on a hunger strike protesting the olympic games following the munich massacre i would most likely be surviving on regular draughts of this

loosey, Jun 28, 2008
Photo of tronester
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Was served in a standard pint glass, had a thin tan head. Smelled strongly of molasseses. Taste was of sweet malt, a slight roasted flavor, with a tiny bit of bitterness from the hops. Mouthfeel was average, with high carbonation levels. Quite drinkable though, especially at 7.2 percent alcohol. Not my favorite Doppelbock, but still quite good, and an excellent standby.

tronester, Jun 20, 2008
Photo of drxandy
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from 12oz to standard pint, pours a reddish brown, clarity is high (filtered), head fades

smells of heavy malts, slight appley alcohol, bready

taste is bitter, heavy, malts hit in, roasty, hop load overtakes everything, alcohol present, way drinkable, pleasant flavor - lighter than most of the dopplebock's i've had in the past

mouthfeel is heavy, bitter, a flavorful offering, slightly creamy, delicious! i would buy again since the price point is low :D

drxandy, Jun 18, 2008
Photo of GratefulBeerGuy
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. green bottle > dimpled mug

Looks like rootbeer and lots of mellow, tiny bubbles with a 1/2" tan tined crown that dissipates very quick and totally disapears. Looks a slight bit flat.

The aroma is that of very sweet dark malts, honey comb, brown sugar, charred wheat, slightly sour dark fruits.

The malt attack is mostly sweet, like nutmeg and brown sugar. The hops are herbal, semi-bitter dry-leafy taste coupled with a very up-front sour yeast. The heat rounds out the flavors and adds a bit of complexity and a nice warming effect.There's freshly baked honey-wheat bread and some subtle sour, red berries on the down-low.There is also a rather unpleasant bitter, metallic sourness in the aftertaste.(green bottle effect?) The feel is crisp at first but then chewy and thick on the finish.

I dig the big malt complexity but the blend of flavors simply doesn't jive with my palate for very long. This is one and DONE.

GratefulBeerGuy, Jun 01, 2008
Photo of donteatpoop
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber color, almost a chocolate brown; a thin tan head resting on top.

Smelled of dark roaster caramel malts.

Tasted much like the scnet, dark roasted malts and caramels. Hints of chocolate and coffee were also present.

Goes down smooth with a nice mellow level of carbonation. Leaves the palate a little dry, though.

Definately a solid session beer, I could drink this all night.

donteatpoop, May 29, 2008
Photo of tweeder263
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours out a clear brown/a,ber brew with a nice 2 finger head. Smells of all malt.Malty taste,,semi dry,,no noticable hop flavor/aroma.This is a pretty decent beer. Has a nice crisp mouthfeel,,and seems like i could have a few of these and not be tired of it.

tweeder263, May 29, 2008
Photo of cvstrickland
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured aggressively into a tulip yields a deep clear brown body with cranberry highlights capped with a milk-colored beige head of 3 fingers that retains at a fine-bubbled fluffy sheet and leaves wide webby bands of fine lacing.

Smell is faintly malty with a nice touch of chocolate.

Tastes sweet and chocolatey with a fruity note of alcohol and a little twang of coffee. Malts linger in the aftertaste with a faint hop bitterness.

Smooth and medium-bodied with minimal carbonation on the tongue. Delicious and very drinkable.

cvstrickland, May 28, 2008
Photo of sld66
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my Pilsner glass (only beer glass I have right now). Brown, almost muddy, opaque appearance. Nose is slightly sweet, not overwhelming, maybe some toasted nuts. Medium body, very smooth, well rounded taste. Hints of chocolate. Could easily drink another depite >7% alcohol content. Excellent.

sld66, May 28, 2008
Photo of aubuc1
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz bottle into imp pint glass. Very clear brown bottle with little to no head. Smells of malt and fruit- maybe some banana and raisin. Sweet taste initially with malt follow. Very light feel in the mouth and very easy to drink. This is a go to beer for me because of its easy drinkability while masking pretty high alcohol.

aubuc1, May 23, 2008
Photo of beerthulhu
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a dark, ruby red when held up to the light with an average 1 finger light, creamy capping topping things off leaving a fair lacing.

S: rich, dark and sweet toasted grains with some dried fruit (raisins).

T: full and malty with a nice breadiness, and roasted malting dominating. There was some semi-sweet molasses, and raisins sneaking in adding a layering of complexity. There was also slight hints of toffee and dark cocoa beans with a subtle alcohol warming very well to style.

M: creamy, smooth with a nice full caramel viscous and noble flowering.

D: Very good drinkability and certainly good to kick back with a few.

beerthulhu, May 22, 2008
Photo of K270
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm not one to drink a dark beer. When I poured the beer into a clear glass the head was bountiful. Nice thick white head about 3 fingers thick. It stuck around a while then went away. A had a very nice smell, almost a mild spiced smell is the best way I can describe it. I might have to change my position on dark beers. I picked this up because it looked intresting and it's a very interesting beer. I'll definatly buy this beer again.

K270, May 22, 2008
Photo of Lexluthor33
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours dark chocolate brown with small head and a sticky lace.The aroma is of malts,dark fruits,some chocolate notes with plums and and nuts.
The taste was toffee,chocolate,light hops,sweet caramel alcohol. The malts can not be forgotten as they really flexed thier muscles.
The overall feel was that this was a light-heavy beer. It was smooth,creamy,with light carbonation. Tad bit of a dry finish and certainly sweet to the core. A good,decent brew.

Notes: OK,so this was not exceptional or overly complex; yet I felt it hit the spot. Good silky tones and nice ABV. I could have had one more.

Lexluthor33, May 20, 2008
Photo of fitzy84
4.68/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had at Moan and Dove. Dark but clear appearance with some amber hints through light. Immediate lacing. Very rich in malts, grains and nuts in aroma: very enticing and thick smells. Really incredible taste: rich but not too heavy, malty and hoppy. Medium body balances out its delicious dimensions from getting too extreme. Overall, an awesome drink.

fitzy84, May 14, 2008
Photo of Portertime
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was a little thin for a doppelbock but had a pretty decent taste. I had it chilled in my Warsteiner mug. Poured a deep milk chocolate brown with not much head. Aroma was of slight chocolate and some brewed coffee notes. Taste was thin but pretty complex with a good balance of chocolate malts with some mocha and bittering hops in the background. If I ran out of bread I would have no problem imbibing this Lenten beer.

Portertime, May 12, 2008
Photo of diamondc
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A = deep dark scarlet, hmm, hardly any head or lace.

S = chocolate & mocha right away right when I pried the cap off. whipped cream. also getting a fried food type smell, unusual but intriguing. some banana sundae too.

T = root beer float flavors.. vanilla, chocolate, coconut, toffee, subtle hop flavor in the background.

M = briskly carbonated, very chewy mouthfeel.

D = kind of threw me off with the heavy aroma, but I'm really digging it with some dark chocolate. one pint is gonna do me just fine for the rest of the night.

diamondc, May 10, 2008
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,532 ratings.