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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,746 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,746
Reviews: 1,293
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 70
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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,746 | Reviews: 1,293
Photo of Kraken
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
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.

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.

Photo of Onenote81
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
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.

Photo of jbphoto88
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
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.

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.

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.

Photo of Psyopticon
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
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.

Photo of jeffjeff1
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my all time faves!

Appearance- dark brown translucent color with nicr head

Smell- strong aroma of caramel( was in heaven when i smelled it)

Taste- caramel and chocolate

Mouthfeel- heavy body

Drinkability- very drinkable, very smooth going down

Photo of ocelot2500
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown. A good amount of head rises and falls quickly. Plenty of lacing the glass.

Smells of sugary malts and some caramel with some dark fruit notes.

Tastes of the caramel/sugar malts with a chocolaty bitter end. There are toasted notes throughout. The dark fruit taste comes through more as the beer warms.

The mouthfeel is a good medium body with not too much carbonation. It leaves a sticky, sweet coating on the tongue.

This is very drinkable. No offensive flavors.

Photo of alfistheman
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Being a recent fan of the hefe's, the more citrus sweet wheat variations, this has been the beer to change my mind and mix it up.

A- Deep oak red color transparent enough to see shapes through. THe head is carmel thick, and laces beautifuly.

S- Carmel and Brown Sugar Malts, some hops and sweet chocolate in there, very apealing

T- Smooth brown sugar, toffee and carmel flavor to the malt... after I taste grassy, rather earthy hops, very well balance of bitter and sweet.

M- Mid Body, smooth and great carbination, not too much or too little. I don't get the oily after taste I get in many thick dark styles of beer like some porters, very smooth.

D- Even with the high ABV i find myself wanting to chug these. Once the ABV sets in a bit I am able to slow down. Might be best to alternate with a less ABV's if you like to pound beers like myself.

Photo of drunkboxer1
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Smells faintly of alcohol, strong sweet malt, some caramel, and maybe a little like some kind of dark fruit. It tastes huge and malty. There's a lot of sweet, sugary flavors that sort of coat the tongue. Hop bitterness is understated but there maybe is a bit of hop flavor rounding it out. Optimator is one of my favorites. It's a nice standard doppel that can be found on tap in a lot of places.

Photo of Whiteweasel
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle and drank from a seidel.

Appearance: A deep brown, almost reddish colour. It yields very little head, but the little head it does give is creamy, slightly brownish and rather persistant in the glass. Clear with no signs of sediment or yeast.

Smell: A slightly strange smell; very malty. Almost reminds me of smelling a 40. The taste was thankfully better than the smell

Taste: The Spaten Optimator is definitely one of my favourite lagers. Dark and rich, but not overpowering. It has a prominant toasted flavour with a significantly lighter aftertaste. Sweet and malty, with no hoppy bitterness. It just gets better and better as you go.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with no particles or sediment. The alcohol is not overpowering and it leaves a pleasant feel in the mouth

Drinkability: I can see why a doppelbock is referred to as a "meal in a glass." Its much more filling than your average beer, but also extremely satisfying to drink. Its more of a sipping beer, but its very smooth.

Photo of montecristo2
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Optimator has always been a favorite since college- I have had it both on draft at Mr. Dunderbach's in the Lehigh Valley Mall and in the bottle.

Served in a dimpled Spaten mug.

A decent one fingered head that dissipated quickly after a few sips.

Dark brown, lighter brown towards the edges and at the bottom.

Strong molasses and a very faint cherry on the finish. A thick mouthfeel which I enjoy for the style. I prefer this to many other bock beers.

I love the taste but will only drink one of these due to the 7.2% abv. Couldn't drink this all night unless I planned on staying at the restaurant. Goes great with hot dogs with mustard!

Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beer not for the feint of heart.

It's a very dark brown, opaque. There's just a litle bit of brown visible at the lower edges of the glass. The aroma was pequliar, sort of a cherry, not strong but not definitive. The taste was the same light cherry with possible mollases added in. The body was heavy but not offensive. If you are going for a heavy beer, this one is a good choice. However; I would not recommend getting a boot full of this at Hessen Haus.

Photo of Gosox8787
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled a bottle of this from a friend. Poured into his Sam Adams Sensory glass.

The appearance was brown to dark brown with a beige, one finger head and good retention. The nose was filled with bready malts and a slight sweetness from the malts. The taste was dominated by the malts. Molasses and caramel notes offer a nice sweet flavor and are complimented by notes of dark fruits. A nicely balanced and moderately complex flavor. The mouthfeel was syrupy and a bit sticky. Not much carbonation here either. Drinkability is good considering the moderate ABV and the nice, sweet flavor.

Overall, a great find and certainly worth the price. Definitely one of the best of the style I have had so far.

Photo of kmo1030
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the aroma is dominated by malt and fruit. caramel, brown sugar and nutiness on the malt end an d plum-y dark fruit on the fruity end.
the flavor begins with soft roasty, nutty caramel, followed shortly by molasses covered dark fruit, plum and raisin stand out. there are some rum type flavors in there to accompany a touch of warming alcochol.
the mouthfeel is on the fuller side. the carbonation is about just shy of moderately active.
drinkability is good dispite it becoming a touch cloying when it approaches room temp. it's not you typical doppelbock; it's a little fruitier, and one gets the feeling that the malts in this one are, on average, roasted a bit less than your usual doppelbock, but it's still a solid beer that is always sure to please especially on tap.

Photo of barleywinefiend
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep amber color with good carbonation and nice white head. Nose is faint, Munich malts, grainy unimpressive. Taste is much better than nose leads you to believe. Nice heavy, chewy, malty and tastes of Munich and maybe Crystal malts. Caramel, brown sugar maybe, syrup, dried prunes, figs, and raisins perhaps. Mouthfeel is coating and good.

Photo of ArrogantB
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown color, sudsy head, lacing, smells like honey covered oats, honey wheat bread, smells very good. The flavor is full on malts, possibly fruity raisins, bready. Overall this is a decent dopple but it smells a lot better than it tastes but who can complain for $2.49?

Photo of meatmallet
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very deep brown with a reddish tint to it. A large foamy beige head lasted for quite some time.

Smell: Malts and a coffee and alcohol scent. Nothing amazing but not bad.

Taste: Coffee and roasted malts really stand out. Taste is much better than the nose would lead you to believe. Gets better as it warms.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Seems light and slick in the mouth. I love how it lingers on the taste buds.

Photo of Hoagie1973
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours chestnut brown with a 2 finger noisy head. Head settles but doesn't disappear completely. Not a whole lot in the way of lacing.
Smells sweet & malty with a hint of earthiness.
Tastes rich, sweet & malty with brown sugar/molasses, dark fruits, nuts, and a bit of alcohol. Medium to full body with slightly sharp carbonation. Finishes a little sticky and syrupy.
Not a bad dopplebock overall, especially for the price. Solid, but nothing special. I would buy it again.

Photo of grayburn
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is the doppelbock that is easiest for me to find here in south carolina, and a nice example of the stlye.

She pours a burnt amber color with a one finger head. The head falls rather quickly but leaves some decent lacing.

The smell is all bready malts, you can really tell that this is the legendary liquid bread. There is some warm alcohol mixed in with the bready malt.

The taste is the same, thick and chewy. This beer really is a meal. I would glady fast for a bit with this by my side. Very bready.

The mouthfeel is huge and chewy, bordering cloying sweetness. Nice.

I could drink more of these than any other version of the style that I have had so far, very nice beer.

Photo of SurlyDuff
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this a number of time before, last time was oktoberfest last year. Nice looking bottle with a foil wrapper. This bottle embodies theor classic german logo that probably hasn't changed for generations.

Pours a dark nutty brown.

Sweet malt-forward aroma with a good bit of roastiness. Some toffee and caramel sweetness. Nutty.

Full flavored and nice full mouthfeel. Thick malt, a bit nutty and chewy. Some toasty grain, not much hop punch to be found. This brew is to-style, perhaps a bit on the light side, but i would recommend this to anyone who wants to try a dopplebock. In a way, it is a bit pedestrian for a DB, but it's just so smooth and balanced that I would consider it the epitome of the style.

Photo of katan
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a very dark brown with some redish tones. Head formation is light and forms a mocha color. Dissipates quickly with only a small amount of lacing. A light amount of carbonation is present.

S - Grainy astringency smell leads the way - some small phenolic notes are also present. Certainly is accentuated by the phenolic sweetness.

T - A very malt forward beer. Has a nice roasted malt character to it. Very sweet. Small amount of phenolic tones. Finishes with a potent malt astringency. Aftertaste is a grainy hull.

M - Moderate to hefty body. Thicker than normal. Carbonation is light - no bite. A sign that this beer is built on all the sugars that go into it.

D - Moderate drinkability. The ABV, while not out of hand, seems to sneak up on me. Not at all filling - the light carbonation has no effect. The biting astringency is starting to get a bit old.

I'd go back to reviewing this on draft out of a liter tankard - the bottle doesn't seem to be near as good to me.

Photo of YesFest
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No notes on appearence, as I drank it in the dark... you know, to heighten the other senses.

Smell: mild fruity coffe, with a hint of booze.

Taste: Very light coffee on the front of the tonge. Heavy malts the rest of the way with interesting hints of spearmint and molasses in the finish. Still manages to finish dry.

Mouthfeel: Delightfully prickly for a beer of this weight, although for a Doppelbock, it's not that heavy to begin with. Sticky residue on the toungue, a bit of sweetness on the teeth.

Drinkability: It all comes together to be quite drinkable, a seemingly sneekily perfect finish, classic noble hop ballance. Mischieviously slick for 7.2% abv.

Photo of Mistofminn
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Has my first Optimator at an Easter party earlier today. I've heard good things about this and was eager to try it.

Pours a clear brown color, very close to mahogany. Creamy off-white head is produced but retention isn't all that impressive. Not great lacing either, however there are a few splotches here and there that stick to the glass.

The nose is roasted malts and a bit of alcohol. Pretty much what you would expect. Not bold or adventurous by any means, but an enjoyable aroma.

The taste surprised me. There is much more going on than the aroma lead me to believe. Slightly roasted malts, cocoa, caramel and nuttiness come to mind. Flavors become even more pronounced as it warms.

Medium bodied. Light and silky, very smooth. Very good drinkability. I would say this is a great introduction to the style, and anyone who claims to love Bocks would love this beer.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,746 ratings.