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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,581 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,581
Reviews: 1,267
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 63
Gots: 168 | 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: 2,581 | Reviews: 1,267 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite doppelbocks right behind Celebrator and the Asam Bock from Weltenburg. Granted I've only tried a dozen or so.

The beer poured a clear dark red color into my pint glass. It had an inch tall tan/brown head that was fairly thick and creamy. Decent retention, no lacing.

The smell was very sweet and included some grape and some plum. There was also the cara-malts and little bread/yeast. Pleasant and soft.

The flavor is more intense but along the same lines. Very little bitterness to balance the crazy sugary fruit flavors. Some dark fruits and some dark malts are present. There is the tiniest bit of alcohol in the flavor.

The body is moderately heavy for a german beer and goes down real smooth. Can be a sipping drink or something to drink a big stein of.

t0rin0, Feb 19, 2008
Photo of ElGrecoVerde
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 3

If there was a category for name, I'd give it a perfect score. It sounds like something from a Sylvester Stallone movie. I wouldn't dare open this bottle alone.

Poured a thick brown with an off white head.

Smell was mild, which was suprising. I was expecting to get punched in the face by a beer named the "Optimator". Instead, it lightly feathered my nose with light aromas of raisins and sweet caramel. Maybe it was teasing me.

Yes, it was. Once I took a sip I received the punch in the face I was waiting for, and I gotta say, it was refreshing. Caramel, coffee, and some slightly bitter dark chocolate took over.

The flavors seemed a bit mild, but the delivery system was anything but. This stuff was thick! It hurt drinkability, but made for one beernique experience.

ElGrecoVerde, Feb 14, 2008
Photo of watchnerd
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Ah, the Optimator. Many many many many years ago, when I first turned 21, this was one of my first "non standard" foreign beers. Back when beer diversity was much lower, but Spaten could often be found. It's still a quality brew, although I could have sworn the ABV used to be higher long ago; I seem to recall that it used to be 8.9% ABV. In any case, a nice malty double bock, nicely balanced. Worthy of trying, although the Spaten Dunkel-Weisse is still the best beer they make.

watchnerd, Feb 13, 2008
Photo of MSchae1017
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer was tasted in a stange from the 12oz green bottle.

A - Dark Amber with off white head that dissipates to whisps without much lacing.

S - Slightly metallic along with sweet pale and caramel malts

T - Sweet with lots of alcohol head. Caramel, and fruity with Green apple. Fairly bitter for style.

M - Thick, viscous, smooth carbonation, full body.

D - Not always my favorite style, but this one is fairly balanced with some bitterness, helping the drinkablility for me.

MSchae1017, Feb 12, 2008
Photo of Biscuit033
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Pours a clear dark amber with a one finger light tan head with minimal lacing.

S: Toffee, chocolate, caramel, and bread.

T: Explosion of bready malt in the mouth, with bitter chocolate, caramel, and molasses.

M: Full body, chewy, with a lingering bitter, malty finish.

D: This is as drinkable as a doppel can be. Even sweetness and fullness while the alcohol is warming but not perceptable in the taste.

Biscuit033, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of mooseisloose
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This brew is a classic doppel. Very malted and very tasty. It pours to a root beer color and consistency. Smell is like maple syrup with a slight bit of roasted malt. Taste is a very creamy and smooth with only hints of bitterness. This beer is a malt-mania of the brewing process. The carbonation seems light but is evident, it suits the creaminess, more would be too much. Spaten has a very good beer here. The sweetness may lower the drinkability but in my opinion for its style this brew is right on target.

mooseisloose, Feb 09, 2008
Photo of yourefragile
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz green bottle poured into a pilsner glass

A: A dark, clear brown liquid with a off white head that rather rapidly dissipates and leaves a nice trail of stringy lacing.
S: Nothing remarkable to me. Some malt, but theres a slightly sour, alcohol smell that really detracts from anything pleasant.
T: Malt body and aftertaste dominates this, but like the smell, there is something not quite agreeing with me. There is a slight hop bitterness which is ok to balance the malt, but still a slight sourness. Alcohol also rides in on the aftertaste and that might be throwing off my perception of everything else here since it is unpleasant.
M: Medium body with medium to high carbonation. Aftertaste isn't pleasant, following the lead of the body, but still not all together bad.
D: I've tried this a few times now and this just doesn't seem to agree with me. There's nothing bad here, I just don't enjoy this guy. Generally has a nice flavor, but a little too high in alcohol for me to want to drink this regularly for this style.

yourefragile, Feb 08, 2008
Photo of Strix
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Starting out Lent with one of these.

Beautiful dark ruby-brown color, short lived head with little lacing.

Smells of roasted malts, hops, vague chocolate, and alcohol.

Sweet malt, toffee, hops, and a bit of alcohol present in the finish.

Mouthfeel is very nice, smooth yet slightly viscous.

Quite drinkable. I could finish a few of these with no problem. But it's lent, so I'm holding back.

Strix, Feb 06, 2008
Photo of TheDeuce
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy dark color, very malty profile in the head and aroma. Taste is dark, somewhat sour malts come through, a hint of licorice, finishes dry not that smooth. Alcoholic but well hidden, very balanced and flavors do not muddle, overall a solid beer.

TheDeuce, Feb 03, 2008
Photo of Proteus93
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Dark brown with a copper hue. A bit of a rustic colour, with a little lively bubbled head that leaves a little lace trim after settling.

S: Quite a full scent that seems to linger in the air a bit.

T: Mild toffees and a bit of a chocolate note that chases it a little down through the finish. Some roasted malts, and a bit of a bitter finish, coupled with a touch of alcohol to spice things up.

M: A slippery, buttered-pan kind of oiliness that drifts over the tongue, leaving a little residue that slowly drifts away.

D: I find this to be a fine example of the class, with quite a nice balance between flavours. It goes down so smooth and slick that it's all too easy. Perhaps there could be a bit more going on, but it's quite satisfying the way it is.

Proteus93, Feb 02, 2008
Photo of Gehrig
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I just came back from reading group, driving through a moderate Midwest snowstorm, and grabbed this after bidding my better half good-night. What a choice; then again, the better choice was buying this in the first place. It's killer.

The appearance is gorgeous--a finger of very durable froth on a black raspberry body, with better lacing than I've seen in a while. The smell could be better, but provides caramel, berry, and a hint of chocolate. If I'd let this warm, it might emit more. But that's the problem--it's positively delicious! The texture, the wonderfully balanced carbonation, more pronounced chocolate, berries, caramel--a generous melange of flavors. Magnificent.

That the mouthfeel is so good enhances the taste, while also making this perfectly drinkable. This is one to grab a sixer, enjoy three and cellar the others. A great example of dopplebock, very delicious, flavorful, and easy to consume. The nose might suffer from my impatience, I'm willing to admit. Yet the taste is so good that it will be difficult to sit and savor this for long. Enjoy.

Gehrig, Feb 01, 2008
Photo of cer40
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I sampled this beer on tap from the biergarten in epcot center. It poured dark with a nice head.

The aroma was of roasted malts and caramel. A small amount of spicy hops are detected. Taste is The same but more. The malt never goes away but the spicy hops make it through just a little.

The mouthfeel is great. Medium bodied and perfectly carbonated. Drinkable enough that I had to have one more while sampling the beers in the world showcase. Was great with my pretzel and mustard too!

cer40, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of rye726
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice mahogany color with a tan head that settles to a silky cover. Good lacing.

Lots of malts, caramel and ripe fruits. Some peppery hops and overall very earthy.

Nice malt profile with lots of caramel and sweet nuts. Candy and faint hops as well.

Good full body with decent amount of carbonation.
Good example of the style. Well balanced, but lacks the complexity of some better bocks.

rye726, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of Rciwws
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - deep brown appearance that shines maroon through the light soft quarter inch frothy head.

S - smell of sweet soy sauce and soft malts

T - creamy malt sensation with smooth hop finish and enjoyable alcohol hum together.

M - rich porter-esque mouthfeel if I had my eyes closed but with more of a CO2 kick

D - I could put back a couple of these but this feels more like an enjoyment beer than a food pairing beer.

Rciwws, Jan 26, 2008
Photo of mimicic
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Probably one of the beer I love which I can get it for really cheap near my house (Wegmans in Rochester).

12oz bottle (6.99 for 6 pack =D)

Appearance: Amber Dark. Has little thin foam on the top.

Smell: Very unique. Sweet aroma with maltiness

Taste: Sweet and malty

Mouthfeel: Really rich and warm. Malt covered and taste stays in your mouth for long time

Drinkability: Good beer to drink, but I wouldn't drink more than 2 bottles. This beer is really really rich.

mimicic, Jan 25, 2008
Photo of hoegaardenhero
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

the beer is a nice mahogany with a little bit of off-white head sticky head. it smells pretty fragrant with nice darker malts, some coffee flavors, hints of hoppy bitterness. it tastes of sweet dark roasted malts with some very smokey flavors. there are also hints of tobacco and other herbs. light hop bitterness kicks in during the lingering finish of the sip. the beer is thick and a little on the syrupy side (not for the style) but smooth. a real good indicator of the style. it has all of the smokey malty flavors you want with no excess. kind of the ur-doppel.

hoegaardenhero, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of homebrewhawk
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

.5 liter brown bottle. Poured a clear reddish brown with about a finger of off white head. Huge malt aroma with some dark sugar and a little bit of noble hops. Fully bodied thick with malt. A pretty good amount of noble hop bitterness to balance the malt. Alcohol is evident in the finish. Good example of the style. Goes down a little too easy at 7.2% abv!

homebrewhawk, Jan 24, 2008
Photo of Dodo2step
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchase this beer at Market Cross Pub in Carlisle, PA.

A- dark and creamy

S-malty and enticing

T-a lil malty kick to it but it goes down very smooth.

M-tasty and brings the tastebuds to life

D-could def drink a six pack of this beer. My first time i ever heard or had one and i love it.

Dodo2step, Jan 22, 2008
Photo of mltobin
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On tap alongside a heaping plate of hot wings at TK`s American Cafe.
The appearance is a light brown body with a medium sized head that laces moderately.
Smell is malty, spicy and inviting.
Taste is full-bodied, a bit sweet, with an aftertaste that makes you want to eat something, good thing I have wings.
MF is toasty and a bit rich on my palate.
Drinkability is solid, but when you have a pitcher like my table did, keep in mind the abv is 7.2%, play it safe.

mltobin, Jan 20, 2008
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz picked up at the Coop for about $2.00.. poured into my New Belgium goblet.

Short lasting off white head.. with only spotty lacing.. brew is walnut with garnet highlites.

Aroma is all dark bready malts.. some toasted malts with a good whiff of cocoa.. dates and other dried fruits come through.. dark caramel becomes predominant as it warms.

This is my idea of a dopplebock.. I like them with a touch more malty sweetness. Dark malts at the front of the palate.. slides into a chocolate fig concotion.. with a light cocoa and dark malt finish... slightly chewy malt presence is apparent through the entire sip and adds greatly to the overall complexity... very smooth.. sorta creamy and long lingering flavors for a German lager... nuttiness as it warms... very very clean and super smooth... finish is very long.

I am a sucker for German lagers, and Optimator is great. For some reason, I rarely buy them.

JohnGalt1, Jan 18, 2008
Photo of bentrider1957
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I had Spaten Optimator in Germany a few years back and have had it here in the USA also. A German friend told me that if a German offers you an Optimator, you are considered a true friend. DANKE!

A -Deep amber with hints of red highlights. Very clear and presentable. Head retention was quite unremarkable, but I find no issue there for this style.

S - Very nice malty aroma. Caramel notes with light bitterness. Probably Hallertau hops, but I can't be sure. Earthy smell that is quite pleasant.

T - Initially high alcohol esters. Settles into a very high malt flavor that is very pleasant. Not too many hop flavors but had a
nice earthy taste also. No real diacetyl that I could detect.

M - Very robust mouth-feel. Chewy and thick. The slower I drank it, the better it seemed to get. Carbonation seemed at just the right level, CO2 is probably within style guides.

D - Due to high alcohol, I recommend discretion. It is not intended to be a session beer. More like having some liquid bread. Also, I wouldn't drink this as a thirst-quencher like I would a Pils. I found it very drinkable in small quantities.

Spaten Optimator has always been a favorite of mine. Being an Import, I suggest the drinker be aware of this. The beer should be good to drink for quite sometime after it is brewed.

If you get to Germany, it is readily available on tap, at least where I was stationed: Kaiserslautern, Germany. For those who want to know, Spaten means "shovel or spade".

bentrider1957, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of treehugger02010
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had this on-tap at Tank's Taproom in Tampa, Fl.
Appearance: The pour produced a deep brown, translucent, body with little to no head on top. The tan head had poor retention and left very little lacing.
Smell: I experienced what I can only label as sweet hops.
Taste: The first few sips contained mostly sweet malts followed in the middle by strong hop presence and finishing with a more mellow mix of the first and the middle.
Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel was very smooth.
Drinkability: Very good, one can certainly have a few of these.
Don't drink and review.

treehugger02010, Jan 07, 2008
Photo of Kallessin
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It had no head when poured from a bottle. I've also had this on draft (at Epcot Center in the Germany exhibit) and it had quite a bit of head, however. It's has a nice light brownish/red color

It had a very earthy hoppy aroma too it when first poured. I could also smell the caramel malts a little. No alcohol smell despite the higher content.

It has a pretty strong caramel flavor. The hops add an almost citrus-like fruit flavor. I can only taste the alcohol slightly.

This beer has a great mouthfeel as first. It has an almost chewy texture. It goes away pretty quick as the carbonation kicks in. Finishes really smooth, though.

I really like this beer, but I don't think I could drink that many of them. I enjoyed it quite a bit more on draft, then poured from a bottle.

Kallessin, Jan 06, 2008
Photo of monkeybeer
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Brown Red with a large golden tan head.

S- A sweet fruit smell with malt

T/M- Very sweet taste of caramel with fruit. Has a little alcohol taste to it but it just adds to the warming effect so it is good.

D- Not bad goes down very smooth. Would be very easy to drink a number of these.

monkeybeer, Jan 02, 2008
Photo of Reanimator
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: Poured from a 750ml bottle. Vigorous pour gave me a good 3 fingers of dense, frothy, wheat bread colored head. Brew is a beautiful dark ruby color, bottle brown with some dark orange around the edges. Some nice lacing, but it doesn't last long.

S: The aroma is very sweet with some chocolate. Huge roasted malts and perhaps some alcohol in there as well.

T: Initially sweet but with a dry, slightly bitter finish. Huge malt flavor that is definitely a bit nutty with some warm alcohol near the end.

M: Mouthfeel is very creamy and syrupy. Good initial carbonation and very smooth swallow.

D: Definitely feeling the 7.2% right now an hour after the tasting, and the sweetness makes me drink it waaayyyy too fast. Extremely enjoyable despite the fact that you might not be able to drink more than a couple at a time. Every Spaten I've had has been rock solid, and the Optimator is no different!

Reanimator, Jan 01, 2008
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,581 ratings.