Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,679 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,679
Reviews: 1,272
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 65
Gots: 214 | 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)
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Ratings: 2,679 | Reviews: 1,272 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of wheatyweiss
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into chalice.

Appearance is of maple syrup. Head is fizzy and quickly recedes.

Nose is of roasted malt and skunked hops. Alcohol and honey.

Flavor is thick and roastey. Caramel and honey with hops barely there. Chocolate sneaks in barely. Sweet sour yeast rides the back of the profile with a hot alcohol hit.

Mouthfeel is substantial, not bad.

Overall a little boozy for what it is. I could understand if it was much more of a flavorful beer.

Photo of nasty15108
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

A - Poured dark brown, almost black with slight ruby edges. Thick head of slightly off-white foam subsides into a spotty film with thick soapy lacing throughout.

S - Malt, chocolate and ripe fruit.

T - More of the same. Malty and slightly sweet with the flavor of chocolate covered raisins.

MF&D - Chewy with a creamy feel to it. Goes down nice, I'd love one of these with a good cigar!

Photo of DubBrewer
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, the beer has a deep mahogany color to it. A nice half inch thick head formed on top, and it settled down after a minute or two.
Smellls of espresso, chocolate, and roasted malts. The beer smells great! I held it up to my nose, just smelling it and enjoying it.
Tastes rich and full, with a clean finish. Some notes of chocolate linger in the finish. Mouthfeel is average, and I have found other Dopplebocks to have more of full bodied flavor. Maybe this one is just a tad bit watery.
I find the drinkability to be good, I think I could put down a couple of these pretty easily in a session.

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

Served up in a chilled half-liter mug at our local German restaurant, Augsburg Haus.

Color is a deep, dark mahogany hue, capped with a nice espresso-like tan foam. The chilled glass killed the head retention and caused very little if any lacing to stick behind.

Aroma is mostly of sweet toffee along with some toasty, biscuity notes.

Nice full mouthfeel with a palate of rich, sweet caramel and toffee, cookies, bittersweet chocolate and a bit of hop bitterness balancing it out.

As good as the beer is, its high alcohol content and thick, heavy consistency fill you up and leave you tipsy, keeping too many from going down.

Optimator is definitely one of my go-to faves; sadly, this one was served a bit too cold and suffered in head retention and aromatics because of it. Still, an awesome beer, and one that always pleases.

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown/mahogany, not as dark as some brown ales. short head fades to a ring, leaving scant lace
smell is sweet malts, caramel, and dark brownies
taste much like the smell, but the chocolate is less brownie and more baker's chocolate. sweetness builds toward the bottom of the bottle.
body is on the full side of medium, low to moderate carbonation (much better than what i had on tap)
this beer seems not very complex but highly drinkable, though maybe a bit too sweet to have more than one or two.

Photo of mattffrost
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Beer is a medium to dark brown. Head a a light brown. Head is thick and deep pouring in pint glass from a bottle.

S - Fruits, malt, mild not pungent smell.

T - Spicey and fruity at the same time with a bit of bitterness and even a hint of sweetness to me. Very interesting I like it

M - I really the feel of this beer in my mouth. Its a very nice medium dark beer.

D - Very Drinkable. I very good dark beer that I could drink a couple of pints of.

Photo of markskar
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just had the S'muttonator and thought I'd try out a Doppelbock from Germany. I don't usually buy German beers--and it's not because I don't think they're good, but because I can't understand for the life of me why they continue to export their beer in green bottles.

Everyone knows that green bottles contribute to deterioration of the smell and taste of the beer. I mean, honestly, there must be tens of millions of Heineken and Becks drinkers in America who believe that their beer is <u>supposed<u/> to smell and taste that skunky.

But I digress, and will now proceed to review this particular bottle, which was in fact very tastey with a minimal amount of skunkiness to it. I won't be buying it regularly, but I'd definitely recommend giving it a try.

A - Pours clear dark copper. Nice beige head that settled pretty quickly. Not much lacing from this bottle and the carbonation quickly dissipated.

S - Not a very strong smell to it, but I was getting roasted malts and a nice fruitiness (like apple juice--not cidery though). As said above, minimal skunkiness *grumble*.

T - Lightly toasted with a strong estery fruitiness (again, with minimal skunkiness). Not very hoppy but good enough for my hop-bite-craving-palate. Overall, very pleasant.

M - Nice body, very smooth and not-too-thick, not-too-thin.

D - Quite drinkable, very pleasant abv in moderation.

Photo of SIRIUS2
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass.

Very dark brown, nearly black, with a very thin medium brown foam cap of only 1/4 inch or so. Relatively low head retention as the cap shifts to sporadic bubbles leaving little lacing.

Smell is quite sweet - you can almost close your eyes and imagine that you are smelling a glass of liquid malt extract. There's a bit of chocolate goodness on the nose too as part of the malt montage.

Fiercely malty but interestingly not cloyingly sweet. There is plenty of malt sweetness there but you can also pick out some minor bittering trying to take hold. The malt is definitely the star of the show and is prominent by leaps and bounds but somehow it still leaves room for some subtle nuances. I can only fathom a guess at the number of malts it took to produce this but it was quite good as dopple bocks go. The finish was, again, more malt but it didn't linger as long as you might think.

Carbonation was relatively light in this, almost like it struggled to make it through the malts. However this also seemed to add some character to it that makes it a bit different. I'm not a huge fan of dopple bock but I did enjoy this brew and would probably drink it again. It just kept pulling me back in for another taste. Nice.

Photo of Rennpferd
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It poured dark brown like molasses with a 1 inch head that disappeared quickly.

It had no smell that I could detect. The bar that I was in had a bad smell to it. But I think I should have smelled something.

It was rich and malty. It was smooth with a nice wet finish. I found it to be well balanced and refreshing. A nice hops taste on the backend.

I could drink this a couple of times but it is too strong to drink all night

Photo of Haybeerman
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Opaque, slightly reddish-brown. Poured a thick 2 one inch very light brown head that dissipated to a healthy ring. Ample lacing that held.

S: Sweet toasted malt, chocolate. Musty, slightly bitter hops.

T: Pretty much like it smelled but bigger malt . A little confused on the hop; maybe unbalanced with malt?

M: Medium light body. Pleasing, subtly sweet finish.

D: Not as sweet as some, so a bit more drinkable in my book. Really enjoyed the complexity.

Photo of Zadok
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep oak amber and no head or lacing to speak of. From the pour characteristics you could think this beer is flat.

Light roasted malts and a tinge of dark fruits are the main aromas.

Again light roasted malts and maybe a smidge of black cherry. There's a light aftertaste that I can't quite place.

Relatively smooth with little to no carbonation.

Not a bad beer, not sure I would buy again because it's just not my style but that's besides the fact. Moderate ABV would make for only a couple in a setting.

Photo of TheTrevor
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured a dark amber with ruby highlights and a thin head. The scent is a little subtle, but I think I catch some sweet malt with some candy characteristics. The taste is an extension of the smell with a lot of sweetness, some caramel followed by a touch of hops and some alcohol heat on the backend. The mouthfeel is pleasantly thick with a moderate amount of carbonation. This beer doesn't sit too heavily for a doppelbock, and I wouldn't consider it out of the question to have a couple in one sitting with some rich food.

Photo of changeup45
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber-brown color with a thick tan head. Lots of lacing left on the glass. Aroma seems quite sweet with some maltiness and tart fruitiness. A sharp tart dark fruity taste mixed in with some roasted malts and sweet sugary notes. A little sour in the finish. Not bad.

Photo of Hullabaloo2
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Aroma - Strong maltiness. Slight caramel, and chocolate. There is also a note of prune. No perceived hop aroma.

Appearance - Brown color with a tan head. The head poured about a 1/2 finger width head, but it quickly dissipated to almost nothing.

Flavor - Like the aroma there is a stong maltiness. Nice grain profile. There is a mild caramel flavor; some chocolate. A bit toasty. There is no bitterness, but I do pick up faint noble hop flavor. Nice clean finish. The flavor is simple, but nice and rich.

Mouthfeel - Medium body. Smooth. The carbonation on the low end. No perceived alcohol, or bitterness.

Overall Impression - This is a nice beer. As I said before it isn't complex, but it is rich. I don't know how many that I could drink in a sitting, but it is very smooth. There is no real prominent alcohol or bitterness.

Photo of philbe311
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Lively beige head quickly fades... Dark translucent mahogany color... Slight carbonation... No lacing... Doesn't coat glass...

S - Very strong candy caramel apple... Nutty and earthy characteristics are present, but much more mild... Malt... Mild coffee...

T - Malts and lots of them of varying lineages... Apple butter... Cherry... Slight hops and alcohol on finish...

M - Smooth with light carbonation... Creamy... Potent...

D - Heavy, but enjoyable... Complex... I think it would take several tasting to get a thorough understanding of this beer... I may just be willing to do that given the high quality of the brew...

Photo of stephens101
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

One of the first good import brews I ever had. It's drinkability and fairly high alcohol content hit me, hard, so this one's been a sort of joke around the house, and I've been pretty apprehensive to try it again, as I've stigmatized it sort of. A brew shouldn't have that kind of affect on a man, and I think I'm smart enough now to know my boundaries on higher alcohol brews, so I'll try it again. Pours a dark reddish brown with a resilient two-finger tan head. Once it fades an inconsistent, but chunky lacing is left behind. Smells of huge roasted malts with some caramel thrown in for good measure. Tastes malty and sweet with an undercurrent of hops and spice. Smooth and delicious with some roasted nuts in the mix as well. Carbonation is good in this light to medium bodied brew. Superb brew with just enough alcohol to keep the party going and just enough taste to keep the party interesting.

Photo of mattster
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Opened 12 Fluid Ounce bottle, poured into Nonic glass.

Pours a very low head atop a cola brown colored soda.

Smell is quite subdued. Taste is very round and full bodied, with excellent notes of dark malts and a nutty earthiness.

Very good finish, no harsh after taste. I'd have another if I could.

Photo of BirdFlu
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

served on tap in Germany pavilion in Epcot at Disney World, Orlando, Fla.

I was very happy to see a dopplebock as an option as extent of craft beer I've seen in Disney thus far is Sam Adams. Anyway, this beer is kind of average for a dopplebock in that the flavor and aroma are pretty standard, however not as bold as most. There is a malty, slightly chocolaty aroma and the flavor has a bit of a dry mouth aftertaste where a hint of hops is detectable. It is slightly on the lighter side of moderate body and gravity, so it isn't hard to get thru and doesn't weigh you down (not til the 2nd one at least). If you're looking for a bold dopplebock, this may not satisfy. However, it drinks nicely as a mellower DB while walking around Epcot's world showcase.. In a tropical storm, in my case today.

Photo of corey0212
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a deep mahogany/ruby color, short-lived sand-colored head fades to a nice collar of foam, and lots of spotty lacing on the glass. Smell is freshly baked bread, some nutty aroma, and a faint whiff of alcohol. Big, rich malty taste, very bready/doughy, perfect balance between the sweetness and a very mild bitterness. This beer is sturdy! Very creamy, carbonation is righteously mellow. Wow. This is something you could drink all year long, and with a variety of different foods. I'm loving this brew!

Photo of SirSketch
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Small film of beige head. The beer is dark brown with amber hues. Very much like most doppelbocks I have tried.

S - I found it hard to get much aroma out of this one. Then again I was in a crowded restaurant so there were plenty of other smells to distract me. Faint graininess and dark malts.

T - Chocolate notes and a sweet aftertaste. Very well-balanced with hops it seemed. Just OK.

M/D - Medium body and carbonation. It is drinkable, I suppose, but I don't know if I enjoyed the taste enough to continue drinking more. I guess I just expected more out of the Optimator

Photo of nickynick
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Spaten Optimator poured a very dark reddish brown, with a very nice tan head. Smell was of sweet malt and a bit of hops. Taste was of sweet malts and chocolate. It had a nice bittersweet finish. Mouthfeel was good. Not to thick, but thick enough that you know its a doppelbock. Drinkability was ok. That 7.2 ABV hit me, and I knew I could probably only do one or two of these. Overall a nice doppelbock. One I will go back to.

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

a: mahogany body, light tan head.

s: sweet caramel malt with notes of cherry.

t: big toasted malt backbone, full of figs with nutty, woody notes.

m: medium body, smooth feel.

d: 7.2abv, really? dangerous stuff. an accessible doppelbock that avoids the overbearing sweetness that often dooms the style.

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.

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.

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.


Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,679 ratings.