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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,493 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,493
Reviews: 1,261
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 62
Gots: 139 | 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: 2,493 | Reviews: 1,261 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of AltBock


3.55/5  rDev -8.7%

12oz. green bottle with a label that I found to have this odd color to it. The center of the label is this peachy brown color while the side of it is this diluted gold color. What ever the color is, I didn't care for it. In the middle of the label is Spaten's symbol, the two spades in a red backdrop. The only thing the back label had was the Govt. warning. I noticed in the far lower right of the front label, there is no date, but their own bin number or something like that. Whatever it is, it's nothing the average consumer could decipher and say what date this beer is best by or when it was made.

Appearance: When poured into a Pilsener glass, the beer was a nice ruby red color, almost brown in color with a big creamy almost 2 inch head of white foam. The head of foam had good retention, but didn't leave many rings or white sticky lace for that matter around the glass.

Smell: I really wasn't pleased with the aroma of this Doppelbock. There wasn't much going on in the smell dept. I kept swirling it around the glass and all I got was some sweet malt with a hint of chocolate in the background. I swear, sometimes it smelled very fruity with a sweet malt background. When I say fruity, I don't mean dark fruits, I mean juicy fruits. Quite odd sometimes.

Taste: It's was nice to see that I didn't taste any of the juicy fruits that I smelled. It didn't have the most balanced Doppelbock flavor that I tasted, but it was above average. There was plenty of roasted malt in the beginning, then very little bitter chocolate, and then that gave way to the taste of alcohol. Not to much of an overpowering alcohol taste, but you could taste it's presence.

Mouthfeel: Thick, full bodied, and with a slight chocolate malt aftertaste. I'm more surprised that since the last taste was alcohol that the aftertaste wasn't just alcohol.

Drinkability: A nice, decent, affordable, and the most readily available Doppelbock on the market. I'm just glad that since it was in a green bottle, the store didn't keep on a shelf in the light for too long. Something I might consider buying again, since it's almost everywhere.

06-04-2006 20:33:56 | More by AltBock
Photo of yelterdow

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

Served at just under cellar temperature in a doppelbock glass.

Appearance- Pours a clear reddish chestnut that supports a very active, bubbly, three finger head. No lacing left behind.

Smell- Sugar coated toffee, caramel, maybe a hint of hazelnut... long and lingering malt nose that ranks high on my personal list.

Taste- A sweet, full malt presence that subtly introduces a mild alcohol warmth, then opens up nicely on the tongue into a very well rounded doppelbock. There are pronounced hop notes after the swallow, and dry the mouth for the next sip.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Excellent, pinprickly carbonation that virtually disappears during the swallow... really one of the most noteworthy attributes of this beer. With so much flavor and such a light weight in the mouth, it strikes a match with German sausage and other light, but flavorful meat dishes. Nice beer.

05-28-2006 03:52:51 | More by yelterdow
Photo of shererjt


4.05/5  rDev +4.1%

Poured a deep, clear reddish amber with a huge, billowy, well retained head. Aroma was rich malt with a bit of raisin (Special B?). Impressive smell. I should also note that this came in a green bottle, but I couldn't detect any skunkiness. Medium-to-full body and tasted about like it smelled: sweet, rich, malty. Hops were in the background but there were enough present to keep things in balance. Mouthfeel was great: lively and substantial, but not cloying. Drinkability was also good, but beware that it packs a punch.

Overall, an outstanding beer.

05-21-2006 01:16:47 | More by shererjt
Photo of Oxymoron


4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

Optimal options for opting Optimator. Pours a more reddish color then brown, but we are blurring the strains. A good white fluffy and dense head. Great retention and good lacing throughout.

The smell is sweet with strong malty undertones. Some tropical fruit notes, mostly raisin and plums, but black cherries are found as well. The malt has more of a caramel appeal but sugary notes, such as brown sugar, are there as well.

The taste is rich and thick. The malt is dominate with caramel and toffee pushing the forefront. Some sugar notes are limited but still detectable as licorice and brown sugar. The fruit notes are less evident then the nose would indicate but still there. More plum then anything.

The finish is syrupy but still very smooth. Heavy even for a dopplebock. Not much on carbonation but still a winner. Next time I’m at my liquor store, I will keep my optics on Optimator.

05-17-2006 23:44:12 | More by Oxymoron
Photo of AcesFullup


3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

This beer is an example of affordable goodness. I bought a six pack on special for under $5 in Atlanta. There are very few, if any, six packs that can equal its value at this price.

I first had this beer in Disneyworld in 2005. It was served in Epcot at the Germany district to an eager dad with two kids. I have fond memories of my youngsters running around Disney with a fine Optimator in my hand. I quickly returned for a second outrageously expensive pint. Perhaps these memories biased my opinion, but drinking this beer takes me back to the summer our family spent in Disney.

Anyway, the only criticism that I have for this beer is the long and syrupy aftertaste. It has a nice feel in the mouth and the 7% is perfect for its flavor.

05-14-2006 19:27:37 | More by AcesFullup
Photo of Mebuzzard


4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

Poured into pint glass.
A nice dark brown/black color with a small yet thick head. Tints of amber poked through in the light.
Smell of roasted malt, biscuit, chocolate and anise.
Taste was very good. Good balance of roasted malt, hops, chocolate, coffee and caramel. The anise took a back seat and didn't play out much at all, which is good for me.
Good thickness to it with a nice finish.

05-13-2006 15:48:25 | More by Mebuzzard
Photo of rjlemos


3.25/5  rDev -16.5%

Appearance - reddish brown, head that doesn't last long.

Smell - too faint. Notes of chocolate, caramel, toasted malt.

Taste - typical of a bock beer. Strong, bitter, toasty, bold, very bold.

Mouthfeel - as you can predict, a strong presence in the mouth. The alcohol level is rather strong, felt right from the beginning.

Drinkability - due to its heavy composition, both on flavour and alcohol, it's a beer to drink in cold days, in a small number.

Note: I was very impressed how similar this beer is to a brazilian beer called Kaiser Bock. The taste is very similar, and even the alcohol level is the same: 7,2 %. That shows that we had a really good doppelbock in the country for a long time...

05-13-2006 01:04:36 | More by rjlemos
Photo of afordney


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Dark Reddish Brown color, one-finger off-white head dissapeared quickly, pretty attractive bubbly look and nice color

Smells malty, slight hops, and hints of caramel.

Tasty roasted malt gives way to caramel and toffee notes, slight hop bitterness and earthy coffee flavor in the finish.

Full flavor, well balanced between bitterness and malty sweetness

A fantastic dopplebock, one I will use as a standard.

05-11-2006 01:55:12 | More by afordney
Photo of MuenchenerKindl


4.47/5  rDev +14.9%

Ahh Bock!

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tall steamed glass. The light tan head takes over after 8 oz. The 2 finger head is delicious and has staying power as it floats above a dark liquid with redish tones .

Smells are of deep roasted malt, dark chocolate, and a hint of licorice.

Taste is sweet, served at 11 deg. c. DEA dark roasted malt topped with espresso, dark chocolate, and a hint of licorice are delightful. The sweetness and medium bitter hops mask any unfriendly alcohol, taste.

I like the mouth feel. It is creamy, lightly carbonated and leaves no unpleasantness.

This is a very drinkable offer. The gentle sweetness and the medium bitter hops work in unison to deliver a smooth and tasty beer. Spaten has had ample time over the past 600+ years and has made the most of it.

05-05-2006 04:07:38 | More by MuenchenerKindl
Photo of mynie


3.55/5  rDev -8.7%

Very dark with a big white head. Ruby light pokes through near the bottom of the glass.

Smells like black licorice, alcohol, and fruit. Nothing too special.

Tastes like black licorice, alcohol, and fruit. Very smooth, but without any sort of *bang* that I'd expect from a doppelbock, also without a nice bock malt to back everything up.

Not all that great. I don't see what all the fuss is about.

05-03-2006 04:04:10 | More by mynie
Photo of flike


4.18/5  rDev +7.5%

This was had from a green 12oz. bottle poured directly into a 20oz. chilled pilsener glass. Poured about 10oz before quickly climbing tan head reached top of glass. Nose of grassy malt, very enticing. Pressed to a tannish disk with lots of small bubbles, better than fair lacing. Color is a clear reddish amber.

Taste: malty pilsener, and the relatively high abv (bottle says 7.2) is well disguised through the aftertaste, which is very pleasant and surprisingly like a good if sweetish German pilsener. Malt really comes out as the glass warms. Malt richness is cut not unpleasantly by the hops and alcohol.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, good coating, balanced.

All in all very drinkable. Very different from Ayinger's Celebrator, although both are dominated by malt flavor. This is less creamy than the Ayinger, far more like a pilsener, and the balance is slightly tilted more toward the acidic.

04-27-2006 23:45:40 | More by flike
Photo of goochpunch


2.8/5  rDev -28%

Poured out looking like brownish grape jello. Very little head, after forcing it, that fades out into a thin ring. Aroma is a little weak, but what I do get out of it is a kind of alcoholic cherry cola. Flavors are quite similar as in the nose, with the cherry and cola flavors, and accompanied by hop bitterness in the finish. The malt and the hops linger a good while after each sip. The downfall is in the alcohol. Not well hidden at all and gives a medicinal quality to this. Mouthfeel is thick and slick, coating the tongue nicely. Drinkability is really cut back by the presence of alcohol, but overall, is decent.

100th review = mediocre beer.

04-27-2006 03:17:04 | More by goochpunch
Photo of tgbljb


3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

poured a deep mahagony color with massive creamy tannish head. Left nice lacing on the side of the glass. Smell is dark fruity and malty. Taste shows more of the malt flavors with an initail strong hop presence that slowly fades to present a nice balancing effect as the beer slowly warms. Nice creamy mouth feel with a slight nate of alcohol at the finish. Nice and drinkable. Very enjoyable.

04-19-2006 23:35:52 | More by tgbljb
Photo of jwc215


4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

This beer poured a reddish-brown hue. It's foamy, bubbly white head left a nice lacing. There was medium carbonation that quicky settled to a slower carbonation.
I was impressed with the smell. It had a nice aroma of gentle caramel and hints of toffee, chocolate and coffee. An alcoholic odor was slightly evident, but not overwhelming.
It had a pleasant, warming taste - a good example for this type. It was a bit on the thin side, but the slight wateriness did not take away that much from its overall taste.
It left a nice feeling to the mouth, as it was not too thick - though nothing overly exceptional.
The finishing touch was a warming alcohol taste at the end and a reminder of the flavors in the aftertaste.
While I've had better of this style (Celebrator comes to mind), I prefer it over other standard doppelbocks (such as Paulaner Salvator) because of its well-balanced taste and its covering of the alcohol taste.

04-13-2006 20:14:58 | More by jwc215
Photo of PeatReek


3.6/5  rDev -7.5%

Appearance is deep brown body without the slightest haze; looks like thin coffee. Moderately thick whitish head that laces well. Dark malt scents, sweet with plum, caramel and hints of strawberry. All these come through in the taste as well, especially the sweet caramel. Very slightly bready and a hint of... mushroom?? That makes it sound nasty, but it's really just a nice thick earthy taste. Tingly and slightly bitter late in the sip. Sweetness is a bit too prominent in the aftertaste to be superbly drinkable, but the alcohol is very well concealed.

04-05-2006 03:33:04 | More by PeatReek
Photo of Hautacam


3.53/5  rDev -9.3%

Clear dark amber...frothy head..laces and drops to a film.
Smells of dried fruit and port wine.
Taste : sweet caramel candy, raisons,prunes, port ..some alcohol and a bitter finish. A little too light, though. Get's a little better as it warms, but doesn't really gain any intensity.
Mouthfeel is medium-full....low carbonation.
One of these is enough...not outstanding....

04-05-2006 00:36:44 | More by Hautacam
Photo of poppercherry


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

I have had this beer several times and decided it was time to review it.

The beer was dark brown in color and seemed to have a tint of red. The head was thin and spotty.
The smell was mostly malt with a trace of chocolate. It tasted very malty with hints of coffee and chocolate and finished with trace bitterness.. It was creamy, but not as thick as others in it's style. It is a very good beer and one that will stock my beer fridge!

04-03-2006 20:43:02 | More by poppercherry
Photo of Metalmonk

North Carolina

4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

Poured an average head that minimized quickly. Hardly any real lace. Love the brownish caramel color though.

Smells of sweet malts and mild alcohol...little else.

Taste is sweet but not cloying. Malty, like caramel and brown sugar. Slightly sticky in the mouth, but definitely more creamy than syrupy. Always a pleasure to swish it around a little and feel/taste that well-balanced alcohol and malt sweetness that characterizes this beer.

Goes down extremely well, not overly heavy nor too light, a satisfying and comforting beer. It always delivers.

04-02-2006 20:33:52 | More by Metalmonk
Photo of atigerlife


4/5  rDev +2.8%

Poured from a 0.5L bottle. Had this beer on a number of occasions, and figured it was time to write a review.

Poured a light brown with a a thick, creamy brown head. Decent lacing.

The aroma was of sweet malts, somewhat nutty. Taste was very creamy with malts at the forefront. The sweetness of the aroma was carried through into a honey flavor and coffee hints. Light hops. Nicely balanced.

Medium body with decent cleansing power. Overall, quite drinkable. Not the best doppelbock I've had, but certainly good enough for most occasions.

04-02-2006 19:32:34 | More by atigerlife
Photo of scottoale


3.4/5  rDev -12.6%

Bought this one cheep, $2 for a half liter brown glass bottle with a pink and gold label and nice neck foil, different than the one pictured here. It pours a dark copper-mahogany with a cream colored head that stuck around for a while. It settled to about an eighth of an inch with some healthy lacing trailing behind.

Nice sweet roasted malty nose, hints of caramel and earthy soil. Tastes rich and malty, some toffee and nuttiness comes through, with a grassy hop mellow finish. A little on the sweet side, hops seem a bit weak, alcohol is present but the body is lighter than I was expecting.

A bit watery in the mouth with a gentle warming as it leaves with a tad bit of a sweet finish. It fits it's style, I preferred the Celebrator I had yesterday over this one however...

03-30-2006 11:25:02 | More by scottoale
Photo of TurdFurgison


3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

Poured from a bottle into a belgian goblet. Dark ruby color with frothy tan foam. Smelled malty like a doppelbock.

Taste was not as heavy as I expected, and a little skunked too. It's a nice doppelbock flavor but a little subdued. I prefer the richness of Salvator over this one.

Not bad and easy to drink. Just not the best of the style in my opinion.

03-29-2006 20:25:25 | More by TurdFurgison
Photo of geexploitation


3.48/5  rDev -10.5%

Spaten Optimator pours a very dark brown with relatively little head. Aroma is pretty complex, with molasses, malts, and cat pee sharing center stage. The flavor is big and round, with malts in the forefront from the get-go. Starts on out the front of the tongue with molasses and metals, then fades after swallowing to a dirty sweetness and increased metallic feel. This beer is thick and viscous on the tongue, and lingers on the palate. Still, it's pretty drinkable and, if not for the alcohol, could be chugged with abandon.

I thank the strangers in that bar in Buffalo for introducing me to Optimator. It's certainly not the best doppelbock around, but it's hard to find a better tasting imported doppelbock at this price.

03-27-2006 05:46:38 | More by geexploitation
Photo of redelephantdane

North Carolina

4/5  rDev +2.8%

a- cola colored with a one finger tan head that leaves a little lacing.

s- sweet and malty, some toast and prunes.

t- the taste is somewhat bitter, with coffee, waffles, tobacco, dark flavours

m- coats the mouth with a cough syrup like feel. i like it as it is not very heavy but still fills you alittle.

d- three of these are all i can drink

03-27-2006 04:30:26 | More by redelephantdane
Photo of ILiveOffHops

New Hampshire

4.35/5  rDev +11.8%

The Optimator pours a deep dark brown with some red. Small head dissapates to almost nothing...a very thin ring of foam remains. Aroma is sweet and malty. Taste is of sweet caramel, fruity plums and cherries, huge malty goodness, a little roasted flavor, and a hint of warm alcohol. Mouthfeel is great, feels like a full bodied strong brew. For a doppelbock, and especially considering the ABV, I consider this a highly drinkable brew. No flavor is overwhelming, and the alcohol is well hidden. I wish there was a bigger head on this brew, but other than that I loved it. Germans do know how to brew!

03-24-2006 04:27:29 | More by ILiveOffHops
Photo of fightingwords


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Poured from a bottle into a 16oz American pint.

A--Deep "bloody" brown, transparent when held to the light. 2 finger head from a heavy pour. Super fluffy sticky off white head. Good lacing

S--Malty sweetness, Caramel, biscuits? Has a sourness in the finish of the smell and I swear I could draw a little pepperiness.

T--Strong buttery caramel taste. The malts are full, rich, and over the top, but it is a dopple. Coffee like finish. Clean alcohol flavor barely presents itself.

M--Low carbonation, smooth medium body that never felt weak at anytime. Wish it finished just a bit slower, feels like if finishes kinda quick.

D--For a dopple bock heavy in malts its super drinkable.

O--I like this beer alot, as my local BA bud (OrionsBow) would say, "I could drink the snot out of these." Super good dopple if you are into bock beers. Give it a shot. The ABV can sneek up on you though so be careful if you are easily effected.

03-24-2006 01:08:22 | More by fightingwords
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,493 ratings.