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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,524 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,524
Reviews: 1,262
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 64
Gots: 148 | 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: 2,524 | Reviews: 1,262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of dbalsock
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%

Appearance: Pours a deep reddish brown, almost purple with a one finger head (at most) and seems to be highly carbonated.

Smell: Molasses and brown sugar immediately hit the nose, followed with a hint of lager yeast. A little chocolate and coffe followed by cherries make for the feel of a dan cake.

Taste: I immediately noticed the alcohol, which is rather unpleasant, but soon the coffee, chocolate and molasses take over; making this a very rich and sweet brew. The molasses and alcohol appear again in the aftertaste, but improve as it warms. I think I like this at room temperature better than cooler or even fridge cool (boo).

Mouthfeel: This is very heavily bodied with good carbonation, but the alcohol gives it the feel of a malt liquor. The layering is quite nice, especially by the aftertaste as it starts strong, but ends kinda soft.

Drinkability: I found this beer incredibly easy to review: the aromas and taste were clearly distinct and very intense. Also, I imagine it to be great with desserts and red meat.

dbalsock, Aug 08, 2006
Photo of expatsteve
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%

Appearance: Chocolate brown with impressive ruby notes. 1 inh head that lingers a good 15 minutes. Surprisingly good visibility. Low/medium viscosity.

Aroma: Toffee, chocolate and cocoa notes, with a nice breadiness. A little metallic hops presence. A rich nose that continues to develop deep chocolate notes as it warms.

Taste: Rich molasses and toffee, with good hints of chocolate and cocoa; fantastic bready finish with a sweet malt flourish. The front palate is a little thin, but the flavors are well balanced. A little warming booze in the back of the throat is a welcome development. Metallic hops presence mediates the sweetness of the malts, giving a subtle raisin finish at times.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, but not too thin either - good doppelbock body. Low carbonation with a cleansing malt finish.

Drinkability: A solid doppelbock with moments of complexity. The thin front palate and lack of earthy balance leaves this behind some more impressive doppelbocks, but the beer overall is one of the standards by which the style is known and defined. Good, solid drinking.

expatsteve, Aug 05, 2006
Photo of HoustonTX
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

Spatan Optimator... has a ring to it.

A - Dark brown, off white head, decent retention and lacing.

S - Strong dark fruits and yeast in nose.

T - Upfront carmalized malts, dark fruits (plums especially), clove, spice, and yeast. Fades to a pear/apple aftertaste. Not bad.

A solid Doppelbock, and one that hides the abv very well.

HoustonTX, Aug 03, 2006
Photo of msubulldog25
3.85/5  rDev -1%

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a fluted 1/2 pint glass. Served cold from a cooler at Concordia Ale House, Portland, OR.

A: Deep amber orange, quite clear. A frothy tan head, 1 finger, with light lacing.
S: Initially almost nothing - I blame this on the cold serving temperature. Wrapped my hands around the glass for several minutes to warm it; this helped quite a bit. A light toasted caramel maltiness, hints of fruit.
T: Mostly malt and a toasted grain and nut combo. Nice flavors - not a big heavy dobblebock but pleasantly sweet with just enough hop bitterness to give its balance.
M: Fairly light-bodied which makes it seem a bit weak, despite the 7.2% abv. Smooth texture. Some alcohol warming. Not much lingering aftertaste - clean.
D: A very easy-to-drink, approachable dopplebock. Good flavors, easy to find, good price too.

msubulldog25, Aug 02, 2006
Photo of jettjon
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Highs: Appearance, nose, flavor
Lows: Thin mouthfeel

Pours a dark, clear amber brown with no visible carbonation. Head is thick brownish tan, fading down slowly to 1-finger, great retention, good lacing. Nose heavy on yeast, some alcohol, sweet malt, sorghum, and maybe some dark fruit. Taste sweet malt well balanced again mild hops, yeast, a tiny bit of alcohol, finishing on a yeasty/fruity note that lingers for a bit toward the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is a little disappointing, mostly watery with just a bit of creamy substance to it. Drinkability is very good.

Overall: A good and surprisingly inexpensive dopplebock (about 8 bucks for a sixer, versus 2 bucks plus each for Celebrator). Not as good as Celebrator or Samichlaus, but a darned good dopplebock nonetheless. Try it.

jettjon, Jul 30, 2006
Photo of meatyard
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%

A - a nice, 2", creamy, tan head that faded over a short time leaving a few small clumps of lacing. color is a toasted caramel.
S - a bit of dried fruit like fig with a bit of sweetness.
T - more than a hint of sweetness that lingers cloyingly on the palate. a bit of alcohol though not bothersome.
M - average, not dry or oily, it does have some lingering tastes over parts of the tongue that I enjoy in some beer.
D - Easy to drink without thinking much about it.
It's not nearly my favorite dopplebock but it's not bad by any stretch. There are several DB's that I'd choose to drink before this one again.

meatyard, Jul 27, 2006
Photo of Enola
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%

This beer is a shade darker than sweet tea. There was a small head. The smell is of vanilla and spices. Smells like a winter warmer. The taste is sweet and malty with a bit of the alcohol chiming in. The mouthfeel is fair, the abv shows up here as well. I could drink this beer again. Average for the style.

Enola, Jul 26, 2006
Photo of spaceranger
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

this cheet is good. darkness with a cream head. a plum/prune/chocoate presence. sweeeet. alkie declared at 7.2, whoa, easy boys! it'll kick. carbonation is what I will call perfect - not too prevelant but more than just noticable. Spaten is probably a kind of "run-of-the-brewery" ordinary in Germany, but here in the states, where most beer sucks, It Is Wunderbar! I likey too much. Have a six or two. I think you'll see what I'm talkin' about...

adios amoebas...

spaceranger, Jul 22, 2006
Photo of Drew966
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%

Spaten Optimator pours a dark brown with ruby around the edges and an off white head from a green twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is bread like malt. Sweet malt dominates the flavor. Alcohol is definitely noticeable. Not really my favorite style, but this is a decent beer that is certainly worth a try.

Drew966, Jul 20, 2006
Photo of Liquids
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%

I thought that I loved doppelbocks after having a Celebrator early on, but after trying several other big lagers and doppelbocks I realized it may have been a fluke...I tried this one at the recomendation of a customer. Pours a dark brown muted mahogany with a thin filmy head and somewhat effervescent carbonation. Smell is hoppy actually, faint alcohol even in the aroma, distinctly german, with a sweet-spicy kind of mix. Taste is dark, sweet, full, domanantly malty, with the malt profile not as caramel dominated as expected, and overall mild on hops. Desirable caracteristics, and a bit sweet, with that alcohol note present and lingering. Mouthfeel is too overcarbonated and bitey, but medium. Overall this is good but not amazing. Better than Salvator though. Now I wonder if I'll still like Celebrator as much as I remember liking it early on? Doppelbocks remain a hit-or-miss enigma to my palate.

Liquids, Jul 20, 2006
Photo of leedorham
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

Picked this up at the local supermarket (on sale!).
Comes in a foil-topped green bottle (which is really annoying because I save bottles for homebrewing and that foil takes forever to get off).
Pours thick dark brown with lots of carbonation and a thick, tan head. Lots of lacing. Smells super sweet like brown sugar.
Tastes sweet too. Hints of fruitiness taken over by the roasted characters and alcohol.
Overall very good considering the trip it's had to take. I'm usually more likely to take an American brew just because of the geography of freshness but this one may influence my next selection.

leedorham, Jul 17, 2006
Photo of Blakaeris
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%

Pours dark mahogany brown with ruby highlights. Head if off-white and quite fluffy. Slight lacing.

Smell is sweet smokey dark malt. Hints of molasses and brown sugar.

Taste is similiar to the nose. Additional hints of chocolate, caramel, and dark fruit. Finish has subdued spicy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and chewy.

Great roasted malt profile. Slight hops are only there for a semblance of balance. Molasses really makes an impression. Recommended for DB lovers.

Blakaeris, Jul 16, 2006
Photo of bashiba
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%

Poured a cola like shade of brown with a thin tan head, little lacing and retention.

Smell was light with sweet malts and a slight mustyness.

Taste has a light sweet but toasted maltiness with hints of cedar. Finishes with a slight earthy and musty hop taste.

Mouthfeel was light and slightly creamy

Overall easy to drink, but far from great.

bashiba, Jul 16, 2006
Photo of DrJay
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%

Served in a tulip glass, this beer was a pleasing toffee brown colour with a thin, tan head. The foam settled to a ring of very fine bubbles and produced solid, yet short-lived, sheets of fine lacing. The aroma was rich and malty, full of caramel and fresh milled grain. The flavour had hints of fruit sweetness, but the dominant character was warm caramel and toffee maltiness. There was also a kiss of floral hops in the finish. Well-integrated, fairly low carbonation coupled with a medium body and light alcohol warmth gave it a refined texture. Quite a nice beer. Satisfying.

DrJay, Jul 12, 2006
Photo of hasslerj
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%

Single 12oz. bottle poured into a Pokal.

Poured a cola-brown with minimal head, after the first few sips absolutely none to speak of, looks a lot like flat soda. Maple Syrup...as many have previously explained it.

I contemplated the aroma of this beer from the moment I cracked the bottle (that first hit or aroma is priceless) and for about 5 minutes afterward before drawing a conclusion. At first it reminded me of spaghetti sauce, then more caramelish, then finally i realized what it reminded me of...soy sauce. Not to disparage this beer, I love the smell, I love soy sauce...

Taste...the more intense "soy" flavors poked through to me instantly, a bit intense...not surprising considering the higher alcohol content....the finish is coffeelike, delicious.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth and light, considering it looks like it came from a new england tree...Considering the higher ABV i thought it would be a bit tougher to drink, but i was pleasantly surprised..very drinkable.

Overall, the men at Spaten really know what they're doing, and this dopplebock reaffirms my high opinions of their creations...I've never met a Spaten I didnt like.

hasslerj, Jul 09, 2006
Photo of wingman14
3.23/5  rDev -17%

Pours a dark maple syrup brown with a white head. Smells sweet with malt and some caramel notes. This beer has a good and unique flavor with good balance and a very small bitter sweet finish. It is medium in body with an average amount of carbonation, and a decent mouthfeel. This was a good brew, worth checking out, not something I would seek out though, or pay to much for. Enjoy!

wingman14, Jul 08, 2006
Photo of indy169
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

It must be said that I really enjoy most Munchen beers. Having spent several months there, I have been lucky enough to try their brews the way they were intended. Fresh and on tap. What a difference. With the American bottle versions you get the general impression, but not the full effect.
Spaten's Optimator is still excellent in the states when compared to most peers.
It pours beautifully with a deep cocoa color and a creamy head. Smell is full but not too overbearing. Malty, yes. Hoppy, no.
Very rich and balanced. The Germans know what they're doing.
This is a classic beer on either side of the Atlantic.

indy169, Jul 07, 2006
Photo of bklynbeerbaron
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%

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

Appearance: Pours a dark, ruby red. Almost no head to speak of, just a thin layer of bubbles that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Like raisin bread; strong aromas of malt and yeast.

Taste and mouthfeel: Very sweet, nearly to the point where it overwhelms the bitterness. Again, I get the raisin flavor; like chocolate-covered raisins, with roasty undertones. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for such a supposedly malty brew, but it does leave a coating on the tongue.

Drinkability: Goes down pretty easily, but the sweetness might prove to be too much after a while.

Notes: A solid dopplebock, but I've had better (Samuel Adams, for one). Not quite enough heft for me.

bklynbeerbaron, Jun 28, 2006
Photo of wcudwight
3.58/5  rDev -8%

Poured into a flute glass.
Appearance is that of a Pepsi, no head and lot's of carbonation. Shows a bit more ruby when held up to the light.
Smell is fairly faint and I have to swirl it a couple of times to really get an aroma. What little I get is caramel and toast.
The flavor is not as strong as other doppelbocks I've had. Still the usual caramel, smoke and toast. They are more subtle. This may not be a bad thing; I just depends who you are.
Mouthfeel is lighter than expected too.
Overall it is a lighter doppelbock but that makes it very drinkable too. The alcohol is not noticable. Not the best of the style that I've had, but still a good beer. Maybe the most sessionable Doppelbock I've had.

wcudwight, Jun 24, 2006
Photo of RJLarse
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%

I picked up a six pack of Spaten Optimator at a grocery store to taste, review and enjoy. I poured this beer in to a pilsner glass. .

Pours a dark brown color with a red hue when held up to the light and is clear. A half-inch tan head forms and is gone quickly. The head leaves virtually no lacing on the sides of the glass. There are streams of bubbles rising through the beer, and it appears moderately carbonated.

The smell is fairly strong, sweet and fruity. There is a hint of alcohol and a caramel aroma.

The taste is also sweet and malty, with a smoky-caramel flavor, and a taste of cereal or grain. There is a mildly bitter hop finish. It tastes (and looks) a little like Coke or Pepsi, but not as sweet.

The mouth feel is smooth and full-bodied, bordering on cloying and sticky.

This is a drinkable beer. It’s a bit heavy on the ABV to have more than a couple in a sitting, but it’s a tasty brew with a lot of flavor. I think this would be a good fall and winter beer, and I’ll cellar three bottles until then.

RJLarse, Jun 22, 2006
Photo of dfried
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%

Very dark brown, not quite see through, with a reddish tint to it. Large bubbly, perfect head. Quite tart, yeasty and malty smell, very deep with a lot going on. The first note I wrote down was "So fruity it's outrageous," and it was. There is a noticable fresh, toasted grain malt flavor, but the taste is dominated by fresh fruit, mainly rasberries and other brambles at first, but the finish reveals even more flavors, apple, plum, dark grapes, and I don't even know what else. This was sweet and fruity almost even to the extent of a fruit lambic, but there was much more of a toasted malt character to set it apart from a lambic. It has a dry, slightly chewy mouthfeel. This beer is about as drinkable as a doppelbock can be. It's a little heavy, but it tastes so good you don't stop wanting more.

dfried, Jun 22, 2006
Photo of boblog
4.28/5  rDev +10%

What a wonderful beer. I like the Oktoberfest more personally however this is a great beer. Wonderful oatmeal like taste. Strong body. A good Doppelbock. I have found it to be very much worth its price. Strong ABV, and great taste, overall a very, very good beer.

boblog, Jun 21, 2006
Photo of JohnY
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%

Poured on tap and into a Spaten Bier Stein. White head that created a good two fingers at the top of the stein. Retained the head for most of the stein. No apparent lace to be found. Ruby red to Dark brown in color. Faint brambly fruits on the nose back with a nice chocolate to caramel malt nose. No fruit presence in the taste, alcohol on the initial taste that followed by malty sweetness. Easy to drink considering the ABV.

JohnY, Jun 20, 2006
Photo of JayTheFinn
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

Very dark ruby red with a little insignificant head. Yeasty rum-like scent. Licorice flavor with the alcohol very noticeable. The mouthfeel is full, however towards the end it does tapper off a bit. And thank god, cuz for me this would be too over the top if the flavor lasted much longer. So while it's a good one-off drinker, I couldn't see ordering another in one sitting.

JayTheFinn, Jun 19, 2006
Photo of tastybeer
4.28/5  rDev +10%

The garnet color looks great in the light. Body is clear and head is big, aromatic, and a creamy tan color. Good retention along with spotty and sheety lace in the beginning. A Very full malty aroma floats out of my glass. Layers of toasty malts, bready, creamy caramel, lightly fruity with sugary plums. Taste is a malty explosion. A slight hop touch returns the sticky malts to earth. Really tasty especially if you love malts. Malts are sweet and heavy, a bit nutty, bready, carmel and mollases. Medium-fullish body with a good mouthfeel that is chewy + sticky sweet. A slight bitterness helps to balance.

Malty malt malt.

tastybeer, Jun 15, 2006
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,524 ratings.