1. American Craft Beer Fest returns to Boston on May 29 & 30, featuring 640+ beers from 140+ brewers. Tickets are on sale now.

Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,729 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,729
Reviews: 1,286
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 69
Gots: 245 | 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.
View: Beers (17) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | Likes | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Spaten Optimator Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,729 | Reviews: 1,286 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of GRPunk
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle poured into a mug.

A- It poured a clean, dark brown with a 1 finger tan head. The medium carbonation allowed the head to drop to a thick lace that stuck nicely to the side of the glass.

S- There's definitely more malt than hops, but they aren't missing either. The initial aroma was really doughy but the hops clean things up in the finish.

T- Really malt heavy. It's a bit chocolatey, roasty, and caramelly (are any of those words?), but all good.

M- It was solidly thick with the slightest of tingle from the carbonation and hops.

D- While quite full-bodied, it's smooth enough to have more than one in a sitting.

Photo of clayrock81
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A thick, cola like blackness oozed into my glass and left a small head and minimal lace rings. A malty smell of coffee and roasted malt (maybe cocoas) and some sweet smells also. A coffee, roasted malt taste with an overlying smoothness brought on by caramel. Moderate dryness on the backbite, as the alcohol is somewhat noticeable but doesn't ruin the beer. A tad simplistic but a solid beer worth trying and having a couple at the bar.

Photo of JBogan
2.93/5  rDev -24.7%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this a while back, but couldn't remember if I liked it so decided to revisit it again.

Poured a dark, almost cola like appearance with a solid two finger head which stayed for quite a while and left strong lacing.

Smelled of nuts and coffee, with some alcohol present.

Tasted of mild coffee and maybe some dark fruits. normally I don't like the taste of coffee but this was well integrated and was somewhat pleasing.

Mouthfeel was good. Smooth and a bit on the thick side.

All in all it wasn't my favorite offering from Spaten, but it was well done and something I'd consider having again.

Photo of JEdmund
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark amber, like a strong iced tea. Good head on it, which leveled out fast, yet left a nice surface layer of foam.

Bready, and some pepperiness to it; a bit sweet like a brown ale; hints of raisin, and just a tad coffee

Taste & Mouthfeel
Decent bitterness to it, though certainly more toffee, malty flavors coming through. Light in body on the tongue, with a nice amount of carbonation.

A tasty doppelbock. It would be easy to drink this as a session beer.

Photo of dacrza1
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, brazen brown body with a white settling head; occupies the Celebrator glass well... excellent tracings of lace... heightened malts.... the sweet aroma is warming and inviting... smooth, medium-bodied with little effervescence around the tongue and below...creamy... the pitch of bready yeasts and malts are empowering, rich and rewarding... the end is warming... in the first of six doppelbocks sampled, the Optimator sets a brisk pace... the malts arrive as expected, balanced as the lion and lamb month they 're intended for...

Photo of dsa7783
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Single, 12 oz bottle purchased from Total Wine and More in West Orange for $1.79...
Dark-purple, mahogany brown appearance topped off with a modest foamy head that soon dissipated and left a fair amount of lacing...
Deep, roasted malt smell with noticeable hints of prunes and dates...
Thick, rich flavor bursting with figs, prunes, dehydrated fruits, molasses, syrup, and dark, candied sugars...
Very creamy mouthfeel with a nice hint of sweetness thrown into the mix...
Good level of drinkability, especially with the nice 7.2% ABV and lack of cloying flavors...

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

Poured into a pint glass, this beer revealed a darker brown beer with a 1/2" head that left some lacing down the glass.

Smells were malty and sweet with German hop spice.

Taste is similar to smell with more of cocoa flavor and alcohol presence.

Mouthfeel was medium and I did not mind.

Drinkability was fine. It is higher alcohol though. Oddly enough it went with my turkey on wheat.

Photo of Traquairlover
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12-oz bottle poured into a pilsner.

A = Clear dark amber brown, small tan to off white head, light lacing on glass.

S = Caramel, roasted malt, milk chocolate, some slight spiciness is in their too.

T = Milk chocolate and caramel but also some good amount of bitterness to balance it out.

M = Mdeium bodied, good mouthcoating, somewhat frothy when swished.

D = A good doppelbock, maybe a little fresher tasting and less complex than several others, but well worth drinking.

Photo of Rayek
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A nice doppel I hadn't had in awhile.

A: Nice maple colored beer. Offwhite head starts out good but dissolves a little too quick. Minimal carbonation. Leaves a fair amount of lace.

S: Sweet. Toffee, caramel, maple and brown sugar. Slight alcohol aroma keeps this from being too sweet.

T: Alcohol plays a big role. Cinnamon and clove bitterness balances toffee and caramel malt qualities. Hints of molasses. Finishes dry and a little sweet, but with a lingering bitterness. Very interesting.

M: Medium heavy body feels substantial. Carbonation level is just right.

D: Perfect for cool spring days. Strength limits me to one in a sitting.

Photo of Ecliptica
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 16.9 oz BROWN bottle into a pint glass (and then refilled the pint glass once I finished the first serving). The brew poured an opaque amber-brown color with a slight tan head that dissipated quickly without keeping its lacing.

The initial smell was that of caramel. As the beer warmed up, it began to smell and taste better. There is a slight, slight hint of apple taste and, of course, plenty of malt to go around. I would recommend getting this in the brown bottle, as there is no skunky smell that often comes from the imported green bottles.

The taste got better as the beer warmed, as it really became discernibly flavorful. The taste of caramel carried throughout and once warm, the alcohol became more prevalent. I let my friend try it and he said it was "super-bready". The bread taste makes the beer quite filling, especially in the 16.9 oz variety. Immense taste of malt and a dry, crisp aftertaste left the beer quite drinkable.

This is quite the smooth Dopplebock. Despite the opaque appearance, it is quite light in body with little to no carbonation, making it go down very smoothly. Felt great on the palate.

Drinkability is sneaky, because this is still a 7.2% abv brew. I read someone saying one could get into trouble by not realizing this and I agree. It goes down much smoother than a beer should at this alcohol content level and in the bigger bottles, it's common habit to try to finish it before it warms (though I still stand by my belief that this beer tastes better warm). All in all, an above average Dopplebock - 4s across the board.

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

This quality Doppelbock pours a clear, woody copper with ruby highlights. The frothy, light tan head recedes at an average pace and leaves some nice walls of lace behind.

Tons of sweet caramel malt and a distinct nutty, buttery biscuit character. A hint of earthy fruit and syrupy sweetness. More buttery fruit comes through at the end.

Buttery, nutty, caramel sweetness with dark fruit, apple, black cherry, and yeastiness. Grainy with buttery, toasted dark bread. Some mild sourness with faint booze. More yeasty dark fruit rounds out the finish.

Bright and crisp for the style with mild acidity and a yeasty, starchy feel. Moderate carbonation and full body for the style.

Photo of BeerZack
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark mahogany color with minimal head, visible only around the edges really.

Huge sweet grainy malt smells. Caramel, toffee, sweet barley, some fruity yeastiness. Slightly salty and a bit alcoholic.

Sweet roasted barley, caramalts, bit of fruitiness (apples). Slightly salty drying finish, slightly alcoholic as it warms.

Somewhat aggressive carbonation, light-moderate body. Pretty drinkable, but a little more rough than the best examples of the style.

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

Dark transparent brown with single finger head that disappeared quickly with no lacing.

Aromas of caramel and apples, slight roasted smell.

Imagine a caramel apple drizzled with fine extra dark chocolate. A slight bitter finish but it's mostly about the malt.

Lighter in body than it looks, but it works. Still a nice presence in the mouth.

Easy to drink, you can't tell it's ABV is 7.2%, could get messed up if you aren't careful.

Photo of argock
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from 12oz green bottle into a short pilsner glass. No freshness date.

A: Medium-to-dark brown with impressive 1-2 finger light tan head with respectable head retention and lacing.

S: Smell is slightly skunky with a little bit of yeasty smells and faint sweet malts.

T: Thankfully this beer doesn't taste like it smells because it tastes great. Nice rounded sweet caramel and brown sugar flavors are exceptionally well-balanced with a crisp noble hops dry, crisp finish. Breadiness is there and deliciously sweet. Some raisin and currant flavors are there at the end.

M: Coating feel with medium body. Very smooth with prickly but not overwhelming carbonation.

D: Dangerously drinkable at 7.2% ABV. Especially excellent for an import -- it stands up as an superb bock with exceptional smoothness and sweet maltiness.

Photo of ommegoose
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a 12-pack at Evanston First Liquors.

Pours out of a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. A very dark brown with hints of red, orange and purple when held to the light. A fast pour doesn't yield too much head and it fizzes out pretty fast. Doesn't leave anything on top, and looks very shiny and oily, which suggests lots of aroma and flavor. In fairness, this is the last of the 12 pack, and I've had this sitting in the fridge a while. I seem to remember there being much better retention with previous bottles. I like this beer best very close to (if not at) room temperature. The bottle artwork is nice.

Smells so dark and malty. Strong suggestions of prune and raisin. Sweet like ripe dark fruits. Also just reminds me of various breads, like pumpernickel or sourdough. This just puts a smile on my face. It's not the most complex, but it's potent, and just dessert-like enough to make this beer feel like a treat. I like that you can give this one a strong shake and pull big differences out of the nose.

Flavor is very malty and yeasty. Like a dark bread. Balanced out by a raisin/prune sweet and sour mix. Caramel, molasses and toffee are detectable in the sweetness. Maybe a trace of hops, but they don't play much of a role here. Finishes with a subtle dark cacao, and relatively clean. Not at all sticky, which would be an easy trap to fall into with this kind of beer. Might be just too sweet for some, but I have a pretty high threshold for sweetness. Recalls various dessert treats at times, like dark gingerbread or raisin bread, or a dark plum compote.

Mouthfeel is what I would look for here. Thick, slick, and a bit oily. Goes down quite smooth. Some warming, but I'd never call it a burn. There's a tradeoff between alcohol presence and increased flavor and aroma as the beer warms. Carbonation is rather low.

Drinkability is dangerous for a 7.2% beer. I've downed quite a few of these in a sitting without too much thought before. I go out of my way to pick up a 12-er once or twice a year. It doesn't hurt that other doppelbocks are not as readily available in such format or for a better price. Always a good change of pace beer, but not an everyday type of beer.

I must confess that I have not really tried other doppelbocks despite my strong affection for this one. I might re-review if drinking more of them changes my standards. On its own merits, this is a delicious beer, and really quite impressive for the mass-produced nature of it. Would love to try it really fresh someday.

Photo of mattcrill
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle inspection: Green, just like the picture. No useful info on the label but it is listed as malt liquor. Kind of makes me chuckle.

Aroma: Biscuity and toasty malts. Carmel and dark fruits abound. No hop aroma. Nose is clean and full-on malty.

Appearance: Crystal clear ruby pour with a thin, white head.

Flavor: Bread crusts, rich malt flavor, carmel notes all fill the palate. A background earthy hop bitterness that helps keep the malty notes in check. Finish is clean and dry.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with medium-high carbonation. No alcohol heat.

Overall impression: A clean, malty, German lager. Nothing over the top but true to style. Recommended.

Photo of johnnieoz
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Part of my Trader Joe's Doppelbock taste-off

Optimator vs. Joseph Brau's Winterfest, aka Trader Joe's Winterfest Dark Doublebock Lager.

$7.99 for a six-pack.

A: Looks pretty much just like TJ's very own doppelbock. But the off-white head is quicker to recede and the lacing is less pronounced.

S: Smells like a doppelbock: bready, malty, sweet yet still like a beer.

T: Maybe it's my recent West Coast IPA conversion or the fact that Salvator, Troegenator and Celebrator are superior brews, but this is just not the bomb I want it to be. Esp since it's available at an affordable price just down the block. Still, it's hoppier than Winterfest yet retains the caramel, syrupy and bread-like taste.

M: Feels full, a more soild product than Winterfest. Goes down with a dry, hoppy aftertaste. Less carbonated than the TJ product, which come to think of it is NOT cool for this style.

D: Wow, drinking two doppelbocks in one session ain't the best of ideas.

This is very drinkable and fairly affordable. When @ TJs, check it out. Then again you might prefer the sweeter, more carbonated Winterfest.

Photo of brdc
4.64/5  rDev +19.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Small capped bottle poured into a tulip.

Nice brownish color with crimson highlights, topped by an average sized tan head with good retention and lacing. Aroma is malty as expected, toffeeish and caramelized, with some unexpected fruity hints.
Clean taste on an almost full body, with layer upon layer of malts, sweetish, toffeish and caramelized, but well balanced by an underlying bitterness.
A very good doppelbock.

Photo of MetalBoozingBen
2.18/5  rDev -44%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 1 | overall: 2

i purchased a pint bottle of this, since im a fan of spaten beers like their oktoberfest beer,pilser ect.. btu this bock beer was just way too syrupy to me taste wasnt that bad but overwhelming. this is good beer to try a few sips but after a while the strong syrupy taste does get to you

Photo of currysage1
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Absolutely one of the most beautiful beers when poured into a dimpled Stein. Amazing ruby red with a thin layer of beige head that dissipates quickly. Light lacing, nothing to write home about though.

This is my type of beer, malty and drinkable. It does tend to be a little on the sweet side and a little thick and slick on the mouthfeel though. At first whiff there are rum soaked raisins, dark fruit, syrupy sweetness with an alcoholic twinge. Slightly bitter, slightly sweet, theres that rum again, and it's the dark Jamaican kind.

Overall a great beer, but one that you could get better and fresher from a domestic brewer.

Photo of madjr80
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Although high in alcohol, this beer is very drinkable. A dark brown color with two finger head of foam. A strong beer with semi sweet aftertaste. Not nearly as bitter as I was expecting. There was no freshness date, but it tasted fresh enough for an import. I still don't understand why they use a green bottle.

Photo of barleyman
3.99/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 12 oz. brown glass bottle into my straight sided tumbler. The medium white head quickly dissapates into almost no lace. The clear brown beer is the correct color for this style. The smell is of overwhelming malt, with raisin and dark fruit aromas. The taste is of malt with the correct hop balance. Mouthfeel is quite heavy, but not overbearing given the style. Drinkability is a little low, considering the gravity, but again, spot on for the style.
In my opinion, this is the penultimate German double bock. And the beer world owes Gabriel Spaten a debt of gratitude for the discovery of how yeast works.

just a thought,


Photo of champ103
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A: Clear dark red color. No head and no lace.
S: Lots of toasted and caramel malt. A pleasant bready aroma with some dark fruits. A soft and enjoyable nose.
T: Follows the nose. Loads of dark malt and fruit. The flavor is a bit metallic, but not enough to really detract from the overall experience.
M/D: I was a bit disappointed in the mouth. Very thin and watery. This is a good sipping beer though. Smooth and easy to drink, but you don't want to drink it to fast. The alcohol is well hidden and can sneak up on you.

I like this beer. Very malty and pleasant. This is something to look for.

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.

Photo of ElGrecoVerde
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
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.

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,729 ratings.