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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,500 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,500
Reviews: 1,262
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 62
Gots: 144 | 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: 2,500 | Reviews: 1,262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Melchizedek


3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours deep brown, slight reddish/amber tinge, with a nice big head that lingers and sticks.

Smells malty, very strongly caramel. The taste has a bitterness to it that nicely offsets the strong sweetness. There are smoky notes in this, as well as a little bit of a nutty cheese feel, especially in the finish. A little leafy in the background too, and the sweetness has something of a floral character. Mouthfeel is nice and moderate with a lively carbonation.

This is very savory, with a bit of strength to it--I wouldn't have more than one in a row, and the sweetness is more than I would like for regular consumption (a question of style more than individual merit), but it's nice to try this one, my first doppelbock since having a Salvator way back in the early days of my beer exploration. Quite nice.

10-21-2005 19:08:04 | More by Melchizedek
Photo of Naerhu


3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

A - A deep dark brownish red body with minimal head. Minus a half a point for appearing in a green bottle.
S - Very light aroma. Hard to describe other than bocky. Primarily malt, but with a hint of hopps.
T - More bitterness than I expected, this is a lot more like Deadguy ale than any other bock I have ever had. Although there is an abundance of sweet malt flavor, this is by no means a sweet beer. Pretty complex with some dark dried fruit and hints molasses.
M - Moderately carbonated with a nice soft broad body.
D - Nice balance of sweet and bitter with a surprisingly dry finish.

10-20-2005 05:53:28 | More by Naerhu
Photo of nickss


3.68/5  rDev -5.4%

Pours a deep reddish brown hue with about a 1/2" foamy cap. There is some gorgeous lacing on the side of the glass as it is consumed.

Not much of a scent... kinda smells like the original Spaten, which wins it no points in my book. A bit of nuttiness and toffee in there... nothing special though.

Once again, a decent taste... quite a bit more bitter than I'd expect from a doppelbock. But nothing I'd write home about... not when I can get significantly better doppels for only $0.50 more per bottle.
Some deep toffee tones to it. Not bad, but not great.

The mouthfeel is quite a bit more crisp than most doppels I'm used to.... yet still creamy.... very interesting... I still prefer the typical deep creaminess I'm used to.

Sure... its drinkable... I guess I just expected more... I guess I should know about what to expect from Spaten name brand brews... oh well.

10-20-2005 00:45:17 | More by nickss
Photo of xgrigorix


3.48/5  rDev -10.5%

Twelve ounce green bottle - no dates.

Deep chestnut brown, dense off white head.

Caramel malt aromas, along with some faint vauge hop notes.

Plenty of malty caramel goodness. A touch of dark fruit, and subtle hints of chocolate. Herbal / grassy hops lead to a dry finish. Medium bodied, modereate carbonation.

10-16-2005 03:44:46 | More by xgrigorix
Photo of grindcore666


3.18/5  rDev -18.3%

Pours a fabulous marble-like cascade of deep brown and root beer. Outstanding color. Head retention and lacing on the other hand is 'meh', unfortunately, but I have to give credit where it's due...looks superb.

A dark range of scents: an overdrive of roasted malts, soil, alcohol, burnt brownies, and prunes.

A molasses bite bleeds out into an aura of earthy flavors. Complex and well done. Feels very syrupy with mid to low carbonation.

Though this one has some great characteristics, it's just not very versatile. Plus, it's syrupy mouthfeel might make just one or two of these enjoyable.

10-14-2005 05:30:52 | More by grindcore666
Photo of tesguino


3.7/5  rDev -4.9%

a dark beer, more then its sister family bock´s; the termination ator give the germans to the beers that are more strong than others, its appearance is good, smell and mouthfeel had a touch of alcohol and roasted malt; drinkability is over the average; try with sea food and german snacks; 95% recommended.

10-13-2005 16:48:25 | More by tesguino
Photo of Px2GrafX


3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

presentation: 12oz. GREEN bottle with a gold, red, black and white label. optimator spaten munich is large across the label and there's a red shield in the center with paddles. "since 1397". a message on the back label describes the brewing method according to the purity law. no freshness date or abv displayed.

appearance: pours a dark red-brown with deep red highlights in a pint glass. head is a nice 1 inch, tight and off-white head that takes a little while to drop. retention isn't bad and lacing is good.

smell: very malty sweet, but there is a nice light floral hop aroma. a little bready. nose is not overly impressive.

taste: malts rule here, and there is very little hop character or bitterness, but what's there is a bit herbal. alcohol flavor is apparent. caramelly and bready. finishes sweet with alcohol warming.

mouthfeel: very clean, light medium body that's creamy and smooth, but moreso as the brew warms. light carbonation. rolls around and swallows just ok.

drinkability: despite a high amount of noticible alcohol, this is still quite drinkable. sweet and tasty; dessert-like, with a nice warming effect. alcohol isn't a hinderance. finish is clean and there's not a big aftertaste.

overall: this is a lot of people's favorite dopplebock, but i disagree. while this is quite a nice brew with some different qualities, it's still a ways away from my favorite for this style. there seems to be quite a big difference between excellent and good for this style in my opinion. good try, just the same.

10-12-2005 03:38:30 | More by Px2GrafX
Photo of ReebShorts


4.08/5  rDev +4.9%

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz bottle with gold foil, nice off white 1 to 2 finger head on pour fading to a thin layer with some bubble islands. color is darkish brown like cola.

Smell is malty which i expected from this style, also picked up on some dark fruit (plum, date, raisin, something like that), and slight alcohol in the aroma.

I wasn't sure if I'd like this much, fearing it may be too malty or sweet, but the dark fruits balance it nicely. Don't get me wrong, malt is predominant here, especially on the finish, but doesn't linger, also there is a nice warming effect. This one is better than I expected.

Mouthfeel is great, wet on the intake with right amount of carbonation, and a surprisingly dry, crisp finish. A little sticky but no more than normal for the style.

10-09-2005 22:45:33 | More by ReebShorts
Photo of RedHaze


4.08/5  rDev +4.9%

Dark brown with a thick 2 finger head, with mild lacing.

Nice malty/nutty smell with some brown sugar and some dark fruits.

Taste is roasted malts, nuts and caramel. There's just enough of a hop presence to keep it from being overly sweet.

This is a really good Doppelbock. Went really well with the Schnitzel I had at the restaraunt. I might have to actually look to buy some of this to have at home.

10-09-2005 00:35:05 | More by RedHaze
Photo of palma

New York

4.08/5  rDev +4.9%

Appearance: Dark brown body. Creamy looking beige head. Very good head retention.

Nose: Molassas, chocolate, and raw alcohol. Tangy fruit, cherries maybe. Also some light nutty notes.

Taste: Very malty as expected. Notes of chocolate, coffee, rum cake. A good nuttiness. Significant raw alcohol cannot be missed, though it's not a bad thing. This is a strong beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation. Very full mouthfeel. Pretty sticky.

Though Doppelbock is not one of my favorite styles, this beer fits the bill perfectly. Overall, this is a very good beer of this style and is exactly what I had expected. Wish I'll one day have the oportunity to taste it fresh in Germany.

10-07-2005 08:22:04 | More by palma
Photo of weeare138


4.3/5  rDev +10.5%

Appears a dark reddish brown with a 1 finger tan cap that slowly fades. Tiny spotty lacing have a bit of a hard time sticking.
Smell is super malty, nutty, caramel, molasses, and sourdough.
Tate is equal to the aromas and measures up nicely.
Mouthfeel is sweet, with dark fruit and mild sourness balancing out this malty mix. Very smooth.

10-02-2005 14:59:14 | More by weeare138
Photo of Bumpon10s


4.33/5  rDev +11.3%

A - Pours a nice carmel color, little head with small lacing.

S - The most dominating scent is the alcohol, kind of suprising. Also scents of malts and spice.

T - A very sweet beer, tastes of malts and brown sugar. I think I could have this for desert.

M - Very thin and tingly from the sweetness. Stays very sticky in the mouth and warms you with the ABV.

D - Very high, I've had this beer many times and enjoyed it everytime. It is a beer you don't mind having 2-3 of and a few times a week. Plain and simple it's just a good beer.

09-27-2005 04:16:44 | More by Bumpon10s
Photo of tempest


3.88/5  rDev -0.3%

Pours a tall head that quickly disapates and sadly leaves no lace. However, it the body its a beautiful darker than dark amber that lets little light through.

The smell is a bit weak, but its a classic strong bock smell. A little bit roasted, and a little whatever "bock" is.

Very smooth and mellow for a doppelbock or really anything at 7.2% abv. Its actually so smooth that it reminds me more of a normal bock. I'd expect at least a little kick from a doppel, like an Ayinger doppel. It's a rich taste that finishes with a bitter note and a slight, but pleasant aftertaste.

Feels great in your mouth, nothing extraordinary, it just does what it supposed to here.

Great drinkability. Goes down easy for a high content beer and tastes good at the same time.

While not an amazing beer, $8 a sixer is very hard to beat if your looking to get buzzed or even blotto off of real beer. For a doppel it could use a tad more punch, but its still a solid beer. Recommend to anyone who likes bocks and likes to feel the effects of alcohol. Cant say I dont.

09-23-2005 05:54:55 | More by tempest
Photo of PBRstreetgang


3.63/5  rDev -6.7%

Pours deep ruby, dark, but fairly clear. A three finger off-white head holds very well with creamy consistency, leaving good sticky lacing. The smell is a complex blend of chocolate malts, dark fruit and german hops. Rich flavors of burnt chocolate malts and sweet fruits are very apparent in taste. The hops are light and indistinct, but create a fair balance for a doppelbock. Thin to medium body and solid carbonation, with a fruity residual sweetness that lasts long enough to hinder drinkabilty. Optimater is robust and complex, but the aftertaste becomes overwhelming after the first bottle.

09-14-2005 06:07:51 | More by PBRstreetgang
Photo of neonbrown82


4.43/5  rDev +13.9%

I've never been much of a fan for doppelbocks, but this one is quite good. A little bit more crisp and less "muddy," but still has a nice sludgy mouthfeel.

Pours to a dark nutty brown with a thin white head that fizzes away to nothing in a matter of seconds. When held to the light it is revealed to be quite clear and ruby colored with a nice carbonation. Looks good.

The smell is very malty, earthy and nutty. A slight roast and chocolate/caramel. Good, but requires a strong whiff to get the whole of it.

The taste is also very dark and malty with some good earthy, nutty, and roasty flavors. Has a nice sweetness to it. Too little hop bitterness to detect, almost. Finishes very clean, and with no detection of a high alcohol content.

The mouthfeel is very crisp and carbonated, also stings a bit, whether from the alcohol or the carbonation. Also manages to be quite thick and sludgy. Very interesting. This is a very dangerously drinkable doppelbock. I would recommend it, even if you aren't a fan of the style, like myself.

09-14-2005 01:59:34 | More by neonbrown82
Photo of silver0rlead

North Carolina

3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours a very deep brown with ruby tinges, and a thick tan head that dissapates quickly, dark for a dopplebock in my opinion. Aroma is extremely malty, with hints of carmelized brown sugar, toasted bread, alcohol and a light pear scent. Flavor has huge malt tones, carmelized brown sugar, raisins, toasted (almost burnt) bread, sweet dextrins and a light herbal and mineraly hops flavor also a light chocolate flavor comes through. Mouthfeel is medium with light carbonation and alcohol becomes noticeable in the finish. Drinkability is descent. A nice and surely authentic dopplebock but not my favorite.

09-05-2005 03:22:23 | More by silver0rlead
Photo of warriorsoul


4/5  rDev +2.8%

Enjoyed a bottle w/ my brother at the Flying Saucer in downtown Raleigh, NC...
Poured (by staff) and arrived in a standard pint glass a dark worn-rust color w/ a 1/2 finger of off-white head. A nice lacing produced...
Aroma is sweet malt w/ some raisins...
More raisins in the taste...quite sweet w/ no alcohol detected.
A slight chocolate character, but not a chocolate beer by any means...just a subtleness to make this one true to the style.
Mouthfeel is medium bodied....carbonation is perfect.
I could enjoy this one all evening if given the chance...will hunt this one down in the future.

09-04-2005 21:10:17 | More by warriorsoul
Photo of Golden2wenty1


3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

Picked up a single at Riley's here in Madison.

Pours a dark mahogany brown with a nice frothy off-white head, some lacing. Smell is grainy malts and with some caramel/toffee and hoppy notes. Taste mimics the nose, a nice if not unexceptional balance of malt and hops. Mouthfeel is bubbly and crisp, refreshing. Quite drinkable for 7.2%. I could tip a few of these back for sure.

08-29-2005 20:32:02 | More by Golden2wenty1
Photo of TongoRad

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

It pours a rich mahogany color with tons of depth and a rocky two-finger tan head which leaves lots of lacing as it recedes.

The aroma is at its best after a good swirling of the glass, otherwise it is subdued. There are lots of caramel, nuts, raisins, molasses and maybe some spices like dried ginger or nutmeg. It all comes together quite nicely.

The same qualities from the nose carry through on the palate with the caramel coming to the forefront. Bitterness is at a substantial level for the style and the body is quite full. Alcohol makes an appearance near the end and the finish has a long shot of toasted malt.

This is a solid beer. It may not be the best dopplebock that I have ever had but due to its affordable price it is most certainly the one that I drink the most, and it has never let me down.

08-24-2005 01:44:34 | More by TongoRad
Photo of scottum


2.48/5  rDev -36.2%

Pours a sexy deep brown with a nice big full tan headskie. Tastes, um... sickly sweet. Malts are big and full of sugars. All balance is shot by the sweet-tooth, alas. There might be more to this beer behind the sweet malts, but I'm too overpowered to find it. Mouthfeel and drinkability also suffers from sweetness. There are many many many better doppelbocks available.

08-24-2005 01:39:59 | More by scottum
Photo of highwaychile82


4.65/5  rDev +19.5%

This happens to be one of my all time favorite beers. It has a distinct earth tone color and a great but not overpowering taste. This is the "dark" beer I give to my friends to prove to them that dark isnt always bitter or "a meal in a can." Optimator is one of those rare exceptional beers where taste, body, and color come together delicously and quite often in... my stomach!

08-24-2005 01:31:59 | More by highwaychile82
Photo of Bonhoeffer


3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

Three words come to mind when i sip an Optimator: sweet malty goodness. Doppelbocks make lagers interesting, and this is a prime example of the style. IMHO, every bit as good as Ayinger Celebrator, but usually half the cost.

Just enough hops to keep it from being cloying, but barely. This is a fairly sweet beer. Nice little alcohol warmth accompanies each sip.

I've had this both in 12 oz bottles and 500ml bottles. Haven't discerned any difference in taste between the two.

08-10-2005 13:37:26 | More by Bonhoeffer
Photo of SkeeterHawk


4.33/5  rDev +11.3%

Appearance: Extremely clear deep garnet color with a thick tan head of tight bubbles that retained pretty well. There aren't that many bubbles rising to the top, so the retention must be from body.

Aroma: Melanoidins hit you in the face as soon as you put this beer to your nose. There is also some caramel that is noticeable along with some dark fruits that I would guess are alcohol derived. The next major player aside from the Melanoidins is toast from Munich/Vienna malts. The aroma is so smooth here, that the toast may be from a boatload of Vienna only.

Taste: The taste follows the aroma profile pretty closely. You get toasty malt and Melanoidins in the first part of the profile. The hops are completely subdued to let the malts shine. In the finish, there is a bit of slickness left in the throat from the caramel. This slickness disappears into a soft numbness that is the result of the alcohol. Nice!

Opinion: I REALLY like this DoppelBock! I like that it is so rich and true...and actually reasonably priced considering that it is a world-class beer. I may make some uneasy with this comment, but I think that I would actually take this over Salvator (the godfather of DoppelBocks). This beer is so flavorful, and rich in Melanoidins...it is hard to find another beer (under $10 a six pack) that can match this taste. A superb beer!

08-06-2005 05:42:14 | More by SkeeterHawk
Photo of Wasatch


4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

Pours a nice dark brown with a huge head which slowly dissipates. Leaves some nice lacing. Scents are of sweet coffee/malt. There's a nice sweet taste with a medium body. This is not a Celebrator, but true to the Doppelbock style. Still it is very drinkable and many can be had, a nice session brew.

08-05-2005 00:30:13 | More by Wasatch
Photo of DogFood11


3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

Nice representation of a solid dopplebock. Coffee aroma's and a light yet oily body make this a treat.

Dark brown in color with a light fizzy Khaki head and minimal lacing. lots of carbonation sizzles a bit in the mouth but not enough to bother the throat. Minimal lacing. Raisin/coffee, brown sugar, are the three tastes that come through. Malt comes through in the finish and lingers drawing the drinkability down for me. Why have another drink if i'm still tasting the first one?. awwww to get buzzy you say? Yes indeed.

overall I enjoyed it and think it would go great with shellfish....pop some oysters and enjoy an optimator....yummmm

07-25-2005 20:44:17 | More by DogFood11
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,500 ratings.