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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,525 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,525
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: 2,525 | Reviews: 1,262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of OStrungT
4/5  rDev +2.8%

This beer pours a ruby red with a light brown head. The head fades slow, leaving a good lacing.

This beer has a malty caramel aroma. I can detect a slight alcohol aroma as well. A slight nutty aroma mixed with some toasted malts is present also.

This beer tastes pretty much like it smells. Toasted malt, caramel, nutty. All those flavors make an appearence. I can taste a slight hop presence also.

This beer goes down smooth, leaving a malty aftertaste. It feels creamy. It is carbonated well.

This beer would make a decent session beer. It is a little high in alcohol, but the flavor is not overly aggressive. This beer is pretty good.

OStrungT, Feb 11, 2006
Photo of Bierguy5
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

On tap @ Rathskeller in Indy. Tawny, carmel brown nearly black in color. Tan head disappeared quickly. Big malty nose. Roasty and robust. Big sweet malt flavors, slightly roasty. Caramel and toffee like flavors. Bitterness is held back pretty well, although there are some grassy hop flavors. Medium to full body, low carbonation. Pretty good dopplebock.

Bierguy5, Jan 29, 2006
Photo of doubleipa
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

I ordered this on tap, but they brought me a bottle, instead, even though th ebeer menu spcifically said it was on tap. They didn't even offer to bring me something else. Oh well, I drank it any way. This is the first doppelbock I've reviewed. Lots and lots of malt. The head was light-brown, firm, with great lacing. Sweet malt is almost overpowering, but good.

doubleipa, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of soulgrowl
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%

Appearance: Bold, opaque olive-black from far away, translucent root beer-brown up close with a thick, twinkling, light beige head.

Smell: Alcohol, dark malts, some apple-ish fruitiness, maple syrup, lively spice, dandelions, and sour yeast. A hint of pumpernickel bread and just a whiff of chocolate.

Taste: Yum! Quite different from the aroma, actually. A very rich, complex flavor comprised of dark malts, a sweet prune-like undercurrent, a flash of caramel mid-sip, a hint of red wine, some spicy alcohol, tangy yeast, and a bit of coffee. Overall, extremely earthy and malty. Hops are piney and understated. Finish is surprisingly cocoa-esque.

Mouthfeel: Quite voluptuous and chewy. Fills the mouth nicely, and has a nice, clean finish.

Drinkability: This would be a 5 if it weren't for the slightly elevated ABV. A sumptuous and very drinkable brew!

soulgrowl, Jan 23, 2006
Photo of Optimat0r
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

i will skip the color, smell, and appearance since they arent really important (they are all good though) and go straight to the taste.
this is a very complex beer, not too much of anything,hahaha this was my first review on here ever i gave in a near-perfect score lol! this is the beer that got me into beer so it will always be remembered, and its a decent beer, but experience has shown its nothing too special either. a decent dopplebock, drinkability declines sharply about 3/4 of the way through the bottle though

Optimat0r, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of kaimcm
4/5  rDev +2.8%

A: strong body thats black in the room, but not quite opaque. ruby edges reveal
a deep hue when held up to light. creamy head leaves a splochy glass.

S: plums, molasses, nuts, maple, sweet malt, alcohol

T: creamy body is oily slick and quickly coats mouth with a sweet malt flash that gives way to a softer chewier malted milkball quality. vanilla comes through, dark fruit, some maple from the nose, red grapes, chocolate. finishes with a touch of bitter, lingering sugar, and as the beer warms, a barely tart spice.

M: a bit light, and not as chewy as I would like for the style but otherwise nice.

D: I have been impressed by this beer and could enjoy it often, though considering better examples of the style are easy to find, dont know how often I will.

kaimcm, Jan 22, 2006
Photo of Tupperwolf
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%

Poured a dark, hazy cola color with a fluffy tan head that receded to a thin covering in my tall pilsener glass. Left behind minimal lacing.

Smells somewhat earthy and nutty - a floral kind of caramel, some grassy malt.

The taste is quite a departure from what I've been drinking recently, and really serves to remind me of all the amazing flavors you can get from malts, hops, yeast, and water. It's very smooth and has a really earthy nut flavor - i want to say that it's like pecans or even acorns, a round and tasty flavor. Very unique and well worth a try.

Good mouthfeel, some lazy carbonation and a crisp finish for this style.

Yum yum. One of the first imported beers I ever tried, and I haven't had it in ages, though I remember it being one of the best beers I'd had at the time. It's far more interesting this time around.

Tupperwolf, Jan 18, 2006
Photo of ToggleEyes
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%

poured a rich cola color and formed a head that faded quickly with a little bit of lacing. The smell was of malt, brown sugar and floral hops. The taste and mouthfeel almost remind me of a pilsner, which make this an easy to drink beer. Its not as syrupy as Paulaner Salvador or as Celebrator, but in the same sence it does not have as much flavor as those doppelbocks do. This is Ok for me because I can easily consume more than one per session. Overall I think this is the most drinkable doppelbock I have tried but not the most flavorful.

ToggleEyes, Jan 03, 2006
Photo of Phatz
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%

Appearance: This beer pours a dark (cross between) maple syrup/molasses color (reddish brown). Nice beige head.

Smell: Sweet toasted caramel and a bit of molasses.

Taste: Toasted malts, sweet but much more hops than I expected (from what the aroma indicated). Nice hints of toasted chocolate and dark fruit. This is a teeter-totter of sweet and floral hoppy bitter flavors.

Mouthfeel: Thick, Full, Frothy, and very nice. Lots of maltiness.

Drinkability: Too syrupy to drink all night, but very enjoyable. I highly recommend!

Hope this is helpful.

Phatz, Dec 31, 2005
Photo of danielocean03
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%

Poured a warm reddish-brown, practically reminiscent of coca-cola from a green bottle into a pint glass,left a thick and foamy off-white two-finger head, which gradually fell to a thin lace. Sweeter than expected combined with a heavy dark roasted malt with hints of caramel with little or no hops of mention. This particular Doppelbock is smoother than silk, although not bashful of it's alcohol content whatsoever, is exceptionally drinkable. I highly recommend this beer, and look forward to trying more of the Spaten line in the near future.

danielocean03, Dec 23, 2005
Photo of doppelmeup
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%

I had this in a pilsener glass. It poured with a nice dark, garnet color and about a half inch head. It was really cold coming from my refrigerator, so I let it warm to before I drank it. I tried one another time and it was too cold, which really affected the taste.

Nice sweet, malty aroma. Not much hoppiness.

Taste was sweet as the style goes. It felt heavy in the mouth and had a lingering sweetness, which tended to stay around a bit too long.

Not as good as Celebrator, but also about half the price. I'd buy it again.

doppelmeup, Dec 21, 2005
Photo of TheLocust830
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%

I'm drinking one now, and I rarely go a weekend without one.

This beer has a beautiful color, almost like cola with some extra glow, which is one of my favorite things about it. Just the right consistency for a doppelbock; not watery, but not motor oil either. The bottle is simple, but I like looking at it because it reinforces the idea that it has been enjoyed since 1397.

It smells sweeter than the average beer, but doesn't taste too sweet and definitely doesn't taste bitter at all. Optimator has a very malty taste. A little sweet, a little bite, but fairly potent at 7.2% ABV. Once I start drinking it, I have a very hard time stopping. A six-pack is perfect after a hard day of work when your thirst needs quenching, and you need to get a nice buzz on.

TheLocust830, Dec 19, 2005
Photo of Sayson
3.85/5  rDev -1%

Packaged in a green bottle without a freshness date.

Poured medium brown with a quarter-inch head that faded quickly. No lacing. Very clear.

Nose is suitably malty. Some hints of chocolate. Bready and grainy as well.

Sweet initial taste. Faint hop bittering present. Some notes of chocolate.

Full mouthfeel. Not much of an aftertaste.

I don't see having more than one of these, so drinkability is only average for me.

Overall, a decent example of the style in decent shape. I wish Spaten would go to brown bottles.

Sayson, Dec 17, 2005
Photo of taez555
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%

This beer poured a very dark brown, yet clear, body with a small off-white head.

The nose was a mixture of maple syrup, pure malt, some smoke, wood, roots and LME. If you’re a home brewer you’ll know what I mean. It smelled like concentrated malt syrup. A very unique and inviting smell.

Taste was thick and very full bodied. Very, very, very rich malt and more malt and malt and earth. Sort of a backwoods kind of flavor as well. Just enough bitterness to give it something to hold onto, and nothing really strong in the way of hops. Again, the hops are mostly use to give just enough balance. This beer is a malt machine.

Really a fantastic beer. MALT!!!. An amazing beer if you want something big and malty without having to have a hop attack.

taez555, Dec 16, 2005
Photo of studentofbeer
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

deep brown with red highlights, tan bubbly head

smell, raisin, grain (that yummy melanoidin aroma).

rich but not heavy, light in the mouth, very smooth and balanced. malty sweetness, melanoidin, and a hint of bitterness in the aftertaste (maybe a touch of hops here?)

wonderfully balanced and not cloying in the slightest, like some doppelbocks. straightforward and delicious.

studentofbeer, Dec 13, 2005
Photo of ChiSox05
3.85/5  rDev -1%

Creamy, long standing earth tinted head about a 1/2" high. Reminded me of a Guinness draught, except this beer is dark brown with red and orange hues.

Smell: maybe I need to let it warm. mostly dark fruit and maltiness in the nose, nothing too tempting. (after 15 minutes) now the nose is hitting and is much more pleasing. Sweet dark fruit, dark berries, currants, apricot, raisins, malt, and some banana in there too, better.

Tastes of raisins with dark fruit that is covered in bitter, dark chocolate. Layers of malt progressively hit the palate. Aftertaste of malty burnt coffee with currant and light raisins.

Med to light body for the style. complementary carbonation, alcohol is there but not until the end so it doens't interfere at all. Some cloying bland bitterness for a very short time before the finish that takes something away. Outstanding layers of malt coat the tongue without being too much.

For a higher ABV and richer, malty style, Optimator comes through in the clutch for its drinkability. Won't be too heavy on the stomach while still providing an alcohol warming that is right on. Give it a few minutes to warm up and the nose breaks loose. There are better doppelbocks out there, but you won't be disappointed with Optimator.

ChiSox05, Dec 08, 2005
Photo of SteveO1231
3.5/5  rDev -10%

Grabbed a brown bottle of the Optimator.

Poured a dark drown with a thick ass foamy head.

Light malty aroma, I can smell the alcohol.

Thick as hell!, almost a chewy texture. Big caramel malt sweetness of followed by a mild bitterness.

I can taste and feel the alcohol as I drink.

Not my most favorite Dopplebock.

SteveO1231, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of blackie
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

appearance: The pour into the snifter produces a short lived .3" off white head. The beer is a very dark copper, almost mahogany in color.

smell: As usual with the Spaten line, I am picking up on a definate German characteristic aroma. There is plenty of caramel malt sweetness, with a big fruity presence. Some citrus and a yeasty smell are also there. The hops are somewhat muddy and grassy. Only the slightest ethanol smell is noticeable. There is one aroma that is tough for me to pin down, but I think it is a result of the ethanol and hop aromas mingling. Not bad at all.

mouthfeel: Carbonation is low, and the body medium and somewhat slick on the tongue. Very smooth, exceptional mouthfeel.

taste: Considerable malt sweetness, in a fruity caramel kinda way. Dark, tree fruits, possibly a little date. Just enough hop bitterness to balance the sweetness. Finish is a little bitter with some slick sugariness remaining. Me likey.

drinkability: The alcohol was well hidden throughout; a good doppelbock and easily drinkable. As much as I love hops, I love me a malty beer.

blackie, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of asabreed
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass to switch it up a bit.

Appearance: The pilser glass really doesn't allow much head, so maybe this wasn't the best idea, but it has a beautiful amber color with hues of dark brown, tons of bubbles gurgling up to the top (which I suppose makes up for the possibility of head and lacing in a way).

Smell: Apple initially, which is a bit odd. Fruit seems to overpower the notion of dark malt and caramel aromas, though it is quite nice. Definite sweetness all around, hardly any hops, and the faintest of toasted and husky malts.

Taste: Apple again at the forefront, which again is pretty weird I think, but then again, like the aroma, fairly odd and welcoming. Some darker caramel malts come through, along with some toasted flavors. Seemingly pretty weird for any Doppelbock I've had, but well done nonetheless, aside from maybe slightly too much sweetness, but it finishes sweet, at first, and balances out pretty dry.

Mouthfeel: Burst of carbonation at first, almost spritzy, which I wasn't expecting, and takes away from the overall mouthfeel. Medium body with all the malt.

Drinkability: A decent Doppelbock for sure, though with the sweetness and the brew being a bit unbalanced, I don't know how often I'd have it among other Dbock's to choose from.

asabreed, Nov 15, 2005
Photo of fromage
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%

Not bad for half the price of Salvator. I'd probably rather have this one with food since it's cheaper... save the more complex ones for sipping and contemplation!

Served from a bottle into a pilsner glass. Brown / Ruby and deep ruby when held to the light. Soda-like brownish head with big bubbles that was soon gone. Just a bit of lacing maintained with a good amount of bubbling.

Basically reminds me of a weak and less complex Salvator in taste, smell, and mouthfeel. Smell is a bit of molasses, some pumpernickel, brown sugar. A good deal of grassy hops.

Taste of caramel malt, moist dark bread. Not much hop bite, but some carbonation. Aftertaste sweet and earthy, perhaps some mushrooms. A little cloying.

Mouthfeel is weak. It IS a lager, but...

Pretty drinkable. "Goes down smooth," my girlfriend commented. Just not enough taste for me. More complex than most lagers I know of, but I'll stick with ales for the most part.

fromage, Nov 10, 2005
Photo of riversider76
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

Pours a redish brown. Tan head lasts just long enough. Good amount lacing. Roasted,nutty smell. Thick mouthfeel. Flavor is malty and sweet. No bitter taste here at all. Finish is smooth and sweet. I could'nt stop at just one!! I recommend this beer.

riversider76, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Your typical Dopplebock. Malty as hell! Strong aromas or roastedness, toastedness, caramelization, and molassas. Flavors are the same, but heavy on the barley malt and molassas flavors. Not cloying, but very sweet. Thrown in some chocolate and smoke subtleties. No hop bittering, flavor, or aroma. A bit nutty and woodsy. Uses dark grain for bitteriing. A thick viscocity to the mouth and palate. Finishes a bit alcoholic and lasting sweetness. Not the most well-rounded Dopplebock that I have had, still nice.

From the tap, this beer has a much more rounded flavor, balance, and softness than is exhibited from the bottle. The aromas are soft to the point that they are harder to detect. Flavors of the malts seem softer...in the range of confectionate sugar, cotton candy, or marshmellows. The malts, still rich, toasty, and fruity are delicate with a nice earthy hop bitterness. These are way too easy to throw back, compared to the bottle.

BEERchitect, Nov 07, 2005
Photo of Derek
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%

Another nice product from Spaten-Franziskaner.

A: Ruby brown, nice head/lace.

S: Fruity, malty (caramel?).

T: Bready, caramel, hint of chocolate, prunes, slightly fruity (more than most lagers/dopplebocks). The taste fits right between Salvator and Celebrator.

M: Light-to-moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable.

I think this one's under-rated. It's better than Salvator!

Derek, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of GolgiIPAratus
3.15/5  rDev -19%

Sampled: 10.10.05

Appearance was dark brown and a small head fizzling head.

Smell was light, not too much actually. Poured a bit cold and I believe it has everything to do with that. Some roasted sugar characters were present however as the brew warmed.

Taste was sweet malts, brown sugar with a bitter finish to attempt a balance. However, it wasn’t quite balanced in the end. Malty sweetness overruled. The beer was heavy and full, low carbonation and sat mightily in the belly.

I’m new to the Doppelbock realm, but this one was so sweet and malty that one was enough, and I had to take my time for the most part. Still have more to sample and despite the score, I’d try this again given that the opportunity was right for something this full and sweet if for nothing more than to really give the style a worthy chance to be a part of my repertoire.

GolgiIPAratus, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of sinistrsam
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

Appearance: Brown-red color with a medium head.

Smell: Aroma was mild, but had hints of malt and hops.

Taste: The taste was bitter and had a lot of flavor, and finished sweet. Very pleasurable.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation. Finished crisp and refreshing.

I most certainly need to try more Doppelbocks but enjoyed this one very much.

sinistrsam, Oct 24, 2005
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,525 ratings.