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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,713 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,713
Reviews: 1,284
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 68
Gots: 234 | 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
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Ratings: 2,713 | Reviews: 1,284 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Amalak
2.11/5  rDev -45.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 1.5 | overall: 2.5

App: very dark redish color. mild head.

Smell: I don't care for this brand of beers smell. Kind of reminds me of dog food.

Taste: I just don't care for this brand of beer. I love Spatens, especially the Octoberfest, but the Optimator just doesn't do it for me. Very strong, nuttyish flavor.

Mouthfeel: Bad after taste, that lingers for a long time.

Drinkability: Bubbly, but again, this taste is not my style.

I just don't care for this style of beer, and of its kind, it is definitely the worst I have had so far.

Photo of McStagger
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Ze Optimator. One of the top five best beer names on the planet. Prost!

A: Pours an extremely dark brown with amber hints when shown against a white light. 1.5 inches of off white/tan colored head with moderate lacing. Carbonation seems minimal.

S: Grain and malt dominates the nose, with both being sweet and cloying in the nostrils. Dark toasted sugars are also noticeable, alongside a persistent scent of alcohol.

T: Big, dark, rich, meaty and malty are the preliminary tastes. Upon secondary review, the malt seems to dominate most aspects of the palate. In fact, caramelized sugars and roasted malt occupy most of the palate. The hops develop a slightly dry/vegetal edge on the finish, but this beer is almost entirely roasted grain and toasted sugar. After the beer has been drank, coffee bitterness is noticeable, trailing into layers of raisined fruit.

M: Malted grain dominates the body. Hops seem negligible. This beer compromises classic doppelbock flavor with modern drinkability. (i.e. It tastes good, but isn't too heavy or complex)

D: Immensely drinkable for what it is.

Photo of WeR138
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

From a bottle, poured into a pint.

A: Dark amber, very pleasing color. Small head, but give it a swirl.

S: Very clean and malty.

T: Sweet taste, with a malty backone. The 7% alcohol is well hidden.

M: Little carbonation, light feel for a darker beer.

D: Goes down well for high ABV, tastes better as it warms up. Does not fill the stomach up too much.

Photo of Brad007
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber/brown color with a small head, some lacing. Aroma is strong with hints of caramel, brown sugar and malt sweetness. Only the second dopplebock I've had. The taste starts out sweet and malty upfront and fades into a caramel aftertaste that is kind of thin. A second sip confirms the same, being almost too sweet. A good representative of the style but by no means better than Celebrator.

Photo of beerogre
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unless my parents turn around and tell me I'm adopted, this beer is likely to be the biggest surprise for me in 2007. As one might expect, the supermarket shelves in Central Florida are almost completely dominated by the usual macro suspects. The tedium only ever being broken by the occasional arrival of a Samuel Adams seasonal like Octoberfest or Winter Lager. So it was with extremely low expectations that I decided to examine more closely several unfamiliar looking brands which were either new arrivals or that I had simply just not noticed before in amongst the Heinekens and Dos Equis.

A Doppelbock? - Had this been delivered to the wrong store?

Well I like doppelbocks, and really, just how bad could a beer be with an abv of 7.2%? - So in the end the purchase was an easy decision.

Not only was I rewarded with a fantastically malty, beautifully sweet gem of a beer, at just the right strength I like (a couple of steps up from session, but not a one punch lights out merchant) but when I returned to the store the next day to buy some more (I pretty much drank it all in one go) I found it was now on sale.

I normally like to have several different beers during an evening, but the fact that I spent Labor Day Eve drinking nothing but this beer is a testament to how much I enjoyed it.

This was equally a great find and surprise.

Photo of KarlHungus
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This brew pours a clear black color, which has reddish hues when held up to light. The head is one centimeter in height, and recedes within seconds into sparce lacing. The aroma is of grass, caramel, and chocolate malt. The taste is of a lot less grassy as than the aroma. It is of caramel, and dark chocolate, with a hint of cream. The mouthfeel is medium-full bodied with nice carbonation. Overall, this is a decent doppelbock, but there are better ones out there. I would much rather have a Paulaner than this one. I would drink it again, but only if nothing better were available.

Photo of Cyberkedi
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful rich chocolate brown. Aroma is strong, mainly malty, and tempting. Flavor is rich and malty with hints of toffee and a smoky undertone. There is not the least bit of bitterness. Smooth, very pleasing, this beer is great all by itself, especially after a meal.

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

Traslucent deep amber color with a beige head dissipating quickly leaving a thin cap, active carbonation with little lacing.

Subtle sweet malt, and thin flowey hop aromas.

Clean,sweet, malty, slightly bready, crisp slightly bitter finish.

Soft and smooth with a medium body and good carbonation, fairly subtle an complex.

Above average drinkability for ABV, filling and satisfying.

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

Poured from a 12 ounce bottle into a pint glass.

A. Dark red with a rapidly dissapearing head.

S. Fruit caramelized malt and a touch of hops.

T. Creamy medium body with a hint of fruit, caramel and malt.

M. Full chewy with being too heavy.

D. The abv is a bit much, but still a real drinkable beer.

Photo of Atron67
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- hasa dark brown rubyish color pretty dark didnt hold its head much

S- had a slightly sweet, but definitely malty scent allover

T- has a very enjoyable malt flavor throughout followed by a pretty strong bitterness to balance all the malt

M- pretty full body and medium carbonation

D- a solid beer that i love to drink

Photo of KodyBrannon
4.68/5  rDev +20.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This beer hooked me from the first sip. It was a darker in color than i expected, but had a lighter taste than the look. Very smooth on the first sip and good to the last drop. The smell of the beer, is very mindfull of a heavy draught like guiness, but the taste goes more along the lines of an english ale, I would recomend this to anyone that wants to try it. I will be keeping this one in constant supply.

Photo of bradford
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After passing this beer for a long time, I finally caved and bought a six pack
Looks ok, actually not very good to me for some reason.
I dont get much on the nose either. Obviously a malty lager smell, but I can't distinguish much else
Tasted excellent. Full, rich, complex, and most importantly, tasty.
Mouthfeel was pretty good. Very thick but also crisp
Drinkability is excellent. This one goes down easy and tastes great

Photo of Halcyondays
3.87/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. bottle, with regal label, says Since 1397,

A: Pours a medium shade of brown, with an initial tan, cola-coloured head, which quickly degrades into a thin film.

S: Smells of lots of caramel malt, fragrant, but kind of one-dimensional.

T: Malt city, full of sweet caramel malt, with a bit of a metallic tinge, which I always found to be a bit off-putting, but interesting, though it is a minor fault with this beer. The hops are there, but the malt steals the show.

M: Smooth, thick and heavy, quite robust.

D: A good dopplebock, for me not up there with Salvator and Celebrator, but a very good example of the style. A great beer and style for spring and the cooler months.

Photo of jmalex
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An impulse buy in a Mix-a-Six last week. Hopefully this is the beginning of me getting to sit down with some of the better German doppelbocks.

APPEARANCE: Pours into my Victory becker a deep brown that appears crimson in the light. It seems completely opaque, but one can just make out the light shining through it when held to a lamp. The light beige head starts out at two fingers high and shrinks down to a thick collar and a full surface covering.

SMELL: The aroma is mainly lagery clean (which isn't necessarily a good thing). Hints of caramel come out but not much else. As it warms, an alcohol presence comes out fairly strong.

TASTE: The taste, on the other hand, is very full flavored. Heavy on caramel and quite nutty. Deep down chocolate and a trace amount of fruitiness can be detected. All this while maintaining a neutral, lagery profile.

MOUTHFEEL: The body is medium-full and has a bit of a syrupy quality to it. The carbonation is on the low side and appropriate.

DRINKABILITY: Fairly nice. This beer could benefit from being a bit more robust, but is still an easy drinker. The 7.2% ABV is no joke either.

Not a bad choice. Optimator is quite representative of the style, but it doesn't quite stack up with some of the elite doppelbocks that are out there.

Photo of lordbrad1
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up the Optimator more for the humor of drinking something that sounds like governor Arnold would name a beer than anything else. However I was pleasantly surprised by it. I bought in a 6 pack of bottles, and poured it into my trusty beer glass.

The appearance was very dark and "chocolately" There was no head to speak of, but I don't expect a 7.2 abv beer to have much head. The smell was hoppy and pleasant with undertones of "burned" maltiness.

The taste was very smooth, and the beer went down the gullet easy with no bad aftertaste. There was nice malt notes, and again the term "chocolatey" comes to mind. I really enjoyed the flavor.

Mouthfeel....I'd have to say it's a little heavy, and coats the tongue a little, which is something I don't care for, but for this beer it's to be expected, and with that in mind it's perfect fine. So over all a good mouthfeel.

For me the drinkability is definately there. I've had 7 or so as of the writing of this review. So I could definately do a session with this beer. I like heavy beers though. So if your preference is a lighter style of beer it might be ok with a dinner or something like that, but may not be your ideal session beer.

In closing I really like this brew, and I recommend highly.

Photo of khiasmus
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Dark brown that pours with a finger of light tan head that drops to a mere lacing and a ring in a couple of minutes. Clarity is fairly good, ruby highlights, but some floaties in the bottom... interesting. No legs or lacing on the side of the glass.

S- Strong malt, with caramel, a bit of buttery diacetyl (which knocks it down a bit), And a slight hint of roasted grains.

T- Initially molasses-strong maltiness, with some hints of dates and cherries coming in, as well as some toastiness. Finish is good and smacks of 1Q tobacco, some alcohol, cherries, and a bit more buttered toast.

M- Smooth and lightly chewy with medium-low carbonation and a slick finish.

D- Quite good. Not the best doppelbock I've had, but excellent for the price. Recommended.

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

Poured a very dark brown color and head didnt last too long. Nice roasted malt flavor. This was one of the better doppelbocks I’ve had. Taste is kind of sweet, malt, molasses raisins. I'm not a huge fan of doppelbocks but this was pretty good. Dont think I could drink more than two, however, so dont purchase this as a session beer.

Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

So...after my last not so satisfying review of a Dopplebock, I figured I needed another one to try and make sure it wasnt just the style that I was having some issues with. In scouring(well not really) the shelves of my local store I saw the Spaten Optimator. Now I love me some Spaten, and I figured if someone could do the style right it would be a german brewery. So, with all that being said, I dive into the optimator...

Poured a very clear, dark amber, almost a hazelnut brown in appearence. No head what so ever, which I am starting to realize is more the style then anything. Great carbonation as evident from teh streaming bubbles coming from my glass throughout the session. A bit of lace, but nothing spectacular throughout the glass. Overall the appearence was decent, nothing knocked me over and even though it was crystal clear, it did not look thin in any way. Very nice color overall and clarity is a plus.

The smell was rather light. What was detected was some nice roasted malts and a bit of a sweetness. Did not really knock me over in the aroma, however it wasnt old, or musty smelling. It had a nice crisp, fresh air about it. And the overall sense of a dark or roasted feel was definatly there. Decent on the aroma, and better then a couple others I have tried, I just had wished it had a little more punch to it, just somethign to let me know it was there a bit more. but definatly not bad, I would have to go average here for this one.

So, I have really not like the feel of the Dopplebocks I have tried lately, but let me say right off the bat this was much, much better. A great smooth, albeit light, but not degradingly so, feel was very clearly evident. Great carbonation though made it go down as smooth as water. Great malted profile. It gave me a fullness I had not expierenced with the others I have tried. Lots of roasted barly and earthy tones were clearly evident. A nice spicey, almost fruity note in the back, but ever so faint. This really was a malt bomb. The bread tones were fantastic, and it really felt like a meal. A slight touch of alcohol, but nothing too terribly rough at all. Great feel and flavor, I really did enjoy sipping this during dinner.

Well, well, well this may have single handedly brought me back to the style. I really love my German beers, and grandma would be proud. Spaten did not let me down, as I am now definatly looking forward to try a few more from this style. This went very well with hamburgers of all things tonight, it was just light enough to be sessionable, sort of, more likely drinkable during a hot night, but yet dark enough to peak intrest and really get you into the sipping mode for a while. Overall I am really glad I picked up a six pack pf this, I will be enjoying it very much over the next couple weeks. A fantastic beer from a great brewery.

Photo of pmcadamis
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Found this on tap at the Barrel Head in Springfield while out to luch with my parents and fiance.

A - Slightly hazy dark brown with some deep purple highlights. The head is thick and tan, and eventually recedes to a collar, but a quick swirl brings a finger back. Lots of lace sticks to the glass.

S - Deep nutty milk chocolate and toasted marshmallows. Slightly smoky with a light whiff of autumn leaf hops and some alcohol.

T - Lightly chocolaty and nutty with some marshmallow and toasted malt. Not as strong or assertive as some others of the style, but it's really tasty...my parents and fiance liked it a lot. A slightly fruity finish with some balancing hops and a trace of detectable alcohol keep things from getting too sweet. Well balanced for the typically malt-forward style.

M - A shade thicker than light bodied, low levels of carbonation, and a neutral to sweet finish make this a nice feeling (albeit a bit boring) beer.

D - This is where this one shines. It's less cloyingly sweet than some other dopplebocks, but it's also less flavorful. In a way, the lighter flavor and mouthfeel make this a much better candidate for a session than a heavy "chocolate cake" assertive dopplebock.

Photo of mdm46410
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bell’s dimpled mug. This beer poured a dark brown color with visible carbonation and a one finger thick beige head that slowly faded away. No lace. The aroma consisted of rich roasted malts and a sweet caramel note. The flavor was mostly malty, with notes of caramel and dark fruit. The mouthfeel is full-bodied and lively. Just the right amount of carbonation and alcohol. Very well done. Excellent!

Photo of BucBasil
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite beers. Dark brown with a good one inch head. Smell is of light chocolate and caramel. Taste brings out hose flavors even moreso, hitting the tongue with a great malt taste that evolves into a nice chewy caramel. Finish is also of caramel with hints of coffee and faint milk chocolate notes. Nice mouthfeel, hitting the mouth very smoothly with the carbonation coming out very slowly allowing the flavors to evolve in the mouth right before swallowing. Even at 7.2% this is a beer I could knock back an entire case of if I wanted to - it's just that good. Sweet, but not too much so, this would go well after dinner as a sort of dessert beer, but I like it anytime.

This beer is amazing and can stand up to some of the best beers I can think of. I got this at my local Publix, so it's very available, but that availability doesn't compromise the flavor. It's even better on tap, with the complexities of the flavor becoming even more pronounced, and the aroma somehow a lot better. Highly recommended.

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

Appearance: Dark beer, but not completely opaque. A few hints of honey/red color throughout. There was no visible head on the beer when I got it and the glass had <1mm lacing along the sides of the glass.

Aroma: This is a malt-heavy beer with very few hoppy notes in it. There is a little bit of a nutty aroma that is slightly sweet, with almost a hint of a merlot-type of smell.

Taste: The taste is smooth and malty. There are hints of nuts and caramel and perhaps a dark berry. Very little hop taste in the beer.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth, with just a little bit of bite from the hops. The beer feels a little more carbonated than you would expect from a dark beer, but it's not overwhelming. The beer is still heavy, but not quite as heavy as most dark beers.

Drinkability: Damn good. Easy to drink for a dark beer...definitely a beer you can knock back a few of without getting sleepy (like from something similar to Guinness)

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

This is one of my favorite beers come football time. The taste of it always reminds me of Fall.

Pours a cola brown. The beer has a sweet, unique taste that's unlike any other - and that's not a bad thing.

I don't know what it is about this beer. Even though it's only 7.2% ABV, it packs a punch. I good session beer - just don't go too far.

Photo of Chaz
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant cola brown in color (or brown-amber if you prefer), with ample carbonation. Forms a pale brownish-tan head, airy/rocky, of medium duration and with average-to-good lacing. Nose is sweet, bready, and malty, offering plenty of dark fruity overtones along with an oily, unctious quality and let's not forget the trademark dose of metallic tang. Some pale and biscuity malt notes in here too, but very little in the way of hops, as per style. First impression is of a fruity-sweet, tangy concotion with a good deal of malt character and depth. A touch of warming alcohol is also present from the get-go and it never truly fades, and indeed this alcoholic "heat" tends to add to its drinkability. Creamy smooth and medium-full bodied, the oily dark and roasted malt characters impart plenty of depth and balance, even where it might otherwise lack balance in terms of bitterness. Some might not find the abovementioned "depth" to be as pronounced as it is in certain notable Doppelbocks (e.g. Celebrator, Korbinian) but it is on par with other readily available examples (Tucher Bajuvator). Broader notes of plum and caramel interact with lighter notes of raisin, anise -and if you can find it- honey. Some lighter berry in the aromatics, too, as well as dried tobacco. Also, the metallic tang and unctious quality combined seem to impart a mildly spicy characteristic, which if I didn't know better I might put down to hop oil. Come to think of it, there's sourdough in here - how's that for bready? Very little bitterness here by the way, and the sweetness lingers in the manner of the Noble hop profile in a Helles. Warming if you drink it too fast (or if you have too many), it's a worthy sipper, and perhaps even better when paired with a meal. A longtime friend, Spaten Optimator is an excellent choice to make when it comes to pairing a robust, dark lager with some sturdy foodstuffs (game, chops, barbecue), it's also a veritable benchmark for its style.
Served chilled in a 250 mL mug.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.1/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Spaten tall half liter glass with a deep dark amber hue, a white head that that did not last too long. Aroma of dark fruits and slightly alcoholic. It has a lighter body and a nice bitterness to the dark fruit sweetness. The alcohol is not as noticable, but it does pack a punch.

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,713 ratings.