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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,752 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,752
Reviews: 1,295
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 72
Gots: 261 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,752 | Reviews: 1,295
Photo of Big78CJ
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Typed from Notes taken on April 16, 2007
(the day of the VT shooting)

A: My impressions of color are a combination of memory and what I can see from the top of the stone stein as I pour. This has a rich, dark caramel color with faint hints of reddish-auburn colors as well. Not sure how thick the head was but it looked creamy for the ten seconds it remained.

S: Actually, this beer smells a lot like the Helles offering from this brewery, with a bit more malt. Perhaps I simply have a "spaten aroma' representation in mind when I sniffed the beer. Lager yeast is the primary smell I can identify.

T: Malt and caramel are the dominant flavors here. I would not be suprised to learn there was chocolate in there as well. The alcohol is present in a warming aftertaste but no flavor really runs the show here. This is a complex, yet balanced, brew.

M: Big and frothy, like the high gravity malt beer that it is. This one washes out especially well given the creamy frothiness that is so present at first.

D: The only Spaten I will not drink is the Radler! Who the hell puts lemonade in beer anyway? This is a damn good beer, that is why I bought 12.

12oz bottle in Spaten stone seidel/stein.

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

A-deep dark reddish transparency,with a very light brown inch of head,with little to no lacing

S-fruit,dripping in syrup(like fruit cocktail,but with quality dark fruits)lots of sweetness in this one,and a hint of roasted malts

T-my mouth is in amazement,this thing is like a pancake breakfast on a sunday morning like only your grandma could make! The maple syrup is the first thing I am reminded of ,and after that wonderful overwhelming sweetness,you can taste a doughy buckwheat pancake that is only as great as the syrup dripping from your chin,time for a swig of creamy hazelnut coffee(oohh yeah,thats in there too)

M-wonderful,thick,very creamy,and heavy!!!

D-I dont mind the heaviness of this one,it was my first dopplebock, in my opinion two or three if the time was right!

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

A- cascading bubble action forms 3in creamy egg nog head that becomes puffy and chunky as it slowly settles, leaving sticky sheets of swiss cheese lace on my glass. body is clear dark reddish brown with rising bubbles.

S- butterscotch, caramel, loads of roasted malt, dark fruit (fig, date?) mineral water, raw barley, beef & barley soup (minus the aromatic veggies) and maybe some floral hop notes toward the end.

T- malty sweet caramel, tart over ripe fruit, milk chocolate, mild coffee, roasted malt, bacomes slightly cloying, earthy hops appear near the end balancing out all this crazy malt sweetness. tobacco and whole grain bread come out next smoothing this baby out into a nice semi-dry lingering floral hop finish.

MF- creamy juicy syrupy and coating...mid-low carbonation...heavy

D- just like salvator, man, this is like eating breakfast. it hits your belly with a thud and just...coagulates. ze germanz vay oof kepping eet varm ont unst cold vinterz nicht. (even though bocks we meant for spring consumption...who cares)

Photo of redmagik99
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

ive had two quite different experiences with this beer. to start off with, i love the dopplebock style. the first time i had optimator i drank it with a dinner of marinated london broil, stuffing, and spinach. it was awesome. as all the other reviews say, this beer is undeniably hugely malty. i thought i would have trouble finishing the meal but the beer washed it down and turned out to be a great pairing. the second time i had it was a little while after a meal and my second beer of the night. this time i found it almost impossible to finish. i thought it might get a little better if i let it warm up but that made it worse. the big roasted caramel maltiness was just too much. very sweet, and very filling. the alcohol bite became all too apparent as well which is never a good thing in my book. so this review is somewhat of an average of the two tastings. bottom line is this is a solid dopplebock, but dont let it get too warm and you probably wouldnt want to have more than a couple in a short period of time.

Photo of Tilley4
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Doppelbocks are my favorite but I've never officially rated this one so here it is.

Pours the typical doppelbock dark amber with a fairly small head although this one doesn't carry much lacing with it.

Very malty smell with more than a hint of molasses. Very nice aroma to this beer.

Nice, smooth, malty doppelbock taste here. It's not quite what the Celebrator is but this is still a very good representation of what this style is supposed to be: dark and malty and rich.

Overall, this is a good quality doppelbock. A bit stronger than the Celebrator so it's not a session beer but still, if you can't find the Celebrator and are looking for a good doppelbock, this is a good example.

Photo of scruffwhor
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a medicore tan head with pour retention. But a great, deep ruby, light leathery brown mixture which light can penetrate beautifully. There is a little hint of maple syrup in the nose of this lightly smokey and deply toasted malt dopplebock. The taste has plenty of ruby tasting malts. Hints of dark fruits and even a slight hint of licorice in the finish. Very smooth a mildly sweet palate. This is a very easy to drnk beer beer considerng the abv. I would definetlly think of this as a session beer if the alcohol content wasn't high.

Photo of aerozeppl
3.31/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

At Mahar's. From notes.

A: Very dark amber color. 2 fingers of head.

S: Malt. Huge malt smell. Then an almost musty sweetness.

T: Floral up front then sweet malt. Finishes sweet.

M: Med body with a light syrupy feel from all the malt.

D:This is one of the maltiest beers I have ever had. It makes it a slow drink. Almost like a weak Harvey's Elizabethian Ale.

Photo of PaleAlien2
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark amber in color with a two-finger tan head that was completely gone by the time I took the first sip.
S: Smells quite good. Has a prominent malt fragrance with fruity/wine notes. Some oats in there as well.
M: Decent mouthfeel - could stand to be a bit thicker.
T: The flavor seemed to get better as I drank it so I would recommend drinking this one rather warm. Has a solid, rich malt backbone with a bit of acoholic acidity in the finish.
D: Overall, I found this beer to be pretty good, but not great. First drink surprised me with how malty it is, but like I said as it warmed I was able to note some other complexities.

Photo of jackorain
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice tan head that fell to a thin coat that left minimal lace. Dark brown, with some ruby highlights.

Not much nose.

This baby is quite a malt bomb. Choclately, toasty, toffe, mollosses and tangy sweet. Nice medium body, smooth carbonation.

I could have three or four of these at a gathering, in fact I did.

Photo of dickroop
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured dark and thick, with a head the color of espresso foam. Not a lot of aroma, but taste was toasted malt, tasty and tangy. Molases flavor notes were present and the finish was chocolaty and malty. Mouthfeel was soft and pleasant. Drinkability was OK.

Photo of animal69
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

thanksgiving + snow = darker, stronger beer ; pours a dark amber color w/ a thin head which dissapated rather quickly, leaving little lacing ; a sweet caramelish/ prune aroma / w a faint hint of hops ; a sweet malty flavor, plenty of munich, not quite rich enough though, w/ a slight metallic taste as well, not as complex as it smelled ; a med bodied brew for the style, but plenty of dextrins to leave the flavor ; not a bad beer at all, i've just had many better bocks...

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

Pours a satisfying dark brown. Two inch off white head that quickly settles down to a thin crust. Nice lacing, thick, viscuous mouthfeel.

Taste is overwhelmingly malty. The smell is pure malt. Some dark roasted ... something or other (maybe fruit or caramel .. but it's a faint taste), no hops, just a simple, good tasting, somewhat simple malty beer.

I could do with a bit more complexity, but for what it does, it does it well.

Photo of czfreeman
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I am a big fan of bock beers and this classic does not dissapoint. Pours out to a nice dark, rich color. minimal head retention. smells of raisin,caramels, fruits. Very good taste-dark bread, caramel, coffees. mm-mm! Mouthfeel is very palate-filling, chewiness that increases as the beer warms.Alcohol comes through to give that nice, warm feeling. nice beer to sip on at night with a book

Photo of neenerzig
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Got a bottle of this recently at Warehouse beverage. This beer pours a deep amber color. Not much head. The head settles to a fairly thin ring lining the inside of the glass shortly after being poured. Not much lace here either. The aromas are very sweet and malty along with hints of caramel and maybe apple, raisin, and plum. The taste matches the smell perfectly, but is even better IMO! Sweet roasted malt upfront along with the aforementioned fruit and is rounded out by a touch of hops. The taste of alcohol is also present. The malt and caramel become more apparent as the beer warms a bit. Has a sort of chewy and medium to full bodied mouthfeel. Moderate carbonation. Quite drinkable indeed. A pretty damn good beer overall!


Photo of CortexBomb
2.55/5  rDev -34.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pour is deep amber with not a lot of head on top. The smell is very malty, caramel prominent.

The flavour starts out with that same caramel sweetness, a bit of dark fruits, and a bit of an alcohol tone. Not as big as most Doppelbocks though, the flavours are there, but they aren't huge. Below average for the style.

The mouth on this, about average. Maybe a bit thin, but not bad. Drinkability, a 2. I'm unlikely to buy this again, just not good enough for the style.

The bottom line: I'm a big fan of the Doppelbock style, and while this is a passable example there are numerous others that I would take over this, including locally brewed options.

Photo of Bugsey
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I've admired this beer since college. I think it was the first beer that really made me say, "Oh, my, there's a lot going on in there."

I don't think it has changed much in the last 20 years. It is still beautiful to look at and the smell is wonderful with roasted malt, carmel, dark fruits (figs, prunes), and a taste to match. Carbonation is low, but the alcohol is not. I like this beer in the fall and winter.

Drink one slow and enjoy. A second may be tempting, but at 7.2% ABV, watch out.

Photo of choyhosoi
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a glass and got a nice head and noticed it quickly drizzled into a smaller creamy head that stayed steady with the drink.This ale had a very nice scent to it that had smells of raisin and plum. The color was a nice dark brown just the kind of ale I like. The taste was very good. I was impressed because I was expecting a little bit of bitterness aand I didnt get that at all. I tried this beer just on a whim and was not dissappointed. This brew is a 7.2 which is right up my alley. I will definetly be buying more of this brand if you can find one do yourself a favor and pick it up.

Photo of iceball585
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A- Dark reddish brown color, semi-transparent, this white creamy head that lasted well

S- Very malty, dark fruits, alcohol, bit of hops

T- Roasted malts, caramel, dark fruits, alcohol, bready, slightly burnt taste

M- Medium weight, low/medium carbonation, smooth, warming feeling of alcohol throughout

D- Definatly good but couldn't drink too many

The alcohol in this beer will definatly creep up on you if you're not careful.

Photo of MarzenMan
4.16/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

A - 2 finger thick head with good lacing.

S - Slightly odd smell maybe a little skunky. Slightly bready with some noticeable alcohol.

T&M - Smooth dark carmel malt. GREAT malt, biscuit like flavor. Slightly alcoholy with subtle hops.

D - Very smooth and malty. 7% but very drinkable.

This is a really good beer. Pretty straight forward but very good.

Photo of mhaws000
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured a nice deep brown with a light tan head that quickly receeded to a light lace that maintained throughout the beer.

S- toasted grain with a slight alcohol warmth.

T-Very well balanced with a full malty body that is wonderfully balanced with just a hint of hoppy bitterness and a nice warm heat from the higher alcohol content

M-Nice full-bodied feel but not syrupy. Enough "chewiness" to get noticed but not enough to make you think about it too long. Just right as far as I am concerned.

D-This is a long time favorite of mine and every time I have another I reaffirm that feeling. This is a very well made beer. Every aspect of it feels well thought out and executed. This is a great example of how good beer should be. The only reason I dont give this 5's is because Optimator doesn't "blow my mind" When I drink it I think "Damn that is good...really, really good." But this isn't the type of beer that makes you change the way you think about a style. It doesn't make me think that there isn't anyting better, but it certainly does make me realize how much better it is than alot of the crap that is out there.

Photo of MTNboy
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- It poured nice and smooth into my pint glass there is a little redness to this mainly brown beer. The head is off white but almost tan with some nice staying power and lace.

Smell- Sweet and malty for the most with a faint alcohol scent.

Taste- There is not much for bitterness but it is a sweet and roasty beer.It has a real sweet and fruity like flavor a little beany followed by a little bit of a metallic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth and full. Marginally smooth and body consistency.

Drinkability- A great overall beer.

Photo of Backer2004
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a green bottle with the label stating this was a malt liquor . . . strange.

Appearance - No head retention at all, medium copper, to brown, ruby highlights, very little carbonation, disappointing

Smell - malty sweetness, though not as much as expected to the style, no hop aroma, some graininess and alchol

Taste - roasted malts, lingering bitterness in its finish, some alcohol warmth, a bit of burnt notes, not as sweet as expected, little caramel comes out as it warms

Mouthfeel - medium body, some creaminess and astringency

Drinkability - easy to enough to consume, not as sweet as other dobblebocks, nothing too great but always enjoy this style

Photo of mc98gg
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I tried it in a flute glass. Poured a 1/2" head which lasted longer than average. As for the color, a dark golden red. A sweet malty aroma. Malty in taste with an after taste of spice. Very pleasant. Mouth feel is good, I wish it were a little thicker. Good carbonation.

Overall: It has a clean quality taste you expect from Spaten-Brau. I could drink several Optiators. I enjoyed, and would recommend.

Photo of Folderol
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful looking beer - poured a nice thick 3-finger off-white head that very gradually receded to a sheet. Dark brown body, just like I like 'em. Smell was faintly skunky; I'll blame the green bottle. The taste didn't really impress me - it was definitely malty, but not as roasty as I would have liked. I understand this is a doppelbock, so I shouldn't be too surprised I guess. The flavor reminded me a lot of Old Chub scotch ale without the smokiness. It's a very simple malt flavor, no hoppiness, no toastiness, just malty. This is my introduction to the style and I'm sure to find more complex brews out there.

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark reddish-brown body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Somewhat sweet-smelling aroma of carob, dark fruits, and apples.

Taste: Mild dark caramel flavor mixed with some carob sweetness. Accompanying notes of dark fruits and chewing tobacco. Very minor hint of apple. Only a faint amount of hop spiciness, but no real bitterness. Touch of alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a pleasant middle-of-the-road doppelbock.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,752 ratings.