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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,492 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,492
Reviews: 1,261
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 62
Gots: 139 | 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: 2,492 | Reviews: 1,261 | Display Reviews Only:
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
Photo of baiser


4.05/5  rDev +4.1%

Pours a brownish red body, with a creamy tan head. Lots of caramel, butter, malt and molasses in the nose. Strong, caramel, roasty, malty flavour. Excellent mouthfeel - thick, creamy and very smooth. Not a celebrator, but a very good doppelbock on its own. Recommended.

07-23-2005 06:38:38 | More by baiser
Photo of carln26


3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

This beer poured from the tap into the mug a deep brown with ruby highlights, and a decent sized tan head. Wonderful sweet malt aroma rich with fig and sweet candy. The taste is like biting into a caramel apple. Toffee, caramel, and a rich sweetness. The mouth feel is smooth and rich, and despite the alcohol content, this beer is very drinkable.

07-17-2005 00:17:20 | More by carln26
Photo of Dukeofearl


3.9/5  rDev +0.3%

Pours a nice root-beer/chocolate brown with a pretty frothy head. Seriously, if I din't know better, I would say this looks like a very nice root beer.

Aroma is very pleasant- malty, bready, slightly sweet, very light spices. Chocolate and nuts. Flavor is a very nicely balanced presentation of the aroma, with the biggest addition being a slight hop bite at the end combined with a sharp alcohol "burn".

Drinkability is good, but the high end alcohol at the end keeps the score down a bit. I actually paired this with some chocolate cookies, and it went surprisingly well. I have also used this to marinade some steaks before grilling (a la the brothers' article on grilling) and it worked very nicely, although as a marinade it may need more spices to kick up the meat.

07-10-2005 19:38:28 | More by Dukeofearl
Photo of Pepeton


3.65/5  rDev -6.2%

Pours a dark amber, with a good tan head a fair lacing.

Nice aroma of malts and alcohol, of course, emerge from the glass.

Good taste of roasted malts is the first impression, with some bitterness also.

Thick, robust mouthfeel, a bit dry.

Great with a steak, maybe if I'm in the mood for just one beer.

07-04-2005 20:14:46 | More by Pepeton
Photo of Opethsprite


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%

Beautiful dark mahogany with a thick, tan head. It's smell is not terribly plesant: mostly skunk with raisins and jelly-bean sweetness. But to taste it is entirely different!!! I was astounded by the massive taste of a very thick chocolate. I did NOT see that coming! Very thick and delicious! What a lovely beer!

07-03-2005 00:05:46 | More by Opethsprite
Photo of karst


4.75/5  rDev +22.1%

From Spaten of Munich where lagering had its start. The high quality of this dopplebock is apparant in it absolute clarity and rich decoction produced aromatics and flavors.

My Stone barleywine glass showcases the outstanding appearances of a dense head and deep ruby-garnet beer. At 45-55° the toffee, toast, bready, Munich malt aromas are a little reserved.

A very complex taste dominates the nose and at first sip, eclipses the initial stellar charistics. I keep the beer in my mouth warming it and letting it beome chewy as the perfect carbonation expands it into a full chewy mouthful of sweet Munich malt, complex melaniodins. On swallowing the quiet hop bitterness combines with the alcohol of 7.2 ABV finish clean as the toasty malt flavors and delicious sweetness return again to the palate and esophagus to finally dry.

This is more that drinkable and above 55°F the aroma is awesome. Alcohol emerges with those toasted Munich malt aromatics. MMmmm mmm Munich!

06-23-2005 04:00:29 | More by karst
Photo of danielharper


3.83/5  rDev -1.5%

Purchased from Strong Bros. Liquor, Fayetteville, TN.

I was expecting something really intense, but in truth this beer strikes me as just a fairly inoffensive, nothing-to-worry-about brew. It's high in alcohol, but otherwise its pleasures are subtle but significant.

Appearance is very nice, with a dark brown body topped with an off-white very foamy head. Seems to be not very cloudy at all, yet I believe there is some yeast in the bottle -- even holding it up to the light doesn't really let me see through the beer, but that's due to the darkness of the brew, not the cloudiness.

Smell was disappointing to me not in that it's anything negative -- far from it. The scent was almost completely absent on this beer; even taking deep whiffs of the glass with my nose almost touching the liquid only revealed minor roasted notes that were decent, but not exactly inviting or complex. I can't even claim that the beer was poured too cold, for I let this one sit out of my fridge for over an hour before pouring it.

Taste is really nice here, subtle but pleasant. I use the term "roasted" a lot to refer to good-tasting beers, but usually I mean it in the sense of a roasted coffee flavor or similar. Here the "roasty" taste is more like a cut of roast beef, a family favorite of mine growing up, and very interesting to taste in a beer. As far as I can tell, this beer has no hops at all, which is fine by me, as it keeps the flavor and the aftertaste on a sweet maltiness that keeps me wanting more.

Mouthfeel is also quite pleasant, as the brew is quite thick -- almost chewy -- in consistency. Every so often I even get a true chewiness to the brew, which I can only hope is due to the bits of yeast left over in the bottom of the bottle. It also has a low carbonation (which I like quite a bit) and a foamy head that makes it pleasant to swirl around my mouth.

Overall drinkability is high because, despite this being a high-alcohol brew, it's quite pleasant to drink and goes down very easily. Sure, I couldn't have more than a couple before the alcohol started to effect me, but it's very enjoyable and the subtle flavors would probably make this a nice beer (almost a side dish) for a good meal. I'm wondering how this would go with a nice steak, right now -- I've got another one of these in my closet that will be an experiment on that idea.

I'll certainly buy this again -- even at a price of almost two dollars apiece this is a pretty decent brew, although it's not an everyday one for me.

06-20-2005 01:26:09 | More by danielharper
Photo of beersarang


4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

Pours a nice brown with a creamy beige head. The head leaves some sticky lace and recedes into a thin collar on the brew.

Nice strong carmely malt aroma, sweet bread as well. Bits of roasted grains come in at the finish, all in a blanket of sweet smells.

Strong carmel presence, then the roasted malts kick in. The malts clearly have dominance in this brew as the hop flavor and aroma are nearly non existant. A lot of the flavor in this brew comes from the malts, but the impact is from the hop bitterness and roast character. Finishes dextrin sweet, with definite alcohol lurking. Lactose is also clearly present as it contributes to the creaminess and residual sweetness.

Pretty medium to heavy bodied with fairly assertive carbonation. Goes down pretty easy and is hugely flavorful in may departments. Not a bad doppelbock at all!

06-13-2005 07:48:04 | More by beersarang
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,492 ratings.