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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,633 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,633
Reviews: 1,270
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 63
Gots: 189 | 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: 2,633 | Reviews: 1,270 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Toddv29424
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a dark brown color with a minimal head. It effervesces for a long time, and establishes little points on the side of the glass where it keeps moving bubbling from. The smell is predominantly of dark malts, much like other German beers of the same vein. The taste also has lots of malts. It doesn't take a definitive shape until about half way through, but when it does it tastes like many German bocks with a heavy consistency and a light carbonation that takes the load off your tongue. A good beer, although I feel like it fails to differentiate itself from many like it.

Toddv29424, Nov 23, 2006
Photo of dblinkhorn
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours with a three-finger, creamy, and light-tan head. It fairly quickly dissipates down to a thin half-finger cap of very creamy head. This remains for a while but it eventually dies to a thin film of patchy head. Spotty lacing is left as you drink, only little patches here and there. Held up to a bright light, it is a very deep and dark ruby color that is very nearly or completely clear. What I really like about this beer is that the head rejuvenates nicely after only a couple gentle swirls, and lasts as long as it did at pour.

Smell - A slightly sour malt smell up front, but rich and powerful. This thing is a malt powerhouse judging by the smell. Some mild hop aroma, similar in scent to that of a stout or strong porter. Some grain and powdery yeast smell in the middle, with earthy aroma as well. Moderate alcohol all around the nose.

Taste - Peppery spiciness up front, with sour/bitter and oily hops as well right off the bat. A very rich bready, almost pudding-like malt character behind this with oiliness all around. It has a quite similar flavor to some of the moderately-powered (in flavor) porters. Grain and powdery yeast again, as on the nose. The aftertaste starts out mild, but soon after some warming alcohol comes in and a bit of the initial sourness in the taste returns. Moderate alcohol throughout overall.

Mouthfeel - Prickly but not unpleasant carbonation bite up front. It has good strong structure and stays lively through the whole taste, only mellowing a bit toward the finish. Moderately oily/slick mouthfeel that is wet all the way through.

Drinkability - Lots of richness to this beer. I could see this stuff getting to me after a couple/few. A six pack of this would be my absolute limit due to its richness in malt character.

This beer is a malt-lover's delight. It has a wonderfully rich and bready/doughy malt character that is definitely the highlight of the beer in my opinion. A recommended brew for sure.

dblinkhorn, Nov 20, 2006
Photo of Ueberales
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Pleasant chocolate malty aroma accented with a whiff of alcohol.
Appearance: Crystal-clear. A beautiful maple syrup-like brown. Moderate thick head with limited persistence.
Flavor: A veritable malt-bomb. Wonderful mix of Vienna and Munich malts. Definite alcoholic warming. Little to no hop character.
Mouthfeel: Silky smooth. Moderately low carbonation
Overall Impression: One of my favorite doppelbocks. A fairly big beer at 7% ABV. Perhaps a bit thinner than the excellent Celebrator dopplebock. Very enjoyable beer.

Ueberales, Nov 19, 2006
Photo of Cresant
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured this undated green 12 oz. bottle into a Spaten .5L mug. Clear rootbeer colored body with a cola-like, huge head.

Smelled malty sweet. Fruitcake. Wet grain.

Tasted Sweet. Toasted soda bread. Slight caramel flavor. Hops attempt to rise through the firm malt presence.

Mouthfeel was smooth, rounded. I would not turn this one down but I would go looking for it because the style is not one of my favorites.

Cresant, Nov 08, 2006
Photo of goschool
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle from Gelson's Market.

Appearance: The pour is dark brown with amber highlights and a terrific frothy tan head.

Smell: The nose is full of sweet malts, caramel, molasses, dark grains, and a spicy aroma that might or might not come from the hops. Interestingly, the aroma gets weaker as the beer warms up.

Taste: Molasses comes to the front in the flavor profile followed by caramel, toasted malts, grains, and that spiciness. The finish is as sweet as the beer gets.

Mouthfeel: The beer has a semi-sticky body on the heavier side of the medium range.

Drinkability: I like malt bombs, but I can't drink them all the time. This one manages to be very quaffable even with it's sweet, dark profile.

goschool, Nov 01, 2006
Photo of nortmand
4.93/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Ruby red/amber pour with a head that disappears too fast.

Rich caramel and noble hops in the nose.

Complex sugars mingle on the tongue. Ripe fruit, caramel, a little chocolate. Leaves a rich, sweet caramel aftertaste.

Full, slightly slick body. Very drinkable.

nortmand, Oct 30, 2006
Photo of Dizzy
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with garnet highlights, off white head leaves a ring around the edge of the glass and a large patch in the middle. Aroma is malty sweetness and a faint roasted aroma. Taste is malty with some roastiness, not much here as far as hops are concerned. Medium mouthfeel with average carbonation. Alcohol is hidden so well, it would be easy to session this, but it might not be a good idea...This is easily one of my favorites.

Dizzy, Oct 22, 2006
Photo of CharlieMopps
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Brown look with a 1 inch. head, little lacing, and a somewhat ruby tint to it as well.

S: Very clean and light smelling, w/notes of toasted malt and a shy hop side. Detected a quaint fruity smell as well.

T: Interesting body, smooth introduction and a smooth dryness to the finish. Sweetness is brought forth first, giving way to a hop/alcoholic tang at the end, and perhaps a bit of spice in there. A little complex, but oddly enough not amazing in that regard either.

M: Easy on the palate with good carbonation. The alcohol is detectable, and it is reminiscent of a larger, commercial brew in its mouthfeel character.

D: Not bad. I'd have another, but would go easy due to the abv.

CharlieMopps, Oct 17, 2006
Photo of cjgator3
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brownish mahogany color with a small off white head. The nose is malty with some caramel, plums and a whiff of the alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and nice and creamy and smooth. Taste is much like the aroma in that it is a nice and malty brew. Overall, this is a pretty good brew that is recommended if you like Doppelbock's.

cjgator3, Oct 16, 2006
Photo of kkipple
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Optimator initially looks a dark brown beer, but a hold to the light shows it’s actually very deep blood-red amber. A white, quickly fading crown of bubbles caps this brew. The head quickly recedes, eventually disappearing altogether.

A huge upfront malt smell on this one. There are hints of grape and citrus, and also yeast and some lurking alcohol. Evident “graininess” No real hop presence.

The taste is an assault of rich, sweet, singed malts, sweetened with grapes, prunes and sugar, with bittering hops bringing up the rear. This is an extremely malt-heavy beer. Sweet and tasty, but quite filling.

Mouthfeel is creamy and smooth. Carbonation is perfect This beer glides down your throat.

Optimator, while earning my stamp of approval, is a tough drink due to the richness of the malt and the heavy sweetness – I definitely wouldn’t want more than one of these in a sitting.

kkipple, Oct 14, 2006
Photo of billybob
4.8/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

am i the only one that has a problem with the name of this beer. it sounds like a name for a arnold schwarzenegger movie. this is a very nice beer, pours dark brown red color half to three quarter head with good lacing. smell is of sweet bread. taste is of bread and honey sweet and smooth. mouthfeel is light smooth not over carbonated. drinkability excellent, buy and try this beer.

billybob, Oct 13, 2006
Photo of akahn
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a great mahogany color, very red, quite clear. Not much head or lacing, but a great color. Sweet dark bread in nose, plus a bit of chocolate, burnt sugar and the unfortunate presence of some olive. I guess the green bottle is to blame? Flavor is unmarred, though, and is quite good. Fairly clean, but sweet, caramelly and bready, with some earth and some spice to it. Alcohol is just barely present, in a vaporous way. Sparkly and mineraly in the finish. Smooth medium body with surprising carbonation. A good beer. I'd like to try this when I know for a fact it's super-fresh.

If anyone knows what L12261N means, let me know.

akahn, Oct 13, 2006
Photo of MiScusi
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

On tap at Lucky Baldwins in Pasadena. Was served in a pint glass and appeared as a translucent dark brown, almost with the color of a standard porter. The head was a tan fluffy cap. The taste is a forseen maltiness which contributes a bitter and sweet taste on the palate. The mouthfeel is fairly light yet slick.

MiScusi, Oct 11, 2006
Photo of nekronos
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Veyr strong, it says it is a barley wine, so something is missing here. The taste is evry malty, not big foam, but the colour is dark and somewhat coffee alike in memories. Probably the first Barley wine I had, strong but with personality. HAd it while chilling out from a rehearsal.

nekronos, Oct 10, 2006
Photo of stouty1
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a big ol' German style mug. Dark brown with ruby highlights reflecting through the cut glass. Nice 2 finger head which lasted to a milky cream lace which remained on the surface. Smells of caramel and dark chocolate malts. Mouth picked up some fruit (apples and pears), sweet initial hit. Noted a dark maltiness just before it went down with a slight bitter aftertaste. Showed just enough alcohol to keep the warmth, well masked behind the hoppy bitterness. Very good draft beer!

Serving them up at Metzger's in Ann Arbor.

stouty1, Oct 09, 2006
Photo of barefootbrewer
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a dark cloudy brown with a little head. The smell was of caramel and slightly yeasty, the taste is malty and nutty with a hint of sweetness that is very well balanced. The mouthfeel is full and the carbonation gives it a nice bite. I’d consider this a highly drinkable beer that goes down smooth an mellow.

barefootbrewer, Oct 07, 2006
Photo of
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle. Decanted as a clear, brown-copper colored fluid. Formed a large tan head. Bar got a sip. Aroma was molasses, caramel, and raisins. Hops were not present. Alcohol was faint, but detectable. Flavor was sweet, like dark, honeyed bread. Raisins and plums came to mind, as well as just a little bit of chocolate. Hops, again, clearly had a secondary role - a little balance throughout, but mainly present in the finish and aftertaste as a slight bitterness. This beer was lighter than I expected, with a body landing somewhere between light and medium. It was very smooth, almost creamy. Carb was light, but seemed appropriate for the beer, and you certainly enjoyed a warm glow from the ABV. Overall, quite good, but I would give the nod to Celebrator with respect to flavor complexity. This, on the other hand, is a little easier to drink since it is a bit lighter. ABV will sneak up on you...

, Sep 27, 2006
Photo of xymyl
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Color is brown/copper with a compact creamy very light brown head. Small bubbles and good carbonation.

Aroma is milk, malt and caramel with an overal hoppy floral note mixing with crisp and clean alcohol.

Taste is light sweet malts and fruity notes that keep rolling into darker, richer and at the same time, sweeter notes. Around the middle the sweetness fades back and the dark malts blend with the hops to create a single unified bitterness for a short while. Following that, there is a lingering (lightly smokey) dark sugar note that sticks around for a while.

Body is medium but the taste is rich and the sugar is sticky.

Overall, this beer has a great flavor profile but isn't super complex (despite my description). It has a reasonably rich profile but isn't on par with a Celebrator. It is good with certain spicy German and Hungarian sausages.

I buy a 24 pack once a year and it works out perfectly... this is my last one and it is time to get more.

xymyl, Sep 27, 2006
Photo of BlindPig
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- poured into a pilsner glass. About a 3" tan head. Deep clear mahogany color with bits of brown. Good head retention and thin lacing.
S- Sweet malts. Caramels, some sugar? one smell I can't put finger on (found out later it is probably fruits).
T- Really sweet. Caramel and malts. Sweet light roasted flavor. Plums and other dark fruits come out more as it warms. Also a bit of taste of alcohol. Aftertaste is sweet with some light fruits.
M- Sticky, chewy, medium/high carbonation with a medium/full body
D- Very sweet at start. You get used to it and as it warms something happens and it just gets A LOT better! I thought I would get sick of it at start but at the end all I wished was I had another.

BlindPig, Sep 19, 2006
Photo of AustinBeerLvr
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a 16.9 oz. bottle in a glass. Huge amount of head to the beer. As it's consumed, it leavs a nice lacing on the glass.

The beer has a very strong, bready smell to it. I could almost swear I was smelling some good fresh bread. Also, I scented some toffee and chocolate as well. Very pleasant.

Upon the first sip, I tasted a good amount of strong malt, a hint of alcholol, and the flavor then begins to fade with a fairly strong hop bitterness that rounds everything out very nicely. The best thing about the flavor of this beer is that while it is strong, it's not too strong, so it's still very sessionable. I'm normally not a huge strong dark beer fan, but I like this beer very much. I really can't think of one thing I would change about the flavor. Ditto for the mouthfeel, as the beer has a good amount of body to it, but is not too heavy by any means.

I am in love with this brew! So damn tasty, good amount of alcholol. Not too heavy, just right. I'm going to Germany for my first time in a week (at this time next week, I will be at Oktoberfest!), can't wait to see what it tastes like in its native country. This beer is a must have for any beer enthusiast.

AustinBeerLvr, Sep 17, 2006
Photo of JayQue
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a clear brown color with heavy red highlights when held up to the light. Good malty aroma. Huge tan head that shrinks down to 1/4 inch. Smooth malt taste with some coffee taste as well. There is a crispness as well (hops?) in the finish. Mouthfeel is rich and smooth. Incredibly drinkable (for 7.2 abv). This could be a year round beer ( a session beer for the more disciplined drinker). Good with food also. A very good beer.

JayQue, Sep 16, 2006
Photo of kimcgolf
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured to a dark brown with hints of ruby red, thick tan/off-white head that lingered and then reduced to decent lacing. Aroma was mild, but noticeable malty sweetness, with a combination of dark fruit and hint of nutty toffee. Taste was pleasant, and not overly sweet. Had a nice, smooth finish, although I was a little surprised that the alcohol never made itself known in either the smell or taste.

kimcgolf, Sep 14, 2006
Photo of MrHurmateeowish
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

Very dark brown body with no head to speak of. Smells hoppy and malty with a hint of yeast. Not as strong a taste as one might expect. You notice a little more taste on the aftertaste. Somewhat sweet, as well as sour with hop and alcohol notes. Not bad, Drinkable. But for the price, there are things I like better.

MrHurmateeowish, Sep 05, 2006
Photo of mcallister
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Good looking dopple. Dark caramel/brown nearly opaque appearance. A tan thick 2 inch head sits atop and retains itself for quite some time. Leaving a medium, sticky lace behind.

Sweet caramel and toffee malt aromas. Dried fig, burnt coconut, mollasses and brown sugar fill the nose with goodness.

Somewhat thin and lacking complexity. Things seem to be out of balance. The caramel malt and toffee flavors seem unsustained. Alcohol in the chest. Much more going on in the nose. The lackluster mouthfeel and lack of complexity leave this on low in drinkability. What started out promising ended dissapointing.

mcallister, Sep 04, 2006
Photo of sacfly
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz, no fresh date
Pours a deep red color with a thick tan head of small bubbles. Aroma is all malt. Caramel candy. Taste is caramel candy with a slight burnt quality. The burnt/charred flavor comes out stronger in the aftertaste. Not overly sweet like some bocks can be. Medium to full body. As it warms, the alcohol becomes more noticeable in the aroma and taste. Standard, by the book bock. Nothing earth shattering, but easy to drink and representative of the style.

sacfly, Sep 01, 2006
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
88 out of 100 based on 2,633 ratings.