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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,731 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,731
Reviews: 1,287
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 70
Gots: 246 | 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: 2,731 | Reviews: 1,287 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of 1fastz28
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a cola colored aber with a decent amount of carbonation. Smells of fruit and malt, not as aromatic as i would like. Tastes GREAT, fruity and malty, even with the higher ABV, the alcohol is negligable, smoke flavors come out as does light chocolate hints. damn good beer, pardon my french

Photo of logansboat15
4.65/5  rDev +19.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Spaten Optimator has always been one of my favorite versions of the Doppelbock style. Pours a beautiful dark copper with decent head and faint lacing. Aroma comes forth as a peaty, meaty, full-bodied whiff of malty deliciousness. Tastes like a sweet caramel apple on steroids. Sweet going down, going to light dry to the finish. Heavy, chewy mouthfeel makes this an exceptional brew, both in bottles and on tap. So smooth that extra care must be taken if consumed in a party atmosphere. Goes great with a hearty chicken mole or greasy enchiladas.

Photo of beeragent
3.26/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Served in a glass from a 12oz. bottle. The beer poured a deep amber, forming a thin 1/4 inch head that quickly faded. Light spots of lace on the glass. The aroma is predominantly skunky, but light notes of malt coming through. The skunkiness seems to fade a bit towards the end. The taste is a mix of sweet and roasted malts. The flavor is thick and full. Coffee and a hint of peanuts. Medium mouthfeel. Overall, this is way better than I expected. If the abv. wasnt as high, I would drink this as a session ale. I have to say that this is the first German beer that wasnt completely killed by the skunky smell.

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

The old spade pours dark brown with orange and maroon highlights at tthe bottom of my flute. About a finger of tan head unleashes a powerful nose heavy on the sweet malt with caramel and molasses notes. Also hints of figs and other dark fruits. The nose improves even more as it warms, nice.

A malty backbone paces the flavor but plenty of fruit joins in, particularly in the finish. A hint of alcohol spurs the whole melange forward. Typically sweet but more fruity and lacking the dryness of a lot of doppels that I've tried. Texture is thick and bready. The aftertaste reminds me of raisin nut bread or something similar. Definitely worth a shot if you like dark beer.

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

Reddish brown colors with a light tan head which hangs around for a bit. Sweet malt, some caramel in the nose. Sweet malt in the flavors, some balance in the hop, this beer goes down real easy. A very dependable beer, not the most complex doppelbock, but very consistent. One doesn't necessarily think of doppelbock as a session beer, but this one most nearly fits the bill, Very drinkable, a beer I haven't had in a while, but one I'll have to keep in the rotation.
This beer is proof that large brewers can and do make quality beers.

Photo of Redwood21
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I think i am becoming a big doppelbock fan.
A: This beer has a great dark brown color with red undertones, i wish the light tan head would last longer, but the beer color is great
S: there is a sweet malt caramel smell, very nice a little ester in the nose, not much or overpowering though.
T: Great taste creamy medium bodied with caramel and malty tastes. the estery aroma does not carry over to the taste, very smooth. maybe even a hint of coffee, but not strong at all.
M: creamy medium bodied goodness.
This is a great beer, another quality doppelbock. i must admit this is becoming a new favorite of mine, and this beer is a great example of the style. YUM!

Photo of PhiloPsych
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle a dark orange-brown. Reddish brown in the glass with some lighter amber around the edges. The head dissipated rather quickly. The smell was sweet and malty. The mouthfeel was crisp and smooth. The taste was also sweet, malty, bready, and just a little earthy. Sweet, but not too sweet. Went well with the cheeseburger and french fries I was eating. I am trying to cultivate an appreciation for sweeter, maltier, less hoppy beers; and this was a good one to start with. Though it was different from normal for me, I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Photo of MusicmanSD
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

My buddy swears by this, and I had never had a doppel...not to mention the $7 pricetag at Trader Joe's seeming like a steal...poured into a pint glass (unfourtunately) and had a great dark ruby color with brown-ish head. The smell is very sweet, but a whisk of alcohol. The taste is all there, lots of caramel, in fact it seems liek your drinking caramel at a certain point of the sip. Slight roast to the malt makes for a very interesting taste. The mouthfeel is motor oil, props on doing that Spaten! The drinkability, for me at least, is fairly low. The sweetness just kinda puts you off that its a beer, almost mead-like to be honest. One of these babe's will get you feeling all warm inside, thats for sure!

Photo of soupyman10
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Waitress told me this one was "real hoppy," which I'm going to call bullshit on, but that's neither here nor there. Pours a dark brown, light white head, pretty appetizing. Scent is mostly sweet malt. Taste is lots of caramel malt, that normal bocky flavor, a little roasted coffee too (although very mild). Feel is medium to thin bodied, a little less full than I would've liked. Tasty, one that I'd go back to, although a little thin for my book.

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

On tap at the Firkin. Pours clear brownish-gold with a finger's worth of head. The aroma is malty with a little alcoholic spiciness; some nutty flavors, molasses,and maybe a little diacetyl. The flavor is similar, packed with light malts and some honey flavor. No hops in evidence, but that's to be expected.

The mouthfeel is heavy and a bit chewy. This is a good beer and a great style example, but it's way too sweet to be sessionable.

Photo of DoubleJ
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the Eisbock of last night to the Doppelbock of tonight, on to the beer:

From its 500 ml bottle into a glass, it's a light bronze color. Smells of sweet bread (what'd ya expect?) and a subtle hop aroma rise from the beer. the taste of it is a little more polished for the style, no flavors will overpower you, but plenty of it to enjoy. Malty, with a hint of caramel, finishing off a tropical fruit flavor from the alcohol. Pretty easy to drink considering the style and ABV, as I enjoyed this offering from one of Munich's famous breweries.

Photo of shadow1961
3.72/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Spaten Optimator, a doppelbock, pours out a fluffy tan head over a
deep caramel brew. The head collapses pretty quickly, and carbonation
is active. Luckily nothing happened with that scary green glass- the nose
is malt and dark fruit, but nothing skunky here. The flavor is carmel up
front with slight grassy hop finish, with a hint of something like scotch way
in the background. Mouthfeel is round full. A tasty example of the style.

Photo of drpimento
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Obviously an old classic standard of dopplebocks. This one poured with a large light tan head, but that mostly disappeared within some minutes - no lace. Very dark reddish brown. Malty sweet nose. Same with flavor but with an odd salty character. Mild finish. Nice beer here. Balanced. Could drink a number of these.

Photo of bjoyce12
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

On tap in Germany at Epcot in DisneyWorld. The best beer served in all of DisneyWorld, without a doubt. Beck's Dark and Light, Lowenbrau, and a wheat beer were on tap at the casual restaurant there at Epcot Germany, so I was very surprised to find this served from a cart outside. Huge relief to find something good there.

Poured between a dark brown and a dark copper. Medium head, creamy, didn't dissipate quickly. Looked good.

I was outside on a windy day, so didn't catch the full aroma. What I did get was roasted nuts, malty, with chocolate hints.

Taste: Dark malts come through, but not too heavy nor overwhelming. Tastes as it looks; its appearance is not deceiving. Nice light undercurrent of roasted chococlate malt. Not sweet nor too hoppy, which I find is unusual for a German brew. An excellent option when compared to other German lagers. Alcohol is definitely noticeable but not too harsh.

Mothfeel is excellent. Full but not heavy. Lingers on the tastebuds but without a harsh aftertaste.

This and a Bavarian pretzel made a super lunch. A very good choice when looking for a doppel, and highly recommended if you're at Epcot.

Photo of becktone
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Eye: Dark brown to the eye, with lighter brownish dark copper highlights. Head is tannish, small and creamy looking with good lacing. Small head could be due to cleanliness of the glass.

Nose: Very potent malty sweet aroma. Nose isn't even near the glass and as soon as its poured it reaches my nose. No hop aroma here. Just a bit of a chocolate malt mixed in with the rest in there, small hint of chocolate.

Tongue: Dark malts right upfront, chocolate notes with some roasted characteristics. Bit of a yeast characteristic(from fermentation or yeast strain) in there, but can't put my finger on what it is. Alcohol is noticeable.

Mouthfeel and Drinkability: Full and smooth on the tongue, heavy bodied and easy to drink. The brew finishes semi-dry. All in all this is a pretty good Doppelbock. I can easily see myself buying this brew again when I want to buy a Doppelbock that isn't all that expensive.

Photo of IPAcraig
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle into a pint glass

A - Pours a deep brown amberish color. The only criticism I can offer for this beer is the head fadfes extremely fast and there is minimal lacing.

S - Nice lager crispness. Smells of crystal malt, caramel and bread.

T - Liquid bread (I havent read any other reviews yet, but I amagine I would see much of this). An excellent doppelbock. Caramel, licorice, and a bit of chocolate shine through. You get an ever so slight hop bitterness towards the end. A beautifully balanced doppelbock.

M - Very light on the tounge. A nice crispness

D - I absolutely love this beer. One of the best values out there, and one of my favorite beers from Germany. Despite the 7.2 %abv I could drink this all night, and have on occasion.

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

Served from a bottle, no freshness date noted.
Appearance: deep ruby red color with little head, more of an effervescense noted. Little to no lacing noted.
Smell: largely unremarkable.
Taste: Big hit of malt up-front with a balancing hop presence a bit later. Caramel, toffee notes present within. No considerable aftertaste to speak of.
Mouthfeel: Thick and smooth
Drinkability: Rather drinkable doppel. The alcohol content is only moderate for this style. I never really have found doppelbocks to be session beers.

Overall: I DO know that it is a import macro, but it's true to its style and tasty. Not quite as good as my beloved Celebrator, but cheaper.

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

12oz green bottle into mug.

Deep velvet hue with a one inch tan head that quickly settles to a thin cap.

Strong malt with a little bit of caramelized sugar, and a touch of anise.

Strong malty flavors similar to dark coffee with a touch of molasses and caramel. Smooth, medium bodied, with good carbonation. The feel has a slight fizz to it. The finish has lingering toasty grain and a little bit of alcohol.

Not a bad doppelbock, very malty. It's not the best, but it's good.

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

Pors from 16.9oz bottle a deep amber with a medium sized head of foam that shrinks to just a ring around the edge of the glass and a little lacing.

The smell is of caramel malt.

The taste on first sip has a huge malt character. Lots of roastiness and grain with just a bit of caramel. Further sips in and I'm getting some of the alcohol but it's not intrusive; also, there's some chocolate and fruitness there, mostly a plum flavour that shows up mostly near the finish which itself ends up slightly on the bitter side. It certainly is smooth enough and easy drinking so I'll have to watch it...;^)

Bottom line: This is a good Doppelbock that is worthy of a try.

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

Beer pours heavy with very little head from a green bottle. The head disipates with no lacing and no residual efforvenscence from motion (relatively flat - but expected from high alcohol). There is considerable residual sweetness and NO hop bitterness or aromas.

I'm not sure I would buy this again - probably not considering far more potable alternatives in the style.

Photo of guinnessfan
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into Williamsburg Alewerks pint.

A: Clear, dark brown with a caramel hue, topped off with a 1/2 finger head. Quick to recede the head leaves little lacing. Constant flow of tiny bubbles from the bottom of the glass.

S: Mild, earthy, roasted malt, slight sweetness. Sweet roastedness, like weak coffee.

T: Not bad. Smooth & sweet but somewhat metallic. Would be better if the metal was absent. All malt, no hops.

M: Smooth, silky, creamy. Leaves a sweet aftertaste, though.

D: Nice & smooth, easy to drink, but a little too sweet and slightly high in ABV.

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

Spaten Optimator
12 oz green bottle
#L 25061
Served in a 20 oz tulip pint glass

Pours a deep dark brown color with a nice head on top that vanishes to a thin lace. Amber highlights appear on the bottom of the glass.

Rich roasted malt character that us ultra slick with a juicy caramel feel. Heavy malt presence and oh so smooth. A hint of fruit, possibly mango or grapes. Pronounced and lingering hop snap on the finish.

A true classic in the Doppelbock world of beers. So enjoyable and drinkable. I especially like Spaten Optimator on draught at Jacob Wirth.

Photo of eberkman
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper into a tall pilsner glass producing a 2-inch light-beige head that reduces quickly to a solid, sticky half-finger that leaves a little lacing when agitated.

The smell is an inviting soft, toasty maltiness. The taste is sweet caramel, toffee, butterscotch with a faint hint of cocoa. Not much bitterness to speak of and no definitive finish at first, though about a third of the way through, a sort of flat, tinny, rusty aftertaste takes over. Some hoppy bite and a lingering taste would have balanced it out a bit better, but the overall flavor is nice.

Mouthfeel is a little thinner and more delicate than I anticipated from a style that's usually a little heavier. Some stickiness too. Enjoyable, but not the most drinkable due to the cloying, rich sweetness with no dry bitterness to balance it out. I imagine the alcohol level could really sneak up on you, but that wouldn't be a factor in drinkability given the style.

Overall, not bad -- and somewhat complex for such a malty brew. But for a doppelbock, I'm going for other options. Kind of a beginner's beer. Get me a Celebrator!

Photo of IceAce
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a deep, deep amber with a dark tan collar of tightly knit sturdy foam with a half-life of three minutes. Clarity is very nice and lacing minimal.

Nose is robust earthy, roasted malts with a cloying sweetness.

Entry is solid and forceful, showing a palate-pleasing mouthfeel. Midtaste is malty sweet showing a depth of at least five malt varieties. The finish show a soft roastiness with little hop presence.

Photo of ekempey
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I bought a 6 pack of this from an A&P Wine and Spirits, quite suprised to see it there. Ok, on with the review.
From the first sight of the beer poured into a pint glass, it has a dark red color that only pronounces itself when you hold the glass up to a light. My roommate got quite a kick out of that. I tried to pour the beer as vigorously as possible seeing as some prior reviews cited lack of head and retention. Even with this pour, the head quickly dissapeared.
The beer does give a nice malty aroma close up to the nose. When tasted, the beer has a nice taste to it hinting of chestnuts, chocolate and coffee, and the flavor opened up as the beer warmed up. There was a nice warmth behind the 7% ABV, reminding you that this is the real stuff. It does leave a sort of twingy after taste, making you want to eat something rather quickly after a big sip, but overall it wasn't too carbonated, and did hit the spot.
I would buy this agian, but I would try it with my Bratwurst as many others do seem to do instead of alone.

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,731 ratings.