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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,676 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,676
Reviews: 1,272
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 64
Gots: 209 | 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)
View: Beers (17) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,676 | Reviews: 1,272 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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...

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

Part of a side by side Dopplebock tasting with Optimator-Celebrator & Salvator. A lot of fun and an interesting way to compare these classic rich beers.

Deep brown color, with hints of amber. not quite as dark as Celebrator.

Smell is rich sweet & malty.

Head is thin & tan, fades fast to nothing but an edge ring.

Mouthfeel is full & viscous, smooth.

I love Dopplebocks and this one is great. Could drink it often if availabliity allowed.

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

Appearance – This came out a dark brown in color with a beautiful, gorgeous head. The off-white head on that almost-black body in the football-style German glass was absolutely gorgeous.

Smell – The burnt molasses and dark lagered grain worked well together, although the overall aroma was dull even as the bier warmed.

Taste – The molasses was super-strong just as I like it. The grain was expertly lagered and very dark. The luscious sweets were sharp but not attention-grabbing. All together this was damn near perfect.

Mouthfeel – This was just shy of medium-bodied and not bitter but still had a sharp, strapping molasses bite.

Drinkability – I had this with a brat and bread at Prost in Seattle with my good friend skyhand and boy did it remind me of the Fatherland.

Photo of cheers2beers
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: This beer pours a deep dark red with ruby edges as the light shines through. A tall rocky tan head was coaxed out of the pour leaveing behind a nice amount of laceing to chase the liquid down.

Smell: Citrusy fruits, light hop notes, almost floral, and a subtle alcohol all combine to create a unique, but very nice aroma. It's almost hard to describe. Even a slight woodiness is present.

Taste: I'll begin the taste by saying this was the infamous gateway craft beer that got me hooked into the craft beer scene, and i've finally revisited this one to review it.
Mild malts with a balanced subtle hop bitterness combined with an ever so slightly citrusy fruit of some sort. Has an amber taste as well, so i could see this one being described as an amber double bock. With woody notes to play a role just for a spliting second just to get erased by a blow of alcohol that just doesn't quit.

Mouthfeel: The feel is slick,yet not oily. washes away with ease followed by a bubblely finish. High carbonation. Thicker side of light, almost medium bodied.

Drinkability: This was and still is a great beer to enjoy. I recommend you try this if you have not had it yet.


Photo of jasonjlewis
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Able to generate some head, but not that great of a head retention. Head retention gets better as beer warms.
Smell of caramel and chocolate malts, a little butterscotchy.
Taste: Bocks have a lot of malts, and I'd rather have imbalance towards hops than malts, otherwise it's just too thick and nasty. There is great balance in this beer. Definetly more hoppy than malty, but it's very well balanced.
Mouthfeel is thick but I want a little more carbonation on the palate.
Drinkability: an easy beer to drink, could make a session of it in the fall. I can't believe this has 7.2 percent alcohol. It drinks like a 6%.

Photo of Litterbean
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, clear, with a white head that foams up and dies down quickly. Lace is present.

Smell is a mixture of sweet malts, grape esters, and baked bread.

Taste is along those same lines: grapes, some vinous qualities, sweetness and bread, and a bit of a lemony quality at the end (with some puckering effect). Complex, and good. Alcohol spice is a nice touch. There's a barnyard flavor in there as well. I keep noticing different flavors intermingling with each other. I'm definitely liking the complexity here. I'll give it another .5 in the taste category just because there is a lot going on, and nearly all of it is positive. Good stuff here.

Photo of mnj21655
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with hints of red. Had a 1/2" white head that disappeared completely and fast. Smells of chocolate and vaguely reminiscent of red wine. Tastes like it smells. Licorice is also present as is a hint of bitterness at the finish. Nice mouthfeel. Not as thick as I had expected. Great drinkability, ABV is on the high side but I haven't let that stop me yet. Overall this is a good, solid beer. Not something I'd go out of my way for but should the opportunity arise I would certainly have it again.

Photo of Graebner
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Comes in a nothing-special-looking green Spaten bottle. No freshness date is apparent. A moderately hard pour produced a finger of light brown head that went away almost immediately. The beer itself is transparent ruby-brown with little to no bubble column activity.

Smells like chocolate, merlot, bready malts. Does not smell strongly, very muted nose.

Taste is quite good, I would even say excellent. Chocolate, caramel, chicory, slight alcohol, a bit of coriander and other spices, clove spiciness, and muted fruity esters (banana and plum). An excellent beer, substantially better than I was expecting, and I wasn't anticipating a slouch of a brew.

Mouthfeel is also very good. Finishes very cleanly and dry with minor hop and noticable roasted malt bitterness in the swallow. Carbonation more present than visual inspection would lead you to believe. There is ample carbonation to round out the brew, polish off the tongue as you sip, and deliver a party on my palate.

Overall a very good beer. Rich taste and smooth mouthfeel. Hides the alcohol well, though you can feel the warmth after you've had a few sips. By no means unpleasant, though. Could easily be a session beer, though I expect the price would be prohibitive. Nevertheless: Good show, Spaten!

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
88 out of 100 based on 2,676 ratings.