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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,524 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,524
Reviews: 1,262
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 64
Gots: 148 | 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: 2,524 | Reviews: 1,262 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

carln26, Jul 17, 2005
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.

Dukeofearl, Jul 10, 2005
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.

Pepeton, Jul 04, 2005
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!

Opethsprite, Jul 03, 2005
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!

karst, Jun 23, 2005
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.

danielharper, Jun 20, 2005
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!

beersarang, Jun 13, 2005
Photo of kbnooshay
3.85/5  rDev -1%

The bottle is sorta intimidating after reading about the double shovels and how it a was going to kick my ass. It beer pours a really nice dark brown, with a good head that shrinks quickly. The smell is interesting, most noticeable to me was bread but also noted is a hint of chocolate, sweet smelling.The taste iis sweeet malty as hell. some hoppage. But the hops come in later. malty malty malty.The mouthfeel is great, medium yet sorta stickey. Damn the alcohol just kicked in on about the 4th sip. I really do like this, I was suprised because I had it before on tap at McGreggors and really wasn't feeling it. I found it easier to drink at the begining and although I really do enjoy it I wouldn't have more than 2 a night.

kbnooshay, Jun 09, 2005
Photo of OatherS
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%

Green twelve ounce bottle has a gold/rust label with a shield with two spades on it.

Appearance: Nice two finger head that is slow to fade. Dark amber color that is practically opaque. Very nice.

Smell: The first thing I think of is a muted wine odor. Then the malty aroma comes. Also somewhat skunky as most beers in a green bottle are.

Taste: A nice smooth hop/malt flavor that has hints of chocolate and wine as well. Not bad, but not fantastic.

Mouthfeel: Fine.

Drinkability: Not a bad beer, but I am glad it was part of a mix a six and not a full six pack in my fridge.

OatherS, Jun 03, 2005
Photo of KoG
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%

Dark, deep brown with a very slight red tint. Nice frothy head slowly settles into a light blanket over the top leaving a sticky lace down the glass.

Smells a bit musty atop sweet malt and a slight hop presence.

Taste is super malty with a definate alcohol appearance. Chocolate, barley, and a bit of grain accompanied by a light hop twinge. Very mellow yet still flavorful.

A very nice doppelbock, although I feel it has lost a bit since the takeover.

KoG, May 31, 2005
Photo of mmmbeer
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%

12 oz. green bottle with no freshness date - served in a pilsner glass. Pours a chestnut color with a 1 finger, tan head that leaves some lacing. There is a fairly active carbonation and the head consists of very small bubbles. Some dark fruits, molasses, caramel, nuts, hops, and skunk (from the green bottle?) in the aroma. It is very thick with crisp carbonation, coating the mouth well and leaves a warming sensation from the alcohol. There are lots of sweet malts that aren't cloying, and there are leafy/grassy hops with a nice bitterness. There's also notes of caramel, molasses, and nuts but there is a noticeable skunkiness that lowers the taste points. Even though I drank this pretty quickly, I wish it had less skunk flavor because it seems a bit macroish.

mmmbeer, May 27, 2005
Photo of watermelonman
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

This poured to a nice dark brown with hints of orange. The head was fairly small and faded, while lacing was minimal.

The smell is nice, with caramel coming through strong. Toasted malts and caramel dominate the taste, with hops coming through in the finish. The mouthfeel is fairly rich, yet the beer remains easy to drink.

watermelonman, May 20, 2005
Photo of whynot44
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

Full bodied, deep clear garnet color with a decent off white head.

Aroma is dominated by buttery, bready malts with a touch of fruit, anise and herbal hops in the background.

The taste is the same. Rich creamy roasted malt - caramel, toffee, raisins, plums, with a bit of nuttiness. Toward the finish there's a note of fresh buttered bread. A nice alcohol warmth and slightly dry at the finish with a bit of anise and herbal hops for a decent balance.

A very nice bock, smooth and very drinkable.

whynot44, May 06, 2005
Photo of ommegangpbr
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Pretty durned spiffy!
I was surprised to find this in my local supermarket. It has a pretty dismal beer selection; virtually all american macro lagers that all taste the same.
Optimator was a sweet find... both figuratively and literally.
Rich, sweet malty taste, but not over done. Finishes pretty dry considering the sweetness level. There's a faint but detectable hops bite and bitterness mid sip.
The 7.2% is a very nice feature.
Go Spaten!

ommegangpbr, Apr 30, 2005
Photo of jdm
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%

Pours three quarter finger head that fades slowly. Strong malty aroma as well as alcohol and caramel apparent to the nose. The strong malt is wonderfully balanced with a generous amount of bittering making this strong beer quite drinkable. Mmm... taste the caramelly malt! Not quite as heavy a mouth feel as I expected from this malt packed German beer. I find the slightly lighter mouthfeel to be a positive for this beers drinkability.

jdm, Apr 16, 2005
Photo of cncbofh
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

12oz green bottle.
Beautiful dark tawny color with a small head that sticks around the whole way through.

Smells of toasty malts and candied apples with slight alcohol fumes and a trace of earthy rot.

Nice and hefty mouthfeel - there is sweet and chewy caramel with hardly any noticeable alcohol. The hops just barely nip you on the back of the tongue. A bitter yet crisp end.

Really good brew to enjoy anytime during the year. Heavy enough to warm you in the winter, and tasty and crisp enough for a summertime lawn mowing job.

cncbofh, Apr 12, 2005
Photo of brewQ
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%

Bottle code L 21741

A rich royal brown brew with a choppy beige head that settled in quickly. After I poured this, I walked 4 feet away to grab a phone. The beery, yeasty aroma followed me!

The taste yielded a malty sweetness and some candy flavors- not complex but pronounced flavors. A nice warming finish from 7.2%.
Deceptively drinkable.

(I noticed tap reviews for this are less enthusiastic and all over the board- I guess I'll stick to the green bottle.)

brewQ, Apr 03, 2005
Photo of santoslhalper
3.1/5  rDev -20.3%

Had on tap at the Southside Saloon. This was the yeastiest tasting Doppelbock I've ever had. That almost made it undrinkable, but it wasn't. The other flavors were tasty, and had an odd fruitiness to them. I think this is an overrated doppelbock. I'll stick with my Troegenator thank you very much.

santoslhalper, Mar 27, 2005
Photo of blitheringidiot
3.2/5  rDev -17.7%

Russet brown yet clear pour with zero head cap and zero carbonation visible. A wafer thin beige cap can be mustered. Proper pour into a Spaten glass.

Nary a scent beyond some grain and rye.

First swigs: Wheat grain doppelbock with slight banana and dough. Light flavors.

Crisp feel and medium bodied.

Last swigs: Malty grain lager-esque doppel. Quite clean and easy.

blitheringidiot, Mar 24, 2005
Photo of bceaglejoe
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

Served in an oversize mug at Walt Disney World - Epcot Germany pavilion.

Presentation: Poured a near-black color with a small off-white head. It smelled like roasted malts with almost no hop aroma at all.

Tasting: This was exceptionally easy to drink, and very tasty too! It tasted very malty, with a medium body and hints of chocolate sneaking in as well. The higher alcohol content didn't really affect the flavor of the beer at all. It was very smooth on my tongue, with almost no harshness or bitterness. Drinkability is a bit down mainly because of the higher alcohol content.

I definitely would recommend this beer for anyone who is interested in the Doppelbock style. If it was this good at the Disney version of Germany, then who knows how good it actually is in the old country...

bceaglejoe, Mar 12, 2005
Photo of deejaydan
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%

Pours a perfect ruby with millions of tiny bubble streaming up. Slightly frothy head, and moderate lacing. Smell is grainy, not the malt bomb that I had hoped for in this one. Taste is exceptional, sweet carmelly malts with no alcohol burn whatsoever. Mouthfeel is thick and lush, coating your mouth. Drinkability... I think this is one of the best dopplebocks out there. A bit heavy for daily drinking, but a nice treat to pick up.

deejaydan, Mar 07, 2005
Photo of Vancer
3.85/5  rDev -1%

What do you add to a beer reviewed almost 300 times? Not much, so this is a kinda personal review: Poured a good, light mahogany with 1” tan head. Aroma was sweetish malt. Yup, tasted great, malty, medium bodied. Very lite with hops during and in the finish – overall just a tush too sweet. Texture was heavier than the color suggested – and yeah, quite a nice alcohol buzz can be expected. Six pack of these would lead to trouble

Vancer, Mar 02, 2005
Photo of Gaisgeil
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%

This one pours a deep and clear amber with an ample tan toned head.

Nose is quite malty with an odd spicy overtone to it, maybe even a bit smokey. Taste is much more robust than many, very dark and roasted but with a fruit overtone to it, figs, a bit of grape, raisin. Body is heavy for the style but quite smooth. This is quite sessionable too despite the ABV, which hides itself well.

Something I may pick up on occasion if the mood strikes.


Gaisgeil, Mar 02, 2005
Photo of PorterLambic
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%

Pours a chestnut brown with good head and lace.
Smell is sweet roasted malt, smoke, peat, grapes and yeast.
Taste is roasted malt, smoke, hint of grape, light alcohol, yeast and wood.
Mouthfeel starts a little rough but finishes smooth. Good body and light effervescence. Warms the throat nicely.
Drinkability is pretty good though the ABV holds it back more than it should for 7.2 %.

PorterLambic, Mar 01, 2005
Photo of mgdeth
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%

Appearance - Brownish in color with red highlights. Creamy tan head, which is nice and thick.

Smell - Rich malty aroma dominates. There is an odd spiciness in there somewhere.

Taste - Big malt flavor with a roasty/toasty touch. Alcohol flavor is also apparent. Hops spring up in the aftertaste (just a little). A burnt flavor crops up mid-beer.

Mouthfeel - Medium to heavy body. It could be a bit heavier, and this might improve it.

Drinkability - This beer is not quite as smooth as I would like. The aftertaste also seems out of place.

Comments - This is a decent doppelbock, but I prefer others over this one. This one should still be sampled.

mgdeth, Feb 18, 2005
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,524 ratings.