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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,711 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,711
Reviews: 1,283
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 68
Gots: 233 | 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: 2,711 | Reviews: 1,283 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

Photo of lackenhauser
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice, deep chestnut color. Very thin head on top. Smell leaves a bit to be desired. Very, very metallic and almost "skunked". Good chewy malt flavor. Slightly sweet but not overly done. Small taste of caramel and a tinge of bitterness. Creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Always has been for me. I wonder how fresh this bottle is. Still a great beer-I always pick it up when I see it in a store.

Photo of hunteraw
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

First beer I've had at Hogan's in Gainesville - I'd never realized there was another beer bar aside from Stubbie's.

Appearance: Dark, but light comes through with a distinctly red hue. Decent head and retention but little lacing.

Smell: Malt and dark fruit predominate the aroma.

Taste: Nice and malty. On the sweeter side, but not cloying. Good bit of dark fruit for a lager, Cocoa at the finish. Wouldn't have guessed this was 7.2% at all. Little in the way of hops.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, well-carbonated.

Drinkability: No complaints here.

Photo of theformula
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours an intimidating but attractive dark ruby body with a 2" head or so and decent retention.

Strong scents of roasted malts. Cant help but notice the coffee and dark chocolate notes, similar to a dry stout. Faint molasses and sugar notes as well.

Light to medium body with low to moderate bubbly. Nice n easy for the style.
Malts, malts and more malts. Dark, roasty goodness and a malt bomb. Lovely chocolate and coffee layers. Not as rich as I expected, like a dark ale or wee heavy almost. Nice, warming alcahol but not too much so. Some dark fruits in there as well as spices. A bone-dry finish w/ a nutty dryness. Maybe some chocolate covered rasberries?

Quite drinkable. I'd drink it with a big Bratwurst. Dry and roasty, and just above average IMO.

Photo of WeisGuy
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

a - deep dark brown, small off-white head with little retention and lacing

s - sweet caramel and malt dominate the nose

t - lots of caramel and roasted malt, very sweet with a bit of bitterness on the finish

m - ample carbonation, light-to-medium bodied, moderately dry finish

d - not overly drinkable b/c of the sweetness, but goes down easy

Not a bad beer, but doppelbocks aren't my favorite style. Very easy drinking brew.

Photo of Monkeyknife
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pint glass. A dark reddish brown color with minimal head and no lacing.

Sweet and malty with hints of toffee and figs.

Like the smell, the taste is sweet and malty. Brown sugar and raisins. Noticed a bit of bitterness in the aftertaste.

Smooth and silky mouthfeel to this one. Little carbonation.

Very drinkable and one of my favorite dark German beers.

Photo of Night
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark red-brown with strong tones of magenta and copper. Nice, thick beige-colored head; long lasting with thick lacing. Strong, warm nose of molasses, toffee, vanilla, and spices; a hint of tobacco and alcohol. Nice sharp mouthfeel; medium body. First flavors are of dried fruits – plum, apricot, peach – and acidity, followed by creamy toffee and mocha malts. Mild hops and alcohol in the finish along with light fruit undertones, not bitter; overall very palatable. Thin, woody aftertaste.

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is another oldy but goody for me, don't even remember how long it's been since I had this. Pours dark brown, very little head. Smells malty, tastes very malty, slightly burned with a bit of a hint of dried fruit. Overall it's pretty good, but not as good as I remembered, not sure what it is. Won't go seeking it out but can recommend it to anyone who has not tried it.

Photo of vickersspitfire
3.08/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured this one into a pilsner: it comes out looking black , but when you hold it up to the light you see the beautiful dark reddish/brown color topped off with a thick tan head thats slowly dissolves and only has a hint of lacing. it looks like a great tasting beer, but its flavor lacks something, i'm just not sure what it is.It taste like roasted malt and it quite smooth on the tongue; there's very little crispness to it, it's aftertaste isn't too bad a bit dry and a slight hint of alcohol.

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

OK... I've previously reviewd this as served on tap. But I recently purchased a case to have on hand at home.

The 12 oz green bottle poured into a pint glass seemed so small when compared to the normal serving I enjoy at Mecklenburg Gardens in Cincinnati (1 Big ol' Litre!). But it poured nicely producing a 1" head of frothy beige foam. The color was dark brown... very dark.

I sniffed the edge of the glass to catch the aroma of chocolate sweetness with some fruity character... perhaps spiced prunish. It seemed more hoppy than as served on tap and also a bit more carbonated, but not overly so. Actually very well balanced.

The mouthfeel was smooth. Very nice without a hoppy bite. The aftertaste leaves a sweetness in your mouth for a long time!

Drinkability is excellent with this strong Dopplebock. This is and probably will remain as my preferred Bock. I might be in the minority, but I prefer this one over Celebrator... although, I've never had Celebrator on tap.

Photo of oldirtycaffrey
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a ruby brown/dark caramel color with not much of a head or lacing on the glass. The smell is a really nice -- sweet, malty, spices -- a slight toffee hint. The taste is also sweet with a wonderful aftertaste. A beer like this really makes you realize how crappy a taste a Bud or Coors Light has in comparison. Also, this is a smooth beer considering the high ABV -- this could be a nice, sturdy session beer. Realy enjoyed this one and would definitely pick it up again.

Photo of medic25
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Chestnut brown color, with a big frothy white head. Strong malty aroma. Taste is overwhelmingly one of malt. Essentially like drinking a really good bread, with a sweet aftertaste that hides whatever hops are located in this beer. A very drinkable German, full of flavor and character.

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

Picked up a single earlier tonight, have been eyeing it for a while, finally gave in.

This brew poured a clear, deep mahogany with a two finger tan coloured head. It had a low level of fine carbonation, and there wasnt much in the way of lacings.

The rich smells of dates, chocolate, walnut, barley, and grassy, earthy hop spice.

Mmmm, a yummy liquid toasted date and nut loaf, sweetened with a hint of treacle and some milk chocolate chips or chunks. Some leafy (think autumn) and mildly grassy hops round this brew out with a pleasant, earthy, spice.

A rich, malty, medium bodied and well rounded treat. Rich malt blend compliments itself and provides a nice depth and body, as well as being well balanced with mild and earthy hops.

A very drinkable brew, would make excellent session fare. Could see myself living off of this some Lent. Perhaps not quite as deep or complex as the Celebrator, but perhaps more drinkable because of it. Would serve as an excellent introduction to the style, as well as darker brew in general. Will drink this one again!

Photo of budgood1
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

pours out of the green 12 oz. bottle an amber colour...somewhat fizzy with a tan head. the head reduces to a fine lace on the glass. quite festive. aromas is malty...figs and ripe fruit along with some corn notes. taste is all fuitcake laden. maltiness runs the fruit gauntlet all the way. the only way to describe this excellent brew is to call it a pretend version of celebrator. which in no means is an attempt to insult, but to state the obvious. body is above medium...the mouthfeel is silky smooth. drinkability ranks high cuz this is just a damn smooth tasty brew.

certain doppelbocks at certain times of the year are just splendid. this is an example of good taste at anytime of the year. yummy stuff.

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

Tapped at home. I may have the pressure a bit high, but it pours a full, dense tan head over a nearly black body. Smell is chocolate, prunes, and something lighter...lemongrass maybe? Taste is chocolate and caramel up front, the sugars receding into an, if this is possible, earthy but clean finish. It accomplishes this without being too dry. In fact, that finish is what distinguishes this from most of its dobbeplbock breatheren and makes it easy to drink quite a few of these. The mouthfeel is light and crisp, but with a silky substance. The drinkability? Dangerous, my friend. Having my own keg of this, I can say with some degree of authority that the light body and VERY pleasant, not too-assertive flavor combine for a combination that can easily lull you into over-indulgence. Good. Good, good, good, good good!

Photo of Damian
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Drank on-tap at Student Prince, Springfield, MA

Poured a clear, dark mahogany with a creamy, tan, three-finger head. The head slowly faded to a rich froth and a thick ring of lace. Copious amounts of lacing left dripping spiderwebs that stuck all along the glass.

Aroma was sharp and distinctly German. Munich and Vienna malts were apparent along with some smoky, leathery and musty characteristics. As the beer warmed, some sweeter malts appeared and the mustiness seemed to subside.

The taste was rich and smooth. Sweet caramel malts were briefly noticeable up front before the Munich, Vienna and roasted malts came through. Some smoky and dark chocolate notes were noticeable as well. The finish was a touch hoppy with a moderate yet pleasant alcohol bite (just enough to warm you up on a cold winter night).

Mouthfeel was medium-thin for this style (a bit disappointing) yet fairly smooth.

Drinkability was outstanding. For a dark, flavorful, alcohol-rich beer, this dopplebock went down amazingly easy.

Photo of aforwark
4.31/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Wow, I was very impressed with this beer. Bought in a "create your own" 6-pack at a local store to try out mainly because of the recent film Beerfest. They mention the company in the movie and I thought I must try it. Appearance is a rich dark color and it smells delicious. Not much wrong with this beer, but I don't see myself drinking 6 of these in a night as it was filling and had a high alcohol percentage. Highly recommended.

Photo of cornet1
4.45/5  rDev +14.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This review stems from a 1 PT .9 OZ "bomber" with a bottled on date of L34653 which means the 346th day of 2005. This bottle is exactly one year old (happy birthday!). The smell is extremely malty. The strong malt is apparent the second the bottle is opened. It poured a nice deep brownish ruby color. There was a nice 1 1/2 inch head after pouring. The taste is very malty and the alcohol is only somewhat noticeable for a 7.2%. I really can't detect any hops, just pure malty goodness! I know that the Ayinger Celebrator is rated higher than this one but I find them both to represent the doppelbock style equally. However, the Celebrator does seems a little bit more smooth than the Optimator. I highly recommend this doppelbock by Spaten and be sure to seek out the 1 PT .9 OZ "bomber" cause the 12 OZ bottle is just never enough!!!!


Photo of tcfishler
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Very dark but clear red-mahogany. Head is a bit small and short lived.

Sweet nose of gingerbread, with faint roasted tones as well.

Flavors are less concentrated, simpler, and drier than the aromas. Body is on the lighter side of medium, with a low level of carbonation. Finishes fruity, then slightly bitter on the aftertaste. Alcohol is hardly detectable.

Promises more on the nose than it delivers in the mouth, but still enjoyable for its easy appeal and drinkability, not to mention its low cost.

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

Appearance - A deep brown color with a two finger head that dissipates slowly and leaves a nice thin film with decent lacing.

Smell - Big-time malt with hints of coffee and alcohol. The alcohol and coffee become more prevalent as the beer warms.

Taste - Sweet malt flavor at the start, middle, and finish with just enough bitterness and alcohol to even it out before it becomes too sweet to handle.

Mouthfeel - Silky smooth with some carbonation.

Drinkability - A good example of the style and well worth a try. I don't think this six pack is going to last very much longer. Prost!!

Photo of dippy
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a nice head for this beer, off white that looked more like a spider web than lace in the glass. Seriously sticky.

It was very sweet, sweeter than I am used too, but I adjusted to it after the initial sip. This beer is carmel, I think it goes perfect with my thanksgiving sandwich I am currently downing. Not alot of hops. They show up in the after taste as they are masked by the sweetness of the malt.

The beer goes down smooth, but be careful. I had planned on pouring the rest of the six pack into my yard glass but after drinking the first pint I opted against it. A six pack of this would be too much. A great example of German brew.
Drink this beer.

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,711 ratings.