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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,744 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,744
Reviews: 1,291
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 70
Gots: 257 | 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: 2,744 | Reviews: 1,291
Photo of mdm46410
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a 12oz bottle into my Bell’s dimpled mug. This beer poured a dark brown color with visible carbonation and a one finger thick beige head that slowly faded away. No lace. The aroma consisted of rich roasted malts and a sweet caramel note. The flavor was mostly malty, with notes of caramel and dark fruit. The mouthfeel is full-bodied and lively. Just the right amount of carbonation and alcohol. Very well done. Excellent!

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

One of my favorite beers. Dark brown with a good one inch head. Smell is of light chocolate and caramel. Taste brings out hose flavors even moreso, hitting the tongue with a great malt taste that evolves into a nice chewy caramel. Finish is also of caramel with hints of coffee and faint milk chocolate notes. Nice mouthfeel, hitting the mouth very smoothly with the carbonation coming out very slowly allowing the flavors to evolve in the mouth right before swallowing. Even at 7.2% this is a beer I could knock back an entire case of if I wanted to - it's just that good. Sweet, but not too much so, this would go well after dinner as a sort of dessert beer, but I like it anytime.

This beer is amazing and can stand up to some of the best beers I can think of. I got this at my local Publix, so it's very available, but that availability doesn't compromise the flavor. It's even better on tap, with the complexities of the flavor becoming even more pronounced, and the aroma somehow a lot better. Highly recommended.

Photo of PorterNicole
4.17/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark beer, but not completely opaque. A few hints of honey/red color throughout. There was no visible head on the beer when I got it and the glass had <1mm lacing along the sides of the glass.

Aroma: This is a malt-heavy beer with very few hoppy notes in it. There is a little bit of a nutty aroma that is slightly sweet, with almost a hint of a merlot-type of smell.

Taste: The taste is smooth and malty. There are hints of nuts and caramel and perhaps a dark berry. Very little hop taste in the beer.

Mouthfeel: Incredibly smooth, with just a little bit of bite from the hops. The beer feels a little more carbonated than you would expect from a dark beer, but it's not overwhelming. The beer is still heavy, but not quite as heavy as most dark beers.

Drinkability: Damn good. Easy to drink for a dark beer...definitely a beer you can knock back a few of without getting sleepy (like from something similar to Guinness)

Photo of jdubjacket
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite beers come football time. The taste of it always reminds me of Fall.

Pours a cola brown. The beer has a sweet, unique taste that's unlike any other - and that's not a bad thing.

I don't know what it is about this beer. Even though it's only 7.2% ABV, it packs a punch. I good session beer - just don't go too far.

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

Pours a brilliant cola brown in color (or brown-amber if you prefer), with ample carbonation. Forms a pale brownish-tan head, airy/rocky, of medium duration and with average-to-good lacing. Nose is sweet, bready, and malty, offering plenty of dark fruity overtones along with an oily, unctious quality and let's not forget the trademark dose of metallic tang. Some pale and biscuity malt notes in here too, but very little in the way of hops, as per style. First impression is of a fruity-sweet, tangy concotion with a good deal of malt character and depth. A touch of warming alcohol is also present from the get-go and it never truly fades, and indeed this alcoholic "heat" tends to add to its drinkability. Creamy smooth and medium-full bodied, the oily dark and roasted malt characters impart plenty of depth and balance, even where it might otherwise lack balance in terms of bitterness. Some might not find the abovementioned "depth" to be as pronounced as it is in certain notable Doppelbocks (e.g. Celebrator, Korbinian) but it is on par with other readily available examples (Tucher Bajuvator). Broader notes of plum and caramel interact with lighter notes of raisin, anise -and if you can find it- honey. Some lighter berry in the aromatics, too, as well as dried tobacco. Also, the metallic tang and unctious quality combined seem to impart a mildly spicy characteristic, which if I didn't know better I might put down to hop oil. Come to think of it, there's sourdough in here - how's that for bready? Very little bitterness here by the way, and the sweetness lingers in the manner of the Noble hop profile in a Helles. Warming if you drink it too fast (or if you have too many), it's a worthy sipper, and perhaps even better when paired with a meal. A longtime friend, Spaten Optimator is an excellent choice to make when it comes to pairing a robust, dark lager with some sturdy foodstuffs (game, chops, barbecue), it's also a veritable benchmark for its style.
Served chilled in a 250 mL mug.

Photo of OWSLEY069
3.1/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Spaten tall half liter glass with a deep dark amber hue, a white head that that did not last too long. Aroma of dark fruits and slightly alcoholic. It has a lighter body and a nice bitterness to the dark fruit sweetness. The alcohol is not as noticable, but it does pack a punch.

Photo of theopholis
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Appearance- The beer is a dark with reddish highlights and a short, creamy, tan head with very little staying power and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

Aroma- Lots of malt sweetness with overtones of dark fruit, with a little caramelized malt and just enough hops to where you know this is beer.

Taste- Nice mix of malt sweetness and dark, ripe fruits, caramel, plums & raisins. Just a tad bittering hops to balance the taste. Quite nice.

Mouthfeel- A bit lighter than you might expect, but still has a medium body, medium carbonation, slightly syrupy..

Drinkability- Easy drinking, and slightly sessionable.

Photo of mrasskicktastic
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - A brown brew with a garnet hue. The head is small and shortlived, no lacing.

S - Smoky caramel malt, with blackberries, red grapes and dates.

T - Smoky malt with a non-sweet dates flavor, light malt, burnt malt and hay hops. Aftertaste is a mild dark fruitiness (currants and dates mostly) with a mild hay bitterness.

M - Thick, pretty smooth feel, drying and astringent on the finish though.

D - Impressive. Easy to drink and compliments nearly any meal. This is a doppelbock worth finding. It has a pleasant flavor and wonderful presence.

Photo of ohmybock
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Thank GOD the USA gets Spaten Optimator on draft. On draft, this beer is manna from Heaven. It has everything I would expect from a German doppelbock. However, the sixpack version (green 12oz bottles) is/are disgusting! Why do so many German breweries allow their incredible beers to be ruined by green (skunked) bottles? I have no idea! Come on German brewers...bottle all of your export stuff in brown bottles! What are you thinking?

Note: In some places in the US you can (thankfully) buy this beer in brown half-liter bottles.

Photo of pjroomy
4.48/5  rDev +15.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thank goodness for Cyclone Liquors in Ames, Iowa. If not for them I would have never been introduced to such a fine beer.

The first time I had an Optimator I was shocked to find out it comes in a green bottle, lol. I couldn't believe how dark it was. It has a very malty taste intitially and then a roasted (almond) flavor comes through.

For me, other Dopplebock's just don't measure up. Some others are a little too bitter. While Optimator is very malty it isn't bitter. The "ultra-malty" taste may grab you at first, but it finishes smooth leaving little to no after taste.

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany amber, clear. Mild carbonation. Mild-moderate sized head that wastes no time residing to a skin-like covering.

Sugary dark roasted fruit. Mild floral hop.

Medium bodied. Tartly fruity and fairly light. Dry roasted fruit sugary sweetness. Understated floral splashes. So smooth, almost no carbonation. Sticky sweet thickness about the malt. This and the heightened alcohol content make it feel nice and thick. Seriously right-on in the feel dept. Finishes slightly dry, mostly clean.

Gets better as it warms, or as I warm. Either way.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle into a US tumbler pint glass.

A: The beer is a dark reddish brown color with a short off-white head that fades quickly and leaves a thin lace on the glass.

S: The aroma is loaded with dark fruit, with a little caramelized malt and a touch of hops.

T: The flavor is fruity & sweet with flavors of brown sugar, caramel, berries, plums & raisins. A little bit of hops comes in to provide some balance and transitions the taste into a heavy bitterness, but the bitterness is more from the dark fruits than the hops. The malt character is hearty and the after-taste is bitter-sweet.

M: Crisp and smooth, medium body, medium carbonation, slightly sticky finish.

D: Tasty, goes down very easily, not too filling, good kick, good representation of a style that is starting to grow on me, it isn’t quite the best in the style, but it's right up there and it’s pretty good. It's one of those beers where the taste gets better as you continue to drink it. This is a beer that I could stick with for a whole evening.

Photo of whiplash3825
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a glass stein... this is the darkest beer I've ever had! Very dark brown/copper color, tan two-finger head collapses quickly. Smell is a sweet, slightly burnt malt and caramel, and you can definitely detect the alcohol. Tastes of roasted hops, caramel and even slight anise and coffee, with a medium dry finish and some warmth from the high ABV. Goes down pretty smooth, but this sure is a change from my usual weitzen! The sweetness would probably discourage me from drinking too many of these, but I'm on my second so we'll see! Overall, much better than I expected from a doppelbock.

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.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,744 ratings.