Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,679 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,679
Reviews: 1,272
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 65
Gots: 214 | 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)
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,679 | Reviews: 1,272 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of PeatReek
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance is deep brown body without the slightest haze; looks like thin coffee. Moderately thick whitish head that laces well. Dark malt scents, sweet with plum, caramel and hints of strawberry. All these come through in the taste as well, especially the sweet caramel. Very slightly bready and a hint of... mushroom?? That makes it sound nasty, but it's really just a nice thick earthy taste. Tingly and slightly bitter late in the sip. Sweetness is a bit too prominent in the aftertaste to be superbly drinkable, but the alcohol is very well concealed.

Photo of Hautacam
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Clear dark amber...frothy head..laces and drops to a film.
Smells of dried fruit and port wine.
Taste : sweet caramel candy, raisons,prunes, port ..some alcohol and a bitter finish. A little too light, though. Get's a little better as it warms, but doesn't really gain any intensity.
Mouthfeel is medium-full....low carbonation.
One of these is enough...not outstanding....

Photo of poppercherry
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I have had this beer several times and decided it was time to review it.

The beer was dark brown in color and seemed to have a tint of red. The head was thin and spotty.
The smell was mostly malt with a trace of chocolate. It tasted very malty with hints of coffee and chocolate and finished with trace bitterness.. It was creamy, but not as thick as others in it's style. It is a very good beer and one that will stock my beer fridge!

Photo of Metalmonk
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured an average head that minimized quickly. Hardly any real lace. Love the brownish caramel color though.

Smells of sweet malts and mild alcohol...little else.

Taste is sweet but not cloying. Malty, like caramel and brown sugar. Slightly sticky in the mouth, but definitely more creamy than syrupy. Always a pleasure to swish it around a little and feel/taste that well-balanced alcohol and malt sweetness that characterizes this beer.

Goes down extremely well, not overly heavy nor too light, a satisfying and comforting beer. It always delivers.

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

Poured from a 0.5L bottle. Had this beer on a number of occasions, and figured it was time to write a review.

Poured a light brown with a a thick, creamy brown head. Decent lacing.

The aroma was of sweet malts, somewhat nutty. Taste was very creamy with malts at the forefront. The sweetness of the aroma was carried through into a honey flavor and coffee hints. Light hops. Nicely balanced.

Medium body with decent cleansing power. Overall, quite drinkable. Not the best doppelbock I've had, but certainly good enough for most occasions.

Photo of scottoale
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought this one cheep, $2 for a half liter brown glass bottle with a pink and gold label and nice neck foil, different than the one pictured here. It pours a dark copper-mahogany with a cream colored head that stuck around for a while. It settled to about an eighth of an inch with some healthy lacing trailing behind.

Nice sweet roasted malty nose, hints of caramel and earthy soil. Tastes rich and malty, some toffee and nuttiness comes through, with a grassy hop mellow finish. A little on the sweet side, hops seem a bit weak, alcohol is present but the body is lighter than I was expecting.

A bit watery in the mouth with a gentle warming as it leaves with a tad bit of a sweet finish. It fits it's style, I preferred the Celebrator I had yesterday over this one however...

Photo of TurdFurgison
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a belgian goblet. Dark ruby color with frothy tan foam. Smelled malty like a doppelbock.

Taste was not as heavy as I expected, and a little skunked too. It's a nice doppelbock flavor but a little subdued. I prefer the richness of Salvator over this one.

Not bad and easy to drink. Just not the best of the style in my opinion.

Photo of geexploitation
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spaten Optimator pours a very dark brown with relatively little head. Aroma is pretty complex, with molasses, malts, and cat pee sharing center stage. The flavor is big and round, with malts in the forefront from the get-go. Starts on out the front of the tongue with molasses and metals, then fades after swallowing to a dirty sweetness and increased metallic feel. This beer is thick and viscous on the tongue, and lingers on the palate. Still, it's pretty drinkable and, if not for the alcohol, could be chugged with abandon.

I thank the strangers in that bar in Buffalo for introducing me to Optimator. It's certainly not the best doppelbock around, but it's hard to find a better tasting imported doppelbock at this price.

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

a- cola colored with a one finger tan head that leaves a little lacing.

s- sweet and malty, some toast and prunes.

t- the taste is somewhat bitter, with coffee, waffles, tobacco, dark flavours

m- coats the mouth with a cough syrup like feel. i like it as it is not very heavy but still fills you alittle.

d- three of these are all i can drink

Photo of ILiveOffHops
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The Optimator pours a deep dark brown with some red. Small head dissapates to almost nothing...a very thin ring of foam remains. Aroma is sweet and malty. Taste is of sweet caramel, fruity plums and cherries, huge malty goodness, a little roasted flavor, and a hint of warm alcohol. Mouthfeel is great, feels like a full bodied strong brew. For a doppelbock, and especially considering the ABV, I consider this a highly drinkable brew. No flavor is overwhelming, and the alcohol is well hidden. I wish there was a bigger head on this brew, but other than that I loved it. Germans do know how to brew!

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

Poured from a bottle into a 16oz American pint.

A--Deep "bloody" brown, transparent when held to the light. 2 finger head from a heavy pour. Super fluffy sticky off white head. Good lacing

S--Malty sweetness, Caramel, biscuits? Has a sourness in the finish of the smell and I swear I could draw a little pepperiness.

T--Strong buttery caramel taste. The malts are full, rich, and over the top, but it is a dopple. Coffee like finish. Clean alcohol flavor barely presents itself.

M--Low carbonation, smooth medium body that never felt weak at anytime. Wish it finished just a bit slower, feels like if finishes kinda quick.

D--For a dopple bock heavy in malts its super drinkable.

O--I like this beer alot, as my local BA bud (OrionsBow) would say, "I could drink the snot out of these." Super good dopple if you are into bock beers. Give it a shot. The ABV can sneek up on you though so be careful if you are easily effected.

Photo of IntriqKen
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 24 oz brown bottle (not green).
Pours a very impressive cream colored head of medium sized bubbles that seems to last throughout the drink. (I may be drinking too fast<?>)
Aroma first hits me with apples...I've never smelled that in a beer before. Then it followed by sweet roasted malt.
Mouthfeel is full...creamy....tiny bubbles playing with my teeth and tongue...swallowing produces a pleasant alcohol warmth.
Taste is malts, carmel, toast, light, light, leafy hops and a light sour fruit (raisens?Apples?)....setttling to a thick sweetness and dry hop with light alchohol for the aftertaste.

Very, very nice.
I picked up a single of this having wanted to try it for a long time.
Next time I'll be buying a 6 pack.
I've since picked up a 6 pack and have had 2 from it. I've enjoyed them as much as the first one and everything I noticed at first, I still see, smell, taste, and feel. Really a unique beer.

Photo of ColForbin
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spaten Optimator is presented in a green bottle, but suffers no ill effects for it. It pours a deep clear reddish-brown with a fine light tan head. Aroma is great - some fruitiness, caramel, brown sugar, maybe some maple. Taste is malty (duh) but with a very complex blend of flavors: molasses, toasted nuts, some sour fruit.. Finish is surprisingly dry and clean, but of course there are still some sugars left over. Medium to heavy bodied, with medium carbonation. Very drinkable, but shows its strength as well. A classic beer.

Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear ice tea color with a moderate head that descends to a film with some bubbles around the edge; a decent amount of lacing

Smell: Unexpected for a doppelbock, the aroma is hard to describe but is malty and meaty with roasted tones

Taste: Starts out with a biscuity/raisiny aspect that bursts into a caramel malt flavor by mid-palate and lingers for a while, after the swallow; a touch of dryness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied (unexpectedly light for a doppelbock) with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not as complex as other doppelbocks but also not as sweet; as a result, much more of a drinker than a sipper

Photo of jaluria
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appeared opaque and almost black in color with a tan colored head that was thick and left behind a touch of lacing. Aromas of dark fruits, roasted nuts, and malt were detectable. The taste was sweet with a blending of malt flavors with fruit undertones. Somewhat chewy and viscous in my mouth. Not as flavorful or as complex as others in this style, but still a good beer. I wouldn't want another one for some time.

Photo of rodrot
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Optimator pours a beautiful reddish brown color with a half inch head that lingers in the glass. Aroma is quite malty, with hints of caramel in the nose. Taste is very malty and sweet with notes of caramel, chocolate and butterscotch in the palate. I could taste a light hop bitterness in the finish. This brew is quite rich and full bodied. This an excellent doppelbock and one of the better priced ones at that. $6.99 for a sixer of this wonderful beer is hard to beat.

Photo of jlh8643
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a green bottle with no date into my HB mug. Dark brown body with red highlights. A thin, creamy tan head that fades fast. Very malty sweet aroma, like a lot of caramunich malt. Some prunes and rasins in there too. Some noble hops play a minor roll in the aroma. I almost think I can smell a hint of mint there too. Full bodied. Sweet with a bit of chocolate malt and some kinda nuttiness. Finishes with a grape or wine taste. I wouldn't have minded to have another but I only had one bottle.

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

Great dopplebock. This is my standard "meal beer," as with a busy college schedule, I oftentimes only had time for an Optimator and a Centrum for lunch before heading off to lab.

Aroma is a little complex with sweet caramel, tobacco, full of malt, and maybe a hint of chocolate.
Taste is deep, warm, and satisfying; it's very sweet and slightly bitter. If I could change anything, I would have just a little more carbonation.

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

A Benchmark beer for the style. It has all the qualities of a good Doppelbock . . . it just somehow falls flat. It pours a deep, dark grape colour with a delicate head that quickly falls into a ring around my MaB . . . Mass . . . So tricky with the symbols.

Anyway, it tastes of cherries, and prunes and tobacco . . . all good flavours, but they are somehow marred and I can't give justice as to why. There is something out of balance here and I can't put my finger on it. The mouthfeel is the same way, where it is smooth and rich but somehow wrong.

All of the traits of a good Doppelbock, just not as well executed as others. I don't often say this, but perhaps a pinch of chocolate malt to bitter it up a tad? I don't know.

Good, but by no means great.

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

Have always passed over this beer, mainly due to the green bottle and perhaps even because of its wide availability. Just seemed like it would be run of the mill to me. Should have given it a taste sooner.

Spaten Optimator pours a nice dark brown color with a tannish head that dissipates pretty quickly. There is minimal lacing on the glass.

Smells of caramel sweetness and deep roasted malts. The candied presence in the nose melds with its maltiness to create a well-balanced aroma.

The taste is deep and flavorful. A bit bitter and very sweet. Roasted maltiness is right up front, followed by caramel on the back of the swallow. Alcohol sting is also present.

In the mouth the beer is full and biting. Carbonation is moderate.

Overall this is a well-balanced and smooth beer. It has a good deal of fullness, but is easy to enjoy at the same time. A very nice representation of the style.

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

A= The color is a reasonably nice red-brown medium tone, modest tan head.

S= Very nice nose, strong prune with some modest spice notes. Light liquor.

T= Prune dominates with dark cherry; nice spices, almost reminds me of a good Winter Warmer. Slightly watery in the finish. Adequate hops florals, balanced bitterness, not overdone at all. The ABV% does not create noticeable liquor taste.

M= There's a modest bitterness, some nice dark fruits to savor.

O= A beer with a well-known name and a long history, it's definitely one to try if you hope to know the classic beers. And this one definitely falls in that category.

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

12oz. bottle

Pours a beautifully clear dark chestnut with a creamy eggshell head. Mild lacing on the glass.

Sweet caramel malt aroma with a light nutty scent woven in.

Sweet and malty upfront with a subtle nuttiness. A slight notion of hops appears just before it finishes sweet and malty.

Thick body, substantial carbonation.

A good drinking dopplebock. I will revisit this one again.

Photo of timtheenchanta
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Good brown color with a nice off white head. Lots of lacing from this brew. Very sweet malt smell as expected. Slight alcohol smell with no hops present. Large sweet malt taste with milky watered down coffee taste and feel. A tad bit thin. This beer isn't bad but it certainly doesn't top the doppelbock list for me.

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

(Served in an American pint glass)

A- This beer pours a dark brown body with a nice thick tan head that last and last. The lighting and opacity of the body didn't show the carbonation.

S- The aroma of crisp dry caramel malt with crystal malt and a hint of biscuit as it warmed gave a nice complex aroma.

T- This beer has a nice dark malty flavor with good depth. There is a nice soft noble hop finish that enhances the malt flavors. No real note of alcohol in the finish, which was pretty clean with a slight malt note hanging on with the hops. There was some nice dry biscuit notes as it warmed.

M- This beer has a medium-full mouthfeel with no real astringency or alcohol heat.

D- This is a good malty lager that has nice complexity and really accents the depth of malt with some nice hops to keep them in check.

Photo of garymuchow
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Initially the aroma presents with a nice malty, somewhat fruity base, with a touch of bourbon and booze and a sweet water character, but that leaves, and what remains is a traditionaly hoppy character of a standard German pils. This is fine, just a bit disconcerting if a dopplebock is what is in your mind. The hops are fresh and light and pleasant.
Good looking beer. I like to pour it with a bigger head. It leaves in time, but sure looks good for awhile. Amber of brown with a garnet tint. Very clear.
Solid tasting beer. Malt is dominant, especially as compared to the aroma. Nice quite as bold or rich as others, but good and tasty nonetheless. Nice fruity qualities balances with some dryness and roast. Bitterness is mild to moderate and the finish is quite long.
Not as thick and chewy as some, but a moderate feel overall. Holds a nice lager character with that crispness that creates a thirst quenching quality. Well carbonated, but not excessive and not overly filling. Balanced well.
Overall this is a highly drinkable beer. Fits inbetween a lighter lager and the heavier dopplebocks. Not quite a slow sipper, but not an easy drinker either.

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,679 ratings.