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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,635 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,635
Reviews: 1,270
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.6%
Wants: 63
Gots: 191 | 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: 2,635 | Reviews: 1,270 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of ChiSox05
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Creamy, long standing earth tinted head about a 1/2" high. Reminded me of a Guinness draught, except this beer is dark brown with red and orange hues.

Smell: maybe I need to let it warm. mostly dark fruit and maltiness in the nose, nothing too tempting. (after 15 minutes) now the nose is hitting and is much more pleasing. Sweet dark fruit, dark berries, currants, apricot, raisins, malt, and some banana in there too, better.

Tastes of raisins with dark fruit that is covered in bitter, dark chocolate. Layers of malt progressively hit the palate. Aftertaste of malty burnt coffee with currant and light raisins.

Med to light body for the style. complementary carbonation, alcohol is there but not until the end so it doens't interfere at all. Some cloying bland bitterness for a very short time before the finish that takes something away. Outstanding layers of malt coat the tongue without being too much.

For a higher ABV and richer, malty style, Optimator comes through in the clutch for its drinkability. Won't be too heavy on the stomach while still providing an alcohol warming that is right on. Give it a few minutes to warm up and the nose breaks loose. There are better doppelbocks out there, but you won't be disappointed with Optimator.

ChiSox05, Dec 08, 2005
Photo of SteveO1231
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Grabbed a brown bottle of the Optimator.

Poured a dark drown with a thick ass foamy head.

Light malty aroma, I can smell the alcohol.

Thick as hell!, almost a chewy texture. Big caramel malt sweetness of followed by a mild bitterness.

I can taste and feel the alcohol as I drink.

Not my most favorite Dopplebock.

SteveO1231, Dec 02, 2005
Photo of blackie
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

appearance: The pour into the snifter produces a short lived .3" off white head. The beer is a very dark copper, almost mahogany in color.

smell: As usual with the Spaten line, I am picking up on a definate German characteristic aroma. There is plenty of caramel malt sweetness, with a big fruity presence. Some citrus and a yeasty smell are also there. The hops are somewhat muddy and grassy. Only the slightest ethanol smell is noticeable. There is one aroma that is tough for me to pin down, but I think it is a result of the ethanol and hop aromas mingling. Not bad at all.

mouthfeel: Carbonation is low, and the body medium and somewhat slick on the tongue. Very smooth, exceptional mouthfeel.

taste: Considerable malt sweetness, in a fruity caramel kinda way. Dark, tree fruits, possibly a little date. Just enough hop bitterness to balance the sweetness. Finish is a little bitter with some slick sugariness remaining. Me likey.

drinkability: The alcohol was well hidden throughout; a good doppelbock and easily drinkable. As much as I love hops, I love me a malty beer.

blackie, Nov 22, 2005
Photo of asabreed
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass to switch it up a bit.

Appearance: The pilser glass really doesn't allow much head, so maybe this wasn't the best idea, but it has a beautiful amber color with hues of dark brown, tons of bubbles gurgling up to the top (which I suppose makes up for the possibility of head and lacing in a way).

Smell: Apple initially, which is a bit odd. Fruit seems to overpower the notion of dark malt and caramel aromas, though it is quite nice. Definite sweetness all around, hardly any hops, and the faintest of toasted and husky malts.

Taste: Apple again at the forefront, which again is pretty weird I think, but then again, like the aroma, fairly odd and welcoming. Some darker caramel malts come through, along with some toasted flavors. Seemingly pretty weird for any Doppelbock I've had, but well done nonetheless, aside from maybe slightly too much sweetness, but it finishes sweet, at first, and balances out pretty dry.

Mouthfeel: Burst of carbonation at first, almost spritzy, which I wasn't expecting, and takes away from the overall mouthfeel. Medium body with all the malt.

Drinkability: A decent Doppelbock for sure, though with the sweetness and the brew being a bit unbalanced, I don't know how often I'd have it among other Dbock's to choose from.

asabreed, Nov 15, 2005
Photo of fromage
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Not bad for half the price of Salvator. I'd probably rather have this one with food since it's cheaper... save the more complex ones for sipping and contemplation!

Served from a bottle into a pilsner glass. Brown / Ruby and deep ruby when held to the light. Soda-like brownish head with big bubbles that was soon gone. Just a bit of lacing maintained with a good amount of bubbling.

Basically reminds me of a weak and less complex Salvator in taste, smell, and mouthfeel. Smell is a bit of molasses, some pumpernickel, brown sugar. A good deal of grassy hops.

Taste of caramel malt, moist dark bread. Not much hop bite, but some carbonation. Aftertaste sweet and earthy, perhaps some mushrooms. A little cloying.

Mouthfeel is weak. It IS a lager, but...

Pretty drinkable. "Goes down smooth," my girlfriend commented. Just not enough taste for me. More complex than most lagers I know of, but I'll stick with ales for the most part.

fromage, Nov 10, 2005
Photo of riversider76
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a redish brown. Tan head lasts just long enough. Good amount lacing. Roasted,nutty smell. Thick mouthfeel. Flavor is malty and sweet. No bitter taste here at all. Finish is smooth and sweet. I could'nt stop at just one!! I recommend this beer.

riversider76, Nov 09, 2005
Photo of BEERchitect
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Your typical Dopplebock. Malty as hell! Strong aromas or roastedness, toastedness, caramelization, and molassas. Flavors are the same, but heavy on the barley malt and molassas flavors. Not cloying, but very sweet. Thrown in some chocolate and smoke subtleties. No hop bittering, flavor, or aroma. A bit nutty and woodsy. Uses dark grain for bitteriing. A thick viscocity to the mouth and palate. Finishes a bit alcoholic and lasting sweetness. Not the most well-rounded Dopplebock that I have had, still nice.

From the tap, this beer has a much more rounded flavor, balance, and softness than is exhibited from the bottle. The aromas are soft to the point that they are harder to detect. Flavors of the malts seem softer...in the range of confectionate sugar, cotton candy, or marshmellows. The malts, still rich, toasty, and fruity are delicate with a nice earthy hop bitterness. These are way too easy to throw back, compared to the bottle.

BEERchitect, Nov 07, 2005
Photo of Derek
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another nice product from Spaten-Franziskaner.

A: Ruby brown, nice head/lace.

S: Fruity, malty (caramel?).

T: Bready, caramel, hint of chocolate, prunes, slightly fruity (more than most lagers/dopplebocks). The taste fits right between Salvator and Celebrator.

M: Light-to-moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable.

I think this one's under-rated. It's better than Salvator!

Derek, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of GolgiIPAratus
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled: 10.10.05

Appearance was dark brown and a small head fizzling head.

Smell was light, not too much actually. Poured a bit cold and I believe it has everything to do with that. Some roasted sugar characters were present however as the brew warmed.

Taste was sweet malts, brown sugar with a bitter finish to attempt a balance. However, it wasn’t quite balanced in the end. Malty sweetness overruled. The beer was heavy and full, low carbonation and sat mightily in the belly.

I’m new to the Doppelbock realm, but this one was so sweet and malty that one was enough, and I had to take my time for the most part. Still have more to sample and despite the score, I’d try this again given that the opportunity was right for something this full and sweet if for nothing more than to really give the style a worthy chance to be a part of my repertoire.

GolgiIPAratus, Oct 31, 2005
Photo of sinistrsam
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Brown-red color with a medium head.

Smell: Aroma was mild, but had hints of malt and hops.

Taste: The taste was bitter and had a lot of flavor, and finished sweet. Very pleasurable.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation. Finished crisp and refreshing.

I most certainly need to try more Doppelbocks but enjoyed this one very much.

sinistrsam, Oct 24, 2005
Photo of Melchizedek
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours deep brown, slight reddish/amber tinge, with a nice big head that lingers and sticks.

Smells malty, very strongly caramel. The taste has a bitterness to it that nicely offsets the strong sweetness. There are smoky notes in this, as well as a little bit of a nutty cheese feel, especially in the finish. A little leafy in the background too, and the sweetness has something of a floral character. Mouthfeel is nice and moderate with a lively carbonation.

This is very savory, with a bit of strength to it--I wouldn't have more than one in a row, and the sweetness is more than I would like for regular consumption (a question of style more than individual merit), but it's nice to try this one, my first doppelbock since having a Salvator way back in the early days of my beer exploration. Quite nice.

Melchizedek, Oct 21, 2005
Photo of Naerhu
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - A deep dark brownish red body with minimal head. Minus a half a point for appearing in a green bottle.
S - Very light aroma. Hard to describe other than bocky. Primarily malt, but with a hint of hopps.
T - More bitterness than I expected, this is a lot more like Deadguy ale than any other bock I have ever had. Although there is an abundance of sweet malt flavor, this is by no means a sweet beer. Pretty complex with some dark dried fruit and hints molasses.
M - Moderately carbonated with a nice soft broad body.
D - Nice balance of sweet and bitter with a surprisingly dry finish.

Naerhu, Oct 20, 2005
Photo of nickss
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a deep reddish brown hue with about a 1/2" foamy cap. There is some gorgeous lacing on the side of the glass as it is consumed.

Not much of a scent... kinda smells like the original Spaten, which wins it no points in my book. A bit of nuttiness and toffee in there... nothing special though.

Once again, a decent taste... quite a bit more bitter than I'd expect from a doppelbock. But nothing I'd write home about... not when I can get significantly better doppels for only $0.50 more per bottle.
Some deep toffee tones to it. Not bad, but not great.

The mouthfeel is quite a bit more crisp than most doppels I'm used to.... yet still creamy.... very interesting... I still prefer the typical deep creaminess I'm used to.

Sure... its drinkable... I guess I just expected more... I guess I should know about what to expect from Spaten name brand brews... oh well.

nickss, Oct 20, 2005
Photo of xgrigorix
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Twelve ounce green bottle - no dates.

Deep chestnut brown, dense off white head.

Caramel malt aromas, along with some faint vauge hop notes.

Plenty of malty caramel goodness. A touch of dark fruit, and subtle hints of chocolate. Herbal / grassy hops lead to a dry finish. Medium bodied, modereate carbonation.

xgrigorix, Oct 16, 2005
Photo of grindcore666
3.18/5  rDev -18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a fabulous marble-like cascade of deep brown and root beer. Outstanding color. Head retention and lacing on the other hand is 'meh', unfortunately, but I have to give credit where it's due...looks superb.

A dark range of scents: an overdrive of roasted malts, soil, alcohol, burnt brownies, and prunes.

A molasses bite bleeds out into an aura of earthy flavors. Complex and well done. Feels very syrupy with mid to low carbonation.

Though this one has some great characteristics, it's just not very versatile. Plus, it's syrupy mouthfeel might make just one or two of these enjoyable.

grindcore666, Oct 14, 2005
Photo of tesguino
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

a dark beer, more then its sister family bock´s; the termination ator give the germans to the beers that are more strong than others, its appearance is good, smell and mouthfeel had a touch of alcohol and roasted malt; drinkability is over the average; try with sea food and german snacks; 95% recommended.

tesguino, Oct 13, 2005
Photo of Px2GrafX
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

presentation: 12oz. GREEN bottle with a gold, red, black and white label. optimator spaten munich is large across the label and there's a red shield in the center with paddles. "since 1397". a message on the back label describes the brewing method according to the purity law. no freshness date or abv displayed.

appearance: pours a dark red-brown with deep red highlights in a pint glass. head is a nice 1 inch, tight and off-white head that takes a little while to drop. retention isn't bad and lacing is good.

smell: very malty sweet, but there is a nice light floral hop aroma. a little bready. nose is not overly impressive.

taste: malts rule here, and there is very little hop character or bitterness, but what's there is a bit herbal. alcohol flavor is apparent. caramelly and bready. finishes sweet with alcohol warming.

mouthfeel: very clean, light medium body that's creamy and smooth, but moreso as the brew warms. light carbonation. rolls around and swallows just ok.

drinkability: despite a high amount of noticible alcohol, this is still quite drinkable. sweet and tasty; dessert-like, with a nice warming effect. alcohol isn't a hinderance. finish is clean and there's not a big aftertaste.

overall: this is a lot of people's favorite dopplebock, but i disagree. while this is quite a nice brew with some different qualities, it's still a ways away from my favorite for this style. there seems to be quite a big difference between excellent and good for this style in my opinion. good try, just the same.

Px2GrafX, Oct 12, 2005
Photo of ReebShorts
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a brown 16.9 oz bottle with gold foil, nice off white 1 to 2 finger head on pour fading to a thin layer with some bubble islands. color is darkish brown like cola.

Smell is malty which i expected from this style, also picked up on some dark fruit (plum, date, raisin, something like that), and slight alcohol in the aroma.

I wasn't sure if I'd like this much, fearing it may be too malty or sweet, but the dark fruits balance it nicely. Don't get me wrong, malt is predominant here, especially on the finish, but doesn't linger, also there is a nice warming effect. This one is better than I expected.

Mouthfeel is great, wet on the intake with right amount of carbonation, and a surprisingly dry, crisp finish. A little sticky but no more than normal for the style.

ReebShorts, Oct 09, 2005
Photo of RedHaze
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with a thick 2 finger head, with mild lacing.

Nice malty/nutty smell with some brown sugar and some dark fruits.

Taste is roasted malts, nuts and caramel. There's just enough of a hop presence to keep it from being overly sweet.

This is a really good Doppelbock. Went really well with the Schnitzel I had at the restaraunt. I might have to actually look to buy some of this to have at home.

RedHaze, Oct 09, 2005
Photo of palma
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown body. Creamy looking beige head. Very good head retention.

Nose: Molassas, chocolate, and raw alcohol. Tangy fruit, cherries maybe. Also some light nutty notes.

Taste: Very malty as expected. Notes of chocolate, coffee, rum cake. A good nuttiness. Significant raw alcohol cannot be missed, though it's not a bad thing. This is a strong beer.

Mouthfeel: Medium carbonation. Very full mouthfeel. Pretty sticky.

Though Doppelbock is not one of my favorite styles, this beer fits the bill perfectly. Overall, this is a very good beer of this style and is exactly what I had expected. Wish I'll one day have the oportunity to taste it fresh in Germany.

palma, Oct 07, 2005
Photo of weeare138
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark reddish brown with a 1 finger tan cap that slowly fades. Tiny spotty lacing have a bit of a hard time sticking.
Smell is super malty, nutty, caramel, molasses, and sourdough.
Tate is equal to the aromas and measures up nicely.
Mouthfeel is sweet, with dark fruit and mild sourness balancing out this malty mix. Very smooth.

weeare138, Oct 02, 2005
Photo of Bumpon10s
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A - Pours a nice carmel color, little head with small lacing.

S - The most dominating scent is the alcohol, kind of suprising. Also scents of malts and spice.

T - A very sweet beer, tastes of malts and brown sugar. I think I could have this for desert.

M - Very thin and tingly from the sweetness. Stays very sticky in the mouth and warms you with the ABV.

D - Very high, I've had this beer many times and enjoyed it everytime. It is a beer you don't mind having 2-3 of and a few times a week. Plain and simple it's just a good beer.

Bumpon10s, Sep 27, 2005
Photo of tempest
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a tall head that quickly disapates and sadly leaves no lace. However, it the body its a beautiful darker than dark amber that lets little light through.

The smell is a bit weak, but its a classic strong bock smell. A little bit roasted, and a little whatever "bock" is.

Very smooth and mellow for a doppelbock or really anything at 7.2% abv. Its actually so smooth that it reminds me more of a normal bock. I'd expect at least a little kick from a doppel, like an Ayinger doppel. It's a rich taste that finishes with a bitter note and a slight, but pleasant aftertaste.

Feels great in your mouth, nothing extraordinary, it just does what it supposed to here.

Great drinkability. Goes down easy for a high content beer and tastes good at the same time.

While not an amazing beer, $8 a sixer is very hard to beat if your looking to get buzzed or even blotto off of real beer. For a doppel it could use a tad more punch, but its still a solid beer. Recommend to anyone who likes bocks and likes to feel the effects of alcohol. Cant say I dont.

tempest, Sep 23, 2005
Photo of PBRstreetgang
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Pours deep ruby, dark, but fairly clear. A three finger off-white head holds very well with creamy consistency, leaving good sticky lacing. The smell is a complex blend of chocolate malts, dark fruit and german hops. Rich flavors of burnt chocolate malts and sweet fruits are very apparent in taste. The hops are light and indistinct, but create a fair balance for a doppelbock. Thin to medium body and solid carbonation, with a fruity residual sweetness that lasts long enough to hinder drinkabilty. Optimater is robust and complex, but the aftertaste becomes overwhelming after the first bottle.

PBRstreetgang, Sep 14, 2005
Photo of neonbrown82
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've never been much of a fan for doppelbocks, but this one is quite good. A little bit more crisp and less "muddy," but still has a nice sludgy mouthfeel.

Pours to a dark nutty brown with a thin white head that fizzes away to nothing in a matter of seconds. When held to the light it is revealed to be quite clear and ruby colored with a nice carbonation. Looks good.

The smell is very malty, earthy and nutty. A slight roast and chocolate/caramel. Good, but requires a strong whiff to get the whole of it.

The taste is also very dark and malty with some good earthy, nutty, and roasty flavors. Has a nice sweetness to it. Too little hop bitterness to detect, almost. Finishes very clean, and with no detection of a high alcohol content.

The mouthfeel is very crisp and carbonated, also stings a bit, whether from the alcohol or the carbonation. Also manages to be quite thick and sludgy. Very interesting. This is a very dangerously drinkable doppelbock. I would recommend it, even if you aren't a fan of the style, like myself.

neonbrown82, Sep 14, 2005
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
88 out of 100 based on 2,635 ratings.