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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,713 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,713
Reviews: 1,284
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: 2,713 | Reviews: 1,284 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Blakaeris
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours dark mahogany brown with ruby highlights. Head if off-white and quite fluffy. Slight lacing.

Smell is sweet smokey dark malt. Hints of molasses and brown sugar.

Taste is similiar to the nose. Additional hints of chocolate, caramel, and dark fruit. Finish has subdued spicy bitterness.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied and chewy.

Great roasted malt profile. Slight hops are only there for a semblance of balance. Molasses really makes an impression. Recommended for DB lovers.

Photo of bashiba
3.42/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cola like shade of brown with a thin tan head, little lacing and retention.

Smell was light with sweet malts and a slight mustyness.

Taste has a light sweet but toasted maltiness with hints of cedar. Finishes with a slight earthy and musty hop taste.

Mouthfeel was light and slightly creamy

Overall easy to drink, but far from great.

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

Served in a tulip glass, this beer was a pleasing toffee brown colour with a thin, tan head. The foam settled to a ring of very fine bubbles and produced solid, yet short-lived, sheets of fine lacing. The aroma was rich and malty, full of caramel and fresh milled grain. The flavour had hints of fruit sweetness, but the dominant character was warm caramel and toffee maltiness. There was also a kiss of floral hops in the finish. Well-integrated, fairly low carbonation coupled with a medium body and light alcohol warmth gave it a refined texture. Quite a nice beer. Satisfying.

Photo of hasslerj
4.19/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Single 12oz. bottle poured into a Pokal.

Poured a cola-brown with minimal head, after the first few sips absolutely none to speak of, looks a lot like flat soda. Maple Syrup...as many have previously explained it.

I contemplated the aroma of this beer from the moment I cracked the bottle (that first hit or aroma is priceless) and for about 5 minutes afterward before drawing a conclusion. At first it reminded me of spaghetti sauce, then more caramelish, then finally i realized what it reminded me of...soy sauce. Not to disparage this beer, I love the smell, I love soy sauce...

Taste...the more intense "soy" flavors poked through to me instantly, a bit intense...not surprising considering the higher alcohol content....the finish is coffeelike, delicious.

Mouthfeel is surprisingly smooth and light, considering it looks like it came from a new england tree...Considering the higher ABV i thought it would be a bit tougher to drink, but i was pleasantly surprised..very drinkable.

Overall, the men at Spaten really know what they're doing, and this dopplebock reaffirms my high opinions of their creations...I've never met a Spaten I didnt like.

Photo of wingman14
3.25/5  rDev -16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark maple syrup brown with a white head. Smells sweet with malt and some caramel notes. This beer has a good and unique flavor with good balance and a very small bitter sweet finish. It is medium in body with an average amount of carbonation, and a decent mouthfeel. This was a good brew, worth checking out, not something I would seek out though, or pay to much for. Enjoy!

Photo of indy169
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

It must be said that I really enjoy most Munchen beers. Having spent several months there, I have been lucky enough to try their brews the way they were intended. Fresh and on tap. What a difference. With the American bottle versions you get the general impression, but not the full effect.
Spaten's Optimator is still excellent in the states when compared to most peers.
It pours beautifully with a deep cocoa color and a creamy head. Smell is full but not too overbearing. Malty, yes. Hoppy, no.
Very rich and balanced. The Germans know what they're doing.
This is a classic beer on either side of the Atlantic.

Photo of bklynbeerbaron
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

Appearance: Pours a dark, ruby red. Almost no head to speak of, just a thin layer of bubbles that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Like raisin bread; strong aromas of malt and yeast.

Taste and mouthfeel: Very sweet, nearly to the point where it overwhelms the bitterness. Again, I get the raisin flavor; like chocolate-covered raisins, with roasty undertones. Mouthfeel is a bit thin for such a supposedly malty brew, but it does leave a coating on the tongue.

Drinkability: Goes down pretty easily, but the sweetness might prove to be too much after a while.

Notes: A solid dopplebock, but I've had better (Samuel Adams, for one). Not quite enough heft for me.

Photo of wcudwight
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a flute glass.
Appearance is that of a Pepsi, no head and lot's of carbonation. Shows a bit more ruby when held up to the light.
Smell is fairly faint and I have to swirl it a couple of times to really get an aroma. What little I get is caramel and toast.
The flavor is not as strong as other doppelbocks I've had. Still the usual caramel, smoke and toast. They are more subtle. This may not be a bad thing; I just depends who you are.
Mouthfeel is lighter than expected too.
Overall it is a lighter doppelbock but that makes it very drinkable too. The alcohol is not noticable. Not the best of the style that I've had, but still a good beer. Maybe the most sessionable Doppelbock I've had.

Photo of RJLarse
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I picked up a six pack of Spaten Optimator at a grocery store to taste, review and enjoy. I poured this beer in to a pilsner glass. .

Pours a dark brown color with a red hue when held up to the light and is clear. A half-inch tan head forms and is gone quickly. The head leaves virtually no lacing on the sides of the glass. There are streams of bubbles rising through the beer, and it appears moderately carbonated.

The smell is fairly strong, sweet and fruity. There is a hint of alcohol and a caramel aroma.

The taste is also sweet and malty, with a smoky-caramel flavor, and a taste of cereal or grain. There is a mildly bitter hop finish. It tastes (and looks) a little like Coke or Pepsi, but not as sweet.

The mouth feel is smooth and full-bodied, bordering on cloying and sticky.

This is a drinkable beer. It’s a bit heavy on the ABV to have more than a couple in a sitting, but it’s a tasty brew with a lot of flavor. I think this would be a good fall and winter beer, and I’ll cellar three bottles until then.

Photo of dfried
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown, not quite see through, with a reddish tint to it. Large bubbly, perfect head. Quite tart, yeasty and malty smell, very deep with a lot going on. The first note I wrote down was "So fruity it's outrageous," and it was. There is a noticable fresh, toasted grain malt flavor, but the taste is dominated by fresh fruit, mainly rasberries and other brambles at first, but the finish reveals even more flavors, apple, plum, dark grapes, and I don't even know what else. This was sweet and fruity almost even to the extent of a fruit lambic, but there was much more of a toasted malt character to set it apart from a lambic. It has a dry, slightly chewy mouthfeel. This beer is about as drinkable as a doppelbock can be. It's a little heavy, but it tastes so good you don't stop wanting more.

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

What a wonderful beer. I like the Oktoberfest more personally however this is a great beer. Wonderful oatmeal like taste. Strong body. A good Doppelbock. I have found it to be very much worth its price. Strong ABV, and great taste, overall a very, very good beer.

Photo of JohnY
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap and into a Spaten Bier Stein. White head that created a good two fingers at the top of the stein. Retained the head for most of the stein. No apparent lace to be found. Ruby red to Dark brown in color. Faint brambly fruits on the nose back with a nice chocolate to caramel malt nose. No fruit presence in the taste, alcohol on the initial taste that followed by malty sweetness. Easy to drink considering the ABV.

Photo of JayTheFinn
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Very dark ruby red with a little insignificant head. Yeasty rum-like scent. Licorice flavor with the alcohol very noticeable. The mouthfeel is full, however towards the end it does tapper off a bit. And thank god, cuz for me this would be too over the top if the flavor lasted much longer. So while it's a good one-off drinker, I couldn't see ordering another in one sitting.

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

The garnet color looks great in the light. Body is clear and head is big, aromatic, and a creamy tan color. Good retention along with spotty and sheety lace in the beginning. A Very full malty aroma floats out of my glass. Layers of toasty malts, bready, creamy caramel, lightly fruity with sugary plums. Taste is a malty explosion. A slight hop touch returns the sticky malts to earth. Really tasty especially if you love malts. Malts are sweet and heavy, a bit nutty, bready, carmel and mollases. Medium-fullish body with a good mouthfeel that is chewy + sticky sweet. A slight bitterness helps to balance.

Malty malt malt.

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

Poured from a 12oz bottle with no freshness date. Was a rich garnet color with couple fingers head and little lacing. Not good as describing smells but this one says drink me right now. Nice sweetish smell. This not my style but I really like this one. Goes down smooth with little bitter aftertaste. Definitely warms the belly and can feel the high alcohol. Mouthfeel is nice and smooth. Since not my style it won't be in my permanent collection but definitely earns a home in the once a quarter rotation or when I feel like a darker beer. (3.0,RB,ML,O)

Photo of mithrascruor
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Pours a dark ruby-brown color with a thick reddish-tan head.

Smell: Has a strong smell of malts, with a bit of something else... maybe chocolate and cherries.

Taste: Extremely deep roasted malt taste with a slight bit of toffee. The aftertaste is a nice blend of malts and hops.

Mouthfeel: Medium- to heavy-bodied and smooth. A bit more carbonation than I expected.

Drinkability: While the flavor is very nice and it doesn't feel very heavy at first, the taste becomes a bit too much over a while and the beer really fills you up. Makes it sometimes difficult to have more than a couple of these at a time.

Overall I do think this is a superb beer. A bit overwhelming at times, but it has a lot of good things going for it. Everyone should at least give it a try, especially if they haven't had a doppelbock before. I'll definitely get this again, as I've done in the past.

Photo of jmz62565
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This beer pours a clear dark amber with a giant dirty white foamy head. The smell is a little light with only malt and a nutty aroma. The taste has dark fruit, alcohol, sweet malt, and coffee. The m/f is medium and well balanced. Overall, this is a good,not great, beer. I would give it a try again.

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

Let me start by saying i have nothing to compare this to style wise. I'm not a big German beer drinker, but have been trying to expand my horizons a bit as of late. This is a very malty beer, with little bitterness. It is a bit chewy and the mouthfeel is pretty good. Smell is not strong enough for my liking, taste is good but not great. Overall, a decent beer, but I'm inclined to think there are better examples of this style out there.

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

Poured into a pint glass. Pours flat with little or no head. When put up to light a dark garnet color is revealed. Obviously high in alcohol (7.2 ABV) only balanced by a mixture of strong malt and medium hop flavor. Quite drinkable for a beer so high in alcohol. Very good. Easily more than two bottles can be had at a sitting.

Photo of scooter231
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Dark brown with red hues, bubbly head, and some nice lacing. Nose is malty with a coffee kick, maybe some raisins. Tastes like raisin coffee. Hints of chocolate and roastedness. Mouthfeel is a bit watery but meaty enough. Pretty drinkable. Not a bad brew.

Photo of AltBock
3.54/5  rDev -9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. green bottle with a label that I found to have this odd color to it. The center of the label is this peachy brown color while the side of it is this diluted gold color. What ever the color is, I didn't care for it. In the middle of the label is Spaten's symbol, the two spades in a red backdrop. The only thing the back label had was the Govt. warning. I noticed in the far lower right of the front label, there is no date, but their own bin number or something like that. Whatever it is, it's nothing the average consumer could decipher and say what date this beer is best by or when it was made.

Appearance: When poured into a Pilsener glass, the beer was a nice ruby red color, almost brown in color with a big creamy almost 2 inch head of white foam. The head of foam had good retention, but didn't leave many rings or white sticky lace for that matter around the glass.

Smell: I really wasn't pleased with the aroma of this Doppelbock. There wasn't much going on in the smell dept. I kept swirling it around the glass and all I got was some sweet malt with a hint of chocolate in the background. I swear, sometimes it smelled very fruity with a sweet malt background. When I say fruity, I don't mean dark fruits, I mean juicy fruits. Quite odd sometimes.

Taste: It's was nice to see that I didn't taste any of the juicy fruits that I smelled. It didn't have the most balanced Doppelbock flavor that I tasted, but it was above average. There was plenty of roasted malt in the beginning, then very little bitter chocolate, and then that gave way to the taste of alcohol. Not to much of an overpowering alcohol taste, but you could taste it's presence.

Mouthfeel: Thick, full bodied, and with a slight chocolate malt aftertaste. I'm more surprised that since the last taste was alcohol that the aftertaste wasn't just alcohol.

Drinkability: A nice, decent, affordable, and the most readily available Doppelbock on the market. I'm just glad that since it was in a green bottle, the store didn't keep on a shelf in the light for too long. Something I might consider buying again, since it's almost everywhere.

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

Served at just under cellar temperature in a doppelbock glass.

Appearance- Pours a clear reddish chestnut that supports a very active, bubbly, three finger head. No lacing left behind.

Smell- Sugar coated toffee, caramel, maybe a hint of hazelnut... long and lingering malt nose that ranks high on my personal list.

Taste- A sweet, full malt presence that subtly introduces a mild alcohol warmth, then opens up nicely on the tongue into a very well rounded doppelbock. There are pronounced hop notes after the swallow, and dry the mouth for the next sip.

Mouthfeel/Drinkability- Excellent, pinprickly carbonation that virtually disappears during the swallow... really one of the most noteworthy attributes of this beer. With so much flavor and such a light weight in the mouth, it strikes a match with German sausage and other light, but flavorful meat dishes. Nice beer.

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

Poured a deep, clear reddish amber with a huge, billowy, well retained head. Aroma was rich malt with a bit of raisin (Special B?). Impressive smell. I should also note that this came in a green bottle, but I couldn't detect any skunkiness. Medium-to-full body and tasted about like it smelled: sweet, rich, malty. Hops were in the background but there were enough present to keep things in balance. Mouthfeel was great: lively and substantial, but not cloying. Drinkability was also good, but beware that it packs a punch.

Overall, an outstanding beer.

Photo of Oxymoron
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Optimal options for opting Optimator. Pours a more reddish color then brown, but we are blurring the strains. A good white fluffy and dense head. Great retention and good lacing throughout.

The smell is sweet with strong malty undertones. Some tropical fruit notes, mostly raisin and plums, but black cherries are found as well. The malt has more of a caramel appeal but sugary notes, such as brown sugar, are there as well.

The taste is rich and thick. The malt is dominate with caramel and toffee pushing the forefront. Some sugar notes are limited but still detectable as licorice and brown sugar. The fruit notes are less evident then the nose would indicate but still there. More plum then anything.

The finish is syrupy but still very smooth. Heavy even for a dopplebock. Not much on carbonation but still a winner. Next time I’m at my liquor store, I will keep my optics on Optimator.

Photo of AcesFullup
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3

This beer is an example of affordable goodness. I bought a six pack on special for under $5 in Atlanta. There are very few, if any, six packs that can equal its value at this price.

I first had this beer in Disneyworld in 2005. It was served in Epcot at the Germany district to an eager dad with two kids. I have fond memories of my youngsters running around Disney with a fine Optimator in my hand. I quickly returned for a second outrageously expensive pint. Perhaps these memories biased my opinion, but drinking this beer takes me back to the summer our family spent in Disney.

Anyway, the only criticism that I have for this beer is the long and syrupy aftertaste. It has a nice feel in the mouth and the 7% is perfect for its flavor.

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,713 ratings.