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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,729 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,729
Reviews: 1,286
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 69
Gots: 245 | 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.
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Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,729 | Reviews: 1,286 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Litterbean
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown, clear, with a white head that foams up and dies down quickly. Lace is present.

Smell is a mixture of sweet malts, grape esters, and baked bread.

Taste is along those same lines: grapes, some vinous qualities, sweetness and bread, and a bit of a lemony quality at the end (with some puckering effect). Complex, and good. Alcohol spice is a nice touch. There's a barnyard flavor in there as well. I keep noticing different flavors intermingling with each other. I'm definitely liking the complexity here. I'll give it another .5 in the taste category just because there is a lot going on, and nearly all of it is positive. Good stuff here.

Photo of mnj21655
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown with hints of red. Had a 1/2" white head that disappeared completely and fast. Smells of chocolate and vaguely reminiscent of red wine. Tastes like it smells. Licorice is also present as is a hint of bitterness at the finish. Nice mouthfeel. Not as thick as I had expected. Great drinkability, ABV is on the high side but I haven't let that stop me yet. Overall this is a good, solid beer. Not something I'd go out of my way for but should the opportunity arise I would certainly have it again.

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

Comes in a nothing-special-looking green Spaten bottle. No freshness date is apparent. A moderately hard pour produced a finger of light brown head that went away almost immediately. The beer itself is transparent ruby-brown with little to no bubble column activity.

Smells like chocolate, merlot, bready malts. Does not smell strongly, very muted nose.

Taste is quite good, I would even say excellent. Chocolate, caramel, chicory, slight alcohol, a bit of coriander and other spices, clove spiciness, and muted fruity esters (banana and plum). An excellent beer, substantially better than I was expecting, and I wasn't anticipating a slouch of a brew.

Mouthfeel is also very good. Finishes very cleanly and dry with minor hop and noticable roasted malt bitterness in the swallow. Carbonation more present than visual inspection would lead you to believe. There is ample carbonation to round out the brew, polish off the tongue as you sip, and deliver a party on my palate.

Overall a very good beer. Rich taste and smooth mouthfeel. Hides the alcohol well, though you can feel the warmth after you've had a few sips. By no means unpleasant, though. Could easily be a session beer, though I expect the price would be prohibitive. Nevertheless: Good show, Spaten!

Photo of Phyl21ca
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Daalamar: Poured a deep burgundy/brown color beer with a huge foamy head with great retention. Aroma of banana is really dominating and greatly enjoyable. Taste has also some definite trace of banana bread with a very nice presence of sweet malt. Alcohol is very well hidden and sadly the body is a bit too thin. Apart from that , this is a very good example of a style that I don’t have a chance to enjoy often.

Photo of DaveFL1976
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this on tap at Coasters in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida.

This looks nice. Pours a mahogany brown with a creamy sort-of-tan head that sticks around. Smell is sweet, roasty, malty, caramel, toffee, all that good stuff. The taste is all that you expect and more. So smooth and creamy. This is one heck of a doppelbock. Me likey.

Photo of dbalsock
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a deep reddish brown, almost purple with a one finger head (at most) and seems to be highly carbonated.

Smell: Molasses and brown sugar immediately hit the nose, followed with a hint of lager yeast. A little chocolate and coffe followed by cherries make for the feel of a dan cake.

Taste: I immediately noticed the alcohol, which is rather unpleasant, but soon the coffee, chocolate and molasses take over; making this a very rich and sweet brew. The molasses and alcohol appear again in the aftertaste, but improve as it warms. I think I like this at room temperature better than cooler or even fridge cool (boo).

Mouthfeel: This is very heavily bodied with good carbonation, but the alcohol gives it the feel of a malt liquor. The layering is quite nice, especially by the aftertaste as it starts strong, but ends kinda soft.

Drinkability: I found this beer incredibly easy to review: the aromas and taste were clearly distinct and very intense. Also, I imagine it to be great with desserts and red meat.

Photo of expatsteve
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Chocolate brown with impressive ruby notes. 1 inh head that lingers a good 15 minutes. Surprisingly good visibility. Low/medium viscosity.

Aroma: Toffee, chocolate and cocoa notes, with a nice breadiness. A little metallic hops presence. A rich nose that continues to develop deep chocolate notes as it warms.

Taste: Rich molasses and toffee, with good hints of chocolate and cocoa; fantastic bready finish with a sweet malt flourish. The front palate is a little thin, but the flavors are well balanced. A little warming booze in the back of the throat is a welcome development. Metallic hops presence mediates the sweetness of the malts, giving a subtle raisin finish at times.

Mouthfeel: Not too heavy, but not too thin either - good doppelbock body. Low carbonation with a cleansing malt finish.

Drinkability: A solid doppelbock with moments of complexity. The thin front palate and lack of earthy balance leaves this behind some more impressive doppelbocks, but the beer overall is one of the standards by which the style is known and defined. Good, solid drinking.

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

Spatan Optimator... has a ring to it.

A - Dark brown, off white head, decent retention and lacing.

S - Strong dark fruits and yeast in nose.

T - Upfront carmalized malts, dark fruits (plums especially), clove, spice, and yeast. Fades to a pear/apple aftertaste. Not bad.

A solid Doppelbock, and one that hides the abv very well.

Photo of msubulldog25
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz. bottle to a fluted 1/2 pint glass. Served cold from a cooler at Concordia Ale House, Portland, OR.

A: Deep amber orange, quite clear. A frothy tan head, 1 finger, with light lacing.
S: Initially almost nothing - I blame this on the cold serving temperature. Wrapped my hands around the glass for several minutes to warm it; this helped quite a bit. A light toasted caramel maltiness, hints of fruit.
T: Mostly malt and a toasted grain and nut combo. Nice flavors - not a big heavy dobblebock but pleasantly sweet with just enough hop bitterness to give its balance.
M: Fairly light-bodied which makes it seem a bit weak, despite the 7.2% abv. Smooth texture. Some alcohol warming. Not much lingering aftertaste - clean.
D: A very easy-to-drink, approachable dopplebock. Good flavors, easy to find, good price too.

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

Highs: Appearance, nose, flavor
Lows: Thin mouthfeel

Pours a dark, clear amber brown with no visible carbonation. Head is thick brownish tan, fading down slowly to 1-finger, great retention, good lacing. Nose heavy on yeast, some alcohol, sweet malt, sorghum, and maybe some dark fruit. Taste sweet malt well balanced again mild hops, yeast, a tiny bit of alcohol, finishing on a yeasty/fruity note that lingers for a bit toward the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is a little disappointing, mostly watery with just a bit of creamy substance to it. Drinkability is very good.

Overall: A good and surprisingly inexpensive dopplebock (about 8 bucks for a sixer, versus 2 bucks plus each for Celebrator). Not as good as Celebrator or Samichlaus, but a darned good dopplebock nonetheless. Try it.

Photo of meatyard
3.51/5  rDev -9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - a nice, 2", creamy, tan head that faded over a short time leaving a few small clumps of lacing. color is a toasted caramel.
S - a bit of dried fruit like fig with a bit of sweetness.
T - more than a hint of sweetness that lingers cloyingly on the palate. a bit of alcohol though not bothersome.
M - average, not dry or oily, it does have some lingering tastes over parts of the tongue that I enjoy in some beer.
D - Easy to drink without thinking much about it.
It's not nearly my favorite dopplebock but it's not bad by any stretch. There are several DB's that I'd choose to drink before this one again.

Photo of Enola
3.47/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is a shade darker than sweet tea. There was a small head. The smell is of vanilla and spices. Smells like a winter warmer. The taste is sweet and malty with a bit of the alcohol chiming in. The mouthfeel is fair, the abv shows up here as well. I could drink this beer again. Average for the style.

Photo of spaceranger
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

this cheet is good. darkness with a cream head. a plum/prune/chocoate presence. sweeeet. alkie declared at 7.2, whoa, easy boys! it'll kick. carbonation is what I will call perfect - not too prevelant but more than just noticable. Spaten is probably a kind of "run-of-the-brewery" ordinary in Germany, but here in the states, where most beer sucks, It Is Wunderbar! I likey too much. Have a six or two. I think you'll see what I'm talkin' about...

adios amoebas...

Photo of Drew966
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Spaten Optimator pours a dark brown with ruby around the edges and an off white head from a green twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is bread like malt. Sweet malt dominates the flavor. Alcohol is definitely noticeable. Not really my favorite style, but this is a decent beer that is certainly worth a try.

Photo of Liquids
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I thought that I loved doppelbocks after having a Celebrator early on, but after trying several other big lagers and doppelbocks I realized it may have been a fluke...I tried this one at the recomendation of a customer. Pours a dark brown muted mahogany with a thin filmy head and somewhat effervescent carbonation. Smell is hoppy actually, faint alcohol even in the aroma, distinctly german, with a sweet-spicy kind of mix. Taste is dark, sweet, full, domanantly malty, with the malt profile not as caramel dominated as expected, and overall mild on hops. Desirable caracteristics, and a bit sweet, with that alcohol note present and lingering. Mouthfeel is too overcarbonated and bitey, but medium. Overall this is good but not amazing. Better than Salvator though. Now I wonder if I'll still like Celebrator as much as I remember liking it early on? Doppelbocks remain a hit-or-miss enigma to my palate.

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

Picked this up at the local supermarket (on sale!).
Comes in a foil-topped green bottle (which is really annoying because I save bottles for homebrewing and that foil takes forever to get off).
Pours thick dark brown with lots of carbonation and a thick, tan head. Lots of lacing. Smells super sweet like brown sugar.
Tastes sweet too. Hints of fruitiness taken over by the roasted characters and alcohol.
Overall very good considering the trip it's had to take. I'm usually more likely to take an American brew just because of the geography of freshness but this one may influence my next selection.

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.

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,729 ratings.