1. The wait is over! Download the BeerAdvocate app on iTunes or Google Play now.
  2. Get 12 issues / year of BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99!

Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

2,478 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,478
Reviews: 1,260
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 61
Gots: 134 | 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
Sort by:  Usefulness | Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Spaten Optimator Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,478 | Reviews: 1,260 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of Gusler


4.18/5  rDev +7.5%

Draught @ Papago
What can I say about this beer other than I “Love It”, have for many years and last night for the first time in years I was able to get it on tap.

The beer pours an unblemished deep mahogany color with a massive head that is frothy and a light tan color, the resultant lace a thick and clinging sheet. Nose is sweet malt, caramel, plum like and also a hint of toasted grain, front is ambrosial, top is middling in feel. The beer finishes with a spirited hop spicy bite, light to moderate in carbonation and a somewhat tart and very dry aftertaste, a real treat I must say.

10-26-2003 15:11:08 | More by Gusler
Photo of Rumrunner


3.93/5  rDev +1%

16.9 oz. bottle.

Pours a healthy ruby red mahogany color. A deep tan head. This one left some great lacing across the glass. The scents seemed held back by a grassy and grain scent. I could also smell some sweet malts. Dark bread an spices. Good scents.

Flavors are rich and ripe. Nice sweet malt. Molasass and maple. Some peppery spice for bite. A bit of hoppiness. Nice sweet fruits and raisins with a creamy milk flavor. Some smooth carob at the end. Good balance of flavors.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied. A slight hop crispness in the middle of a taste. There is a nice stickyness to its drinkability. A bit of an alcohol sting on the mouth but it is only a wake up call. A fine drinking dopplebock.

10-22-2003 06:59:52 | More by Rumrunner
Photo of shippos

New York

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

poured with a clear dark ruby/brown color and a very good off-white head. malty aroma with some alcohol. not much as far as hops, jsut enough to balance off some of the malt. smooth balanced mouthfeel and then the alcohol kicks you in the back of the throat. good doppelbock but not neccessary my favorite one of choice.

10-21-2003 17:42:28 | More by shippos
Photo of chaduvel


4/5  rDev +2.8%

Dark chocolate brown and thick. Head doesn't stick around for long, but coats the sides of the glass and floats around the top. Rich sweet malt aromas, hint of sour. Big chewy malts, very sweet and another hint of sour bread. Metallic chocolate flavors and sweet bready flavors all the way through. Definitely contains those unique dobblebock flavors. This one could substitute for a lunch or dinner.

10-20-2003 14:12:39 | More by chaduvel
Photo of silks636

New Jersey

3.65/5  rDev -6.2%

Poured from 12 oz. green bottle. No freshness date indicated.

Appears a rich reddish brown. Clear with little carbonation, very slight tan head that dissipates quickly. Hearty aroma consists of combination of toasted and sweet caramel malt. Slight grassy as well as alcohol aromas are detected. Starts out lighter than I would expect, but packs some serious flavor going down. Begins with coffee and caramel which becomes a heavy roasted earthy taste toward the finish. Retains a pleasant touch of sweetness throughout. Very light grassy hops provide a perfect bitterness. Finishes with toasted grain, alcohol, and more serious hop sting.

Surprisingly easy to drink and tasty to boot. A nice cool-weather session beer.

10-08-2003 21:49:38 | More by silks636
Photo of RBorsato


4.88/5  rDev +25.4%

Seems like everyone is selling this one short ... maybe it's because it's Spaten or in a green bottle ... trust me - try this one side by side with Salvator and Celebrator and it holds up very well.

Dark reddish-brown (mahogany) with a nice creamy tan head, decent carbonation, an nice lace rings. Malty dark carmel-ish aroma and taste. Dark fruit notes throughout. Medium-full (leans full) with a rich creamy finish.

A bargain in price compared to Salvator and Celebrator and just as good as Salvator... now, Celebrator, that's in a class all by itself.

Per Label: Since 1397

Per Spaten website: Original gravity: 18.2. Alcohol content: 7.2%

($1.79 / 12 oz. bottle)

10-07-2003 20:11:56 | More by RBorsato
Photo of hyuga

North Carolina

3.78/5  rDev -2.8%

Very dark mahogany with a light tan head. The head stays well enough for a while if you give it a good strong pour, but still eventually fades away. Very interesting aroma of sour grape character and caramel with grain and just a hint of hops. On the palate, lots of malty flavors including caramel, molasses, and a touch of grain. Some spiciness rounds everything out. Not as "big" as the perfect doppelbock. Seems kind of like an overgrown märzen. It's still interesting and worth a try.

10-06-2003 06:23:12 | More by hyuga
Photo of ViveLaChouffe


4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

Pours a dark, clear, mahogany. No wait, its a dark ruby red. Catches the light nicely. 1/2 inch tan head that dissipates and leave virtually no lacing. Smells like you would expect a doppelbock to smell: sweet and malty, malty, matly.

Tastes of dark malt, burnt malt flavors. Sweet and (again) malty. Molasses flavors with a light bitter finish. Feels thick on the palate. The taste kind of slides down the back of your throat like a raw oyster. Warming as it goes down.

Quite drinkable to me, especially when the weather gets to changing up here. Smooth enough to have on a regular basis and a solid doppelbock.

10-02-2003 15:56:43 | More by ViveLaChouffe
Photo of TheLongBeachBum


3.85/5  rDev -1%

Presentation: Picked up a mixed 6-Pack of Spaten Optimator and Premium Lager at Trader Joes. The Optimator comes in a 12 fluid ounce green glass bottle with a deep copper colored main label that has a metallic look about it.

Appearance: I thought this was lightly hazed at first, but once the carbonation released from solution after the rather vigorous pour settled and helped form the head, it revealed a dark, but lucid brown. The head was much smaller than expected given the high levels of carbonation, and it settled to a beige colored smooth covering.

Nose: What the….???....not the expected nose at all. The best way I can describe it is as a conglomeration of Malt Extract used in Brewing mixed with the odor of a partially baked loaf of Wholemeal Bread. Sweet and malty smelling in character, which at the same time is quite a restrained in strength.

Taste: A very sweet beginning, the sweetness never goes, it just fades in strength throughout the drink making way for a more malty profile that is much more appealing in the ending. It has a smooth body whose flavor profile includes molasses, malt extract, some dates and sweet dark chewy bonfire toffee that licks the ending with an average malty body. It’s fair to say that the tastes are never one-dimensional, or even overpowering – but they are rather middle-of-the-road. Just scrapes a 4.0. No surprises, or shocks, for a Doppelbock.

Mouthfeel: The sweetness invades all aspects of this beer it seems, the nose, taste and mouthfeel. But the malty character eventually wins the day and balances the beer well, effectively hiding the 7.2% ABV rather well. Above average strength.

Drinkability: The malts are nice, but the sweetness is just a little too high for my overall enjoyment to be anything more than the odd glass, or two, maybe. Still, that being said, it is still a very drinkable beer that I could see would have appeal for those that may not even enjoy Doppelbocks.

Overall: Not bad, but this would only ever be the occasional beer for me.

10-01-2003 01:51:29 | More by TheLongBeachBum
Photo of grynder33


4/5  rDev +2.8%

This beer poured a dark brown color.It had a strange unexpected aroma, sort of like sourdough bread. The taste that followed however was typical and nice. Nice molasses sweet roasted flavor. This became a nice carmelly taste in the middlewith a sweet coffeeish aftertaste. Very little bitterness. It had a nice light feel to it, one of the few doppels you could drink after strenuous exertion on a hot day.

09-27-2003 16:23:52 | More by grynder33
Photo of euskera

North Carolina

4.03/5  rDev +3.6%

Had this last weekend at Oktoberfest in Cincinnati. Raisiny brown in color, nice head retention. Smell is malty sweet. Taste is outstanding, sweet malt with a little bitterness in there. Nicely balanced and a joy to drink, especially with a Brat in hand!!

09-26-2003 13:49:55 | More by euskera
Photo of Mustard

District of Columbia

3.43/5  rDev -11.8%

Presentation: 12oz. green bottle; no "bottled on" or "best before" warning, though none probably needed; purchased as a stray single from Trader Joe's for $1.00.

Appearance: Pours a garnet-tinged, dark brown; smallish, beige-colored head; b-cup's worth of lace; not much in the way of head retention.

Aroma: Somewhat faintly of dark bread and molasses.

Taste: Sweet, thick malt profile, albeit understatedly so on both accounts for the style (in my experience); primary flavors are of toffee, plum-like fruits, molasses and grain; medium-full body; smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

Notes: Timid taste profile for the style.

09-26-2003 08:09:51 | More by Mustard
Photo of cerevisiaephilus


4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

This beer is one of my favorites. A ridiculously malty beer, that isn't to sweet. Its just right. This beer has a great nose on it from which one can detect a bit of alcohol and a good dose of malt aroma with maybe a little honey scent in there too. Almost no detectable hop presence, but I'm sure without hops it would taste odd.

09-26-2003 01:04:51 | More by cerevisiaephilus
Photo of beerguy101


4.35/5  rDev +11.8%

Dark brown color, medium white foamy head. Aroma is malty and rich. Deeply roasted malts. A full-bodied Dopplebock. Malts are slightly sweet with a nice caramel flavor. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty and dry. Great beer.

09-24-2003 03:09:21 | More by beerguy101
Photo of Gavage

New Jersey

4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

This was my first experience of this on tap. It poured a lovely dark brown / burgandy color with a very thin head. The aroma was nice, but I expected some more sweetness and roasted malt in the nose. I expected a thick malty beer, and that's exactly what I got. The malt lingered long on the tongue and the sweetness was not overpowering. The drinkabilty of this good, as I could have easily had more than one in a session. This would be a great to drink on a cold winter night, as the alcohol definitely warms the insides.

09-19-2003 19:46:22 | More by Gavage
Photo of Shaw


4.22/5  rDev +8.5%

Optimator is my favorite doppelbock. My local frequently has it on tap, which is a treat.

It's nice and dark, with a real malty-sweet-molasses taste. But it isn't overpowering like some other doppelbocks. Not much of a head.

A great beer to drink a liter of! With an above-average alcohol content, however, I would suggest limiting yourself to one liter.

09-04-2003 04:00:47 | More by Shaw
Photo of BeerResearcher


4.25/5  rDev +9.3%

This Dopple Bock is in a league of its own. Its Ruby/Cordovan color and rich creamy head invite you to gulp. A pleasant aroma of roasted malt, hops and mild alcohol lasts. A heavy, thick body is creamy and lush. Sweet, yet sharp edged. Smooth and creamy...an enigma. The flavors jump out and introduce themselves separately then sort of meld and balance towards the end of the glass. A must try!

08-31-2003 15:04:50 | More by BeerResearcher
Photo of steelreign

New York

4.58/5  rDev +17.7%

Jeez, if the bar I had this at didn't have about 60 more comparable beers like this, I would have drank this all night! What a fantastic display of the style....rich, dark brown in color with tons of sweet malty goodness balanced nicely by the hop level. Smooth, luxurious mouthfeel, with some spicy notes along with the roasted malty complexity. Very much recommended, especially if you typcially like big beers in this mold (Celebrator, etc...)

08-22-2003 14:49:15 | More by steelreign
Photo of 86MonteSS


4.63/5  rDev +19%

Sure, why the hell not.

It's a deep brownish coloration with just the right head.

A sweet, full-bodied aroma made my heart cry for joy... seriously.

The taste is thick and malty, but just hoppy enough to keep the kids from loving it.

The finish says "hey, you just had one hell of a beer, ya fat, lazy bastard."

And I say, Spaten Optimator must be the best German beer I've ever had.

08-19-2003 08:52:23 | More by 86MonteSS
Photo of Boilermaker88


3.85/5  rDev -1%

Served on tap at Heroe's Bar & Grill, La Verne, CA

Appearance: clear brown with a thin tannish head. No discernible carbonation.

Smell: strong sweet malty aroma with hints of raisins and plums. Faint alcohol astringency.

Taste: nice malt flavor with pleasant fruity undertones. Slightly bitter finish. Mild alcoholic bite.

Feel: medium-bodied, smooth, slick.

Drinkability: easy to drink, thanks to smooth and velvety feel and good taste. % ABV is a small detractor. Overall, a good beer to sit back and relax with.

08-07-2003 16:33:14 | More by Boilermaker88
Photo of BierManVA


4.13/5  rDev +6.2%

A very smooth bier with a malty, alcoholic caramel smell. Pleasant aftertaste (I also like scotch) and good mouth feel. Not as sweet as some dopplebocks, no chocolate or burnt taste.

I'm sitting here drinking it and I am near to the bottom of the glass already! All and all a very good Doppelbock.

Oops! guess I need another!


08-02-2003 18:23:19 | More by BierManVA
Photo of woemad


3.5/5  rDev -10%

Poured a dark brown color with an off-white head. Generous lacing. Smell of toasty malt and dark fruits. Tasted of toasty malt, with a figgy, raisiny dark fruit flavor. Hops were minimal. Creamy mouthfeel. This was a nice dopplebock, but not terribly remarkable.

07-28-2003 06:44:16 | More by woemad
Photo of clvand0


4.1/5  rDev +5.4%

This beer pours a very dark amber color with a small tan head and a little lacing on the glass. The aroma is very malty and strong but still pleasant. I found this beer to be extremely smooth - slid down very nicely. The maltiness is very apparent in the taste and it is just sweet enough. There is also some chocolate that can be found in the taste. The carbonation is there in the taste, but it is very thin - almost like the bubbles are extremely tiny - dunno how to describe this. The aftertaste is malty with a hint of alcohol. Nice beer.

07-28-2003 00:46:01 | More by clvand0
Photo of TheDM


4/5  rDev +2.8%

This brew poured a large head of light brown bubbles that were of fine to medium sizes. It had a dark brown almost opaque body with no carbonation evident. With a mild aroma of malt, it has a complex flavor full of spices, malt, caramel, some chewiness and a very mild aftertaste. It goes down very smoothly and leaves a good lacing as it does.

07-20-2003 18:17:37 | More by TheDM
Photo of HardTarget


4.28/5  rDev +10%

Aroma: A rich dark malt. I noted some toasted hints, with a slight alcohol nose, but not strong.
Appearance: Dark, looks kind of like coke. When back lit shows nice clarity. I got a nice thin tan head that lasted throughout the beer. The carbonation, while not overly bubbly, was strong and lasting.
Flavor: There are just enough hops to balance the first impression, but the malt quickly takes over for a long sweet aftertaste. I couldn’t note any real hop taste, but again, just enough to keep the beer from being too sweet. You can note the alcohol in the aftertaste, but not very strongly.
Mouthfeel: As dark and rich as the malt is, the mouthfeel is a bit light. While this detracts from a completely satisfying experience, it does lend itself to drinkability.
Overall Impression: A rich dark malty drinkable beer. Fine German craftsmanship.

07-10-2003 23:57:54 | More by HardTarget
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,478 ratings.