Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,815 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,815
Reviews: 1,314
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 77
Gots: 305 | 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: 2,815 | Reviews: 1,314
Photo of MattNidiffer
4.61/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beer was on-tap, poured into a pint glass with a light, half-finger head.

Appearance: Dark, with a light beige, sudsy head. Not very frothy, lacing is consistent throughout.

Smell: Dark, toasted malts, small notes of apple and syrup. HInts of salty caramel are picked up after the first initial whiff, and once the head clears, the apple aroma comes through a bit more strongly.

Taste: Very round, dark caramel flavor, followed by a strong flavor of roasted malt. Light hints of pepper, and small notes of hoppy bitterness. Well-rounded, hoppy finish, that leaves the palate with a sweet, almost bread-like aftertaste. Very pleasant all-around.

Mouthfeel: Slightly soft carbonation, very smooth to drink. When sipped, it leaves the palate feeling surprisingly tingly for a darker beer. (Think Guinness, but slightly more carbonation.)

Overall: Very pleasant beer all-around. For all you seasonal beer-drinkers out there, this might not be your first choice while lounging at the beach or by the pool, but you can't beat sitting by the fire with a glass of this stuff in hand on a crisp autumn day. The flavor and the mouthfeel are this beer's strong points, if we're looking at it from an overall experience standpoint. With its roasty caramel notes, finished up by its sweet breadiness, this beer is one of the smoother dark beers out there.

Photo of Dmann
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Now this is some good shit! I have heard a lot about this beer and other Doppelbocks but since I'm such a hop-head, I usualy pass them up when it comes time to go to the store. I will pass them no more. This poured a great brownish color with great head that settled on top till the last drop. The smell was filled with toffee and carmel. The flavor was out of this world with a great carmel taste and just a touch of hops in the end to round it all out. For an import macro, this is about as good as it gets.

Photo of tconboy
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown. I like the flat coke analogy. Head dissipates. Light lacing. Tastes of sweet delicious malty goodness with a hint of brown sugar and caramel. Incredibly smooth and very drinkable. Thankful I decided to pick up this as a throw in on a pick your own sixer so that I could celebrate the week's end today. Takes me back to Germany.

Photo of heath1agnew
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance- pours a deep red brown with a two finger head that slowly goes down to thin head. lacing is visible.

smell- great malty smell, hints of bread and banana.

taste and mouthfeel- wow. tastes of malt, with a sweet bready aftertaste with a warm finish of alcohol. and even though the alcohol is for sure present it is NOT overpowering at all. mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

drinkability- very easy to drink.

this beer is everything i hoped it would be, can't recommend it enough.

Photo of 1234Jack
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

On sale at my neighborhood QFC at $2.81 per pint.

500 ml bottle. Gold wrap around the cap and neck. Double-spade front icon, medieval "Optimator" on front.

"7.6% Alc/Vol". Label also says "Malt Liquor".

Smell out of bottle is a flood of maltiness. Later smells in glass add apple. Even later are aromas of licorice.

Barely transparent dark red amber-brown in glass. Head is not super aggressive, bubbles like to remain tiny towards the lace, which isn't super sticky.

First taste is chocolaty malt. Similar to the flavor of chocolate malt milkshake.

Second taste notices a comfortable feel on the mouth, with carbonation present but not overpowering. Bubbles feel micro.

Aftertaste is pleasant. Bitterness just barely dances on sides of tongue.

Nice flavor. Perfect winter/festive/seasonal beer.

This may be one of my favorite beers. Alcohol content with flavor that isn't like drinking a mud-meal. :)

Photo of RootedFool
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Large tan head on the pour, over an inch tall, dense and frothy. Body is opaque, blackish brown, and bright crimson when held to the light. Smell: prune juice, toasted sour dough bread, raisins; thick and rich. Taste: opens with a bitter-shelled blast of prune-like tartness all over my palate, followed by a raspy bitterness that takes center-stage, flanked brilliantly by the bright fruitiness. The finish is a thin, mildly puckering citrus rind bitterness, with the fading sweetness of dark fruits in the background. Middling carbonation. Mouthfeel like whole milk, really perfect. I picked this up on the cheap and I'm very impressed.

Photo of Mike707
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an over sized wine glass Optimator is a delicious malty Doppel Bock with Caramel and toasted malt notes. Definitely a cooler weather brew. Not as good as Paulaner Salvator Double Bock though!
Still can't go wrong with Optimator!
Why don't any American or Californian's brew a Bock or Doppel Bock ? All the so called "Micro Breweries" think the more Hops the better. Adding more Horsepower to a car doesn't necessarily make it better unless you add bigger brakes, suspension etc...
I don't drink those "New Jack" beers that taste like my Dad made it at home. Unless I'm drinking his.

Photo of highwaychile82
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This happens to be one of my all time favorite beers. It has a distinct earth tone color and a great but not overpowering taste. This is the "dark" beer I give to my friends to prove to them that dark isnt always bitter or "a meal in a can." Optimator is one of those rare exceptional beers where taste, body, and color come together delicously and quite often in... my stomach!

Photo of Bali_hi
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Bottle of optimator bock drank.

Photo of navinsula
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beer came in a small 10oz stien. the color was a nice dark red that was almost not transparent, with a thick white head.

the smell is very nice with some rich chocolaty notes and small amount of roast.

the tast is great with rich chocolat and toffey, but not overtaking.

mouthfeel is very smooth and full body

one of my favorit beers of all time when its on tap, and is still pretty great out of a bottle

Photo of steelreign
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

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, 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...)

Photo of mzwolinski
4.56/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep ruby in color, with a torrent of carbonation. Topped by a massive, creamy light tan head. This is quite persistent and lends a nice creaminess to the whole drink.

Rich, slightly toasty toffee-like malt aroma.

Flavor starts with a hint of tang, but quickly settles down to a smooth, rich, caramel malt. Something of a one-note beer, but what a note it is! Medium-bodied. Incredibly smooth, and not a bit cloying. This is amazingly drinkable for something this sweet. A classic.

Photo of kvnstfrd
4.56/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a 12 oz. mug.
Dark copper color when held to the light with a tan head that dissipates quickly into a sticky lace. Smells of caramel, toasted malt and some spicy alcohol fumes. Big, viscous body with light carbonation. Taste of toasted, bready malt, caramel and a grainy, cereal-like flavor. A light dose of alcohol and hop flavor in the finish. Not as sweet as a Paulaner Salvator and not as hoppy as Ayinger Celebrator; somewhere in between. One of the better doppelbocks I’ve tried, and one of the lesser expensive ones.

Photo of Scrapss
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow. Optimator delivers big-dopple in a very nice package!

Appearance: dark, tinge of ruddiness, about like a glass of Coke, little active carbonation. Little lacing to none.

Smell: HUGE chocolate maltiness, minor sweet boozy notes. Slightly discernable hop note that is dominated strongly by malts.

Taste: big, sweet malty, caramel goodness, not annoying but persistent never the less.

Mouthfeel: the lack of highly active carbonation leads me to believe that the prickly finish cannot be due to carbonation. Dry "side of tongue" feeling says carbonation, but it's not overly carbonated. Sweet, lasting finish leads into a small dry hint. Booziness gives warming feeling as completion nears.

Drinkability: This could get ugly for anyone without self-control. But it's super-smooth and drinkability is bar-none. This could definitely sneak up on the unsuspecting due to warming and light-sweet finish.

Photo of DLReeves
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This is the 3rd Spaten product I have purchased,others were Octoberfest and Dunkel. All 3 have been quite enjoyable. Since I am not strongly into the technicalities of beer, but rather the concept would I buy it again,the answer is yes to all 3. Cudos to the Consumer beverage stores in Western New York for all the fine wide range of selections they present..only 173 to go.
Tech stuff I guess: Solid pour head, typical dark beer/ale flavors, probably would be a favorite in the real beer drinker country of Germany

Photo of adamette
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live review. Served on tap at Winking Lizard in Mentor. This is the glass of the month and so it is served in a great looking 0.5L Spaten Optimator stein.

A Great looking light brown head over a dark caramel brown translucent body with carbonation visible rising up.

S Great malt and barley smell without any hops bitterness. True to the style and really great.

T Ahhh...that great malt and barley of a classic dopplebock. Spaten Optimator has long been one of my favorite beers and it is a beer that led me away from BMC 10 years ago. Just a great molasses type taste with a bit of syrupy stickiness to it. It finishes light though and there is a great taste left of medium to dark malt.

M Carbonation dances accross the tongue along with the feel of sweetness. Again, right on target for the style.

D Good for a beer with a modeastly elevated ABV. I easily finished the 22 oz. stein.

Notes: Again I am partial to Optimator since it was one of the beers that got me off of BMC. It challenged me to consider higher quality beers and taught me that beer can have a taste worth seeking out. Prost!

Photo of russpowell
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

.5L bottle

pours dark caramel with a 1" tan head. Zero head retention & lacing

Smell: Big breadiness and spice (peppery)

Taste: Malt, vanilla, and peppery (like a dick cheney 28 gauge shotgun blast). Dryness, slight nutiness, some hop bitterness and alcohol on the finish

MF: Slick& chewy , good carbonation

Pretty drinkable, but I consider this the low end of the dopplebock spectrum abv-wise. yummy just the same! Just didn't quite come together from the crtical beer drinkers's view point. Enjoy!

Photo of stouty1
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a big ol' German style mug. Dark brown with ruby highlights reflecting through the cut glass. Nice 2 finger head which lasted to a milky cream lace which remained on the surface. Smells of caramel and dark chocolate malts. Mouth picked up some fruit (apples and pears), sweet initial hit. Noted a dark maltiness just before it went down with a slight bitter aftertaste. Showed just enough alcohol to keep the warmth, well masked behind the hoppy bitterness. Very good draft beer!

Serving them up at Metzger's in Ann Arbor.

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 IntriqKen
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
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 Dubblebock
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Spaten Optimator is one of those brews that sort of snuck up on me. I'd heard about it for a while, seen it many times, had one or two friends recommend it, but never tried it. Gotta tell ya, though, I'm sorry that it took me this long to give in. This is one well-made doppelbock, for sure. Spaten generally does not disappoint, and this beautiful beer is certainly no exception to their fine lineup.

It pours with a nice head that hangs around for a couple of minutes. Deep, rich, carmel-toffee-coffee coloring. VERY interesting nose on this sample. Hints of fruits, crisp apples or pears perhaps, clean and fresh.

The taste was very, very smooth for a 7.2% ABV beer. Lots of malty sweetness with only a slight alcohol bite towards the back of the tongue. Malt, malt, and more malt. Bits of toffee-caramel flavors collide with the fruity sensations. Nicely complex, but not overwhelming at all. The beer just got better as it warmed.

Very good mouthfeel...exceptional drinkability for a beer this big. Smooth and likable, this is a beer that I will invite home again soon. I'd like to pair it with some roast, or maybe it would make a good after-dinner drink around the holidays.

Photo of corey0212
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a deep mahogany/ruby color, short-lived sand-colored head fades to a nice collar of foam, and lots of spotty lacing on the glass. Smell is freshly baked bread, some nutty aroma, and a faint whiff of alcohol. Big, rich malty taste, very bready/doughy, perfect balance between the sweetness and a very mild bitterness. This beer is sturdy! Very creamy, carbonation is righteously mellow. Wow. This is something you could drink all year long, and with a variety of different foods. I'm loving this brew!

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

Clear, deep-crimson/mahogany in color with an off-white head that drops shortly after pouring but maintains a good-sized creamy collar and more than adequate surface foam. Very nice. The aroma expresses rich, toasted Munich malts; a hint of fruit; a slight whisp of alcohol; and a light touch of background hops. The body is medium/full with a very fine and slightly moderate carbonation that leaves it smooth and creamy across the palate. The flavor delivers a rich toasted malt that's laced with fruit and some minimal hop flavor; as well as some clear alcohol. It's very well balanced and the sweet malt is always kept in check by a firm, underlying bitterness. It finishes dry with just a swirl of fruit and alcohol; and the malt never clings to the palate. Very well done! One of the classics of the style.

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

Part of a side by side Dopplebock tasting with Optimator-Celebrator & Salvator. A lot of fun and an interesting way to compare these classic rich beers.

Deep brown color, with hints of amber. not quite as dark as Celebrator.

Smell is rich sweet & malty.

Head is thin & tan, fades fast to nothing but an edge ring.

Mouthfeel is full & viscous, smooth.

I love Dopplebocks and this one is great. Could drink it often if availabliity allowed.

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

Nice dark brown in color. The litre that was poured for me did not have much head to it. Malty aroma and flavor (but not overpowering). Went down extremely easily. But it was very filling. Did not have much room for dinner. I was very surprised to find such a high alcohol content when I went to buy some later in the week. Does not taste that strong.
Overall excellent.

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,815 ratings.