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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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very good

2,499 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2,499
Reviews: 1,262
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%
Wants: 62
Gots: 142 | 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: 2,499 | Reviews: 1,262 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of xymyl


3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

Color is brown/copper with a compact creamy very light brown head. Small bubbles and good carbonation.

Aroma is milk, malt and caramel with an overal hoppy floral note mixing with crisp and clean alcohol.

Taste is light sweet malts and fruity notes that keep rolling into darker, richer and at the same time, sweeter notes. Around the middle the sweetness fades back and the dark malts blend with the hops to create a single unified bitterness for a short while. Following that, there is a lingering (lightly smokey) dark sugar note that sticks around for a while.

Body is medium but the taste is rich and the sugar is sticky.

Overall, this beer has a great flavor profile but isn't super complex (despite my description). It has a reasonably rich profile but isn't on par with a Celebrator. It is good with certain spicy German and Hungarian sausages.

I buy a 24 pack once a year and it works out perfectly... this is my last one and it is time to get more.

09-27-2006 01:49:44 | More by xymyl
Photo of Titanium147

3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

07-19-2014 14:05:56 | More by Titanium147
Photo of SShelly


3.95/5  rDev +1.5%

Pours a dark reddish brown with low white head that fades fairly fast.

Nice biscuity malty aroma with no hops, very clean smell.

Tastes of light malt with a low finishing bitterness on the sides of the tongue, exteremely drinkable, light munich malt flavor is left in the mouth.

This beer drinks itself, fairly refreshing.

12-04-2008 01:41:45 | More by SShelly
Photo of Fear4Beer


3.96/5  rDev +1.8%

I was making an Irish recipe that called for Guinness and being the rebel that I am I decided to try a different beer. I heard that Dopplebocks are strong beers so I figured it would be a good choice (this is my first Dopplebock). This beer got good reviews and it was cheap at my local store so I purchased it for the recipe.

I was a bit shocked to find out that this beer is not strong in flavor but it is in alcohol. I was actually REALLY surprised how smooth it was. I was disappointed for the recipe that I was creating because I was looking for something with a strong flavor. But as a drinkable beer (that's what you are supposed to do, am I right!?) this is a VERY smooth and a tasty beer. I know I will sound like a heathen but this reminds me of an American lager. Although I'd rather drink this if it was handed to me compared to most popular run of the mill lagers. I'm not wowed by this beer but it is very enjoyable and refreshing. It was very cheap at my local store too. It's a good bargain beer.

Now I'm confused what a Dopplebock is supposed to be like since this came straight from Germany. Now my impression of Dopplebocks are that they aren't that strong in flavor but they are in alcohol content. This is the country that made the Dopplebock. I guess I'll have to try more to find out if this is a fluke.

03-25-2014 19:30:50 | More by Fear4Beer
Photo of lordofthewiens


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Had this at a little German restaurant in my home town of Brunswick. Served in a stange, it was a reddish/brown color with a thick white head that left a little bit of lacing. Aroma was caramel and raisins. Taste also caramel and raisin, but also a hint of chocolate. Perhaps a bit on the thin side. I think there could be more of a malt presence. Still, I enjoyed this beer, and will drink it again.

01-25-2009 14:13:42 | More by lordofthewiens
Photo of teejay76


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Appearance- Pours a couple inches of beige head with excellent retention and no lacing. Beer is very dark brown.

Smell- Sweet aroma with defined roasted malts and a hint of yeast.

Taste- Sweet and malty, a slight bite of alcohol and more yeast than hop presence. Full bodied, not for wussy watery beer drinkers.

Mouthfeel- Moderately carbonated and mouthcoatingly thick.

Drinkability- You won't pound a six pack of these. This is a very filling beer but delicious on the way down. Full flavored. I'd recommend it highly.

08-30-2009 18:18:35 | More by teejay76
Photo of haddon


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

The beer pours a caramel color with an off-white head.

starts a bit dull on the nose but eventually displays some nice caramel and dark fruit sweetness, as well as some doughy bread.

pretty typical flavors on the palate that one would expect from a Doppelbock: caramel, raisin, and black cherry came through.

Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

DB is not my favorite style of beer but I rather enjoyed this one. pleasant experience from start to finish.

06-20-2012 02:56:55 | More by haddon
Photo of Elemental


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Ahhh....a nice doppelbock. I have had this both on tap and in the bottle and out of the bottle the beer is almost as good as the draught beer. Its got a fair amount of head as you would expect for a doppelbock. Dark yet clear with a good hop aroma. This beer melts in the mouth as it goes down. Its smooth and flavorful with the perfect balance of hops.
Bottom line: For this price you won't find much better...

06-11-2003 20:39:08 | More by Elemental
Photo of dunit697


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

This is probably the darkest german beer i have ever had. I liked it a lot, but I personally prefer the paulaner salvator because its a bit more smooth to me. This beer is great and if you think the darker the better, this could be your favorite beer and I would highly recommend it.

11-08-2011 02:54:36 | More by dunit697
Photo of Gmann

New York

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Pours a clear dark brown color with ruby highlights; an average off white head settled into a light ring. The aroma is of brown bread, some soy, raisins, and stale coffee. A good punch of flavor. A big bready malt with vinous characteristics, light soy sauce, and honey. A coffee flavor pops through in the after taste. Typical dopplebock flavors or at least what I expect. Definitely a good malt presence but the feel seems thin to me, though it is fairly crisp, which is nice. A very nice dopplebock, not too sweet or syrupy. Has a bit of a roasted malt presence to offset the sweetness.

12-27-2008 02:11:14 | More by Gmann
Photo of morimech


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Pours a clear brown color with one inch of tan head that slowly settles to a thin cap. Just a little spotty lacing is left on the glass. Has a caramel malt aroma. The flavor as well features the malt. Caramel flavors dominate with some faint noble hop flavors coming in on the finish. Alcohol is well hiddened with just a little warming on the palate. Medium body with low carbonation leaves a nice creamy texture. A nice beer to have on a cold night.

12-31-2008 23:12:05 | More by morimech
Photo of puboflyons

New Hampshire

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle no. L-18091F. Sampled on November 22, 2009. This has a richly dark mahogany brown pour with a thin beige head and above average lacing. The aroma is sweet and malty with a nice following of hops on the last sniff. Medium mouthfeel. The taste has a fine roasted malt sensation, maybe a little molasses, and a moderate but pleasing hoppy ending. An easy to drink draker beer despite its 7.2% ABV.

11-22-2009 23:06:21 | More by puboflyons
Photo of longbongsilver


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Good deal for an import, figured whatever. Brownish-red, head is off-white & GENEROUS, takes a bit to pour actually. Smell is mostly caramel w/ a whiff of peanut (seriously, that's what it reminds me of).

Caramel malt comes through in the first swig even more than the smell would suggest. Not a bitter drink at all, can't really distinguish much hop flavor, yet it's not annoyingly sweet either. Goes down creamier than I'd have thought otherwise.

For German beers this is probably considered an average. This balance between refreshment & character is a revelation here though.

07-12-2010 02:07:44 | More by longbongsilver
Photo of ocelot2500


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Pours a deep dark brown. A good amount of head rises and falls quickly. Plenty of lacing the glass.

Smells of sugary malts and some caramel with some dark fruit notes.

Tastes of the caramel/sugar malts with a chocolaty bitter end. There are toasted notes throughout. The dark fruit taste comes through more as the beer warms.

The mouthfeel is a good medium body with not too much carbonation. It leaves a sticky, sweet coating on the tongue.

This is very drinkable. No offensive flavors.

06-06-2009 00:15:23 | More by ocelot2500
Photo of mikesgroove

South Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

So...after my last not so satisfying review of a Dopplebock, I figured I needed another one to try and make sure it wasnt just the style that I was having some issues with. In scouring(well not really) the shelves of my local store I saw the Spaten Optimator. Now I love me some Spaten, and I figured if someone could do the style right it would be a german brewery. So, with all that being said, I dive into the optimator...

Poured a very clear, dark amber, almost a hazelnut brown in appearence. No head what so ever, which I am starting to realize is more the style then anything. Great carbonation as evident from teh streaming bubbles coming from my glass throughout the session. A bit of lace, but nothing spectacular throughout the glass. Overall the appearence was decent, nothing knocked me over and even though it was crystal clear, it did not look thin in any way. Very nice color overall and clarity is a plus.

The smell was rather light. What was detected was some nice roasted malts and a bit of a sweetness. Did not really knock me over in the aroma, however it wasnt old, or musty smelling. It had a nice crisp, fresh air about it. And the overall sense of a dark or roasted feel was definatly there. Decent on the aroma, and better then a couple others I have tried, I just had wished it had a little more punch to it, just somethign to let me know it was there a bit more. but definatly not bad, I would have to go average here for this one.

So, I have really not like the feel of the Dopplebocks I have tried lately, but let me say right off the bat this was much, much better. A great smooth, albeit light, but not degradingly so, feel was very clearly evident. Great carbonation though made it go down as smooth as water. Great malted profile. It gave me a fullness I had not expierenced with the others I have tried. Lots of roasted barly and earthy tones were clearly evident. A nice spicey, almost fruity note in the back, but ever so faint. This really was a malt bomb. The bread tones were fantastic, and it really felt like a meal. A slight touch of alcohol, but nothing too terribly rough at all. Great feel and flavor, I really did enjoy sipping this during dinner.

Well, well, well this may have single handedly brought me back to the style. I really love my German beers, and grandma would be proud. Spaten did not let me down, as I am now definatly looking forward to try a few more from this style. This went very well with hamburgers of all things tonight, it was just light enough to be sessionable, sort of, more likely drinkable during a hot night, but yet dark enough to peak intrest and really get you into the sipping mode for a while. Overall I am really glad I picked up a six pack pf this, I will be enjoying it very much over the next couple weeks. A fantastic beer from a great brewery.

07-11-2007 23:45:35 | More by mikesgroove
Photo of Giggy


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Poured from a 12oz. green bottle.

A: Looked like a cola. A clear dark brown with a hint of red. Light tan to off-white head. Carbonation bubbles floating to the top.

S: Caramel, toasted malts

T: Slightly sweet, Molasses, lots of dark roasted malts, dark caramels and fruits. Slight hops bitterness that develops in the back of the tongue after the swallow.

M: Initially a heavier carbonation that disapears after the first couple of swallows leaving a smooth and creamy brew.

O: Ayinger Clelebrator is my most favorite Doppelbock and it is hard not to compare the Optimator to that beer. But I did enjoy it and would drink it. I will call it the little brother to Celebrator.

01-28-2012 18:01:21 | More by Giggy
Photo of saradad


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Poured into my trusted 12oz glass forming a 1"+ tan head over a dark amber body reminiscent of maple syrup. Loads of visible carbonation and the head fades to a light lacing on the glass and a bit around the outside of the liquid. The smell has bread, roasted grains, caramel or toffee and bit of nuts and fruit-plums? mixed with a light presence of alcohol. The taste is sweet and full of grains and caramel up front, a slight earthy bitterness and then a medicine-like alcohol and fruit/nut finish. Quite dry and a lingering of alcohol and the earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel is not quite chewy but almost, very full and this seems to almost stick to your teeth. I'll give this a high rating on drinkability, though not because you'd want to down several of these at a sitting but because it's a beer to look forward to having and enjoying slowly after work or such.

03-22-2009 19:19:27 | More by saradad
Photo of SurlyDuff


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

I've had this a number of time before, last time was oktoberfest last year. Nice looking bottle with a foil wrapper. This bottle embodies theor classic german logo that probably hasn't changed for generations.

Pours a dark nutty brown.

Sweet malt-forward aroma with a good bit of roastiness. Some toffee and caramel sweetness. Nutty.

Full flavored and nice full mouthfeel. Thick malt, a bit nutty and chewy. Some toasty grain, not much hop punch to be found. This brew is to-style, perhaps a bit on the light side, but i would recommend this to anyone who wants to try a dopplebock. In a way, it is a bit pedestrian for a DB, but it's just so smooth and balanced that I would consider it the epitome of the style.

04-21-2009 03:13:18 | More by SurlyDuff
Photo of Nascartailgatefa

New York

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Sampled at the International Great Beer Expo, Rock Hill, NY.

Pours a dark ruby color, dark head, huge bubbles. Almost like coca cola! Nutty aroma, smooth crisp taste. Slightly bitter but pleasing finish. Good drinkability for this type of beer which normally is not my favorite.

07-26-2011 21:06:12 | More by Nascartailgatefa
Photo of Lexluthor33

New York

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Pours dark chocolate brown with small head and a sticky lace.The aroma is of malts,dark fruits,some chocolate notes with plums and and nuts.
The taste was toffee,chocolate,light hops,sweet caramel alcohol. The malts can not be forgotten as they really flexed thier muscles.
The overall feel was that this was a light-heavy beer. It was smooth,creamy,with light carbonation. Tad bit of a dry finish and certainly sweet to the core. A good,decent brew.

Notes: OK,so this was not exceptional or overly complex; yet I felt it hit the spot. Good silky tones and nice ABV. I could have had one more.

05-20-2008 04:08:18 | More by Lexluthor33
Photo of dbrauneis

North Carolina

3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

A: Pours an opaque yet clear very dark reddish brown in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation and amber + garnet red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy tan head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark malts, brown bread, and some light notes of dark fruits (raisins). Lightly sweet.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of dark malts and brown bread. That is combined with a moderate amount of dark fruit (raisin) sweetness. Light amounts of yeasty flavors in the finish. Minimal amounts of bitterness which fades almost instantly.

M: Just shy of full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Alcohol is pretty well hidden in this beer but you can almost subtly taste it as the beer warms up. Enjoyable but rich enough in flavor and aroma tat I would likely not be able to have more than one of these in a session. Overall, this beer drinks like a meal - filling.

06-10-2014 01:38:03 | More by dbrauneis
Photo of barleyman


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Poured from the 12 oz. brown glass bottle into my straight sided tumbler. The medium white head quickly dissapates into almost no lace. The clear brown beer is the correct color for this style. The smell is of overwhelming malt, with raisin and dark fruit aromas. The taste is of malt with the correct hop balance. Mouthfeel is quite heavy, but not overbearing given the style. Drinkability is a little low, considering the gravity, but again, spot on for the style.
In my opinion, this is the penultimate German double bock. And the beer world owes Gabriel Spaten a debt of gratitude for the discovery of how yeast works.

just a thought,


02-29-2008 01:33:50 | More by barleyman
Photo of Portertime


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

This beer was a little thin for a doppelbock but had a pretty decent taste. I had it chilled in my Warsteiner mug. Poured a deep milk chocolate brown with not much head. Aroma was of slight chocolate and some brewed coffee notes. Taste was thin but pretty complex with a good balance of chocolate malts with some mocha and bittering hops in the background. If I ran out of bread I would have no problem imbibing this Lenten beer.

05-12-2008 17:45:51 | More by Portertime
Photo of TylerBGoode


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

I first tried the Optimator on tap a year or so ago. It was my first run in with this style, and though I've tried other similar brews since, this is still my go to doppelbock. This review is for the bottle that I enjoyed last night.

The dark chocolaty appearance, and the caramel-malty smell is strong and pleasant. When I decide to open up a bottle of Optimator, I don't quite get excited until I see the dense color of the beer waiting for me in a pilsener glass - the aroma drifting all the way from the glass to my nose.

One of the first flavors you'll taste upon first sip is the alcohol, which is almost too pronounced. But, the maltiness and sweetness of this beer are what you'll remember. Overall the smoothness and lack of bitterness makes this beer quite drinkable, though it may be a bit too sweet (and malty) to tackle more than one in a single evening. Needless to say, this is a reasonably priced, tasty doppelbock that I highly recommend.

09-27-2010 14:47:03 | More by TylerBGoode
Photo of Damian


3.98/5  rDev +2.3%

Drank on-tap at Student Prince, Springfield, MA

Poured a clear, dark mahogany with a creamy, tan, three-finger head. The head slowly faded to a rich froth and a thick ring of lace. Copious amounts of lacing left dripping spiderwebs that stuck all along the glass.

Aroma was sharp and distinctly German. Munich and Vienna malts were apparent along with some smoky, leathery and musty characteristics. As the beer warmed, some sweeter malts appeared and the mustiness seemed to subside.

The taste was rich and smooth. Sweet caramel malts were briefly noticeable up front before the Munich, Vienna and roasted malts came through. Some smoky and dark chocolate notes were noticeable as well. The finish was a touch hoppy with a moderate yet pleasant alcohol bite (just enough to warm you up on a cold winter night).

Mouthfeel was medium-thin for this style (a bit disappointing) yet fairly smooth.

Drinkability was outstanding. For a dark, flavorful, alcohol-rich beer, this dopplebock went down amazingly easy.

12-27-2006 02:08:22 | More by Damian
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,499 ratings.