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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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

2,280 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2280
Reviews: 1249
rAvg: 3.89
pDev: 12.34%

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)
View: Beers (15) |  Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,280 | Reviews: 1,249 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Wasatch


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

Pours a nice dark brown with a huge head which slowly dissipates. Leaves some nice lacing. Scents are of sweet coffee/malt. There's a nice sweet taste with a medium body. This is not a Celebrator, but true to the Doppelbock style. Still it is very drinkable and many can be had, a nice session brew.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2005 00:30:13 | More by Wasatch
Photo of IntriqKen


4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
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...red 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.

Serving type: bottle

03-22-2006 02:48:34 | More by IntriqKen
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-28-2006 17:23:15 | More by HopHeadKen
Photo of beerogre

New York

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

Unless my parents turn around and tell me I'm adopted, this beer is likely to be the biggest surprise for me in 2007. As one might expect, the supermarket shelves in Central Florida are almost completely dominated by the usual macro suspects. The tedium only ever being broken by the occasional arrival of a Samuel Adams seasonal like Octoberfest or Winter Lager. So it was with extremely low expectations that I decided to examine more closely several unfamiliar looking brands which were either new arrivals or that I had simply just not noticed before in amongst the Heinekens and Dos Equis.

A Doppelbock? - Had this been delivered to the wrong store?

Well I like doppelbocks, and really, just how bad could a beer be with an abv of 7.2%? - So in the end the purchase was an easy decision.

Not only was I rewarded with a fantastically malty, beautifully sweet gem of a beer, at just the right strength I like (a couple of steps up from session, but not a one punch lights out merchant) but when I returned to the store the next day to buy some more (I pretty much drank it all in one go) I found it was now on sale.

I normally like to have several different beers during an evening, but the fact that I spent Labor Day Eve drinking nothing but this beer is a testament to how much I enjoyed it.

This was equally a great find and surprise.

Serving type: bottle

09-08-2007 01:35:20 | More by beerogre
Photo of Pauly2X


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

A- Nearly black, deep red amber in color. The one finger head faded but left some nice lacing.

S- Smooth roasted malts and dried fruits

T- Great hop/ malt balance throughout. Sweet roasted malt flavor without the dirty bitterness sometimes encountered with roasted malts.

M- Wonderful smoothness really complinments the flavor.

D- 7.2 abv is the only thing in the way here.

A truly great dopplebock, when you take into account the price and availabilty, its hard to beat.

Serving type: bottle

10-17-2007 18:21:44 | More by Pauly2X
Photo of abriggs1


4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

If you can find Spaten on tap there's not much better. It's good in the bottle too though. It has a very unique taste that's very German. It's so complex it's very hard to describe but there's some raisin, burnt toast, and nutmeg. You can't drink a lot of this stuff because it feels like a lead weight in your stomach.

Serving type: on-tap

12-21-2007 04:44:59 | More by abriggs1
Photo of Gehrig


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

I just came back from reading group, driving through a moderate Midwest snowstorm, and grabbed this after bidding my better half good-night. What a choice; then again, the better choice was buying this in the first place. It's killer.

The appearance is gorgeous--a finger of very durable froth on a black raspberry body, with better lacing than I've seen in a while. The smell could be better, but provides caramel, berry, and a hint of chocolate. If I'd let this warm, it might emit more. But that's the problem--it's positively delicious! The texture, the wonderfully balanced carbonation, more pronounced chocolate, berries, caramel--a generous melange of flavors. Magnificent.

That the mouthfeel is so good enhances the taste, while also making this perfectly drinkable. This is one to grab a sixer, enjoy three and cellar the others. A great example of dopplebock, very delicious, flavorful, and easy to consume. The nose might suffer from my impatience, I'm willing to admit. Yet the taste is so good that it will be difficult to sit and savor this for long. Enjoy.

Serving type: bottle

02-01-2008 06:03:25 | More by Gehrig
Photo of gonzo46and2


4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a mahogany brown with very little head. No lacing either. The appearance is the only category this beer lacks.

Smell is wonderfully full of malt, pine, brown sugar, soy sauce-like smokeyness and dark fruit. Almost bacony.... like a rauchbier.

Taste is delightfully sweet and full of malt. There's a bit of bitterness from mild hops.

Mouthfeel is perfect. Not too thick and good carbonation.

Drinkability... well the abv will fool you if you don't check the bottle. It tastes like a session dopplebock but is a bit too strong for that.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2008 03:57:10 | More by gonzo46and2
Photo of hoplover82


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

I had this one at The Classic Brew in Corpus Christi. I was very surprized. I love it.

It pours a deep rich reddish brown. With a thick tan head that dissapates quickly. Little bit of bubbly thin lace.

Aroma of roasty, caramely, toffee, and dark fruits. The floral hops shine through nicely as it warms.

The flavor is the same as above. A lot of roasty flavors, and dark fruits, with a little alcohol warmth.

Full bodied and very smooth. A little alcohol warmth from it but no sting which is nice.

Very drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

12-20-2008 19:36:07 | More by hoplover82
Photo of northaustin


4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

in my opinion spaten optimator is the best high alcohol beer in most stores. it is usually not expensive and can be found at almost any convienience store. the dark thick beer in the green bottle gives it a very distinct taste. i have alot of good memories of drinking spaten optimator. perfect for the person who wants to mix it up from their selection of normal regular beers.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2009 00:47:30 | More by northaustin
Photo of ronzorelli


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

I love this brew.

Pours from the bottle into a glass with a beautiful mahogany hue, dark and mysterious.

Mouthfeel is silky and full. Very sultry and alluring.

Aroma is slight dried fruit and dark chocolate.

Taste is... Wow! Delicious and addicting. Lots of dried fruit in the hints, and reminiscent of a high quality barleywine.

A knockout!

Pairs well with a heavy, dark cigar. Enjoyed it with a JFR 770 LE and together, they were magic.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2012 01:34:29 | More by ronzorelli
Photo of aaronh


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

This dark brown beer pours with an off white head that fills my pint glass. The head slowly recedes to a rocky layer of foam that clings to the sides of the glass. The aroma is all malt sweetness, with a slight huskiness. The taste is roasted malt, caramel, and sweetness. Notes of chocolate and a slight smokiness are present as well. Very complex flavor. The alcohol is noticable on the finish, and it warms the throat on the way down. The finish also has a lingering sweetness, most likely also from the alcohol. This is not a beer for the hop fan, but malt lovers should but it by the case. The mouthfeel is very full and creamy. The drinkability is good considering the alcohol content. I'm very surprised this beer is not in the top 50. A truly underrated beer.

Serving type: bottle

12-03-2002 16:20:58 | More by aaronh
Photo of Dubblebock


4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
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.

Serving type: bottle

11-24-2003 21:33:00 | More by Dubblebock
Photo of ToggleEyes


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

poured a rich cola color and formed a head that faded quickly with a little bit of lacing. The smell was of malt, brown sugar and floral hops. The taste and mouthfeel almost remind me of a pilsner, which make this an easy to drink beer. Its not as syrupy as Paulaner Salvador or as Celebrator, but in the same sence it does not have as much flavor as those doppelbocks do. This is Ok for me because I can easily consume more than one per session. Overall I think this is the most drinkable doppelbock I have tried but not the most flavorful.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2006 00:37:36 | More by ToggleEyes
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.

Serving type: on-tap

10-08-2006 23:56:06 | More by stouty1
Photo of bradford


4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

After passing this beer for a long time, I finally caved and bought a six pack
Looks ok, actually not very good to me for some reason.
I dont get much on the nose either. Obviously a malty lager smell, but I can't distinguish much else
Tasted excellent. Full, rich, complex, and most importantly, tasty.
Mouthfeel was pretty good. Very thick but also crisp
Drinkability is excellent. This one goes down easy and tastes great

Serving type: bottle

08-19-2007 00:52:41 | More by bradford
Photo of corey0212


4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
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!

Serving type: bottle

08-17-2008 22:37:20 | More by corey0212
Photo of bigrzman


4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Translucent deep mahogany color, moderate carbonation, head poured thin and dissipated to paper thin head leaving no lace.

S: Very very clean. Faint chocolate and caramel malts.

T: Roasted malts, clean crisp hop bite, berries, and coffee. good lingering bitter hops and berry aftertaste. It is complex and delightful.

M: Astringent and drying, not a bad thing. Bity and strong. Medium body and tingly.

D: Highly drinkable. This is a wintertime warmer and a beer that will give you a good feeling without having to feel full.

Serving type: bottle

08-05-2010 22:09:24 | More by bigrzman
Photo of stegmakk

New York

4.55/5  rDev +17%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-05-2002 13:13:16 | More by stegmakk
Photo of russpowell


4.55/5  rDev +17%
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!

Serving type: bottle

02-17-2006 04:44:25 | More by russpowell
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.

Serving type: bottle

03-20-2010 00:20:39 | More by Scrapss
Photo of steelreign

New York

4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
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 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...)

Serving type: on-tap

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


4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

09-20-2004 04:06:08 | More by mzwolinski
Photo of dfried


4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
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.

Serving type: on-tap

06-22-2006 14:52:58 | More by dfried
Photo of adamette


4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
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!

Serving type: on-tap

04-01-2009 22:12:03 | More by adamette
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,280 ratings.