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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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

2,277 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2277
Reviews: 1247
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
Ratings: 2,277 | Reviews: 1,247 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of GossageBrewery


3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Poured this Doppelbock from a 12 oz bottle into a pint glass. Poured a dark brown color, produced an average tan head, nice retention and nice lacing. The aroma of this ale consists of toasted malt, caramel and white pepper. Medium in body, the ale contains a foundation of malted grain, sweet caramel, roasted coffee beans, dark chocolate and earthy hops. Nice example. of the style, not outstanding but it is worth a shot.

Serving type: bottle

02-26-2013 20:33:36 | More by GossageBrewery
Photo of carlspeed


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

Wow. I forgot I had this in my fridge, and I forgot what it tasted like. Too bad. I just opened this up and it all came back. Delicious, thick, refreshing, and now that I've finished the one bottle at 7.6% ABV, I'm a little buzzed too. Definitely remembering to buy more.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 22:53:21 | More by carlspeed
Photo of d1ckvanswype


4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from 12oz green(!) bottle into a Duvel glass, formed a finger of khaki head which died quickly. Appears dark brown, but shows a deep garnet when held to the light. Smatters of lacing.

S: Caught a slight whiff of skunk from the bottle, but it aired out by the time I poured it. Dried cherries, prunes, raisins, a touch of coffee, molasses, honey, wheat, sweet roasty malts. Man, this smells really, really good, if a tad sweet.

T: Almost exactly the same as the nose, with a nice twinge of nuttiness, barley syrup. Very mildly astringent, which leads to a very clean finish. Aftertaste is almost better than the sip.

M: Mild carbonation and a pleasantly lush mouthfeel leaves you feeling refreshed, but the sweetness does tend to get a bit sticky after a few sips.

O: While I have to knock off some merits for the green bottle, this is a remarkably good brew from a macro brewery that needs to be shipped across the ocean to reach me. I'm glad to see one of my gateway beers actually tastes better now that I'm a bit more knowledgable.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2013 04:42:02 | More by d1ckvanswype
Photo of Murrhey


3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a weizen glass in high elevation Libby, Mont. Reviewed live.

A- Finger and a half width off-white head. Appears to have some bubbly lacing. Ruby-walnut color, deep and dark, but high clarity when held to a light. Two minute long retention with a nice ringed floater head.

S- Sweet, dark malts. Noble hops present. Candied flavors, prunes maybe? Sweet dark fruits are the main smell I get. Wheat is around too.

T- Sweetness of the malts and some bitter, noble hops. Candied dark fruits. Some alcohol notes, its a strong lager.

M- Medium bodied, well-developed carbonation.

O- Great beer, great example of the style.

Serving type: bottle

01-31-2013 03:05:31 | More by Murrhey
Photo of mfnmbvp


3.13/5  rDev -19.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, given to me gratis from the bar at a funeral banquet, RIP to my neighbor Bob. No bottled on date present on this beer. Poured into some kind of pint glass looking thing, forgive me beer god for not knowing what it was. Reviewed in detail on the back of a CVS reciept.

A - Pours out a fizzing cherry cola type appearance with some visual carbonation and virtually no head whatsoever.

S - Smells of malts & vague bourbon spiciness. Aside from that, there isn't much action happening.

T - Dark fruits reminiscent of fig, dates, and dark cherry. Light unsweetened chocolate taste. Not phenomenal by any means, but still a worthy drinkable beer,

M - Smooth clean, slightly watery finish. Decent level of carbonation. Highly drinkable, and not a heavy sitting beer.

Overall, a drinkable, smooth, light doppelbock, if anything it is one to turn the beginners on to craft beer. Probably not a beer I'd go out of my way for, and in no way is it compatible to the world of true craft beers, but decent enough, worth a try, and clearly the best beer that this banquet hall had to offer.

Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu Spaten Optimator ---3/5

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2013 23:23:18 | More by mfnmbvp
Photo of Utica_Brew_Review

New York

1.94/5  rDev -50.1%
look: 4 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2

First off, this beer has an awesome color--dark amber. Green bottle is followed naturally by a skunky aroma. Taste matches the smell. Mouthfeel isn't that bad apart from taste. Our sample may be old or spoiled since our review differs so much and if this beer knew our opinion it'd be embarrassed.

Serving type: bottle

01-30-2013 05:07:35 | More by Utica_Brew_Review
Photo of BurgeoningBrewhead


4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12oz bottle into pilsener glass. Dark amber/garnet, clear with lots of visible carbonation. Thick off-white head dissipates after a bit, not leaving any lacing yet. Smell is sweet malts all over. Taste is smooth, sweet malts up front, finishing sticky-sweet with hot alcohol on the back of the tongue. Mouthfeel is slick and full-bodied. Even if this is a macrobrew in its home country, it still blows American macros out of the water.

Serving type: bottle

01-27-2013 04:12:12 | More by BurgeoningBrewhead
Photo of mikeg67

New Jersey

4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz bottle. Pours dark read with a long lasting, thick, off-white head and nice lacing. Aroma is of toffee, bread crust, cherry and hint of noble hops. Body is full and slightly crisp. Caramel malt, grain, noble hops and alcohol fill the mouth. Long drying finish. Outstanding bock.

Serving type: bottle

01-06-2013 22:04:28 | More by mikeg67
Photo of kvnstfrd


4.59/5  rDev +18%
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.

Serving type: bottle

01-03-2013 18:02:53 | More by kvnstfrd
Photo of leokbelo


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

Pours a dark cherry wood color into a pint glass, with an inch mocha head that dissipates quickly into a fine lacing.
Caramel malts on the nose, with hints of raisins and figs.
Sweet raisin on the palate, with coffee and dark chocolate tones. Sweetness from the malts comes through, with the alcohol a bit too much present. Hop bitterness is kept at a minimum.
A decent Doppelbock, even though it comes from a Macro brewery.

Serving type: bottle

12-26-2012 18:12:48 | More by leokbelo
Photo of TastyAdventure


3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Very dark amber, translucent. 1/2 finger head that dissipates to paper thin. the bubbles are very tiny

S - Dried out raisin bread, some sweetness

T - Dried figs? very sweet, slight roasted. Alcohol covered up real nicely by sweetness.

M - Nearly cloying. smooth.

O - Very nice for the price. Rich. A sweet treat.

Serving type: bottle

12-22-2012 16:39:04 | More by TastyAdventure
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. :)

Serving type: bottle

12-09-2012 07:29:02 | More by 1234Jack
Photo of Anais

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

Spaten Optimator is a dark brown malt beer with hints of red. Full-bodied nutty taste.A strong malt taste, very low in hops. This beer also has a hint of caramel. The overall aftertaste is strong but not bitter, and definitely not fruity. Very affordable, especially if you want a beer with a strong taste.

Serving type: bottle

12-01-2012 04:33:21 | More by Anais
Photo of Bouleboubier


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

here's notes from a sampling of a bottle of indeterminate age:

SEE: tight 1/2" tan head, some big bubbles, did not last long, no lace - deep garnet color and ultra-clean

SMELL: dark-toasty, lightly-melanoidin, German-malty aroma - bold, but not "rich" or exhibiting depth - slightly floral-alcohol perfume, black cherry - a lil "roasty"

TASTE: dark vinous, stone fruits, a tiny bit of molasses (flavor, not feel), floral alcohol - very clean, as in the malt flavor drops off in the finish, with only mild alcohol lingering

FEEL: medium mouthfeel, dry finish - not enough malt roundness? - slowly emerging warmth chasing each sip - a bit of carbonic bitterness(?) which borders on sharp - but, a dry feel by and large - overall certainly quaffable

OPINION: coming back to this for the first time in years, it's not what i expected nor recall - but it's got all the technically-correct nuances of a model doppelbock - drinkable in quantity despite the finish being a lil too hot and floral (leads me to think the ferment was rushed or something) - this example speaks to me as a regular, traditional bock with the presence of additional alcohol - maybe they just brewed a regular bock and added extra ethanol - don't know why anybody would do that though....

Serving type: bottle

11-05-2012 23:28:33 | More by Bouleboubier
Photo of srqbrent

4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Follower of BA reviews for some time; decided it was high time to contribute. This is my first review, so take it with a grain of salt. Also, not familiar with the style, so can not comment on that.

From a bottle, chilled in the fridge for about an hour. After pouring inside in the light, I enjoyed this on my back porch at dusky-twilight.

Appearance: poured a brownish, 1" head. Dark tea color, a nice deep shade of red. Clear. Head fades to a lacy cover and finally a ring. Didn't read reviews ahead of time and not familiar with the style, so was pleasantly surprised by the nice color.

Smell: I get molasses and a little banana?

Taste: First impression-sweet raisins or maybe prunes and noticed the alcohol but not overbearing. Finishes a little bitter, made me pucker towards the end. After taste is like bitter banana peel, like if you try to eat one too green, but a nice flavor.

Mouthfeel: velvety-watery.

Overall: Very nice beer. Wouldn't sit down and drink two or three in a row, but would definitely purchase this again and recommend. Warms up an empty stomach.

Serving type: bottle

11-04-2012 23:49:10 | More by srqbrent
Photo of Hopswagger

South Carolina

3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

P: Dark mahogany brown body with a thick creamy French vanilla colored head.

S: Dog food, thick molasses, subtle dark fruits and roasted toffee. Nose is somewhat bland.

T/M: Nutty, caramel, sweet molasses, prunes, raisins, burnt toffee, apple peels, wood, herbs and spiced rum. Medium sticky body with prickly carbonation that finishes chalky. Burnt spiced apples in the after taste.

O: Nice well rounded doppelbock that improves once warmed. I really want to try this on tap.

Serving type: bottle

11-03-2012 02:30:46 | More by Hopswagger
Photo of pkalix


4.93/5  rDev +26.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

tall paulaner .5 L glass allows the dark ruby transparency with a small amount of head.
smell is sweet and caramel-ly
taste is sweet and malty and caramel-ly. and yummy.
mouthfeel is thicker, heartier; richer.
overall, has always been one of my all time favorites. all time. kind of like coming home again, ya know? love the style. love the brewery (even if it is very commercial). love the beer. this is what i think of when i think of a good german brew. not bitter, not tart. if anything, guilty of being sweeter than most might prefer, but i like my sweets. i thought twice about the three 5's. and this IS my first beer of the evening (afternoon?), so i'm not yet buzzed. i love this beer.

Serving type: bottle

11-01-2012 22:32:22 | More by pkalix
Photo of starrdogg

District of Columbia

3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark reddish-brown with a small off-white head. Smell is a bit nutty with caramel, dark fruit and sweet malts - actually quite nice, smells a bit quad-like. Flavor has a lot of the same characteristics as the nose, but it doesn't all come together quite as well as I would've liked. The flavors all come together nicely on the front end, but it gets this strange bitter/alcohol thing on the finish which lingers. Mouthfeel is medium-bodied, but a little on the thin side for the style, could use a little more heft. Overall, this is a decent doppelbock, but not a great one. I wish the flavors came together a little better, but it's certainly drinkable.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 23:14:45 | More by starrdogg
Photo of dougbassett


3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the "1001 Beers You Must Try Before You Die" -- #5 for me.

Curiously, I think this is something of an underrated beer. Pours a very nice dark mahogany brown, although I was a bit disappointed that there was no head retention. Nose is very nice, raisins over light molasses over sweet malt -- the nose improves as it warms up, incidentally. Unfortunately the flavors aren't quite there, mainly just a hit of malty syrup, although I do like the finish, where the raisins come back noticeably.

Not perfect, but likable, and I think deserving of a better score than I see here on this site. I do suspect this beer might be noticeably improved on draft, where (with luck and hope) the flavors would be brought forward more.

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 16:36:58 | More by dougbassett
Photo of Jsteez


3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pokal glass.

A-Amber-brown, ruby highlights and off-black. Nice and creamy tan 2 finger head. Minimal lacing left on the glass when finished. The head dissipated into a thin tan bubbly surface, which eventually disappeared entirely.

S-Not a lot in the smell, just some burnt molasses and sweet malt. Sometimes a little chalky in the nose.

T-Raisins, plum, molasses, sweet malt. The aftertaste consisted of raisins and prunes. It was a sweeter aftertaste. This is a malty beer that is perfect for autumn drinking. It tasted better the warmer it got. I could taste the alcohol.

M-Full bodied with minimal carbonation. The plum/raisin/sweet molasses aftertaste was quite sticky.

Overall-This beer is good for a chilly autumn evening. It is not sessionable in my book, but it is good if you want a dark beer. If you're in the mood for a malty/molasses brew with a sweet aftertaste, this brew's for you!

Serving type: bottle

10-29-2012 15:03:07 | More by Jsteez
Photo of kojevergas


3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz green glass (really!?) bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high; I usually dislike the style but I love this brewery.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and decent retention. Colour is a nontransparent non-opaque dark brown. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Pleasantly nutty, with very bocky dark and biscuit malts. Some cream comes through. No real obvious hop aroma. An average strength aroma.

T: Pleasantly malty, with subtle nut notes. It's rich and layered, but lacks true subtlety or complexity. Some nice caramelization on the finish. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Hop character is very mild; background floral hopping adds depth but doesn't really contribute to the flavour profile. It's got a nice full body; it's quite filling. I could subsist on this if I were a badass German beer monk. That said, there's just nothing impressive or unique about it.

Mf: Smooth, full, wet, a bit creamy on the finish, and moderate on the palate. It has presence, but there's little to intrigue. Suits the flavours well, but it still comes off as boring. Dry on the finish; it shouldn't be.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable for the style. Definitely one of the better ones I've had. It's quite filling - and I'm sure I could use this for sustenance on a fast - but it's not fantastic. This brewery has better beers. Well priced. Hides its ABV well. Very well done for the style, but still underwhelming all around. I wouldn't get it again, but fans of the style should definitely give it a spin.


Serving type: bottle

10-24-2012 05:39:52 | More by kojevergas
Photo of CloudStrife

New York

3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz green bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled April 11th 2011.

A: Pours a dark ruby brown with a thick 1 finger dense tanned head. Some visible carbonation in the body. Appears to have a pretty clear body. Leaves just a touch of lacing.

S: A very roasty, fruity and carmel smell. Get a lot of sweet raisin and fig backed by a touch of carmel.

T: Very sweet with loads of dark fruit. Roasted malts. Alcohol is very hard to notice. Lacks some depth.

M: Light on the body with mild carbonation. Does feel a little watery. Pretty easy drinking though.

Overall good for such a mass produced beer. Feel like it has done some good mellowing out in the year and a half since it was bottled. Needs more character.

Serving type: bottle

10-15-2012 22:01:16 | More by CloudStrife
Photo of Jparker37


3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500ml bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

A - Deep mahogany color has good clarity. Small cap of tan foam holds comfortably.

S - Dark malt comes across raisiny. Hint of some herbal hops. Smooth chocolate malt, very clean.

T - Dense chewy caramel malt, little bit of sweetness in the middle. Hops come in and play a nice role in balancing. Alcohol joins the hops for a moderate lasting finish.

M - Just shy of full bodied, semi-sweet, moderate carbonation.

O - Great looking beer but lacked some malt aromas I expect. The taste of the malt seemed to be one-dimensional (the same taste throughout).

Serving type: bottle

10-10-2012 01:08:16 | More by Jparker37
Photo of KKB


4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A dark brown, ruby-walnut looking glass of goodness; about a finger of very light brown/off white foam at the beginning, leaves very little lacing.

S - The smell is completely charming, with sweet malt smells that have tiny roasted scent but really you can tell they were not roasted for long, a nice fruity aroma too as well as slight citrus and caramel.

T - A symphony of flavors, right off the bat I can tell this is one of the better doppelbocks I've had before. The malt hasn't been roasted to the point where it gives you that really chocolaty flavor and instead is nice and mild and sweet with a little bit of bitterness. Then there is a really nice woody taste to it...you've got to let this beer get really warm to enjoy it though. Pretty much room temperature is when the fruit and hops start really coming out to form a wonderful hoppy, malty, fruity beverage. All flavors obsequious to the malt while the bitterness keeps it in check. while still playing important roles... There is chestnut in here as well, I do declare.

M - Medium to full body. Very light carbonation that makes for a very slight syrupy aspect that is very pleasant. Silky and creamy toward the end.

O - Very good doppelbock. Just a pleasure to drink. It's different too, which is nice. The malt play a very unique roll that is not overwhelming as in many others, but is still commanding (I'm only giving the overall a 4 because I hesitate to give this beer a 4.5. It is so so good, but 90% and above is reserved for royalty).

Serving type: bottle

10-06-2012 01:08:49 | More by KKB
Photo of kristenrae8


4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I just tried a little bit - not a full bottle. I'll buy a six pack soon.

A: Dark amber/ Cola/Rootbeer color. Slight head, fades quickly.

S: Chocolate, Nuts and Carmel

T: More please, sweet and mellow but not syrupy.

M: Medium body, low carbonation.

Serving type: bottle

10-05-2012 00:42:28 | More by kristenrae8
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,277 ratings.