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Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Not Rated.
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

Educational use only; do not reuse.
very good

1,297 Reviews
very good

(Read More)
Reviews: 1,297
Hads: 2,886
Avg: 3.89
pDev: 18.25%
Wants: 88
Gots: 355 | 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.
View: Beers (18) | Events
Beer: Reviews & Ratings
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Spaten Optimator Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,297 | Hads: 2,886
Photo of cwcolby74
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a 12-oz bottle out of a Bass Ale pint glass. Purchased in a six-pack on Jan. 7 at Payless Liquors on 96th Street in Indianapolis.

Appearance - It just looks like a complex and delicious beer. It's a dark brown/black, pours with moderate head, moderate lacing and a small amount of carbonation.

Smell - Hard to place exactly what I smell. It has the spicy backdrop of a regular bock with the extra layered richness of a dopplebock. It's also much higher in ABV, almost 8%, which is apparant from the smell.

Taste - Just really giid. It has a dryness that exudes through the carmel-ish body and layered, spicy background.

Mouthfeel - Good. It goes down smooth. It leaves a rich aftertaste that lingers.

Drinkability - One of the best of this style. It doesn't have the "wow" factor of my favorite dopplebock, Bell's Consecrator, but this is pretty close to top-shelf stuff.

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Photo of Ueberales
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Pleasant chocolate malty aroma accented with a whiff of alcohol.
Appearance: Crystal-clear. A beautiful maple syrup-like brown. Moderate thick head with limited persistence.
Flavor: A veritable malt-bomb. Wonderful mix of Vienna and Munich malts. Definite alcoholic warming. Little to no hop character.
Mouthfeel: Silky smooth. Moderately low carbonation
Overall Impression: One of my favorite doppelbocks. A fairly big beer at 7% ABV. Perhaps a bit thinner than the excellent Celebrator dopplebock. Very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of 11thFloorBrewing
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber mahogany color with a quickly fading head. The color reminds me of a traditional dark wood pub and is just as inviting. Lots of sweet malt on the nose with a touch of roasted aroma. Sweet malt flavor is met first quickly followed by bitter roasted malt and subtle hops and finishes slightly dry with nice post-nasal malt aroma. The mouth feel is smooth and silky, just enough thickness to match the malt strength. This is definitely a beer I would recommend to a malt lover.

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Photo of jtothamo
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised to find my local supermarket offering "build your own 6-pack" options. They have a small case of decent imports and micros. The selection is small, but it is a start...One of the beers places in my mix-n-match was Optimator.

I've had this before, but it's been quite some time. I enjoy doppelbocks and looked forward to consuming this as my evening pint.

As I poured, I noticed the nice dark caramel color. There was a decent head the fell quickly to a nice lace around the rim of the glass.

The smell was nice. Somewhat fruity...definitely sweet smelling.

The taste was pretty close to what I had guessed it would be. A bit more sweet than I had originally imagined it would be, but not too sweet. At 7.2% one expects to detect the alcohol. On the first sip, it was quite apparent. But, it quickly fell to the background.

It was very smooth. Low carbonation. Full flavor. An excellent beer that I would recommend to friends and fans of dopplebocks.

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Photo of cmaloy
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber-caramel brown. Almost no head.

Smells of sushi, roasted malt, molasses, and licorice.

Tastes of roasted caramel malt, nut, a hint of chocolate. Very smooth. Well-balanced and full-bodied.

For those of you that like full bodied beer with little carbonation then this beer is for you.

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Photo of ElliotNess
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

German Tradition lives on... but doesn't innovate.

A very great amber/red color glows with this filtered d-bock. Not a very present nose all I could notice was a slight fruit and toffee touch. Taste was nothing more then a traditional d-bock sweet maltiness and good mouthfeel. A sharp bite of alcohol but easily drinkable.

Probably great on-tap, or very fresh.

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Photo of HazelEyedHippie
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A yummy dark beer! Tasty, looks great, just a great beer all around. Highly recommended if you're into dark beers. It's not TOO dark, it's just right. I picked it up as a single bottle, but if I were in the mood for a dark beer, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up more than just the single. ;)

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Photo of oberscrc
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I have had this beer from the bottle and the tap many times, this review is based on my tap experience.

A: very deep red, almost black if not holding it to a light, pours a thick reddish white head.

S: sweet tangy smell, like that of mollasses; very slight astringic alcohol smell

T: taste a lot like it smells, notes of caramel and mollasses throughout; tap has more noticeable alcohol favor than bottle, almost no hops to speak of

M: coats the mouth and feels velvety like a good burgundy wine, all parts of the tongue are activated with each sip

D: this beer will go to your head if not careful, although there are beers with higher alcohol content very few seem to be this smooth; great beer to drink at a bar

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Photo of DurtyUI
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of the purest pours I've seen in a while, her crystal clear perception radiates in atomic hues of autumn sunsets... A misty eyed head that dissipates into just a hint of lather and lace.

Her warm molasses scent is less those earthy blues that domestic beers writhe in, this beer is certainly a deutschland dubbel-spaten. The kind that sneaks up on you for her above 7% alcohol.... oh sweet deutschland!!

After her scent of seduction her smooth almost doughy malt sweetness that tingles on the tongue right before taking over your soul... Missing that rough bitterness of domestic hops there is something romantic about an authentic European style beer... almost like drinking wine... if you do that sort of thing.. which i do not..

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Photo of Psyopticon
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This will be my first review of a Beer and I'm truely excited to start off with the Spaten Optimator. With this said, keep it in mind this is my first as I go through the A.S.T.M.D of it.

I came across this beer in a German style tavern located in Silver Lake, CA named "The Red Lion Tavern". I never really expanded my tastes passed the normal domestic beer, so this was my first real break outside of common grocery store beer. I randomly picked Spatan Optimator and this is how it went.

Appearance: At first, I was rather intimidated. It was dark, and was barely transparent towards the bottom.

Smell: The smell was actually quite nice, different than any other beer I've smelled at the time. Had a rich caramel smell to it.

Taste: The ultimate. I never really understood why people liked tap beer at the time I tried this. But after tasting this out of a bottle later on, I realized why. Like the smell, it tasted of Caramel which is quite nice, and really makes this one of my favorites.

Mouthfeel: The S.O does have somewhat of a syrup-like texture yet somewhat smooth, but this isn't something that really concerned me.

Drinkability: With this beer having a decently high ABV of 7.2%, it's not really a beer you can have a few of and be fine. I had 3 glasses the first time and it pretty much kicked my ass at the time being the lightweight that I am. But it was the perfect drink to go with a pretty gnarly bratwurst & sauerkraut.

This is at the currently point in time, my favorite beer right now, and It's a joy to bring a 6-pack of it to a friends place and watch them enjoy it as well.

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Photo of plaidowl
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The firs thing that I noticed was the beautiful, deep rosewood color. The smell has a coffee tone to it, with chocolatey-cherry hints in the background; in the taste, however, their places reversed. Primarily malty, but with the undeniable presence of hops in the flavor. Full bodied flavor, with a roasted-sweetness and a mildly bitter finish.
Review based on a bottle aged at least a year in my fridge, so, in my experience, the head was minimal and the bouquet was lessened. The feel remained effervescent, however.

Pair with sweet, rich foods. Ideally, I would drink it with a dessert that features real, dark chocolate. The cherry tones also lend itself to pairing with dishes that have actual cherries, like a cheesecake that has some. But, it also works well with an entree that has barbecue sauce.

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Photo of headbangingteacher
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Looks like flat Coke after the thin but aromatic head dissipates. The malts are pronounced from start to finish. Not as good as the Heffe, but a quality brew nonetheless.

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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

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Photo of BasementBrewerSF
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

The color is a deep copper hinting at red and brown poured in a tall pilsner glass. The head is nother more than a thin white line around the top of the glass with very minimal lacing.

The smell is a bit sweet, with a slight hint of alcohol.

I prefer the taste over the smell. The malt is complex but balanced very nicely with hops. Neither the hops nor malt shine through in this beer but both are very apparent but blended in a way that complement each other rather than fight each other. The malt leaves a distinct aftertaste of carmel and a slight roast.

The mouthfeel is crisp, light and not overly carbonated.

The drinkability is fantastic. Not too high in alcohol that you can not have a couple, enough flavors to keep the tongue guessing at ever turn, mixed with the lightness of a lager. I will definitely purchase this again.

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Photo of Kopp
4.85/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably my favorite beer - I've had it in both bottle form and on tap in Epcot Center, in the Germany Pavilion. The guy working at the beer tap urged me to try this beer and I am glad I listened to him. You can get it at many liquor stores and it isn't expensive, and the alcohol content (7.2%) is a bit higher than regular beers, but not overpowering.

A: dark brown/reddish, almost black color, slight head that does not stay around for long

S: glorious. Has a roasted malt and somewhat sweet smell

T: even better than it smells. Malty flavor that is sweet. Slight bitter but not until the very end.

M: smooth and nice, a bit syrupy but full - not really carbonated

D: would drink at any time

Overall: It was one of the best beers I've ever had, highly recommend. It is smooth, tastes malty, almost bready, and a little sweet, barely carbonated, and looks and smells as good as it tastes.

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Photo of uspbacchus
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A. Pours a nice dark mahogany, but still let's a little light seep through. Nice tan head that dissipates with minimal lacing
S. Nice and malty. Toffee notes dominate. Definitely smell the alcohol.
T. Toffee, caramel, nuts. Very good.
M. Thin, properly carbonated for the style.
O. Extremely enjoyable if your in the mood for a dark beer. Does well on the palate and the mouth.

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Photo of mcoh1030
4.97/5  rDev +27.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Have been drinking this beer since I was a kid. Was hard to find may years ago and originally it was only available to me at one place and on tap.

Sat down with a couple of bottles of it last night in order to write this review. First, make sure your drinking this beer very cold. Not frozen mind you, but very very "cold". I like pouring it into a frosty mug or glass.

Before pouring, let the bottle sit open for at least 3 minutes. Pour it moderately fast so as to get a nice head. Loads of smells here. Liquorish, coffee and fruits are easily detected.

The color and texture could be stronger/deeper. But I'd still give them a 4.5 to 5. Drinkability is outstanding. This is a beer that's made for empty stomach pounding. It's a meal within itself. So make sure your not drinking it on a full stomach. Lite food fair or a small amount of prezels at most with this one.

Taste is perfect. Lots of fruit but underneath not too out front, as it should be. Makes for a great drinking doppelbock.

Best in winter. Very heavy for a hot summer day/evening.

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Photo of LongsPeakAveBrew
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from a 500ml bottle into a tulip,

Thick Tan head on a dark brown body. Shows a dark Ruby with good clarity when held to the light. Head fades to a thin foam leaving little to no lacing.

Sweet caramel and a little smoke

Definite malt dominance but not overwhelming. The nose had me worried that I was in for a cloying sweetness. To the contrary, the malt goes from caramel to biscuit then herbal spicy hops, all the while maintaining a very nice balance.

Mouth feel:
big, chewy, and viscous. light carbonation.

A nice big meaty beer. Drinkability suffers due to the viscosity and sweetness, but the size of the beer does a good job of masking the not insignificant alcohol.

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

bottle into mug

A: Very dark with off beige head, an inch thick. Good retention and lacing.

S: Butter, caramel, chocolate, malt.

T: I got pretty much the same things I smelled in the taste.

M: A little watery for my taste, but definitely creamier than most beers.

O: I didn't like it as much as everyone else apparently. It seems to have a little bit of skunk to it.

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Photo of madstoutmonkee
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Nice go to beer year round. Dark, a bit sour on the tongue, and not too thick. Low carbonation and a high alcohol content make for a beer that will give you a nice buzz before filling you up.

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Photo of weissbierhead
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark brown color with a creamy head. Looks perfect in a glass. Malty flavor. A couple of years ago, I wouldn't have even tried a doppelbock. Thanks to this site it is now one of my favorites.
The only reason I give it an average rating on drinkablility is that it fills you up, really fast.

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Photo of K270
4.72/5  rDev +21.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

I'm not one to drink a dark beer. When I poured the beer into a clear glass the head was bountiful. Nice thick white head about 3 fingers thick. It stuck around a while then went away. A had a very nice smell, almost a mild spiced smell is the best way I can describe it. I might have to change my position on dark beers. I picked this up because it looked intresting and it's a very interesting beer. I'll definatly buy this beer again.

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Photo of DubBrewer
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass, the beer has a deep mahogany color to it. A nice half inch thick head formed on top, and it settled down after a minute or two.
Smellls of espresso, chocolate, and roasted malts. The beer smells great! I held it up to my nose, just smelling it and enjoying it.
Tastes rich and full, with a clean finish. Some notes of chocolate linger in the finish. Mouthfeel is average, and I have found other Dopplebocks to have more of full bodied flavor. Maybe this one is just a tad bit watery.
I find the drinkability to be good, I think I could put down a couple of these pretty easily in a session.

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Photo of dedrick
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Somewhat dark. Reddish color. Appears to be quite bubbly. Only about a half inch of head which was gone within a few seconds.

Smell: A bit musty. Hoppy and distinct.

Taste: It's a little bit harsh but in a good way. At 7.2% it has a tiny bit more bite than some beers. Some bitterness and almost a little tangy? Finishes with a slight sweetness. Pretty good overall for being somewhat of a higher alcohol beer. I've had some 7 and 8% beers similar in style that do not seem to make sense with the amount of alcohol. In other words it sometimes seems that the extra harshness from the alcohol doesn't mesh with the beer.

Mouthfeel: Seems like the effervescence is slightly more than usual. Nice feel on the tongue. Creamy and smooth but with that subtle bite at the end.

Drinkability: VERY drinkable for a 7.2%. Smooth, not too sweet or heavy.

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Photo of zagduck
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark, reddish amber color with a decent white-head

S: Lots of malt and yeast. Smells fairly sweet similar to dried fruit but not nearly as pungent

T: Sweet initial malt flavor, finishes with a smooth hoppy taste. The yeast is detectable in the finish but not overwhelming. With bigger drinks you will taste a little bit of the alcohol; however, it well balanced.

M: Not overly carbonated, but in this case that is a good thing. The carbonation suits the beer in this case.

Overall: Not world class by any means, but Optimator is a great beer. If you're a fan of the style, give it a try. If not go ahead and try it anyway. I would say that it is much better on tap (what beer isnt) but still excellent out of the bottle.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 1,297 ratings.