1. BeerAdvocate on your phone?! True story. Try the beta now.

Spaten Optimator - Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

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

2,274 Ratings
very good

(view ratings)
Ratings: 2274
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
Sort by:  Latest | High | Low | Top Reviewers | Read the Alström Bros Beer Reviews and Beer Ratings of Spaten Optimator Alström Bros
Ratings: 2,274 | Reviews: 1,247 | Show All Ratings:
Photo of Brad007


3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber/brown color with a small head, some lacing. Aroma is strong with hints of caramel, brown sugar and malt sweetness. Only the second dopplebock I've had. The taste starts out sweet and malty upfront and fades into a caramel aftertaste that is kind of thin. A second sip confirms the same, being almost too sweet. A good representative of the style but by no means better than Celebrator.

Serving type: bottle

09-10-2007 00:06:37 | More by Brad007
Photo of JohnGalt1


4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz picked up at the Coop for about $2.00.. poured into my New Belgium goblet.

Short lasting off white head.. with only spotty lacing.. brew is walnut with garnet highlites.

Aroma is all dark bready malts.. some toasted malts with a good whiff of cocoa.. dates and other dried fruits come through.. dark caramel becomes predominant as it warms.

This is my idea of a dopplebock.. I like them with a touch more malty sweetness. Dark malts at the front of the palate.. slides into a chocolate fig concotion.. with a light cocoa and dark malt finish... slightly chewy malt presence is apparent through the entire sip and adds greatly to the overall complexity... very smooth.. sorta creamy and long lingering flavors for a German lager... nuttiness as it warms... very very clean and super smooth... finish is very long.

I am a sucker for German lagers, and Optimator is great. For some reason, I rarely buy them.

Serving type: bottle

01-18-2008 10:15:46 | More by JohnGalt1
Photo of Georgiabeer


3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Hadn't had one of these for a while and so picked up a sixpack. My mother-in-law was coming to town and she likes malty, dark, German brews, so I figured this was perfect- fits the bill without being too challenging. She had a couple before I realized that these were 7.2%! They certainly don't taste that strong and it had been years since I had any. Pours a very dark chestnut, not quite opaque and with very little head. Nice estery and malty nose with some light spiciness, malt, warming alcohol, and thin caramel. For me, what comes through mostly in the taste is the thin caramel rather than a rich maltiness. I like my Dopplebocks a little maltier tasting than this, but it does have a fairly elegant profile. Relatively thin in the mouth, but very smooth and way too easy to drink. I'd prefer a Celebrator if I'm having it alone, but this does pair very nicely with food with its smooth maltiness.

Serving type: bottle

10-26-2008 17:59:53 | More by Georgiabeer
Photo of smakawhat


4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pokal glass. Been awhile for this guy and me.

Ah what's that I see? A green bottle. Now I remember why I have never bought this before. However, on the pour she comes out deep dark brown and fills with a thick licorice viscosity. They body color is the same but has lots of deep red along the edges. A simple three finger foamy tan head, evenly made settles the top. A pretty nice looking doppel here, I can't see any rising carbonation cause it's so dark.

Classic notes of toffee and caramel like malts on the bouquet. A crisp sensation sort of herbal slightly and many brown spices of clove, nutmeg and so on. Seems very clean and light on the nose, with a bit of candy licorice to match also. Very nice. The skunk monster has not luckily made an appearance.

Palate is very light and refreshing. Hints of toffee and tea herbality mixed in with licorice in the mid palate. Mineral almost crisp body, but good amount of light toffee, caramel and some of that black licorice coating and taste on the palate. Slightly boozy warm but not too much.

Overall pretty good, glad to have tried it. Fits in with the classic doppelbocks in style nicely, sort of an easier drinking lighter one if I could say that.

Serving type: bottle

03-21-2014 03:51:53 | More by smakawhat
Photo of mothman

United Kingdom (Wales)

3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light tan head. Good retention. Color is a dark copper brown.

Flavor profile: A lot of caramel malts. Raisins, plums, molasses, toffee, and some bready flavors. Dark fruits and malts. Sweet.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Medium to full bodied. Ends a bit sticky.

Overall, a nice doppelbock, but it seems to have a slight skunky flavor to it. It might be the green bottle playing tricks on my mind. Pretty solid offering.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2013 01:57:12 | More by mothman
Photo of superspak


4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/9/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with moderate streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, raisin, apple, molasses, toffee, toast, brown bread, floral, brown sugar, light roasted malt, and earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of malt and fruity esters. Taste of caramel, raisin, apple, molasses, toffee, brown bread, toast, brown sugar, light floral, light roasted malt, and earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, light fruits, molasses, toffee, brown bread, toast, and light roast on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity ester flavors; with nice robustness and zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick and creamy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with almost zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent doppelbock. Very nice balance, robustness, and complexity of malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

Serving type: bottle

04-10-2013 05:15:20 | More by superspak
Photo of Derek

British Columbia (Canada)

4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another nice product from Spaten-Franziskaner.

A: Ruby brown, nice head/lace.

S: Fruity, malty (caramel?).

T: Bready, caramel, hint of chocolate, prunes, slightly fruity (more than most lagers/dopplebocks). The taste fits right between Salvator and Celebrator.

M: Light-to-moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable.

I think this one's under-rated. It's better than Salvator!

Serving type: bottle

10-31-2005 23:25:46 | More by Derek
Photo of Dogbrick


3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bottle at Winking Lizard. This brew is a deep mahogany color with a medium thin light beige head that dissipates fairly fast. Thin rings of lacing on the glass. Aroma of malt, molasses and a bit of plum. Medium body with a sweet toffee and malt character. Light fruit and hops are present as well but the sweetness dominates. The finish is sweet with caramel and roasted malt and leaves a molasses and brown sugar aftertaste. Decent overall, although it swings a little too far to the sweet side.

Serving type: bottle

09-25-2008 21:29:51 | More by Dogbrick
Photo of kylehay2004


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

A: half finger head on a deep amber hazy body.

S: sweet caramel and chocolate malts and cocoa.

T: malts with dark fruit and lots of dark chocolate with some toasted malts.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is a nice beer but a little less spicey than I like for the style. Still a good beer to have routinely.

Serving type: bottle

05-11-2012 01:28:22 | More by kylehay2004
Photo of OWSLEY069


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

Poured into a Spaten tall half liter glass with a deep dark amber hue, a white head that that did not last too long. Aroma of dark fruits and slightly alcoholic. It has a lighter body and a nice bitterness to the dark fruit sweetness. The alcohol is not as noticable, but it does pack a punch.

Serving type: on-tap

06-08-2007 11:08:03 | More by OWSLEY069
Photo of tavernjef


3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Clear ruby-copper color up to the light, amongst the shadows it lurks as chestnut brown. Thin tan cap delevops late after the pour, surmounting down quickly to a very thin collar. Minimal spotty lacing which melts away.

Aroma is mild and wavering of dark caramel, slightly roasty toffee, dark cherry notes, and touches of molasses.

Flavors are nice, starts a bit slow and wet but builds to some lightly chewy and medium richness of slender roasted caramel and toffee. Drops of sweet dark fruity things. Nice sticky finish of sweet caramel malts lingering.

Feel is about medium with a thicker sticking finish, a bit subdued and slim. Not as thick the whole way through nor as creamy as I would've liked to seen. This seemed just a bit weaker then I imagined it would be. Expectations sometimes are never met. Still good, just not great; so I'd have this again.

Serving type: bottle

06-25-2004 17:50:51 | More by tavernjef
Photo of Cyberkedi


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

Pours a beautiful rich chocolate brown. Aroma is strong, mainly malty, and tempting. Flavor is rich and malty with hints of toffee and a smoky undertone. There is not the least bit of bitterness. Smooth, very pleasing, this beer is great all by itself, especially after a meal.

Serving type: on-tap

09-03-2007 01:51:49 | More by Cyberkedi
Photo of avalon07

South Carolina

3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: When I poured this beer from a bottle to a mug, it had a dark brown color and a slightly thin consistency. There was a small amount of head, but it lasted awhile.

S: There was a sharp aroma, with hints of coffee, sweets and malt coming in. Not overwhelming in this department, as most German beers aren't.

T: The flavor was just OK. Malt, some hops and barley, coffee and some sweets (toffee maybe?).

M: A fair amount of carbonation and a decently smooth finish. This is a medium-bodied beer.

D: Overall, this is an alright beer, though it didn't blow me away. There are better doppelbocks out there.

Serving type: bottle

05-06-2008 13:13:13 | More by avalon07
Photo of Bitterbill


3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pors from 16.9oz bottle a deep amber with a medium sized head of foam that shrinks to just a ring around the edge of the glass and a little lacing.

The smell is of caramel malt.

The taste on first sip has a huge malt character. Lots of roastiness and grain with just a bit of caramel. Further sips in and I'm getting some of the alcohol but it's not intrusive; also, there's some chocolate and fruitness there, mostly a plum flavour that shows up mostly near the finish which itself ends up slightly on the bitter side. It certainly is smooth enough and easy drinking so I'll have to watch it...;^)

Bottom line: This is a good Doppelbock that is worthy of a try.

Serving type: bottle

03-17-2007 00:19:10 | More by Bitterbill
Photo of largadeer


3/5  rDev -22.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

Mahogany hued, capped by a thin beige head. The nose is heavy on raisins and prunes, with nutty, bready malt beneath. There's a slight vinous aroma that lends some complexity. The palate is very similar; a lot of raisin and prune flavor above a backbone of toasted malt. Moderately sweet, fairly vinous toward the finish with some metallic astringency. This isn't bad, but it's far from my favorite doppelbock. Too reminiscent of prune juice.

Serving type: on-tap

01-04-2011 22:15:32 | More by largadeer
Photo of twiggamortis420


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

500mL brown bottle with a stamp of L041936o, not even sure this is even a freshness date. Pours a clear, very dark shade of brown with some crimson highlights around the edges. Medium sized tan foam fades at a somewhat slow pace without leaving any lacing on the glass.

Lots of dark fruit and burnt caramel smacks you in the face on here. Very bready, smells a bit like a fruitcake.

This is one smoooth doppelbock. Creamy, toffee and caramel maltiness just glides through the mouth and down the hatch. The fruit that was so readily apparent in the nose fades to barely a whisper in the flavor. Some warming alcohol makes an appearance in the finish. This is a tremendously drinkable and flavorful doppelbock, there is always room for some Optimator in my fridge.

Serving type: bottle

10-20-2009 00:28:52 | More by twiggamortis420
Photo of BeerFMAndy


3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

A - Very dark ruby/ amber with a big creamy head that goes down fairly quickly.

S - Insanely malty sweet with bread and molasses in the background.

T - One of the maltiest beers I've ever encountered. Intense toasted malts with a huge sweetness and every-so-slight bitter molasses.

M - Syrupy with a definitely smooth mouthfeel.

D - For a fuller bodied beer it's somewhat drinkable but it's thickness and sweetness knock this guy down a few pegs.

Serving type: bottle

03-31-2009 19:13:14 | More by BeerFMAndy
Photo of RoyalT


4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance – This came out a dark brown in color with a beautiful, gorgeous head. The off-white head on that almost-black body in the football-style German glass was absolutely gorgeous.

Smell – The burnt molasses and dark lagered grain worked well together, although the overall aroma was dull even as the bier warmed.

Taste – The molasses was super-strong just as I like it. The grain was expertly lagered and very dark. The luscious sweets were sharp but not attention-grabbing. All together this was damn near perfect.

Mouthfeel – This was just shy of medium-bodied and not bitter but still had a sharp, strapping molasses bite.

Drinkability – I had this with a brat and bread at Prost in Seattle with my good friend skyhand and boy did it remind me of the Fatherland.

Serving type: on-tap

08-26-2006 01:41:36 | More by RoyalT
Photo of GarthDanielson

North Carolina

3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle for "German Night" in the house. Drinking with brats and kraut. Poured into a mug, this is a lovely dark brown/caramel coloring with a large, foamy, light head. The smells are rich in malt. The increased carbonation helps to balance the heavy molasses flavoring. It's sweet and bitter at the same time in mouth, and surprisingly smooth. Very easy to drink, especially with this type of meal. Fantastic to drink, and even better to cook with.

Serving type: bottle

12-10-2010 01:05:57 | More by GarthDanielson
Photo of DrDemento456


4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this before but never reviewed it. Got it in the variety case for 32 dollars so around 8 bucks a sixer.

A - Expected darker but it poured a fair dark clear brown with a minimum layer of head.

S - I can smell the alcohol and glad its faint and buried under caramel and what smells like burnt brown sugar. Bit of dark fruits and bitter molasses too.

T - Taste is surprisingly light which means my palate is used to heavy beers. I get a brown sugar not as burnt as the smell followed by a bit of alcohol that sticks to the finish with a sweet caramel and fig base. Solid beer.

M - Not as heavy as I remember drinks like a medium bodied DIPA.

D - I used to fear this in my Variety case and now its the most flavorful offering in it. Alcohol is there and well hidden. Best Doppelbock I ever had!

Serving type: bottle

03-07-2011 00:45:30 | More by DrDemento456
Photo of ZAP


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

I'm working my way through some different doppels and this is another good one but not one of the top ones I've tried...It is dark brown in color...minimal head...malty aroma with some alcohol on the nose..I like the way it tastes...It's sweet but easy drinking...not as much taste complexity as Salvator or S.A. Double Bock Still a very good doppel...On the deep finish I do sense a bit of a hop bite trying to balance out the sweetness but it's hard to distinguish immediately...Overall this is solid, but not spectacular...

Serving type: bottle

03-01-2002 01:28:41 | More by ZAP
Photo of scruffwhor


3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Pours a medicore tan head with pour retention. But a great, deep ruby, light leathery brown mixture which light can penetrate beautifully. There is a little hint of maple syrup in the nose of this lightly smokey and deply toasted malt dopplebock. The taste has plenty of ruby tasting malts. Hints of dark fruits and even a slight hint of licorice in the finish. Very smooth a mildly sweet palate. This is a very easy to drnk beer beer considerng the abv. I would definetlly think of this as a session beer if the alcohol content wasn't high.

Serving type: bottle

12-06-2007 06:28:03 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of tone77


3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a green 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is a bit sweet, and malty, a bit bready. Taste is also bready, sweet, lots of malts, very easy drinking. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer worth checking out.

Serving type: bottle

12-07-2009 23:41:56 | More by tone77
Photo of bark


3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The colour is brown (25 EBC), the liquid clear. The finger thick head is compact and off-white, it sinks into a thin lid leaving very little lacing.

The smell is a bit weak. Sweet malts, caramel and some flowery notes. Hints of old oak wood and smooth alcohol.

The taste is malty and smooth, the alcohol is well hidden. Tree/oak-flavours, earthy notes of mature whisky/brandy. Semi-sweet notes of caramel and brown sugar. Full bodied flavours. The aftertaste brings some more earthy notes as well as minerals and a touch of molasses. The finish is smooth with fine caramel flavours.

The carbonation is medium strong; the bubbles are mid-sized. The liquid is a bit light and somewhat sticky.

Not bad at all, but it might lack some complexity that I want in a Doppelbock.

Serving type: bottle

06-16-2013 19:00:01 | More by bark
Photo of flagmantho


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

Poured from 16.9 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: dark woody brown with a two-finger persistent tan head. Quite nice.

Smell: thick malt with a little pear aroma tossed in. It's also got a bit of an unctuous tartness in there which I feel I cannot adequately describe. Still, pretty interesting.

Taste: lots of malt which develops into the same pear/tree fruit that was present in the aroma. Fruity is a good word to describe it, but it is a heavy, syrupy fruity which means serious business. I don't know from doppelbocks, but this tastes pretty good to me.

Mouthfeel: big body but it doesn't coat the mouth like syrup. Pretty good.

Drinkability: this stuff is pretty tasty to me, but it is a little bit of a one-note song (OK, a two-note song--malt and pears--but you get the idea). I'll finish this one gladly, but it's a little sweet and monotonous to session.

Serving type: bottle

11-06-2009 00:33:13 | More by flagmantho
Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 2,274 ratings.