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Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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BA SCORE
87
very good
1,326 Reviews
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Germany
franziskaner-weissbier.de

Style: Doppelbock

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

Added by BeerAdvocate on 04-06-1999

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,326
Ratings:
3,015
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
18.51%
 
 
Wants:
93
Gots:
416
For Trade:
0
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,326 | Ratings: 3,015
Photo of Dinglehacker
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, served in a mug. Massive head. Dull ruby color with little light.

Smells like chlorine and sweetness.

Tastes sweet, notes of red licorice, molasses sweetbread, plum. No evident hops.

Medium bodied mouth.

The sudsy smell promised disappointment, but the flavor delivered a typical, exemplary doppelbock. Not the best, but not a weaker example.

 355 characters

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

It pours a rich dark brown with light brown head. The aroma is of roasted malts with the taste of deep malts with a sweetness to it. Overall it is a deep rich doppelbock.

 170 characters

Photo of mvanaskie13
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a custom shaped glass: color is dark amber, head is light tan with fine to small bubbles, no lacing.

Smell is mild malt, toast, as it warms some of the deeper aromas emerge - raisin, plum like notes.

Taste gets to the deep, sweeter malt flavor more caramel/toast/bread/raisin flavors noted; some fairly strong hop bitterness with subtle earthy/dry notes. This particular bottle seems to exemplify this brew - unfortunately the green bottles lead to some off noted flavors in some bottles.

Mouthfeel is a bit cloying, but expected for this brew and the malt presence.

Overall a malty, sweet doppelbock from a place that defines some styles of beers. Great bready/fruity presence and some moderate hop bitterness to boot.

 738 characters

Photo of hman43
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: It pours brown with a brown head.

Smell: It has a very deep rich malt aroma.

Taste: There are flavors highlight by toast with some dark fruit. The flavors are sweet, rich and clean They feature toast, malts, and hints of dark fruits.

Feel: It has a full body that is smooth with some alcohol warming.

Overall this is a highly malted beer with little hops, but clean and flavorful.

 394 characters

Photo of sokol_1993
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pour from a 330ml Optimator bottle.
Look: Dark brown, mahogany. With little head, but ample of lacing around the glass.
Smell: From opening the bottle, ample of molasses, sweet malty smell.
Taste: really sweet, full of molasses and malt. Caramel, raisiny. A bit of hoppiness, just a little to balance out the sweetness a bit.
Feel: full body, but a bit bland at the end.

Still an excellent brew, even though it's from a "macro" brewery.

 442 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Brown in color, but still fairly penetrable to light. There's an inch of frothy and creamy brown head. The aroma is of caramel malt, Danish lager yeast, and a gentle German hop bitterness. The taste is a blend of caramel malt, Danish lager yeast, and a bit of skunk. The skunkiness faded as it warmed and I dug it much more and was getting toffee and more caramel. I don't taste the hops I could smell, though. I've kept the bottle refrigerated and in the dark, but it is nearly a year old. The mouth is a touch chewy and warm with alcohol.

 547 characters

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

Imported and purchased from cold storage. the label on the back says "03 2017" which I presume is the best-by date.

Appearance: It appears black or a dark brown until held to some light where it shows beautiful mahogany red and brown. The head is an eggshell white color with a touch of light tan and a creamy texture. It starts out medium sized and slowly fades to a thin surface. Fair retention and lacing.

Aroma: There is a very light plum aroma mixed with a standard malt scent. The aroma is nice but very faint.

Taste: Toasted caramel with a rich malty backbone. It is just what you would expect from a Dopplebock but done very nicely and without any looming overtones of alcohol or oxidation.

Mouthfeel: It Is in that middle ground between being a sipper and a light drinker. It is easy to drink with a thin texture and a medium body but the flavor is rich enough to force you from drinking too much at one time. The texture actually feels a bit too thin and despite the short head it feels a bit over-carbonated as well.

Overall; I wouldn't call this my go-to Dopplebock but it is enjoying enough to drink. I don't know that I would recommend it off-the-cuff or that I would even buy it again but it is nice enough that I can enjoy the six pack I purchased. As an import it stood up nicely without any signs of oxidation.

 1,333 characters

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

Brown pour, lighter brown head 1/2". Plenty of nuts, aluminum, toffee and dark fruit in the aroma. Plenty of alcohol too.

Taste was a hotter less hoppy brown ale, thicker, stronger. A lot of that prune, fig and raisin thing with dark bitter roasted malt that isn't that thick actually. Not a fan of what the lager yeast brings here, just doesn't meld with heavy roasted malt. I found it to be hot, bitter, expired dark fruit, reminded me a little of triple bock.

 470 characters

Photo of Brutaltruth
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This legend of a dopplebock
pours a lightly clear dark mahogany color with a nice head of off
white foam that settles to a thick ring with light lacing. Nose of
dark raisin bread, dark molasses, and nicely roasted malts. Flavors
lightly exceed the nose with nice breaded malts and raisins on the front
and middle of the taste, roasted malts and plum notes fall off on the sides
and rear, and a very subtle herbal hop appears and then sears into the
back with a nice warming booze. Nice mouth feel, slick, warming, and
delicious with a lightly bitter malt aftertaste. Overall excellence from a
great brewery.

Cheers

 659 characters

Photo of ordybill
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a dark copper color with a small tan head. The aroma is malt and caramel. The taste is an excellent match to the aroma with a small amount of hops. An excellent beer.

 235 characters

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

A - Pours a dark amber with a large foamy tan head. Light amount of spotty lacing.

S - Aroma is sweet malts and dark fruits.

T - The taste follows the aroma sweet bready malts, molasses, raisins and pllums.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Soft creamy mouthfeel with a sticky finish.

O - Very nice Doppelbock. Smooth and drinkable with great flavor.

 363 characters

Photo of Beerwithoutallthehops
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A very good doppelbock. It is more flavorful, more malty (ah!!! did I say that??!!) than even I prefer, but it is good. Comparing to the Warsteiner Dunkel, this is about the same. I consider both to be "liquid bread" type beers. A little much for me, I would tend toward the lighter Doppebocks, like the Leinenkugel "big butt" offering. But the flavor of this is good. I drank it a little warmer than I do usually and enjoyed it immensely. I prefer this "overpowering" taste to the 75 lb bags of hops found in most, if not all, USA "craft" 12 oz. bottles. Hops are bitter and "crisp" (in that they dont have a lot of flavor, just spiciness) and only prolong shelf life, which most breweries prefer.

I do not. Give me an accent of hops, like what is found in a lot of German beers, but not the overpowering bitterness, which strangles whatever malt may be found in the beer, to death, which describes most or all USA craft offerings.

Thanks Spaten, a good brew! Will definitely buy more.

 1,000 characters

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

Pours a very dark brown color.
Smell is sweet malt with a bit of dark fruit.
Taste is sweet bready malt with a strong rasin flavor.

 151 characters

Photo of Ozzylizard
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 1.89/12 oz bottle ($ 0.157/oz) at The Lager Mill, Frankenmuth, MI
Bottle dated 02.2017 at 42 degrees into hand washed and dried JK snifter
Aroma – lightly toasted malt, no hops
Head large (Maximum 5.5 cm, aggressive pour), light tan, creamy, slowly diminishing to a seven mm ring and layer of irregular thickness
Lacing fair – partial rings of tiny bubbles
Body – dark amber, clear
Flavor – begins sweet but not overwhelmingly so, toasted malt flavor predominates with just a trace of caramel, no fruity esters noted; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation

This is one from before I started my database in 2005 – sweet, smooth, an excellent example from my early non-BMC days that I haven’t revisited and rated until now. Not as good as I remember but those brain cells could have died.

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4, Overall 4

 893 characters

Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark brown body, little to no white head.

Smell: Dark fruits and molasses. Kind of like a fruit filled rye bread.

Taste: Same as the above, but with a distinct kettle corn flavor.

Feel: Medium body and carbonation. The alcohol isn't hidden very well, and drinks like an 8%-9% beer.

 290 characters

Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice and smooth , mildly bitter and smoky. Dark brown to black with small but substantial beige head. Aroma is roast grains, semi sweet chocolate, peat and dried fruit. Taste is mildly sweet with a touch of bitterness. Almost as good as Salvator.....

 250 characters

Photo of Squire123
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one sells for $7.49 a sixer at my local. When it shows up I buy as much as I can carry. Remarkable sum of the parts beer beginning with rich deep color, full mouth filling flavor and texture, so lavish it's hard to swallow because you want to keep on tasting. Malt forward, hops supporting like a beautiful sonorous piano backed by a string orchestra. Fortunately the aftertaste is a receding diminishment of the same. Another one to seek out wherever found.

 471 characters

Photo of ivehadthatbrew
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Look (3): Minus points for using a green bottle. Pours a rich mahogany brown color with very small carbonation bubbles that forms a lightly tanned topper. Head disipates quickly.

Smell (4): Dark malty bread and dried fruit aroma (like raisons or what I'd imagine chocolate covered figs would smell like if they smelled). Brings me back to my awakening beer, Trogenator.

Taste (4.25): Everyone has heard or used the term liquid bread, but that term definitely goes hand in hand with doppelbocks. Raison bread with caramel malt and candy. Sugary chocolate with plums or dried cherries.

Mouthfeel (3.75): I expected a bit more body, but when comparing this classic example to one of my all time favorite beers (Trogenator!!) it can't compare. Not as much body, not as big of a finish. It all kind of falls short.

Overall (4): A beautiful example of what a doppelbock is. I could have fun trying to blind this beer up against porters and eisbock brews in the future!

 967 characters

Photo of bigdeuce
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I wish Hofbrau and Spaten would start bottling in brown not green. That being said, this one doesn't smell skunked. It pours a deep, dark, mahogany color with a nice tan head. Scents of toffee, caramel, and plums on the nose. Tastes of coffee and dark chocolate. A bit over carbonated as the sweet balance literally fizzles out from the carbonation. Leaves a bit of an off taste because of it. Still, very quaffable and a decent beer but has a macro quality to it that misses the mark. Many better American versions are available.

 538 characters

Photo of Wer34truh
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a small head, which dissipates quite quickly.

Smells of sweet bread, caramel, and candy. The smell is definitely nuanced, but the sweetness is key here.

Taste is more bitter than expected from the smell, with quite a large degree of bitter malts, and grains. Also quite a bit of molasses. Mouthfeel is medium-light, with very little carbonation. Just the way I like it.

This is a fascinating beer, and it keeps surprising you after every sip you take. It's not complex the way, say a Russian Imperial Stout is, but whenever you think you've got this beer figured out, you realize something new. That's why this has me coming back to it time and time over again.

 695 characters

Photo of Beginner2
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this often because it goes with so many foods, particularly good at starting and ending winter meals. The malt works its way into lots of foods to complement, some of them spicy (always a pleasant surprise to me who likes spice.)
Some bottles seemed to be too carbonated... but I confess to inconsistency in mouthfeel and notes.
It is not in the top 5 dopplebocks for me, but is always welcome.

Beer is listed in the "1001".
MJ's 1999 edition gave it only 2 stars of 4 calling "creamy and nutty, but unmemorable."

 523 characters

Photo of JetFeather22
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best Doppel Bocks i have ever had, I cant believe i payed 9 bucks for a six pack of 12 once bottles.. Considering the price and the quality of the beer i'd say it doesn't get much better than this, I got to say that this beer deserves a higher rating that 87, Maybe it's the green bottle maybe some people have gotten a few skunky beer, Thankfully i haven't

 368 characters

Photo of Slowjamcdub
3.09/5  rDev -20.6%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Good doppelbock, and its exactly want you think of when you drink one. One of the best at this style, if your into this style brew. Good beer with a lot of Cherry notes. B- for me. Good beer

 192 characters

Photo of Bosazga
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

What I love about this beer (and Germans) is that they never change. THis is as close as I could get to a microbrew before I turned 21 (in 1989) so it has sentimental value...

It looks and pours great, with a dark caramel color that resembles coca-cola with a tighter head

smells malty, alchoholic and german - unforgettable (offensive, but not the same as) a BMW 320i with a leaky sunroof

taste is not much different from any other german beer, which makes you wonder when they bottled it. Still, it satisfies and helps one consider other cultures as they relate to brewing.

I've had this come across way too carbonated - it's almost as if the bubbles are bigger - I don't know if that's a thing, but there's a time and a place for it.

Thankfully, my local corner store owner's wife likes this beer, so I'll always have it close by for the foreseeable future...

Peace!

 876 characters

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

From a bottle: dark amber color, transparent. Prominent sweet smell typical of a dopplebock. This is one sweet malty beer: lots of caramel, brown sugar. Restrained hop presence. The beer is very viscous. From a bottle, I thought it was a bit flat and didnt retain its head very long. I initially tried this beer on tap and thought it was divine; the carbonation and head retention was excellent and the deep malty flavors perfect for the style. I have tried it in bottles afterwards and I think it is underwhelming by comparison. The first bottle had weird off metallic phenol flavors. The second wasn't obviously spoiled but didn't have the feel of the beer on tap. I think the bottom line is, this beer is pretty average in a bottle. Probably the style just doesn't store well. If you can find it on tap, go for it!

 832 characters

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.89 out of 5 based on 3,015 ratings.
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