Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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BA SCORE
87
very good
1,318 Reviews
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Germany | website

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:
1,318
Ratings:
2,995
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
18.51%
 
 
Wants:
93
Gots:
411
For Trade:
0
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,318 | Ratings: 2,995
Photo of codfeast
3.46/5  rDev -11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

bottle to stein.

A: Dark amber, 1/2 foamy tan head.

S: Malt, yeast, and bread.

T: Sweet malt, caramel. with a little alcohol on the back end.

M: Medium carbination, a big creamy mouthfeel, booze seems to clean out all the sweetness for a drier finish.

T: It's a good beer, and for $1.99 for a 16oz. bottle will pick one up again.

 334 characters

Photo of dcam1437
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Drank out of a pilsner glass

Poured a dark amber/dark brown color

Not too much of a smell to this beer

Initial taste is a semi-dry semi-sweet vanilla, oat,cherry and chocolate

Feels heavy in the mouth

The beer is very drinkable, I would not drink many of these back to back but it is a good sipping beer with a lot of character.

 333 characters

Photo of oline73
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at Max's. Served in a Spaten mug.

Appearance: Pours a reddish brown with a half finger of off white head that disappears completely.

Smell: Very sweet. Malt along with some caramel and some grape as well.

Taste: A lot like the smell. Very malty with strong hints of caramel and grape. There is some alcohol and a mild bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the thick side of medium with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a nice beer to drink in the fall. Quite malty. I would have liked a little bit less grape flavor.

 570 characters

Photo of Anthony1
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Dark reddish brown body with a one finger tan head that looks beautiful in this glass. Transparent body with very little visible carbonation.

Dark bready malt (pumpernickel), cherries, raisins, and a good shot of caramel. Not mind blowing, but pleasing.

Sweet cherries lend a syrupy flavor up front with a hearty, bready backbone and a finish of raisins, toffee, and caramel. This is a very robust, hearty beer. Very satisfying.

Just a shade below full bodied with perfect carbonation. A very thick, lush mouthfeel. Big fan of this component.

 545 characters

Photo of ibashmuck
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Purchased as part of "build-your-own-six-pack" at local grocer.Small foamy head on a very dark amber body. Smells of a typical dark, yet very subtle. Not much else going on. Taste is okay, but the coffee was a bit much, rather overpowering, as was the alcohol. Beer gets lost in those characteristics. Not typically my favorite style, but this is okay. I've had better.

 369 characters

Photo of Colt4540
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark amber color with a finger high off white head that leaves decent lacing and leaves a film at the top of glass throughout the beer.

S- First smell is that weird green bottle beer smell. It gives way to a sort of bread smell with a slight hop smell.

T- Has a real strong malty bread flavor. It's sort of sweet with no real bitterness. Tastes way better then it smells.

M- It's really smooth and not to chewy with just of a carbinated crispness.

D- A really smooth easy drinking beer. You could drink alot of these if the 7.2% ABV didn't eventually catch up with you.

 625 characters

Photo of Troy-Hawaii
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought from Liquor Collection. Very dark brown color, slightly heavy mouth feel, you can taste a feel the alcohol in it so it is a sipping beer but is smooth, strong malt taste.

 178 characters

Photo of guinnessfan
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into Williamsburg Alewerks pint.

A: Clear, dark brown with a caramel hue, topped off with a 1/2 finger head. Quick to recede the head leaves little lacing. Constant flow of tiny bubbles from the bottom of the glass.

S: Mild, earthy, roasted malt, slight sweetness. Sweet roastedness, like weak coffee.

T: Not bad. Smooth & sweet but somewhat metallic. Would be better if the metal was absent. All malt, no hops.

M: Smooth, silky, creamy. Leaves a sweet aftertaste, though.

D: Nice & smooth, easy to drink, but a little too sweet and slightly high in ABV.

 590 characters

Photo of Drew966
3.43/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Spaten Optimator pours a dark brown with ruby around the edges and an off white head from a green twelve ounce bottle. The aroma is bread like malt. Sweet malt dominates the flavor. Alcohol is definitely noticeable. Not really my favorite style, but this is a decent beer that is certainly worth a try.

 302 characters

Photo of bashiba
3.42/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured a cola like shade of brown with a thin tan head, little lacing and retention.

Smell was light with sweet malts and a slight mustyness.

Taste has a light sweet but toasted maltiness with hints of cedar. Finishes with a slight earthy and musty hop taste.

Mouthfeel was light and slightly creamy

Overall easy to drink, but far from great.

 354 characters

Photo of beerandcycling88
3.42/5  rDev -12.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle into my Iron Horse mug.

A Pours a dark brown, with a white 2 finger head.

S Has a almost fruit like nose that hints of apples.

T Kind of sweet, with some dark fruits. A bit of hops, and a metallic kind of taste that kind of kills it for me.

M A very smooth light mouthfeel.

Overall this isn't a bad beer, its kind of enjoyable but there is nothing about it that really stands out to much.

 416 characters

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

A little plain for the style, but also nice not to have it over the top. I don't consider it an adequate tasting beer, but a very good drinking beer. Bit caramelly sweet, with few other flavors involved, at least as far as my mouth is concerned. A lethargic thumbs up.

 268 characters

Photo of 99bottles
3.41/5  rDev -12.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a rich amber-brown body with a weak fizzy head that had poor retention. Thin off white lace remains atop the beer while being drank. Some slight lacing on sides of the glass.

Smell: Not very impressive. Some very sweet malt notes, but not very strong. Soft and round buttery smell.

Taste: Bland, I thought. The main taste is of sweet carmel malt and rich dark malts. Somewhat good interplay between a dry toasty aftertaste and a syrupy sweet forefront. This really lacks the nice fruity esters of some of the better dopplebocks. Alcohol is not obvious, but it is apparent. Very understated hop taste.

Mouthfeel: Decent. Smooth and rich, minimal cloying. Very faint carbonation.

Drinkability: Nothing wrong with it, I could have a few. The question is, why would I go to town with a boring dopplebock with the likes of Celebrator and Salvator out there? Take the training wheels off and go for a slightly more interesting take on the style. This is not bad in any way though. Oh yeah, this review was for a green glass bottle from a cooler, but I don't think that threw it off any, as I've had it before and thought it was constant.

 1,161 characters

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,

Apperance:
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.

Nose:
Sweet caramel and a little smoke

Taste:
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.

Overall:
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.

 717 characters

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

served on tap in Germany pavilion in Epcot at Disney World, Orlando, Fla.

I was very happy to see a dopplebock as an option as extent of craft beer I've seen in Disney thus far is Sam Adams. Anyway, this beer is kind of average for a dopplebock in that the flavor and aroma are pretty standard, however not as bold as most. There is a malty, slightly chocolaty aroma and the flavor has a bit of a dry mouth aftertaste where a hint of hops is detectable. It is slightly on the lighter side of moderate body and gravity, so it isn't hard to get thru and doesn't weigh you down (not til the 2nd one at least). If you're looking for a bold dopplebock, this may not satisfy. However, it drinks nicely as a mellower DB while walking around Epcot's world showcase.. In a tropical storm, in my case today.

 799 characters

Photo of scottoale
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Bought this one cheep, $2 for a half liter brown glass bottle with a pink and gold label and nice neck foil, different than the one pictured here. It pours a dark copper-mahogany with a cream colored head that stuck around for a while. It settled to about an eighth of an inch with some healthy lacing trailing behind.

Nice sweet roasted malty nose, hints of caramel and earthy soil. Tastes rich and malty, some toffee and nuttiness comes through, with a grassy hop mellow finish. A little on the sweet side, hops seem a bit weak, alcohol is present but the body is lighter than I was expecting.

A bit watery in the mouth with a gentle warming as it leaves with a tad bit of a sweet finish. It fits it's style, I preferred the Celebrator I had yesterday over this one however...

 785 characters

Photo of Mustard
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Presentation: 12oz. green bottle; no "bottled on" or "best before" warning, though none probably needed; purchased as a stray single from Trader Joe's for $1.00.

Appearance: Pours a garnet-tinged, dark brown; smallish, beige-colored head; b-cup's worth of lace; not much in the way of head retention.

Aroma: Somewhat faintly of dark bread and molasses.

Taste: Sweet, thick malt profile, albeit understatedly so on both accounts for the style (in my experience); primary flavors are of toffee, plum-like fruits, molasses and grain; medium-full body; smooth, creamy mouthfeel.

Notes: Timid taste profile for the style.

 628 characters

Photo of TheFlern
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Dark brown with a little bit of reddish hue. White head dissipates to a very thin layer. No lacing.

Smell: Lots of luscious malt. Slight metallic taste in the background (probably from age).

Taste: Follows the nose. Slight skunk taste, most likely from age.

Mouthfeel: very smooth, good amount of carbonation.

Overall: I wish I could get this fresh. This is a good beer I can tell but age has taken its toll. Its too bad American breweries cannot produce top quality doppelbocks at this price.

 511 characters

Photo of Beerwithoutallthehops
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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 markskar
3.4/5  rDev -12.6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Just had the S'muttonator and thought I'd try out a Doppelbock from Germany. I don't usually buy German beers--and it's not because I don't think they're good, but because I can't understand for the life of me why they continue to export their beer in green bottles.

Everyone knows that green bottles contribute to deterioration of the smell and taste of the beer. I mean, honestly, there must be tens of millions of Heineken and Becks drinkers in America who believe that their beer is <u>supposed<u/> to smell and taste that skunky.

But I digress, and will now proceed to review this particular bottle, which was in fact very tastey with a minimal amount of skunkiness to it. I won't be buying it regularly, but I'd definitely recommend giving it a try.

A - Pours clear dark copper. Nice beige head that settled pretty quickly. Not much lacing from this bottle and the carbonation quickly dissipated.

S - Not a very strong smell to it, but I was getting roasted malts and a nice fruitiness (like apple juice--not cidery though). As said above, minimal skunkiness *grumble*.

T - Lightly toasted with a strong estery fruitiness (again, with minimal skunkiness). Not very hoppy but good enough for my hop-bite-craving-palate. Overall, very pleasant.

M - Nice body, very smooth and not-too-thick, not-too-thin.

D - Quite drinkable, very pleasant abv in moderation.

 1,381 characters

Photo of elgiacomo
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz green bottle, undecipherable date code. Pours brown (red under light) with a small tan head. Fades very quickly to a small ring and doesn't leave a bit of lacing. Completely flat by the time I'm halfway through the glass.

Aroma is caramel malt, raisins, figs, and other dark fruits, dark bread, cinnamon. Quite malty on the nose. Strength diminishes as it warms.

Flavor features toffee, caramel, dark fruits, a bit of chocolate, bread, some sweetness, not cloying, but becomes more pronounced as it warms.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, low to medium carbonation.

Nice Doppelbock, not to the level of the excellent Ayinger Celebrator, but MUCH better than the sticky sweet ones such as Sam Adams, Primator, etc.

Glad I tried it...I've been wanting to explore a few other Doppelbocks and ultimately I'm finding it is a style I don't particularly enjoy despite being a fan of malty beers. Too thin and too sweet...would rather spend my money on some Dirty Bastard, etc...

 975 characters

Photo of falloutsnow
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a transparent reddish-amber in color into my Celebrator glass. Head is off-white, about 1.5 cm, and lasts a minute or two. Descends to a thin ring around the glass for the rest of the session. Lacing is very present, pronounced, and quite nice. Some minute amounts of visible carbonation.

Contrary to what seems to be consensus among other drinkers, I don't find this beer to be anything more than average in scent. I pick up heavy malts, a very slight amount of vague dessert spice, and syrupy dark fruits (think dried plums, not figs, which as a grower I can assure you are not necessarily "dark").

In taste, I pull up heavy, bready malts at first, blending into essential nutmeg oils, ending with a dash of alcohol and brown sugar. The aftertaste is a overly sweet, a bit cloying. Could have used a tad more hop character to cut this. As a side note, this is definitely a beer that improves in taste character as it warms.

Moderate carbonation fitting for the heavy thickness of the beer and its style. Finish is fairly dry and astringent, though not completely. All seems in order here.

The Optimator remains one of those standby doppelbocks if one can't find any superior beers of the style available. The price is generally right, and this is an standard bearer of the style, but it still pales in comparison to the pinnacles of the style due to its lackluster scent and somewhat tame taste.

 1,407 characters

Photo of NicholasCasber
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A: Poured a nice dark brown, with little to no head, but a nice ring that has given me a little lacing.

S: The smell was very pumpkin in aroma with a quick hint of vanilla.

T: The pumpkin smell carried through to the taste, however, it just may be my untrained tongue not picking up on the right flavor notes.

M: The beer felt fairly watery, but not overly so.

D: Average on the drinkability, for no other reason than that pumpkin taste.

Overall, good beer, not the one I'd go for every day. Cheers.

 505 characters

Photo of StevieW
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A nice looking deep dark brown to black color. Thin beige head. Decent roasted carmel, toffee sweet smells. Tastes were sublte, roasted carmel malty sweetness, slight bitter finish. A bit thin watery feel for a dopplebock. There are other more tasty dopplebocks out there, IMO, Salvator and Celebrator rank ahead of this one.

 325 characters

Photo of TheDeuce
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a hazy dark color, very malty profile in the head and aroma. Taste is dark, somewhat sour malts come through, a hint of licorice, finishes dry not that smooth. Alcoholic but well hidden, very balanced and flavors do not muddle, overall a solid beer.

 255 characters

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.89 out of 5 based on 2,995 ratings.
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