Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
1,329 Reviews
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

Brewed by:

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

For Trade:
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,329 | Ratings: 3,032
Photo of leokbelo
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
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.

 424 characters

Photo of mklinger
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Poured from a green bottle into a shaker pint glass. A 1/4 inch head formed then dissipated pretty much immediately. The beer is a brown color just slightly lighter than Coca-Cola. In lots of ways this beer looks like a Coke -- Brown, very fizzy, with no head.

Aroma is pretty desirable -- lots of malty, bready character with a little sweetness and some molasses. In lots of ways it smells like a sweet fresh hot loaf of pumpernickel. No real hop aroma, but not is expected for the style.

Taste is much lighter and weaker than the aroma set me up for. Remarkably dunkel like. Doesn't have all the extra malt richness that I expect from a doppelbock. It doesn't taste nearly as malty or sweet as the aroma lead me to think. Quite dry with a decent bit of roast in the finish. Mouthfeel is much lighter and fizzy than I would have liked.

I gotta say I'm kind of disappointed with this one. Not as strong as I thought it would be.

 931 characters

Photo of Hoagie1973
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours chestnut brown with a 2 finger noisy head. Head settles but doesn't disappear completely. Not a whole lot in the way of lacing.
Smells sweet & malty with a hint of earthiness.
Tastes rich, sweet & malty with brown sugar/molasses, dark fruits, nuts, and a bit of alcohol. Medium to full body with slightly sharp carbonation. Finishes a little sticky and syrupy.
Not a bad dopplebock overall, especially for the price. Solid, but nothing special. I would buy it again.

 472 characters

Photo of letsgopens
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

This quality Doppelbock pours a clear, woody copper with ruby highlights. The frothy, light tan head recedes at an average pace and leaves some nice walls of lace behind.

Tons of sweet caramel malt and a distinct nutty, buttery biscuit character. A hint of earthy fruit and syrupy sweetness. More buttery fruit comes through at the end.

Buttery, nutty, caramel sweetness with dark fruit, apple, black cherry, and yeastiness. Grainy with buttery, toasted dark bread. Some mild sourness with faint booze. More yeasty dark fruit rounds out the finish.

Bright and crisp for the style with mild acidity and a yeasty, starchy feel. Moderate carbonation and full body for the style.

 680 characters

Photo of Vengeance526
3.48/5  rDev -10.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Pours a dark reddish copper color with a 2 finger tan head that lasts for a good while before slowly subsiding leaving some nice lacing.

Smell is slightly bready, slightly nutty but definitely a roasted malt character.

Taste has a nutty profile along with raisin and some bready notes. It hit me at first that this is not my favorite tasting doppelbock but it gets better as you drink it.

Thick and full bodied with medium carbonation. Not the most drinkable doppelbock for me. This one isn't bad by any means but compared to many others, Optimator just doesn't hold up.

 573 characters

Photo of geexploitation
3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spaten Optimator pours a very dark brown with relatively little head. Aroma is pretty complex, with molasses, malts, and cat pee sharing center stage. The flavor is big and round, with malts in the forefront from the get-go. Starts on out the front of the tongue with molasses and metals, then fades after swallowing to a dirty sweetness and increased metallic feel. This beer is thick and viscous on the tongue, and lingers on the palate. Still, it's pretty drinkable and, if not for the alcohol, could be chugged with abandon.

I thank the strangers in that bar in Buffalo for introducing me to Optimator. It's certainly not the best doppelbock around, but it's hard to find a better tasting imported doppelbock at this price.

 730 characters

Photo of Enola
3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

This beer is a shade darker than sweet tea. There was a small head. The smell is of vanilla and spices. Smells like a winter warmer. The taste is sweet and malty with a bit of the alcohol chiming in. The mouthfeel is fair, the abv shows up here as well. I could drink this beer again. Average for the style.

 307 characters

Photo of GossageBrewery
3.47/5  rDev -11%
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.

 424 characters

Photo of Folderol
3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Beautiful looking beer - poured a nice thick 3-finger off-white head that very gradually receded to a sheet. Dark brown body, just like I like 'em. Smell was faintly skunky; I'll blame the green bottle. The taste didn't really impress me - it was definitely malty, but not as roasty as I would have liked. I understand this is a doppelbock, so I shouldn't be too surprised I guess. The flavor reminded me a lot of Old Chub scotch ale without the smokiness. It's a very simple malt flavor, no hoppiness, no toastiness, just malty. This is my introduction to the style and I'm sure to find more complex brews out there.

 617 characters

Photo of CMW
3.47/5  rDev -11%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

The pour yields a dark almost amber color with a nice thick head of around 2 inches. After just a few seconds the brew settles and gives you the perfect trace of head to accompany the darkness of the beer. The smell is roasted malt with a hint of caramel.

The taste is thick and full flavored but very smooth. Many different tastes come to mind. Roasted malt and hops are the first things to hit the taste buds. As I savor the drink a little more I taste hints of chocolate and fruit. There is a slight bitterness in the aftertaste but it finishes dry.

 554 characters

Photo of deltatauhobbit
3.46/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber/copper color with a good sized creamy head, good retention with some lacing.

Smell is slightly sweet but has a distinct lager aroma, not quite as aromatic as other doppelbock's I've had.

Taste has a good creamy texture with good carbonation, primarily malty, not overly complex with the flavors, slight coffee aspect, definitely not my go-to doppelbock.

 374 characters

Photo of xgrigorix
3.46/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Twelve ounce green bottle - no dates.

Deep chestnut brown, dense off white head.

Caramel malt aromas, along with some faint vauge hop notes.

Plenty of malty caramel goodness. A touch of dark fruit, and subtle hints of chocolate. Herbal / grassy hops lead to a dry finish. Medium bodied, modereate carbonation.

 318 characters

Photo of codfeast
3.46/5  rDev -11.3%
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 -11.5%
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 -11.5%
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 -11.5%
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 -11.5%
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 -11.8%
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 -11.8%
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 -12.1%
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 -12.1%
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 -12.3%
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 -12.3%
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 -12.6%
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 -12.6%
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

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,032 ratings.
  • About Us

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • BeerAdvocate Microbrew Invitational

    Join us June 2-3, 2017 in Boston, Mass. for beer, cider, mead, kombucha and sake from over 70 small producers.

    Learn More
  • Subscribe to BeerAdvocate Magazine

    No fake news here. Get real beer content delivered to your doorstep every month.