Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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BA SCORE
87
very good
1,317 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:
1,317
Ratings:
2,988
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
18.51%
 
 
Wants:
90
Gots:
410
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 1,317 | Ratings: 2,988
Photo of navinsula
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beer came in a small 10oz stien. the color was a nice dark red that was almost not transparent, with a thick white head.

the smell is very nice with some rich chocolaty notes and small amount of roast.

the tast is great with rich chocolat and toffey, but not overtaking.

mouthfeel is very smooth and full body

one of my favorit beers of all time when its on tap, and is still pretty great out of a bottle

 408 characters

Photo of steelreign
4.57/5  rDev +17.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Jeez, if the bar I had this at didn't have about 60 more comparable beers like this, I would have drank this all night! What a fantastic display of the style....rich, dark brown in color with tons of sweet malty goodness balanced nicely by the hop level. Smooth, luxurious mouthfeel, with some spicy notes along with the roasted malty complexity. Very much recommended, especially if you typcially like big beers in this mold (Celebrator, etc...)

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.56/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep ruby in color, with a torrent of carbonation. Topped by a massive, creamy light tan head. This is quite persistent and lends a nice creaminess to the whole drink.

Rich, slightly toasty toffee-like malt aroma.

Flavor starts with a hint of tang, but quickly settles down to a smooth, rich, caramel malt. Something of a one-note beer, but what a note it is! Medium-bodied. Incredibly smooth, and not a bit cloying. This is amazingly drinkable for something this sweet. A classic.

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Photo of kvnstfrd
4.56/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

Poured from a 500 ml bottle into a 12 oz. mug.
Dark copper color when held to the light with a tan head that dissipates quickly into a sticky lace. Smells of caramel, toasted malt and some spicy alcohol fumes. Big, viscous body with light carbonation. Taste of toasted, bready malt, caramel and a grainy, cereal-like flavor. A light dose of alcohol and hop flavor in the finish. Not as sweet as a Paulaner Salvator and not as hoppy as Ayinger Celebrator; somewhere in between. One of the better doppelbocks I’ve tried, and one of the lesser expensive ones.

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Photo of delcobrewzzz
4.56/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into seidel mug...

dark amber...actually reminds me of 12 year or older whiskey...nice creamy head that dissipates quickly

nose is not too assertive....bready caramel but a bit thin

flavor is full but mouthfeel less full-bodied (a bit more carbonated than i remember)...getting that lovely dark dried fruit preserves (raisins), bready/malty backbone that lingers a bit then fades fast...sure, the ABV is sensed, but very easy to drink....complex enough for what this is...an excellent example and a go-to for seasoned and newbies....

wait! hold the presses! i just felt something was missing...

i decided to pour the 3/4 that was left into a tall mega-pilsen glass...what a difference...skinnier, undimpled glass allows more light into this still very dark amber doppelbock...head lingers much longer and continues to lace as it slowly settles....nose stays the same...taste alters quite a bit, so am pleased to get more malt backbone, a more mellowed sweet dried-fruit marmalade note (actually a lemon-meringue instance, too)...so a citrus, oranginess comes through...the mouthfeel 'seems' less thin and the effervescence is not so distracting. interesting. still highly recommended.

choose your glassware wisely...!

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Photo of Scrapss
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow. Optimator delivers big-dopple in a very nice package!

Appearance: dark, tinge of ruddiness, about like a glass of Coke, little active carbonation. Little lacing to none.

Smell: HUGE chocolate maltiness, minor sweet boozy notes. Slightly discernable hop note that is dominated strongly by malts.

Taste: big, sweet malty, caramel goodness, not annoying but persistent never the less.

Mouthfeel: the lack of highly active carbonation leads me to believe that the prickly finish cannot be due to carbonation. Dry "side of tongue" feeling says carbonation, but it's not overly carbonated. Sweet, lasting finish leads into a small dry hint. Booziness gives warming feeling as completion nears.

Drinkability: This could get ugly for anyone without self-control. But it's super-smooth and drinkability is bar-none. This could definitely sneak up on the unsuspecting due to warming and light-sweet finish.

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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 adamette
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Live review. Served on tap at Winking Lizard in Mentor. This is the glass of the month and so it is served in a great looking 0.5L Spaten Optimator stein.

A Great looking light brown head over a dark caramel brown translucent body with carbonation visible rising up.

S Great malt and barley smell without any hops bitterness. True to the style and really great.

T Ahhh...that great malt and barley of a classic dopplebock. Spaten Optimator has long been one of my favorite beers and it is a beer that led me away from BMC 10 years ago. Just a great molasses type taste with a bit of syrupy stickiness to it. It finishes light though and there is a great taste left of medium to dark malt.

M Carbonation dances accross the tongue along with the feel of sweetness. Again, right on target for the style.

D Good for a beer with a modeastly elevated ABV. I easily finished the 22 oz. stein.

Notes: Again I am partial to Optimator since it was one of the beers that got me off of BMC. It challenged me to consider higher quality beers and taught me that beer can have a taste worth seeking out. Prost!

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Photo of russpowell
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

.5L bottle

pours dark caramel with a 1" tan head. Zero head retention & lacing

Smell: Big breadiness and spice (peppery)

Taste: Malt, vanilla, and peppery (like a dick cheney 28 gauge shotgun blast). Dryness, slight nutiness, some hop bitterness and alcohol on the finish

MF: Slick& chewy , good carbonation

Pretty drinkable, but I consider this the low end of the dopplebock spectrum abv-wise. yummy just the same! Just didn't quite come together from the crtical beer drinkers's view point. Enjoy!

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Photo of stouty1
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Served in a big ol' German style mug. Dark brown with ruby highlights reflecting through the cut glass. Nice 2 finger head which lasted to a milky cream lace which remained on the surface. Smells of caramel and dark chocolate malts. Mouth picked up some fruit (apples and pears), sweet initial hit. Noted a dark maltiness just before it went down with a slight bitter aftertaste. Showed just enough alcohol to keep the warmth, well masked behind the hoppy bitterness. Very good draft beer!

Serving them up at Metzger's in Ann Arbor.

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Photo of dfried
4.53/5  rDev +16.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Very dark brown, not quite see through, with a reddish tint to it. Large bubbly, perfect head. Quite tart, yeasty and malty smell, very deep with a lot going on. The first note I wrote down was "So fruity it's outrageous," and it was. There is a noticable fresh, toasted grain malt flavor, but the taste is dominated by fresh fruit, mainly rasberries and other brambles at first, but the finish reveals even more flavors, apple, plum, dark grapes, and I don't even know what else. This was sweet and fruity almost even to the extent of a fruit lambic, but there was much more of a toasted malt character to set it apart from a lambic. It has a dry, slightly chewy mouthfeel. This beer is about as drinkable as a doppelbock can be. It's a little heavy, but it tastes so good you don't stop wanting more.

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Photo of IntriqKen
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a 24 oz brown bottle (not green).
Pours a very impressive cream colored head of medium sized bubbles that seems to last throughout the drink. (I may be drinking too fast<?>)
Aroma first hits me with apples...red apples...I've never smelled that in a beer before. Then it followed by sweet roasted malt.
Mouthfeel is full...creamy....tiny bubbles playing with my teeth and tongue...swallowing produces a pleasant alcohol warmth.
Taste is malts, carmel, toast, light, light, leafy hops and a light sour fruit (raisens?Apples?)....setttling to a thick sweetness and dry hop with light alchohol for the aftertaste.

Very, very nice.
I picked up a single of this having wanted to try it for a long time.
Next time I'll be buying a 6 pack.
---
I've since picked up a 6 pack and have had 2 from it. I've enjoyed them as much as the first one and everything I noticed at first, I still see, smell, taste, and feel. Really a unique beer.

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Photo of Dubblebock
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Spaten Optimator is one of those brews that sort of snuck up on me. I'd heard about it for a while, seen it many times, had one or two friends recommend it, but never tried it. Gotta tell ya, though, I'm sorry that it took me this long to give in. This is one well-made doppelbock, for sure. Spaten generally does not disappoint, and this beautiful beer is certainly no exception to their fine lineup.

It pours with a nice head that hangs around for a couple of minutes. Deep, rich, carmel-toffee-coffee coloring. VERY interesting nose on this sample. Hints of fruits, crisp apples or pears perhaps, clean and fresh.

The taste was very, very smooth for a 7.2% ABV beer. Lots of malty sweetness with only a slight alcohol bite towards the back of the tongue. Malt, malt, and more malt. Bits of toffee-caramel flavors collide with the fruity sensations. Nicely complex, but not overwhelming at all. The beer just got better as it warmed.

Very good mouthfeel...exceptional drinkability for a beer this big. Smooth and likable, this is a beer that I will invite home again soon. I'd like to pair it with some roast, or maybe it would make a good after-dinner drink around the holidays.

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Photo of corey0212
4.52/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Pours a deep mahogany/ruby color, short-lived sand-colored head fades to a nice collar of foam, and lots of spotty lacing on the glass. Smell is freshly baked bread, some nutty aroma, and a faint whiff of alcohol. Big, rich malty taste, very bready/doughy, perfect balance between the sweetness and a very mild bitterness. This beer is sturdy! Very creamy, carbonation is righteously mellow. Wow. This is something you could drink all year long, and with a variety of different foods. I'm loving this brew!

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: A brilliant dark brown pour crowned by a dense, clingy, cream 2” cream colored foam collar that slowly recedes. S: Fresh dark bread, spice and a hint of banana. T: Bready malt, a hint of cola, spice and a dark bread crust bitter. F: Very smooth medium low carbonation, medium full body. O: A wheel of Rocchetta, a fresh baguette and an Optimator and you have "Le petit Jésus en culotte de velours."

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep-crimson/mahogany in color with an off-white head that drops shortly after pouring but maintains a good-sized creamy collar and more than adequate surface foam. Very nice. The aroma expresses rich, toasted Munich malts; a hint of fruit; a slight whisp of alcohol; and a light touch of background hops. The body is medium/full with a very fine and slightly moderate carbonation that leaves it smooth and creamy across the palate. The flavor delivers a rich toasted malt that's laced with fruit and some minimal hop flavor; as well as some clear alcohol. It's very well balanced and the sweet malt is always kept in check by a firm, underlying bitterness. It finishes dry with just a swirl of fruit and alcohol; and the malt never clings to the palate. Very well done! One of the classics of the style.

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Photo of HopHeadKen
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Part of a side by side Dopplebock tasting with Optimator-Celebrator & Salvator. A lot of fun and an interesting way to compare these classic rich beers.

Deep brown color, with hints of amber. not quite as dark as Celebrator.

Smell is rich sweet & malty.

Head is thin & tan, fades fast to nothing but an edge ring.

Mouthfeel is full & viscous, smooth.

I love Dopplebocks and this one is great. Could drink it often if availabliity allowed.

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Photo of stegmakk
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Nice dark brown in color. The litre that was poured for me did not have much head to it. Malty aroma and flavor (but not overpowering). Went down extremely easily. But it was very filling. Did not have much room for dinner. I was very surprised to find such a high alcohol content when I went to buy some later in the week. Does not taste that strong.
Overall excellent.

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Photo of abriggs1
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 2.5

If you can find Spaten on tap there's not much better. It's good in the bottle too though. It has a very unique taste that's very German. It's so complex it's very hard to describe but there's some raisin, burnt toast, and nutmeg. You can't drink a lot of this stuff because it feels like a lead weight in your stomach.

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Photo of ronzorelli
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I love this brew.

Pours from the bottle into a glass with a beautiful mahogany hue, dark and mysterious.

Mouthfeel is silky and full. Very sultry and alluring.

Aroma is slight dried fruit and dark chocolate.

Taste is... Wow! Delicious and addicting. Lots of dried fruit in the hints, and reminiscent of a high quality barleywine.

A knockout!

Pairs well with a heavy, dark cigar. Enjoyed it with a JFR 770 LE and together, they were magic.

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Photo of John
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draught. Lovely appearance in the 20oz. pint glass. Gorgeous, dark, malty. Alcohol is evident in the aroma with smells of dark bread, caramel and coffee. Sweet, dark roasted malt flavors are balanced well with the alcohol kick. A perfect nightcap or with a hearty meal. Outstanding.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark brown with a huge head which slowly dissipates. Leaves some nice lacing. Scents are of sweet coffee/malt. There's a nice sweet taste with a medium body. This is not a Celebrator, but true to the Doppelbock style. Still it is very drinkable and many can be had, a nice session brew.

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Photo of bareju
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%

500 ml bottle.

Has some great dark fruity notes than other malt heavy doppelbocks lack. Sweet, fairly full mouth and a good bit of carb. Definitely malt heavy, but the tastes of dates and plums really help balance this out and make it more complex. One of the best doppelbocks I've had.

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Photo of Pauly2X
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A- Nearly black, deep red amber in color. The one finger head faded but left some nice lacing.

S- Smooth roasted malts and dried fruits

T- Great hop/ malt balance throughout. Sweet roasted malt flavor without the dirty bitterness sometimes encountered with roasted malts.

M- Wonderful smoothness really complinments the flavor.

D- 7.2 abv is the only thing in the way here.

A truly great dopplebock, when you take into account the price and availabilty, its hard to beat.

 476 characters

Photo of beerogre
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Unless my parents turn around and tell me I'm adopted, this beer is likely to be the biggest surprise for me in 2007. As one might expect, the supermarket shelves in Central Florida are almost completely dominated by the usual macro suspects. The tedium only ever being broken by the occasional arrival of a Samuel Adams seasonal like Octoberfest or Winter Lager. So it was with extremely low expectations that I decided to examine more closely several unfamiliar looking brands which were either new arrivals or that I had simply just not noticed before in amongst the Heinekens and Dos Equis.

A Doppelbock? - Had this been delivered to the wrong store?

Well I like doppelbocks, and really, just how bad could a beer be with an abv of 7.2%? - So in the end the purchase was an easy decision.

Not only was I rewarded with a fantastically malty, beautifully sweet gem of a beer, at just the right strength I like (a couple of steps up from session, but not a one punch lights out merchant) but when I returned to the store the next day to buy some more (I pretty much drank it all in one go) I found it was now on sale.

I normally like to have several different beers during an evening, but the fact that I spent Labor Day Eve drinking nothing but this beer is a testament to how much I enjoyed it.

This was equally a great find and surprise.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 1,317 ratings.
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