Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
1,332 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

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Reviews: 1,332 | Ratings: 3,042
Photo of Madmax99
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoy this beer a lot because it's a darker beer that I enjoy drinking year round. Very little head and a non existing lace, and a deep redish amber color round out the appearance of this fine brew. This beer drinks very well even though a slightly higher alcohol content, which doesn't over power. The sweetness of the beer is well balanced with a slight dryness, but the maltiness will linger on the palate.

I like to pair this beer with romano and asiago cheeses, try it sometime


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Photo of wahhmaster
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 3 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 12 oz. bottle into 19 oz. tulip pilsner glass (once again, I really need better glassware; this pilsner glass is terrible).

Appearance: Really nothing going on here. Dark, kind of reddish color, with almost no head. Whatever head there is dissipates quickly and leaves no lace.

Smell: Awesome. Sweet caramel malts come through strong in the smell. One of the best parts of this beer.

Taste: Really good. Sweet, malty, good. The caramel malts in the smell come out well in the taste. This beer also has a nice roasted aftertaste that lingers for a while.

Mouthfeel: A bit too carbonated for me, but this doesn't really get in the way of the beer.

Drinkability: One of my favorite beers and a solid example of the doppelbock style. Highly recommended for anyone looking to get into doppelbocks.

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Photo of WilliamPhilaPa
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours brown with a ruby hue or tint. A tiny bit thinner body than some other German Dopplebocks, but this one nevertheless provides the alcoholic warmth typical of the style. Heavy malt on the nose and on the palate, along with dried fruit, toasted bread maybe, raison notes, little toffee as well. Good mouth feel. Another great DB…Doppelbock is just a great style, I don’t think I every had one I really didn’t enjoy…not yet at least…

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

7 Feb in my room at The Fishermans Wharf Sheraton in San Fransisco, picked from some all night store round the corner. This beer is wonderful, even out of a plastic beaker!

Deep brown body with a creamy biege head.

The nose is malty sweet: roasted/toasted caramel, red berries, toffee and trees.

The taste is a lovely sweet malty molasses mix: too sweet for some maybe, but not for me, I loved it.

The body is rich and full, the alcohol just about noticeable within the flavours.

A true classic.

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Photo of disastermouse
4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - What a beautiful brown semi-opaque beer!

S - This is the strongest aspect of this beer. It smells like malt and maple syrup.

T - Sticky, sweet malt...a tinge of hops to balance but overall not a hoppy beer. This is a really sweet beer.

MF - Thick, sticky, and a nice alcohol warmth.

D - Because of the higher alcohol content, I couldn't pound these back all night. Also, the sweetness is great for after-dinner, or for one or two, but would be cloying after more than that. This beer is amazing in small doses, but it loses it's luster after more than two or three.

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Photo of SFNC
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This to my knowledge is my first Doppelbock. Let's see where this goes. Pours a nice darkish brown with ruby hues, Clear with a moderate off-white head that melts away in a ring on the outside of the glass. Smells great! Dark bread, molasses, fruit, lot and lots of malt and just a little of herbs and hops. The taste is just like the smell, rich with flavor, a thick almost chewy mouthfeel that seems just right. This is a great brew, I'm looking forward to trying other brands of Doppelbock, though I would not hesitate to pick Spaten again in the future. It's a keeper!
Just a note, that i have tried several other Doppelbocks and this one remains my favorite, including the much celebtrated Cebrator.

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Photo of Dodo2step
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I purchase this beer at Market Cross Pub in Carlisle, PA.

A- dark and creamy

S-malty and enticing

T-a lil malty kick to it but it goes down very smooth.

M-tasty and brings the tastebuds to life

D-could def drink a six pack of this beer. My first time i ever heard or had one and i love it.

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Photo of 828beagle
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. A deep dark orange brown with very little head and light carbonation. Despite the head and carbonation characteristics it remains to be an alluring brew. Although there is little carbonation it does not taste flat. It has a distinct, lush, prune-like smell with hints of licorice. A bitter taste but not overbearing. Not very heavy, and this is deceptive, because you will feel quite a nice buzz after drinking a few. The first time I tried this beer I drank it straight from the bottle and could not really appreciate it. Upon second taste I rather like it. To sum it up, I would say it has good multiple personalities like a beautiful gothic chick you are just getting to know. But if you are not respectful she will kick your ass.

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Photo of roblowther
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Tapped at home. I may have the pressure a bit high, but it pours a full, dense tan head over a nearly black body. Smell is chocolate, prunes, and something lighter...lemongrass maybe? Taste is chocolate and caramel up front, the sugars receding into an, if this is possible, earthy but clean finish. It accomplishes this without being too dry. In fact, that finish is what distinguishes this from most of its dobbeplbock breatheren and makes it easy to drink quite a few of these. The mouthfeel is light and crisp, but with a silky substance. The drinkability? Dangerous, my friend. Having my own keg of this, I can say with some degree of authority that the light body and VERY pleasant, not too-assertive flavor combine for a combination that can easily lull you into over-indulgence. Good. Good, good, good, good good!

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Photo of plaztikjezuz
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

pours dark amber, light lace for a head.

aroma is mostly malt, slight hop.
flavor is mostly malt, followed by noble hop flavor, good bitterness, mixed with some dried dark fruit like dates. then the alcohol becomes apperent.

aroma is even more malty, very slight hop.
flavor is very malty, little roasty, more of the dried dark fruit (dates), bitterness is more present, caramal. alcohol.

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Photo of prsguitarsr4me
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Great beer - my favorite casual drinker that isn't lightish (that would be the Sierra Nevada Pale Ale). I'm definitely into darker beers, and while this Spaten isn't really insanely dark, it pleases my tastes. I probably drink this beer more than any other as it is affordable but still has a ton of flavor and and character. Recommended!

Purchased at Kokoman Fine Wines and Liquors in New Mexico.

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Photo of beerguy101
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, medium white foamy head. Aroma is malty and rich. Deeply roasted malts. A full-bodied Dopplebock. Malts are slightly sweet with a nice caramel flavor. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty and dry. Great beer.

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Photo of Mistofminn
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Has my first Optimator at an Easter party earlier today. I've heard good things about this and was eager to try it.

Pours a clear brown color, very close to mahogany. Creamy off-white head is produced but retention isn't all that impressive. Not great lacing either, however there are a few splotches here and there that stick to the glass.

The nose is roasted malts and a bit of alcohol. Pretty much what you would expect. Not bold or adventurous by any means, but an enjoyable aroma.

The taste surprised me. There is much more going on than the aroma lead me to believe. Slightly roasted malts, cocoa, caramel and nuttiness come to mind. Flavors become even more pronounced as it warms.

Medium bodied. Light and silky, very smooth. Very good drinkability. I would say this is a great introduction to the style, and anyone who claims to love Bocks would love this beer.

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Photo of jimdkc
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with maroon highlights, small head fades quickly. Aroma is subdued, carmel and a little alcohol. The flavors come in waves: initial sweetness on the tip of the tongue, followed by carmel malt, a little fruit and light coffee, a hint of hops, and finishing up with a nice alcohol warmness at the back of the throat. Enough body to coat the mouth nicely. Man, I love this stuff! I've had trouble deciding on a favorite beer style... but I'm thinking doppelbocks just might be it! I really need to do a side-by-side comparison with this and Salvator (another favorite of mine) some time!

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Photo of mhaws000
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured a nice deep brown with a light tan head that quickly receeded to a light lace that maintained throughout the beer.

S- toasted grain with a slight alcohol warmth.

T-Very well balanced with a full malty body that is wonderfully balanced with just a hint of hoppy bitterness and a nice warm heat from the higher alcohol content

M-Nice full-bodied feel but not syrupy. Enough "chewiness" to get noticed but not enough to make you think about it too long. Just right as far as I am concerned.

D-This is a long time favorite of mine and every time I have another I reaffirm that feeling. This is a very well made beer. Every aspect of it feels well thought out and executed. This is a great example of how good beer should be. The only reason I dont give this 5's is because Optimator doesn't "blow my mind" When I drink it I think "Damn that is good...really, really good." But this isn't the type of beer that makes you change the way you think about a style. It doesn't make me think that there isn't anyting better, but it certainly does make me realize how much better it is than alot of the crap that is out there.

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Photo of Bighuge
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Russet brown with very little head. Thick sweet maltiness on the nose. Here's a beer you can chew on. Massive malt blast on the tongue. Great taste. Pretty viscous brew. Hops are only around to balance the huge malt load. Very little hop taste or bitterness present. I get some roastiness, but not a lot. Seems pretty complex. Molasses taste is slight. I have actually had this beer for over a year and it may have developed some faint new layers. This is a great brew.

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Photo of Scooter77
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown almost black color with a slight ruby tint. A thick tan head arose and slowly died down leaving a thin lace. The aromas were quite complex with dark malts, caramel, chocolate, and a touch of fruity sweetness. The taste is somewhat complex also; there were hints of nuttiness mixed with sweet fruit and caramel. Alcohol taste was quite apparent, but it wasn’t overpowering so it mixed well with the other flavors. A mild alcohol and malt aftertaste was left in my mouth. This is a very complex and balanced brew; a must try.

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Photo of GreatWeisseHope
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with red undertones, light brown/tan head with good retention, filtered bright.

S: Prune, plum, raisin-good malty nose. Hint of chocolate. No hop aroma, diacetyl or DMS.

T: Malt dominant-nearly port-like. Dark fruits, light alcohol, chocolate in background. The sweetness in the finish is caramelly with no noticeable bitterness.

M: Good body-not too full. Low astringency, but slightly caprylic. Good carbonation, smooth alcohol.

D: Nice beer, not as complex as some (Celebrator), but hits the style well.

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Photo of stalker5
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber brown, tan head with good retention. Smelled roasted malts, dark fruits, a little alcohol. Can definitely taste some the dark fruits, roasted, carmels, brown sugars, very slight alcohol. Mouthfeel is heavy, smooth, and velvety. A good doppelbock; one I recommend for sure. Definitely better if you can get it on tap.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruby-infused dark walnut brown. The jewel tone red looks more orange when there's less beer to peer through, such as at the bottom edge of the glass. The pale cinnamon head is large to start, has a nearly blemish free surface and is a bit sticky where foam meets glass. Not too much lace, a few scattered splotches is all.

The nose is of roasted malt with a wee whiff of alcohol. It's somewhat disappointing since there's little chocolate or other interesting aromas that would give it depth or character. Then again... the nose takes on additional aromas--dark caramel especially--with warming, but still doesn't open up as completely as the flavor.

The flavor and the mouthfeel elevate things considerably. While the beer is nice and malty, apparently the malt wasn't roasted long enough to bring out much chocolatiness. Some cocoa flavor and some nuttiness is evident however. Hops are clearly subservient to malt, but I can still appreciate their flavor contribution, their bitterness and their ability to take the edge off of the malted milk ball sweetness.

I'm beginning to pick up some fruitiness and the beer is developing more layers of flavor, more nuance, as I enter the bottom half of the bottle. It's definitely coming into its own with warming; room temperature is the optimal Optimator temperature one might say. The body is medium-slightly full. More full than Celebrator, less full than Liberator. What was lightly silky initially is now silky and creamy.

Spaten Optimator is a good-very good doppelbock, but doesn't quite rise to the heights of my two latest beers in the style (Hooker Liberator and Sam Adams Double Bock). If you like doppels though, Optimator more than suffices. Just don't make the mistake of drinking it too cold.

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Photo of Squire123
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
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.

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Photo of MrGraybeard
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a 14-ounce tumbler at about 45 degrees. Tan head grew to about two fingers deep before gradually diminishing, leaving a light coat of lace behind.

The beer is sparkling clear, dark brown with a lovely reddish hue when held to the light.

Subtle hints of prunes and figs in the smell.

Bittering hops flavor is ample for a dopplebock, which really balances the flavors out. The malt isn't huge, but it plays well against the hops, leaving behind a fruity touch at the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel is a little light but certainly nothing to object to.

This is a very drinkable beer -- smooth but not cloying. It's not really a sipper. I could go through three or four of these if my better judgment didn't prevail.

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Photo of BastardKing24
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark prune color with minimal head that leaves no lacing, the color of this doppelbock is awesome. I like them darker compared to some which can be more of an orange color.

Smell is amazing with a big cherry and clove hit, then some banana, yeasty smells, dark fruits, molasses, and smoke.

Taste is refined for the style, yet very drinkable. Toasted caramel, banana bread, roasted malts, dark fruits, and clove.

Feel is lightly carbonated but with a generous slick feel to it.

Overall quite tasty, I have had this over 20 times and I never get tired of it.

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Photo of Avagadro
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: reddish-brown with a thick head that quickly fades into a thin film.

S: not the most aromatic of brews. Honey and toasted barley dominate.

T: malty sweet, with heavy doses of toast and honey. Almost like honey nut cherios in a glass.

M: full body, with a slight syrupy stickiness.

D: this is my go-to doppel. It may not be the best, but it is damn close, and a good bit cheaper too. A classic example of the style.

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Photo of BeerBob
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Optimator pours a extremely dark red that looks just as black as coal with a casual glance. The tan head formed a good three fingers, then leaves lace down the side of the glass as the Brew is consumed, for a picture perfect presentation.

Nose of burnt malt and fig, with whiffs of alcohol. Palate is a yummy sweet burnt malt, light in character, not syrupy. Also present are notes of coffee, fig, and caramel.

Optimator could easily become just about anyones number one or two favorite Beer of style.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,042 ratings.
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