Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
3,062 Ratings
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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Ratings: 3,062 |  Reviews: 1,336
Photo of Bierguy5
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Rathskeller in Indy. Tawny, carmel brown nearly black in color. Tan head disappeared quickly. Big malty nose. Roasty and robust. Big sweet malt flavors, slightly roasty. Caramel and toffee like flavors. Bitterness is held back pretty well, although there are some grassy hop flavors. Medium to full body, low carbonation. Pretty good dopplebock.

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Photo of redmagik99
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

ive had two quite different experiences with this beer. to start off with, i love the dopplebock style. the first time i had optimator i drank it with a dinner of marinated london broil, stuffing, and spinach. it was awesome. as all the other reviews say, this beer is undeniably hugely malty. i thought i would have trouble finishing the meal but the beer washed it down and turned out to be a great pairing. the second time i had it was a little while after a meal and my second beer of the night. this time i found it almost impossible to finish. i thought it might get a little better if i let it warm up but that made it worse. the big roasted caramel maltiness was just too much. very sweet, and very filling. the alcohol bite became all too apparent as well which is never a good thing in my book. so this review is somewhat of an average of the two tastings. bottom line is this is a solid dopplebock, but dont let it get too warm and you probably wouldnt want to have more than a couple in a short period of time.

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Photo of VoodooBrew
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quaffed this 20 ouncer at the Scholz Garten in Austin.

The appearance is a deep mahogany, almost rootbeer-like. Minimal head, but who knows if that's an artifact of how the beer was poured.

Optimator is clean, generously malty, and noticeably alcoholic. There is a tartness on the finish and a mild warming of the body brought on by Optimator's booze quotient.

All in all this is a pretty easy drinker for a Doppelbock. I was surprised by what I perceived to be a lack of complexity on the palate. All in all not bad but not great.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deeper amber color, but for the style it is a little light. Smaller than average sized, foamy, creamy, off-white head. Disappears pretty fast with a thin ring of lace.

S - Slightly burnt caramel and carob. Plenty of sweet dark fruit, especially raisin along with a plumy aroma and slightly jamy. Some dark, sweet bready malt as well. Some fruity, apple along with a hint of alcohol.

T - Like the nose, there is a good amount of dark fruit with raisin and a plumy flavor as well as a touch of apple. Also a fair amount of molasses and carob. Quite malty and some dark, sweet bread along with some slightly torched caramel. A touch of nuttiness.

M - Lighter side of medium (pretty light for the style) with about average carbonation. Smooth and a touch creamy, but just a little too thin for my liking.

D - Pretty easy to drink and enjoyable, although it is pretty sweet and has a pretty big jamy feel. Alcohol shows up but doesn't dominate. I could drink another but that's about it.

Notes: Enjoyable beer but not my favorite doppelbock. This one is more of a fruity doppelbock rather than chocolate. Definitely worth a try, especially given its history, but I don't think it is my favorite of the style.

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Photo of daliandragon
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The old spade pours dark brown with orange and maroon highlights at tthe bottom of my flute. About a finger of tan head unleashes a powerful nose heavy on the sweet malt with caramel and molasses notes. Also hints of figs and other dark fruits. The nose improves even more as it warms, nice.

A malty backbone paces the flavor but plenty of fruit joins in, particularly in the finish. A hint of alcohol spurs the whole melange forward. Typically sweet but more fruity and lacking the dryness of a lot of doppels that I've tried. Texture is thick and bready. The aftertaste reminds me of raisin nut bread or something similar. Definitely worth a shot if you like dark beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. The beer that once disgusted Amyliz4 but that she now loves.

Pours a moderate brown caramel color win a light tan head with some good lasting power in my pilsner glass. Nose brings caramel, toffee, and some light drugs. The taste is a bit sweet with some caramel, though not too much depth. Nice body and carbonation. A beer I used to drink fairly often and don't mind coming back to at all.

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Photo of brewmudgeon
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown/mahogany, not as dark as some brown ales. short head fades to a ring, leaving scant lace
smell is sweet malts, caramel, and dark brownies
taste much like the smell, but the chocolate is less brownie and more baker's chocolate. sweetness builds toward the bottom of the bottle.
body is on the full side of medium, low to moderate carbonation (much better than what i had on tap)
this beer seems not very complex but highly drinkable, though maybe a bit too sweet to have more than one or two.

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Photo of StoutyMcHaggis
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Pretty dark mahogany, almost cant see through it. Not cloudy or anything.

S-I smell tobacco, some kinda dried fruit. Very slight alcohol smell, almost unoticeable. Smells good.

T-Sweet raisens, almost a chewing tobacco after taste(if you've ever had Beechnut, you know what Im talking about). I like it, but I like tobacco.

M-Nice and smooth, kinda dry after taste.

D-Really strong and the tobacco aftertaste gets a little weird if your not smoking. Still, not bad for a 7.2% beer.

I like it and it wasnt too expensive($3 @ Roth's in Salem). Dont know whay I taste tobacco so much in it, but Ive never had this style before either.

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Photo of pandashaver
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Cola colored body with lightly tan 2 finger head, decent lacing but fades fairly fast.

S - Rasin, malty, bready, musty, aged cheeses, a little bit roasted as well.

T - Fairly sweet, a little bit bitter, and somewhat acidic.

M - Medium bodied, very full flavored, thick and syrupy in the aftertaste.

D - The malts are nice, but a little too dominating for me to drink alone. That being said, I'd have a few of these with a nice meal of pork or beef and potatoes.

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Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany amber, clear. Mild carbonation. Mild-moderate sized head that wastes no time residing to a skin-like covering.

Sugary dark roasted fruit. Mild floral hop.

Medium bodied. Tartly fruity and fairly light. Dry roasted fruit sugary sweetness. Understated floral splashes. So smooth, almost no carbonation. Sticky sweet thickness about the malt. This and the heightened alcohol content make it feel nice and thick. Seriously right-on in the feel dept. Finishes slightly dry, mostly clean.

Gets better as it warms, or as I warm. Either way.

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Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a sandy, off-white head about two fingers deep that fades to a ring of foam that still sticks around pretty good before sliding down edges of glass. Beer itself is deep brown with rubyish, almost orange highlights. Aroma is sweet, with a caramelly maltiness that lasts throughout the nose akin to frosted breakfast cereal, though not as cloying. A vaguely fruity, almost grapey hoppiness brings things to a close. Flavor is lighter than I expect from a doppelbock, and sweet; near-syrupy maltiness with more touches of caramel. Pleasant butterscotch and otherwise buttery flavors meld with a hop bitterness that emerges as the beer warms. Yeast is present in the midpalate but never crosses the line over to breadiness. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy, consistent with the sweetness of the aroma and flavor; not exactly firm, but consistently smooth with a clean finish. Drinkability is six-pack-worthy, but still on the sweet side. This beer doesn't strike me as being as complex as I once thought, but I still enjoyed this one.

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Photo of zagduck
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark, reddish amber color with a decent white-head

S: Lots of malt and yeast. Smells fairly sweet similar to dried fruit but not nearly as pungent

T: Sweet initial malt flavor, finishes with a smooth hoppy taste. The yeast is detectable in the finish but not overwhelming. With bigger drinks you will taste a little bit of the alcohol; however, it well balanced.

M: Not overly carbonated, but in this case that is a good thing. The carbonation suits the beer in this case.

Overall: Not world class by any means, but Optimator is a great beer. If you're a fan of the style, give it a try. If not go ahead and try it anyway. I would say that it is much better on tap (what beer isnt) but still excellent out of the bottle.

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Photo of BeerKnurd33
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of FaradayUncaged
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%

Photo of hockeyhead
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured into over sized wine glass
A: pours very dark ruby red with a nice tan fluffy head that stays on the beer
S: smells is very sweet carmel nose with a slighty floral hop aroma but mostly the malt comes through alot
T: taste is really sweet intense bready notes, and then some nice fig fruitness comes through with a finishing drying carmel bitterness mmm
M: feels thick and chewy in your mouth but goes down like velvety liquid that warms as it goes down probably the abv content of this beer gives it that
D: i have had better double bocks but this one is still really good if you just want one cause it fills your belly ha ha

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep ruby red with a thin tan head that leaves a ring of foam remaining.

S - Sweet caramel malt, bready, toffee with ripe fruit.

T - Bready malt with a bit of caramel sweetness, toffee and ripe fruits. A hint of roast in the finish with a touch of alcohol. Gets an herbal note as it warms.

M - Rich and chewy. A touch sticky from the malt sweetness.

D - A solid doppelbock a touch on the sweet side.

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Photo of rye726
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice mahogany color with a tan head that settles to a silky cover. Good lacing.

Lots of malts, caramel and ripe fruits. Some peppery hops and overall very earthy.

Nice malt profile with lots of caramel and sweet nuts. Candy and faint hops as well.

Good full body with decent amount of carbonation.
Good example of the style. Well balanced, but lacks the complexity of some better bocks.

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Photo of TastyAdventure
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Very dark amber, translucent. 1/2 finger head that dissipates to paper thin. the bubbles are very tiny

S - Dried out raisin bread, some sweetness

T - Dried figs? very sweet, slight roasted. Alcohol covered up real nicely by sweetness.

M - Nearly cloying. smooth.

O - Very nice for the price. Rich. A sweet treat.

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Photo of walleye
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

When I found out that this was a dopplebock I thought good because I lke dopplebocks and hoping it would be like my fravorite beer, celebrator.but no . but still a good beer. poured a light granet color with a light tan head. aroma, malts, yeast, chocolate, some alcohol, and a nice sweet sourness, hints of toffee. flavor, roasted malts, dark fruits, maple syrup, molasses, raisins.

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Photo of TurdFurgison
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a belgian goblet. Dark ruby color with frothy tan foam. Smelled malty like a doppelbock.

Taste was not as heavy as I expected, and a little skunked too. It's a nice doppelbock flavor but a little subdued. I prefer the richness of Salvator over this one.

Not bad and easy to drink. Just not the best of the style in my opinion.

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Photo of Notninja
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Tartarus
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A&S: Pours deep hazy brown with a bit of head. Smells of dark fruits and a bit of a boozy scent.

T&M: Get a lot of dark fruits in the taste, very nice but nothing earth-shattering. Mouthfeel is medium bodied but pretty drinkable.

O: I liked this one, a solid doppelbock.

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Photo of maxpower
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Deep brown-copper color, frothy off white head clings to the glass. Very malty roasty aroma, malty sweet caremel-toffee roasty flavors, full, thick mouthfeel, easy to drink and cheap for a good dopplebock.

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Photo of JayNH
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Pours a clear burgundy color with a small foamy head.

S- sweet raisins, buttery with a very tea like bitterness. A touch of alcohol warmth appears as the brew warms.

T- sweet, a very buttery maltiness. The hops are very earthy and tea-like.

M- Light to moderate body. Moderate carbonation.

D- Very drinkable. Nothing overwhelming but goes down easy for a DB.

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Photo of Chaz
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant cola brown in color (or brown-amber if you prefer), with ample carbonation. Forms a pale brownish-tan head, airy/rocky, of medium duration and with average-to-good lacing. Nose is sweet, bready, and malty, offering plenty of dark fruity overtones along with an oily, unctious quality and let's not forget the trademark dose of metallic tang. Some pale and biscuity malt notes in here too, but very little in the way of hops, as per style. First impression is of a fruity-sweet, tangy concotion with a good deal of malt character and depth. A touch of warming alcohol is also present from the get-go and it never truly fades, and indeed this alcoholic "heat" tends to add to its drinkability. Creamy smooth and medium-full bodied, the oily dark and roasted malt characters impart plenty of depth and balance, even where it might otherwise lack balance in terms of bitterness. Some might not find the abovementioned "depth" to be as pronounced as it is in certain notable Doppelbocks (e.g. Celebrator, Korbinian) but it is on par with other readily available examples (Tucher Bajuvator). Broader notes of plum and caramel interact with lighter notes of raisin, anise -and if you can find it- honey. Some lighter berry in the aromatics, too, as well as dried tobacco. Also, the metallic tang and unctious quality combined seem to impart a mildly spicy characteristic, which if I didn't know better I might put down to hop oil. Come to think of it, there's sourdough in here - how's that for bready? Very little bitterness here by the way, and the sweetness lingers in the manner of the Noble hop profile in a Helles. Warming if you drink it too fast (or if you have too many), it's a worthy sipper, and perhaps even better when paired with a meal. A longtime friend, Spaten Optimator is an excellent choice to make when it comes to pairing a robust, dark lager with some sturdy foodstuffs (game, chops, barbecue), it's also a veritable benchmark for its style.
Served chilled in a 250 mL mug.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,062 ratings.
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