Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
1,328 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: 1,328 | Ratings: 3,031
Photo of goochpunch
2.83/5  rDev -27.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

Poured out looking like brownish grape jello. Very little head, after forcing it, that fades out into a thin ring. Aroma is a little weak, but what I do get out of it is a kind of alcoholic cherry cola. Flavors are quite similar as in the nose, with the cherry and cola flavors, and accompanied by hop bitterness in the finish. The malt and the hops linger a good while after each sip. The downfall is in the alcohol. Not well hidden at all and gives a medicinal quality to this. Mouthfeel is thick and slick, coating the tongue nicely. Drinkability is really cut back by the presence of alcohol, but overall, is decent.

100th review = mediocre beer.

 653 characters

Photo of ElectricSalmon
2.86/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured from the green bottle into a pint glass.

It poured with a very thin head which disappeared quickly. Color was dark amber to brown and the head (before it fled the scene) was an off-white/kahki color. The beer was clear with a few stray bubbles visible rising from the bottom of the glass. Some ruby highlights when looking at a light source through the beer. to none. And what was there smelled more like Heineken. Dopplebocks are supposed to have a strong, malty aroma. This did not have that. Not even close. I didn't smell any trace of hops, which is not unusual for style..but there wasn't a malt component either. I don't know what else to say.

Taste....I seriously think someone swapped the label on this green bottled beer with a Heineken. It tasted like that. Maybe a little maltier...but only a little. It was a clean taste...but not the rich malty flavor a Dopplebock is supposed to have.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed. I've had this on tap at a local German restaurant and have enjoyed it. This bottled version, though, left a lot to be desired. It's not's just not particularly good.

 1,133 characters

Photo of dhannes
2.86/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 2.5

On tap, paired with Italian pasta, which might have been a mistake.

A=Nice dark amber, appealing

S=Slight wiff of hops

T=I haven't had one of these in years, but recall it being better than what I had. Not only did I find this beer somewhat lacking in flavor, but it was a bit sweet...not something I would go out of my way to get. I used to love bock beers, but have been disappointed in many to date, so maybe I've just lost my taste for bocks.

M=Good...bit too watery.

O=I simply did not enjoy this beer as much as others and will likely not try again.

 560 characters

Photo of BedetheVenerable
2.86/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz green (WHY??) pop top bottle. No freshness date that I can find.

Appearance: Walnut beer with copper highlights and a large dark ivory cap which fades to a thick, sticky ring.

Smell: Very grainy. At first, I thought I smelled a ghostly hint of skunk out of the bottle, but this seems to have (thankfully) disappeared. This is overall quite sweet and grainy, almost like boiling wort before the hops are tossed in. Maybe just a ghost of dark fruit, but this is very, very faint. This is pleasant, but a bit too one-dimensional.

Taste: The flavor sadly goes downhill. Quite sweet, and a bit caramelly, but without any real malt depth. There's a bit of sharp, almost bitter, booziness underneath, that definitely tastes more than it should for 7.4%. Almost a hot finish, hard to believe w/abv in this range.

Mouthfeel: Medium, a bit boozy

Overall: Not particularly offensive (although the heat's a bit annoying at this level) but this is definitely forgettable.

 984 characters

Photo of Roguester
2.91/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I got this beer after having been recommended to me by workmates. This beer pours well, very small head that lingers a bit. Smell is sweet in that almost salty fermented way that I am not so fond of... Taste is much of the same... overly fermented sweetness. Mouthfeel is quite light however despite the heavy taste. This beer might make a good winter warmer, however I'll likely stick with Rogue's Santa's Private Reserve or a nice barleywine when the weather turns cold... Not a bad beer by any means, but I probably won't have it again due to personal preference.

 566 characters

Photo of oriolesfan4
2.91/5  rDev -25.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bought a single of this for about $1.50.

I've had a few doppelbocks in the past and didn't like them at all so I tried this main stream one... and my verdict is... I don't like doppelbocks. While this is the best of the ones I've had, I still don't enjoy them. A total lack of aroma except for a harsh alcohol smell and the taste is lackluster as well. Malty with more biting alcohol... just not what I want in a beer. At least this doppelbock I can finish unlike the others I tried.

 484 characters

Photo of bubseymour
2.93/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

appearance - dark red/brown and semi-clear. Nice 2 finger head.

Smell - very heavy and sweet smells

Taste - Definitely not a style that I enjoy much. Taste is srong and heavy with molasses and caramel.

Mouthfeel - full bodied

Overall - I don't think this beer works for me very well. Too much molassas/caremel and boozy flavor.

 331 characters

Photo of JBogan
2.93/5  rDev -24.9%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Had this a while back, but couldn't remember if I liked it so decided to revisit it again.

Poured a dark, almost cola like appearance with a solid two finger head which stayed for quite a while and left strong lacing.

Smelled of nuts and coffee, with some alcohol present.

Tasted of mild coffee and maybe some dark fruits. normally I don't like the taste of coffee but this was well integrated and was somewhat pleasing.

Mouthfeel was good. Smooth and a bit on the thick side.

All in all it wasn't my favorite offering from Spaten, but it was well done and something I'd consider having again.

 598 characters

Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.96/5  rDev -24.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Brown pour, a bit more than than expected for something kinda revered. Nuts and toffee aroma a little metallic feel.

Taste is warm, like a brown ale, aged a bit (this may have been unintentionally). Thankfully doesn't have the rubbing alcohol feel of a lot of doppelbocks. Has something prickly to it, maybe not hops, or those Euro hops I don't have too often, a nice subtlety. Mouthfeel too thin to get to into it, and neither is the price.

 443 characters

Photo of Raime
2.97/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Poured a transparent black, With a one finger head, Looks like a glass of Pepsi. the smell is of dark cherries, Cranberry fig newtons, And blueberries. Alright I guess, though I prefer nothing but the blueberries. the taste follows the smell, Except the cherry flavoring comes through a wee bit more. The mouthfeel matches both of the previous, And nothing else come's through. The beer was a large disappointment, Considering how highly my father and brother had talked about it

 479 characters

Photo of vette2006c5r
2.97/5  rDev -23.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Optimator pours a dark brown color with a small lacing head. There is a sourish, grainish aroma. The taste has a sharp malt bite to it, grianish. A bit hard to drink. Overall its the worst, its a tad hard to drink, grainy.

 226 characters

Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

Mahogany hued, capped by a thin beige head. The nose is heavy on raisins and prunes, with nutty, bready malt beneath. There's a slight vinous aroma that lends some complexity. The palate is very similar; a lot of raisin and prune flavor above a backbone of toasted malt. Moderately sweet, fairly vinous toward the finish with some metallic astringency. This isn't bad, but it's far from my favorite doppelbock. Too reminiscent of prune juice.

 473 characters

Photo of rodbeermunch
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Brown pour, lighter brown head 1/2". Plenty of nuts, aluminum, toffee and dark fruit in the aroma. Plenty of alcohol too.

Taste was a hotter less hoppy brown ale, thicker, stronger. A lot of that prune, fig and raisin thing with dark bitter roasted malt that isn't that thick actually. Not a fan of what the lager yeast brings here, just doesn't meld with heavy roasted malt. I found it to be hot, bitter, expired dark fruit, reminded me a little of triple bock.

 470 characters

Photo of BARFLYB
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On Tap

Spaten Optimaor is a dark ruby red that has brown blotches. Not much as even a cap even off of the tap, just some faint squigglies. Smells is dark fruit, plum, pear, roast, big malts, caramel and toffee. The taste is the same but maybe not in the above order. It's very sweet and caramel/tofee rich, too much for my liking. The feel is syrupy and above medium and it reminded me of fresh Mad Elf from the tap. Sweet and a bit cloying. Drinkability was low.

 464 characters

Photo of armock
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

It poured poured a dark brown color with a thin head that quickly disapears rather quickly. The smell from my glass to me isn't all that good but it does have its own smell. To me the taste also doesn't get me going its not bad but just not my style. Its got medium carbonation so its pretty smooth in the mouth. Over all I could drink a couple pints of this beer but would switch it up after just a few.

 404 characters

Photo of RedDiamond
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light chocolate malt aroma with a few off notes. Soft carbonation forming a scant head with no lace. Clear, tarnished bronze color. No sediment in the bottle. No expiration date.

The taste is thin though pleasing with hints at spice complexities that are never fully revealed. In fact, the flavor really doesn't go far, making ordinariness the most notable feature of this "malt liquor". The bitterness is mildly unpleasant, the finish is abrupt, and the mouthfeel somewhat dull.

 483 characters

Photo of andyinsdca
3.02/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass: Head is good solid and lasted a while. Color is a very deep red, almost opaque.
Smell: Some sweet smell.
Taste: Starts out with a great chocolate/carmel taste, lots and lots of flavor. As the glass wore on, the flavor left behind just a strong malty flavor without anything interesting.
Overall: Too bad the flavor didn't last. A good beer overall, I'd drink it again, but no go out of my way for it.

 440 characters

Photo of ibbjamin
3.03/5  rDev -22.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A friend picked up a 6pack of 12oz bottles for my birthday. I pour into my Spaten Optimator mug to review on the first one of the pack.

An aggressive pour yields a nice quarter inch and rising frothy off white head. Almost no head retention. Decent lacing. Color is dark brown on the verge of black.

Aromas of malts and dark molasses. Sweet and candy-like with hints of over ripe banana.

Taste is similar to nose yet seems to be lighter in character.

Mouth is somewhat watery and beer is medium bodied. Good carbonation.

 524 characters

Photo of theozag
3.04/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Optimator pours a deep amber brown with a head that takes on a shade of light-colored sand as it forms. It's smell was an interesting twist of bittersweet chocolate and sweetened tea. I suppose that sounds a little ridiculous, but it was quite appetizing. This beer starts gritty with a caramel bent, then turns bitter and nutty (walnut, maybe) as it rests on your tongue. It is a full-bodied brew with a finish that reminded me of cough syrup (not exactly as pleasant as the smell suggested). Luckily, Optimator's aftertaste faded quickly from a strong beginning, and the last hint on your tongue leaves a dry feeling that gives you no choice but to consume your whole bottle.

 677 characters

Photo of e11iott
3.05/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Bottle was 12oz, dark cherry red. 2 finger head, lacing that lasted the whole time.

S: Carmel and malt smell.

T/M: Enjoyed when very cold, as it warmed up it got sweeter, soild after bit.
Carbonation is perfect, hids alcohol level.

D: Thought the beer would be thicker based on the color, prefered it when colder.

 320 characters

Photo of BigJTrucker
3.06/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Pours a deep deep ruby color(when held up to the light). Very nice indeed. Thick tan head, settles extremely quickly.Aroma is a bit of sweet caramel and grain. Taste is somewhat lacking. I had high hopes after the beautiful color and not displeasing aroma, but this left me wanting more. Taste is malty sweet, but with hints of metallic. Maybe it's past it's prime, hmm. not sure. Mouthfeel is not bad, not to thick, not to watery thin. But doesn't appear to be much depth to it. As far as drinkability is concerned, i doubt very much i'd try this one again.

 558 characters

Photo of Shrews629
3.06/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Dark brown/maroon color with some ruby highlights when held to the light. Also has some burnt orange and yellow highlights around the bottoms and sides. An off white head with average size and retention. It settled to a decent film and left some pretty good lacing.

Smell - In the aroma, I picked up a dark, earthy, almost burnt grass or grain. Never quite smelled anything like it thus far. Not particularly my favorite smell, but I got used to it. After a while, it started to remind me of a more robust Dunkel.

Taste - The taste also has a very dark, earthy robust type of flavor. Reminds me of a "Black" Lager as well as a Dunkel. I picked up subtle hints of lard with the earthy grain. A touch of sweetness even. Just a hint of alcohol at the very end.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Left adequate amounts of flavor on the palate. Relatively smooth, but just a wee bit watery.

Drinkability - This beer would take some getting used to for me. It's nothing really bad. It's just different. I do love the color of this brew, but I personally don't think I could make a night of it. Doppelbocks just must not be my thing.

 1,142 characters

Photo of timconnel
3.07/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured from a 500ml bottle into a pokal glass.

A: Deep caramel brown with a thin short lived head. Very minor lacing.

S: Malt and caramel with just a little tartness.

T: Malt and caramel sweetness up front with some raisin like flavor. Bitter with some toasty flavor and something a little herbal in the finish. The alcohol is detectable but not over the top. The one downfall was that it started tasting a little medicinal as it warmed up.

M: Medium body, medium to low carbonation.

D: It's pretty heavy in flavor, I don't think I'd usually drink more than one or two.

This probably deserves a better rating but I don't get into doppelbocks as much as some.

 665 characters

Photo of Winter
3.07/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

1 pint, 9 .oz bottle. Gold foil around the neck with the words "Imported" printed several times diagonally across it. The red Spaten logo also appears centered on the front. Poured a clear, very dark copper in color with a khaki-colored head. Decent aroma consisted of roasted malt, toffee, caramel and a hint of sweet spice. Medium-bodied mouthfeel. The taste is decent, yet very uninspiring. Not bad, just bland. Somewhat vinous finish. 7.2% alcohol is evident in the taste. As far as doppelbocks go, Optimator was a big let down for me primarily from a taste standpoint. I expected much more here.

 600 characters

Photo of vickersspitfire
3.08/5  rDev -21%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

poured this one into a pilsner: it comes out looking black , but when you hold it up to the light you see the beautiful dark reddish/brown color topped off with a thick tan head thats slowly dissolves and only has a hint of lacing. it looks like a great tasting beer, but its flavor lacks something, i'm just not sure what it is.It taste like roasted malt and it quite smooth on the tongue; there's very little crispness to it, it's aftertaste isn't too bad a bit dry and a slight hint of alcohol.

 497 characters

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,031 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.