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: 3,043
Photo of mfnmbvp
3.08/5  rDev -21%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle, given to me gratis from the bar at a funeral banquet, RIP to my neighbor Bob. No bottled on date present on this beer. Poured into some kind of pint glass looking thing, forgive me beer god for not knowing what it was. Reviewed in detail on the back of a CVS reciept.

A - Pours out a fizzing cherry cola type appearance with some visual carbonation and virtually no head whatsoever.

S - Smells of malts & vague bourbon spiciness. Aside from that, there isn't much action happening.

T - Dark fruits reminiscent of fig, dates, and dark cherry. Light unsweetened chocolate taste. Not phenomenal by any means, but still a worthy drinkable beer,

M - Smooth clean, slightly watery finish. Decent level of carbonation. Highly drinkable, and not a heavy sitting beer.

Overall, a drinkable, smooth, light doppelbock, if anything it is one to turn the beginners on to craft beer. Probably not a beer I'd go out of my way for, and in no way is it compatible to the world of true craft beers, but decent enough, worth a try, and clearly the best beer that this banquet hall had to offer.

Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu Spaten Optimator ---3/5

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Photo of Slowjamcdub
3.09/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Good doppelbock, and its exactly want you think of when you drink one. One of the best at this style, if your into this style brew. Good beer with a lot of Cherry notes. B- for me. Good beer

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Photo of blakelive784
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

11.2 fl oz bottle served in a pint glass:
A - Pours an incredibly dark ruby/amber color that's transparent when held to the light. It has a soapy head of 2 fingers, and retention is solid.

S - Strong malty goodness, cotton candy, and fruity esters abound. Medium strength.

T - Full malt foundation gives way to candy, fruity and peppery notes. Finishes with a nice ethanol bite. Not as yeasty as the nose predicted, but built well for the style. I wish it had a bit more character though.

M - Nearly full bodied, slick and smooth, Carbonated rather highly. Contradicts the flavors.

D - A good beer within the style, but I think it lacks character. I'd have it again, but certainly not a go-to.

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Photo of OWSLEY069
3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

Poured into a Spaten tall half liter glass with a deep dark amber hue, a white head that that did not last too long. Aroma of dark fruits and slightly alcoholic. It has a lighter body and a nice bitterness to the dark fruit sweetness. The alcohol is not as noticable, but it does pack a punch.

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3.1/5  rDev -20.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Taste-^-^- well it taste like it's half guinness and half moose head. You can taste the hops and the malt. A little caramel and a slight hint of salt. Almost like a pretzel and it almost needs something a slightly acidic substance. This is to cut threw it like mustard take a drink then pretzel with mustard. Lingering taste of malt and salty caramel.

Obor-^#^- yeah it smells... like malt and the bush in your front yard the one without flowers.

Manifestation-^@^- it manifested like nothing. It's flat not complexed and finished as it started. Basic with slight hop. I pour it down the drain. Looked pretty brown kinda frothy. Not like the Nigeria but like irish creme beer.

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Photo of GolgiIPAratus
3.11/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Sampled: 10.10.05

Appearance was dark brown and a small head fizzling head.

Smell was light, not too much actually. Poured a bit cold and I believe it has everything to do with that. Some roasted sugar characters were present however as the brew warmed.

Taste was sweet malts, brown sugar with a bitter finish to attempt a balance. However, it wasn’t quite balanced in the end. Malty sweetness overruled. The beer was heavy and full, low carbonation and sat mightily in the belly.

I’m new to the Doppelbock realm, but this one was so sweet and malty that one was enough, and I had to take my time for the most part. Still have more to sample and despite the score, I’d try this again given that the opportunity was right for something this full and sweet if for nothing more than to really give the style a worthy chance to be a part of my repertoire.

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Photo of shbobdb
3.12/5  rDev -20%
look: 5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A Benchmark beer for the style. It has all the qualities of a good Doppelbock . . . it just somehow falls flat. It pours a deep, dark grape colour with a delicate head that quickly falls into a ring around my MaB . . . Mass . . . So tricky with the symbols.

Anyway, it tastes of cherries, and prunes and tobacco . . . all good flavours, but they are somehow marred and I can't give justice as to why. There is something out of balance here and I can't put my finger on it. The mouthfeel is the same way, where it is smooth and rich but somehow wrong.

All of the traits of a good Doppelbock, just not as well executed as others. I don't often say this, but perhaps a pinch of chocolate malt to bitter it up a tad? I don't know.

Good, but by no means great.

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Photo of santoslhalper
3.13/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

Had on tap at the Southside Saloon. This was the yeastiest tasting Doppelbock I've ever had. That almost made it undrinkable, but it wasn't. The other flavors were tasty, and had an odd fruitiness to them. I think this is an overrated doppelbock. I'll stick with my Troegenator thank you very much.

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Photo of N3rdM3t4l
3.13/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Green bottle with gold foil into standard pint. Served fridge temp.

A: Pours deep amber with reddish highlights and two fingers of light caramel colored head that receded into a good millimeter thick foam cap that is leaving good lacing. It looks good.

S: Malty and slightly medicinal. A touch of hops on the nose. Lighter smelling than I would guess based on the color.

T: Not sure what is going on here really. Kinda dank roasty flavor. The hops is a little piney. Leaves a unique aftertaste like slightly bitter dried fruit (raisins mostly). Not bad but kinda weird.

M: Feels good in the mouth. Smooth and light like a lager should be, not watery like American macros. Best part about this beer in my opinion.

O: Pretty av erage brew, doesn't make you say "wow!" more like "eh not bad" so it gets an "eh not bad" 3.0 overall.

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Photo of tlazaroff
3.13/5  rDev -19.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A: Dark brown with highlights of dark ruby red when held to light. Had an off-white, tan colored head.

S: Mostly malty goodness. I get a big caramel note followed by some cherries, and a little bit of skunking, probably due to the green bottle it was imported in.

T: A little tart, but it has a nice toasted component that stays strong throughout the finish. It has a nice caramel, sweet flavor with little hop presence.

M: Moderately carbonated and medium -full bodied. Slightly sticky.

D: Good drinkability, it's a nice, filling beer.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

on tap at Redbone's

Dark brown with a low whiteish head. Sweet malty scent, foretelling heavy, syrupy caramel with tones of butterscotch. Leaves but a hint of hops on the breath. Not all that interesting, and as I slowly sip it, it seems to grow duller and duller.

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Photo of rjlemos
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 2 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 2.5

Appearance - reddish brown, head that doesn't last long.

Smell - too faint. Notes of chocolate, caramel, toasted malt.

Taste - typical of a bock beer. Strong, bitter, toasty, bold, very bold.

Mouthfeel - as you can predict, a strong presence in the mouth. The alcohol level is rather strong, felt right from the beginning.

Drinkability - due to its heavy composition, both on flavour and alcohol, it's a beer to drink in cold days, in a small number.

Note: I was very impressed how similar this beer is to a brazilian beer called Kaiser Bock. The taste is very similar, and even the alcohol level is the same: 7,2 %. That shows that we had a really good doppelbock in the country for a long time...

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Photo of heavy216
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Bottle was 12oz, amber with s light tint of red. 2 finger head, good lacing that lasted the whole time.

S: malt smell.

T/M: Enjoyed when very cold, as it warmed up it got sweeter, a little heavy mouth feel..strong after bite
Carbonation is perfect, hides alcohol level.

D: good cold, however as it got warmer not as good.

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Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.16/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a warm deep brown color with a very thin head. It sort of has that Belgian Ale look - bubbley and thick. Couldn't get much of a nose off of this beer.

This beer seems to combine dark fruits and sweet malts. First impression: Raisins, plums and related dark fruit flavors meet with gentle matly flavors. I'd like to try this beer again under different circumstances and perhaps paired with the correct food. It is otherwise too sweet and too fruity.

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Photo of blitheringidiot
3.16/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Russet brown yet clear pour with zero head cap and zero carbonation visible. A wafer thin beige cap can be mustered. Proper pour into a Spaten glass.

Nary a scent beyond some grain and rye.

First swigs: Wheat grain doppelbock with slight banana and dough. Light flavors.

Crisp feel and medium bodied.

Last swigs: Malty grain lager-esque doppel. Quite clean and easy.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.17/5  rDev -18.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 fl oz green glass (really!?) bottle with standard pressure cap served into a Uinta brewing pilsner glass in me gaff in low altitude Los Feliz, California. Reviewed live. Expectations are fairly high; I usually dislike the style but I love this brewery.

Served straight from the refrigerator. Side-poured with standard vigor as no carbonation issues are anticipated.

A: Pours a one finger khaki colour head of nice cream and thickness, and decent retention. Colour is a nontransparent non-opaque dark brown. No yeast particles are visible. No bubble show.

Sm: Pleasantly nutty, with very bocky dark and biscuit malts. Some cream comes through. No real obvious hop aroma. An average strength aroma.

T: Pleasantly malty, with subtle nut notes. It's rich and layered, but lacks true subtlety or complexity. Some nice caramelization on the finish. No yeast or alcohol comes through. Hop character is very mild; background floral hopping adds depth but doesn't really contribute to the flavour profile. It's got a nice full body; it's quite filling. I could subsist on this if I were a badass German beer monk. That said, there's just nothing impressive or unique about it.

Mf: Smooth, full, wet, a bit creamy on the finish, and moderate on the palate. It has presence, but there's little to intrigue. Suits the flavours well, but it still comes off as boring. Dry on the finish; it shouldn't be.

Dr: Drinkable and enjoyable for the style. Definitely one of the better ones I've had. It's quite filling - and I'm sure I could use this for sustenance on a fast - but it's not fantastic. This brewery has better beers. Well priced. Hides its ABV well. Very well done for the style, but still underwhelming all around. I wouldn't get it again, but fans of the style should definitely give it a spin.


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Photo of kevinjosephlee
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Bottle poured into a glass

A: Clear, dark color, coffee-ish with red hues when held to the light.

S: Malts, spicy nutmeg,

T: Raisins on the back of the mouth

M: Some alcoholic warmth.

Notes: Better than Ayinger's Celebrator because it was not as cloying.

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Photo of SirSketch
3.18/5  rDev -18.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A - Small film of beige head. The beer is dark brown with amber hues. Very much like most doppelbocks I have tried.

S - I found it hard to get much aroma out of this one. Then again I was in a crowded restaurant so there were plenty of other smells to distract me. Faint graininess and dark malts.

T - Chocolate notes and a sweet aftertaste. Very well-balanced with hops it seemed. Just OK.

M/D - Medium body and carbonation. It is drinkable, I suppose, but I don't know if I enjoyed the taste enough to continue drinking more. I guess I just expected more out of the Optimator

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Photo of rosmhuire
3.19/5  rDev -18.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

HAd this on tap at a German bar in San Fran (Schroeders). Bartender was smokin hot!

A: Dark brown coloring, significant head that dissapates quickly

S: All malt on the nose.

T: Very sweet and malty. Almost too sweet. I'm unfamiliar with this style, so I don't know if this is representative.

M: Medium-bodied

D: Average. I could maybe have 2 of these.

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Photo of Schneic8
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Nice dark color with a red tones. It has the same appearance as cola. It had a nice head that lasted a while with a little lacing.

Smell: Sweet smell with caramel and dark fruit smells.

Taste: Has a nice deep flavor of ripe fruits and a caramel sweetness. There is a raisin and plumy flavor with a fair amount of molasses.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation that has a crisp feeling. It has a smooth and creamy touch that sits well in the mouth and goes down smooth.

Drinkability: This is an easy beer to drink but it is pretty sweet with a strong dark fruit flavor. I could probably drink one more of these but not another. Not my favorite but I would drink again.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown almost black color with ruby hues around the edges. There is a small head which is slightly khaki and gives way to some lacing. The aroma is a little faint, there is some breadiness, dark fruits, and caramel malt. The taste is nice but not super complex, caramel malt some breadiness and a hint of hops. The mouthfeel is dry and moderately carbonated. The drinkability is above average it is a smooth easy drink, however it lacks some complexity to keep you really interested. The beer is solid.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz green bottle poured into a pilsner glass

A: A dark, clear brown liquid with a off white head that rather rapidly dissipates and leaves a nice trail of stringy lacing.
S: Nothing remarkable to me. Some malt, but theres a slightly sour, alcohol smell that really detracts from anything pleasant.
T: Malt body and aftertaste dominates this, but like the smell, there is something not quite agreeing with me. There is a slight hop bitterness which is ok to balance the malt, but still a slight sourness. Alcohol also rides in on the aftertaste and that might be throwing off my perception of everything else here since it is unpleasant.
M: Medium body with medium to high carbonation. Aftertaste isn't pleasant, following the lead of the body, but still not all together bad.
D: I've tried this a few times now and this just doesn't seem to agree with me. There's nothing bad here, I just don't enjoy this guy. Generally has a nice flavor, but a little too high in alcohol for me to want to drink this regularly for this style.

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Photo of grindcore666
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a fabulous marble-like cascade of deep brown and root beer. Outstanding color. Head retention and lacing on the other hand is 'meh', unfortunately, but I have to give credit where it's due...looks superb.

A dark range of scents: an overdrive of roasted malts, soil, alcohol, burnt brownies, and prunes.

A molasses bite bleeds out into an aura of earthy flavors. Complex and well done. Feels very syrupy with mid to low carbonation.

Though this one has some great characteristics, it's just not very versatile. Plus, it's syrupy mouthfeel might make just one or two of these enjoyable.

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Photo of ThisWangsChung
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a beer mug.

A: Pours a dark brown color that turns ruby red when put up to the light. The head is a three-finger light mocha color with mediocre retention/lacing.

S: Honestly, it smells a little skunky. There is a bit of maltiness and hop character, but the skunk (sadly) wins out. Seriously, brewers, STOP USING GREEN BOTTLES!

T: Thankfully, not nearly as skunky as the nose. Opens up with flavors of toffee, molasses, and roasty malts, but finishes a zesty hop bite. There's the faintest hint of booze on both the back end and going down the throat, but it's well hidden otherwise. Not an easy beer to drink, but decently flavorful.

M: The carbonation starts off intense, but fades rather quickly. I'm only halfway through the beer and it's already (nearly) flat. In addition, while it's decently thick, it isn't creamy enough to counteract the fading carbonation. Otherwise, it isn't bad at all on the palate.

O: I'm a bit conflicted on this one. I like the way it tastes, but I don't like the skunk profile I get on the nose. Eh, what the hell, give it a shot, it's decently priced for a rather big beer. This is a style I'll need to get a better grip on in the future to see if it's really up my alley.

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Photo of raszputini
3.22/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle. It pours dark mahogany brown with a thin head. The nose is rich and malty with understated hops - you can tell its a dopplebock. Very rich malty flavor. The hops are deeply buried. Rich malty taste to match the nose. Has a somewhat "salty" finish? I enjoyed it a lot.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,043 ratings.
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