Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
1,331 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: 1,331 | Ratings: 3,038
Photo of tconboy
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown. I like the flat coke analogy. Head dissipates. Light lacing. Tastes of sweet delicious malty goodness with a hint of brown sugar and caramel. Incredibly smooth and very drinkable. Thankful I decided to pick up this as a throw in on a pick your own sixer so that I could celebrate the week's end today. Takes me back to Germany.

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Photo of headbangingteacher
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Looks like flat Coke after the thin but aromatic head dissipates. The malts are pronounced from start to finish. Not as good as the Heffe, but a quality brew nonetheless.

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Photo of 29mikoyan
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best doppelbocks in the world. Molasses and nice dark bread define this beer. A beautiful fruity finish. One of the best lagers in the world and also the best beers in this world.

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Photo of Marraybay
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This has been my #2 mainstay of late. Overall, really like the flavor, which has a nice sweetness buried in the background. As a stout/porter fan, it's a nice deviation, without totally straying from the things I enjoy about that style. As others have stated, I find it does hit me a little hard as well, particular when consumed without food. I do very occasionally get a little bit of a metallic note in the mix --that's a little off-putting--but otherwise like the flavor. I also find that I prefer it throughly chilled and don't let it sit before drinking.

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Photo of CraigS119
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Lots of nostalgia with this brew.. along with Delirium Tremens, this was my go-to beer at the local world-of-beer when I turned 21 back in 2011. Purchased the single bottle at Total Wine just for this review. Pours a cola brown, lots of bubbles, quickly fading head. Not as hoppy as I remember from draft.. notes of brown sugar malts, sweet potato in the nose. Taste: what a malt bomb; not what I remember at all (though, in my defense, I was probably quite inebriated and with this beer's well-masked abv, it's no wonder I loved it), the malts just over-power any inkling of alcohol, roasted caramel at the finish. Smooth, crisp, goes down real smooth. I remember when 7.6% abv was considered one of the manly beers, which is no doubt, the real reason why I drank it. Anywho, even though I love my IIPAs these days, Spaten and their Optimator will always have it's place. 8/10

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Photo of Gerald51
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite Doppelbocks from my time spent in Bavaria. Poured into a glass the first thing noticeable is the strong brown color with hints of Amber followed by a nice fruity aroma and nice brown head with lite lacing. Optimator is a very malty Doppelbock with great caramel and fruity flavors. It drinks easy and goes great with meals or by itself. It drinks so easy that the 7.60% ABV will sneak up on you before you know it.

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Photo of DevAJ
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hit me surprisingly hard for only being 7.6% abv, but then again I could have just downed it too quickly. If I downed it too quickly it's because it was surprisingly easy to drink.

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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.

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Photo of Mike707
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an over sized wine glass Optimator is a delicious malty Doppel Bock with Caramel and toasted malt notes. Definitely a cooler weather brew. Not as good as Paulaner Salvator Double Bock though!
Still can't go wrong with Optimator!
Why don't any American or Californian's brew a Bock or Doppel Bock ? All the so called "Micro Breweries" think the more Hops the better. Adding more Horsepower to a car doesn't necessarily make it better unless you add bigger brakes, suspension etc...
I don't drink those "New Jack" beers that taste like my Dad made it at home. Unless I'm drinking his.

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Photo of majorbase2
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into New Glarus Pilsener. Pours a dark brown color with a big foamy, very light brown head. Recedes quickly. Leaves a small ring of lacing around the edges.

Aroma is of dark fruits and lightly roasted malts. Molasses. A good deal of sweetness.

Taste is roasted chocolate malts, a bit of molasses, and dark fruits led by fig and dark cherry. Light hops. A small amount of bitterness on the finish. THe chocolate is very smooth a silky, a very pleasant touch on the tongue with results in some excellent drinkability.

Medium bodied. Low carbonation. Goes down very smooth. Drank this one in about 15 minutes, and normally I take 30+.

Overall, and excellent example of a doppelbock. Distinct flavors and easy drinking make this an ideal introductory doppelbock

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Photo of car2052
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to pint glass.

A: Clear dark brown, almost black. Small lacing of tan head.
S: Strong smell of caramel malt, sweetness, toffee, cereal grains, and a plum/prune scent.
T: Sweet, yet strong malts akin to a porter show up first, followed by a bran cereal taste. Minimal hop taste. Not as much fruit in the taste. Finishes with an alcoholic bite at the end.
M: Medium to heavy. Malts coat your tongue at the end.
O: Not a bad doppelbock. Will have to try more to compare.

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Photo of HamdenHector
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

A: crystal clear; deep ruby in color; 1 finger khaki head that receded to a thin, uneven, cap; very little lacing;

S: figs, prune, and molasses;

T: caramel up front; fruit cake at mid-palate, which fades as you get to the finish; light bitterness at the end;

M: medium bodied - almost a little syrups; effervescent carbonation; dry finish; rich; slight warming from the ABV;

O:loved the flavor;

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Photo of CoffeePorter
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: Very dark, almost completely black
S: Like a thick malt with traces of hops, very earthy
T: A bit bitter as the hops would suggest, very dark and rich
M: Medium amount of carbonation
O: It's an okay beer, not a go to beer, but one that I would have on occasion

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Photo of Beer-Revelry
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark brown, almost pitch black.
S - Sweet and slightly alcoholic with traces of dates, coffee and dark chocolate.
T - A sweet and bitter malt.
O - One of my top 10 stouts of all time.
V - A little pricy, but definitely worth it.

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Photo of Jeffsta1
3.72/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Dark color. Very little head.
The smell from the bottle hints of American Pilsener - not a good thing IMO.
Much richer mouthfeel than one would guess from the absence of head. I dig it.
Nice mild, malty flavor. It's almost as if they had a milk stout in mind when they devised the recipe.
Not a bad beer at all. It's not Celebrator, but it's very drinkable.

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Photo of infinitebruner
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

December 27, 2014

500 ml bottle, weizen glass

A – Dark amber to medium brown, with some slightly red highlights in the narrow part of the glass. A finger of khaki foam and bubbles, with fairly low retention. Good clarity.

S – Roasty, chocolate malt, very well-baked brown bread. Similar to a Munich dunkel. Some earthy hop aroma. A good amount of malty sweetness is accented as the beer warms.

T – Dark, bready malt flavor, like chewing on moist bread crust. Some chocolate, caramel, not as sweet as it seemed on the nose. Again, earthy hops, slightly herbal/medicinal, and a moderate level of hop bitterness providing a strong backbone.

M – Medium-low carbonation, and both roasty malt and hop bitterness are the main things present. Not as sweet as I would expect based on the aroma profile. No warmth in spite of slightly higher ABV, though a bit thinner than a dunkel or regular bock.

O – Some very nice layering of aromas and flavor, with nothing jumping out but everything melding into a highly drinkable, higher alcohol-brew. This one could sneak up on you. A well-made beer.

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Photo of stortore
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Tasty, smooth, not the depth of flavor or the rich, thick body of others. Had bottle (unseen) at a restaurant not known for its beer offerings, so maybe not tasting it at its best.

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Photo of HawkFalco
4.25/5  rDev +9%

Tasted: Dec 14, 2014
Purchased: Dec. 10 2014
16.9 oz bottle

In short: Delicious German dark beer, sweet, smooth and creamy with just a touch of bitterness. This brew is a fine reason why I drink beer. I will certainly buy more and recommend it to my friends.

Poured refrigerator cold into a cold pint glass. Made a one finger head which disappeared fast.

Poured deep, dark brown. I had to hold up to the light to see the deep rosewood color.

Tastes malty, not overly sweet, with warming a light (and right) amount of bitterness becomes more pronounced, well balanced with the malty sweet. Alcohol buried and not forward at all.

Feels creamy, smooth.

Sorry to see the bottom of my glass. More, please.

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Photo of plaidowl
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

The firs thing that I noticed was the beautiful, deep rosewood color. The smell has a coffee tone to it, with chocolatey-cherry hints in the background; in the taste, however, their places reversed. Primarily malty, but with the undeniable presence of hops in the flavor. Full bodied flavor, with a roasted-sweetness and a mildly bitter finish.
Review based on a bottle aged at least a year in my fridge, so, in my experience, the head was minimal and the bouquet was lessened. The feel remained effervescent, however.

Pair with sweet, rich foods. Ideally, I would drink it with a dessert that features real, dark chocolate. The cherry tones also lend itself to pairing with dishes that have actual cherries, like a cheesecake that has some. But, it also works well with an entree that has barbecue sauce.

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Photo of dank203
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

it is a good beer. lucky to have discovered a new store in my area which seems to be the only place that carries this beer. pretty creamy feel, sweet aromas and flavors, hint of licorice, coffee, black cherry, grape, an oily quality

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Photo of The-Adjunct-Hippie
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%

My doppelbock cherry is being popped. Hope it's a good experience. I bought three of these.

Appearance (4.5) : Head is a very impressive mesh screen of tightly knit bubbles in a creamy cap about three fingers high. It's not going anywhere, folks. The body is a coffee brown color with about 80% opacity. The head alone warrants the high rating. It's just staying put, it's not going anywhere. Three fingers, guys!

Aroma (4) : Coffee beans, some twisted black licorice, heavy barley and oats, and some grassy scents. All of these qualities are about equal in strength with none overpowering another. Bouquet is medium volume.

Taste (4) : Krinking my neck here. Whoa. So much to talk about and with a mule kick to the face. This is for sure a strong beer. It's like, what I would envision tough Germans who just came back from the battlefield would drink at the army pub and sing songs with. A grassy, hoppy taste starts it off with some coffee roastiness and a large lick of alcohol up the side. Some dark dried plum. At the end there's some oaty licorice and barley. It ends robust with heavy malt texture but quite a bit of hop flavor. Straight from the bottle keeps everything in check. The finish is dry, dry, dry. Dude, this is a man's man's beer.

Mouthfeel (3.75) : Spritzy and flat at the same time but creamy and ends dry.

Overall (4.07) : The other two bottles I bought will no doubt be in my fridge for a long time. This beer is so strong I don't think I'll crave or want one for another three days. The flavor is however, on purpose and in your face. Oaty, hoppy, licorice flavor that stays with you. This beer is a punch to the face.

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Photo of BeerWithMike
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

Sampling right now on 10/10/14. This one comes in a single 500ml (16.9 oz) bottle but I think I seen it in a smaller 330ml (11.2 oz) bottle as well. Bottle chilled down to 36 degrees in my beer cooler. Poured in to a handled glass "DAB" tall stein.

Pours a dark reddish-brown in color with a good 1+-finger creamy foamy head that settles down to just along the sides of the glass after a while. The lacing is close to ring-like at first then near the the of the drink is very spotty. The aroma is very nice of dark fruit sweetness and malts for the most part. More going on with the taste as the plums and dates (?) add great flavor to this wonderful brew. Medium+ bodied with perfect carbonation. Goes down smooth with no bitter finish at all. A great brew! PROST!

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Photo of bareju
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%

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 angelisauce
5/5  rDev +28.2%

From the first time I had this I loved it. It has a strong dark malty flavor slightly touched by hops and a heavy body. It seems only available very seasonably in WI and I make the most of its fall and winter availability.

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Photo of ONovoMexicano
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

From a 12 ounce bottle into a Seidel mug.

A vigorous pour produces a hefty, creamy, chewy, foamy head. Splotches of lace remain as the head recedes. The body is a deep dark brown with lighter brown hues. 4.25

The caramel flavor is booming on the nose. It's unmistakeable. There's a light floral hopping and a slight aroma of apple. 4.1

Rich malt flavor, toffee and caramel especially, abound. Slight grassiness creeps below. 4.1

Smooth, creamy, and thick on the tongue, this is a sweet treat. There's no sign of booze and a slight hop bite and very mild bitterness. 4.25

Malty and rich, sweet and creamy. It's a treat. 4.15

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,038 ratings.
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