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 fscottkey
3.89/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

A: [3.75] The bottle lists the ABV (7.6%) and there is a best by date (05/01/2017). Dark brown beer with lots of red highlights when back-lit. The beer has 1 finger of off white to tannish head. The head settles to 1/4 finger.

S: [3.50] Brown bread, slight booze, caramel, vegital scent.

T: [4.00] Caramel, cocoa, leather, vanilla cream.

M: [4.25] Smooth body. The cream taste is also a feel at the end. Good carbonation level and finish.

O: [4.00] Overall this tastes like a Scotch Ale mixed with vanilla. The creamy taste and feel set it apart and make it really nice. The biggest ding is the nose but the taste and body make up for that. This is a really enjoyable beer.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deleted Review

12 oz. Bottle

Pours a very nice dark brown color, with some pretty nice carbonation, with a nice thick/creamy one-finger off-white head, which leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, slight dark fruits. The taste is malty, yeasty, some dark fruits. Medium body. Overall, a very tasty brew.

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Photo of FBarber
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a reddish brown color. Complete clarity in the beer other than some carbonation bubbles. Thin off-white head dissipates quickly leaving just a ring of tan foam along the outside of the beer.

Smell has notes of bready malts, sweet dark fruits, strong malts and some mild earthy aromas - hops, but not a hop aroma per se.

Taste follows the nose with notes of bready malts, dark fruits, raisins, prunes, some mild earthy hops. Simple and straightforward but a solid example of the style.

Feel is a bit light for the style, but that makes it very easy drinking. Medium prickly carbonation. Smooth with a somewhat surprisingly drier finish.

Overall a very well done doppelbock. Not the best of the style, but a solid example.

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Photo of puck1225
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Dark frown color with a thin beige head, decent lacing. Subdued dark malt smell. The taste is wheat, dark toast,,chocolate and a hint of banana. Overall, pretty good!

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Photo of dar482
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

The beer comes in a deep brown color, with a ring of creamy white head.

The beer offers a rich malt flavor, raisins and dried prunes, toasted bread crust, hints of light cocoa, an earthy bitterness to balance the sweetness. A clean lager finish that helps hollow out the Maillard flavors and sweetness offered up front. Mouthfeel is medium plus with a bit of tingly moderate carbonation.

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Photo of MeanMotaScootah
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

For the style this is a great doppelbock. It's not my favorite style of beer but definitely a great beer for cold winter night. Similar to a "winter warmer" without all the spice. The aroma is clearly sweet raisin sugar all malt no hops detected. Pours a deep brass - nearly opaque. Very little head and low carbonation so might be turned off by this but it does make for an "easier" drinking beer. Taste overall is dominated by sweet raisin, plum notes with lots of brown sugar. This almost reminds me of a Belgium ale but minus the spice. Bottom line if you dig German beers give this one a try, you won't be disappointed.

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Photo of KenMiller123
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I got this from Bev Mo, since I've been starting to discover and enjoy different types of German beers.

It reminds me of a stronger, darker version of Killian's Irish Red.

When you hold it up to the light, you can see through the glass, but just barely. If you do a hard pour, you'll get a little bit of a head, but it dissipates quickly.

The smell is definitely malt and yeast. The taste is like a drinkable version of a traditional King's Cake (Rosca de Reyes) served on Epiphany. It's not overly sweet, though, so if you don't know what a King's Cake is, don't let that scare you off.

The mouth feel is medium-bodied, somewhere between an ale and a stout, and this beer is very well carbonated.

It's a great beer for the holidays and would be excellent with a nice honey-baked ham and a sweet potato casserole.

Overall, it's not gonna blow your socks off, but it's very drinkable. It's not necessarily a session beer, with 7.6% abv, but I could sip on it all day and not get tired of the taste.

The coolest part is that this brewery has been in operation since the late 14th Century. It's owned by Anheiser Busch these days, but I think they still brew everything in the traditional manner. In that sense, it's like drinking a bit of history. Monks have been drinking this same beer for over 600 years! How cool is that?!

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Photo of zshaft
3.61/5  rDev -7.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

not really a fan of this style but this was good. once you get used to the malt this beer gets pretty good with notes of dark fruit and bread with a nice clean finish. def a sipper for me but the representation of the style seems spot on. great color. nose is not for me. flavor profile is actually really nice if you enjoy it rather than pound it. won't get again cause im an ipa guy but wouldn't turn down if offered. glad I tried it.

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Photo of Dinglehacker
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap, served in a mug. Massive head. Dull ruby color with little light.

Smells like chlorine and sweetness.

Tastes sweet, notes of red licorice, molasses sweetbread, plum. No evident hops.

Medium bodied mouth.

The sudsy smell promised disappointment, but the flavor delivered a typical, exemplary doppelbock. Not the best, but not a weaker example.

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

It pours a rich dark brown with light brown head. The aroma is of roasted malts with the taste of deep malts with a sweetness to it. Overall it is a deep rich doppelbock.

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Photo of mvanaskie13
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a custom shaped glass: color is dark amber, head is light tan with fine to small bubbles, no lacing.

Smell is mild malt, toast, as it warms some of the deeper aromas emerge - raisin, plum like notes.

Taste gets to the deep, sweeter malt flavor more caramel/toast/bread/raisin flavors noted; some fairly strong hop bitterness with subtle earthy/dry notes. This particular bottle seems to exemplify this brew - unfortunately the green bottles lead to some off noted flavors in some bottles.

Mouthfeel is a bit cloying, but expected for this brew and the malt presence.

Overall a malty, sweet doppelbock from a place that defines some styles of beers. Great bready/fruity presence and some moderate hop bitterness to boot.

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Photo of hman43
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Look: It pours brown with a brown head.

Smell: It has a very deep rich malt aroma.

Taste: There are flavors highlight by toast with some dark fruit. The flavors are sweet, rich and clean They feature toast, malts, and hints of dark fruits.

Feel: It has a full body that is smooth with some alcohol warming.

Overall this is a highly malted beer with little hops, but clean and flavorful.

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Photo of sokol_1993
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pour from a 330ml Optimator bottle.
Look: Dark brown, mahogany. With little head, but ample of lacing around the glass.
Smell: From opening the bottle, ample of molasses, sweet malty smell.
Taste: really sweet, full of molasses and malt. Caramel, raisiny. A bit of hoppiness, just a little to balance out the sweetness a bit.
Feel: full body, but a bit bland at the end.

Still an excellent brew, even though it's from a "macro" brewery.

 442 characters

Photo of Franziskaner
3.4/5  rDev -12.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Brown in color, but still fairly penetrable to light. There's an inch of frothy and creamy brown head. The aroma is of caramel malt, Danish lager yeast, and a gentle German hop bitterness. The taste is a blend of caramel malt, Danish lager yeast, and a bit of skunk. The skunkiness faded as it warmed and I dug it much more and was getting toffee and more caramel. I don't taste the hops I could smell, though. I've kept the bottle refrigerated and in the dark, but it is nearly a year old. The mouth is a touch chewy and warm with alcohol.

 547 characters

Photo of teromous
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Imported and purchased from cold storage. the label on the back says "03 2017" which I presume is the best-by date.

Appearance: It appears black or a dark brown until held to some light where it shows beautiful mahogany red and brown. The head is an eggshell white color with a touch of light tan and a creamy texture. It starts out medium sized and slowly fades to a thin surface. Fair retention and lacing.

Aroma: There is a very light plum aroma mixed with a standard malt scent. The aroma is nice but very faint.

Taste: Toasted caramel with a rich malty backbone. It is just what you would expect from a Dopplebock but done very nicely and without any looming overtones of alcohol or oxidation.

Mouthfeel: It Is in that middle ground between being a sipper and a light drinker. It is easy to drink with a thin texture and a medium body but the flavor is rich enough to force you from drinking too much at one time. The texture actually feels a bit too thin and despite the short head it feels a bit over-carbonated as well.

Overall; I wouldn't call this my go-to Dopplebock but it is enjoying enough to drink. I don't know that I would recommend it off-the-cuff or that I would even buy it again but it is nice enough that I can enjoy the six pack I purchased. As an import it stood up nicely without any signs of oxidation.

 1,333 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.

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Photo of Brutaltruth
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From the 12 oz bottle in a snifter. This legend of a dopplebock
pours a lightly clear dark mahogany color with a nice head of off
white foam that settles to a thick ring with light lacing. Nose of
dark raisin bread, dark molasses, and nicely roasted malts. Flavors
lightly exceed the nose with nice breaded malts and raisins on the front
and middle of the taste, roasted malts and plum notes fall off on the sides
and rear, and a very subtle herbal hop appears and then sears into the
back with a nice warming booze. Nice mouth feel, slick, warming, and
delicious with a lightly bitter malt aftertaste. Overall excellence from a
great brewery.


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Photo of ordybill
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a dark copper color with a small tan head. The aroma is malt and caramel. The taste is an excellent match to the aroma with a small amount of hops. An excellent beer.

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Photo of TreyIsWilson
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Pours a dark amber with a large foamy tan head. Light amount of spotty lacing.

S - Aroma is sweet malts and dark fruits.

T - The taste follows the aroma sweet bready malts, molasses, raisins and pllums.

M - Medium bodied with medium carbonation. Soft creamy mouthfeel with a sticky finish.

O - Very nice Doppelbock. Smooth and drinkable with great flavor.

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Photo of Beerwithoutallthehops
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.25

A very good doppelbock. It is more flavorful, more malty (ah!!! did I say that??!!) than even I prefer, but it is good. Comparing to the Warsteiner Dunkel, this is about the same. I consider both to be "liquid bread" type beers. A little much for me, I would tend toward the lighter Doppebocks, like the Leinenkugel "big butt" offering. But the flavor of this is good. I drank it a little warmer than I do usually and enjoyed it immensely. I prefer this "overpowering" taste to the 75 lb bags of hops found in most, if not all, USA "craft" 12 oz. bottles. Hops are bitter and "crisp" (in that they dont have a lot of flavor, just spiciness) and only prolong shelf life, which most breweries prefer.

I do not. Give me an accent of hops, like what is found in a lot of German beers, but not the overpowering bitterness, which strangles whatever malt may be found in the beer, to death, which describes most or all USA craft offerings.

Thanks Spaten, a good brew! Will definitely buy more.

 1,000 characters

Photo of DrMullet
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a very dark brown color.
Smell is sweet malt with a bit of dark fruit.
Taste is sweet bready malt with a strong rasin flavor.

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Photo of Ozzylizard
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

$ 1.89/12 oz bottle ($ 0.157/oz) at The Lager Mill, Frankenmuth, MI
Bottle dated 02.2017 at 42 degrees into hand washed and dried JK snifter
Aroma – lightly toasted malt, no hops
Head large (Maximum 5.5 cm, aggressive pour), light tan, creamy, slowly diminishing to a seven mm ring and layer of irregular thickness
Lacing fair – partial rings of tiny bubbles
Body – dark amber, clear
Flavor – begins sweet but not overwhelmingly so, toasted malt flavor predominates with just a trace of caramel, no fruity esters noted; no hops, no alcohol, no diacetyl
Palate full, creamy, soft carbonation

This is one from before I started my database in 2005 – sweet, smooth, an excellent example from my early non-BMC days that I haven’t revisited and rated until now. Not as good as I remember but those brain cells could have died.

Appearance 4, Aroma 4, Flavor 4.25, Palate 4, Overall 4

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.4/5  rDev +12.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark brown body, little to no white head.

Smell: Dark fruits and molasses. Kind of like a fruit filled rye bread.

Taste: Same as the above, but with a distinct kettle corn flavor.

Feel: Medium body and carbonation. The alcohol isn't hidden very well, and drinks like an 8%-9% beer.

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Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice and smooth , mildly bitter and smoky. Dark brown to black with small but substantial beige head. Aroma is roast grains, semi sweet chocolate, peat and dried fruit. Taste is mildly sweet with a touch of bitterness. Almost as good as Salvator.....

 250 characters

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