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Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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very good
1,321 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: 1,321 | Ratings: 3,007
Photo of HamdenHector
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
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 -3.1%
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 +1.5%
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 -4.4%
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%
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%
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 +9.3%

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 +9.8%
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%
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 +4.6%

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 +15.7%

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 +15.7%

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 +28.5%

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 +5.1%
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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Photo of FLima
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color with a thick beige head with medium retention.
Very nice aroma with lots of prunes, caramels and some coconut. Similar to a brazilian "Manjar de coco".
Flavor of caramels, raisins, nuts and prunes upfront, and then some relatively decent amount of earthy and herbal hops. Notes of cinnamon and light cocoa. Dry aftertaste with its taste lingering for a while.
Bordering full body with mild carbonation. Alcohol of 7.6% abv is very well hidden.
Very good Doppelbock, quite flavorful with hops helping to manage under control its sweet body.
Ap.3,75 Ar.4,25 Sab.4 Sens.4 Cj.4

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Photo of The_Mad_Capper
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%

A tan, one-finger head reduces to a thin ring after a minute or so; deep brown body, clear. Aroma gives off a sour fruity quality—prunes, grapes; some spiciness; a chocolatey malt aroma comes through after a minute or two, along with some brown sugar. Toasty malt comes through first in the flavor, which takes on a caramel quality over time; rather fruity—orange rind, raisin, prune; some dry alcohol; a sweet, syrupy finish. Body is medium-full; carbonation is fairly low; the syrupy sensation lingers.

Not as rich and complex as I was hoping, but certainly very good. The dry, sticky impression is a bit distracting. The flavor seems to be tipped in favor of the bitter, fruity qualities.

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Photo of madstoutmonkee
4/5  rDev +2.8%

Nice go to beer year round. Dark, a bit sour on the tongue, and not too thick. Low carbonation and a high alcohol content make for a beer that will give you a nice buzz before filling you up.

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Photo of dcmchew
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown, very poor tan head that goes to a very thin lace in seconds.
Smell is very nutty (peanut, Brazilian nut, faint almond, cashew), with caramel, some faint sugar, roasted grains, low dark fruit and tiny bit of skunk.
Taste starts with sweet dark malts and caramel, a bit fruity with some apricots, plums, raisin, faint sweet cherry. Toffee follows, sweet dark bread, spices with clove, cinnamon, faint licorice and anise, hints of honey. Touch of roast and light coffee in the finish, lots of (somewhat minty) herbs and a mild hoppy bitterness.
Very light bodied for its style, a bit syrupy tho, medium carbonation. Aftertaste is damaged by some cloying syrupy sweetness and a bit of booze, otherwise quite fruity.
A weirder doppelbock, highs and lows, so it falls somewhere in between.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Half-pint glass
From: My wife’s dad
Price: N/A
Purchased: July 4, 2014
Consumed: July 6, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a dark mahogany, almost brown color with one finger of tan head. No lacing along the sides of the glass. No retention on the top.

Smelled that 7.60% ABV right away. Also got caramel, toffee, plum, amber malts, light raspberry, light cherry and purple grapes.

Tasted a bit darker than the nose. Still that berry - raspberry, cherry and juniper - caramel and plum.

Medium body. Oily texture. Soft carbonation. Long finish.

Really liked this one. Wouldn’t hesitate to try it again later.

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Photo of uspbacchus
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A. Pours a nice dark mahogany, but still let's a little light seep through. Nice tan head that dissipates with minimal lacing
S. Nice and malty. Toffee notes dominate. Definitely smell the alcohol.
T. Toffee, caramel, nuts. Very good.
M. Thin, properly carbonated for the style.
O. Extremely enjoyable if your in the mood for a dark beer. Does well on the palate and the mouth.

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Photo of Roguer
3.84/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown, fairly clear. Very little head.

Dark fruity and boozy aroma.

Flavor follows, adding chocolate, tons of nuts, caramel, and toffee.

Alive with sting; relatively thin feel, but normal for the style.

A solid Doppelbock. Tons of flavor, pretty drinkable, but a little boozy.

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Photo of HazelEyedHippie
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A yummy dark beer! Tasty, looks great, just a great beer all around. Highly recommended if you're into dark beers. It's not TOO dark, it's just right. I picked it up as a single bottle, but if I were in the mood for a dark beer, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up more than just the single. ;)

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque yet clear very dark reddish brown in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation and amber + garnet red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy tan head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark malts, brown bread, and some light notes of dark fruits (raisins). Lightly sweet.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of dark malts and brown bread. That is combined with a moderate amount of dark fruit (raisin) sweetness. Light amounts of yeasty flavors in the finish. Minimal amounts of bitterness which fades almost instantly.

M: Just shy of full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Alcohol is pretty well hidden in this beer but you can almost subtly taste it as the beer warms up. Enjoyable but rich enough in flavor and aroma tat I would likely not be able to have more than one of these in a session. Overall, this beer drinks like a meal - filling.

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Photo of DirtyMikeandTheBoys
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This dopplebock is a good one to try. It is not as good as Schneider-Weiss Dopplebock but it is pretty good.

A-pours out dark to amber with a nice white head that lasts a few minutes.

Smell-musky smell of prune juice and raisins

Taste-like a raisin yeasty muffin with good mouthfeel.

Had mine on the way home from work in a 16oz bottle .

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Photo of delta490
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep and clear brown. The white head is fizzier but doesn't last long. The aroma is definitely malty with dark bread and a sweetness reminiscent of raisins. The taste is similar but there's a nice roasted earthy funkiness in the background. The body is just right with a silky feel and finish. This is what I think of when I think of doppelbock.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.89 out of 5 based on 3,007 ratings.
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