Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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BA SCORE
87
very good
1,317 Reviews
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Germany | website

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,317
Ratings:
2,987
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
18.51%
 
 
Wants:
90
Gots:
410
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 1,317 | Ratings: 2,987
Photo of Sammy
3.28/5  rDev -15.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A very average brew. A dark amber appearance with a great head that fades slowly and that's it. No smell, no real taste. Carbonation spice and medium-light mouthfeel. Some malt in aftertaste. Nothing offensive I can say, disapointed. Maybe its better on tap with a spicy lunch.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear cola color with a nice 2 inch tan head. Thin ring lacing on the drink down. Smells of caramel malt, brown sugar, and maybe some apple peels. Taste is of caramel malt, plum/prune, slight cocoa powder. Slight hop bitterness after each sip. Good level of carbonation with a lighter body than I would have expected for this beer. Slight alcohol burn is present but doesn't detract from the beer. Good drinkability on this beer. I would love to have this at a German restaurant with some sausages and sauerkraut.

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Photo of kylehay2004
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: half finger head on a deep amber hazy body.

S: sweet caramel and chocolate malts and cocoa.

T: malts with dark fruit and lots of dark chocolate with some toasted malts.

M: medium body and moderate carbonation.

Overall: This is a nice beer but a little less spicey than I like for the style. Still a good beer to have routinely.

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Photo of t0rin0
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is one of my favorite doppelbocks right behind Celebrator and the Asam Bock from Weltenburg. Granted I've only tried a dozen or so.

The beer poured a clear dark red color into my pint glass. It had an inch tall tan/brown head that was fairly thick and creamy. Decent retention, no lacing.

The smell was very sweet and included some grape and some plum. There was also the cara-malts and little bread/yeast. Pleasant and soft.

The flavor is more intense but along the same lines. Very little bitterness to balance the crazy sugary fruit flavors. Some dark fruits and some dark malts are present. There is the tiniest bit of alcohol in the flavor.

The body is moderately heavy for a german beer and goes down real smooth. Can be a sipping drink or something to drink a big stein of.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

when you get sick off a beer as a kid (or in fact sometimes as a grown up), it can be hard to go back and fully appreciate. this one though, its not so hard at all. i recall this being one of the first craft beers i ever had, and one of the first strong ones too, way too young. not knowing anything about ABV, this really got the best of me back then. trying it again now, its very impressive, but thank goodness i took ten years in between. the flavor is so distinct and strong, one of the boldest takes on the style that exists, and its awfully memorable. big dark grain build on it, strong and sweet. molasses and cherries and booze and brought together in a huge syrupy consistency. not like other beers, thats for sure. its stick to the guts beer, winter warmer without the spices, and hard to tell its a lager. lots of sweetness on the back end with the heat, and almost a concentrated flavor profile. not much carbonation, but not much is needed. this is one of the craziest german beers out there, reminds me in some ways of the sticke alts of the world, chewy. not for everyone, and certainly about as intense a dopplebock as exists in the world. a couple is enough for me, and when its on tap at one of those beer halls that pours liters, its a lot to get through. have to appreciate it though.

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Photo of Knapp85
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured out as a nice looking brown color with some shades of red in it. The head in a bit fizzy and white not leaving much on the glass after each sip. The smell of the beer has a very nice malt back bone to it with a light sweetness coming though. The taste of the beer brings the malts onto the tongue full force and really leaves a good pleasing flavor in your mouth. Theres a bit of brown sugar in the flavor too with a pretty good bitterness in the end. The mouthfeel isn't heavy but just about medium. Overall I think that this is probably my favorite from Spaten, the Oktoberfest being second.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured very dark amber (near black) with a thin white head. Only a very light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are moderate aromas of dark, bready malts in the nose along with some notes of raisins.
T: Similar to the smell, malty flavors similar to brown bread dominate the taste along with some notes of dark fruits. There is a mild amount of sweetness in the overall taste.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and a moderate amount of carbonation is evident.
D: The alcohol isn't that apparent in the smell or taste so it's very drinkable although I'm not sure how many of these I could have because itls very filling and feels like you are having a meal.

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

Your typical Dopplebock. Malty as hell! Strong aromas or roastedness, toastedness, caramelization, and molassas. Flavors are the same, but heavy on the barley malt and molassas flavors. Not cloying, but very sweet. Thrown in some chocolate and smoke subtleties. No hop bittering, flavor, or aroma. A bit nutty and woodsy. Uses dark grain for bitteriing. A thick viscocity to the mouth and palate. Finishes a bit alcoholic and lasting sweetness. Not the most well-rounded Dopplebock that I have had, still nice.

From the tap, this beer has a much more rounded flavor, balance, and softness than is exhibited from the bottle. The aromas are soft to the point that they are harder to detect. Flavors of the malts seem softer...in the range of confectionate sugar, cotton candy, or marshmellows. The malts, still rich, toasty, and fruity are delicate with a nice earthy hop bitterness. These are way too easy to throw back, compared to the bottle.

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Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -22.9%
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.

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Photo of brentk56
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear ice tea color with a moderate head that descends to a film with some bubbles around the edge; a decent amount of lacing

Smell: Unexpected for a doppelbock, the aroma is hard to describe but is malty and meaty with roasted tones

Taste: Starts out with a biscuity/raisiny aspect that bursts into a caramel malt flavor by mid-palate and lingers for a while, after the swallow; a touch of dryness on the finish

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied (unexpectedly light for a doppelbock) with moderate carbonation

Drinkability: Not as complex as other doppelbocks but also not as sweet; as a result, much more of a drinker than a sipper

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Photo of Phyl21ca
3.86/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Bottle courtesy of Daalamar: Poured a deep burgundy/brown color beer with a huge foamy head with great retention. Aroma of banana is really dominating and greatly enjoyable. Taste has also some definite trace of banana bread with a very nice presence of sweet malt. Alcohol is very well hidden and sadly the body is a bit too thin. Apart from that , this is a very good example of a style that I don’t have a chance to enjoy often.

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

355ml bottle, from a grocery store in Waikiki. Waves are currently crashing outside on a Kona-area beach adjacent to our honeymoon condo, screwing with my beer appreciation environment-ometer.

This beer pours a clear, dark reddish amber hue, with two fingers of dense, cake-like, and foamy tan head, which leaves a few broad streaks of lace around the glass as it quickly recedes.

It smells of raisin-heavy, dark fruity malts, some secondary, but still prolific caramel/toffee, and a mild nutty chocolate twinge. The taste continues with the big, dark fruity malt, a bit of toasted bready yeastiness, and very subtle earthy, leafy hops. A slight warming pervades once things near room temperature.

The bubbles are quite sedate, lending well to a medium-full body, that is quite smooth, with silky tendencies. It finishes fairly sweet, the prune and raisin touched malt seeing just faint challenge from the tingly hops and increasing booze warming.

A pretty decent doppelbock, nice and sweet, and yet balanced, mostly, with a deftly integrated elevated ABV. I would recommend this, especially if the weather wasn't so, well, y'know, tropical.

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Photo of kojevergas
3.17/5  rDev -18.5%
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.

C+

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. The beer that once disgusted Amyliz4 but that she now loves.

Pours a moderate brown caramel color win a light tan head with some good lasting power in my pilsner glass. Nose brings caramel, toffee, and some light drugs. The taste is a bit sweet with some caramel, though not too much depth. Nice body and carbonation. A beer I used to drink fairly often and don't mind coming back to at all.

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Photo of oriolesfan4
2.91/5  rDev -25.2%
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.

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Photo of zeff80
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Poured out a golden/orange color with flecks of brown. A small, off-white, foamy head left minimal traces of soapy lace.

S - Very sweet smelling: caramel, toffee, some vanilla and slight floral notes.

T - Nice sweet flavor with notes of caramel, toffee and some chocolate and vanilla.

M - It was crisp and smooth. A little soft on the tongue, too. A medium-bodied beer.

D - This is a very nice dopplebock. Smooth and tasty.

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Photo of oline73
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at Max's. Served in a Spaten mug.

Appearance: Pours a reddish brown with a half finger of off white head that disappears completely.

Smell: Very sweet. Malt along with some caramel and some grape as well.

Taste: A lot like the smell. Very malty with strong hints of caramel and grape. There is some alcohol and a mild bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the thick side of medium with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a nice beer to drink in the fall. Quite malty. I would have liked a little bit less grape flavor.

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Photo of oberon
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

One of the first bocks I ever had,poured a nice rich brown color with foamy head.Smell was very sweet and alcoholic,taste was buttery and caramelly and creamy.Since trying more doppelbock's I noticed this was a little thin in the mouthfeel dept. but still a really well made doppelbock.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruby-infused dark walnut brown. The jewel tone red looks more orange when there's less beer to peer through, such as at the bottom edge of the glass. The pale cinnamon head is large to start, has a nearly blemish free surface and is a bit sticky where foam meets glass. Not too much lace, a few scattered splotches is all.

The nose is of roasted malt with a wee whiff of alcohol. It's somewhat disappointing since there's little chocolate or other interesting aromas that would give it depth or character. Then again... the nose takes on additional aromas--dark caramel especially--with warming, but still doesn't open up as completely as the flavor.

The flavor and the mouthfeel elevate things considerably. While the beer is nice and malty, apparently the malt wasn't roasted long enough to bring out much chocolatiness. Some cocoa flavor and some nuttiness is evident however. Hops are clearly subservient to malt, but I can still appreciate their flavor contribution, their bitterness and their ability to take the edge off of the malted milk ball sweetness.

I'm beginning to pick up some fruitiness and the beer is developing more layers of flavor, more nuance, as I enter the bottom half of the bottle. It's definitely coming into its own with warming; room temperature is the optimal Optimator temperature one might say. The body is medium-slightly full. More full than Celebrator, less full than Liberator. What was lightly silky initially is now silky and creamy.

Spaten Optimator is a good-very good doppelbock, but doesn't quite rise to the heights of my two latest beers in the style (Hooker Liberator and Sam Adams Double Bock). If you like doppels though, Optimator more than suffices. Just don't make the mistake of drinking it too cold.

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

The aroma is quite distinctive-- something like stewed prunes and gummi worms, but I mean that as a compliment. Attractive brown-amber in the tulip glass. Very pleasant lacing and creamy mouthfeel. Quite sweet, like a malty pudding. Rich, warm flavors with lots of caramel. I hope it's from malted barley, but it's good. Hint of hops. Aftertaste of candy.

I wasn't expecting to like this as much. It grows on you if you like the sweet malty style. But I would say there are more interesting examples of Doppelbocks, including American-made versions, but for a widely-distributed major beer that actually makes the boat trip, it's a winner.

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Photo of NeroFiddled
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Clear, deep-crimson/mahogany in color with an off-white head that drops shortly after pouring but maintains a good-sized creamy collar and more than adequate surface foam. Very nice. The aroma expresses rich, toasted Munich malts; a hint of fruit; a slight whisp of alcohol; and a light touch of background hops. The body is medium/full with a very fine and slightly moderate carbonation that leaves it smooth and creamy across the palate. The flavor delivers a rich toasted malt that's laced with fruit and some minimal hop flavor; as well as some clear alcohol. It's very well balanced and the sweet malt is always kept in check by a firm, underlying bitterness. It finishes dry with just a swirl of fruit and alcohol; and the malt never clings to the palate. Very well done! One of the classics of the style.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark reddish-brown body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Somewhat sweet-smelling aroma of carob, dark fruits, and apples.

Taste: Mild dark caramel flavor mixed with some carob sweetness. Accompanying notes of dark fruits and chewing tobacco. Very minor hint of apple. Only a faint amount of hop spiciness, but no real bitterness. Touch of alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a pleasant middle-of-the-road doppelbock.

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

So...after my last not so satisfying review of a Dopplebock, I figured I needed another one to try and make sure it wasnt just the style that I was having some issues with. In scouring(well not really) the shelves of my local store I saw the Spaten Optimator. Now I love me some Spaten, and I figured if someone could do the style right it would be a german brewery. So, with all that being said, I dive into the optimator...

Poured a very clear, dark amber, almost a hazelnut brown in appearence. No head what so ever, which I am starting to realize is more the style then anything. Great carbonation as evident from teh streaming bubbles coming from my glass throughout the session. A bit of lace, but nothing spectacular throughout the glass. Overall the appearence was decent, nothing knocked me over and even though it was crystal clear, it did not look thin in any way. Very nice color overall and clarity is a plus.

The smell was rather light. What was detected was some nice roasted malts and a bit of a sweetness. Did not really knock me over in the aroma, however it wasnt old, or musty smelling. It had a nice crisp, fresh air about it. And the overall sense of a dark or roasted feel was definatly there. Decent on the aroma, and better then a couple others I have tried, I just had wished it had a little more punch to it, just somethign to let me know it was there a bit more. but definatly not bad, I would have to go average here for this one.

So, I have really not like the feel of the Dopplebocks I have tried lately, but let me say right off the bat this was much, much better. A great smooth, albeit light, but not degradingly so, feel was very clearly evident. Great carbonation though made it go down as smooth as water. Great malted profile. It gave me a fullness I had not expierenced with the others I have tried. Lots of roasted barly and earthy tones were clearly evident. A nice spicey, almost fruity note in the back, but ever so faint. This really was a malt bomb. The bread tones were fantastic, and it really felt like a meal. A slight touch of alcohol, but nothing too terribly rough at all. Great feel and flavor, I really did enjoy sipping this during dinner.

Well, well, well this may have single handedly brought me back to the style. I really love my German beers, and grandma would be proud. Spaten did not let me down, as I am now definatly looking forward to try a few more from this style. This went very well with hamburgers of all things tonight, it was just light enough to be sessionable, sort of, more likely drinkable during a hot night, but yet dark enough to peak intrest and really get you into the sipping mode for a while. Overall I am really glad I picked up a six pack pf this, I will be enjoying it very much over the next couple weeks. A fantastic beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of chinchill
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in pint glass. No date on bottle, but bottle has new white, black and red label.

pours nearly black with dark reddish-brown highlights. Bright light reveals a clear but nearly opaque brew. Limited head quickly dissolves to a ring with a few thin patches.

Light-moderate level of malt aroma with light smokiness and some caramel sweetness. Good quality but low quantity of aromatics.

Taste - Far more malt and roasted flavor than indicated by the aroma alone. Rich malt flavor, but a bit too sour.

M - smooth and creamy with a medium body and light carbonation.

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Photo of superspak
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12 ounce bottle into tulip glass, bottled on 5/9/2012. Pours fairly crystal clear dark reddish brown color with a nice 2 finger dense light khaki head with great retention, that reduces to a nice cap that lingers. Spotty soapy lacing clings on the glass, with moderate streaming carbonation retaining the head. Aromas of caramel, raisin, apple, molasses, toffee, toast, brown bread, floral, brown sugar, light roasted malt, and earthiness. Damn nice aromas with great balance and complexity of malt and fruity esters. Taste of caramel, raisin, apple, molasses, toffee, brown bread, toast, brown sugar, light floral, light roasted malt, and earthiness. Lingering notes of caramel, light fruits, molasses, toffee, brown bread, toast, and light roast on the finish for a good bit. Very nice balance and complexity of malt and fruity ester flavors; with nice robustness and zero cloying sweetness present after the finish. Medium carbonation and medium-full bodied; with a moderately slick and creamy mouthfeel that is nice. Alcohol is very well hidden with almost zero warming noticed after the finish. Overall this is an excellent doppelbock. Very nice balance, robustness, and complexity of malt flavors; and very smooth to drink. A very enjoyable offering.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 1,317 ratings.
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