Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
1,328 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: 1,328 | Ratings: 3,031
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 philibum13
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

It tastes a lot similar to a Sam Adams Winter Lager. It is a good, hearty beer and is recommended for cooler temperatures/seasons. It drinks as a fairly heavy beer. Although, its appearance is like a Guinness, it has a better drinkability. I'd give it a solid B or B+

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Photo of 360logic
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Standard dark amber of most doppelbocks. Medium thick head.

S: Dark cherry, toasted pumpernickel bread, sight yeastiness. A distinct metallic odor stands out though. Kind of unpleasant.

T: A somewhat indistinct dark maltiness interplays dark fruitswith . The finish is pretty strange, a weird sour funkiness gives way to a very flat maltiness before it disappears. Again, not an overly pleasant detail.

M: Medium body without too much carbonation. Pretty nice.

O: Pretty good. If I had never had the other major german doppelbocks I'd hold this in higher regard, but as it stands, this lies near the bottom of that list.

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Photo of d1ckvanswype
4.41/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from 12oz green(!) bottle into a Duvel glass, formed a finger of khaki head which died quickly. Appears dark brown, but shows a deep garnet when held to the light. Smatters of lacing.

S: Caught a slight whiff of skunk from the bottle, but it aired out by the time I poured it. Dried cherries, prunes, raisins, a touch of coffee, molasses, honey, wheat, sweet roasty malts. Man, this smells really, really good, if a tad sweet.

T: Almost exactly the same as the nose, with a nice twinge of nuttiness, barley syrup. Very mildly astringent, which leads to a very clean finish. Aftertaste is almost better than the sip.

M: Mild carbonation and a pleasantly lush mouthfeel leaves you feeling refreshed, but the sweetness does tend to get a bit sticky after a few sips.

O: While I have to knock off some merits for the green bottle, this is a remarkably good brew from a macro brewery that needs to be shipped across the ocean to reach me. I'm glad to see one of my gateway beers actually tastes better now that I'm a bit more knowledgable.

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Photo of diomz88
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - poured in a pint, dark amber or burgundy in color, small white head that recedes quickly. no lacing here.
S - alcoholic aroma, roasted malts, yeasty bread, faintly hoppy.
T - sweet, too sweet like caramel for me, with roasted malt, molasses, yeast and alcoholic in flavor, with a small amount of bitterness.
M - med to full bodied, slightly carbonated and creamy, smooth, like a really rich flavored soda.
there's aftertaste also.
D - yeah, it was ok, just ok.

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Photo of kahjdfh
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice dark brown, almost black. Not overpowering but a nice smooth roasted malt flavor, with some slight undertones of caramel and dried fruits.

Not heavily carbonated, but you feel the malty goodness with each sip.

Overall very good and very drinkable.

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Photo of fff
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I tried this one after discovering Spaten Oktoberfest. It's hard to say which I like better really. Pours a rich, dark reddish-brown with a wonderful, long-lasting head. Smells very good, with heavy roast aromas. Tastes exceptional. It has a very complex taste which, honestly, I can't describe in any other way than to say to try it, it's wonderful. Mouthfeel is very heavy, which is appropriate for this brew. It makes you savor the beer and think about what you are tasting. Drinkability is decent, but it's difficult to have more than two or three because it's so easy to savor. Excellent beer, truly world class stuff.

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Photo of MrGraybeard
4.36/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle into a 14-ounce tumbler at about 45 degrees. Tan head grew to about two fingers deep before gradually diminishing, leaving a light coat of lace behind.

The beer is sparkling clear, dark brown with a lovely reddish hue when held to the light.

Subtle hints of prunes and figs in the smell.

Bittering hops flavor is ample for a dopplebock, which really balances the flavors out. The malt isn't huge, but it plays well against the hops, leaving behind a fruity touch at the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel is a little light but certainly nothing to object to.

This is a very drinkable beer -- smooth but not cloying. It's not really a sipper. I could go through three or four of these if my better judgment didn't prevail.

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Photo of kcr357
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A pours a very dark almost opaque brownish caramel color. ONe finger of foam with nice lacing that stays till the end.
S SWEET! Molasses, brown sugar.
T See above, lots of malt to understate it, very little to no hop flavor.
M Slightly astringent, manages to not be syrupy even with the high sugar levels.
D Good to drink with dinner, not a chuggin beer by any means.

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Photo of Sayson
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Packaged in a green bottle without a freshness date.

Poured medium brown with a quarter-inch head that faded quickly. No lacing. Very clear.

Nose is suitably malty. Some hints of chocolate. Bready and grainy as well.

Sweet initial taste. Faint hop bittering present. Some notes of chocolate.

Full mouthfeel. Not much of an aftertaste.

I don't see having more than one of these, so drinkability is only average for me.

Overall, a decent example of the style in decent shape. I wish Spaten would go to brown bottles.

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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 Colt4540
3.44/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass.

A- Pours a dark amber color with a finger high off white head that leaves decent lacing and leaves a film at the top of glass throughout the beer.

S- First smell is that weird green bottle beer smell. It gives way to a sort of bread smell with a slight hop smell.

T- Has a real strong malty bread flavor. It's sort of sweet with no real bitterness. Tastes way better then it smells.

M- It's really smooth and not to chewy with just of a carbinated crispness.

D- A really smooth easy drinking beer. You could drink alot of these if the 7.2% ABV didn't eventually catch up with you.

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

A: Mahogany dark brown. Clean, white head recedes into spotty lace, down to nothing at the end, but this is probably due to the fact that I was drinking it out of a liter mass.

S: Molasses-like sweetness. Malted grains and nutty smell. Not very complex, you can tell it is going to get your buzz on.

T: very much like how it smells. A punch of sweetness, molasses and dark malted grains with a earthy, nutty finish. There is also a pretty yeasty note on the palate. Again, like the smell not very complex.

M: Clean for a Doppelbock. The carbonation is pretty steady throughout, although the last few sips were kind of gross since there was no carbonation. Again this is probably due to the quantity.

D: One of the more drinkable Doppelbocks I have had. You can take big plugs at it and do just fine.

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Photo of dunit697
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is probably the darkest german beer i have ever had. I liked it a lot, but I personally prefer the paulaner salvator because its a bit more smooth to me. This beer is great and if you think the darker the better, this could be your favorite beer and I would highly recommend it.

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

Presentation: 1 PT .9 OZ Brown bottle with crushed gold foil around cap. day code on lower left of label, but no freshness date.

Appearance: Dark amber color, with 1 finger of tan head, head retains very well, with lacing ring throughout the pint.

Smell: Hints of caramel, sweet and toasted malt, chocolate, slight hint of orange.

Taste: lovely rich malt flavor similar to a brown ale. abv very well hidden.

Notes: one of my favorites, Breakfast beer it is. a little thrown off by the label reading "malt liqour" on the side, guessing no hops.

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Photo of JetFeather22
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best Doppel Bocks i have ever had, I cant believe i payed 9 bucks for a six pack of 12 once bottles.. Considering the price and the quality of the beer i'd say it doesn't get much better than this, I got to say that this beer deserves a higher rating that 87, Maybe it's the green bottle maybe some people have gotten a few skunky beer, Thankfully i haven't

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Photo of nklatt
2.74/5  rDev -29.7%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Deep amber color, small head, mild sweet flowery smell. Caramel-sweet taste, not strong alcohol - or anything else. Sticky, thin mouthfeel. Wouldn't want to drink more than a couple of these.

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Photo of cedricwarner
2.8/5  rDev -28.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance is standard for style - Dark copper with tan head.
Smell is freshly baked bread, but somewhat faint.
Taste is initially sweet, raisiny, giving way to soy sauce and a slight bitterness, ending with a somewhat metallic aftertaste.
Mouthfeel is rich and full as it should be.

Out of the Doppelbocks from Germany that I've tried, this is my least favorite, as well as my least favorite offering from the Spaten brewery. It doesn't have the strong maltiness of Salvator, Bajuvator or Korbinian, it doesn't have the complexity of Celebrator or Andechser. It's not horrible but there are way better Doppelbocks and Starkbiers out there.

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Photo of Madmax99
4.33/5  rDev +11%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoy this beer a lot because it's a darker beer that I enjoy drinking year round. Very little head and a non existing lace, and a deep redish amber color round out the appearance of this fine brew. This beer drinks very well even though a slightly higher alcohol content, which doesn't over power. The sweetness of the beer is well balanced with a slight dryness, but the maltiness will linger on the palate.

I like to pair this beer with romano and asiago cheeses, try it sometime


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

Poured from a 16.9 oz BROWN bottle into a pint glass (and then refilled the pint glass once I finished the first serving). The brew poured an opaque amber-brown color with a slight tan head that dissipated quickly without keeping its lacing.

The initial smell was that of caramel. As the beer warmed up, it began to smell and taste better. There is a slight, slight hint of apple taste and, of course, plenty of malt to go around. I would recommend getting this in the brown bottle, as there is no skunky smell that often comes from the imported green bottles.

The taste got better as the beer warmed, as it really became discernibly flavorful. The taste of caramel carried throughout and once warm, the alcohol became more prevalent. I let my friend try it and he said it was "super-bready". The bread taste makes the beer quite filling, especially in the 16.9 oz variety. Immense taste of malt and a dry, crisp aftertaste left the beer quite drinkable.

This is quite the smooth Dopplebock. Despite the opaque appearance, it is quite light in body with little to no carbonation, making it go down very smoothly. Felt great on the palate.

Drinkability is sneaky, because this is still a 7.2% abv brew. I read someone saying one could get into trouble by not realizing this and I agree. It goes down much smoother than a beer should at this alcohol content level and in the bigger bottles, it's common habit to try to finish it before it warms (though I still stand by my belief that this beer tastes better warm). All in all, an above average Dopplebock - 4s across the board.

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Photo of andyinsdca
3.02/5  rDev -22.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Appearance: Poured into a pint glass: Head is good solid and lasted a while. Color is a very deep red, almost opaque.
Smell: Some sweet smell.
Taste: Starts out with a great chocolate/carmel taste, lots and lots of flavor. As the glass wore on, the flavor left behind just a strong malty flavor without anything interesting.
Overall: Too bad the flavor didn't last. A good beer overall, I'd drink it again, but no go out of my way for it.

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Photo of RichScherle
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - classic dark bronze doppelbock color. Rich beige head that lingers.

S - sweetness, some dark, brooding roasty notes, a slight whiff of alcohol and spice.

T - malt bomb! A bit one dimensional in that respect - approaches cloying levels but doesn't get there which is admittedly is nice. Rich, robust malty sweetness with middle notes of roasted barley and backend of ever so slight hops and a good dose of alcohol. Finishes wet and sweet. It just lacks a certain depth and complexity of flavor that other doppels I like better have (such as herby notes, yeasty notes, and a more elegant approach balancing out the malts)

M - very good. thick and voluptious.

D - its drinkable but strong and sweet. So its not something I would drink all night long but definitely something I get every time i'm at the german bar after a few pints of a nice pilsner.

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Photo of mhaws000
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured a nice deep brown with a light tan head that quickly receeded to a light lace that maintained throughout the beer.

S- toasted grain with a slight alcohol warmth.

T-Very well balanced with a full malty body that is wonderfully balanced with just a hint of hoppy bitterness and a nice warm heat from the higher alcohol content

M-Nice full-bodied feel but not syrupy. Enough "chewiness" to get noticed but not enough to make you think about it too long. Just right as far as I am concerned.

D-This is a long time favorite of mine and every time I have another I reaffirm that feeling. This is a very well made beer. Every aspect of it feels well thought out and executed. This is a great example of how good beer should be. The only reason I dont give this 5's is because Optimator doesn't "blow my mind" When I drink it I think "Damn that is good...really, really good." But this isn't the type of beer that makes you change the way you think about a style. It doesn't make me think that there isn't anyting better, but it certainly does make me realize how much better it is than alot of the crap that is out there.

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Photo of JohnY
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured on tap and into a Spaten Bier Stein. White head that created a good two fingers at the top of the stein. Retained the head for most of the stein. No apparent lace to be found. Ruby red to Dark brown in color. Faint brambly fruits on the nose back with a nice chocolate to caramel malt nose. No fruit presence in the taste, alcohol on the initial taste that followed by malty sweetness. Easy to drink considering the ABV.

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Photo of Clamwacker
3.99/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This one poured into a 16 ounce pilsner glass with about half a finger of pale head, the brew itself being a deep red/amber color when held to light, almost black otherwise. The head dissipated quickly and leaves little lace.

Aromas of roasted chestnuts, honey and molasses, with a bit of dark malt.

The flavor is my favorite part, I was pleasantly surprised by this brew. The honey and molasses aromas carry straight through and dominate until the last moment. I detected a hint of root beer aroma and flavor if I swallowed with the glass still held to my nose. Nice!

Mouthfeel is pretty average, medium carbonation with no particular lingering effects. The relatively high alcohol content is masked very well with the extra malt. No real hop balance to this one, it's malt forward all the way.

I would probably only drink one of these at a time, primarily because it is fairly strong at 7.2%, but also because it's a very unique flavor that I wouldn't want to desensitize myself to.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,031 ratings.
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