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: 3,036
Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle purchased and drank at The Magpie Irish Pub in Rochester, NY.

Pours a clear amber color, with a one inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like caramel malt, dark fruits, and brown sugar.

The taste is the same. Enjoyable, but a little light. Some dark fruits, raisins and prunes namely, a small amount of toasted malt. Slightly smokey and nutty. No hop flavor whatsoever.

A little thin and light bodied for the style, is nonetheless quite drinkable. Medium carbonation.

A good example of a dopplebock, but one that seems like it might have been great in the past but has been neutered now.

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Photo of tone77
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a green 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is a bit sweet, and malty, a bit bready. Taste is also bready, sweet, lots of malts, very easy drinking. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer worth checking out.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a nice dark brown with a huge head which slowly dissipates. Leaves some nice lacing. Scents are of sweet coffee/malt. There's a nice sweet taste with a medium body. This is not a Celebrator, but true to the Doppelbock style. Still it is very drinkable and many can be had, a nice session brew.

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Photo of WesWes
3.36/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy head. The aroma is decent. It has a pale scent with the addition of some crystal malts. The taste is good. It has a nice malty flavor to go with the pale malts and yeast. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. It drinks well. This is a very enjoyable doppellbock.

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Photo of DoubleJ
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From the Eisbock of last night to the Doppelbock of tonight, on to the beer:

From its 500 ml bottle into a glass, it's a light bronze color. Smells of sweet bread (what'd ya expect?) and a subtle hop aroma rise from the beer. the taste of it is a little more polished for the style, no flavors will overpower you, but plenty of it to enjoy. Malty, with a hint of caramel, finishing off a tropical fruit flavor from the alcohol. Pretty easy to drink considering the style and ABV, as I enjoyed this offering from one of Munich's famous breweries.

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint served at the Fort Worth Gingerman.

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma has notes of caramel with some dark fruit mixed in. The flavor is just as good if not better. I get some caramel malts, bready malts, grapes, dark fruit and molasses. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of plaid75
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at The Lark, East Northport, NY.

Poured a deep amber hue with a one finger frothy white head. There was good retention and lacing.

The smell featured a sweet caramel and full cereal malt.

The taste consisted of a musty sweet malt, buttery bread and some dark fruit.

The mouthfeel was typical of the style.

Overall a pretty good dopplebock.

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

Hadn't had one of these for a while and so picked up a sixpack. My mother-in-law was coming to town and she likes malty, dark, German brews, so I figured this was perfect- fits the bill without being too challenging. She had a couple before I realized that these were 7.2%! They certainly don't taste that strong and it had been years since I had any. Pours a very dark chestnut, not quite opaque and with very little head. Nice estery and malty nose with some light spiciness, malt, warming alcohol, and thin caramel. For me, what comes through mostly in the taste is the thin caramel rather than a rich maltiness. I like my Dopplebocks a little maltier tasting than this, but it does have a fairly elegant profile. Relatively thin in the mouth, but very smooth and way too easy to drink. I'd prefer a Celebrator if I'm having it alone, but this does pair very nicely with food with its smooth maltiness.

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Photo of BARFLYB
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

On Tap

Spaten Optimaor is a dark ruby red that has brown blotches. Not much as even a cap even off of the tap, just some faint squigglies. Smells is dark fruit, plum, pear, roast, big malts, caramel and toffee. The taste is the same but maybe not in the above order. It's very sweet and caramel/tofee rich, too much for my liking. The feel is syrupy and above medium and it reminded me of fresh Mad Elf from the tap. Sweet and a bit cloying. Drinkability was low.

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

Poured from 16.9 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: dark woody brown with a two-finger persistent tan head. Quite nice.

Smell: thick malt with a little pear aroma tossed in. It's also got a bit of an unctuous tartness in there which I feel I cannot adequately describe. Still, pretty interesting.

Taste: lots of malt which develops into the same pear/tree fruit that was present in the aroma. Fruity is a good word to describe it, but it is a heavy, syrupy fruity which means serious business. I don't know from doppelbocks, but this tastes pretty good to me.

Mouthfeel: big body but it doesn't coat the mouth like syrup. Pretty good.

Drinkability: this stuff is pretty tasty to me, but it is a little bit of a one-note song (OK, a two-note song--malt and pears--but you get the idea). I'll finish this one gladly, but it's a little sweet and monotonous to session.

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

Spaten Optimator's appearance conveys more than just good looks: its deep caramelly, prune-y colour designates its rich flavours, a sturdy head illustrates the quality of its construction, while the immaculate clarity attests to its clean, smooth disposition. Even without lacing, expectations of a first-rate beer set in even before the first sniff.

A very slight chocolatey scent presents itself and, especially with more warmth, the bouquet smells of chocolate-covered prunes. There may also be a whiff of light caramel, but there's scarcely enough sweetness to warrant it. The whole aroma is very clean (but with trace Noble hops) and, despite some melanoidins, has absolutely no roast and even little toast.

Doppelbocks not bursting with robust flavour are about as rare to find as Siberian tigers, still this particular example has a taste worth commending. Prune juice puree is augmented with notes of browned bread crusts - it may sound like the champion breakfast of the elderly, but I assure you it's the received flavour profile of a champion doppelbock.

That decoction mashing had the desired effect: the beer is rich in toasty melanoidins. Underlyingly sweet, it is impressively well attenuated. The mouthfeel really authenticates this as a genuine, time-honored German doppelbock; not only is it full and rich, but it's been expertly lagered with a finesse only the Germans are capable of.

Doppelbock is a style that's been brewed for hundreds of years; it's an incredible relic of German brewing tradition. While I, personally, feel that Ayinger Celebrator is the epitome of the style, I must insist that there exists few (especially among German brewed) examples that don't exemplify its rich, gratifying wonders. Optimator certainly does.

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

Pours a brilliantly clear ruby-amber color when held up to the light, otherwise a drab deep amber. It is topped by a frothy tan head that is held up by a medium-low carbonation. The aroma is a bit lighter than I was expecting, it is malty and bready with notes of molasses, caramel, and a light sweetness. The beer is malty sweet with a smooth finish that has a hint of dark malt character reminiscent of chocolate. The beer is quite a bit more tasty than the aroma suggests. Somewhat light on the palate, though only in so much as I was expecting it to be a bit thicker, it is actually about medium full in the body. In the end this seems to be lacking a little bit of malt character, though it is quite tasty, it just does not distinguish itself enough from a "standard" Bock.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
4.24/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz picked up at the Coop for about $2.00.. poured into my New Belgium goblet.

Short lasting off white head.. with only spotty lacing.. brew is walnut with garnet highlites.

Aroma is all dark bready malts.. some toasted malts with a good whiff of cocoa.. dates and other dried fruits come through.. dark caramel becomes predominant as it warms.

This is my idea of a dopplebock.. I like them with a touch more malty sweetness. Dark malts at the front of the palate.. slides into a chocolate fig concotion.. with a light cocoa and dark malt finish... slightly chewy malt presence is apparent through the entire sip and adds greatly to the overall complexity... very smooth.. sorta creamy and long lingering flavors for a German lager... nuttiness as it warms... very very clean and super smooth... finish is very long.

I am a sucker for German lagers, and Optimator is great. For some reason, I rarely buy them.

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

Subdued head pours a very dark clear brown.

Smells good, Heavy molasses and grain smell.

Heavy flavors, chocolate and molasses, malt, raisins.
It is a bit sweet and bitter, but it balances out.

Mouthfeel is good.

It is drinkable, one of my standard beers when I want something heavy.

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Photo of yourefragile
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz green bottle poured into a pilsner glass

A: A dark, clear brown liquid with a off white head that rather rapidly dissipates and leaves a nice trail of stringy lacing.
S: Nothing remarkable to me. Some malt, but theres a slightly sour, alcohol smell that really detracts from anything pleasant.
T: Malt body and aftertaste dominates this, but like the smell, there is something not quite agreeing with me. There is a slight hop bitterness which is ok to balance the malt, but still a slight sourness. Alcohol also rides in on the aftertaste and that might be throwing off my perception of everything else here since it is unpleasant.
M: Medium body with medium to high carbonation. Aftertaste isn't pleasant, following the lead of the body, but still not all together bad.
D: I've tried this a few times now and this just doesn't seem to agree with me. There's nothing bad here, I just don't enjoy this guy. Generally has a nice flavor, but a little too high in alcohol for me to want to drink this regularly for this style.

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

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle no. L-18091F. Sampled on November 22, 2009. This has a richly dark mahogany brown pour with a thin beige head and above average lacing. The aroma is sweet and malty with a nice following of hops on the last sniff. Medium mouthfeel. The taste has a fine roasted malt sensation, maybe a little molasses, and a moderate but pleasing hoppy ending. An easy to drink draker beer despite its 7.2% ABV.

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Photo of Halcyondays
3.87/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

16.9 oz. bottle, with regal label, says Since 1397,

A: Pours a medium shade of brown, with an initial tan, cola-coloured head, which quickly degrades into a thin film.

S: Smells of lots of caramel malt, fragrant, but kind of one-dimensional.

T: Malt city, full of sweet caramel malt, with a bit of a metallic tinge, which I always found to be a bit off-putting, but interesting, though it is a minor fault with this beer. The hops are there, but the malt steals the show.

M: Smooth, thick and heavy, quite robust.

D: A good dopplebock, for me not up there with Salvator and Celebrator, but a very good example of the style. A great beer and style for spring and the cooler months.

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Photo of BlackHaddock
4.34/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

7 Feb in my room at The Fishermans Wharf Sheraton in San Fransisco, picked from some all night store round the corner. This beer is wonderful, even out of a plastic beaker!

Deep brown body with a creamy biege head.

The nose is malty sweet: roasted/toasted caramel, red berries, toffee and trees.

The taste is a lovely sweet malty molasses mix: too sweet for some maybe, but not for me, I loved it.

The body is rich and full, the alcohol just about noticeable within the flavours.

A true classic.

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Photo of Derek
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Another nice product from Spaten-Franziskaner.

A: Ruby brown, nice head/lace.

S: Fruity, malty (caramel?).

T: Bready, caramel, hint of chocolate, prunes, slightly fruity (more than most lagers/dopplebocks). The taste fits right between Salvator and Celebrator.

M: Light-to-moderate body, moderate carbonation.

D: Quite drinkable.

I think this one's under-rated. It's better than Salvator!

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Photo of Evil_Pidde
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours all head, beige and compact, at first. As the head dissipates the liquid rises, copper-colored. Decent lacings.

S: Dark dried fruits; sweet but also a bit light in smell. Some chocolate and some licorice. Bready malt. Some bitter hops lures in the back.

T: Molasses; sweet dark dried fruits. Very syrupy bready. A faint smoked tone in the well roasted malts. Some bitter cherry notes. Chocolate in the back. Well balanced.

M: Full body, low carbonation - just like I like a Doppelbock! Aftertaste is short but both sweet and kernel-bitter.

O: A very sweet and well balanced Doppelbock.

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Photo of clayrock81
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A thick, cola like blackness oozed into my glass and left a small head and minimal lace rings. A malty smell of coffee and roasted malt (maybe cocoas) and some sweet smells also. A coffee, roasted malt taste with an overlying smoothness brought on by caramel. Moderate dryness on the backbite, as the alcohol is somewhat noticeable but doesn't ruin the beer. A tad simplistic but a solid beer worth trying and having a couple at the bar.

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Photo of weeare138
4.29/5  rDev +10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appears a dark reddish brown with a 1 finger tan cap that slowly fades. Tiny spotty lacing have a bit of a hard time sticking.
Smell is super malty, nutty, caramel, molasses, and sourdough.
Tate is equal to the aromas and measures up nicely.
Mouthfeel is sweet, with dark fruit and mild sourness balancing out this malty mix. Very smooth.

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Photo of cjgator3
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brownish mahogany color with a small off white head. The nose is malty with some caramel, plums and a whiff of the alcohol. Mouthfeel is medium-full bodied and nice and creamy and smooth. Taste is much like the aroma in that it is a nice and malty brew. Overall, this is a pretty good brew that is recommended if you like Doppelbock's.

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Photo of spinrsx
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4


Appearance – Reddish brown colour with an average size frothy and fizzy beige coloured head. It’s hard to make out the carbonation level due to the darkness of the beer and there is some good lacing. The head lasted for 5 minutes before it was gone.

Smell – Malts, dark fruits, butterscotch

Taste & Mouth - There is a below average amount of carbonation and I can taste malts, butterscotch, nuts and some raisins. The beer finishes with a malty and grape juice sweet aftertaste.

Overall – An enjoyable beer that is very drinkable and has great balance. I remember there being more of a smokey taste when I had it from the bottle. I'd buy it again.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,036 ratings.
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