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Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

YOUR RATING = None |
BA SCORE
87
very good
1,316 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:
1,316
Ratings:
2,983
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
18.51%
 
 
Wants:
90
Gots:
409
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,316 | Ratings: 2,983
Photo of Aleks_P
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pretty dark brown but transparent with very thin tan/white head. Appears highly carbonated based on the bubbles racing to the surface.

Smell: Was surprised a bit to pick up some pretty heavy caramel malt notes, almost smells sweet.

Taste: Malts make this a little heavy and the higher ABV is apparent. No alcohol burn but definitely taste it. Pretty bitter or tart I guess, I am a little concerned this beer might be skunked (who knows how long it was on the shelf) but it is self-described as "malt liquor" so maybe it's what they were going for.

Mouthfeel: Light and pleasant, enjoy the carbonation which balances the malt notes.

Overall: Wasn't a huge fan of this beer but I've only had a couple of dopplebocks so maybe I'll appreciate it more when I've expanded my pallet a bit. Prefer something with a lower ABV and less sour/bitter notes. Again, possible this particular beer was skunked.

 910 characters

Photo of abeeronthebeach
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - Surprisingly dark. Golden-tinted christmas cake brown.

S - Sweet, wheaty and malty. Reminds me of drinking non-alcoholic Karamalz beer as a child on holiday.

T - The sweetness and maltiness from the nose dominate, with a little wheat mid-palate. Little to no alcohol heat and bitterness is minimal. Pleasant, but lacks depth, complexity and intensity of flavour.

M - Sticky and a little chewy. A touch flat.

O - This is a nice beer. It has pleasant flavours and is kind to the wallet while being generous yet discreet with its abv. Don't expect too much and you'll enjoy this brew.

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Photo of dahcw
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

I got this beer at a liquor store on clearance for $.50.
Turned out to be a great buy for a doppelbock.
The beer was enjoyed cold, just out of the refrigerator.
This beer is full flavored , has a good smell, very smooth.
I would consider this as a good couch sitting beer.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I purchased this from Wegmans, enjoyed chilled in a pokal.

The color is deep brown with translucent clarity and thin tan cap with fine bead. The smell is slightly caramel with some nutty malt aromas with mild floral hop ester. The feel is good with moderate sweetness and medium carbonation with slight dry body with mild spice and light alcohol in the finish.

The taste has some malty presence with some moderately toasted munich and caramel malt sweetness with some nutty flavor with creaminess from the yeast. The flavor is more sweet than anything with gentle spice in the background. Overall this is a pretty drinkable bock, not too strong but still might not have multiples since it is on the sweet side. Not a very complex beer but fits the style well enough

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Photo of elwood522
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Definitely sad to hear they are now an IN-BEV product but it is a very god beer.

A: Very dark ruby red with a pretty thick white head

S: Sweet and MATLY

T: It's malty but not sweet. Has a nice aftertaste and is really nicely balanced.

M: Really smooth and drinkable.

Can't say I've ever had a better doppelbock. Watch out for that sneaky 7.6%

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Photo of jadpsu
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bought in 6-pick in Laurel, MS.
Pours a dark red, looking like a Red Ale. Has a tan head that has average retention, fading to some thin lacing.
Raisen, caramel and toasty malts are strongest at the start.
Some sharp twangy hops appear in the mouth along with some lively carbonation.
Started out with some sweet maltiness, finshed with some acedic hoppiness, while the 7.6% ABV creates a warming effect.

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

Once again the doppel bock comes thru. Tired of watery and hoppy taps at the local steak house, I ordered a doppel bock. It might have been the fantastic food and company that set off the evening - but it was the beer that made the night spectacular.

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Photo of Theheroguy
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Very chewy, this is a very robust beer.

Smells sweet and of roasted malts. The Smell is very pleasant. No hops in the nose

The taste is roasted malt and sweetness first with hop undertones. At the end the hops creep forward until they are the foremost flavor.

Like many bocks and dunkel lagers it has a taste which reminds me of molasses.

This is great doppelbock that I highly recommend.

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Photo of ahommell
4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A: Deep brown. decent carbonation. Very little head. Little to no lacing.

S: Grainy. Dark. Citrus. Overall, the taste of Malt soothes the back end of the nose.

T: Cherries. Dried Fruit. Brown sugar. Raisins. Hints of hops on the back end.

M: No bitterness. Love the malt and fruit taste on the back end. helps to make the maouthfeel smooth. Lovely finish that trails of in an alcohol over time.

O: Good. Probably my favorite Spaten product.

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Photo of MarioM
3.52/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Deep red mohogani with a light tan head. Good carbonation and very clear.good looking brew.

S: Good maltiness on the nose with a hint of grains, fruit and dark sugars.

T: Dark fruits, molasses, brown sugar and a lot of dried dark fruits like cherries and raisins.

M: Alcohol gives a good warmth and a Ritchie maltiness lingers from the dark malts. Not much if at all any bitterness.

O: A decent example of the style but Aftertase is a little too fresh grain, almost corn or vegetable like.

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Photo of bark
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

The colour is brown (25 EBC), the liquid clear. The finger thick head is compact and off-white, it sinks into a thin lid leaving very little lacing.

The smell is a bit weak. Sweet malts, caramel and some flowery notes. Hints of old oak wood and smooth alcohol.

The taste is malty and smooth, the alcohol is well hidden. Tree/oak-flavours, earthy notes of mature whisky/brandy. Semi-sweet notes of caramel and brown sugar. Full bodied flavours. The aftertaste brings some more earthy notes as well as minerals and a touch of molasses. The finish is smooth with fine caramel flavours.

The carbonation is medium strong; the bubbles are mid-sized. The liquid is a bit light and somewhat sticky.

Not bad at all, but it might lack some complexity that I want in a Doppelbock.

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

Appearance: Dark russet; small head; good lacing

Aroma: Light roasted grain; dried fruit; alcohol aroma

Taste: Creamy malt with warming alcohol on start; dried fruit in the mid; finishes slightly sweet with pretty good hop balance; not overly complex, but decent flavor overall

Remarks: Did not score A, T, S, M at that time; disregard those scores

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Photo of barczar
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Pours a deep brown color, but is a brilliant ruby when held to the light. The quarter inch khaki foam head dissipates fairly quickly, leaving little lacing.

Nutty, toffee-like toasted notes and roast malt fruitiness begin the aroma. Light floral hops and a bit of cola add complexity.

Fruity undertones of dark berries give way to toffee nuttiness mid palate, becoming toasted and decidedly bready at the finish. There's a moderate amount of caramel malt sweetness, but the herbal hop notes dry things out a bit.

Body is moderate to a touch full, with moderate carbonation and slight alcohol warmth.

Melanoidin notes open as it warms. The fruitiness is a touch overpowering regarding the malt profile. Wish the flavor matched the nose more exactly.

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

Enjoyed this 12oz bottle out of a Belgian tulip glass.

A: Pours a dark amber hue with and off-white head that quickly dissipates into a wispy lace leaving a partial trail.

S: Malty sweet aroma with caramel background.

T: Similar to the smell the sweet malty flavor hits your palate at first followed by some caramel notes.

M: Medium-heavy body and medium carbonation.

O: Solid doppelbock – surprising light for a 7.2% abv brew.

 435 characters

Photo of stella77artois
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into Weizen glass.

As a long time fan of Spaten Original and being a fan in general of Bock's and Doppelbocks, I naturally wanted to try this. Unfortunately, no local stores carry it. Was lucky enough to find some across the lake in VT.

A - Average looking doppelbock. A very dark red-brown, slightly lighter in the light. A very thin off-white head which dissipated quickly, but left some residual. No carbonation noticed.

S - Not a whole lot here. Lot's of malt, some caramel and a general creaminess. A nice smell, just a little on the light side.

T - Damn, this tastes good. A very good representation of a bock. Malt and caramel noticed in the taste as well. Also some toffee, and even some cinnamon. A very creamy and malty taste, without the huge amount of sweetness that many bocks carry. A very, very good taste beer.

F - This is where the beer seperates itself. This is one of the more drinkable bocks. Don't get me wrong, I do greatly enjoy the thickness and feel and a normal doppelbock, but sometimes it can get a little heavy. Not the case here. Still a thick and powerful feeling beer, but a lot of carbonation was felt on the tongue, and the beer wasn't as heavy feeling. First doppelbock I've tried that I consider crisp.

O - A damn good doppelbock. Plenty of taste, not so heavy that you can't drink a few. Highly recommend this beer to any bock fans, or anyone who enjoys dark lagers in general.

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Photo of Axnjxn
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

12oz bottle into a Weizen glass. no bottling date.

pours a dark brown/red with a half inch thick head that quickly dissipates. a bready and malty aroma on the nose, quite typical of a doppelbock. taste is very much as expected from a doppelbock, bready and malty and sweet, just like the nose. its pretty good, not great. good feel for a doppelbock, easy to drink. medium bodied with light carbonation.

overall a fairly standard doppelbock thats very drinkable and a good representation of the style. this beer is available everywhere, and its worth picking up if you enjoy doppelbocks.

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Photo of carolinared
3.69/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.25

Pleasing malty and sweet aroma. Minimal carbination and head. Taste was good, strong malt, sweet, caramel and maybe a trace of chocolate, long finish with some alcohol to me. My first experience with a Dopplebock, looking forward to comparing to other dark lagers and ales to pick a group of favorites. At this point, this may be a little on the too sweet side for me, but, still enjoyed the beer, and especially the smell. Agree with other comments about the green bottle - why put a good beer in a clear or green bottle?

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Photo of shanny1981
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

This is one of my favorite classic German beers. This is a very decent, full bodied, flavorful, reddish amber beer with a good sweet, roasted grain smell. A roasted malt flavor with some hops in the aftertaste. Has a fair amount of head to it that dissipates almost immediately. Some toasted grains on the aftertaste so a little bitterness as the aftertaste with a hint of some grapefruit. A dry finish which would go good with any good meal.

 442 characters

Photo of MistahBeah
2.41/5  rDev -38%
look: 2 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 1.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.25

I think this one may have been skunky so maybe not accurate. Reading other reviews that were favorable but I really didn't care for this one

Appearance: Initially poured like a true dopplebock. Small tan head. Little carbonation. Deep copper. Clear amber in the light. No retention/lacing. After a little while I honestly thought it looked like sewage. Not very inviting but maybe its my overall impression clouding my judgment.

Aroma: No surprises here. Smells like yeast and sweet caramel. A tad hoppy?

Taste: This is where it tanks in my opinion. Way too hoppy for the style and it tastes skunky. Tastes more like a maibock - which wouldn't be bad if it wasn't a dopplebock. Sticky resin hops with slight char malts but virtually no sweetness. No detectable alcohol. Really not a fan.

Mouthfeel: Feels more carbonated than you'd think. Really coats the mouth. Sticky and if I thought it tasted better I wouldn't mind.

Overall: Like I said, if it said it was a maibock I'd probably enjoy it but I was let down. Not a terrible beer just a bad representation of the style

 1,076 characters

Photo of jimmah120
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

12oz green bottle with no date. malt liquor, 7.6 abv

pours a very dark but clear amber, thin layer of foam. Smell is yeast and dusty grain, some funky euro hops too. first taste is roasty malt, then some dark fruit and a very sweet middle. finish is smooth and a touch bitter. no skunk for me (well, maybe a little)!

surprisingly good, maybe a tad too sweet. not a trace of the 7.6, and the price is right. Winner.

 416 characters

Photo of JuicesFlowing
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a shaker pint glass.

Look: Ruby mahogany body. Cream colored head with decent retention and random lines of lacing.

Aroma: Caramel and toffee are skunked out by the green bottle.

Taste: A spicy, toffee-like body. But there is a green bottle skunk note that ruins this. Buttery caramel otherwise.

Mouthfeel: Creamy, slightly heavy.

Overall: I can't help but think this must be great on tap. Why do German brewers use green bottles?

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Photo of WissBrauSean
4.24/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Green bottle beer! Yikes! Why? Anyway, this particular bottle exhibits no skunk aroma of flavor which is nice because it would detract from the profile.

I poured this beer cold into a tulip glass. Neither appropriate for the style, but you can't always have perfection. It poured a nice clear dark mahogany with a one finger tan head that quickly dissipated to a thin ring around the glass and very little lacing is noticeable.

The aroma is of sweet caramel malts and dark fruits with a tad of bread to it and maybe some honey and molasses. It's very pleasant.

The taste is of malted sweetness with molasses, dark fruit, some nice bread notes and a hint of cherry all pretty much apparent equally throughout the sip with the molasses lingering until the end where some mild bitter hops finish it all off with a bit o' black pepper. Alcohol is apparent in neither the nose or the taste. Well done!

The mouthfeel is sweet, almost syrupy, but not quite, the hops and moderate carbonation help to counter that. The body is generally full with maybe a little chewiness to it.

Overall this is an exceptional beer in my book. Why they risk putting it in a green bottle I have no clue. It may be too sweet for some, but that is the style. I like it a lot and if I were to detract any points it would be for the very faint head. I give it a solid 4 out of 5, maybe one notch higher. I am not happy about the ownership of the brewery and that destroys any chance of me buying it again.

 1,480 characters

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.

 1,256 characters

Photo of FlatRabbitRed
4.29/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Very good beer, bold body and flavor, will be going back for more!

Darker in color ... all the bocks I have had are darker, but I do understand there are lighter colored ones out there also.

Good balance of coffee and caramel notes, and not very heavy for 7.6 % ABV. Balanced well with the hops also, you really can't taste the hop character to much. Bocks seem to have a sweeter quality then a Porter ...(which I would probably get confused during a blind folded taste test) ..and this one works it well that way.

 517 characters

Photo of TheMarkE
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Deep, dark amber with a very nice head and lacing.

Smell: Chocolate and dark roasted malts.

Taste: Chocolate, caramel, molasses, raisins and dates and other dark fruits.

Mouthfeel: Thick, with a slight bitter raisin aftertaste.

The Verdict: Not bad. It’s nowhere near the best doppelbock I’ve had, but I enjoyed it. Plenty of chocolaty goodness, this would pair perfectly with a chunk of gourmet cheese.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 1,316 ratings.
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