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Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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very good
1,326 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: 1,326 | Ratings: 3,015
Photo of Matthew_Phoenix
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this at a bar. Never heard of it and the name just kind of stuck out to me. Bartender explained to me that it was a German Lager and I just had to have it.

A - Nice, dark amber color that shows little carbonation. Creme colored head that goes away after about 2 minutes, leaves little lacing.

S - Smell is somewhat toasty and fruity. Dark fruit like figs.

T - Real toasty and bready. A little bit of toasted hop presence that balances it out. Not real bitter at all. Goes down real easy and clean. Can't really notice the presence of alcohol. Not bad at all.

M - It was light-medium, but had a somewhat slickness to it, almost creamy thing going on that sticks on your pallet after your done drinking it that makes you want more.

I really enjoyed this, so much so that later that night I ordered another one. They were $4 a pop. Try it.

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Photo of BastardKing24
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark prune color with minimal head that leaves no lacing, the color of this doppelbock is awesome. I like them darker compared to some which can be more of an orange color.

Smell is amazing with a big cherry and clove hit, then some banana, yeasty smells, dark fruits, molasses, and smoke.

Taste is refined for the style, yet very drinkable. Toasted caramel, banana bread, roasted malts, dark fruits, and clove.

Feel is lightly carbonated but with a generous slick feel to it.

Overall quite tasty, I have had this over 20 times and I never get tired of it.

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Photo of mothman
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light tan head. Good retention. Color is a dark copper brown.

Flavor profile: A lot of caramel malts. Raisins, plums, molasses, toffee, and some bready flavors. Dark fruits and malts. Sweet.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Medium to full bodied. Ends a bit sticky.

Overall, a nice doppelbock, but it seems to have a slight skunky flavor to it. It might be the green bottle playing tricks on my mind. Pretty solid offering.

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Photo of PedalFuel
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful garnet hue, dark and clear, quickly fading head but persistent carbonation. Slim lacing. Aroma is bready, with toasty sweet caramelization and dark fruits. Taste is full and follows aroma with good roast and nuances of earth and spice. Very smooth, very malty; simple but pleasant. Definitely worth having especially given it's availability and cost...

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Photo of SFNC
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This to my knowledge is my first Doppelbock. Let's see where this goes. Pours a nice darkish brown with ruby hues, Clear with a moderate off-white head that melts away in a ring on the outside of the glass. Smells great! Dark bread, molasses, fruit, lot and lots of malt and just a little of herbs and hops. The taste is just like the smell, rich with flavor, a thick almost chewy mouthfeel that seems just right. This is a great brew, I'm looking forward to trying other brands of Doppelbock, though I would not hesitate to pick Spaten again in the future. It's a keeper!
Just a note, that i have tried several other Doppelbocks and this one remains my favorite, including the much celebtrated Cebrator.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a rich mahogany with ruby hues. Bright clarity and bubbles rising to the top continually. A half finger of foam that fell quickly and left only a thin ring and slippery wet lace. Nose is lively with dark fruits like dried plum, raisin, fig and molasses. There's toffee and a sweet caramel. Malty and rich. Has the lightest scent of almonds. Taste is sweet and vibrant. Malty and full with a buttery smooth caramel, toffee and some dark chocolate starting to evidence on this as it warms. Mild roast and a light hop herbal. The body is a bit thin and it's slick. Finishes dry and with some spicy alcohol. Not enough to say there's alcohol on the palate as it only warms slightly. The carbonation is ample and a bit strong.


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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark red/mahogany color with a fingers worth of head that quickly fades down to a very thin cap

S: Very malty, with some bittersweet molasses and toffee notes to go along with a light sweetness. A very light fruitiness also presents itself

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the molasses and toffee notes and goes into a light sweetness followed by some dark fruit. Cherry/almond stands out the most in terms of dark fruit, but a nice fig note is there as well. Alcohol hardly noticeable amongst the massive amount of maltiness

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: I'm generally a fan of thicker and heavier doppelbocks (Ayinger immediately comes to mind), and this one fits that description. Holds up well with age and is under $9 for a 6-pack so it's definitely well worth a buy

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Excellent tan lacing that remains on the glass. Blood red; perfect to the Halloween season.

Smell: Sweet vinegary grapes. Smokey oak as well. Again, definitely a great seasonal.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Initially some dry smokey grass. Oak follows with a hint of raisin. Mouthfeel starts nice and yeasty and is a bit thin overall. Despite this, it makes a nice crisp and bold comeback in the finish.

Overall: An excellent beer.

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Photo of langstrom
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark brown. Looks like a heavier beer than feels in the mouth.

Smell: Rich aroma. Sultry sweetness with a hint of toasty caramel. Very pleasant.

Taste: Initial bitterness with an immediate bite of bitterness on the back of the tongue. It leaves a lingering sweetness and a desire for more. Deep and rich with a subtle sweetness. Nice balance of sweet and bitter. Not incredibly complex. The ABV is hidden in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very appealing. Slightly thick with enough crispness to balance.

Overall: It's a heavier beer but not so heavy that you can only drink one. It's going to be added to my regular rotation.

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Photo of Cheshire_Crew_Al
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, 3-4 cm head

color is a deep brown with slight reddish hint

S: slight smokiness to accompany some fruit,

T: slightly disappointing, some smoke and a bit of sweetness - caramel along with a slight nutty taste - but overall does not have the depth of flavor of others in this style

M: medium carbonation, smooth however, much easier to drink than ABV would suggest

O: Very, very good doppelbock, not great, missing a little something in the flavor that I cannot pinpoint, it has several of the hints of taste that I like about the style but leaves a slightly bland aftertaste however

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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.

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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.

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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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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.89 out of 5 based on 3,015 ratings.
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