Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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very good
1,320 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: 1,320 | Ratings: 3,004
Photo of Gueuzedude
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
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 oelergud
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark ruby body with a small to medium bubbled tan head, great retention and lace, no carbonation.
Sweet honey spiced nose that reveals the alcohol level
Honey, caramel, molasses and brown sugar up front taste with a solid kick of citric hops coming right after the malts.
Great mouthfeel, thick and slick, nice coating. You can almost chew this brew.
Good drinkability, goes down smooth and easy so watch out, even though the ABV is low for a dopplebock it's still enough to kick your ass.


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

Enjoyed on tap from the Hofbrauhaus, in the Food Court at The Big E, West Springfield, MA.

Clear plastic pint cup presentation. Pleasing 1/2" beige head over the deeply reddish brown brew. Aroma is deeply of grain, with a slight alcohol presence notable. Taste is dominated by malts, and a nice warming feelign as it goes down. Mouthfeel and drinkability are both good. An excellent brew.

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Photo of necoadam
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured out a dark brown color with a nice tan head which went away to lacing after a while. Smell consisted of nice, big, juicy malts with a slight toastiness to it. Some nuts and fruits could be found in the background to make the smell wonderful. Taste was good. Malts and more malts attack the palate. Has that chewy texture to it, but the beer is not that heavy or big bodied in anyway. There's some sweetness to it, but not cloying one bit. Medium-ish body with the perfect amount of carbonation mixing in. Just a wonderful doppelbock which should be on hand that all times.

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Photo of mzwolinski
4.56/5  rDev +17.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Deep ruby in color, with a torrent of carbonation. Topped by a massive, creamy light tan head. This is quite persistent and lends a nice creaminess to the whole drink.

Rich, slightly toasty toffee-like malt aroma.

Flavor starts with a hint of tang, but quickly settles down to a smooth, rich, caramel malt. Something of a one-note beer, but what a note it is! Medium-bodied. Incredibly smooth, and not a bit cloying. This is amazingly drinkable for something this sweet. A classic.

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Photo of BJ1833
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown, cola-like color with a light brown two-finger head.

Aroma: Very malty with a nut-like aroma.

Taste: Rich roasted barley flavor with slight coffee tones. A faint metallic taste is present in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy body with good carbonation.

Overall: A good doppelbock. Although I've had limited exposure to this style, this is the best I've tried so far.

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Photo of allengarvin
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

500ml bottle, in a half-liter Paulaner stein-type glass.

Appearance: Dark reddish mahogany. Airy head of foam that after a moment becomes just soft layer on top of the beer.

Aroma: Sweet alcohol nose, with some malty sweetness.

Flavor/Body: Malt hits up front, as is typical for doppelbocks, with toaty, light caramel flavors. Bitterness is slightly higher than most German examples. Finish is drier than one expects, and lingers on the tongue. Body is medium.

A good beer, with lots of warming alcohol, but with less malt character than my favorite doppelbocks.

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Photo of TastyTaste
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Deep cherry coloa in color, with 1/2" of foamy off-white head. Smells deeply of malt, brown sugar and alcohol. Taste is dense with roasted, sugary malts. Body is very chewy and full, excellent mouthfeel. Alcohol is not overpowering, but it goes together very well with the maltiness, and slight hops. Worth a try, I'd even get it again.

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Photo of Doppel07
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice rich, dark beer with a small, creamy head. Malty, bready taste with noticeable alcohol, but not to the point of detracting. The Germans are the rightful masters of this style and this is a fine example. This is an excellent warmer during a skiing break.

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Photo of Tballz420
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark cola-colored brew, with a bubbly head following a nice cascade of carbonation. Light caramel malt scent. For the taste, it is mainly a caramel, slight toast malt scent. Some bitter hop presence, but nothing earth shattering. Med/full bodied, some creaminess to the feel. Not my favorite doppel, but overall a pretty solid brew.

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Photo of SilentSabre
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured a deep red/bronze colour with almost no head. Only a thin haze remained and remained throughout deinking it. The smell is quite sweet and malty. I saw where someone else had said 'butterscotch', and I'd have to agree. The taste is a bit sweet as well with a good bit of malt on the finish. A tiny, tiny bit of hops is slightly detectable. The mouthfeel is heavy and thick, easy to drink, but thick. Overall, I thought it was quite nice. I'd buy it again.

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Photo of gentlebubbles
3.15/5  rDev -19%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

on tap at Redbone's

Dark brown with a low whiteish head. Sweet malty scent, foretelling heavy, syrupy caramel with tones of butterscotch. Leaves but a hint of hops on the breath. Not all that interesting, and as I slowly sip it, it seems to grow duller and duller.

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Photo of oracle
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Beer arrived with almost no head at all. However this did not detract from an overall excellent experience with this beer.

Color was very dark, almost appearing black at first. When held up to the light, you can see it's more of a very deep mahogany.

Smell was very nice, deeply malty without going overboard. Faintly sweet.

Taste was very solid. Lots of malt right from the beginning, faintly bitter short lived finish.

Low carbonation makes this beer easy to drink.

Overall, probably the best dopplebock I've had and one that will lead me to try the style more often.

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

Appearance- Nice dark cola color, has ruby color when seen in the light. Average head, which pours fairly creamy.

Smell- Nice malty caramel smell.

Taste- Malty with caramel taste. Fairly smooth, but tastes full, and not as filling as I would have thought.

Drinkability- Very good, I really enjoy this style nowadays. Definently a beer I'll be drinking again when the mood hits me.

Overall, there isn't much to say about this beer. Optimator is about what you'd expect from a company like Spaten, no big surprises here. It gets the dopplebock style down really well, but doesn't rise above the level of being very good.

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Photo of rajendra82
3.6/5  rDev -7.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Reddish brown body is the color of cola with a fizzy beige head that is not around for very long. The aroma is roasted cracked grains and dry fruits mixed with powdered chocolate. The taste is sweetly malty, fruity (figs, raspberries, and apple), musty, and faintly smoky. The flavors don’t meld together quite well and mouthfeel is one step on the harsh side of creamy. The alcohol is not well covered, but is not strong enough to be a distraction. Hop bitterness is well in check, and only presents itself in the dry aftertaste. A good deal at under $2 for a 500 ml. bottle at Green’s on Buford Highway.

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

Pours a brown, reddish-hued liquid. There’s a think, off white head that quickly fades to thin ring. The aroma is malt with a touch of mildly harsh alcohol. A grain-like maltiness flows through the beer. It’s not as sweet as many beers of this style, which may make this a little more drinkable than many others. It’s a touch oily, with an alcohol warming. Low carbonation. Thick and solid body on this beer. The finish is sweet and lingering.
I’ve had this beer often, and I’ve found it to be solid and consistent. It’s enjoyable and quite good, but not up to the standards of a lot of other doppelbocks.

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Photo of Hunter
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

OK...Beer pours the color of a Pepsi (might be sacrilege to say that. Screw it - sue me. It's what it looks like). Head has a good cascading effect like a nitro-fueled Guinness. When it settles I'm left with a three-finger thick tan head with good retention. Moderate carbonation from the brew.

Nose of chocolate spice, hops, and malt. Let's see...agitation brings up some alcohol and floral notes. At 7.2% that shouldn't surprise me.

Strong hit of alcohol in the first swallow, that goes straight to the toes. There is a feel of fermented fruit and malt, some spice in the mouth. An interesting play of flavors, some easier to pick up than others. The alcoholic floral notes linger in the aftertaste. For some reason this seems to hit me harder than a Chimay, but maybe that's not a detriment to the brew.

Mouthfeel is smooth, slightly oily. It clings a bit, and might be better suited to sampling with a good meat or cheese dish than alone. Definitely something to keep in your regular rotation. Bock fans will rave; the rest of us will simply give the thumbs-up. Danke schon, Spaten!

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

The body is the cola/ruby mixture. There’s not a lot of head. The smell has a bit of blanched corn and brown sugar with a slight bit of prunes. The flavor brings in a bit of toffee and chocolate. This was one of the beers we passed around the table at 5 Season’s July 1st party in Atlanta to celebrate the Georgia’s newly raised ABV limit on beer.

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Photo of cbl2
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5


A deep crystal brown with little to no head.


All malts. Slightly sweet and inviting you to drink immediately.


Sweet malty characteristics with an undertone of slightly burnt caramel. This is smooth well balanced brew. Definitely a go to beer.

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Photo of yankeeheel
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at the Old Munich restaurant in Topsham Maine. Served in an 0.4 liter Spaten mug. Who would've thought they served real beer in Topsham? Pours a nicely dark brown/plum with a perfect 2 finger head.

Smells deeply of toffee malts. Way nice.

Tastes nicley sweet with a lot of malt sugars kicking around. Tons of dark fruit essences like grape, plum, and perhaps a little fig. Not overbearing at all. Finishes nicely dry with almost no detectable alcohol.

Incredible medium body. Some bocks just bowl you over and bloat you(me)out. They are too heavy on the tounge to have with a meal. This isn't like that at all. Creamy fruit mouthfeel makes it an easy drinker. I only wish I didn't have to drive last night or I would have had several.

When served alongside authentic German cuisine this beer is a little bit of rapture.

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

Clear ruby-copper color up to the light, amongst the shadows it lurks as chestnut brown. Thin tan cap delevops late after the pour, surmounting down quickly to a very thin collar. Minimal spotty lacing which melts away.

Aroma is mild and wavering of dark caramel, slightly roasty toffee, dark cherry notes, and touches of molasses.

Flavors are nice, starts a bit slow and wet but builds to some lightly chewy and medium richness of slender roasted caramel and toffee. Drops of sweet dark fruity things. Nice sticky finish of sweet caramel malts lingering.

Feel is about medium with a thicker sticking finish, a bit subdued and slim. Not as thick the whole way through nor as creamy as I would've liked to seen. This seemed just a bit weaker then I imagined it would be. Expectations sometimes are never met. Still good, just not great; so I'd have this again.

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Photo of kegerator
4.8/5  rDev +23.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

what can i say about this one. its one of my favorites in this style.
pours out deep brown with a good head that dissipates fairly quick and leaves decent lacing.
smell is very malty with slight hints of chocolate and dried fruits(very slight but they are there).
taste is all malt with some brown sugarish taste in the backdrop very nice. mouthfeel is very nice, smooth and crisp.
very drinkable as i buy this one all the time. If your planning on a German meal with brats etc. buy this one. it pairs up perfectly.

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Photo of ken3c
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this beer in a German restaurant in an opaque stein. I poured a little out in a drained water glass to get an idea of the color: A dark amber.

The head started full and tapered off to an island of foam near the end. lacing along the inside of the stein was slight but evident.

The smell had a hint of citrus with the strong sense of malt. A nice blend.

The taste was also a nice blend and very smooth. Very little taste of the extra alcohol. (I should have read more about this style beforehand...My wife wisely drove home).

With little experience of this style, I'd say that this one is a little watery.However, it played extremely well in my mouth with the jaeger sauce on my schnitzel.

This beer went so well with bold tastes of the German food, I just had to have another half litre.

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Photo of WetCoaster
3.76/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours an absolutely beautiful clear ruby with active carbonation and a finger of off-white head. Decent retention and thin lacing.

Smell: The usuual suspects. A bit of apple and bready yeast up front, followed by a big blast of brown sugar/pineapple malt. Simple, but pleasant.

Taste/Mouthfeel: The mouthfeel is very good, full, but the zesty carbonation keeps it lively and dare I say a bit crisp? The flavor isn't quite as interesting. It's smooth and tasty--sweet, malty, bready, a bit roasty--but pretty straightforward otherwise.

Drinkability: Fot a 7%+ brew, very. It tastes good, the alcohol is very well concealed, and the carbonation makes it seem much lighter than it is.

Again, nothing really stands out about this bock, but there's certainly nothing unpleasant about it either. Simple, but solid.

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Photo of far333
3.55/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Chestnut colored with ruby highlights, a beige head rises up thickly, then settles very quickly to a fine cap of bubbles that rise up along the edges of the glass. Aroma is malty with hints of berry and cocoa. Taste is sweet malt, with fig and currant, some plum, plus a bit of metallic flavor riding beneath, maybe contributed by the ABV. A bitter tingle rising up in the aftertaste. Mouthfeel is moderate to thin, a little bubbly.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.89 out of 5 based on 3,004 ratings.
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