Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
3,067 Ratings
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

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 3,067 |  Reviews: 1,338
Photo of SirLicksalot
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured from bottle to pint glass
A dark bronze pour with a light head. Nice malty rich smell. Slightly sweet a little hoppy.
Fantastic balance of flavors, no single flavor characteristic was overpowering. The rich malt provided the sweetness to offset the slight bitterness of the hops. This was a taste so potent, it may have reversed my neutering operation.
I’m no German Shepherd, but this is a beer that you should drink from a Kaiser Wilhelm helmet in order to wash down a couple of yards of bratwurst. The flavor is so rich that it does mask the impressive 7.6% ABV content, so this brew can sneak up on you if you’re not careful.
I tried this one on the recommendation of a Schnauzer, and was not disappointed. It now ranks in my top 5 favorite beers.

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Photo of TheIronHammer
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to beer glass.

A: Pours a dark brown. When held up to the light it appears deep red. The head is a very light tan in color. The lacing clings to the glass uniformly and then recedes back to the beer quickly and equally uniformly.

S: It gives off a very malty aroma. There is a scent of roasted grains also. Both are very pleasant, but I wish they were a bit stronger. There is some hops aroma as well.

T: Very malty upfront. There is a light roasted flavor to it that mixes with the malty taste. On the finish there is some hoppy bitterness, also pleasant. After the bitterness is a small sweet note in the back of the throat.

Mf: It has a medium body. The carbonation is comprised of tiny bubbles, and there are a lot of them. It almost begins to seem creamy if rolled on the tongue a bit.

Overall: I like this beer. My only complaint is the lack of intensity in aroma, but the aroma itself is good. I like the taste very much, and the mouthfeel and appearance are pretty good too. I will buy this again. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of gtermi
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

A: The appearance of this beer is very nice. Looks like a nut brown ale, with the dark brown color. The head is nice, it stays for a bit then fades to nonexistent.

S: The beer has a lot of strong caramel, alcohol and a slight fruitiness.

T: The taste is just different, it is very enjoyable and just unique. I am picking up a nice amount of malt, some sweetness and a lot of caramel taste.

M: When I first poured the beer, I thought it wasnt going to be as smooth as it is. This is def. a nice suprise.

Overall this beer is amazing. I drink the beer and it just makes me feel happy that such a huge company can make such a quality beer. I will for sure buy this beer again.

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Photo of kagent777
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml from the Utah system poured into my goblet in celebration of Octoberfest.

Appearance: A clear dark brown beer with a tan one finger head that settled to a ring around the edge. Did not lace much.

Smell: The smell is sweet malts with a little roasty character and maybe some earthy hops lingering in the background. There are are cocoa accents as it warms up.

Taste: The taste follows the nose. There is a slight dark honey like sweetness that is in this beer that I also sense in other lagers, this may be due to the lagering process or the lager yeast I am not sure. A nice change of pace from the assertive ales I often enjoy. The taste kind of reminds me of a marshmallow that has been toasted just right over a campfire.

Mouthfeel: A full bodied beer with a sizable amount or carbonation to go along. The carbonation is nice, it lifts the beer a little so the weight of the body does not dominate or overpower.

Overall: If a BMC drinker likes Guiness, they might like this one. This is certainly a heavier beer than Guiness, but it is not too far away on the flavor spectrum. A solid offering, maybe not world class, even though it has been around for a ling time.

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Photo of oline73
3.45/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I had this on-tap at Max's. Served in a Spaten mug.

Appearance: Pours a reddish brown with a half finger of off white head that disappears completely.

Smell: Very sweet. Malt along with some caramel and some grape as well.

Taste: A lot like the smell. Very malty with strong hints of caramel and grape. There is some alcohol and a mild bitterness in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Body is on the thick side of medium with tingly carbonation and a dry finish.

Overall: This is a nice beer to drink in the fall. Quite malty. I would have liked a little bit less grape flavor.

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Photo of Arithmeticus
2.48/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Poured chilled in flared glass

A: dark caramel, clear; very thick head; good carb beads; great lacing
S: a bit univiting; thin, malty (sweet) aroma; but I don't smell a bock here
T: one-dimensional bock; little double about it
M: watery, thin, dead

It looks fantastic, but 'tain't.

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Photo of BeerDocT
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I'm seeing more and more German beers on sale as we get closer to October. All I have to say about that is, "prost!"

Poured into a wide-mouthed glass.

-Appearance 3.0: Dark brown in color when poured, almost black. Not much head at all and what little there guessed it, disappeared quickly. Interesting soda-esque carbonation visible at the line of the beer.

-Smell 4.0: Nice, warm smell of toasted oats and barley and some hops. All of it smells very organic with no harsh notes. Smell is slight and not overpowering and adds to the enjoyment of the beer.

-Taste 4.5: Delicious. First taste is of nothing really, only noticing the carbonation, this is followed by a big burst of flavor: brown sugar and hops and toasted oats. The aftertaste is of toasted grains, with a slight, satisfying alcohol tinge. I have to imagine that this was the plan of the brewers. Delicious.

-Mouthfeel 3.5: The carbonation in this beer enhances the taste and the mouthfeel. Its mouthfeel is smooth, cool and almost creamy.

-Overall 4.0: An excellent beer that is enjoyable as a session beer and delicious with food. Its 7.6% ABV is something to watch out for, but is only slightly noticeable in the taste of the beer and even then is a taste I consider an enhancement, not a detriment. If you have never had this beer you need to try it.

$12.99 for a twelve pack in Atlanta, GA.

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Photo of fltmedic
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

The bottle was tipped aggressively to a pint glass and the head rose up nicely to about 1 inch of off while foam. The color is rich, dark brown with little light passing through.

In a pint glass I had to really sniff deeply to get much aroma. The first scents are dark pitted fruit and molasses. Then there is strong roasted malt followed up with a little caramel or brown sugar and chocolate.

This beer evolves very quickly on the tongue. I got malt upfront with light chocolate notes. The body is more rich malt with rum. There is a fade of fruit and hops.

Mouthfeel is warm with alcohol and brighter than expected for such a rich beer. Really quite nice.

Overall this is a very well rounded beer. I like the strength and complexity of the flavors. It will stand up well to strong food pairings.

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

Presentation: 12 oz. green bottle.

Appearance: Rich dark copper with a light cream colored head. Pretty standard for the style.

Smell: Caramel, lots of sweet malt.

Taste: Full bodied with a ton of sweet roasted malt, caramel, rounded toasted malt. Hops for balance. Bit of a dry finish.

Notes: If you like malt...which I do, you will love this beer. Really nicely balanced. A stellar brew.

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

A - Dark amber/red/mahogany, pours with a nice lighter head and dissipates into a haze over/ring.

S - Sweeter malts mixed with some alcohol, not big but a good smell. Some Chinook hops/earthy brown sugar thing going on.

T - Sweeter maltyness mixed with earthy notes, brown sugar, dark cherries, little toasty and Chinook hop flavor. Some alcohol but not much, has a higher bitter ibu rating I would guess around 60-70.

M - Nice up front goes down with a medium bubble finish. Not to dry, and a great aftertaste.

O - Overall this a good stuff. Has enough bite for me, and is tasty as well. This is one of my favorite Germans. Its right on key with what I expected out of it.

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Photo of bnes09
3.62/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Dark chocolate brown colored ale with a weak head that thins to a ring of bubbles around the glass. Descent clarity when held to light with a bold ruby hue.

Oaky, molasses and cherry aromas tickle the nostrils. Sweet smelling overall with a hint of alcohol.

Dark fruit flavors dominate with prunes and black cherries. Molasses as well. Slightest hint of herbal hop flavor attempts to balance but is out muscled. Oak and almonds add a bit of depth. A little weak on the alcohol. Finishes with a tart off note.

Medium to almost full bodied yet not syrupy. Leaves a somewhat grainy texture on the tongue.

This stuff isn't too bad. A little rough around the edges and could use a bit more complexity. Descent drinking nonetheless.

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Photo of bsp77
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Serving glass: Poured from bottle into clear mug.

Appearance: Dark chestnut brown with nice root beer float head at first, which dies down.

Smell: Cherry, noble hops, caramel and chocolate.

Taste: Semi-sweet at first with cherry, caramel, molasses, soy sauce and chocolate. Turns drier and spicier at the end from a decent level of noble hops.

Feel: Moderate carbonation, medium-full body, nice dry finish. No cloyingly sweet at the finish like so many Doppelbocks.

Overall: Great example of a Doppelbock that manages to have a sweet malty taste while also maintaining a fairly dry and spicy palate. Not quite top tier, but well above average.

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

A)Very nice dark brown, two finger creamy foam. Very good.

S) Not very aromatic.

T) Great taste, dark malt flavor, moderately bitter aftertaste.

M) Smooth, good bodied beer, moderate carbonation. Very nice.

O) I really enjoyed this beer. Strong taste, nice malted hop flavor, would definitely buy again.

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

This used to be available in the bomber bottle, first at CostPlus before popping up in most supermarkets. Trader Joe's has it in six-packs from time to time, though the bottle has now changed to a green one. I think the above pic is out of date.

No foam. This beer is potent - the sensation to compare the mouthfeel to is after getting shot up with novocaine at the dentist's office. I got two sixers today and am going to get hammered tonight.

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Photo of RoamingGnome
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle into a tulip style pint glass

A) Dark brown with a nice inch of tan head. The head settles pretty quickly. There was no lacing. In the end it kind of looks like a Pepsi Cola with less carbonation.

S) There is malt upfront and a sweetness that seems like a combination of brown sugar and a bit of booze.

T) Roasted malt with a bit of toffee, light chocolate and hazelnut. This has nice balance, and the 7.6 ABV is hardly detectable.

M) A medium to full bodied brew that is lightly carbonated. This one is soft and creamy. My palate has no complaints.

O) The double shovel is tasty, and almost always means good times are around the bend. As my uncle says, let's get Optimated!!!!

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Photo of goatsgo2hell
3.23/5  rDev -17%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

This beer poured dark and without any head to speak of. This beer didn't have a very distinct taste or smell to me - the aroma was a little malty, with a sharp afterthought that didn't translate to the taste. It wasn't offensive, and it was very drinkable, but it won't go on my list of favorites.

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Photo of brewskifan55
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass

Appearance: cola brown, half finger head that doesn't stick around; decent lacing.

Smell: Floral, malty, clean

Taste: Malt, hints of chocolate and coffee. Not overpowering. Creamy finish. Man, what a great taste! The hype is justified.

Mouthfeel: Medium; really coats the tongue

Overall: One of the best doppelbocks I've tried. Rich, really classy. I'll be seeing this little beverage a lot in my future. Bravo!

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Photo of brianjay
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into the glass: Dark chocolate-brown body with virtually no head.

Aroma is a subtle, cocoa and sour-dough bread smell.

Toffee, light coffee and and a sour lemon flavor tapping the end. A strong malt presence sticks around in the aftertaste.

Some viscosity balanced by quick, sharp bubbles of carbonation. This beer is highlighted by crisp, clear and concise flavors.

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Photo of AmericanGothic
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into a Sam Adams pint.

A: Pours a dark, translucent copper brown color with 1/2 finger of tan head. Some retention and lace.

S: Malty caramel, light floral notes and some buttercream.

T: Spicy caramel up front slowly transforms into peppery molasses. Long, lingering finish. Faint coffee in the slightly sweet aftertaste. Light herbal/floral notes emerge as the beer warms.

M: Smooth, not too heavy, carbonation has a gentle, creamy feel.

O: A solid doppelbock, tasty and quite drinkable, widely available and reasonably priced. Not my top pick, but one I would likely buy again.

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

Poured into a tulip glass. Dark brown color with a fairly thick off-white head. Smell was malty as was the taste. A touch of caramel and hardly noticeable alcohol flavor. Very smooth feel.

I like this beer. It didn't blow my mind, but it was thoroughly enjoyable and despite approaching 8% it's very drinkable.

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

This is one of the prototypical doppelbocks. These aren't usually one of my favorites, and I've had this a few times before and it won't change my mind. But I wanted a change,and this is a good representation of the style.

It's dark and somewhat hoppy. The malt is dark and in your face. It's a well balanced doppelbock. I am having it for a repeat and will repeat again.

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Photo of Cummins9110
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Rich dark red to coffee colored. Pours with slight 1 finger head with little retention after the pour. Lacing drops quickly.

Smell: Rich in malty grain, true Doppel nose with earthy sweet aroma.

Taste: is a full roasted malt, wheat, barley, flavor with a sweet finish that suits the style.

Mouth: Full bodied although slightly under carbonated with the bottle I tested.

Overall: This beer is true to the Franziskaner-Brau
It is a great German beer.

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Photo of Phelps
3.64/5  rDev -6.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served in a tall, skinny Spaten glass.

Plum in color, dark yet clear and topped with a two-finger head of mocha cream. As the head collapses, jagged mountains of sticky bubbles grasp upwards, fighting to retain their height.

Interesting blend of ripe plums and toasted bread in the nose, with tart cherries in the background.

In the flavor, hints of sweet red apples quickly develop into raisins and plum, as if being dehydrated and intensified while in the mouth. Candy sugar and toasted biscuits show up in the middle. Just a bit of booze, with lingering bitter chocolate and toast on the back end. A smooth blend, soft yet deep with flavor.

The velvety, creamy body is medium and tongue hugging. Very nice. Carbonation is lightly peppery, giving way to the softest bit of fizz. Alcohol numbs the tongue slightly.

Smooth in the mouth and easygoing in flavor, Optimator’s a doppelbock you can drink easily but rewards deeper pondering as well. It’s best enjoyed when sitting in front of a fireplace in the dark.

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Photo of Duff27
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Foamy one-inch off-white head. Optimator is a translucent light brown. Solid head retention and some lacing.

S- Sweet and bready.

T- Dark fruits, more specifically grapes and apples. Leaves the mouth watering. Slight...toffee? hard to put my finger on it.

M- Mid-to-low carbonation. Medium mouthfeel.

D/O- This is the second time I've ever had this (the first being last summer) and its just as pleasing as I remember it. A solid, if not leader or flagship of the style, example. A great way to start off Dopplebockfest 2011 with fdkayti.

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Photo of magictacosinus
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into a pilsner glass out of a 500ml bottle.

Appearance: A brown, reddish color with a small, lacy head that maintains throughout. Looks like a strong, malty ale, even though it's a bock beer.

Smell: Strong malty, roasted aromas with scents of yeast, roasted nuts, coffee, raisins and other fruity varieties. There is a slight spicy note to it, but right here, you can tell that it's ALL about the malts.

Taste: In retrospect, toasted, sweetened malts with a wonderfully balanced bitter flavor. This beer is equivalent to eating dark German bread with spices and yeasty flavors. The roastedness of the brew gives it a comforting and yummy flavor that makes it very wonderful to respectfully sip.

Mouthfeel: As this is a beer that is focusing mostly on the amount of malts, it remains to be a very creamy, thick beer that is amazingly easy to drink. Lagers tend to be easier to drink in my book, and this one, despite a complex body, is easier than ever. It's pretty hard to believe that this is a lager, after all.

Overall: A beer I wouldn't mind having for breakfast or after a good meal for desert. This is a great example of how beer can be bread in liquid form, and is an instant classic for that matter.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 3,067 ratings
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