Dismiss Notice
Subscribe to BeerAdvocate magazine for only $9.99! (Limited time offer, US delivery only)

Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Your Rating: None

Want it   Got it 
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
BA SCORE
3.89/5
Very Good
3,080 Ratings
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Germany
franziskaner-weissbier.de

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
Ranking:
#7,469
Reviews:
1,341
Ratings:
3,080
pDev:
12.34%
Bros Score:
3.81
 
 
Wants:
98
Gots:
463
Trade:
0
HISTOGRAM
 
View: Beers | Events
User Ratings & Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Ratings: 3,080 |  Reviews: 1,341
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.

 308 characters

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 I think the above pic is out of date.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.

 446 characters

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!!!!

 712 characters

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.

 297 characters

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!

 460 characters

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.

 377 characters

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.

 611 characters

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.

 311 characters

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.

 372 characters

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.

 464 characters

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.

 1,023 characters

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.

 545 characters

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.

 1,219 characters

Photo of Boitnott
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Spaten Optimator poured into a wine glass and it is a dark brown with a creamy head. The retention is okay but does not last too long. This might be due to my glass; really missing the DFH snifter.

The smell is over bread and dark malt. Definitely the signature of any good doppelbock. Also a nice yeast scent from the beer which ties well with the bready smell. This bread smell follows right into the first sip and become more accentuated. As you hold it your mouth the yeast taste starts come out and adds very well to other malt flavors. It dominates as in the finish and entices the next sip.

Overall mouthfeel is pretty good but I would prefer a richer head. Other doppels that I enjoyed had a nice thick head that lasted throughout the beer. This critique is rather minor for this beer though. A good doppel for those who like the style. Little on the lighter side but still some nice flavors.

 904 characters

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

500mL bottle (no dates or codes) poured into a weizen glass. Mahogany color w/ a 2-finger khaki head.

Aroma is sweet malt, spice, and some notes of ripe fruit.

Taste is dark sweet malt, ripe bananas and clove, with a slight toffee/caramel finish.

This is a good, solid doppelbock - sticky, sweet, but not cloying. Smooth mouthfeel.

 334 characters

Photo of navinsula
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beer came in a small 10oz stien. the color was a nice dark red that was almost not transparent, with a thick white head.

the smell is very nice with some rich chocolaty notes and small amount of roast.

the tast is great with rich chocolat and toffey, but not overtaking.

mouthfeel is very smooth and full body

one of my favorit beers of all time when its on tap, and is still pretty great out of a bottle

 408 characters

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

Beer #5 sampled at Eastern Oregon DONG (Dudes of Northwest Grog) "We Will Bock You!" tasting @ Barley Brown's, 8.6.11.

Clear medium brown body, some visible effervescence, white head, medium dissipation with decent lacing. Classic doppelbock nose, prunes, raisins, burnt brown sugar, molasses, floral hops. Mouthfeel very full, meal replacement indeed, a bit sticky, alcohol a bit noticeable. While not as full flavored as Celebrator, certainly a classic example of the style.

 477 characters

Photo of BedetheVenerable
2.86/5  rDev -26.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Presentation: 12oz green (WHY??) pop top bottle. No freshness date that I can find.

Appearance: Walnut beer with copper highlights and a large dark ivory cap which fades to a thick, sticky ring.

Smell: Very grainy. At first, I thought I smelled a ghostly hint of skunk out of the bottle, but this seems to have (thankfully) disappeared. This is overall quite sweet and grainy, almost like boiling wort before the hops are tossed in. Maybe just a ghost of dark fruit, but this is very, very faint. This is pleasant, but a bit too one-dimensional.

Taste: The flavor sadly goes downhill. Quite sweet, and a bit caramelly, but without any real malt depth. There's a bit of sharp, almost bitter, booziness underneath, that definitely tastes more than it should for 7.4%. Almost a hot finish, hard to believe w/abv in this range.

Mouthfeel: Medium, a bit boozy

Overall: Not particularly offensive (although the heat's a bit annoying at this level) but this is definitely forgettable.

 984 characters

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

Poured from a 12oz green bottle into a pint glass at low altitude.

A: Pours a dark red color (reminds me almost exactly of rooibos/red tea) with a minimal cream colored head that diminishes to nothing in around 30 seconds.

S: Malty caramel and toffee notes up front with a hint of dark fruit in the background. As it warms, a hint of alcohol comes through.

T: The same malty toffee flavors from the nose come through just as strongly in the taste. It's nicely balanced with a touch of bitterness on the finish to accompany the sweetness.

M: Very slick with no carbonation to slow it down. Full bodied. If I close my eyes, it almost reminds me of a stout with respect to mouthfeel.

D: The alcohol's concealed very well, but it's pretty heavy and a little sweet for a multi-bottle outing.

 791 characters

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

Dark red/brown body, good clarity, but not the crystal clear of their Dunkel. Light beige two finger head. Thin stretched lacing.

Nutty, malty aroma. Hints of alcohol/licorice.

Solid semi-sweet malt start, followed by nuts, then sweeter malt at the swallow. Mild alcohol burn in the afterglow. Good depth to the sweetness, not at all cloying.

Big firm mouthfeel, solid.

A tasty not too big dopplebock, should definitely be tried.

 433 characters

Photo of OBeerMeGreatOne
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

It's been a while since I've had a dopplebock, so I figured it was about time to rock one out. One of my favorite lager styles.

Pours a clear red/brown with an inch of head. Only small dots of lace are left behind.

The smell is rather light, earth and chocolate (both mild) and grain are all I detect.

Ahhh, the taste makes up for the light smell. Dark barley with some chocolate undertones, earthy hops and a nice fruity lager yeast. Very good, solid doppelbock. Super smooth going down.

I'm not a huge lager guy but I enjoyed this. Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate them, but I'm an ale man at heart. That being said, this was a good beer.

 648 characters

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

Sampled at the International Great Beer Expo, Rock Hill, NY.

Pours a dark ruby color, dark head, huge bubbles. Almost like coca cola! Nutty aroma, smooth crisp taste. Slightly bitter but pleasing finish. Good drinkability for this type of beer which normally is not my favorite.

 279 characters

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

I love German beer. This beer is food. Spaten is a great one. Especially when you can get it for reasonable prices $11 for a 12 pack. Why would you drink anything else?

The beer is dark brown/black with a thin head. The smell is slightly skunky, liquorice, fennel, rye bread. The taste is sweet with plum and caramel. It is rich and malty with a pleasant malted milk shake aftertaste. 7.5% wow, where? How could you not love this beer?

 436 characters

Photo of fields336
4.23/5  rDev +8.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark Red, to brown, 1 finger mocha carbonated head. really carbonated. lacing hangs on the sides of the glass.Head does not dissipate quickly, stays around for a while.

S: Dark fruits, Bready malty characteristics. Dark chocolate, roasted malts.

T: Roasty, coffee, dark chocolates, dark fruit dominate the forefront. Middle of the tongue is toffee and caramel and the back of the tongue is a roasty, bready flavor which lingers as an aftertaste with some dark fruit mixed in. Incredibly diverse flavor profile, really took me by surprise. Some herbal and earthy hops are also present.

M: Medium-full bodied beer, that is very creamy, the carbonation is really nice on this one. Clears your palate at the end, leaving a somewhat wet finish.

 746 characters

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

Served in a snifter.

Pours revealing a clear, smoked ruby body under a finger of nearly white soft lush head.

Smells of thick chewy malts, in the best German tradition. Caramel and dark-grained bread are forward, with toasty notes in the back. A little swirl reveals a hint of something like hops, but this in minimal.

Caramel candy with darker thick malts is what my palate picks up the most in this flavor. No hops show up (as expected), but a little bitterness is present and does its job keeping this from being to sweet. The flavor is very malty but rather singular, which is good but not as good as the best, which typically exhibit notes of dark fruit, chocolate, and a greater smattering of malt flavors. Also, alcohol is slightly noted in the flavor.

The mouthfeel is thick and creamy even when served at fridge temp. Impressive.

 842 characters

Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 3,080 ratings
  • About Us

    Founded in Boston in 1996, BeerAdvocate (BA) is your go-to resource for beer powered by an independent community of enthusiasts and professionals dedicated to supporting and promoting better beer.

    Learn More
  • Our Community

    Comprised of consumers and industry professionals, many of whom started as members of this site, our community is one of the oldest, largest, and most respected beer communities online.
  • Our Events

    Since 2003 we've hosted over 60 world-class beer festivals to bring awareness to independent brewers and educate attendees.
  • Our Magazine

    Support uncompromising beer advocacy and award-winning, independent journalism with a print subscription to BeerAdvocate magazine.