Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
3,045 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

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Ratings: 3,045 |  Reviews: 1,332
Photo of Bung
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. New bottle I guess. Out with the dull gold, in with the green.
A surprisingly dark amber/brown pour, half finger of off white head.

Has that "lager" smell that most German brews seem to have, need someone to explain to me what that is exactly, yeast strain they use? Anyway there is some toffee, caramel,prune and raisin as well.

Taste is loaded with malty rum bread. Caramel, yellow raisin, prune. Standard and good.

Mouthfeel quite smooth and coating, for being on the lower end of doppelbock abv. Carbonation was a bit more than I'd care for, but that helps as there is a bit of warming.

A solid German example.

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Photo of yesyouam
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Spaten Optimator is a copper brown lager with a thin khaki head that fades to a turbulent film and leaves nice lacing. It has a deep, malty aroma: bready and a bit sweet. It smells grainy and spicy with a hint of apple, perhaps. In the mouth, it's full bodied and a little sharp. The finish is a little sticky. It's pretty sweet and raisny, with notes of prune and maybe fig. It's very malty and bready. The finish has a hint of bitter juniper and alcohol. It's a sturdy drink, too hardy to session, but it's quite smooth.

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Photo of JamnesCameron
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a MJ tasting glass.

Pours a deep garnet with a khaki head of about two fingers that drops after a few minutes to a bare wisp of foam. Some lacing evident.

Aromas of deep malt, toffee, no hop aroma. Very clean and malty. No flaws.

Flavors of malt, toffee, red licorise, no hop flavor. Finish is short, with sweet bready malt.

Mouthfeel is medium, sticky, nice level of carbonation.

Overall, this is not a classic like Salvator, but it is a good example, good malt, good carbonation, enough bitterness to balance, but not show itself. Good beer. I'd kick back a few liter steins of this fine brew.

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Photo of AWolfAtTheDoor
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Apparently they have changed the bottle for this year? Green label with dark logo on mine.

Pours dark with an extremely healthy head. Luckily it recedes quickly so I could commence with imbibing. Lacing was very sporadic throughout session.

Wow, extremely sweet malts on the nose. Almost scary. I was afraid of what came next..

Man were my fears put to rest. Extremely incredibly malty goodness is the best way to describe this beer. Very balanced, and just downright delicious.

Mouthfeel is great. Carbonation perfect. What else can I say?

Superb beer. I was honestly suprised. I've had other dopplebocks, but this is one that honestly brought me back to Munich. Highly recommended to drink this, if you're a fan of the style.

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Photo of richkrull
3.27/5  rDev -16.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a dark brownish color with very little beige head on it. Smell is rich toffee malt. Taste is very heavy malt with quite a bit of alcohol coming through. Mouthfeel is medium-heavy from the malt. Overall a decent beer. I'm not a big fan but it's alright.

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Photo of Murchmac
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Had this a million times, cant believe I haven't reviewed.

I think it comes in a new green label. The label looks nice. Its dark green.

Smells like thin malt extract.

Not bad of a taste, some light carbonation, some sticky sweetness and bready malts, a little bitterness to it.

For 2 bucks, a good beer.

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Photo of raszputini
3.22/5  rDev -17.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From the bottle. It pours dark mahogany brown with a thin head. The nose is rich and malty with understated hops - you can tell its a dopplebock. Very rich malty flavor. The hops are deeply buried. Rich malty taste to match the nose. Has a somewhat "salty" finish? I enjoyed it a lot.

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Photo of Cylinsier
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz.

Pours a dark brown with a cherry red hue when held to light, thin head retains well as lacing.

Smells of mildly toasty chocolate notes, lager malts, and hints of molasses and fig.

Tastes like molasses and rich dark fruits with some bready notes and a bit of licorice bitterness.

Feels moderate with mild tingly carbonation over the tongue.

An excellent lager, very tasty and flavorful, a bit heavy for drinking a lot of, but shares a lot of flavors with the best of the dark Belgian styles of ales, interesting that you can get that level of flavor from a lager. Worth seeking out and I will hopefully have one again.

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Photo of RichScherle
3.96/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - classic dark bronze doppelbock color. Rich beige head that lingers.

S - sweetness, some dark, brooding roasty notes, a slight whiff of alcohol and spice.

T - malt bomb! A bit one dimensional in that respect - approaches cloying levels but doesn't get there which is admittedly is nice. Rich, robust malty sweetness with middle notes of roasted barley and backend of ever so slight hops and a good dose of alcohol. Finishes wet and sweet. It just lacks a certain depth and complexity of flavor that other doppels I like better have (such as herby notes, yeasty notes, and a more elegant approach balancing out the malts)

M - very good. thick and voluptious.

D - its drinkable but strong and sweet. So its not something I would drink all night long but definitely something I get every time i'm at the german bar after a few pints of a nice pilsner.

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Photo of PAvolksbiermann
2.63/5  rDev -32.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Warning this is an A.B.Inbev beer most people don't realize this! This is a very dark beer that has malt liquor listed on the label. It is moderately strong (7.2%) which an average beer drinker probably would not like. Has a strong grape / earthy after taste with a hint of what I like to call liquid smoke taste (roasts). Very sudsy with lacing (high sugar content) left on the inside of the bottle.

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Photo of obrike
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Gave a hard pour inot my New Belgium goblet...looks like a coke...decent off white head that disapates quickly...not much lacing to speak of.

A light hint of dark fruits...pretty buried though. i wanted more.

Very light taste of dark fruits, plum...some sweetness, not overbearing; a bit too subdued. Again, I wanted a bit more boldness, but good nonetheless.

A tad thin...but vey smooth.

Quite easy drinking, refreshing doppelbock...hides alcohol very well. I'd say this is a beer anyone could handle and go back to again.

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Photo of UCLABrewN84
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear cola color with a nice 2 inch tan head. Thin ring lacing on the drink down. Smells of caramel malt, brown sugar, and maybe some apple peels. Taste is of caramel malt, plum/prune, slight cocoa powder. Slight hop bitterness after each sip. Good level of carbonation with a lighter body than I would have expected for this beer. Slight alcohol burn is present but doesn't detract from the beer. Good drinkability on this beer. I would love to have this at a German restaurant with some sausages and sauerkraut.

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Photo of DrDemento456
4.47/5  rDev +14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had this before but never reviewed it. Got it in the variety case for 32 dollars so around 8 bucks a sixer.

A - Expected darker but it poured a fair dark clear brown with a minimum layer of head.

S - I can smell the alcohol and glad its faint and buried under caramel and what smells like burnt brown sugar. Bit of dark fruits and bitter molasses too.

T - Taste is surprisingly light which means my palate is used to heavy beers. I get a brown sugar not as burnt as the smell followed by a bit of alcohol that sticks to the finish with a sweet caramel and fig base. Solid beer.

M - Not as heavy as I remember drinks like a medium bodied DIPA.

D - I used to fear this in my Variety case and now its the most flavorful offering in it. Alcohol is there and well hidden. Best Doppelbock I ever had!

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Photo of chefelf
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was a good solid beer. I had this immediately after returning from Texas and consuming a lot of Shiner Bock. Tasting a more authentic German version of that beer (undoubtedly with higher alcohol content) was very nice. There was a lot of malt and caramel taste.

I also ate it with sausages just because it was German. That being said there are probably better German beers to pair with sausages.

Sausages are delicious. No regrets.

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Photo of plfahey
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12 oz. bottle poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance-Mahogany brown with ruby highlights, thick, pale tan, creamy head with moderately good retention.

Aroma-Toasted, bready malts, with rich dark fruit aromas (Plum, prune, fig). No hops, no diacetyl. Slight whiff of alcohol.Sweet

Flavor-Plum and prune flavors up front with a hint of dark sugar, which subside to highly toasted malt and biscuit/bread flavors in the finish. Slight mineral or vegetal twang in the background detracts slightly.

Mouthfeel-Medium full with moderately low carbonation. Smooth. Moderate alcohol warmth.

A good doppelbock, but not a great one. The flavor is good, but it lacks the complexity and awesomeness of some other doppelbocks. Solid, but definitely not my fav.

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Photo of VncentLIFE
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance - poured a dark brown color. Had a 2 inch head when poured into a Guiness larger than pint glass.

Smell - definitely below average for a doppelbock. Smelled a bit strong on the alcohol side for my taste. I was expecting more of a malty smell but was kicked in the face with a strong beer smell right away.

Taste - The taste is absolutely nothing like the smell. The malt came through clearly. I like the fact that Spaten didnt try and get fancy with this beer. It is very true to the doppelbock style.

Mouthfeel - Doppelbocks never leave a strong bitter aftertaste, and this is true to the style. The strong malt taste leads way to a semi-sweet aftertaste.

Drinkability - Because of the lack of bitterness and strong malty presence, this beer is very drinkable. The aftertaste leaves you wanting the next drink.

This beer wont knock your socks off in terms of the seasoned beer drinker, but if your just getting into doppelbocks, please try this as well as Great Lakes' Doppelrock.

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Photo of katybee
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A dependable, sweetish very dark malty beer, well rounded mouthfeel, lightly medium-bodied and creamy. But a little high in carbonation, and predominant hop character, which couldn't fool the tastebuds if the eyes were blindfolded to the beautiful clear brown color of the ale. Maltiness tones down the hops, and there are no citrus notes, with a nice peppery spiciness its true. And there is some raisiny sweetness as well, but without any chocolate or coffee character, ... much more carbonation and hops than porter and stout.

Highly drinkable, perhaps more pairable with general foods than a barleywine, comparable to the Paulaner Salvator Doppelbock but sweeter than Ayinger's Altbairishc dunkel.

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Photo of Sudsy89
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

12oz. bottle, chilled.

Pours a dark brown, with a brown head. Has a medium-high level of carbonation, looks almost soda-like. Malty aroma, hints of dark fruit and roasted grain. To me it looks and smells like a porter, but thinner. Mouthfeel is lighter than I expected, but still pleasant. Moderate hop presence, mostly a malty taste, but also has a noticeable alcohol warmth to it. A tasty, mellow beer that isn't as bitter or "strong" as I expected, it is very drinkable for a 7.2% abv beer. As an imported macro brew I'm pretty impressed.

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Photo of BuddyP87
4.68/5  rDev +20%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

My dad was in the Air Force and spent time in Germany and had this beer back in the 1960's, he said I had to try some, I am glad I did. This is a full body beer that will put you to sleep. If you are used to American beers be warned, this beer will put you to sleep.

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Photo of HarrisonDean
3.49/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 11/03/09

I have had a ton of conversations about the price level of the beers I review. The general conclusion is that my fridge is too expensive to open. So, this week I figured I would drop the price level a bit and drink something you can actually buy in a twelve-pack, but will still give you the rich, boozy appeal you desire at this time of the year. So I went and picked up a relatively cheap twelve-pack of Spaten's double bock, the Optimator.

Double bocks are German beers characterized by their overwhelming dark maltiness, with less focus on fine flavors and more focus on big flavors. The Optimator is no exception. This beer arrives in the usual Spaten green both, but is adorned with a dark label and a modified double-shovel logo. Poured into a stein, the Optimator is nearly opaque dark brown, with lots of active carbonation and hints of light shining through. A small, off-white head leaves no lacing and disappears rapidly. The aroma is huge, sporting an extremely sweet malt, buttery caramel, and a background of metallic scents.

The body first hits the tongue in a violent wave of carbonation, which mellows out into an average, if slightly syrupy body. There is not an overly complex malt layout; there are definitely some toasted malts and wheat amidst a sweet, dark malt base. As the beer plays out in your mouth, raisin flavors emerge from beneath the malt and finish dryly on the tongue. Somewhere in the middle of each sip, there is a faint but present hop character, a fleeting freshness in the middle of a heap of malts. This isn't in the running for the world's best double bock, but the price is right, and it is a quality, drinkable imported beer.

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Photo of Schwarzwald
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this doppelbock. I am surprised at some of the low reviews that it gets. The ABV seems perfect for the brew and it pours a beautiful dark ruby/brown color. Smells of caramel, raisons, bread and rich fruit. Very little head, but I didn't give it much of a chance to get one. Drank it with some light apps and enjoyed it so much, had a second. Definitely will add this to my stash. Enjoy!

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Photo of IRONRakkasan
3.5/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Roasty burnt caramel malt nose with it's alcohol content obvious.

Nice dark malt flavor with raisin notes. What I found interesting was that the brew had a noticeable spice bite at the finish.

All around it was a good brew that remained just as good as it warmed up compared to when fresh from the reefer.

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Photo of chinchill
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 oz bottle served in pint glass. No date on bottle, but bottle has new white, black and red label.

pours nearly black with dark reddish-brown highlights. Bright light reveals a clear but nearly opaque brew. Limited head quickly dissolves to a ring with a few thin patches.

Light-moderate level of malt aroma with light smokiness and some caramel sweetness. Good quality but low quantity of aromatics.

Taste - Far more malt and roasted flavor than indicated by the aroma alone. Rich malt flavor, but a bit too sour.

M - smooth and creamy with a medium body and light carbonation.

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Photo of jar2574
4.12/5  rDev +5.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours ruby black with red tints if held up to the light. Decent sized cream colored head that dissolves slowly. Smells good, malty sweetness. Great taste. Malts, roasted without being burnt, and a slight hint of raisin sweetness. Creamy without being thick. A full, refreshing, smooth mouthfeel. Good level of carbonation. Fairly high alcohol content but you wouldn't know it. Very drinkable for this style. Could have several. A very good beer.

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Photo of nickthetick
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: pours a clear dark mahogany/ burnt wood with maybe a half finger of off white head that doesn't hang around much.

S: there's not a whole lot of nose behind this beer, sweet malts and that's all I detect.

T: a lot more here then in the nose. Nice robust malt profile, sweet and smokey. Dried fruits, brown sugars and belgian sugars. Some wheat in back.

MF: medium body and very effervescent, full flavor and not at all astringent.

D: an excellent doppelbock and the one I would pick out of the four on tap at my local beer bar I would pick first.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,045 ratings.
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