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 CuriousMonk
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

From notes: Poured a dark, dirty brown with some amber notes. Aroma of sweet malt, wheat, caramel, and brown sugar. Not bursting with aroma. Flavor was pretty minerally, perhaps too much so initially. But that goes away. Caramel and brown sugar notes are very strong. Some vanilla and brea. Thin mouthfeel and a good drinkable beer.

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Photo of Landfill21
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured this into my guinness pint glass. Pours into a dark dark amber color and smells of fruit and a hint of roasted nuts and malt.

Has a decent taste with fruits, malt and a hint of toffee.

Has a light mouthfeel and can taste a trace of carbonation.

Has a mediocre drinkibility. This is a good tasting beer but has limited drinkibility because of carbonation and alcohol content.

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Photo of Schneic8
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

bottle poured into a mug.

Appearance: Nice dark color with a red tones. It has the same appearance as cola. It had a nice head that lasted a while with a little lacing.

Smell: Sweet smell with caramel and dark fruit smells.

Taste: Has a nice deep flavor of ripe fruits and a caramel sweetness. There is a raisin and plumy flavor with a fair amount of molasses.

Mouthfeel: Mild carbonation that has a crisp feeling. It has a smooth and creamy touch that sits well in the mouth and goes down smooth.

Drinkability: This is an easy beer to drink but it is pretty sweet with a strong dark fruit flavor. I could probably drink one more of these but not another. Not my favorite but I would drink again.

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Photo of diomz88
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - poured in a pint, dark amber or burgundy in color, small white head that recedes quickly. no lacing here.
S - alcoholic aroma, roasted malts, yeasty bread, faintly hoppy.
T - sweet, too sweet like caramel for me, with roasted malt, molasses, yeast and alcoholic in flavor, with a small amount of bitterness.
M - med to full bodied, slightly carbonated and creamy, smooth, like a really rich flavored soda.
there's aftertaste also.
D - yeah, it was ok, just ok.

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

I poured this 12 oz. bottle into a Sam Adams perfect pint glass. No freshness dating.

A: clear, cherrywood color, one-finger head quickly falls into a good cap with decent lacing.

S: candied fruit, sweet malt, spice, hint of Germanic yeast funk.

T: sweet cherries, raisins, and sweetbread up front, the middle has a bit of yeasty funk, some vanilla, brown sugar, and a hint of earthiness, the finish has a lingering woody note mixed with a floral/herbal hop note. Very tasty.

M: medium to full bodied, silky to syrupy texture, moderate but nicely prickly carbonation.

D: a damn good Dopplebock. I will definitely get this again.

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Photo of goblue3509
3.21/5  rDev -17.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark brown almost black color with ruby hues around the edges. There is a small head which is slightly khaki and gives way to some lacing. The aroma is a little faint, there is some breadiness, dark fruits, and caramel malt. The taste is nice but not super complex, caramel malt some breadiness and a hint of hops. The mouthfeel is dry and moderately carbonated. The drinkability is above average it is a smooth easy drink, however it lacks some complexity to keep you really interested. The beer is solid.

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Photo of cwcolby74
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a 12-oz bottle out of a Bass Ale pint glass. Purchased in a six-pack on Jan. 7 at Payless Liquors on 96th Street in Indianapolis.

Appearance - It just looks like a complex and delicious beer. It's a dark brown/black, pours with moderate head, moderate lacing and a small amount of carbonation.

Smell - Hard to place exactly what I smell. It has the spicy backdrop of a regular bock with the extra layered richness of a dopplebock. It's also much higher in ABV, almost 8%, which is apparant from the smell.

Taste - Just really giid. It has a dryness that exudes through the carmel-ish body and layered, spicy background.

Mouthfeel - Good. It goes down smooth. It leaves a rich aftertaste that lingers.

Drinkability - One of the best of this style. It doesn't have the "wow" factor of my favorite dopplebock, Bell's Consecrator, but this is pretty close to top-shelf stuff.

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

Poured from the bottle into a tulip glass @ 53 degrees. Not my first dopplebock but it is the first that I've really thought about since discovering craft beer.

A: Pours smooth & has a very dark ruby brown appearance. Almost, but not quite, as dark as a Guinness. Moderate head retention.

S: Dark fruit notes, a hint of chocolate, some sweetness from a dark malt, the nose was actually pretty restrained from what I'd expect/have read of regarding dopplebocks.

T: Sweet malt, decently balanced but leaning in the malt direction. I love strong beers so this was a winner for me. I got the warming sensation from the alcohol. At 7.2% it was up there for sure but not overpowering. The finish is a quick sweet end on my palate. Would go fantastic w/ some ribs (light on the sauce).

M: Full. Quite full. If you are one who like a slow drink of a beer, this is for you.

D: Not one I'd have w/o food if possible. Tasting is always a pleasure but this beer, in my estimate, really would shine w/ food. If at a meal & w/ several courses this could be drank several glasses over. If alone, I'd say about two glasses. I can see how this got the monks through their fasting!

Overall, I'm linking this beer. It's a good - traditional German bier. Prosit!

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Photo of boudreaux
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Must have redone the labeling on this one. Mine has a green-and-black color scheme. No best-by date.

A: dark brown, with a touch of deep ruby when held to the light; a fairly creamy and persistent head that holds strong at about a 1 finger head before reducing and leaving a beautiful latticework on the surface

S: Not a really strong smell; roasted malts are evident; also a dark chocolate and dark fruit note; perhaps a touch of alcohol (but could be my imagination)

T: Roasted malt and a hint of dark chocolate; some muddled hop flavor kicks in as well; not as robust a flavor I expected from this style; alcohol notes also present

M: watery; light/medium; wants to be bolder

D: great drinkability; goes down easy

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Photo of dcook11
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Out of the fridge for about 15 mins, out of a pilsner.

A- Thick off white two finger haed with ample carbonation. Brown verging on dark red in appearance. Nice lacing.

S- Maple syrup, caramal sweetness. Some hop bitterness at the finish. A good tasting doppel bock.

T- Same as the smell.

D- moderate to high

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Photo of rpardon7
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Poured from the bottle anice amber brown color with a rocky soft off white head that receded quickly and left a small ring that was fed by the carbonation. Smell was of sweet bready buscuity malt small amount of carmel and a hint of some dark fruit. Taste was smooth sweet dark buscuit and caramel malt small hint of hops. Mouthfeel is smooth with a very lively carbonation. Drinkability is wonderful such a nice sweet balanced malty dopplebock very sessionable.

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Photo of Shrews629
3.06/5  rDev -21.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Appearance - Dark brown/maroon color with some ruby highlights when held to the light. Also has some burnt orange and yellow highlights around the bottoms and sides. An off white head with average size and retention. It settled to a decent film and left some pretty good lacing.

Smell - In the aroma, I picked up a dark, earthy, almost burnt grass or grain. Never quite smelled anything like it thus far. Not particularly my favorite smell, but I got used to it. After a while, it started to remind me of a more robust Dunkel.

Taste - The taste also has a very dark, earthy robust type of flavor. Reminds me of a "Black" Lager as well as a Dunkel. I picked up subtle hints of lard with the earthy grain. A touch of sweetness even. Just a hint of alcohol at the very end.

Mouthfeel - Medium mouthfeel. Left adequate amounts of flavor on the palate. Relatively smooth, but just a wee bit watery.

Drinkability - This beer would take some getting used to for me. It's nothing really bad. It's just different. I do love the color of this brew, but I personally don't think I could make a night of it. Doppelbocks just must not be my thing.

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Photo of ElliotNess
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

German Tradition lives on... but doesn't innovate.

A very great amber/red color glows with this filtered d-bock. Not a very present nose all I could notice was a slight fruit and toffee touch. Taste was nothing more then a traditional d-bock sweet maltiness and good mouthfeel. A sharp bite of alcohol but easily drinkable.

Probably great on-tap, or very fresh.

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Photo of treehugginslug
2.36/5  rDev -39.5%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

A - Very dark and little foam.

S - Smell of dark malts, but can't tell of any hops.

T - Nice brown malt, but nothing more than that. It was not anything special.

M - It was alright. Fair amount of carbonation, but still a bit lacking.

D - After one drink I have had enough.

Whould I buy it again: No
Would I recommend it to a friend: Sure, why not.
Would I drink it if I was offered at a party: If it was the only thing there except Bud.
Overall: It was OK, not great, but OK. I mean I wasn't impression. Taste was a little weak. Nothing that I'm in love with. In the end, eh...

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

A: Deep amber beer with a good finger head that hangs in there. OK lacing.

S: Caramel, nutty, great burnt malt aroma.

T: Complex nutty malt flavor up front, some fruitness in the middle and a surprisingly dry finish. Really a lot going on in the flavor profile.

M: Full bodied, low carbonation.

D: Good easy to drink doppelbock, i almost forget it's close to 8%.

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Photo of xnicknj
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

on tap at brauhaus schmitz in philly

Pours a deep brown, almost black with plenty of bubbly head leaving a collar of lacing on the glass.

Scents of heavily roasted malt, licorice, caramel, and some soft hop bitterness in the nose.

A wave of roasted malt coupled with some rich sweetness. Raisin and licorice slice through the palate with some other assorted dark fruit. Light hop bitterness with some piny notes. Slight alcohol warmth with sweetness in the finish.

Fuller rich body, medium carbonation, smooth on the palate. Decent drinking with enjoyable flavor and a solid example of the style.

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Photo of tito42
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a green bottle, 7.60% ABV, no freshness date.

Appearance: A medium-dark cola color with amber hues. Thin cocoa head. Moderately bubbly. Thin head, little to no lacing.

Smell: Yeasty at first smell. Sweet and malty with hints of chocolate and a lot of apple. A little toastiness. Very pleasant all in all.

Taste: Malt, malt, and more malt with some apple fruitiness, and a lightly roasted character. Not the most complex of flavors, but enjoyable.

Mouthfeel: Medium to a little more body. Creamy yet goes down smooth. Just a bit of alcohol bite at the back end, it doesn't dry the mouth.

Drinkability: Extremely drinkable for 7.6% ABV. This one could get me in trouble. Not too complex, not too sweet, not especially toasty, very easy to drink.

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Photo of Rschis16
3.6/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Pours a deep brown to black color with a small white-ish head on top

S: I'm getting some alcohol on the nose mixed with something that almost reminds me of wine?

T: Alcohol is there and warming, leaves a slightly alcohol like taste on the back. Crisp finish.

M: Spritzy, which is somewhat surprising to me with the style. I like it though. It's refreshing in its crispness.

D: Something holding it back. I think it's the alcohol taste. It adds to the flavor in a good way, but I'm not sure I could kick back several in one sitting.

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Photo of cudmud
3.59/5  rDev -7.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: This beer comes out of the bottle with a deep mahogany color, which is very attractive. This sample did produce a wonderful fawn head of two fingers. However, to my dismay, the foam dissipated very quickly. In addition, I was left with no lacing.

Smell: This brew has an amazing odor of malts, raisins, cherries, and yeast. There is a hint of alcohol, but the beer's other attributes do a good job of hiding the boozy smell.

Tatse: Your tongue will be blessed with the flavor of malt dancing across your palate. In addition, to malt you will detect raisins, plums, and yeast, which mask the alcohol. This is one fine example of liquid bread.

Drinkability: Awesome.

Mouthfeel: Full body and balanced carbonation

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Photo of GilGarp
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass.

Optimator has a deep redish-brown color with good clarity when held to the light. The head is thick and creamy with good lasting ability.

Aroma is malty sweet with nice apples and pears, clove and pepper.

Flavor is rich and malty but the flavors aren't as well integrated as they are in the best doppelbocks. There is a little bit of harshness from the alcohol which seems to dominate the more subtle spice and fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low cabonation. Balance would be better if the alcohol wasn't so prevalent.

Overall an acceptable example but not an exceptional one.

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Photo of humbleevenstone
4.06/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This doppelbock's color is often referred to as mahogany in color, this captures the color accurately but has the side effect of taking me back to first grade when my dad redid the bathroom using mahogany trim. The little foam that developed dissipated quickly. Its interesting peering through the glass that only shows its translucence when bright light is behind it.

The smell is warm, like a mixture of coffee and perfectly burnt toast, where there is a little blackness but it complements the peanut butter so you don't mind.

It tastes pretty good, the complex flavor stays in your mouth even after a bright finish. I'm impressed by the simplicity, there are simple interactions between the flavors that blossom into something interesting.

Given the taste I would have expected a much thicker liquid, the brew is light and the carbonation just right.

I would definitely recommend this one. Very drinkable to the point I want to know more about this style.

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Photo of Jmaths
4.9/5  rDev +25.6%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: A gorgeous beer...darky ruby and earthy brown with a strong tan head.

Smell: Malty, barely hoppy, sweet, inviting.

Taste: Malt dominates, with slight molasses/burnt sugar, perfect amount of sweetness and smoky undertone, with very slight hoppy bitterness to balance the sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Feels somewhat thick, perfect amount of carbonation, alcohol is warming and slightly noticeable, mouthfeel magnifies as the beer warms and loses carbonation.

Drinkability: Very drinkable, but keep in mind, a six-pack of Optimator is worth a twelve pack of lesser beers in terms of the "effects". Where I live, a case of this stuff goes for about $31 (tax included), which is almost impossible to beat.

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Photo of philbertk
3.31/5  rDev -15.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Optimator--1998 16.9 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) Doppelbock. Rich clear black cherry color. Rich thick cherry caramel malt body. Slightly sweet and bock smooth as rich flavor coats mouth. Tingle of balanced bitterness at end clears palette. Nice. Sampled 3/30/1999.

Optimator Doppelbock--2000 12 oz. Bottle. 7.20% ABV. (4.0 / 5.0) Clear deep cherry walnut color. Rich smooth sweet flavorful malty body. Medium heavy texture. Bavarian Yeast off flavor in character. Clear bottle. Cherry caramel toasted flavors. Smooth to end. Sampled 3/14/2000.

Optimator Doppelbock--2001 12 oz. Bottle. 7.20% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) Lightly hazy rich amber red golden color. Malty laced head. Floral hop bouquet leads into tasty pale malt body with malty light caramel biscuit fruit flavor. Balanced smooth lingering malt hop finish. Sampled 6/21/2001.

Spaten-Brau, Munich, Germany--SPATEN Optimator Doppelbock--Green Label--2010 16.9 oz. Bottle. 7.60% ABV. 20 IBU's? (3.5 / 5.0) Thick pour. No sediment. Light tan 1/2" mild lace dissipating head. Clear dark ruby edged black color. Toasted black cherry fig mild hop front. Mildly creamy rich roasted fruit toffee cherry malty smooth mellow sweet rich BOCK body. Dry mild hop hot EtOH end. Sampled 1/8/2011. Purchased for $2.47 at Fred Meyer--Ballard, Seattle 12/28/2010.

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

Optimator arrives in a green bottle with a brown, gold trimmed, label. The beer itself is a brown, ruby color with a creamy cap of foam. Roasted malt, husky grain, dark fruit in the aroma. The body is medium to full as it smoothly slithers across the tongue. A carbonated bite preludes the light touch of hops. The 7.2% ABV shows through in a good way. Very Bockish.

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Photo of afinepilsner
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12oz green bottle
7.2% abv

Spaten Optimator was a very dark red-brown color with good clarity when held to a light. It had a light tan head with good retention and lacing. The smell was sweet dark malt and a touch toasty. The taste was malty and sweet as well with a little hop flavor coming through towards the finish. The finish was long and semi-dry. It was medium-full in body with medium carbonation. Drinkability was good. This is a good Doppelbock that is well worth trying out. This beer improves as it warms with some fruitiness and a touch of alcohol coming through.

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