Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
3,059 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: 3,059 |  Reviews: 1,334
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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Photo of heavy216
3.15/5  rDev -19.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

A: Bottle was 12oz, amber with s light tint of red. 2 finger head, good lacing that lasted the whole time.

S: malt smell.

T/M: Enjoyed when very cold, as it warmed up it got sweeter, a little heavy mouth feel..strong after bite
Carbonation is perfect, hides alcohol level.

D: good cold, however as it got warmer not as good.

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Photo of tapman
4.21/5  rDev +7.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark brown with deep, deep ruby highlights, verging on violet. Rich head that when poured aggressively can give you however many fingers you want, in my case three. Like I said, head is rich, creamy and light sand in color.

Deep prune aroma, like prune puree.

Taste is dark raisins, dark toffee (i.e. slightly burnt sugar) and a rich, butter-like character. Hops are way in the back and come out briefly for bitterness and a soft earthiness.

Not too chewy, but not too light. Just right for the style if you ask me. Maybe a little more carbonation, but a small discrepancy.

I love this beer and, more notably, my girlfriend likes this beer. And my girlfriend hates beer. A fine example of the style and at a fantastic price (10.99 at Famous Liquors on Roosevelt Rd. in Lombard, IL.). At approx. $1 per bottle and at 7% abv, I think we have a winner.

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Photo of e11iott
3.05/5  rDev -21.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: Bottle was 12oz, dark cherry red. 2 finger head, lacing that lasted the whole time.

S: Carmel and malt smell.

T/M: Enjoyed when very cold, as it warmed up it got sweeter, soild after bit.
Carbonation is perfect, hids alcohol level.

D: Thought the beer would be thicker based on the color, prefered it when colder.

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Photo of largadeer
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Draft at Gourmet Haus Staudt.

Mahogany hued, capped by a thin beige head. The nose is heavy on raisins and prunes, with nutty, bready malt beneath. There's a slight vinous aroma that lends some complexity. The palate is very similar; a lot of raisin and prune flavor above a backbone of toasted malt. Moderately sweet, fairly vinous toward the finish with some metallic astringency. This isn't bad, but it's far from my favorite doppelbock. Too reminiscent of prune juice.

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Photo of ramseye4
3.68/5  rDev -5.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A= Pours a dark red color, 1.5 finger head with minimal retention, but with spectacular lacing
S=some dark fruit, a bit of molasses, very sweet smelling
T=Darker malts, some bitterness, candied fruit comes out in the aftertaste
M=Medium carbonation, medium body, sticky and sweet
D=Good flavor and mouthfeel combined with medium body make this one that can be downed over and over again

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

Poured a clear, dark brown from a 12 oz bottle with ABV (7.6%) on the label. No freshness date, but the bottle had a newer black label as opposed to the brown labels available until recently. Ruby red color along the edges when held against light.
The head was massive after a slightly vigorous pour and dissipated very slowly. Very nice lacing along the glass as the head dissipated.
Aroma is dominated by malts, and as the beer warms up, the aroma of raisins, dark fruits with hints of alcohol becomes noticeable.
Taste is also dominated by malts with hints of fruity sweetness. The finish is a nice blend of sweet and bitter. The taste becomes better as the beer warms up.
Drinkability is good and the ABV is certainly masked very well.
A solid doppelbock made by one of the classic German breweries. Definitely worth a try.

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

On tap in a pint glass.

Appearance: At first glance, the color is black, but upon further inspection it is lightly transparent ruby throughout. Nice creamy foamy off-white head. Foamy lace drips forms and drips away down the glass.

Smell: Molasses, roasted malt, ripe dark fruits. A touch of spice.

Taste: Molasses, plums, raisins, a light general spiciness - all spice or nutmeg maybe. Along with a roasted malt, these flavors form the basis of the flavor. Earthy hops sneak up on me, making themselves known as the sip comes to a close. Finishes lightly bitter.

Mouthfeel: The carbonation fizzes and bubbles away in my mouth, eventually relenting to a creamy feel. Lightly sticky, with above average carbonation wrapped in a fuller than medium body.

Drinkability: Although I am not usually a lager person, I have been getting more into Doppelbocks recently, and this is a nice example of the style. Really drinkable at 7.2%. Definitely better as it warms.

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Photo of harrymel
3.62/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes on 07/07/10
$2 for 33cl @ Huck's in Spokane, WA.

Poured from bottle to snifter.

A: Pours dark cherry brown with excellent clarity. No head, appears flat.

S: Smells like a symphony bar! Toffee, cocoa, toast. Very pleasant.

T: Surprisingly bitter given the nose. Rye toast, cocoa, toffee still there, just not as evident as before. Slight earthen flavor.

M: Low carb flows well over tongue and after sweetness feel, but dries quickly and dries with the bitterness.

D: A bit thin for the style IMO, prefere a bit more body. Otherwise, strong offering from a classic brewery.

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Photo of in780
3.28/5  rDev -15.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

12 oz bottle poured into a Duvel tulip. Here we go:

A - Reddish-brown, lets through a little light, very little head. No lacing

S - Sweet smelling, licorice, brandy

T - Roasted malts, but the taste is watery. Not the mouthfeel, but just the taste - like there was supposed to be more but someone forgot to put it in. A letdown from what I was expecting

M - OK, low carbonation which is fine for the style

D - I could drink more, the alcohol is pretty well hidden, but I don't think I want to.

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Photo of PanzerFaced
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer takes on a rich flavor with a distinct malty taste. I enjoy it's chocolate and amber flavors. You get just enough without it being to overpowering. This beer also has a nice alcohol percentage of 7.2% which is just right for this style of beer, you tend to not notice the alcohol with the balance of the malt.

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Photo of Brewbro000
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Pours a deep brown that when held to the light shows hints of ruby red with a one finger off white head. The head retains for a few minutes but resides to a faint rim around the glass with patches in between
S- Very powerful malt aroma with little to no recognizable hop character. Hints of caramel, raisins and molasses
T- Malt backbone is the dominate flavor in this beer, from the caramel and roasted flavors to the residual sweetness provided. This beer cleans up quite quickly at the end of each sip, despite its alcohol content and mild sweetness.
M- Medium bodied but not too thick or chewy, which i assumed was part of this style, i expected it to be slightly more chewy to say the least.
D- You feel the alcohol on this pretty quickly although it isn't immediately noticed when consuming, leading me to think i could drink a number of these, i assume i would easily be feeling it after 2 or three!

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,059 ratings.
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