Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
Liked This Beer
3.89 w/ 3,065 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: 3,065 |  Reviews: 1,336
Photo of NODAK
4.27/5  rDev +9.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Smell is basically of pure, sweet caramel...with a little bit of bread in there. Pretty simple, but delectable.

Mouthfeel here is a bit thinner than others in the style. Taste is of sweet caramel malt, thin molasses and brown sugar. A twinge of bitterness hits the sides of the tongue on the swallow. Not too much on the aftertaste due to the thinner consistancy, just a bit of lingering sweetness. Alcohol not noticeable at all. Also, no roasted character at all to the malts...this one is all sweet.

While some others may not appreciate the thinner mouthfeel and lack of other tastes (raisins, figs), I find it very drinkable and a top notch example of style.

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Photo of cpetrone84
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A-pours a deep reddish brown color with an abundance of fluffy light tan colored head.

S-the nose brings a malt presence up front with notes of caramel and hints of coffee, light roasted quality, fussel alcohols present, light malt sweetness, grainy in the back with a light leafy hop presence.

T-richer malt presence than the nose, lots of rich caramel, toffee, dark malts, again a lightly roasted quiality with hints of slightly burnt coffee, the fussels are mild and enjoyable, the grain profile is faint and not off putting, some dark fruit maltiness towards the back and light leafy hop finish.

M-rich and creamy feel on a reasonably full chewy body with a well carbonated finish.

D-this is a darn tasty doppelbock with a good rich flavor profile and enough of a hop balance and light alcohol presence that make for a tasty rich beer.

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Photo of Swill5786
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

1 pt 9 fl oz bottle poured into pilsener glass. Deep ruby to russett brown, dark but transparent when held to the light. Smell is of dark fruit, roasted malt, burnt sugar, molasses, slight booziness, and bread. The taste is raisins and plums to start, then a slight alcohol bite, with an aftertaste following up with a return of the fruitiness along the side and middle of the tongue and black bread with a slightly smoky quality. There is a medium/heavy body and wet finish to this very good doppelbock. One is enough to enjoy thoroughly.

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Photo of Nerudamann
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look - Dark, but a deep amber when held up in the light. Two fingers of foam that disipates pretty quickly. Good carbonation from what I can tell.

Smell - Malty as one would expect. Hints of mollasses and/or caramel.

Taste - Fairly malty and sweet, but leaning more toward the sweet side. Good and strong at the back of the palate, with an aftertaste the lingers toward the mid upper part of the palate.

Mouthfeel - Fairly creamy and filling in texture.

Drinkability - Aftertaste and filling nature makes this one hard to come back to more than once in a night for me. But still a good doppelbock.

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

Poured from the green bottle into a 12oz beer mug. The beer is a dark brownish amber color. Atop it sits a head of tan foam and bubbles. I can see a few bubbles rising to the top of the glass, but for the most part, the beer is too dark to see into. I'd like more lacing and head retention, but otherwise it is a fine-looking doppelbock.

The beer has a big crystal malt aroma. It's a little sweet, like a rich caramel. I think I can also smell some dark fruit...perhaps raisins? It's a warm, inviting aroma and it gets me excited to take my first sip.

This is definitely a malt forward beer with lots of dark flavors. The taste brings to mind plums and brown sugar. I think the base is dark crystal malt. The beer finishes with a nutty raisin flavor that lingers.

After swallowing, I can taste a sweet coating in my mouth. The beer has a medium body and average carbonation. The mouthfeel isn't outstanding, but is of a decent quality I expect from a well-crafted beer.

I like this beer. Despite it's InBev associations, I find myself drinking one every few years. It will take me a while to go through a six pack of this, as the beer's strength limits it's drinkability over an evening. Within the glass, I take it slowly because of the strength and the sweet coat. This is a beer that is probably available in your area. If you are unsure about doppelbocks or want to explore German beers beyond Beck's, this is a good one to try.

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

consumed 04-03-2010, 12oz bottle into pilsner glass.

poured a dark almost molasses color with a thin head. went kind of easy on the head.

the smell is very complex. sugar cane, brown sugar, raisins, prune, sweet toffee, caramel, roasty malts, coffee, and even a little chocolate in there.

taste is very much like the smell.. brown sugar, syrup, almost like a dark tea flavor, raisins, bitterness that comes from the malt, slight coffee in there.

mouthfeel is somewhat chewy, thick, heavy..leaves a lingering herbal resin taste on the palate..

drinkablity is easy.

solid doppelbock

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

Poured to a one finger head of light brown color with a velvet like head. The head was not long lasting, evaporating after about forty seconds. The lace around the glass is thick, but has no clinging power. Smells like nothing discernable, just a little sweet flowery aroma. OOOO the taste is nothing like the smell. Reminds me of licorice, something like Jagermeister, but missing the big kick. Color is a 29 on the SRM Beer Color Chart, but the color is not reprehensive of the flavor. The flavor is rich and mellow, with a hint of sweetness. The licorice really comes through, with a wave of sweet hops. There is very little bitterness although there is a definite flavor or hops. This is a beer that I would spend hard earned cash to drink.

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

A- Brown with a ruby hue. Semi translucent. Small head that quickly fades to a ring on the outside of the glass.

S- Sweet malt, candies, brown sugar. Not to complex.

T- Mild caramel, dark fruits, slight sweetness and slight hint of the 7% at the end.

M- Texture is very thing and watery, medium carbonation.

D- Not the most complex brew, but how complex can this style be? It's definitely an easy drinker due to the malty dominance. Nothing to special here, but I could easily buy a sixer for a campfire.

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Photo of jmeador85
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Appearance - Dark enough to black out the sun with a creamy off-white head. Inviting.

Smell - This beer has a great aroma, like most doppelbocks, but this beer takes it to a new level. It's something like campfire s'mores if you were smelling them from your tent.

Taste - Delicious, and no mistake. The great aroma seems to go right back to your nose as you drink it, and it tastes malty and semi-sweet all the way down.

Mouthfeel - Again, superb. With a taste as great as this, you really MUST let it linger in the mouth a moment before you swallow it.

Drinkability - Damn good. My only note would be wary of the alcohol content. Doppelbocks generally have much higher ABV (alcohol by volume) than your typical can of Budweiser.

Verdict - Germans know beer. Spaten Optimator is a testament to that. I tried this on a stranger's recommendation a few months ago, and I must say it's become one of my favorites. When I go out for beers, I typically try something new and then finish off with something I know I like. This has become a frequent finisher for me. If you haven't tried Optimator, then you're missing out. Seriously - this is one of those beers that's so good that it makes you sad when you find your glass empty. On a side note, this beer still tastes exquisite out of a bottle. Some beers, e.g. Young's Double Chocolate Stout, taste much better from a tap than from a bottle.

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Photo of bigrzman
4.47/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A: Translucent deep mahogany color, moderate carbonation, head poured thin and dissipated to paper thin head leaving no lace.

S: Very very clean. Faint chocolate and caramel malts.

T: Roasted malts, clean crisp hop bite, berries, and coffee. good lingering bitter hops and berry aftertaste. It is complex and delightful.

M: Astringent and drying, not a bad thing. Bity and strong. Medium body and tingly.

D: Highly drinkable. This is a wintertime warmer and a beer that will give you a good feeling without having to feel full.

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Photo of LacquerHead
3.89/5  rDev 0%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

It poured a deep translucent mahogany with a light tan head, which quickly dissipated to a thin lace, eventually leaving no trace. (temp 55 - into a Sam Adams pint)

At first the aroma reminded me of a pilsner? However, the malty goodness came through and it reminded me of caramel and prunes.

It had a light molasses quality combined with roasted malt. There was a slight bitter hops towards the end. Thought the malts and hops were well rounded. Tasted much better has it got warmer.

It was very drinkable. To me there was little trace of the 7.2% ABV.

Overall this was a solid beer. It was sort of mellow at first, but then as it got warmer the roasted malts really came through. I could easily drink a 6pck of this stuff. I think it would be a good autumn beer.

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Photo of elgiacomo
3.39/5  rDev -12.9%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz green bottle, undecipherable date code. Pours brown (red under light) with a small tan head. Fades very quickly to a small ring and doesn't leave a bit of lacing. Completely flat by the time I'm halfway through the glass.

Aroma is caramel malt, raisins, figs, and other dark fruits, dark bread, cinnamon. Quite malty on the nose. Strength diminishes as it warms.

Flavor features toffee, caramel, dark fruits, a bit of chocolate, bread, some sweetness, not cloying, but becomes more pronounced as it warms.

Mouthfeel is a bit thin, low to medium carbonation.

Nice Doppelbock, not to the level of the excellent Ayinger Celebrator, but MUCH better than the sticky sweet ones such as Sam Adams, Primator, etc.

Glad I tried it...I've been wanting to explore a few other Doppelbocks and ultimately I'm finding it is a style I don't particularly enjoy despite being a fan of malty beers. Too thin and too sweet...would rather spend my money on some Dirty Bastard, etc...

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Photo of 828beagle
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a pint glass. A deep dark orange brown with very little head and light carbonation. Despite the head and carbonation characteristics it remains to be an alluring brew. Although there is little carbonation it does not taste flat. It has a distinct, lush, prune-like smell with hints of licorice. A bitter taste but not overbearing. Not very heavy, and this is deceptive, because you will feel quite a nice buzz after drinking a few. The first time I tried this beer I drank it straight from the bottle and could not really appreciate it. Upon second taste I rather like it. To sum it up, I would say it has good multiple personalities like a beautiful gothic chick you are just getting to know. But if you are not respectful she will kick your ass.

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Photo of dolzan
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

The colour is dark red/brown with a small head that quickly disappears.

Sweet smell and taste (think caramel, raisins, maybe even sugar), with almost no hop flavour and kick, which I don't really mind as long as the taste is as complex as here. Extremely drinkable, and very pleasant. I like it very much.

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Photo of cmaloy
3.63/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours a dark amber-caramel brown. Almost no head.

Smells of sushi, roasted malt, molasses, and licorice.

Tastes of roasted caramel malt, nut, a hint of chocolate. Very smooth. Well-balanced and full-bodied.

For those of you that like full bodied beer with little carbonation then this beer is for you.

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Photo of longbongsilver
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Good deal for an import, figured whatever. Brownish-red, head is off-white & GENEROUS, takes a bit to pour actually. Smell is mostly caramel w/ a whiff of peanut (seriously, that's what it reminds me of).

Caramel malt comes through in the first swig even more than the smell would suggest. Not a bitter drink at all, can't really distinguish much hop flavor, yet it's not annoyingly sweet either. Goes down creamier than I'd have thought otherwise.

For German beers this is probably considered an average. This balance between refreshment & character is a revelation here though.

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

Pours a dark amber-caramel brown. Smells of roasted malt, caramel, molasses, and just a hint of licorice. Tastes of roasted caramel malt, brown sugar, and notes of fig and nut. Very smooth. Well-balanced and full-bodied. "Blessing of your heart - you brew good ale." In this case, 'strong lager'. --Shakesbeere

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Photo of Mora2000
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pint served at the Fort Worth Gingerman.

The beer pours a dark brown color with an off-white head. The aroma has notes of caramel with some dark fruit mixed in. The flavor is just as good if not better. I get some caramel malts, bready malts, grapes, dark fruit and molasses. Medium mouthfeel and medium carbonation.

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Photo of vdread
4.01/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Spaten Optimator pours very dark amber, appearing black until held up to light. the tight collar winds down

smells sweet with dark fruit, dark caramel malts

tastes roasty, nutty, and sweet, dominated by dark fruits and caramel. there is a bit of pungency here that i like. it's warming and enjoyable.

mouthfeel med full, but creamy and easy going down. sweet fruit and caramel lingers.

overall a very drinkable beer, and probably one of my favorite doppelbocks i've tried to date. not overly sweet or aggressive in any way.

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Photo of rtepiak
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

a more pf a tawny dark coca cola in the light color. with a off white head. nice and frothy and somewhat thick but not as thick and some other doppelbocks i've had. nose is toasty almond and molasses. palate is where it should be with a particularly sweet quality to it. brown sugar, almost honey. with definite nutty molasses quality. easy to find and most typical of drink. good. consistent but too dessert of a doppelbock for me. nice abv quality. not a trace.

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

A - Medium brown colored body with a nice, thick, frothy pale tan head more than three inches tall. When held to light the body has a nice deep purple accent.

S - Medium roasted malt with a hint of pungency.

T - Robust medium roasted malts with a slight bitterness and alcohol presence. The finish is sweet.

M - Sticky and thick for the part. Just like I like a good Doppelbock.

~ This is a good beer. I'm a big fan of the style and I'm a big fan of this brew. Now if I could venture to Munich and try a fresh one from the tap.

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Photo of metter98
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A: The beer poured very dark amber (near black) with a thin white head. Only a very light amount of carbonation is visible from the rising bubbles.
S: There are moderate aromas of dark, bready malts in the nose along with some notes of raisins.
T: Similar to the smell, malty flavors similar to brown bread dominate the taste along with some notes of dark fruits. There is a mild amount of sweetness in the overall taste.
M: It feels full-bodied on the palate and a moderate amount of carbonation is evident.
D: The alcohol isn't that apparent in the smell or taste so it's very drinkable although I'm not sure how many of these I could have because itls very filling and feels like you are having a meal.

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Photo of jonziefle
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: Poured a clear dark brown, almost black. One finger bubbly khaki head with minimal retention. Visible carbonation. Not much lacing.

Smell: Sweet malts with a strong cider nose. Dark roasted malts, above average sweetness.

Taste: Sweet roasted malt flavor, with hints of chocolate/smoke flavors. On the sweeter cider with a hint of apple flavors. Hops don't make much of an appearance.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation.

Drinkability: A good doppelbock with dark roasted malt flavors. A little too malty to drink by itself, but pairs very well with German cuisine (known for meat centric dishes)

Buy Again? Yes

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Photo of impending
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

375ml into a tulip. Dark amber brown, minor head, mild carbonation. Nice malt aroma.

Taste is all malts. This is my first in a long while, I remember having liked it more than I seem to now - it doesn't seem so special. However, for being a doppelbock from Germany this is very inexpensive so maybe it was price/performance.

I would rate this beer much higher if it lost a single attribute - the metallic taste towards the end. I can't help but be conscious of it and it mars an otherwise superior lager.


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Photo of Beerandraiderfan
2.96/5  rDev -23.9%
look: 3.25 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.75

Brown pour, a bit more than than expected for something kinda revered. Nuts and toffee aroma a little metallic feel.

Taste is warm, like a brown ale, aged a bit (this may have been unintentionally). Thankfully doesn't have the rubbing alcohol feel of a lot of doppelbocks. Has something prickly to it, maybe not hops, or those Euro hops I don't have too often, a nice subtlety. Mouthfeel too thin to get to into it, and neither is the price.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Beer rating: 73.6% out of 100 with 3,065 ratings
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