Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
3,054 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: 3,054 |  Reviews: 1,333
Photo of MurphyMacManus
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pint bottle into pilsner glass.

A: Dark brown with ruby highlights; big, thick, sticky tan head.

S: Malty sweetness and some alcohol. Also picking up some dark fruitiness and caramel.

T/M: Very malty and sweet. Caramel and dark fruit flavors, with little if any bitterness. Getting a slight spicy note...maybe the alcohol? Medium-heavy body cut by tight, light carbonation.

D: I don't think taste would be a hindrance at all to drinkability. Malty sweet stuff tends to go down easy for me. But I do tend to watch myself on higher alcohol stuff, and that's where this ceases to be a good session beer.

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Photo of fsimcox
3.49/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a dark amber, almost black color. Off-white foamy head that dissipates slowly leaving a very thin white layer. Some lacing, but not much.

Smells malty, with hints of roasted malt, but not overpowering. Smell is a little weak.

Sweet, malty, roasted chocolate. Full bodied, with a sweet after taste, but not too sweet.
A hint of metallic bitterness, but not offensive.

Mouthfeel is creamy, rich, and smooth. Not much carbonation.

A nice example of a doppelbock. Sweetness and slightly strong alcohol task keep me from drinking this every day.

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Photo of tone77
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a green 12 oz. bottle. Has a dark amber color with a 1/2 inch head. Smell is a bit sweet, and malty, a bit bready. Taste is also bready, sweet, lots of malts, very easy drinking. Feels full bodied in the mouth and overall is a solid beer worth checking out.

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Photo of Stigs
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

12oz bottle served in a pint glass

A - slightly aggressive pour yields about two fingers of loose but creamy khaki colored head. the beer is a very dark burnt amber color, good clarity.

S - hug whiff of sweet caramel and toffee. the sweetness just doesnt let up. very faint notes of vanilla and doughy biscuit.

T - more sweetness, caramel right off the bat. chocolate, roasted nuts, biscuit, oak and vanilla join in the fray.

M - nice and creamy, whole lot of body. just the right amount of faint carbonation. taste sticks around for a bit. great here.

D - only thing keeping this from being hugely drinkable is the sweetness becomes somewhat overwhelming after a bit. otherwise, a great and slightly unique doppelbock.

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Photo of rednrag
4.43/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my second dopplebock(the other being Salvator). I think i'm in love. The taste blows me away on this cold winters day. Cant wait to try the other ones. The Germans are true masters of their craft, wonder what it would be like to try one in Badtolz or Munich?

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Photo of almychristopher
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

this beer pours a nice clear brown color with a tan head that recedes to very fine lacing. the aroma is very malty with a bit of caramel in the nose as well, maybe a bit of fruit esters from the yeast. the taste improves upon the nose with the caramel and roasted malt flavor very well developed and complimented nicely by the bavarian yeast esters. the full body and smooth carbonation are good for the style, a petty drinkable doppelbock.

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

Have had this beer on tap previously, but recently bought a case from my local distributor.

A: Good dark appearance. Nice head.

S: Caramel malts with a roasty smell. Hints of chocolate & biscuit, maybe even a little vanilla.

T: Very nutty in taste w/chocolate & caramel towards the end.

M: Nice mouthfeel. Somewhat dry, yet quite malty. I like the fact that it feels heavy but doesn't bloat you like some other dark beers sometimes do.

D: Quite drinkable. In fact, I was having such a good time drinking the first half case of Optimator when I was homebrewing a recent batch of beer. Yada, yada, yada...the last thing I remember I was pulling out the wort chiller then the next thing I knew I was waking up out of bed in the morning. Don't take the 7.2 ABV lightly!

Another nice quality German brew.

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Photo of GoalieRon33
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- wonderfully dark. great deep brown, with decent head.

s- good overall roasted smell. malty and sweet.

t- awesome maltiness. completely love this beer. great, heavy burnt flavoring, with a finishing sweetness.

m- nice and heavy. totally encompasing, overwhelming in a good way.

d- surprisingly easy to drink with its overall heaviness. awesome winter beer.

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Photo of natelocc787
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Nice black-brown color with a tan head. Leaves good lacing, medium thick and it hangs around for a few before sliding down the chalice. First thing about the nose is it's very sweet and nutty. Reminds me of Dinkel Acker. Lots of almonds and molasses in the nose with a creamy sweet maltball character. The taste offers more candied nut flavor like brown sugar coated pecans, roasted almonds and lots of maple syrup. Very malty up front and not much in the way of hops anywhere, walnuts drowned in molasses in the finish and a little shot of dark chocolate. The mouthfeel was medium in thickness and even though it wasn't over carbonated the size of the bubbles gave it feel like a soda pop. Somewhat dry for the style. Good example and an old school classic.

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Photo of scottyb88
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- poured a very dark brown, almost black. looks like a deep mahogany in the light; nice head that was a light tan color; no lacing

S-malty, chocolate covered fruits or nuts

T-similar to smell, alcohol is present but not overbearing, no bitterness, sweet but with a dark chocolate and slight alcohol aftertaste

M-not bad at all, slightly thick, moderate carbonation

D-i can't have too many of these b/c of the alcohol content and the level of sweetness from the malts

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

I have been enjoying the Oktoberfest season this year by sampling the dopplebocks and haven't been disappointed yet. Included in my pleasurable experiences is this beer. It lives true to the Spaten/Franziskaner signature of quality.

Pours a dark brown with a tan head that dissipates quickly with a bubbly presence. Some lacing on the glass.

Sweet malty aroma leads to flavors that burst out. First there is the malt and a little yeast, then a fruity mixture of apples and berries, followed by a steady hop burst and a slightly shuddering aftertaste that improves with each sip.

Drinkable and just heavy enough for a dopplebock, yet flows quicker that most.

I will definitely put this in line with Korbinian and Bajuvator.

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Photo of traviserickson
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Opaque with ruby undertones. Fairly calm pour. Bubbles with thin lacing that linger for only a moment.

S- Sweet, slightly fruity --very subtle.

T- Bitter dark malt with hints of Ovaltine style sweetness. Heavy on the dark malt.

M- Thick but not chewable. Healthy amount of carbonation.

D- High drinkability. Holds itself as a heavy beer but several can be enjoyed in a single evening.

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Photo of puboflyons
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

From the 12 fl. oz. bottle no. L-18091F. Sampled on November 22, 2009. This has a richly dark mahogany brown pour with a thin beige head and above average lacing. The aroma is sweet and malty with a nice following of hops on the last sniff. Medium mouthfeel. The taste has a fine roasted malt sensation, maybe a little molasses, and a moderate but pleasing hoppy ending. An easy to drink draker beer despite its 7.2% ABV.

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Photo of Jettanbass9
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - chestnut brown with copper and red highlights, thin but fluffy head retention.

S - melanoidins!! i love the toasty, doughy/bready aroma of this beer. some dark fruit and fig like aromas. Aside from the slight fruitness, very very clean, very very malt driven aromas. This is what winters should smell like!

T - melanoidins!!! toast, bread, grainy sweetness, more toast, some fig, raisin. Doughy bread and toast dominate. Balanced bitterness. This is the definition of a malt bomb, good malt driven flavors without being cloying or one dimensional.

M - Med. mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. The two aspects play off of each other and give good balance.

D - I definitely could not drink this all night, however, this is an excellent beer to drink by the fire or for a nightcap. This beer is rich, flavorful and a true winter beer, nay, classic.

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Photo of pants678
3.29/5  rDev -15.6%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

Very deep brown with a thin bubbly, beige head foam.

It's a thick, dark chocolate aroma with hints of nut and toffee.

The taste is overwhelming toffee and coffee. Flavor has sharp undertones of peanuts. There is no distinction between the potency of the front and back end. The latter is sticky aftertaste of roasted oats and staunch malts.

The flavors are harsh and heavy, I feel like it needs a bit more of the bubbles to break things up.

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

The foam was wheat in color, bubbly, thick, smooth and left a ring around the glass til the end. The color was a dark burgandy/all most black with an orange red highlight in the light. The smell of roasted barley and hints of chocolate and raisons and a fruity undertone. It had a very robust taste with a variety of flavors like roasted barley, hints of chocolate and fruity accents. The mouthfeel - semi-viscous and rich. Drinkability - nice and rich - I'm a great fan of the dark beers.

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

Poured from 16.9 oz bottle into a pint glass.

Appearance: dark woody brown with a two-finger persistent tan head. Quite nice.

Smell: thick malt with a little pear aroma tossed in. It's also got a bit of an unctuous tartness in there which I feel I cannot adequately describe. Still, pretty interesting.

Taste: lots of malt which develops into the same pear/tree fruit that was present in the aroma. Fruity is a good word to describe it, but it is a heavy, syrupy fruity which means serious business. I don't know from doppelbocks, but this tastes pretty good to me.

Mouthfeel: big body but it doesn't coat the mouth like syrup. Pretty good.

Drinkability: this stuff is pretty tasty to me, but it is a little bit of a one-note song (OK, a two-note song--malt and pears--but you get the idea). I'll finish this one gladly, but it's a little sweet and monotonous to session.

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

A- Rich, dark brown. Creamy head with thin lacing.

S- Huge malt aroma with a hint of roasted malt and black licorice.

T- Once again, very malty. A wave of sweetness with a bit of raisin and caramel.

F- Not quite as full as I expected. A nice blast of carbonation with a bit of alcohol spice.

D- Honestly, its a stretch for me to put down more than two of these. Just a 'once in a while' beer for me.

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Photo of MadeInOregon
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I've seen this one at various stores so many times that I just had to try it.

Poured into a pilsner glass a huge light tan/off-white head erupted from the bottom but quickly disipated. The body is a nice deep bronze, reddish color.

First taste: Delicious! The Optimator features a very well balanced transition from sweet to chocolatey to malt to hops, with a nice warming from the 7.2% alcohol. There is also a slight yeast bite at the very beginning of the sip. The aftertaste is raisins/prunes. This is a very tasty beer and is amazing for $2.29 from Safeway!

The smell is a mix of malt, sweetness, and alcohol.

The feel is nothing special; not good or bad.

This is a very good beer although after a few sips I realized that this tastes like most of the American Winter Ales or Winter Warmers that I've had. In fact, it is extremely similar in taste and body to Pyramid's Snow Cap. I find this very interesting since American craft breweries seem to put so much effort into offering seasonal/winter ales that are unique and different, when in fact they seem to vary only slightly from German doppelbocks. That is news to me...good news, considering I like both and now won't need to wait until November to get the bold flavored beers that I enjoy.

Two thumbs up for Spaten's Optimator!

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Photo of heissebier
3.57/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 2 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I've been wanting to try this beer since traveling to Munich in high school. A meal in a glass? Awesome!

Appearance- Appears opaque on first pour but on closer inspection its a beautiful orange-red. When held up to a light it reminds me of a sunset. Good, fairly quick dissipating head.

Smell- Very malty, a little bit like marinara sauce. Kind of gross

Taste- Superb! Well balanced and thick. Malty, not too sweet or bitter, I can see why the monks used to love this stuff.

Mouthfeel- Crisp and refreshing, leaves a warm feeling as it travels down my throat. Stays with you for awhile.

Drinkability- Very drinkable, but defiantly on the heavy side. I'm not going to be playing much beer pong with this one!

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Photo of skeetermoses
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Overall this is one of the better beers I have tried good caramel taste not bad very good to go with beef or perhaps a good meaty stew, nice winter beer good and heavy, actually would like to drink this one more. I am trying the one pint nine oz bottle not bad will try again but in a smaller bottle.

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Photo of martinmayhem
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

been on the doppelbock tip lately and this one definitely doesn't disappoint. Great big sweet but not overly sweet malt character w/ hints of caramel. It's medium bodied that fringes on full. The drinkablity is a little better than average for the style. Its definitely no Celebrator but worth drinking again.

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Photo of Lldeegan
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is another lighter than expected doppelbock. Pours a deep dark brown not nearly as light as the Salvator, with a minimal frothy off white head that quickly diminishes to a surface lace, leaving behind very little lacing.

The smell is very nutty with some licorice undertones, not overpowering, very nice subtle smell to it. I can hardly detect the alcohol.

Sweet malt rolls over the front of the tongue, with a touch of that licorice and nutty flavor, followed by a roasty flavor hitting the back towards the end with a hot alcoholic finish.

This is a nicely carbonated beer, more than I expected from the style. It leaves the mouth feeling a bit sticky, but not overly so, which can be a negative thing in my opinion when drinking a dark doppelbock.

Definitely a drinkable beer, it is pretty crisp while cold, and as it warms up more licorice comes out and it becomes a bit more sticky, so maybe not an all night beer. Another reason for this, as with most doppelbocks is that it is higher in alcohol and is something that could sneak up on you in just a few beers, so enjoy, but watch out, this ain't a Twizzler!

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Photo of KTCamm
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from a bottle during game 2 of the ALCS. Pours deep brownish black with a little white foam. Has the appearance of an english brown ale.

Highly nutty smell, hints of chocolate and toffee.

Taste opens sweet, with notes of sour. Sticky mild hop at the finish. Nutty taste.

Moderately carbonated in the mouthfeel. Very tasty and drinkable. Well made brew.

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Photo of taigor
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

Poured from 12oz bottle

A - Very dark body, almost black with very light head and lacing.

S - Very sweet with hints of chocolate and caramel.

T - Malty sweet with caramel and chocolate.

M - Carbonated and heavy, very thick like molasses.

D - Drinkable but heavy. Also, ABV is high but alcohol is not felt at all.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,054 ratings.
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