Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
Very Good
3,111 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: 3,111 |  Reviews: 1,348
Photo of ufotofuturo
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I was initially unimpressed with this beer, but over the past few days, my opinion has improved somewhat. Pours out with a great head, which dissipates fairly quickly. Emits a subtle, almost apologetic, typically German odor. Color is dark, but not thick. Flavor ranges from tolerable to delicious- can't really decide. I probably wouldn't buy it again, but then again, maybe I would. I can't really decide.

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Photo of feelmefoam
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lighter mahogany or maple syrup color with a decent amount of visible carbonation and two fingers of off-white head that lasts for a decent amount of time. Light brown highlights when held up to the light.

Dark roasted malts and some darker fruits (I'm thinking plums, maybe some raisin) pervade the nose. Not terribly complex, but aromatic and inviting nonetheless.

A smooth, slightly roasted malt flavor shows up immediately, later accompanied by a slight nutty aspect. That dark fruit makes another appearance through the middle of the beer, especially as it starts to warm up. A slight hint of cocoa and earthiness shows up as the flavor finishes. Not overwhelmingly flavorful, but mild complexity and intensity makes for a nice, calming drinking experience.

The mouthfeel works well with the flavor. Dead on medium bodied with carbonation in moderation to give a smooth, creamy feel that accentuates the nutty, roasty malt flavor nicely.

All in all, a very drinkable doppelbock that hides the alcohol very well and provides an easy sipping beverage for a relaxing night. I kinda wanna try this on tap to see if the flavor is a bit different. Either way, another solid offer from the Bavarian folks at Spaten.

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Photo of beer2day
4.22/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Dark caramel pour with 1-finger cream head. Nice retention and very nice lacing.

The good bocks always evoke a green apple smell for me. The really good ones bring out a caramel apple. This one is really good. Nice warm, caramel apples. Little bit of dried fruit backing that up, with cherries mainly.

The caramel malt comes on fast and really exerts itself in the finish. Little bit of tart fruit as in the nose. Slight bit of coffee in the finish as well.

Good malt body here. Not syrupy at all, just strong.

This has always been one of my favorite German beers and the latest tasting bore that out.

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Photo of RonaldTheriot
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had this Spaten Optimator on draft at Volksfest at Deutches Haus in New Orleans in May, 2010. It has a thin, beige head and a moderately carbonated, dark brown appearance. Taste and aroma is roasted and caramel (to an extent). Body is medium, and this finishes heavy. Optimator is a delicious beer and I highly recommend it.


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Photo of udubdawg
2.48/5  rDev -36.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

wow, this pours a gorgeous deep amber/brown color, topped by an inch of tan dense head that fades to a finger before sticking around quite a while. Spots of lacing are even left here and there.

Sadly the beer goes downhill quickly from the looks department. Definite "skunked" note in the aroma. It's not even very old. Vague sweet toasty Munich notes, but also a bit of a tart edge, and definitely a decent amount of metallic. Not impressed.

There is promise in the flavor, but too much wrong with it. Fairly sweet, some browned/toasted malt, nothing I'd call rich or "meal in a glass". Bitterness is low, metallic is not overwhelming but noticeable. Not roasty, but no chocolate either. Sweet malt with a touch of tartness is the lingering flavor on my palate. I either need it with a fuller mouthfeel and a richer malt profile if it is going to be this sweet, or I need it drier, more bitter, and maybe more alcohol. Either would be fine.

Body is surprisingly thin. Carb is appropriate, and as it is thin and not terribly high in alcohol, it is reasonably drinkable. The best thing that I can say about this beer is that it is a "looker"...but that isn't enough for me to buy it again.

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Photo of elricorico
3.74/5  rDev -3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

From notes: Medium brown, see-through on the edges. Finger of tan head to start, faded after about a minute to a thin cap.

Quite malty to the nose, notes of toffee, dark chocolate and a bit of ash.

Sweet tasting, malty and smooth. Toasted bread with caramel. Something of a cola flavour in the finish, with a lingering coffee-like bitterness.

Medium body with a carbonation that I find to be a little high. Just average in the mouthfeel.

Goes down pretty easy. Could be a good spring or fall drink.

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Photo of zoso1967
3.61/5  rDev -7.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark reddish brown with a parchment head that fades quickly, but leaves nice lace. The aroma is very malty with plenty of brown sugar, toffee and toasty notes as well as a slight nuttiness. Flavor is also very malty but is balanced out well with a burnt sugar character and some bitterness. Plenty of brown sugar, toffee and some fruity sweet notes as well. More herbal hops than I had expected, but they are still far in the back ground. I find that this beer lacks a bit of the doppelbock punch you usually get, and while good it is a bit subdued. The body is on the fuller side of medium and is fairly sticky. One of the most drinkable doppelbocks I have had, but not the most exciting.

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Photo of FSUplumber
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first German Munich and I am very Impressed. almost like a brown ale but smoother and cleaner. Pours a nice deep copper color with a thin tan head that spreads to the sides quikly. Mouth feel is very nice and nice carmal taste with hints of chocolate and fruit.

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Photo of RedSpecial1
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours out a dark brown, with very little off white head, and even this little bit dissipates rather quickly. Lots of malt and caramel scents come off of this beer, as well as just a hint of alcohol which, fortunately, stays mostly in the background. This beer tastes very malty and to a lesser degree has some caramel flavor to it. The mouthfeel for this one is pretty good, not as heavy as you'd expect from a beer at this ABV, but I wouldn't call it thin by a long shot. The main reason I think this beer suffers is because its high ABV impairs its drinkability somewhat. While tasty, this isn't a beer you're going to sit down and drink through a six pack.

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Photo of Optimator7
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

I will only write this review, to profess my love for this beer. Ok, I've had 3 and feeling pretty damn good right about now.... yes they are 7% so you may get the idea that they will give you that warm fuzzy feeling pretty quick...

I've tried a bunch of beers and I keep coming back to this one. Thankfully it isn't the hardest to get. I was recommended to it by a German doctor. The point is, the guy has the money to buy what he wants and this was the one he liked. I'm usually disappointed by the rest of the beers I try and wish I had my Optimator instead. Ok, the Korbinian was damn good and so was the Celebrator. But they're more expensive and not more impressive. Seriously. This is the one to buy. A+++

Ok, just a bit about it. It is dark, rich, and sweet. If you want dry and bitter look elsewhere. This one will pair with a nice dessert or just about anything as far as I'm concerned. Yes, it does get better as it approaches room temperature but I haven't made it all the way there because it tastes too damn good. Enjoy and only rate it if you can appreciate a truly damn good Doppelbock.

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Photo of industrialswill
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Got this at a discount food store, $1.25 for a single bottle.
I have no idea about how fresh it is.
It's nice and dark, has a pungent aroma...looks like something Friar Tuck might have drunk.
So smooth for a 7% malt liquor, this is a good tasting brew.

Drink up, boys and girls!

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Photo of DoctorDog
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12oz bottle into a glass mug. This brew courtesy of the old man.

A- Dark reddish/brown with ruby edges. ~1 1/2 fingers of tan head. Head dwindles slowly to a thin, incomplete cap. Minimal lacing

S- Extremely nutty and slightly metallic. Bready, caramel sweetness begins to emerge as the head settles.

T- Very sweet and malty. Raisiny notes mingle with molasses and coffee. Charred caramel bitterness on the finish.

M- Slightly low carbonation- a tad under-carbonated IMO. Medium-full feeling, and slightly syrupy.

D- Solid. Pleasing flavor and easy drinking.

Future outlook: Good, if unspectacular beer. I won't seek it out, but I won't run if handed another one of these.

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Photo of kcr357
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A pours a very dark almost opaque brownish caramel color. ONe finger of foam with nice lacing that stays till the end.
S SWEET! Molasses, brown sugar.
T See above, lots of malt to understate it, very little to no hop flavor.
M Slightly astringent, manages to not be syrupy even with the high sugar levels.
D Good to drink with dinner, not a chuggin beer by any means.

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Photo of Flashsp2
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Optimator .5L into imperial pint

Served almost room temp, clear ruby body, hazelnut highlights. Short
lived head with only an inkling of lace that leaves some pretty impressive lacing.

Caramel malt, nutty, and faintly roasted aroma.

More dark caramel, roasted nuts, roasted malt bitterness (though faint).

Body is thick with a medium carbonation.

East drinking so long as you serve it warm enough.

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

Good solid bottle of beer.

Poured with a dark color, thin head but very inviting with the mahogany color and creamy head.

smell has complexity. Includes sugar (cane/brown/burnt) with raisins caramel and toffee included.

Taste is very sweet with a rich malty caramel fullness.

Mouth feels like a medium bodied smooth beer with a light carbonation.

Easily drinkable Dopplebocks. Light enough to drink , but heavy enough to be one to be aware of the abv

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Photo of aval89
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

poured a dark almost molasses color with a thin head. went kind of easy on the head. very decent looking beer, very inviting..

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 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.

not bad for my first dopplebock

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Photo of drtth
3.78/5  rDev -2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Served in a 0.5 L Spaten glass (a lot like a very tall slender imperial pint glass). Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically.

Appearance: The beer as served is a rich reddish brown color with a 1/8" off white head that soon recedes to a small ring and small patch of foam. After sipping for a while even most of that is gone. There are some small scattered speckles of lacing on the glass, but throughout most of the beer its hardly noticeable.

Smell: The aroma is rich with roasted malt character laced with subtle notes of chocolate and dark brown sugar but they are hard to find.

Taste: The flavor is also rich and malty, and includes some dark caramel and a touch of brown sugar. There are definite traces of cocoa and some herbal hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is medium bodied and very smooth with subtle hard to detect carbonation. The finish begins with the sweet dark caramel, slides into dark milk chocolate and then tapers off to end in gentle herbal dry bitterness.

Drinkability: This is easily drinkable and a good companion to a game burger, but I probably won't make a point of having more. I would not turn it down if offered but on the whole I'd prefer to seek out others that are just as readily available (e.g., Celebrator, St. Victorious, Smooth Hoperator, etc.)

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Photo of MisterTiat
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Mahogany dark brown. Clean, white head recedes into spotty lace, down to nothing at the end, but this is probably due to the fact that I was drinking it out of a liter mass.

S: Molasses-like sweetness. Malted grains and nutty smell. Not very complex, you can tell it is going to get your buzz on.

T: very much like how it smells. A punch of sweetness, molasses and dark malted grains with a earthy, nutty finish. There is also a pretty yeasty note on the palate. Again, like the smell not very complex.

M: Clean for a Doppelbock. The carbonation is pretty steady throughout, although the last few sips were kind of gross since there was no carbonation. Again this is probably due to the quantity.

D: One of the more drinkable Doppelbocks I have had. You can take big plugs at it and do just fine.

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Photo of bmwats
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured from 500 ml bottle, into imperial pilsner.

A: Medium dark brown. Pretty heavy carbonation as bubbles cling to the insides of the glass. Pours a 2 finger frothy brownish head. Settles fairly slowly and unevenly. Eventually leaves just a little blanket of bubbly carbonation on the surface. Some clingy, brownish lacing, but mostly retreats back into the body of the brew.

S: Molasses, brown sugar, and caramel. A touch of grain, but the sweet aromatic components mostly drown that out. Not cloying though.

T: Although the nose doesn't produce the malt, the palette does. A dark roasted coffee malt, with subtly sweet molasses and raisin components. A little peaty tone comes out as well.

M: Has kind of a syrupy texture to it, but a bit lighter watery/airiness. Malty in the front, subtly sweet in the middle, peaty in the end. Has a pretty dry pungent finish to it.

D: Light enough to be able to drink through without much resistance, but heavy enough to want to sip and enjoy.

Great atmosphere. Appearance is very solid. Dark and rich with a nice full head. Nose is a great combination of sweet, but not overly so, components. Flavor is malty with subtle sweetness, but not enough to deduct from the roasted malty goodness. Overall, this is a great quaff.

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Photo of MrDanno96
3.58/5  rDev -8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: Pours a nice mahogany color with a small white head sitting atop it. Some spotty lacing on the sides of the glass.

S: Hints of molasses and chocolate mixed in with some sweet malts and spiciness. Overall, not a very impressive aroma.

T: Lots of Munich malt flavor. Hints of molasses, caramel, and other nondescript grains. Good, but lacking in complexity.

M: Pretty clean with a medium body and some nice crispness from the carbonation.

D: A decent brew, but nothing to write home about. It lacks the "meal in a bottle" quality that I expect from a really good Doppelbock.

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Photo of donkeyrunner
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spaten Optimator is better when said with a Schwarzenegger-like Bavarian accent. Paired with a nasty New England rainy day.

Clear, dark chestnut color with blood red highlights. Large off-white head leaves fair retention and a few lacey splashes. Malty aroma, nothing in particular (maybe a bit nutty if you force me to name a standout scent), just heaps of munich. Taste is similiar--lots and lots of munich. Hints of brownie mix with a nutty fade in back.

Though cleaner than most dbocks it lacks complexity and big beer feel.

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Photo of myost88
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Deep copper color with red highlights in the light. Very thin head that dissipates in about 30 seconds.

Smell: Dried fruits. Raisins or figs maybe. Very bready, but not biscuity. Smell is a little underwhelming.

Taste: Dark fruits and alcohol are most prevalent. Nop hop presence whatsoever, which is desirable in this style for me. Doesn't hide its alcohol at all, but the strong malt profile balances that out with a nice sweetness.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and very low carbonated. Feels a little thick almost like a thin stout or porter.

Drinkability: At 7.2 this is no session beer. But it's not exactly a slow sipper either. Nice gulps are a good way to go at it. I find that to be true of many doppelbocks. I would gladly drink one of these again.

Overall: A nice easy to drink doppelbock. It's not my favorite but it's one of the pillars of the style so it has my respect. I'd be more than willing to drink this again although I think if given the choice I'd go for a Salvator before this.

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Photo of OtherShoe2
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours deep ruby brown with a decent head to start, then nothing but a slight ring down the pint. No lacing.

Boozy stone fruit, brown bread, and malt aromas.

A nicely balanced doppelbock with rich roasted malt, pumpernickel bread notes, some burnt sugar, and a fairly clean but bitter finish. Nothing extreme here.

The carbonation helps this one tremendously, where the flavors are instantly cleared from your tongue. Keeps this one lighter and more drinkable than others. Body is medium, but a bit on the light side of that spectrum.

Overall, very good. A decent version of the style. Simple, but full of flavor. A good one to try if you are getting into doppelbocks. And cheap too! I bought this as a $1.80 single.

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Photo of Scrapss
4.55/5  rDev +17%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Wow. Optimator delivers big-dopple in a very nice package!

Appearance: dark, tinge of ruddiness, about like a glass of Coke, little active carbonation. Little lacing to none.

Smell: HUGE chocolate maltiness, minor sweet boozy notes. Slightly discernable hop note that is dominated strongly by malts.

Taste: big, sweet malty, caramel goodness, not annoying but persistent never the less.

Mouthfeel: the lack of highly active carbonation leads me to believe that the prickly finish cannot be due to carbonation. Dry "side of tongue" feeling says carbonation, but it's not overly carbonated. Sweet, lasting finish leads into a small dry hint. Booziness gives warming feeling as completion nears.

Drinkability: This could get ugly for anyone without self-control. But it's super-smooth and drinkability is bar-none. This could definitely sneak up on the unsuspecting due to warming and light-sweet finish.

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Photo of chaunur
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured a rich dark clear brown with a lasting 1/2' tan head, nice lacing. Strong aroma, earthy, maltly, a hint of coffee and caramel.

Great flavor, again strong on the malt, slighty sweet, very slight coffee hint. Medium bodied with quite a kick. A little strong for a session beer, but a great choice for the style.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 3,111 ratings