Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
3,053 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: 3,053 |  Reviews: 1,333
Photo of OlRasputin989
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

A: dark brown brew that is ruby red when held to he light. decent off white head

S: dark chocolate and cherries. very simple but nice

T: dried fruit, brown sugar and an oak barrell flavor. finishes with a hoppy and spicy, chocolatey oarnge peel fade

M: medium body with good carbonation and an oily entry fades to slightly oily and dryish

Overall, This is a very good dopplebock and a fine example. This beer is always good when i don't know what to buy.

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

On-tap at the new Brauhaus Schmitz in Philly; served in a 0.5L optimator glass

Dark reddish brown body with a one finger tan head that looks beautiful in this glass. Transparent body with very little visible carbonation.

Dark bready malt (pumpernickel), cherries, raisins, and a good shot of caramel. Not mind blowing, but pleasing.

Sweet cherries lend a syrupy flavor up front with a hearty, bready backbone and a finish of raisins, toffee, and caramel. This is a very robust, hearty beer. Very satisfying.

Just a shade below full bodied with perfect carbonation. A very thick, lush mouthfeel. Big fan of this component.

The abv is extremely well hidden however this is a pretty heavy beer for the style. A slow drinker with wonderful complexity.

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Photo of abar22
4.14/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a Sam Adams Perfect Pint glass.

Optimator poured a clear dark brown that turns purple when held to the light. The head was a bit underwhelming. A 2 finger foamy cap settled quickly into an almost non existent cap. A little island remained with no lacing what-so-ever.
The nose had hints of dark roasted malts and perhaps a hair smokey. I also get something that reminds me of pasta. Quite nice actually even though it is not an in-your-face aroma.
As I take a sip the first thing that hits is moderate carbonation followed immediately by a dark sour flavor similar to vinegar, though not in a bad way. A nice smooth body gave way to dry tart finish similar to a dark wine.
The 7.2% ABV is well hidden in the sip but it is effective in warming the stomach. Overall this beer is a pleasure to drink and I have no problem putting down a couple.

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

A: Dark reddish-brown body with a small light khaki head.

S: Malty in general -- sweet with a touch of nuttiness.

T: Very malty, as expected for the style. Caramel malt with hints of chocolate. Generally sweet but with a touch of hop bitterness on the finish and lingering into the aftertaste.

M: Medium-bodied in heft.

D: OK.

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

A: Dark brown with full khaki head.

S: Bready malts and hints of dark fruit. Very appetizing.

T: Toasted malts with a sweet touch and hints of dark fruit and spice.

M: Perfectly smooth and thick for the style.

D: Excellent, pure German double Bock.

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

Poured it into a pint glass and it came out a nice reddish brown color with a deep head. Aromas of mostly brown sugar and some hops. Very smooth in the taste with chocolate, brown sugar, and very light caramel. This beer is very drinkable. It ends nicely with the typical Spaten bitternes with a very light metallic aftertaste. Very nice beer.

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Photo of danadeny
3.98/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark amber body with a decent bubbly head. Smells malty, caramel, biscuit, a hint of fruit sweetness. Taste has excelent balance. The malt and alcohol are both present just at oposite ends if the flavor timeline. Caramel and toasty malt, the hops are hard to pickout. Mouth feel is oily and thick. Drinkability is high because it hides the alcohol well. But too heavy and too potent for a sesion beer.

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

1pt .9 fl oz brown bottle

pours a auburn color, almost some purple or copper hues.
once i popped it open the fruit esters poured out. little to no head, and zero lace.

smells very fruity. i get some cherry, fig, plum, almost something lite also, like apricot. very malty and sweet

taste is much the same. very malty and kind of grape tasting back end.

drinks like a sweet water with complex flavors and carbonation. this beer is easy to pound down (like most dopples for me).

it's good, it's no celebrator or aventinus, but it is a good dopplebock.


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Photo of WalrusJockey
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

12oz into Duvel tulip.

A- dark amber unto brown, with a reasonable creamish head.

S- lots of grape and fruit esters over a thick, rich, malt bed. Not much roast character in the nose, but a very distinct sweet malt smell.

As the beer warms, the grape esters recede to reasonable levels, while the coco, and grain flavors dramatically increase, making the beer much more enjoyable.

T- more subdued than the nose, with solid, sweet malt, but fairly unaccented. Grape juice flavors are very noticeable, but not as strong or powerful as in the nose. The aftertaste is thick and grape-y.

M- substantial and satisfying mouthfeel, perhaps over-thick on the way down.

D- a little too vinous for my taste, I think I would aim more in the direction of a less estery dopplebock in the future.

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Photo of Kraken
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Reviewed from notes. Consumed 2/17/09

Poured from a 12oz bottle into an oversized wine glass. Firm pour calls fourth 1/4 inch of head that fizzles somewhat quickly. Moderate lace. Color is a deep dark brown, cola colored. Very pretty.

Nose- Some alcohol, plums, raisins, and some light coco. As it warms the nose really develops. Fairly subtle.

Palate- Excellent, Deep caramels, coco, bakers chocolate. Some light sweetness, dates and raisins. Alcohol is very well hidden. Very good.

Mouthfeel- Finishes short and dry. Not as heavy as it looks.

Drinkability- Excellent.

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

Presentation: It was poured from green 12oz bottle into a smooth mug. There appears to be no freshness date and the label reads "malt liquor".

Appearance: The body has a deep brownish mahogany color with a dark reddish amber hue and good clarity. On top there is an average size (about 1 finger thick) light tan head. It is slow fading and leaves behind good lacing on the glass.

Smell: The aroma has a sweet almost fruity nose with some dark grin notes and a slight hint of a mild sweet alcohol.

Taste/Mouth Feel: The flavor has a big sweet malty character and full body with notes of caramel roasted grain and toffee. Hop bitterness is very light and really only comes out a little bit in the finish. There is also the slight presence of a mellow alcohol that adds a little more complexity to the overall character. The palate has a slick full mouth feel with soft carbonation.

Notes: This was a very enjoyable doppelbock. Also this is the only Euro imported beer I have seen that is 12oz and not 11.2oz.

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Photo of Onenote81
4.12/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on tap at the First St. Draught House in town on 6/19/09. Reviewed from notes.

Came out a deep chocolate brown with an inch-sized tan head. Retention was pretty weak, but it left some moderate lacing on the glass. Smells of brown sugar, cocoa, cream, and big time caramel. Very nice.

Mouthfeel was crisp, yet smooth. Easy drinker. Flavor was of sweet caramel, toffee, some coffee cake, fresh dark breads, and finished sweet as well. This is a very good Doppel, but may be too sweet for some. I, for one, enjoyed it.

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Photo of jbphoto88
4.08/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bronzed ruby in color leaning more towards the redder side of things. Not so dark that you can't see through it and extremely uncomplicated leading to clarity. The head is soft, khaki and disperses quickly. Poured from an olive bottle that seems a little on the light side of things but at least it's not green.

Optimator smells lightly malty. I'm left thinking there should be more character here but there just isn't. Not to say it's bad just a little lack luster for a doppelbock.

We are back on track in the flavor department. The weak nose gives way to a powerful malt structure that starts sweet and then moves towards a clean nuttiness. The beer isn't over roasted but you can taste a little singe on the grains , yielding a slight cocoa/ toffee yumminess. A cantaloup fruitiness tries to slice it's way through the blanket of malt to no avail.

The feel of this brew is also quite nice. There is a touch of bitterness that puts the malts into perspective. Soft and smooth on the palate except for a kick of alcohol that dries things a little and warms my belly.

The nose is deceiving on this one. Behind the lame fragrance lies a superb brew that changes as it travels towards room temperature. The warmer it gets the more pronounced and complimentary the fruit flavors get. The optimator is a tasty brew worth your attention.

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Photo of Patrick999
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On-tap at Abraxas.

A - Pour came in a pint glass, a deep ruby. Minimal head but easily roused.

S - Aroma I find similar to many Belgian darks...lots of raisin, vanilla, maple.

T - Taste is exactly what you'd expect given the aroma. Kinda like drinking a loaf of raisin bread. Not quite as sweet as some others I've had in this style, which I appreciate.

F - Medium full bodied, but again, less sticky than others of this style, which I like.

D - Still a relatively full beer that can put a hurting on you. One is enough for me.

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Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 05/14/2009. 12 oz. bottle. Pours a clear dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of pizza dough and roasted lager malts. Flavor is nice and doughy with some sweetness in the finish. A touch vegetal. Nice and pleasant to drink. An ok beer.

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Photo of Psyopticon
4.7/5  rDev +20.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

This will be my first review of a Beer and I'm truely excited to start off with the Spaten Optimator. With this said, keep it in mind this is my first as I go through the A.S.T.M.D of it.

I came across this beer in a German style tavern located in Silver Lake, CA named "The Red Lion Tavern". I never really expanded my tastes passed the normal domestic beer, so this was my first real break outside of common grocery store beer. I randomly picked Spatan Optimator and this is how it went.

Appearance: At first, I was rather intimidated. It was dark, and was barely transparent towards the bottom.

Smell: The smell was actually quite nice, different than any other beer I've smelled at the time. Had a rich caramel smell to it.

Taste: The ultimate. I never really understood why people liked tap beer at the time I tried this. But after tasting this out of a bottle later on, I realized why. Like the smell, it tasted of Caramel which is quite nice, and really makes this one of my favorites.

Mouthfeel: The S.O does have somewhat of a syrup-like texture yet somewhat smooth, but this isn't something that really concerned me.

Drinkability: With this beer having a decently high ABV of 7.2%, it's not really a beer you can have a few of and be fine. I had 3 glasses the first time and it pretty much kicked my ass at the time being the lightweight that I am. But it was the perfect drink to go with a pretty gnarly bratwurst & sauerkraut.

This is at the currently point in time, my favorite beer right now, and It's a joy to bring a 6-pack of it to a friends place and watch them enjoy it as well.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of my all time faves!

Appearance- dark brown translucent color with nicr head

Smell- strong aroma of caramel( was in heaven when i smelled it)

Taste- caramel and chocolate

Mouthfeel- heavy body

Drinkability- very drinkable, very smooth going down

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Photo of ocelot2500
3.96/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Pours a deep dark brown. A good amount of head rises and falls quickly. Plenty of lacing the glass.

Smells of sugary malts and some caramel with some dark fruit notes.

Tastes of the caramel/sugar malts with a chocolaty bitter end. There are toasted notes throughout. The dark fruit taste comes through more as the beer warms.

The mouthfeel is a good medium body with not too much carbonation. It leaves a sticky, sweet coating on the tongue.

This is very drinkable. No offensive flavors.

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Photo of alfistheman
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Being a recent fan of the hefe's, the more citrus sweet wheat variations, this has been the beer to change my mind and mix it up.

A- Deep oak red color transparent enough to see shapes through. THe head is carmel thick, and laces beautifuly.

S- Carmel and Brown Sugar Malts, some hops and sweet chocolate in there, very apealing

T- Smooth brown sugar, toffee and carmel flavor to the malt... after I taste grassy, rather earthy hops, very well balance of bitter and sweet.

M- Mid Body, smooth and great carbination, not too much or too little. I don't get the oily after taste I get in many thick dark styles of beer like some porters, very smooth.

D- Even with the high ABV i find myself wanting to chug these. Once the ABV sets in a bit I am able to slow down. Might be best to alternate with a less ABV's if you like to pound beers like myself.

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Photo of drunkboxer1
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Chimay goblet. Smells faintly of alcohol, strong sweet malt, some caramel, and maybe a little like some kind of dark fruit. It tastes huge and malty. There's a lot of sweet, sugary flavors that sort of coat the tongue. Hop bitterness is understated but there maybe is a bit of hop flavor rounding it out. Optimator is one of my favorites. It's a nice standard doppel that can be found on tap in a lot of places.

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Photo of Whiteweasel
3.92/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured out of a 12 oz bottle and drank from a seidel.

Appearance: A deep brown, almost reddish colour. It yields very little head, but the little head it does give is creamy, slightly brownish and rather persistant in the glass. Clear with no signs of sediment or yeast.

Smell: A slightly strange smell; very malty. Almost reminds me of smelling a 40. The taste was thankfully better than the smell

Taste: The Spaten Optimator is definitely one of my favourite lagers. Dark and rich, but not overpowering. It has a prominant toasted flavour with a significantly lighter aftertaste. Sweet and malty, with no hoppy bitterness. It just gets better and better as you go.

Mouthfeel: Very smooth with no particles or sediment. The alcohol is not overpowering and it leaves a pleasant feel in the mouth

Drinkability: I can see why a doppelbock is referred to as a "meal in a glass." Its much more filling than your average beer, but also extremely satisfying to drink. Its more of a sipping beer, but its very smooth.

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Photo of montecristo2
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Optimator has always been a favorite since college- I have had it both on draft at Mr. Dunderbach's in the Lehigh Valley Mall and in the bottle.

Served in a dimpled Spaten mug.

A decent one fingered head that dissipated quickly after a few sips.

Dark brown, lighter brown towards the edges and at the bottom.

Strong molasses and a very faint cherry on the finish. A thick mouthfeel which I enjoy for the style. I prefer this to many other bock beers.

I love the taste but will only drink one of these due to the 7.2% abv. Couldn't drink this all night unless I planned on staying at the restaurant. Goes great with hot dogs with mustard!

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Photo of DesMoinesMike
4.11/5  rDev +5.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A beer not for the feint of heart.

It's a very dark brown, opaque. There's just a litle bit of brown visible at the lower edges of the glass. The aroma was pequliar, sort of a cherry, not strong but not definitive. The taste was the same light cherry with possible mollases added in. The body was heavy but not offensive. If you are going for a heavy beer, this one is a good choice. However; I would not recommend getting a boot full of this at Hessen Haus.

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Photo of Gosox8787
4.05/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Sampled a bottle of this from a friend. Poured into his Sam Adams Sensory glass.

The appearance was brown to dark brown with a beige, one finger head and good retention. The nose was filled with bready malts and a slight sweetness from the malts. The taste was dominated by the malts. Molasses and caramel notes offer a nice sweet flavor and are complimented by notes of dark fruits. A nicely balanced and moderately complex flavor. The mouthfeel was syrupy and a bit sticky. Not much carbonation here either. Drinkability is good considering the moderate ABV and the nice, sweet flavor.

Overall, a great find and certainly worth the price. Definitely one of the best of the style I have had so far.

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Photo of kmo1030
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

the aroma is dominated by malt and fruit. caramel, brown sugar and nutiness on the malt end an d plum-y dark fruit on the fruity end.
the flavor begins with soft roasty, nutty caramel, followed shortly by molasses covered dark fruit, plum and raisin stand out. there are some rum type flavors in there to accompany a touch of warming alcochol.
the mouthfeel is on the fuller side. the carbonation is about just shy of moderately active.
drinkability is good dispite it becoming a touch cloying when it approaches room temp. it's not you typical doppelbock; it's a little fruitier, and one gets the feeling that the malts in this one are, on average, roasted a bit less than your usual doppelbock, but it's still a solid beer that is always sure to please especially on tap.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.89 out of 5 based on 3,053 ratings.
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