Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
3,045 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: 3,045 |  Reviews: 1,332
Photo of JonB1958
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Bavarian Lodge.

The dark brown, almost-black pour came with a small head that vanished pretty quickly. The smell is like bread in a glass: Sweet and malty and complex, with some fig or raisin overtones.

Like most of the style I've tried, the carbonation is light and hop profile is in the background, although this seems to have a bit more hops than I expected.

Taste is fantastic, moving all around your mouth with a carmely malt and some dark fruit flavors. Halfway through the glass, I felt the warmth of the ABV come over me like a wave.

A great beer experience.

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Photo of DmanGTR
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - poured a dark amber with maroon hues with a 1/4" head that disappeared somewhat quickly. Decent lacing though.

S - sweet malts and a hoppy balance. Hints of chocolate and breadiness.

T - Strong caramel malts followed by a hoppy finish. Pleasantly bitter aftertaste.

M - light/medium bodied with light carbonation. Subtle sticky/chewy feel.

D - quite good

Overall - This was a pleasant beer to enjoy with a chess game and some sharp cheddar. Decent alcohol content may catch up after a few but a tasty beer nonetheless. Will buy again.

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Photo of colts9016
3.63/5  rDev -6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Poured in a Polka glass, at about 47 degrees.

Appearance: A golden dark brown beer. There was a one finger head but it dissipated to nothing. There is some carbonation in the beer. The clarity of the beer is almost clear, except for a slight haziness.

Nose: There is a roasted malt with caramel, chocolate, and some molasses. There are a hint of a fruity ester and some dark fruit.

Taste: A rich roasted malt with caramel, bitter sweet chocolate, yeasty bread, and some hint of a dark fruit, prune or figs. There is a note of a fruity ester and resin.

Overall: A very rich deep malty beer. The mouth feel is carbonated and medium in body. The finish is slightly bitter and it lingers on the palate. I feel that there is a little too much hops which I feel is a bit to aggressive on the palate. Overall it is a good beer not great.

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Photo of PatrickJR
4.05/5  rDev +3.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 12 oz bottle into nonic pint glass.

A - Dark brown with some transparency, ruby highlights. Half inch of tan head rises but falls quickly leaving a small film. No lacing.

S - Fainter than I'd except from the style. Lots of buttery toffee notes with some roasted malt as well. Hints of grain, chocolate, and molasses.

T - Toffee is the most evident flavor early on. Moderate sweetness builds alongside bitter chocolate flavors. Roasted malt with touches of molasses, and some moderate bitterness pulls through with a hint of alcohol. Semi-sweet finish.

M - Medium to full bodied with a moderate to high carbonation. I'm thinking I'd like less carbonation in this brew but I'm not quite sure.

D - A good example of a huge style made drinkable. Not as extreme as I might expect, but mellow enough to be appreciated.

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Photo of AndrewMcLemore
3.91/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spaten's Optimator welcomes beer lovers to the world of Doppelbock, a strong, dark lager that kicks up the malty bitterness of their Bock brethren a couple notches. Far from the pint of Shiner that introduced the world (or at least the U.S.) to this German tradition, doppelbocks have a creamy texture and a thick body that can feel like a meal in itself.

The Optimator bears a dark-brown mahogany nearly black in the center with a quickly diminishing head and a seductive, feral scent like freshly made toffee.

A spicy, caramel nose with a rich, decadent body give this beer major points, but the bittersweet finish asks for a quick follow-up sip to stave off the warm milk aftertaste. The beer's smoothness makes for an easy drink, though the stomach-filling, body-warming beefiness is still felt after the first bottle.

A fine example of the doppelbock style, the Optimator'ss approachable, but complex flavor of burnt grains should be an enjoyable checkmark on the list of any self-respecting beer lover's conquests.

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Photo of Spidey13
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spaten Optimator pours a very dark brown - almost black which shows some deep garnet highlights when held to the light. A small, light tan head sits on top. The nose has some milk chocolate and coffee notes with a bit of grassy hops underneath.

The taste is creamy and raisiny and roasty. Some astringincy on the back gives it some lingering bitterness. The mouthfeel is full and creamy with fairly low corbonation.

Overall, I really enjoyed this beer. So far, it's my favorite Spaten.

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

Pours clear chestnut brown with thick tan bubbly head that dissipates quickly to a thin film leaving spotty lace. Sweet malt aroma with a hint of cherries and chocolate. Good malt flavor with caramel and roasted malt that lingers a long while turning just a little bitter at the end. Pretty mellow really both in flavor and in mouthfeel. It is just a little thin, the carbonation is mild with just a little zing on the tongue, and it has a dry finish that is maybe a little metallic. This is a beer that I have always enjoyed, though I do not buy it very often. Definitely a winter purchase for me. Goes well with beef stew or some brats.

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

Picked up a 16oz single at the State Liquor Store in Vernal, UT for about $2.

A: pours a dark red brown with an off white head, about half an inch thick that reduces to nothing. A couple of chunks of lacing around the edges, but nothing too dramatic.

S: caramel, roasted malts, a bit like a dank basement, somewhat chocolate as well, big time malt characteristics, dark breads, nice roasted smells.

T: some chocolate flavors initially, lots of caramel flavors as well, deep roasted malt flavors, and a somewhat skunked after flavor of hops as well, definite roasted flavor, that lingers in the mouth, skunky hop flavor lingers quite a while too.

M: thick, nice carbonation and sticky, nice warmth from the alcohol in this one too. not too bad

D: this is one of the easier drinking dopplebocks out there, nice flavors, nothing too outstanding, nice balance, and it goes down easy. a great example of the style.

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Photo of Soneast
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Pours a clear burnt amber color with copper edges. A two-finger, light brown head with minor retention, lace that sort of slips down the glass rather than stick in pillowy layers. The head more or less disappears pretty quickly, leaving just a ring of large, watery bubbles.

Aroma: Pick up some sweet toasted malts up front with some nice caramel notes detected and hints of molasses.

Taste: A large toasted malt character, some dark fruits as well, with just a hint of bitter graininess right towards the end. I actually don't pick up much alcohol in the taste, although this does warm ya up.

Heavy bodied, medium carbonation. The toned down sweetness is a plus for me, more of a dry character than most doppelbocks I've had.

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

pours a very nice looking dark brown with 2 finger cream colored pillowy head.
smells quite appealing, sweet, malty, touch of raisin and apricot. little alcohol tingle on a very deep inhale.
tastes real nice. sweet and malty up front, a little black tea and tobacco in the back. just enough hops to create a drying effect at the finish.
mouthfeel is very satisfying, rich and luxurious without being sticky or oily.
overall an extremely drinkable brew, though not very complex. a nice go-to doppelbock that is easily found just about everywhere and never fails to please.

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Photo of morimech
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear brown color with one inch of tan head that slowly settles to a thin cap. Just a little spotty lacing is left on the glass. Has a caramel malt aroma. The flavor as well features the malt. Caramel flavors dominate with some faint noble hop flavors coming in on the finish. Alcohol is well hiddened with just a little warming on the palate. Medium body with low carbonation leaves a nice creamy texture. A nice beer to have on a cold night.

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

A: Poured a reddish brown with good lacing and thin head.

S: Malt and sugar.

T: A molasses flavor with subtle caramel tastes.

M: Well carbonated and has a sticky after-affect

D: Solid doppelbock, excellent offering and a session beer

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of schroederm
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

served in a tulip.

good looking beer, nice color and good head. smell was a little weak, but i definitely got green apple out of it. tasted very solid, stereotypical doppelbock - malty malty malty. nice, refreshing bitter finish. mouthfeel was ok, a little thin, but decent carbonation. this is an extremely drinkable beer. i could (and wanted to) clear a six pack.

overall: for what it lacks in certain areas, it makes up for in high drinkability and a clean refreshing taste. great bang for your buck.

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

Pours a brown color with dark copper, Nice head although some big bubbles on the side of the glass that weren't to attractive.
Smells sweet, a little alcohol with a little apple. Caramel is also present.
Very pleasant, extreme malt bomb very nice malty finish with some fruit in the initial flavor, as well as caramel.
Good mouthfeel, not very thick but definitely satisfying.
All in all a great beer which I will purchase again. Celebrator is one of my all time favorites so its good to have a cheaper alternative while suffering from poverty.

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Photo of Gmann
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown color with ruby highlights; an average off white head settled into a light ring. The aroma is of brown bread, some soy, raisins, and stale coffee. A good punch of flavor. A big bready malt with vinous characteristics, light soy sauce, and honey. A coffee flavor pops through in the after taste. Typical dopplebock flavors or at least what I expect. Definitely a good malt presence but the feel seems thin to me, though it is fairly crisp, which is nice. A very nice dopplebock, not too sweet or syrupy. Has a bit of a roasted malt presence to offset the sweetness.

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Photo of Fatduck
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Review #60, very exciting.

Dark, Malty a nice looking brew. A tightly formed tan head that fades quick, but offers lots of lacing. Smells like sweet malts, maybe a bit fruity. Chocolate, ripe fruit, lots of malt complexity going on here. I LOVE it. Lots of alcohol, but well masked. Another perfect example of style from a real Munich Brauerei.

Very nice, and perfect for a -4F day.

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Photo of hoplover82
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I had this one at The Classic Brew in Corpus Christi. I was very surprized. I love it.

It pours a deep rich reddish brown. With a thick tan head that dissapates quickly. Little bit of bubbly thin lace.

Aroma of roasty, caramely, toffee, and dark fruits. The floral hops shine through nicely as it warms.

The flavor is the same as above. A lot of roasty flavors, and dark fruits, with a little alcohol warmth.

Full bodied and very smooth. A little alcohol warmth from it but no sting which is nice.

Very drinkable.

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Photo of jtothamo
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

I was pleasantly surprised to find my local supermarket offering "build your own 6-pack" options. They have a small case of decent imports and micros. The selection is small, but it is a start...One of the beers places in my mix-n-match was Optimator.

I've had this before, but it's been quite some time. I enjoy doppelbocks and looked forward to consuming this as my evening pint.

As I poured, I noticed the nice dark caramel color. There was a decent head the fell quickly to a nice lace around the rim of the glass.

The smell was nice. Somewhat fruity...definitely sweet smelling.

The taste was pretty close to what I had guessed it would be. A bit more sweet than I had originally imagined it would be, but not too sweet. At 7.2% one expects to detect the alcohol. On the first sip, it was quite apparent. But, it quickly fell to the background.

It was very smooth. Low carbonation. Full flavor. An excellent beer that I would recommend to friends and fans of dopplebocks.

 983 characters

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

A-Pretty dark mahogany, almost cant see through it. Not cloudy or anything.

S-I smell tobacco, some kinda dried fruit. Very slight alcohol smell, almost unoticeable. Smells good.

T-Sweet raisens, almost a chewing tobacco after taste(if you've ever had Beechnut, you know what Im talking about). I like it, but I like tobacco.

M-Nice and smooth, kinda dry after taste.

D-Really strong and the tobacco aftertaste gets a little weird if your not smoking. Still, not bad for a 7.2% beer.

I like it and it wasnt too expensive($3 @ Roth's in Salem). Dont know whay I taste tobacco so much in it, but Ive never had this style before either.

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Photo of magictrokini
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pour is clear dark brown with red highlights, short off-white head. Roasted malt, maple syrup (nice call kmw), toffee, molasses in the aroma. Smooth mouthfeel. Rich flavors of malt, more molasses, cookie dough, toast, and alcohol. Smooth, crisp mouthfeel.

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Photo of heath1agnew
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

appearance- pours a deep red brown with a two finger head that slowly goes down to thin head. lacing is visible.

smell- great malty smell, hints of bread and banana.

taste and mouthfeel- wow. tastes of malt, with a sweet bready aftertaste with a warm finish of alcohol. and even though the alcohol is for sure present it is NOT overpowering at all. mouthfeel is smooth and creamy.

drinkability- very easy to drink.

this beer is everything i hoped it would be, can't recommend it enough.

 490 characters

Photo of timconnel
3.07/5  rDev -21.3%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

poured from a 500ml bottle into a pokal glass.

A: Deep caramel brown with a thin short lived head. Very minor lacing.

S: Malt and caramel with just a little tartness.

T: Malt and caramel sweetness up front with some raisin like flavor. Bitter with some toasty flavor and something a little herbal in the finish. The alcohol is detectable but not over the top. The one downfall was that it started tasting a little medicinal as it warmed up.

M: Medium body, medium to low carbonation.

D: It's pretty heavy in flavor, I don't think I'd usually drink more than one or two.

This probably deserves a better rating but I don't get into doppelbocks as much as some.

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Photo of leagr
3.52/5  rDev -9.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark, chocolate in color, very slightly transparent, no head retention, no lace, moderate carbonation

Smell: sweet malty aromas with a hint of hops

Taste: hints of caramel and molasses; nutty/toasty elements; slightly bitter from hops - a good balance

Mouthfeel: medium body, moderate carbonation; coats the mouth evenly (some have described "like velvet")

Drinkability: easy to drink for a doppelbock at 7.2% and easy to find that out the hard way; pretty nice beer, inexpensive for a higher alcohol brew, good value

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Photo of likethetaste
3.32/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this in a variety pack from World Market. I think this is the first time I have had a doppelbock. I don't know if I had a bad bottle but this seemed skunky to me. If this is a classic example of what a doppelbock taste like then I must say I would not be a fan. I will try others just to compare. But as far as this bottle goes I did not like it much at all.

My taste have changed since I first reviewed this beer. While still not great it is not a bad drink. I like it but do not Love it. Strong alcohol content so watch out.

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Photo of FACSman
3.36/5  rDev -13.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. Nice dark brown color with a thin head that hangs around tonicely lace the sides of the glass. No hop aroma with slight malt aroma. Hint of 'green bottle skunk'. Flavor of sweet malt predominates and that damn green bottle skunk is definately there. Light carbonation and a relatively light mounthfeel belies the beer's actual gravity, providing a pleasantly drinkable beer.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,045 ratings.
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