Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
Very Good
3,100 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: 3,100 |  Reviews: 1,348
Photo of Hoagie1973
3.48/5  rDev -10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Pours chestnut brown with a 2 finger noisy head. Head settles but doesn't disappear completely. Not a whole lot in the way of lacing.
Smells sweet & malty with a hint of earthiness.
Tastes rich, sweet & malty with brown sugar/molasses, dark fruits, nuts, and a bit of alcohol. Medium to full body with slightly sharp carbonation. Finishes a little sticky and syrupy.
Not a bad dopplebock overall, especially for the price. Solid, but nothing special. I would buy it again.

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

This is the doppelbock that is easiest for me to find here in south carolina, and a nice example of the stlye.

She pours a burnt amber color with a one finger head. The head falls rather quickly but leaves some decent lacing.

The smell is all bready malts, you can really tell that this is the legendary liquid bread. There is some warm alcohol mixed in with the bready malt.

The taste is the same, thick and chewy. This beer really is a meal. I would glady fast for a bit with this by my side. Very bready.

The mouthfeel is huge and chewy, bordering cloying sweetness. Nice.

I could drink more of these than any other version of the style that I have had so far, very nice beer.

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

I've had this a number of time before, last time was oktoberfest last year. Nice looking bottle with a foil wrapper. This bottle embodies theor classic german logo that probably hasn't changed for generations.

Pours a dark nutty brown.

Sweet malt-forward aroma with a good bit of roastiness. Some toffee and caramel sweetness. Nutty.

Full flavored and nice full mouthfeel. Thick malt, a bit nutty and chewy. Some toasty grain, not much hop punch to be found. This brew is to-style, perhaps a bit on the light side, but i would recommend this to anyone who wants to try a dopplebock. In a way, it is a bit pedestrian for a DB, but it's just so smooth and balanced that I would consider it the epitome of the style.

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Photo of katan
3.71/5  rDev -4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12 oz into a pint

A - Pours a very dark brown with some redish tones. Head formation is light and forms a mocha color. Dissipates quickly with only a small amount of lacing. A light amount of carbonation is present.

S - Grainy astringency smell leads the way - some small phenolic notes are also present. Certainly is accentuated by the phenolic sweetness.

T - A very malt forward beer. Has a nice roasted malt character to it. Very sweet. Small amount of phenolic tones. Finishes with a potent malt astringency. Aftertaste is a grainy hull.

M - Moderate to hefty body. Thicker than normal. Carbonation is light - no bite. A sign that this beer is built on all the sugars that go into it.

D - Moderate drinkability. The ABV, while not out of hand, seems to sneak up on me. Not at all filling - the light carbonation has no effect. The biting astringency is starting to get a bit old.

I'd go back to reviewing this on draft out of a liter tankard - the bottle doesn't seem to be near as good to me.

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Photo of YesFest
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No notes on appearence, as I drank it in the dark... you know, to heighten the other senses.

Smell: mild fruity coffe, with a hint of booze.

Taste: Very light coffee on the front of the tonge. Heavy malts the rest of the way with interesting hints of spearmint and molasses in the finish. Still manages to finish dry.

Mouthfeel: Delightfully prickly for a beer of this weight, although for a Doppelbock, it's not that heavy to begin with. Sticky residue on the toungue, a bit of sweetness on the teeth.

Drinkability: It all comes together to be quite drinkable, a seemingly sneekily perfect finish, classic noble hop ballance. Mischieviously slick for 7.2% abv.

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

Has my first Optimator at an Easter party earlier today. I've heard good things about this and was eager to try it.

Pours a clear brown color, very close to mahogany. Creamy off-white head is produced but retention isn't all that impressive. Not great lacing either, however there are a few splotches here and there that stick to the glass.

The nose is roasted malts and a bit of alcohol. Pretty much what you would expect. Not bold or adventurous by any means, but an enjoyable aroma.

The taste surprised me. There is much more going on than the aroma lead me to believe. Slightly roasted malts, cocoa, caramel and nuttiness come to mind. Flavors become even more pronounced as it warms.

Medium bodied. Light and silky, very smooth. Very good drinkability. I would say this is a great introduction to the style, and anyone who claims to love Bocks would love this beer.

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Photo of disastermouse
4.34/5  rDev +11.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - What a beautiful brown semi-opaque beer!

S - This is the strongest aspect of this beer. It smells like malt and maple syrup.

T - Sticky, sweet malt...a tinge of hops to balance but overall not a hoppy beer. This is a really sweet beer.

MF - Thick, sticky, and a nice alcohol warmth.

D - Because of the higher alcohol content, I couldn't pound these back all night. Also, the sweetness is great for after-dinner, or for one or two, but would be cloying after more than that. This beer is amazing in small doses, but it loses it's luster after more than two or three.

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

This one pours a lighter brown than any other doppelbock I've had. It's more of a ruby-copper brown. The head pours off-white and thick but doesn't retain particularly well. It does leave decent lacing, though.
The smell has that same toasted, sweet malt that is the backbone of a good doppelbock, though not as strongly as I've become accustomed to. It also has a little bit more of an alcohol tinge to it though this has a low ABV for the style.
The qualities of the flavor overcome the flaws in the aroma. Sweet caramel and toasted malts with a nice grains addition and an earthy hops flavor make for a nice balance.
This one's as thick, full and rich as any good doppelbock. A nice mouthfeel.
I could handle a few of these at a time and it's a worthy offering.
Note: I think I need to try this on tap.

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Photo of nrbw23
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this one at the Winking Lizard part of their beer of the month program.

A- Pours a clear a dark amber color with a finger high off white head that leaves decent lacing and leaves a film from the top to the bottom of my glass.

S- Smells of toffee, caramel, toasted malts, chocolate, and a tiny bit of hops. I think there might also be some sort of peppery spice in there as well.

T- Taste of strong roasted malt flavor. Molasses, raisins, toast flavors and a little bit hops. A little alcohol warming and again there's that spice.

M- Medium to full in body and carbonation feels pretty good.

D- Easy to drink and worth a try for sure.

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Photo of joedon
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Really close to ideal dopplebock. Very dark with a tan head that was short-lived. Smell mostly of malt and bread. Taste is big dark malt-chocolatey and a little bit sweet.

Mouthfeel is just right: very filling, chewy and has a lingering malty sweetness. I could drink many pints of this fine beer.

I'm surprised Optimator doesn't rate higher with BA?

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

A- medium brown beer with a tan head; red highlights when held to the light; crystal clear

S- roasted malt, slightly spicy, yet clean

T- nice balance of roasted malt, slight sweetness, with a spice backdrop

MF- creamy, medium carbonation, maybe a bit oily; very nice

D- I would definitely have another, and I'm generally an ale person.

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Photo of steveh
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A -- Clear, deep, dark chestnut color with ruby highlights. A thick tan head that settles slowly leaving good lacing.

S -- Earthy character, mellow dark fruit character, vague DMS, some toasted malt with caramel character coming through, alcohol back.

T -- Big malty hit up front with a mellow earthiness or herbal quality in the middle, finishing with some dark fruit character. Aftertaste is toasted bread and smooth alcohol.

M -- Slick to syrupy mouth-feel with a medium-full body.

D -- Good drinkability for a big beer. A definite savoring style.

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Photo of olmatty
4.13/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- Pours a fluffy two-finger beige head with excellent retention and no lacing to speak of, beer is a very dark crystalline brown.

Smell- Lightly sweet and roasty malts and a hint of bready yeast.

Taste- Sweet and malty, a slight bite of alcohol and more yeast than hop presence. Can anyone say Mmmmalty?

Mouthfeel- Moderately carbonated and mouthcoatingly thick.

Drinkability- A couple is about the drinking limit due to higher ABV. Nice while they last though. A fine German bier.

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

Live review. Served on tap at Winking Lizard in Mentor. This is the glass of the month and so it is served in a great looking 0.5L Spaten Optimator stein.

A Great looking light brown head over a dark caramel brown translucent body with carbonation visible rising up.

S Great malt and barley smell without any hops bitterness. True to the style and really great.

T Ahhh...that great malt and barley of a classic dopplebock. Spaten Optimator has long been one of my favorite beers and it is a beer that led me away from BMC 10 years ago. Just a great molasses type taste with a bit of syrupy stickiness to it. It finishes light though and there is a great taste left of medium to dark malt.

M Carbonation dances accross the tongue along with the feel of sweetness. Again, right on target for the style.

D Good for a beer with a modeastly elevated ABV. I easily finished the 22 oz. stein.

Notes: Again I am partial to Optimator since it was one of the beers that got me off of BMC. It challenged me to consider higher quality beers and taught me that beer can have a taste worth seeking out. Prost!

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Photo of BeerFMAndy
3.59/5  rDev -7.7%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2.5

12 oz bottle poured into a pilsner glass.

A - Very dark ruby/ amber with a big creamy head that goes down fairly quickly.

S - Insanely malty sweet with bread and molasses in the background.

T - One of the maltiest beers I've ever encountered. Intense toasted malts with a huge sweetness and every-so-slight bitter molasses.

M - Syrupy with a definitely smooth mouthfeel.

D - For a fuller bodied beer it's somewhat drinkable but it's thickness and sweetness knock this guy down a few pegs.

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Photo of kahjdfh
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a nice dark brown, almost black. Not overpowering but a nice smooth roasted malt flavor, with some slight undertones of caramel and dried fruits.

Not heavily carbonated, but you feel the malty goodness with each sip.

Overall very good and very drinkable.

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

pours a beautiful rich chestnut brown with amber and ruby highlights. a solid one finger light tan head that doesn't linger all too long but leaves behind some sporadic yet decent lacing down the glass.

toasted malts and dark fruits. dates, currants, prune and raisin blend with the roasted malt, some dark caramel and dark agave. Not amazing, but definitely solid and inviting.

Dark roasted malt and dark fruits come through strong, with subtle traces of hops, a hint of cocoa, and some woody and nutty notes. a bit earthy, a hint of sweetness from the caramel. And some explosive fruit-tinged toasted malt give a good deal of depth and complexity. Not earthshattering, but pretty solid.

medium to almost-full bodied, this is actually a touch thinner than I'd like (and a bit thinner than I remember... maybe my memory is going). A touch slick, but the ample carbonation helps to bolster it well enough to still be enjoyable.

All in all a fairly decent dopplebock. not my favorite, and not the most exciting, but definitely a solid example that doesn't really have any major faults, per se. If Optimator was one of the only options, I'd go with it in a hearbeat. Not one I'd drink regularly, but certainly wouldn't turn it down.

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Photo of sillyswa
4.78/5  rDev +22.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

pours a dark walnut nearly black with a beautiful tan head which doesn't stick very long, lacing that last to the center of my glass.

smell of roasted malts, some bread with a sweet scent perhaps honey? or really light maple syrup and i'm getting dried fruit like raisins. a cinnamon raisin bagel anyone? very much like walking into the local "Noahs Bagel" with the aromas of fresh brewed coffee.

taste of sweet malts that leads to roasted walnuts, tasting a little wheat bread. coffee-like and not that weak mild crap, but the dark bold potent brew. taste like what it smells.

creamy mouthfeel that lingers, not much carbonation. almost like that "going down on your woman" type of feel. hehe! oh boy i need a woman

overall this is very nice, well balanced and easy to enjoy. i'll def have this again. perhaps after i finish this one. lol!

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Photo of dukedevil0
4.25/5  rDev +9.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle out of a 12 pack from somewhere...

A: Pours a dark amber brown caramel color with 2 fingers of khaki head that settles down to a rim and film. Some lacing on the glass.

S: Lots of raisin and fig scents dominate, some dark fruits, caramel malts

T: Similar to the smell, raisin, figs, dark fruits, caramel malt flavors..very tasty but not intense, just solid

M: just slightly thinner than what I would call creamy, but still very pleasant on the palate.

D: highly drinkable, no alcohol picked up, lots of good flavor, a SOLID beer is how I would describe it

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

Poured into my trusted 12oz glass forming a 1"+ tan head over a dark amber body reminiscent of maple syrup. Loads of visible carbonation and the head fades to a light lacing on the glass and a bit around the outside of the liquid. The smell has bread, roasted grains, caramel or toffee and bit of nuts and fruit-plums? mixed with a light presence of alcohol. The taste is sweet and full of grains and caramel up front, a slight earthy bitterness and then a medicine-like alcohol and fruit/nut finish. Quite dry and a lingering of alcohol and the earthy bitterness. The mouthfeel is not quite chewy but almost, very full and this seems to almost stick to your teeth. I'll give this a high rating on drinkability, though not because you'd want to down several of these at a sitting but because it's a beer to look forward to having and enjoying slowly after work or such.

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Photo of naterock
3.56/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured into a mug from a tap. deep cloudy brown with a offwhite two finger head that sticks heavily. It's hard to tell from the frosty glass, don't you hate that?

smell is moderate and malty with a hint of yeast.

taste is traditionally thick and creamy malty goodness. a little like cough syrup in consistency. There is a little malt charachter that leaves a bitter finish.

mouth is viscous and creamy. Just like any doppelbock, the drinkability is minimal. I don't think I could keep drinking this for a extended period of time. Good but not great.

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Photo of Kopp
4.85/5  rDev +24.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This is probably my favorite beer - I've had it in both bottle form and on tap in Epcot Center, in the Germany Pavilion. The guy working at the beer tap urged me to try this beer and I am glad I listened to him. You can get it at many liquor stores and it isn't expensive, and the alcohol content (7.2%) is a bit higher than regular beers, but not overpowering.

A: dark brown/reddish, almost black color, slight head that does not stay around for long

S: glorious. Has a roasted malt and somewhat sweet smell

T: even better than it smells. Malty flavor that is sweet. Slight bitter but not until the very end.

M: smooth and nice, a bit syrupy but full - not really carbonated

D: would drink at any time

Overall: It was one of the best beers I've ever had, highly recommend. It is smooth, tastes malty, almost bready, and a little sweet, barely carbonated, and looks and smells as good as it tastes.

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

Solid. One of the best dopplebocks available. Almost black with pretty ruby highlights. Strong sweet malt aroma. Same for the flavor. Also hard candy. Sweeeet candy and some dark fruits. Smooth and full-bodied. Any easy drinker. If I am at Scholz Garden this is my go to beer.

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

in my opinion spaten optimator is the best high alcohol beer in most stores. it is usually not expensive and can be found at almost any convienience store. the dark thick beer in the green bottle gives it a very distinct taste. i have alot of good memories of drinking spaten optimator. perfect for the person who wants to mix it up from their selection of normal regular beers.

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Photo of Madmax99
4.33/5  rDev +11.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I enjoy this beer a lot because it's a darker beer that I enjoy drinking year round. Very little head and a non existing lace, and a deep redish amber color round out the appearance of this fine brew. This beer drinks very well even though a slightly higher alcohol content, which doesn't over power. The sweetness of the beer is well balanced with a slight dryness, but the maltiness will linger on the palate.

I like to pair this beer with romano and asiago cheeses, try it sometime


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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 3,100 ratings