Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
Very Good
3,110 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: 3,110 |  Reviews: 1,348
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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Photo of barleywinefiend
3.49/5  rDev -10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured a deep amber color with good carbonation and nice white head. Nose is faint, Munich malts, grainy unimpressive. Taste is much better than nose leads you to believe. Nice heavy, chewy, malty and tastes of Munich and maybe Crystal malts. Caramel, brown sugar maybe, syrup, dried prunes, figs, and raisins perhaps. Mouthfeel is coating and good.

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Photo of ArrogantB
3.5/5  rDev -10%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Deep brown color, sudsy head, lacing, smells like honey covered oats, honey wheat bread, smells very good. The flavor is full on malts, possibly fruity raisins, bready. Overall this is a decent dopple but it smells a lot better than it tastes but who can complain for $2.49?

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Photo of meatmallet
3.73/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Pours a very deep brown with a reddish tint to it. A large foamy beige head lasted for quite some time.

Smell: Malts and a coffee and alcohol scent. Nothing amazing but not bad.

Taste: Coffee and roasted malts really stand out. Taste is much better than the nose would lead you to believe. Gets better as it warms.

Mouthfeel/drinkability: Seems light and slick in the mouth. I love how it lingers on the taste buds.

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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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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 3,110 ratings