Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
Very Good
3,146 Ratings
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

Brewed by:

Style: German 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: 3,146 |  Reviews: 1,358
Photo of DarthMalt
4.1/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was my fall-back brew for a long time before I started to develop an appreciation for trying different styles of beer.

Many years ago, a friend introduced me to some type of Spaten on-tap. I was so impressed with the flavor that I never forgot the brand name.

Now that I live in an area with more beer depth, and am more knowledgeable about beers in general, I am happy to say that Spaten Optimator has kept its reign alive as fall-back brew.

I am a doublebock junkie, and pretty much have a skewed perception of beers based on what I consider normal in terms of flavor.

After trying Paulaner Salvator, I was happy to know that Spaten Optimator comes very close to this original d-bock--especially with that elusive, "classic" double bock flavor. However, Optimator is much darker (as most d-bocks seem to be) than Salvator.

I've also tired Allgauer Cambonator and Tucher Bajuvator, which are non-existent in my locale. While not as fine or complex as these beers, Spaten Optimator has a special place, because it is a beer which knows what a double bock is supposed to taste like, and it is also available in nearly every backwater town within a hundered yards of a college campus. Bless those students!

Only drawback--green bottles. I've had a "wet dog" or two, unfortunately.

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

Pours brown with a ruby hue or tint. A tiny bit thinner body than some other German Dopplebocks, but this one nevertheless provides the alcoholic warmth typical of the style. Heavy malt on the nose and on the palate, along with dried fruit, toasted bread maybe, raison notes, little toffee as well. Good mouth feel. Another great DB…Doppelbock is just a great style, I don’t think I every had one I really didn’t enjoy…not yet at least…

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

Glowing brownish-scarlet with a pillowy dirty-white head that lasts.
Smells of the heavy malt load...some dried fruit. Raisin bread notes.
Taste come through with these flavors as well. Very malty and multi-tiered. Camel/toffee on one level. Raisin/plum on another. Tobacco, nuts, and vanilla all in here as well.
Maybe a hair on the thin side....but VERY drinkable.
A great DB choice when not looking for something thick or gigantic, yet still spot-on for the style.

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Photo of Viking
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Solid doppel. Deep, dark amber colored beer with a rocky white head. Head fades quickly, and leaves a thin lace floating on the surface of the beer. Wonderful aroma! Sweet molasses, with a bit of a metallic tang. Sweetness in the nose is just a bit too candy-like for perfection, but it's still amazing. Body is a bit thin, and the taste isn't as rich as the smell promises. Sweet molasses dominates the malty taste, with some hop zest present especially on the finish.

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Photo of ADR
3.93/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

On tap at St. Paul, MNs Glockenspiel dining hall.

Nice dark color, rocky one inch head. Minimal mostly sweet aroma. Roasted sweet malts, minimal to no bitterness. Slight chocolate tones. Rather than a metallic taste at the end, I noticed a severe flavor fall off, which might be intentional. Liked it more as it warmed up. Was thinner in body than I expected, but it was highly drinkable

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Photo of mophie
3.53/5  rDev -9.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Deep mahogony, with a foamy white head that disappears fairly quickly. Slight metallic aroma with a hint of molasses. Taste is also slightly metallic, slightly sweet (again, molasses), with a slightly bitter finish. Alcohol is apparent after the first few sips. Overall, a nice beer, but it seems a bit slight to me.

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Photo of John
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had on draught. Lovely appearance in the 20oz. pint glass. Gorgeous, dark, malty. Alcohol is evident in the aroma with smells of dark bread, caramel and coffee. Sweet, dark roasted malt flavors are balanced well with the alcohol kick. A perfect nightcap or with a hearty meal. Outstanding.

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

Beautiful beer, deep ruby, tan head. Rich, deep malt taste. Strong aroma, noticeable in the first sip through the last (which is kind of a rarity, for me at least). Deep, lingering, sweet aftertaste, kind of reminds me of a tawny port. Very good. (by the way, bought it in a half liter (about 17 ounces) brown bottle with a gold foil top).

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

Russet brown with very little head. Thick sweet maltiness on the nose. Here's a beer you can chew on. Massive malt blast on the tongue. Great taste. Pretty viscous brew. Hops are only around to balance the huge malt load. Very little hop taste or bitterness present. I get some roastiness, but not a lot. Seems pretty complex. Molasses taste is slight. I have actually had this beer for over a year and it may have developed some faint new layers. This is a great brew.

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Photo of marc77
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The dense off - white head sits on top of a gorgeous, absolutely clear deep ruby hued potion. The incredible clarity signifies a long and well lagered brew. Sweet, toffeeish, toasty, bready, Munich malt notes along w/ that signature decoction produced melaniodin complexity dominate the malt aroma profile. Chewy in aroma chewy and malt flavor as well. The carbonation is perfect, providing for a very smooth and rich mouthfeel but allows for ample head retention as well. Optimator tastes sweet, but the sweetness is accompanied by rich, luscious and complex malt flavors and is barely balanced by a mild hop bitterness. I don't think it's possible to brew a doppel as rich and complex as this one using single temp infusion and domestic malts. Something about that German grain... Optimator finishes w/ heavily toasty malt flavor and a delicious sweetness that isn't cloying. Cleaner in overall profile and more drinkable than Salvator. Yum.

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

Tasty and packs a punch. A beer worthy of respect. Nice smell and color. Excellent malt flavor with a near perfect hop finish.

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Photo of Thrasher
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Beautiful color, tight lacy head. Initially very sweet, balances out towards a tasty, toasty finish that lingers. Deceptively strong; don't let the malts bury you. This is not a beer to be taken lightly. This is a beer for sitting down and enjoying. A great way to ring in warmer spring weather. My only quibble is the green bottle. Fortunately this beer is sturdy enough that it's not much of an issue.

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Photo of QXSTER1
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I guess I'm spoiled by Celebrator and my expectations weren't met by Optimator. A fine beer but just not as chewy and full flavored as the former. Side by side the comparison probably would of been worse. A nice, malty example, but not the German brewer's doppelbock art.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Had a little "Bockfest" today w/Bierfrau (aka Alewife). This one held up nicely. Very dark brown color, darker than others, w/some ruby-garnet notes. Has a nice fine head, which sticks around a bit. Still has a malty nose, though not as pronounced as Salvator or Sammy. Medium+plus body, and medium+plus tongue-smoothness. A nice malty flavor, again not as much as Salvi or Sammy. Still a nice Doppel! Had this, Salvator, Sammy and the new Z-Street Doppel. Surprisingly, Bierfrau got all 4 correct in a blind taste!! You go, girl!! Prosit!!

overall: 4.5
appearance: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | mouthfeel: 4.5 | drinkability: 4.5


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

I'm working my way through some different doppels and this is another good one but not one of the top ones I've tried...It is dark brown in color...minimal head...malty aroma with some alcohol on the nose..I like the way it tastes...It's sweet but easy drinking...not as much taste complexity as Salvator or S.A. Double Bock Still a very good doppel...On the deep finish I do sense a bit of a hop bite trying to balance out the sweetness but it's hard to distinguish immediately...Overall this is solid, but not spectacular...

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Photo of nklatt
2.74/5  rDev -29.6%
look: 4 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Deep amber color, small head, mild sweet flowery smell. Caramel-sweet taste, not strong alcohol - or anything else. Sticky, thin mouthfeel. Wouldn't want to drink more than a couple of these.

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Photo of mmthompson33
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This is a damn fine doppelbock. Goes well with meals or just as it is. Quite a bit of complexity to the taste. More than just a beer.

136 characters

Photo of Jordan
4.84/5  rDev +24.4%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

Cocoa flavor in the background, strong malt flavors. This has been my introduction into the world of doppel-bock. One of the most satisfying beers I've had the pleasure of drinking.
Contemplative, superb.

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Photo of Brent
4.06/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Toasted caramel aroma and solid malty caramel body. Finish is sweet and moderately bitter with nice separation between the flavors. Not as good as Celebrator IMHO, but pushes a close second.

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Photo of bk3nj
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

The perfect beer

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. green bottle with gold foil on top. No freshness date.

Appearance: Rich deep dark copper with a light tan head that dissipates to a sticky lace.

Smell: Hints of caramel, sweet and toasted malt. Some spicy alcohol fumes and a trace of apple peel aroma.

Taste: Thick and huge stodgy malt, caramel, rounded toasted malt, sweet dextrins and grain lets through a twang of alcohol and a thin leafy hop. A remaining dextrinous toasted malt, a ever so fading hop leaf and drying grain are in the end.

Notes: Ahhh ... a meal in a bottle. Breakfast anyone? If beer is measured by its malt back bone than this is a body builder beer. 7.2 abv with a 12 month self life.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 3,146 ratings