Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
1,328 Reviews
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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Reviews: 1,328 | Ratings: 3,031
Photo of dcmchew
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown, very poor tan head that goes to a very thin lace in seconds.
Smell is very nutty (peanut, Brazilian nut, faint almond, cashew), with caramel, some faint sugar, roasted grains, low dark fruit and tiny bit of skunk.
Taste starts with sweet dark malts and caramel, a bit fruity with some apricots, plums, raisin, faint sweet cherry. Toffee follows, sweet dark bread, spices with clove, cinnamon, faint licorice and anise, hints of honey. Touch of roast and light coffee in the finish, lots of (somewhat minty) herbs and a mild hoppy bitterness.
Very light bodied for its style, a bit syrupy tho, medium carbonation. Aftertaste is damaged by some cloying syrupy sweetness and a bit of booze, otherwise quite fruity.
A weirder doppelbock, highs and lows, so it falls somewhere in between.

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Photo of BucannonXC5
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Type: 12-oz. bottle
Glass: Half-pint glass
From: My wife’s dad
Price: N/A
Purchased: July 4, 2014
Consumed: July 6, 2014
Misc.: N/A

Poured a dark mahogany, almost brown color with one finger of tan head. No lacing along the sides of the glass. No retention on the top.

Smelled that 7.60% ABV right away. Also got caramel, toffee, plum, amber malts, light raspberry, light cherry and purple grapes.

Tasted a bit darker than the nose. Still that berry - raspberry, cherry and juniper - caramel and plum.

Medium body. Oily texture. Soft carbonation. Long finish.

Really liked this one. Wouldn’t hesitate to try it again later.

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Photo of uspbacchus
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A. Pours a nice dark mahogany, but still let's a little light seep through. Nice tan head that dissipates with minimal lacing
S. Nice and malty. Toffee notes dominate. Definitely smell the alcohol.
T. Toffee, caramel, nuts. Very good.
M. Thin, properly carbonated for the style.
O. Extremely enjoyable if your in the mood for a dark beer. Does well on the palate and the mouth.

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Photo of Roguer
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Dark brown, fairly clear. Very little head.

Dark fruity and boozy aroma.

Flavor follows, adding chocolate, tons of nuts, caramel, and toffee.

Alive with sting; relatively thin feel, but normal for the style.

A solid Doppelbock. Tons of flavor, pretty drinkable, but a little boozy.

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Photo of HazelEyedHippie
4.15/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A yummy dark beer! Tasty, looks great, just a great beer all around. Highly recommended if you're into dark beers. It's not TOO dark, it's just right. I picked it up as a single bottle, but if I were in the mood for a dark beer, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up more than just the single. ;)

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Photo of dbrauneis
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

A: Pours an opaque yet clear very dark reddish brown in color with light amounts of active visible carbonation and amber + garnet red highlights. The beer has a two finger tall dense foamy tan head that reduces to a thick film covering the entire surface of the beer and a thick ring at the edges of the glass. Light amounts of lacing are observed.

S: Moderate to strong aromas of dark malts, brown bread, and some light notes of dark fruits (raisins). Lightly sweet.

T: Upfront there is a moderate to strong flavor of dark malts and brown bread. That is combined with a moderate amount of dark fruit (raisin) sweetness. Light amounts of yeasty flavors in the finish. Minimal amounts of bitterness which fades almost instantly.

M: Just shy of full bodied with moderate amounts of carbonation.

O: Alcohol is pretty well hidden in this beer but you can almost subtly taste it as the beer warms up. Enjoyable but rich enough in flavor and aroma tat I would likely not be able to have more than one of these in a session. Overall, this beer drinks like a meal - filling.

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Photo of DirtyMikeandTheBoys
3.64/5  rDev -6.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

This dopplebock is a good one to try. It is not as good as Schneider-Weiss Dopplebock but it is pretty good.

A-pours out dark to amber with a nice white head that lasts a few minutes.

Smell-musky smell of prune juice and raisins

Taste-like a raisin yeasty muffin with good mouthfeel.

Had mine on the way home from work in a 16oz bottle .

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Photo of delta490
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep and clear brown. The white head is fizzier but doesn't last long. The aroma is definitely malty with dark bread and a sweetness reminiscent of raisins. The taste is similar but there's a nice roasted earthy funkiness in the background. The body is just right with a silky feel and finish. This is what I think of when I think of doppelbock.

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Photo of ThaneMcC
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: pours a dark reddish, brown with copious brown head which quickly disappears leaving fine lacing

S: classic malty aromas, burn caramel, hing of leather

T: sweet, malty caramel up front, very faint hop finish and minimal alcohol flavor and then clean without any after flavor

M: enough carbonation without it becoming syrupy, though could use some more carbonation

O: an easy drinking doppelbock, if you're into maltier beers, this is definitely a good one -

Would probably reserve this for the fall/winter months, an inexpensive malty beer with a bit of a kick. Could imagine sipping this around a camp fire. A reasonable price point for this beer would be $2 to $2.50 per bottle

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Photo of buschbeer
3.67/5  rDev -5.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

12 FL. OZ. bottle
Served in a pilsner glass

A - This is a rust colored beverage with burnt orange highlights. It is capped with a couple inches of tan head.

S - I get that lovely skunked aroma that a green bottle provides. Then I get some sweet malt. I smell toasted caramel

T - The taste doesn't seem as affected by the light. I get some toast and caramel. Some roasted malt flavors are present. It finishes with cocoa.

M - Medium

O - The taste is pretty good once I get over the skunked smell. It actually becomes enjoyable.

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Photo of ElectricSalmon
2.86/5  rDev -26.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Poured from the green bottle into a pint glass.

It poured with a very thin head which disappeared quickly. Color was dark amber to brown and the head (before it fled the scene) was an off-white/kahki color. The beer was clear with a few stray bubbles visible rising from the bottom of the glass. Some ruby highlights when looking at a light source through the beer. to none. And what was there smelled more like Heineken. Dopplebocks are supposed to have a strong, malty aroma. This did not have that. Not even close. I didn't smell any trace of hops, which is not unusual for style..but there wasn't a malt component either. I don't know what else to say.

Taste....I seriously think someone swapped the label on this green bottled beer with a Heineken. It tasted like that. Maybe a little maltier...but only a little. It was a clean taste...but not the rich malty flavor a Dopplebock is supposed to have.

Overall, I was pretty disappointed. I've had this on tap at a local German restaurant and have enjoyed it. This bottled version, though, left a lot to be desired. It's not's just not particularly good.

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Photo of Murphious
3.54/5  rDev -9.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Pours with a beige head, very dark amber/brown with medium carbonation. Leaves little lacing as head weakens quickly. Aroma of hops, toffee & caramel. Taste of malty grain syrup some toffee, toasted oats (?) Mouthfeel is milky. Finish of malt richness with a little hop bitterness. Nice but a bit dull.

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Photo of Fear4Beer
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 3.25 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

I was making an Irish recipe that called for Guinness and being the rebel that I am I decided to try a different beer. I heard that Dopplebocks are strong beers so I figured it would be a good choice (this is my first Dopplebock). This beer got good reviews and it was cheap at my local store so I purchased it for the recipe.

I was a bit shocked to find out that this beer is not strong in flavor but it is in alcohol. I was actually REALLY surprised how smooth it was. I was disappointed for the recipe that I was creating because I was looking for something with a strong flavor. But as a drinkable beer (that's what you are supposed to do, am I right!?) this is a VERY smooth and a tasty beer. I know I will sound like a heathen but this reminds me of an American lager. Although I'd rather drink this if it was handed to me compared to most popular run of the mill lagers. I'm not wowed by this beer but it is very enjoyable and refreshing. It was very cheap at my local store too. It's a good bargain beer.

Now I'm confused what a Dopplebock is supposed to be like since this came straight from Germany. Now my impression of Dopplebocks are that they aren't that strong in flavor but they are in alcohol content. This is the country that made the Dopplebock. I guess I'll have to try more to find out if this is a fluke.

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Photo of smakawhat
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pokal glass. Been awhile for this guy and me.

Ah what's that I see? A green bottle. Now I remember why I have never bought this before. However, on the pour she comes out deep dark brown and fills with a thick licorice viscosity. They body color is the same but has lots of deep red along the edges. A simple three finger foamy tan head, evenly made settles the top. A pretty nice looking doppel here, I can't see any rising carbonation cause it's so dark.

Classic notes of toffee and caramel like malts on the bouquet. A crisp sensation sort of herbal slightly and many brown spices of clove, nutmeg and so on. Seems very clean and light on the nose, with a bit of candy licorice to match also. Very nice. The skunk monster has not luckily made an appearance.

Palate is very light and refreshing. Hints of toffee and tea herbality mixed in with licorice in the mid palate. Mineral almost crisp body, but good amount of light toffee, caramel and some of that black licorice coating and taste on the palate. Slightly boozy warm but not too much.

Overall pretty good, glad to have tried it. Fits in with the classic doppelbocks in style nicely, sort of an easier drinking lighter one if I could say that.

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Photo of Beer-A-Lot
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

An oldie but goodie. Just the right amount of sweetness. Not as many caramel flavors as other doppels , but that's ok since the spicy flavors are prominent and very appealing. The mouth is medium, perhaps a bit lighter than most in this style, but it seems to go well with the spicy and almost dry finish. This beer is very easy to drink and does not lose anything as you drink. It almost comes across as a session doppelbock in its drinkability. Worth grabbing one.

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Photo of barnzy78
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12oz green bottle
L - reddish-bronze color with a creamy beige head that holds decent retention
S - sweeter nose of toffee, caramel, yeast, bread, spicy noble hop
T - spicy, bready, caramel, toffee, yeast, sweeter overall but not overly
F - medium body, creamy, clean spicy hop finish
O - weaker 4 overall, and barely, but I'll give it one because it is still a solid doppelbock, just not my doppelbock of choice especially with a few better ones out there. The price on this one is good, and it is readily available at most places year-round, which is a bonus.

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Photo of snaotheus
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

12oz bottle poured into a pint glass. Bottle code is L143316 09:59. Poured at fridge temp, about 41 F.

Pours a translucent but dark ruby color, with very little head and very little carbonation. Smell is coffee, roastiness, lager yeast, maybe some cherries.

Taste is sweet but mild, slow coffee finish, more of the fruitiness in the flavor and less of the lageriness. Surprisingly bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is dry, smooth, unfortunately a bit flat. Overall, not bad. Better than I remembered -- it's been years and years since I had this.

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Photo of tillmac62
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Pours a dark ruby red, almost brown, with a good head and lacing. The nose is dark fruit (plums, raisins), caramel and toffee against a sweet biscuit background. As it warms, prunes are at the forefront. Full medium body with a nice smooth texture that approaches slick. The carbonation level is low normal. The flavor profile is complex and well balanced. It begins with dark fruit, progresses to toffee/caramel and ends with a rich toasty sweetness. The finish is smooth with a nice burst of sweetness and a slight tingle of alcohol at the back of the throat. An outstanding doppelbock.

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Photo of BoilerMo
4.91/5  rDev +25.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

a: Copper and browns, tanish head.

s: Carmel and sweetness

t: complex carmel and sweets through out.

m: thicker with a sweet and smooth finish

o: My favorite dopplebock by far and I've tried many German and most American versions. That being said I like the carmel, sweet, bread like finish personally. This is a fridge beer(let it warm before drinking of course) for me. Easy to drink, high alcohol per volume but you would never know it.

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Photo of Flounder57
4.19/5  rDev +7.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

11.2 oz bottle was poured into a pint glass.

Appearance: This beer poured a one finger off white head that reduced to a thin layer. It is a crimson color with good clarity and vision of slow moving bubbles coming up through the glass. Spotty lacing on the glass as the beer was drank.

Smell: Caramel, toffee, raisins, honey, toasted malts, and noble Bavarian hops.

Taste: Caramel, raisins, honey, toffee, toasted malts, grassy and earthy hops, and some tingly hop bitterness.

Mouthfeel: Malty smooth, medium to full bodied, medium carbonation, and super mild hop tingly bitterness.

Overall: Awesome doppelbock. Doesn't get any better than from a German brewery. Definitely having a few more tonight

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Photo of Braheem
4.99/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Love this beer! A friend brought this over to enjoy with dinner and I've bought this ale many times since.

This is a manly beer with a dark nut brown complexion and full frothy head. It's taste and smell remind me of homemade bread.

A staple beer at a great price point try it!

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Photo of BradC
3.78/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

On draft into a 20 oz imperial pint glass, not much head and a dark reddish brown color with a little lacing.

Smells bready and caramel

Taste is caramel sweet with hints of dark fruit, raisin, toffee, don't taste any hint of hops or the alcohol.

Mouthfeel is kind of thin, I like a chewy doppelbock.

Overall, a good doppelbock, not great. Easy drinking, I would drink again but not go out of my way to find it.

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Photo of Geegmasta
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased: 30 Jan 2014
Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance- Pours dark amber red with a mid-sized head that is stark white in comparison. The head slowly retreats leaving little to no lacing. Carbonation bubbles gather at the bottom of the glass, releasing themselves into the deep crimson abyss.

Smell- Semi-sweet and fruity. Not overbearing. No hints at higher than average ABV.
Taste- Comes on sweet, yet dark. Malts and hops battle for taste bud conquest yet neither achieves victory which makes for a nice mix. There is a crispness about this beer and it finishes smooth and quickly. You’d never know that this beer is 7.6% ABV.

Mouthfeel- Little carbonation and a nice medium coating of the mouth. It retreats down the esophagus leaving a brief tickle on the tongue, memoirs of the low carbonation.

Overall- Spaten really did a great job with this beer. Price point is right on at $15.99 USD for a 12-pack that really hides a high ABV compared to most other beers. This doppelbock is fantastic in the middle of winter thanks to the warming alcohol content but refreshing enough to be drank on the hottest days of summer. When in doubt in my local beer store, I always turn to Spaten’s Optimator.

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Photo of BVukelich
3.84/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Gave it a Euro-pour right down the middle of the glass. Built a tall, beige head. Real, rich brown color. Less than average lace after sipping. Aroma was that sweet, malty smell you'd expect from a doppel. Flavor was the same. Definitely sweet, no bitter hop flavor...plum or raisin notes, maybe? I could barely pick up the higher alcohol content. Carbonation was less than average and mouthfeel was decent. The viscosity was medium and not a long aftertaste. This is a classic version of the style. Shouldn't disappoint most that are looking to sample a decent doppelbock.

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Photo of scotorum
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

One of two bottles purchased last June at the Frankenmuth Lager Mill in Michigan. Saved for colder weather.

Poured from the 12 oz. bottle into a stemmed tulip glass.

a: Clear dark ruby with a finger thick offwhite head which took a long time to recede to thin surface foam and dense lacing.

s: Dark malt.

t: Dark malt with fruit tones of prunes.

m: Medium. Good body and smooth.

o: A fine quality and tasty dopplebock, although the prune flavor eventually becomes a bit cloying.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,031 ratings.
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