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Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
1,316 Reviews
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

Brewed by:
Germany | website

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: 1,316 | Ratings: 2,981
Photo of smakawhat
4.09/5  rDev +5.1%
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 +5.1%
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 -3.3%
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 -3.6%
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 +8%
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 +26.2%
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 +7.7%
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 +28.3%
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 -2.8%
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 +1.3%
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 -1.3%
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 +1.3%
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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Photo of slusk
3.77/5  rDev -3.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A: This beer pours a deep ruby with a 'one finger' tan head. The head is fairly short lived owing to a light amount of carbonation.

S: It has little or no hop aroma but a definite malt presence backed up with dark fruits. Pilsner malt seems to shine through the malt character. A raisiny sweetness is in the forefront with a slight bit of bread and roast. Reminds me of wort boiling.

T: There is a definitive sweetness to this beer, just short of cloying in my opinion. The dark roast malt come through with a dark fruit taste, much as the smell belies. A light to moderate amount of carbonation curbs the sweetness a bit with a mild bitterness. A bit of bread in the finish.

M: Nice balanced medium mouthfeel.

O: I like this beer. It is a bit too sweet for my taste, but with the higher finishing gravity associated with a doppelbock, that is to be expected. I would like to see a little more bitterness or a bit more attenuation to balance the sweetness and dry it out just a tiny bit. Otherwise it's a well done brew.

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Photo of MattNidiffer
4.61/5  rDev +18.5%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Beer was on-tap, poured into a pint glass with a light, half-finger head.

Appearance: Dark, with a light beige, sudsy head. Not very frothy, lacing is consistent throughout.

Smell: Dark, toasted malts, small notes of apple and syrup. HInts of salty caramel are picked up after the first initial whiff, and once the head clears, the apple aroma comes through a bit more strongly.

Taste: Very round, dark caramel flavor, followed by a strong flavor of roasted malt. Light hints of pepper, and small notes of hoppy bitterness. Well-rounded, hoppy finish, that leaves the palate with a sweet, almost bread-like aftertaste. Very pleasant all-around.

Mouthfeel: Slightly soft carbonation, very smooth to drink. When sipped, it leaves the palate feeling surprisingly tingly for a darker beer. (Think Guinness, but slightly more carbonation.)

Overall: Very pleasant beer all-around. For all you seasonal beer-drinkers out there, this might not be your first choice while lounging at the beach or by the pool, but you can't beat sitting by the fire with a glass of this stuff in hand on a crisp autumn day. The flavor and the mouthfeel are this beer's strong points, if we're looking at it from an overall experience standpoint. With its roasty caramel notes, finished up by its sweet breadiness, this beer is one of the smoother dark beers out there.

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3.1/5  rDev -20.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.25

Taste-^-^- well it taste like it's half guinness and half moose head. You can taste the hops and the malt. A little caramel and a slight hint of salt. Almost like a pretzel and it almost needs something a slightly acidic substance. This is to cut threw it like mustard take a drink then pretzel with mustard. Lingering taste of malt and salty caramel.

Obor-^#^- yeah it smells... like malt and the bush in your front yard the one without flowers.

Manifestation-^@^- it manifested like nothing. It's flat not complexed and finished as it started. Basic with slight hop. I pour it down the drain. Looked pretty brown kinda frothy. Not like the Nigeria but like irish creme beer.

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Photo of Matthew_Phoenix
4.28/5  rDev +10%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Had this at a bar. Never heard of it and the name just kind of stuck out to me. Bartender explained to me that it was a German Lager and I just had to have it.

A - Nice, dark amber color that shows little carbonation. Creme colored head that goes away after about 2 minutes, leaves little lacing.

S - Smell is somewhat toasty and fruity. Dark fruit like figs.

T - Real toasty and bready. A little bit of toasted hop presence that balances it out. Not real bitter at all. Goes down real easy and clean. Can't really notice the presence of alcohol. Not bad at all.

M - It was light-medium, but had a somewhat slickness to it, almost creamy thing going on that sticks on your pallet after your done drinking it that makes you want more.

I really enjoyed this, so much so that later that night I ordered another one. They were $4 a pop. Try it.

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Photo of BastardKing24
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark prune color with minimal head that leaves no lacing, the color of this doppelbock is awesome. I like them darker compared to some which can be more of an orange color.

Smell is amazing with a big cherry and clove hit, then some banana, yeasty smells, dark fruits, molasses, and smoke.

Taste is refined for the style, yet very drinkable. Toasted caramel, banana bread, roasted malts, dark fruits, and clove.

Feel is lightly carbonated but with a generous slick feel to it.

Overall quite tasty, I have had this over 20 times and I never get tired of it.

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Photo of mothman
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Pours a light tan head. Good retention. Color is a dark copper brown.

Flavor profile: A lot of caramel malts. Raisins, plums, molasses, toffee, and some bready flavors. Dark fruits and malts. Sweet.

Mouthfeel: Smooth and creamy. Medium to full bodied. Ends a bit sticky.

Overall, a nice doppelbock, but it seems to have a slight skunky flavor to it. It might be the green bottle playing tricks on my mind. Pretty solid offering.

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Photo of PedalFuel
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Beautiful garnet hue, dark and clear, quickly fading head but persistent carbonation. Slim lacing. Aroma is bready, with toasty sweet caramelization and dark fruits. Taste is full and follows aroma with good roast and nuances of earth and spice. Very smooth, very malty; simple but pleasant. Definitely worth having especially given it's availability and cost...

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Photo of SFNC
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.25

This to my knowledge is my first Doppelbock. Let's see where this goes. Pours a nice darkish brown with ruby hues, Clear with a moderate off-white head that melts away in a ring on the outside of the glass. Smells great! Dark bread, molasses, fruit, lot and lots of malt and just a little of herbs and hops. The taste is just like the smell, rich with flavor, a thick almost chewy mouthfeel that seems just right. This is a great brew, I'm looking forward to trying other brands of Doppelbock, though I would not hesitate to pick Spaten again in the future. It's a keeper!
Just a note, that i have tried several other Doppelbocks and this one remains my favorite, including the much celebtrated Cebrator.

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Photo of utopiajane
3.79/5  rDev -2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Pours a rich mahogany with ruby hues. Bright clarity and bubbles rising to the top continually. A half finger of foam that fell quickly and left only a thin ring and slippery wet lace. Nose is lively with dark fruits like dried plum, raisin, fig and molasses. There's toffee and a sweet caramel. Malty and rich. Has the lightest scent of almonds. Taste is sweet and vibrant. Malty and full with a buttery smooth caramel, toffee and some dark chocolate starting to evidence on this as it warms. Mild roast and a light hop herbal. The body is a bit thin and it's slick. Finishes dry and with some spicy alcohol. Not enough to say there's alcohol on the palate as it only warms slightly. The carbonation is ample and a bit strong.


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Photo of BEERMILER12
4.04/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A: Pours a dark red/mahogany color with a fingers worth of head that quickly fades down to a very thin cap

S: Very malty, with some bittersweet molasses and toffee notes to go along with a light sweetness. A very light fruitiness also presents itself

T: Follows the nose. Starts off with the molasses and toffee notes and goes into a light sweetness followed by some dark fruit. Cherry/almond stands out the most in terms of dark fruit, but a nice fig note is there as well. Alcohol hardly noticeable amongst the massive amount of maltiness

M: Medium-full bodied with moderate carbonation

O: I'm generally a fan of thicker and heavier doppelbocks (Ayinger immediately comes to mind), and this one fits that description. Holds up well with age and is under $9 for a 6-pack so it's definitely well worth a buy

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Photo of tjsdomer2
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Excellent tan lacing that remains on the glass. Blood red; perfect to the Halloween season.

Smell: Sweet vinegary grapes. Smokey oak as well. Again, definitely a great seasonal.

Taste/Mouthfeel: Initially some dry smokey grass. Oak follows with a hint of raisin. Mouthfeel starts nice and yeasty and is a bit thin overall. Despite this, it makes a nice crisp and bold comeback in the finish.

Overall: An excellent beer.

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Photo of langstrom
3.68/5  rDev -5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Appearance: Dark brown. Looks like a heavier beer than feels in the mouth.

Smell: Rich aroma. Sultry sweetness with a hint of toasty caramel. Very pleasant.

Taste: Initial bitterness with an immediate bite of bitterness on the back of the tongue. It leaves a lingering sweetness and a desire for more. Deep and rich with a subtle sweetness. Nice balance of sweet and bitter. Not incredibly complex. The ABV is hidden in the flavor.

Mouthfeel: Very appealing. Slightly thick with enough crispness to balance.

Overall: It's a heavier beer but not so heavy that you can only drink one. It's going to be added to my regular rotation.

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Photo of Cheshire_Crew_Al
3.88/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

Poured from a bomber into a pint glass, 3-4 cm head

color is a deep brown with slight reddish hint

S: slight smokiness to accompany some fruit,

T: slightly disappointing, some smoke and a bit of sweetness - caramel along with a slight nutty taste - but overall does not have the depth of flavor of others in this style

M: medium carbonation, smooth however, much easier to drink than ABV would suggest

O: Very, very good doppelbock, not great, missing a little something in the flavor that I cannot pinpoint, it has several of the hints of taste that I like about the style but leaves a slightly bland aftertaste however

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 1,316 ratings.
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