Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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BA SCORE
87
very good
1,317 Reviews
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,317
Ratings:
2,987
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
18.51%
 
 
Wants:
90
Gots:
410
For Trade:
0
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User Reviews
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Reviews: 1,317 | Ratings: 2,987
Photo of ronniebruner
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A very nice, somewhat ticker beer. The beer pours a nice golden brown hue with a steady amount of carbonation and lace. The aroma is of lighter fruits and grains. The beer tastes the same, with a hint of molasses and caramel in the mix, without the burn. Leaves an okay aftertaste after each swig and goes down relatively smooth for being a tad bit bitter. Not a bad effort, I would recommend.

 393 characters

Photo of Manosbeeroffate
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This is another oldy but goody for me, don't even remember how long it's been since I had this. Pours dark brown, very little head. Smells malty, tastes very malty, slightly burned with a bit of a hint of dried fruit. Overall it's pretty good, but not as good as I remembered, not sure what it is. Won't go seeking it out but can recommend it to anyone who has not tried it.

 374 characters

Photo of Zraly
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A nice pour. Ruby brown with a decent tan head. Cling is in the modest range...a beer that is not necessarily "one" with the sides of the glass.

Carbonation seems on the mark. Smells of alcohol, malt, and a tad leathery. Flavors are sweet and malty, burnt coffee, and cream. Alcohol is prominent. The finish is extra dry, something like a red wine finish. Overall, not bad but it seems like it lacking a dimension in the flavor department. It doesn't finish as smooth as it potentially can.

Not my particular cup o' tea, but I can see how and why one might like this. And I think if you paired it up with a nice roast, a ladle of mushroom gravy, and some garlic mashed potatoes...I wouldn't say no.

 704 characters

Photo of changeup45
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a deep amber-brown color with a thick tan head. Lots of lacing left on the glass. Aroma seems quite sweet with some maltiness and tart fruitiness. A sharp tart dark fruity taste mixed in with some roasted malts and sweet sugary notes. A little sour in the finish. Not bad.

 278 characters

Photo of beertaster13
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Optimator is a quality beer at that, it pours a nice copper color with orange hints, a gorgeous tan head expands as you pour. The smell is of honey and caramel and deep roasted malts. The taste is very syrupy, caramel and roasted honey up front and a light grain after tone, not bad but a little to malty for my tastes, good solid beer however.

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Photo of illidurit
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a seidel. Dark clear umber with a nice thick tan head. Good lacing and retention. Aroma is freshly baked bread with a hint of darker fruits. Tastes like carbonated wheat bread. Accents of nuts and caramel, but really none of the chocolate and roasty notes that I expect from a doppelbock. Not quite deep enough. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, no complaints there. Decent drinkability but this one seems like a beer to pair with something rather than to drink on its own.

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Photo of KellyL
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, light tan head with no retention.

S: Roasted malts along with plum, moderate alcohol smell as well.

T: molasses, roasted malt, caramel, alcohol taste remains for a bit.

M: medium-high body, smooth on the palate.

O: it's a good beer, can't drink very many with the high-ish ABV. It's nice to have and sip with dinner... Or lunch as I did.

 356 characters

Photo of Floydster
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle from Cost Plus World Market in Redlands

Pour was pretty dark brown with a small head that faded quickly

Not near as good as Celebrator to me, but not bad

Smell was malty and full of sugar

Taste had a nice finish and was smooth with a little more sweetness than I anticipated

Could drink a six pack of these if you wanted to

 344 characters

Photo of Nerudamann
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Look - Dark, but a deep amber when held up in the light. Two fingers of foam that disipates pretty quickly. Good carbonation from what I can tell.

Smell - Malty as one would expect. Hints of mollasses and/or caramel.

Taste - Fairly malty and sweet, but leaning more toward the sweet side. Good and strong at the back of the palate, with an aftertaste the lingers toward the mid upper part of the palate.

Mouthfeel - Fairly creamy and filling in texture.

Drinkability - Aftertaste and filling nature makes this one hard to come back to more than once in a night for me. But still a good doppelbock.

 602 characters

Photo of Rennpferd
3.37/5  rDev -13.4%
look: 3 | smell: 1 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

It poured dark brown like molasses with a 1 inch head that disappeared quickly.

It had no smell that I could detect. The bar that I was in had a bad smell to it. But I think I should have smelled something.

It was rich and malty. It was smooth with a nice wet finish. I found it to be well balanced and refreshing. A nice hops taste on the backend.

I could drink this a couple of times but it is too strong to drink all night

 428 characters

Photo of MTNboy
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Appearance- It poured nice and smooth into my pint glass there is a little redness to this mainly brown beer. The head is off white but almost tan with some nice staying power and lace.

Smell- Sweet and malty for the most with a faint alcohol scent.

Taste- There is not much for bitterness but it is a sweet and roasty beer.It has a real sweet and fruity like flavor a little beany followed by a little bit of a metallic aftertaste.

Mouthfeel- Very smooth and full. Marginally smooth and body consistency.

Drinkability- A great overall beer.

 546 characters

Photo of WesWes
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The beer pours a dark amber color with a thick frothy head. The aroma is decent. It has a pale scent with the addition of some crystal malts. The taste is good. It has a nice malty flavor to go with the pale malts and yeast. The mouthfeel is fine. It is a medium bodied beer with adequate carbonation. It drinks well. This is a very enjoyable doppellbock.

 355 characters

Photo of FACSman
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. Nice dark brown color with a thin head that hangs around tonicely lace the sides of the glass. No hop aroma with slight malt aroma. Hint of 'green bottle skunk'. Flavor of sweet malt predominates and that damn green bottle skunk is definately there. Light carbonation and a relatively light mounthfeel belies the beer's actual gravity, providing a pleasantly drinkable beer.

 420 characters

Photo of lackenhauser
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Nice, deep chestnut color. Very thin head on top. Smell leaves a bit to be desired. Very, very metallic and almost "skunked". Good chewy malt flavor. Slightly sweet but not overly done. Small taste of caramel and a tinge of bitterness. Creamy and smooth mouthfeel. Very drinkable. Always has been for me. I wonder how fresh this bottle is. Still a great beer-I always pick it up when I see it in a store.

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Photo of Cunningham26
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

A- zero head but good carbonation points on the side of the american tumbler. pours a dark brown like a dark rum
S- big malts
T- good taste, maltiness with fruit, but an ever present boozyness runs through it and stunts the flavor profile. no hoppiness to be found, but the caramel and even maybe some really light chocolate notes are pleasant
M- for all the maltiness, this one falls thin, and the alcohol really pervades on the aftertaste. good carbonation throughout, it's almost like drinking a soda
D- maybe a few, but not sessionable. after a few though, trading down to something with lower abv and more balanced flavor like pale ale makes the latter taste wonderful

this wouldn't be a constant pick, but i wasn't disappointed.

 735 characters

Photo of Aleks_P
3.35/5  rDev -13.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pretty dark brown but transparent with very thin tan/white head. Appears highly carbonated based on the bubbles racing to the surface.

Smell: Was surprised a bit to pick up some pretty heavy caramel malt notes, almost smells sweet.

Taste: Malts make this a little heavy and the higher ABV is apparent. No alcohol burn but definitely taste it. Pretty bitter or tart I guess, I am a little concerned this beer might be skunked (who knows how long it was on the shelf) but it is self-described as "malt liquor" so maybe it's what they were going for.

Mouthfeel: Light and pleasant, enjoy the carbonation which balances the malt notes.

Overall: Wasn't a huge fan of this beer but I've only had a couple of dopplebocks so maybe I'll appreciate it more when I've expanded my pallet a bit. Prefer something with a lower ABV and less sour/bitter notes. Again, possible this particular beer was skunked.

 910 characters

Photo of donkeyrunner
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Spaten Optimator is better when said with a Schwarzenegger-like Bavarian accent. Paired with a nasty New England rainy day.

Clear, dark chestnut color with blood red highlights. Large off-white head leaves fair retention and a few lacey splashes. Malty aroma, nothing in particular (maybe a bit nutty if you force me to name a standout scent), just heaps of munich. Taste is similiar--lots and lots of munich. Hints of brownie mix with a nutty fade in back.

Though cleaner than most dbocks it lacks complexity and big beer feel.

 532 characters

Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark reddish-brown body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Somewhat sweet-smelling aroma of carob, dark fruits, and apples.

Taste: Mild dark caramel flavor mixed with some carob sweetness. Accompanying notes of dark fruits and chewing tobacco. Very minor hint of apple. Only a faint amount of hop spiciness, but no real bitterness. Touch of alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a pleasant middle-of-the-road doppelbock.

 503 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.33/5  rDev -14.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

Reviewed on 05/14/2009. 12 oz. bottle. Pours a clear dark brown with a small tan head. Aroma of pizza dough and roasted lager malts. Flavor is nice and doughy with some sweetness in the finish. A touch vegetal. Nice and pleasant to drink. An ok beer.

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Photo of likethetaste
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

I got this in a variety pack from World Market. I think this is the first time I have had a doppelbock. I don't know if I had a bad bottle but this seemed skunky to me. If this is a classic example of what a doppelbock taste like then I must say I would not be a fan. I will try others just to compare. But as far as this bottle goes I did not like it much at all.

My taste have changed since I first reviewed this beer. While still not great it is not a bad drink. I like it but do not Love it. Strong alcohol content so watch out.

 533 characters

Photo of drpimento
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Obviously an old classic standard of dopplebocks. This one poured with a large light tan head, but that mostly disappeared within some minutes - no lace. Very dark reddish brown. Malty sweet nose. Same with flavor but with an odd salty character. Mild finish. Nice beer here. Balanced. Could drink a number of these.

 316 characters

Photo of NuclearDolphin
3.32/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Poured into a pint glass

Appearance - Clear, dark fiery red with tons of carbonation rising up. Head is a dirty white/brown color with a soapy appearance

Smell - Caramel, Yeasts, Malts and Barley. The smell has a very strong, penetrating quality to it, as the smell seems to go right into your sinuses which feels rather strange. Aside from that, it smells decent

Taste - Caramel, Roasted Malts, Toffee, Yeasts and Barley. It's not as strong as the flavor, but it still tastes rather sweet. The aftertaste is quite strange, with a burnt malt/burnt barley flavor; tastes kind of ashy.

Mouthfeel - Moderate body weight with a moderate carbonation feel. It's crisp feeling, but not what I would call smooth. Still, it's easy to drink and that's what really counts

Overall - I was expecting more from Optimator, in terms of flavor and smell. Had the aftertaste not been so dry and ashy, I would've been more impressed.

 919 characters

Photo of philbertk
3.31/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Optimator--1998 16.9 oz. Bottle. 6.00% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) Doppelbock. Rich clear black cherry color. Rich thick cherry caramel malt body. Slightly sweet and bock smooth as rich flavor coats mouth. Tingle of balanced bitterness at end clears palette. Nice. Sampled 3/30/1999.

Optimator Doppelbock--2000 12 oz. Bottle. 7.20% ABV. (4.0 / 5.0) Clear deep cherry walnut color. Rich smooth sweet flavorful malty body. Medium heavy texture. Bavarian Yeast off flavor in character. Clear bottle. Cherry caramel toasted flavors. Smooth to end. Sampled 3/14/2000.

Optimator Doppelbock--2001 12 oz. Bottle. 7.20% ABV. (4.25 / 5.0) Lightly hazy rich amber red golden color. Malty laced head. Floral hop bouquet leads into tasty pale malt body with malty light caramel biscuit fruit flavor. Balanced smooth lingering malt hop finish. Sampled 6/21/2001.

Spaten-Brau, Munich, Germany--SPATEN Optimator Doppelbock--Green Label--2010 16.9 oz. Bottle. 7.60% ABV. 20 IBU's? (3.5 / 5.0) Thick pour. No sediment. Light tan 1/2" mild lace dissipating head. Clear dark ruby edged black color. Toasted black cherry fig mild hop front. Mildly creamy rich roasted fruit toffee cherry malty smooth mellow sweet rich BOCK body. Dry mild hop hot EtOH end. Sampled 1/8/2011. Purchased for $2.47 at Fred Meyer--Ballard, Seattle 12/28/2010.

 1,310 characters

Photo of aerozeppl
3.31/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

At Mahar's. From notes.

A: Very dark amber color. 2 fingers of head.

S: Malt. Huge malt smell. Then an almost musty sweetness.

T: Floral up front then sweet malt. Finishes sweet.

M: Med body with a light syrupy feel from all the malt.

D:This is one of the maltiest beers I have ever had. It makes it a slow drink. Almost like a weak Harvey's Elizabethian Ale.

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Photo of eberkman
3.3/5  rDev -15.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Pours a dark copper into a tall pilsner glass producing a 2-inch light-beige head that reduces quickly to a solid, sticky half-finger that leaves a little lacing when agitated.

The smell is an inviting soft, toasty maltiness. The taste is sweet caramel, toffee, butterscotch with a faint hint of cocoa. Not much bitterness to speak of and no definitive finish at first, though about a third of the way through, a sort of flat, tinny, rusty aftertaste takes over. Some hoppy bite and a lingering taste would have balanced it out a bit better, but the overall flavor is nice.

Mouthfeel is a little thinner and more delicate than I anticipated from a style that's usually a little heavier. Some stickiness too. Enjoyable, but not the most drinkable due to the cloying, rich sweetness with no dry bitterness to balance it out. I imagine the alcohol level could really sneak up on you, but that wouldn't be a factor in drinkability given the style.

Overall, not bad -- and somewhat complex for such a malty brew. But for a doppelbock, I'm going for other options. Kind of a beginner's beer. Get me a Celebrator!

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 1,317 ratings.
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