Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
Very Good
3,086 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: 3,086 |  Reviews: 1,345
Photo of Todd
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a nice brown beer with a thick, clinging off-white cream/foam lace. Malty/herbal aroma. Surprisingly light-ish, but also malty sweet and milky with buttery caramel, day old coffee and bitter dark chocolate malt flavours. Faint roasted flavours. Toasty notes all over. Raisin flavours become pronounced as the beer warms. Notes of metallic around the edges. Sharp carbonation on the tongue followed by a light herbal hop presence that blends nicely with a not so subtle alcohol spicy character. Hops leave a slightly leafy and oily slick feel on the palate, peaking at the finish, which is dry.

A good doppelbock, but not a great one (it's an imported macro brew at heart). Still well worth the try ...

 710 characters

Photo of BurdockBoy
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of CloudStrife
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

12oz green bottle poured into a snifter. Bottled April 11th 2011.

A: Pours a dark ruby brown with a thick 1 finger dense tanned head. Some visible carbonation in the body. Appears to have a pretty clear body. Leaves just a touch of lacing.

S: A very roasty, fruity and carmel smell. Get a lot of sweet raisin and fig backed by a touch of carmel.

T: Very sweet with loads of dark fruit. Roasted malts. Alcohol is very hard to notice. Lacks some depth.

M: Light on the body with mild carbonation. Does feel a little watery. Pretty easy drinking though.

Overall good for such a mass produced beer. Feel like it has done some good mellowing out in the year and a half since it was bottled. Needs more character.

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Photo of scootny
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A light khaki head with a dark ice tea color brew. Spots of lace here and there and nice retention. Smell is caramel and toffee with buttery notes. Lots of toasted grains with a light roasted coffee. Taste follows suit with molasses and warm brown toast. Very nice roasted grain malt body. Sweet caramel as well. Hops are dry and nicely bitter with a light herbal flourish in the crisp finish. A touch of leafy oiliness lingers stretching it out a bit. Feel is a bit light but nicely weighted with a decent amount of heft and a smooth light creaminess in the back of the overall crisp feel. A nice Lenten beer and a good version of the style.

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Photo of philipquarles
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a clear dark brown with a medium off-white head that dissipates to nothing.

Smells of sweet dark malt, plain and simple. This carries on to the taste. Slightly sweeter and less complex than some comparable beers, but certainly not bad.

Overall, a very drinkable doppelbock, but not one I'll spring for again if I have a choice.

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Photo of Jettanbass9
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - chestnut brown with copper and red highlights, thin but fluffy head retention.

S - melanoidins!! i love the toasty, doughy/bready aroma of this beer. some dark fruit and fig like aromas. Aside from the slight fruitness, very very clean, very very malt driven aromas. This is what winters should smell like!

T - melanoidins!!! toast, bread, grainy sweetness, more toast, some fig, raisin. Doughy bread and toast dominate. Balanced bitterness. This is the definition of a malt bomb, good malt driven flavors without being cloying or one dimensional.

M - Med. mouthfeel with moderate carbonation. The two aspects play off of each other and give good balance.

D - I definitely could not drink this all night, however, this is an excellent beer to drink by the fire or for a nightcap. This beer is rich, flavorful and a true winter beer, nay, classic.

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Photo of hyuga
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Very dark mahogany with a light tan head. The head stays well enough for a while if you give it a good strong pour, but still eventually fades away. Very interesting aroma of sour grape character and caramel with grain and just a hint of hops. On the palate, lots of malty flavors including caramel, molasses, and a touch of grain. Some spiciness rounds everything out. Not as "big" as the perfect doppelbock. Seems kind of like an overgrown märzen. It's still interesting and worth a try.

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Photo of Bierguy5
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap @ Rathskeller in Indy. Tawny, carmel brown nearly black in color. Tan head disappeared quickly. Big malty nose. Roasty and robust. Big sweet malt flavors, slightly roasty. Caramel and toffee like flavors. Bitterness is held back pretty well, although there are some grassy hop flavors. Medium to full body, low carbonation. Pretty good dopplebock.

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Photo of redmagik99
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

ive had two quite different experiences with this beer. to start off with, i love the dopplebock style. the first time i had optimator i drank it with a dinner of marinated london broil, stuffing, and spinach. it was awesome. as all the other reviews say, this beer is undeniably hugely malty. i thought i would have trouble finishing the meal but the beer washed it down and turned out to be a great pairing. the second time i had it was a little while after a meal and my second beer of the night. this time i found it almost impossible to finish. i thought it might get a little better if i let it warm up but that made it worse. the big roasted caramel maltiness was just too much. very sweet, and very filling. the alcohol bite became all too apparent as well which is never a good thing in my book. so this review is somewhat of an average of the two tastings. bottom line is this is a solid dopplebock, but dont let it get too warm and you probably wouldnt want to have more than a couple in a short period of time.

 1,022 characters

Photo of VoodooBrew
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Quaffed this 20 ouncer at the Scholz Garten in Austin.

The appearance is a deep mahogany, almost rootbeer-like. Minimal head, but who knows if that's an artifact of how the beer was poured.

Optimator is clean, generously malty, and noticeably alcoholic. There is a tartness on the finish and a mild warming of the body brought on by Optimator's booze quotient.

All in all this is a pretty easy drinker for a Doppelbock. I was surprised by what I perceived to be a lack of complexity on the palate. All in all not bad but not great.

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Photo of FreshHawk
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Deeper amber color, but for the style it is a little light. Smaller than average sized, foamy, creamy, off-white head. Disappears pretty fast with a thin ring of lace.

S - Slightly burnt caramel and carob. Plenty of sweet dark fruit, especially raisin along with a plumy aroma and slightly jamy. Some dark, sweet bready malt as well. Some fruity, apple along with a hint of alcohol.

T - Like the nose, there is a good amount of dark fruit with raisin and a plumy flavor as well as a touch of apple. Also a fair amount of molasses and carob. Quite malty and some dark, sweet bread along with some slightly torched caramel. A touch of nuttiness.

M - Lighter side of medium (pretty light for the style) with about average carbonation. Smooth and a touch creamy, but just a little too thin for my liking.

D - Pretty easy to drink and enjoyable, although it is pretty sweet and has a pretty big jamy feel. Alcohol shows up but doesn't dominate. I could drink another but that's about it.

Notes: Enjoyable beer but not my favorite doppelbock. This one is more of a fruity doppelbock rather than chocolate. Definitely worth a try, especially given its history, but I don't think it is my favorite of the style.

 1,212 characters

Photo of daliandragon
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The old spade pours dark brown with orange and maroon highlights at tthe bottom of my flute. About a finger of tan head unleashes a powerful nose heavy on the sweet malt with caramel and molasses notes. Also hints of figs and other dark fruits. The nose improves even more as it warms, nice.

A malty backbone paces the flavor but plenty of fruit joins in, particularly in the finish. A hint of alcohol spurs the whole melange forward. Typically sweet but more fruity and lacking the dryness of a lot of doppels that I've tried. Texture is thick and bready. The aftertaste reminds me of raisin nut bread or something similar. Definitely worth a shot if you like dark beer.

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Photo of Thorpe429
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed from notes. The beer that once disgusted Amyliz4 but that she now loves.

Pours a moderate brown caramel color win a light tan head with some good lasting power in my pilsner glass. Nose brings caramel, toffee, and some light drugs. The taste is a bit sweet with some caramel, though not too much depth. Nice body and carbonation. A beer I used to drink fairly often and don't mind coming back to at all.

 413 characters

Photo of brewmudgeon
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

dark brown/mahogany, not as dark as some brown ales. short head fades to a ring, leaving scant lace
smell is sweet malts, caramel, and dark brownies
taste much like the smell, but the chocolate is less brownie and more baker's chocolate. sweetness builds toward the bottom of the bottle.
body is on the full side of medium, low to moderate carbonation (much better than what i had on tap)
this beer seems not very complex but highly drinkable, though maybe a bit too sweet to have more than one or two.

 503 characters

Photo of StoutyMcHaggis
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Pretty dark mahogany, almost cant see through it. Not cloudy or anything.

S-I smell tobacco, some kinda dried fruit. Very slight alcohol smell, almost unoticeable. Smells good.

T-Sweet raisens, almost a chewing tobacco after taste(if you've ever had Beechnut, you know what Im talking about). I like it, but I like tobacco.

M-Nice and smooth, kinda dry after taste.

D-Really strong and the tobacco aftertaste gets a little weird if your not smoking. Still, not bad for a 7.2% beer.

I like it and it wasnt too expensive($3 @ Roth's in Salem). Dont know whay I taste tobacco so much in it, but Ive never had this style before either.

 650 characters

Photo of pandashaver
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A - Cola colored body with lightly tan 2 finger head, decent lacing but fades fairly fast.

S - Rasin, malty, bready, musty, aged cheeses, a little bit roasted as well.

T - Fairly sweet, a little bit bitter, and somewhat acidic.

M - Medium bodied, very full flavored, thick and syrupy in the aftertaste.

D - The malts are nice, but a little too dominating for me to drink alone. That being said, I'd have a few of these with a nice meal of pork or beef and potatoes.

 469 characters

Photo of MrHungryMonkey
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.5

Mahogany amber, clear. Mild carbonation. Mild-moderate sized head that wastes no time residing to a skin-like covering.

Sugary dark roasted fruit. Mild floral hop.

Medium bodied. Tartly fruity and fairly light. Dry roasted fruit sugary sweetness. Understated floral splashes. So smooth, almost no carbonation. Sticky sweet thickness about the malt. This and the heightened alcohol content make it feel nice and thick. Seriously right-on in the feel dept. Finishes slightly dry, mostly clean.

Gets better as it warms, or as I warm. Either way.

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Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours with a sandy, off-white head about two fingers deep that fades to a ring of foam that still sticks around pretty good before sliding down edges of glass. Beer itself is deep brown with rubyish, almost orange highlights. Aroma is sweet, with a caramelly maltiness that lasts throughout the nose akin to frosted breakfast cereal, though not as cloying. A vaguely fruity, almost grapey hoppiness brings things to a close. Flavor is lighter than I expect from a doppelbock, and sweet; near-syrupy maltiness with more touches of caramel. Pleasant butterscotch and otherwise buttery flavors meld with a hop bitterness that emerges as the beer warms. Yeast is present in the midpalate but never crosses the line over to breadiness. Mouthfeel is a bit syrupy, consistent with the sweetness of the aroma and flavor; not exactly firm, but consistently smooth with a clean finish. Drinkability is six-pack-worthy, but still on the sweet side. This beer doesn't strike me as being as complex as I once thought, but I still enjoyed this one.

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Photo of zagduck
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Pours a dark, reddish amber color with a decent white-head

S: Lots of malt and yeast. Smells fairly sweet similar to dried fruit but not nearly as pungent

T: Sweet initial malt flavor, finishes with a smooth hoppy taste. The yeast is detectable in the finish but not overwhelming. With bigger drinks you will taste a little bit of the alcohol; however, it well balanced.

M: Not overly carbonated, but in this case that is a good thing. The carbonation suits the beer in this case.

Overall: Not world class by any means, but Optimator is a great beer. If you're a fan of the style, give it a try. If not go ahead and try it anyway. I would say that it is much better on tap (what beer isnt) but still excellent out of the bottle.

 736 characters

Photo of BeerKnurd33
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of FaradayUncaged
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%

Photo of hockeyhead
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

poured into over sized wine glass
A: pours very dark ruby red with a nice tan fluffy head that stays on the beer
S: smells is very sweet carmel nose with a slighty floral hop aroma but mostly the malt comes through alot
T: taste is really sweet intense bready notes, and then some nice fig fruitness comes through with a finishing drying carmel bitterness mmm
M: feels thick and chewy in your mouth but goes down like velvety liquid that warms as it goes down probably the abv content of this beer gives it that
D: i have had better double bocks but this one is still really good if you just want one cause it fills your belly ha ha

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Photo of brewcrew76
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A - Deep ruby red with a thin tan head that leaves a ring of foam remaining.

S - Sweet caramel malt, bready, toffee with ripe fruit.

T - Bready malt with a bit of caramel sweetness, toffee and ripe fruits. A hint of roast in the finish with a touch of alcohol. Gets an herbal note as it warms.

M - Rich and chewy. A touch sticky from the malt sweetness.

D - A solid doppelbock a touch on the sweet side.

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Photo of rye726
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice mahogany color with a tan head that settles to a silky cover. Good lacing.

Lots of malts, caramel and ripe fruits. Some peppery hops and overall very earthy.

Nice malt profile with lots of caramel and sweet nuts. Candy and faint hops as well.

Good full body with decent amount of carbonation.
Good example of the style. Well balanced, but lacks the complexity of some better bocks.

 390 characters

Photo of TastyAdventure
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

A - Very dark amber, translucent. 1/2 finger head that dissipates to paper thin. the bubbles are very tiny

S - Dried out raisin bread, some sweetness

T - Dried figs? very sweet, slight roasted. Alcohol covered up real nicely by sweetness.

M - Nearly cloying. smooth.

O - Very nice for the price. Rich. A sweet treat.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Beer rating: 3.89 out of 5 with 3,086 ratings
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