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Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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very good
1,322 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: 1,322 | Ratings: 3,008
Photo of beerguy101
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color, medium white foamy head. Aroma is malty and rich. Deeply roasted malts. A full-bodied Dopplebock. Malts are slightly sweet with a nice caramel flavor. Mouthfeel is full. Finish is clean and smooth. Aftertaste is malty and dry. Great beer.

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

Has my first Optimator at an Easter party earlier today. I've heard good things about this and was eager to try it.

Pours a clear brown color, very close to mahogany. Creamy off-white head is produced but retention isn't all that impressive. Not great lacing either, however there are a few splotches here and there that stick to the glass.

The nose is roasted malts and a bit of alcohol. Pretty much what you would expect. Not bold or adventurous by any means, but an enjoyable aroma.

The taste surprised me. There is much more going on than the aroma lead me to believe. Slightly roasted malts, cocoa, caramel and nuttiness come to mind. Flavors become even more pronounced as it warms.

Medium bodied. Light and silky, very smooth. Very good drinkability. I would say this is a great introduction to the style, and anyone who claims to love Bocks would love this beer.

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

Dark brown with maroon highlights, small head fades quickly. Aroma is subdued, carmel and a little alcohol. The flavors come in waves: initial sweetness on the tip of the tongue, followed by carmel malt, a little fruit and light coffee, a hint of hops, and finishing up with a nice alcohol warmness at the back of the throat. Enough body to coat the mouth nicely. Man, I love this stuff! I've had trouble deciding on a favorite beer style... but I'm thinking doppelbocks just might be it! I really need to do a side-by-side comparison with this and Salvator (another favorite of mine) some time!

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Photo of mhaws000
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A-Poured a nice deep brown with a light tan head that quickly receeded to a light lace that maintained throughout the beer.

S- toasted grain with a slight alcohol warmth.

T-Very well balanced with a full malty body that is wonderfully balanced with just a hint of hoppy bitterness and a nice warm heat from the higher alcohol content

M-Nice full-bodied feel but not syrupy. Enough "chewiness" to get noticed but not enough to make you think about it too long. Just right as far as I am concerned.

D-This is a long time favorite of mine and every time I have another I reaffirm that feeling. This is a very well made beer. Every aspect of it feels well thought out and executed. This is a great example of how good beer should be. The only reason I dont give this 5's is because Optimator doesn't "blow my mind" When I drink it I think "Damn that is good...really, really good." But this isn't the type of beer that makes you change the way you think about a style. It doesn't make me think that there isn't anyting better, but it certainly does make me realize how much better it is than alot of the crap that is out there.

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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 Scooter77
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a deep brown almost black color with a slight ruby tint. A thick tan head arose and slowly died down leaving a thin lace. The aromas were quite complex with dark malts, caramel, chocolate, and a touch of fruity sweetness. The taste is somewhat complex also; there were hints of nuttiness mixed with sweet fruit and caramel. Alcohol taste was quite apparent, but it wasn’t overpowering so it mixed well with the other flavors. A mild alcohol and malt aftertaste was left in my mouth. This is a very complex and balanced brew; a must try.

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

A: Dark brown with red undertones, light brown/tan head with good retention, filtered bright.

S: Prune, plum, raisin-good malty nose. Hint of chocolate. No hop aroma, diacetyl or DMS.

T: Malt dominant-nearly port-like. Dark fruits, light alcohol, chocolate in background. The sweetness in the finish is caramelly with no noticeable bitterness.

M: Good body-not too full. Low astringency, but slightly caprylic. Good carbonation, smooth alcohol.

D: Nice beer, not as complex as some (Celebrator), but hits the style well.

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Photo of stalker5
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber brown, tan head with good retention. Smelled roasted malts, dark fruits, a little alcohol. Can definitely taste some the dark fruits, roasted, carmels, brown sugars, very slight alcohol. Mouthfeel is heavy, smooth, and velvety. A good doppelbock; one I recommend for sure. Definitely better if you can get it on tap.

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

Ruby-infused dark walnut brown. The jewel tone red looks more orange when there's less beer to peer through, such as at the bottom edge of the glass. The pale cinnamon head is large to start, has a nearly blemish free surface and is a bit sticky where foam meets glass. Not too much lace, a few scattered splotches is all.

The nose is of roasted malt with a wee whiff of alcohol. It's somewhat disappointing since there's little chocolate or other interesting aromas that would give it depth or character. Then again... the nose takes on additional aromas--dark caramel especially--with warming, but still doesn't open up as completely as the flavor.

The flavor and the mouthfeel elevate things considerably. While the beer is nice and malty, apparently the malt wasn't roasted long enough to bring out much chocolatiness. Some cocoa flavor and some nuttiness is evident however. Hops are clearly subservient to malt, but I can still appreciate their flavor contribution, their bitterness and their ability to take the edge off of the malted milk ball sweetness.

I'm beginning to pick up some fruitiness and the beer is developing more layers of flavor, more nuance, as I enter the bottom half of the bottle. It's definitely coming into its own with warming; room temperature is the optimal Optimator temperature one might say. The body is medium-slightly full. More full than Celebrator, less full than Liberator. What was lightly silky initially is now silky and creamy.

Spaten Optimator is a good-very good doppelbock, but doesn't quite rise to the heights of my two latest beers in the style (Hooker Liberator and Sam Adams Double Bock). If you like doppels though, Optimator more than suffices. Just don't make the mistake of drinking it too cold.

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Photo of Squire123
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This one sells for $7.49 a sixer at my local. When it shows up I buy as much as I can carry. Remarkable sum of the parts beer beginning with rich deep color, full mouth filling flavor and texture, so lavish it's hard to swallow because you want to keep on tasting. Malt forward, hops supporting like a beautiful sonorous piano backed by a string orchestra. Fortunately the aftertaste is a receding diminishment of the same. Another one to seek out wherever found.

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

Poured from a bottle into a 14-ounce tumbler at about 45 degrees. Tan head grew to about two fingers deep before gradually diminishing, leaving a light coat of lace behind.

The beer is sparkling clear, dark brown with a lovely reddish hue when held to the light.

Subtle hints of prunes and figs in the smell.

Bittering hops flavor is ample for a dopplebock, which really balances the flavors out. The malt isn't huge, but it plays well against the hops, leaving behind a fruity touch at the back of the palate.

Mouthfeel is a little light but certainly nothing to object to.

This is a very drinkable beer -- smooth but not cloying. It's not really a sipper. I could go through three or four of these if my better judgment didn't prevail.

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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 Avagadro
4.36/5  rDev +12.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

A: reddish-brown with a thick head that quickly fades into a thin film.

S: not the most aromatic of brews. Honey and toasted barley dominate.

T: malty sweet, with heavy doses of toast and honey. Almost like honey nut cherios in a glass.

M: full body, with a slight syrupy stickiness.

D: this is my go-to doppel. It may not be the best, but it is damn close, and a good bit cheaper too. A classic example of the style.

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

Optimator pours a extremely dark red that looks just as black as coal with a casual glance. The tan head formed a good three fingers, then leaves lace down the side of the glass as the Brew is consumed, for a picture perfect presentation.

Nose of burnt malt and fig, with whiffs of alcohol. Palate is a yummy sweet burnt malt, light in character, not syrupy. Also present are notes of coffee, fig, and caramel.

Optimator could easily become just about anyones number one or two favorite Beer of style.

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

Pours a beautiful rich chocolate brown. Aroma is strong, mainly malty, and tempting. Flavor is rich and malty with hints of toffee and a smoky undertone. There is not the least bit of bitterness. Smooth, very pleasing, this beer is great all by itself, especially after a meal.

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Photo of Mosstrooper
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz into a Guinness branded tulip pint glass

Appearance: Deep, dark reddish-brown with a little bit of a tan-ish head that dissipates quickly.

Smell: Heavy on the malts (caramel?), sweet.

Taste: Sweet and roasty with a slightly bitter finish and a very nice aftertaste. The aftertaste might even be better than the beer itself!

Mouthfeel: Medium-full bodied with a slight carbonation up front.

Drinkability: Very drinkable. Filling, so I don't know if I'd sit down and have more than one or two at a time, but this is something I would love to have in the fridge to reach for on a fall evening. Actually- I'm drinking this for lunch as I review it; this can be a meal in itself! Hooray doppelbock!

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Photo of KKB
4.37/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A - A dark brown, ruby-walnut looking glass of goodness; about a finger of very light brown/off white foam at the beginning, leaves very little lacing.

S - The smell is completely charming, with sweet malt smells that have tiny roasted scent but really you can tell they were not roasted for long, a nice fruity aroma too as well as slight citrus and caramel.

T - A symphony of flavors, right off the bat I can tell this is one of the better doppelbocks I've had before. The malt hasn't been roasted to the point where it gives you that really chocolaty flavor and instead is nice and mild and sweet with a little bit of bitterness. Then there is a really nice woody taste to it...you've got to let this beer get really warm to enjoy it though. Pretty much room temperature is when the fruit and hops start really coming out to form a wonderful hoppy, malty, fruity beverage. All flavors obsequious to the malt while the bitterness keeps it in check. while still playing important roles... There is chestnut in here as well, I do declare.

M - Medium to full body. Very light carbonation that makes for a very slight syrupy aspect that is very pleasant. Silky and creamy toward the end.

O - Very good doppelbock. Just a pleasure to drink. It's different too, which is nice. The malt play a very unique roll that is not overwhelming as in many others, but is still commanding (I'm only giving the overall a 4 because I hesitate to give this beer a 4.5. It is so so good, but 90% and above is reserved for royalty).

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Photo of dacrza1
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Dark, brazen brown body with a white settling head; occupies the Celebrator glass well... excellent tracings of lace... heightened malts.... the sweet aroma is warming and inviting... smooth, medium-bodied with little effervescence around the tongue and below...creamy... the pitch of bready yeasts and malts are empowering, rich and rewarding... the end is warming... in the first of six doppelbocks sampled, the Optimator sets a brisk pace... the malts arrive as expected, balanced as the lion and lamb month they 're intended for...

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

A -- Clear, deep, dark chestnut color with ruby highlights. A thick tan head that settles slowly leaving good lacing.

S -- Earthy character, mellow dark fruit character, vague DMS, some toasted malt with caramel character coming through, alcohol back.

T -- Big malty hit up front with a mellow earthiness or herbal quality in the middle, finishing with some dark fruit character. Aftertaste is toasted bread and smooth alcohol.

M -- Slick to syrupy mouth-feel with a medium-full body.

D -- Good drinkability for a big beer. A definite savoring style.

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Photo of stella77artois
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into Weizen glass.

As a long time fan of Spaten Original and being a fan in general of Bock's and Doppelbocks, I naturally wanted to try this. Unfortunately, no local stores carry it. Was lucky enough to find some across the lake in VT.

A - Average looking doppelbock. A very dark red-brown, slightly lighter in the light. A very thin off-white head which dissipated quickly, but left some residual. No carbonation noticed.

S - Not a whole lot here. Lot's of malt, some caramel and a general creaminess. A nice smell, just a little on the light side.

T - Damn, this tastes good. A very good representation of a bock. Malt and caramel noticed in the taste as well. Also some toffee, and even some cinnamon. A very creamy and malty taste, without the huge amount of sweetness that many bocks carry. A very, very good taste beer.

F - This is where the beer seperates itself. This is one of the more drinkable bocks. Don't get me wrong, I do greatly enjoy the thickness and feel and a normal doppelbock, but sometimes it can get a little heavy. Not the case here. Still a thick and powerful feeling beer, but a lot of carbonation was felt on the tongue, and the beer wasn't as heavy feeling. First doppelbock I've tried that I consider crisp.

O - A damn good doppelbock. Plenty of taste, not so heavy that you can't drink a few. Highly recommend this beer to any bock fans, or anyone who enjoys dark lagers in general.

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Photo of beerman207
4.38/5  rDev +12.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have always been a fan of the Octoberfest brew by Spaten and have wanted to try this one for a while. I wasn't disappointed.

Appearance: Poured a copper/red color

Smell: Smelled of malt and a bit of honey

Taste: Tasted tones of honey in there which were muted but was a nice suprise.

Mouthfeel: Well Balanced

Drinkability - I would rate this as high for drinkability.

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Photo of DevAJ
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hit me surprisingly hard for only being 7.6% abv, but then again I could have just downed it too quickly. If I downed it too quickly it's because it was surprisingly easy to drink.

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Photo of KonigObHops
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

This beer pours a very deep brown with a thick light brown head.

The aroma is smokey with a hint of raisins.

The initial taste of the beer is sweet with toasted malt in the middle. The beer finishes smooth with a smokey raisin aftertaste.

The mouthfeel is extremely smooth almost to the point of being creamy.

Overall this is a very good dunkel. It is smooth and very drinkable with a complex taste that you would expect from the style.

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Photo of car2052
4.39/5  rDev +12.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured from 12 oz. bottle to pint glass.

A: Clear dark brown, almost black. Small lacing of tan head.
S: Strong smell of caramel malt, sweetness, toffee, cereal grains, and a plum/prune scent.
T: Sweet, yet strong malts akin to a porter show up first, followed by a bran cereal taste. Minimal hop taste. Not as much fruit in the taste. Finishes with an alcoholic bite at the end.
M: Medium to heavy. Malts coat your tongue at the end.
O: Not a bad doppelbock. Will have to try more to compare.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.89 out of 5 based on 3,008 ratings.
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