Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
Liked This Beer
3.89 w/ 3,065 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: 3,065 |  Reviews: 1,336
Photo of Chaz
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pours a brilliant cola brown in color (or brown-amber if you prefer), with ample carbonation. Forms a pale brownish-tan head, airy/rocky, of medium duration and with average-to-good lacing. Nose is sweet, bready, and malty, offering plenty of dark fruity overtones along with an oily, unctious quality and let's not forget the trademark dose of metallic tang. Some pale and biscuity malt notes in here too, but very little in the way of hops, as per style. First impression is of a fruity-sweet, tangy concotion with a good deal of malt character and depth. A touch of warming alcohol is also present from the get-go and it never truly fades, and indeed this alcoholic "heat" tends to add to its drinkability. Creamy smooth and medium-full bodied, the oily dark and roasted malt characters impart plenty of depth and balance, even where it might otherwise lack balance in terms of bitterness. Some might not find the abovementioned "depth" to be as pronounced as it is in certain notable Doppelbocks (e.g. Celebrator, Korbinian) but it is on par with other readily available examples (Tucher Bajuvator). Broader notes of plum and caramel interact with lighter notes of raisin, anise -and if you can find it- honey. Some lighter berry in the aromatics, too, as well as dried tobacco. Also, the metallic tang and unctious quality combined seem to impart a mildly spicy characteristic, which if I didn't know better I might put down to hop oil. Come to think of it, there's sourdough in here - how's that for bready? Very little bitterness here by the way, and the sweetness lingers in the manner of the Noble hop profile in a Helles. Warming if you drink it too fast (or if you have too many), it's a worthy sipper, and perhaps even better when paired with a meal. A longtime friend, Spaten Optimator is an excellent choice to make when it comes to pairing a robust, dark lager with some sturdy foodstuffs (game, chops, barbecue), it's also a veritable benchmark for its style.
Served chilled in a 250 mL mug.

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Photo of BeerAndFilm
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Photo of bwood06
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

A - dark brown in color with a very think white head. moderate carbonation. 3.75/5

S - grapenuts cereal. toasted dark bread. 4/5

T - toasted wheat bread. cereal. very little hops. 3.75/5

M - heavy body. not as carbonated as expected. 3.75/5

O - good beer with dinner. light but heavy. straightforward. 3.75/5

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Photo of Treyliff
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

A- pours a clear chestnut brown with a large foamy light tan head and a bit of lace.

S- lots of sweet and roasted malt, light notes of chocolate, a bit of herbal hop and a bit of skunk.

T- malt, and lots of it. Sweet grains, notes of fig, molasses and dark fruit. Nutty backbone, finishes slightly sweet with a malty linger. Bold flavors throughout.

M- medium body and carbonation, creamy mouthfeel, goes down velvety smooth.

O- this one packs a malty punch! Now I know why they call this breakfast in a glass. Pretty interesting concept. I like it, but definitely couldn't drink more than one.

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Photo of kpowledge
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of dickroop
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This brew poured dark and thick, with a head the color of espresso foam. Not a lot of aroma, but taste was toasted malt, tasty and tangy. Molases flavor notes were present and the finish was chocolaty and malty. Mouthfeel was soft and pleasant. Drinkability was OK.

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Photo of coalcracker
3.81/5  rDev -2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Served from a bottle, no freshness date noted.
Appearance: deep ruby red color with little head, more of an effervescense noted. Little to no lacing noted.
Smell: largely unremarkable.
Taste: Big hit of malt up-front with a balancing hop presence a bit later. Caramel, toffee notes present within. No considerable aftertaste to speak of.
Mouthfeel: Thick and smooth
Drinkability: Rather drinkable doppel. The alcohol content is only moderate for this style. I never really have found doppelbocks to be session beers.

Overall: I DO know that it is a import macro, but it's true to its style and tasty. Not quite as good as my beloved Celebrator, but cheaper.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: 12 oz. green bottle with gold foil on top. No freshness date.

Appearance: Rich deep dark copper with a light tan head that dissipates to a sticky lace.

Smell: Hints of caramel, sweet and toasted malt. Some spicy alcohol fumes and a trace of apple peel aroma.

Taste: Thick and huge stodgy malt, caramel, rounded toasted malt, sweet dextrins and grain lets through a twang of alcohol and a thin leafy hop. A remaining dextrinous toasted malt, a ever so fading hop leaf and drying grain are in the end.

Notes: Ahhh ... a meal in a bottle. Breakfast anyone? If beer is measured by its malt back bone than this is a body builder beer. 7.2 abv with a 12 month self life.

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

Dark ruby, brownish color. One finger head with just a bit of lacing. There is some nice persistent bubbles coming up from the bottom of the glass, almost like sparkling wine. Aroma is dark caramel, maybe toffee? grains, and an herbal note. Flavor is much the same, with a bit of a coffee finish, lighter though, like drip coffee. This beer has a really pleasant creamy mouthfeel. Overall I thought this was a nice, affordable example of the style, even though not top in the category.

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Photo of Boilermaker88
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served on tap at Heroe's Bar & Grill, La Verne, CA

Appearance: clear brown with a thin tannish head. No discernible carbonation.

Smell: strong sweet malty aroma with hints of raisins and plums. Faint alcohol astringency.

Taste: nice malt flavor with pleasant fruity undertones. Slightly bitter finish. Mild alcoholic bite.

Feel: medium-bodied, smooth, slick.

Drinkability: easy to drink, thanks to smooth and velvety feel and good taste. % ABV is a small detractor. Overall, a good beer to sit back and relax with.

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

Dark and rich. Dark amber with the light shining. Smells very sweet. Molasses, slight chocolate, very mild tartness. Taste is sweet and bitter at the same time but finishes with a nice caramel sweetness. I find this to be a bit different of the dopplebock genre, but one of the best. It doesn't have the strong bitter taste that you would come to expect. It's not very thick but goes down easy and is very satisfying.

Fair strength, and smoothness makes this very worthy to drink in excess if you so choose.

I will always have a place in my heart for this brew and respect any establishment that carries it.

Give it a go.

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

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

I bought a 6 pack of this from an A&P Wine and Spirits, quite suprised to see it there. Ok, on with the review.
From the first sight of the beer poured into a pint glass, it has a dark red color that only pronounces itself when you hold the glass up to a light. My roommate got quite a kick out of that. I tried to pour the beer as vigorously as possible seeing as some prior reviews cited lack of head and retention. Even with this pour, the head quickly dissapeared.
The beer does give a nice malty aroma close up to the nose. When tasted, the beer has a nice taste to it hinting of chestnuts, chocolate and coffee, and the flavor opened up as the beer warmed up. There was a nice warmth behind the 7% ABV, reminding you that this is the real stuff. It does leave a sort of twingy after taste, making you want to eat something rather quickly after a big sip, but overall it wasn't too carbonated, and did hit the spot.
I would buy this agian, but I would try it with my Bratwurst as many others do seem to do instead of alone.

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Photo of OCSA_1978
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Photo of vkv822
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

16.9oz bottle into tulip pint.

Pours a clear, dark amber brown with some rising carbonation and a foamy light tan head that dissipates fairly quickly.

The aroma is of sweet molasses and toasty malts along with some dark fruit.

The taste follows the nose with black cherry upfront and light caramel and toasty malts.

The mouthfeel is medium bodied with appropriate carbonation.

AN enjoyable beer. Seems to be pretty standard with what I've experienced in doppelbocks so far.

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Photo of bowzer4birdie
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

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

I had this in a pilsener glass. It poured with a nice dark, garnet color and about a half inch head. It was really cold coming from my refrigerator, so I let it warm to before I drank it. I tried one another time and it was too cold, which really affected the taste.

Nice sweet, malty aroma. Not much hoppiness.

Taste was sweet as the style goes. It felt heavy in the mouth and had a lingering sweetness, which tended to stay around a bit too long.

Not as good as Celebrator, but also about half the price. I'd buy it again.

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Photo of TheLongBeachBum
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Presentation: Picked up a mixed 6-Pack of Spaten Optimator and Premium Lager at Trader Joes. The Optimator comes in a 12 fluid ounce green glass bottle with a deep copper colored main label that has a metallic look about it.

Appearance: I thought this was lightly hazed at first, but once the carbonation released from solution after the rather vigorous pour settled and helped form the head, it revealed a dark, but lucid brown. The head was much smaller than expected given the high levels of carbonation, and it settled to a beige colored smooth covering.

Nose: What the….???....not the expected nose at all. The best way I can describe it is as a conglomeration of Malt Extract used in Brewing mixed with the odor of a partially baked loaf of Wholemeal Bread. Sweet and malty smelling in character, which at the same time is quite a restrained in strength.

Taste: A very sweet beginning, the sweetness never goes, it just fades in strength throughout the drink making way for a more malty profile that is much more appealing in the ending. It has a smooth body whose flavor profile includes molasses, malt extract, some dates and sweet dark chewy bonfire toffee that licks the ending with an average malty body. It’s fair to say that the tastes are never one-dimensional, or even overpowering – but they are rather middle-of-the-road. Just scrapes a 4.0. No surprises, or shocks, for a Doppelbock.

Mouthfeel: The sweetness invades all aspects of this beer it seems, the nose, taste and mouthfeel. But the malty character eventually wins the day and balances the beer well, effectively hiding the 7.2% ABV rather well. Above average strength.

Drinkability: The malts are nice, but the sweetness is just a little too high for my overall enjoyment to be anything more than the odd glass, or two, maybe. Still, that being said, it is still a very drinkable beer that I could see would have appeal for those that may not even enjoy Doppelbocks.

Overall: Not bad, but this would only ever be the occasional beer for me.

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

A= The color is a reasonably nice red-brown medium tone, modest tan head.

S= Very nice nose, strong prune with some modest spice notes. Light liquor.

T= Prune dominates with dark cherry; nice spices, almost reminds me of a good Winter Warmer. Slightly watery in the finish. Adequate hops florals, balanced bitterness, not overdone at all. The ABV% does not create noticeable liquor taste.

M= There's a modest bitterness, some nice dark fruits to savor.

O= A beer with a well-known name and a long history, it's definitely one to try if you hope to know the classic beers. And this one definitely falls in that category.

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

I picked up a six pack of Spaten Optimator at a grocery store to taste, review and enjoy. I poured this beer in to a pilsner glass. .

Pours a dark brown color with a red hue when held up to the light and is clear. A half-inch tan head forms and is gone quickly. The head leaves virtually no lacing on the sides of the glass. There are streams of bubbles rising through the beer, and it appears moderately carbonated.

The smell is fairly strong, sweet and fruity. There is a hint of alcohol and a caramel aroma.

The taste is also sweet and malty, with a smoky-caramel flavor, and a taste of cereal or grain. There is a mildly bitter hop finish. It tastes (and looks) a little like Coke or Pepsi, but not as sweet.

The mouth feel is smooth and full-bodied, bordering on cloying and sticky.

This is a drinkable beer. It’s a bit heavy on the ABV to have more than a couple in a sitting, but it’s a tasty brew with a lot of flavor. I think this would be a good fall and winter beer, and I’ll cellar three bottles until then.

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Photo of puck1225
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a bottle into a pint glass. Dark frown color with a thin beige head, decent lacing. Subdued dark malt smell. The taste is wheat, dark toast,,chocolate and a hint of banana. Overall, pretty good!

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Photo of BeerForMuscle
3.82/5  rDev -1.8%

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

In a big Spaten tumbler at Ludwig's Garten, this doppel has a deep brown-ish burgundy color that is clear, shiny, and true. Plenty of fine carbonation streaming to keep up a thin head.

Fruity with an interesting tone, this beer smells licorice-like from a dark, deep, and almost musty shade. Shows notes of complex grapes and noble hops. Opens to a deep, big, burly sense of roasty meat-like malt. Soft and lager in impact, but a big bear of a character.

Taste is meaty as all heck from a thick and dark roast, yet balanced by flavors of Cabernet grapes and snappy, underripe figs. The murk of deep flavors doesn't change much as it warms, merely showing more of a green hop finish. Fairly smooth but a little thin of a mouthfeel, which is surprising given how meaty it tastes.

A good doppelbock and tastes even better because its pretty cheap for an import. Impressive depth given such a low price. Much prefer this on draught than in a bottle, as the latter doesn't seem as deep and meaty, instead coming across with too much underripe fruit flavors.

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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 GilGarp
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

500 ml bottle served cold into a pint glass.

Optimator has a deep redish-brown color with good clarity when held to the light. The head is thick and creamy with good lasting ability.

Aroma is malty sweet with nice apples and pears, clove and pepper.

Flavor is rich and malty but the flavors aren't as well integrated as they are in the best doppelbocks. There is a little bit of harshness from the alcohol which seems to dominate the more subtle spice and fruit flavors.

Mouthfeel is medium bodied with low cabonation. Balance would be better if the alcohol wasn't so prevalent.

Overall an acceptable example but not an exceptional one.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Beer rating: 73.6% out of 100 with 3,065 ratings
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