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Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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very good
1,326 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: 1,326 | Ratings: 3,015
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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Photo of neonbrown82
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

I've never been much of a fan for doppelbocks, but this one is quite good. A little bit more crisp and less "muddy," but still has a nice sludgy mouthfeel.

Pours to a dark nutty brown with a thin white head that fizzes away to nothing in a matter of seconds. When held to the light it is revealed to be quite clear and ruby colored with a nice carbonation. Looks good.

The smell is very malty, earthy and nutty. A slight roast and chocolate/caramel. Good, but requires a strong whiff to get the whole of it.

The taste is also very dark and malty with some good earthy, nutty, and roasty flavors. Has a nice sweetness to it. Too little hop bitterness to detect, almost. Finishes very clean, and with no detection of a high alcohol content.

The mouthfeel is very crisp and carbonated, also stings a bit, whether from the alcohol or the carbonation. Also manages to be quite thick and sludgy. Very interesting. This is a very dangerously drinkable doppelbock. I would recommend it, even if you aren't a fan of the style, like myself.

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Photo of RichieS2
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

12 oz bottle poured into a Samuel Adam's glass.

A - A deep ruby color, only able to see through when it is held up to the light. Respectable carbonation and a frothy white head.

S - Very malty, a promise to the sweetness to come.

T - Very sweet, it hits from the moment the beer hits your tongue and does not let up. Some slight hoppiness at the end.

M - Pleasingly warm and thick.

O - Great, try this one!

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Photo of howandmeg
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

I really enjoyed this beer. Close to perfection in a couple aspects- full flavor, strong ABV and it won't max out your credit card.

Appearance- Dark brown/amber color. Rich head, not too thick.

Smell- Nutty roasted tones.

Taste- Full and rich. Definite roasted flavor and a strong malt flavor just enough to cover the higher alcohol. Very smooth and low carbonation make this easy to drink.

Drinkability- Easy to drink, but can be filling.

I put this on up with Celebrator and Aventinus.

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Photo of Cthulhusquid
4.4/5  rDev +13.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Look: Dark brown body, little to no white head.

Smell: Dark fruits and molasses. Kind of like a fruit filled rye bread.

Taste: Same as the above, but with a distinct kettle corn flavor.

Feel: Medium body and carbonation. The alcohol isn't hidden very well, and drinks like an 8%-9% beer.

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Photo of deejaydan
4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4

Pours a perfect ruby with millions of tiny bubble streaming up. Slightly frothy head, and moderate lacing. Smell is grainy, not the malt bomb that I had hoped for in this one. Taste is exceptional, sweet carmelly malts with no alcohol burn whatsoever. Mouthfeel is thick and lush, coating your mouth. Drinkability... I think this is one of the best dopplebocks out there. A bit heavy for daily drinking, but a nice treat to pick up.

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Photo of d1ckvanswype
4.41/5  rDev +13.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

A: Poured from 12oz green(!) bottle into a Duvel glass, formed a finger of khaki head which died quickly. Appears dark brown, but shows a deep garnet when held to the light. Smatters of lacing.

S: Caught a slight whiff of skunk from the bottle, but it aired out by the time I poured it. Dried cherries, prunes, raisins, a touch of coffee, molasses, honey, wheat, sweet roasty malts. Man, this smells really, really good, if a tad sweet.

T: Almost exactly the same as the nose, with a nice twinge of nuttiness, barley syrup. Very mildly astringent, which leads to a very clean finish. Aftertaste is almost better than the sip.

M: Mild carbonation and a pleasantly lush mouthfeel leaves you feeling refreshed, but the sweetness does tend to get a bit sticky after a few sips.

O: While I have to knock off some merits for the green bottle, this is a remarkably good brew from a macro brewery that needs to be shipped across the ocean to reach me. I'm glad to see one of my gateway beers actually tastes better now that I'm a bit more knowledgable.

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Photo of Dizzy
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours dark brown with garnet highlights, off white head leaves a ring around the edge of the glass and a large patch in the middle. Aroma is malty sweetness and a faint roasted aroma. Taste is malty with some roastiness, not much here as far as hops are concerned. Medium mouthfeel with average carbonation. Alcohol is hidden so well, it would be easy to session this, but it might not be a good idea...This is easily one of my favorites.

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Photo of Nibbley
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a lovely dark brown with a nice tight cream colored head. Aroma is of fresh baked bread and a hint of apple strudel. Tastes of fresh bread and big yeasty doughnuts with a good mouthful of carbonation. This is one of my favorite beers and i enjoy it daily.

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

Poured from a 12 OZ bottle into a pint glass. The appearance is a dark copper color with a small tan head. The aroma is malt and caramel. The taste is an excellent match to the aroma with a small amount of hops. An excellent beer.

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Photo of ommegoose
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Purchased a 12-pack at Evanston First Liquors.

Pours out of a 12 oz. bottle into a pint glass. A very dark brown with hints of red, orange and purple when held to the light. A fast pour doesn't yield too much head and it fizzes out pretty fast. Doesn't leave anything on top, and looks very shiny and oily, which suggests lots of aroma and flavor. In fairness, this is the last of the 12 pack, and I've had this sitting in the fridge a while. I seem to remember there being much better retention with previous bottles. I like this beer best very close to (if not at) room temperature. The bottle artwork is nice.

Smells so dark and malty. Strong suggestions of prune and raisin. Sweet like ripe dark fruits. Also just reminds me of various breads, like pumpernickel or sourdough. This just puts a smile on my face. It's not the most complex, but it's potent, and just dessert-like enough to make this beer feel like a treat. I like that you can give this one a strong shake and pull big differences out of the nose.

Flavor is very malty and yeasty. Like a dark bread. Balanced out by a raisin/prune sweet and sour mix. Caramel, molasses and toffee are detectable in the sweetness. Maybe a trace of hops, but they don't play much of a role here. Finishes with a subtle dark cacao, and relatively clean. Not at all sticky, which would be an easy trap to fall into with this kind of beer. Might be just too sweet for some, but I have a pretty high threshold for sweetness. Recalls various dessert treats at times, like dark gingerbread or raisin bread, or a dark plum compote.

Mouthfeel is what I would look for here. Thick, slick, and a bit oily. Goes down quite smooth. Some warming, but I'd never call it a burn. There's a tradeoff between alcohol presence and increased flavor and aroma as the beer warms. Carbonation is rather low.

Drinkability is dangerous for a 7.2% beer. I've downed quite a few of these in a sitting without too much thought before. I go out of my way to pick up a 12-er once or twice a year. It doesn't hurt that other doppelbocks are not as readily available in such format or for a better price. Always a good change of pace beer, but not an everyday type of beer.

I must confess that I have not really tried other doppelbocks despite my strong affection for this one. I might re-review if drinking more of them changes my standards. On its own merits, this is a delicious beer, and really quite impressive for the mass-produced nature of it. Would love to try it really fresh someday.

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Photo of sld66
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from the bottle into my Pilsner glass (only beer glass I have right now). Brown, almost muddy, opaque appearance. Nose is slightly sweet, not overwhelming, maybe some toasted nuts. Medium body, very smooth, well rounded taste. Hints of chocolate. Could easily drink another depite >7% alcohol content. Excellent.

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Photo of granger10
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This was quite a treat. I have seen this one at my local store for so long without giving it a try, I don't know why. Anyways, it poured a deep brown color with a beautiful head that held up quite well. The nose was roasted malt mixed with a fruitiness, maybe plums. The taste was strong in the malt department, mainly with caramel but also some chocolate and earthy malts as well. The hops stay in the background but are needed to keep the malts within their limits. A slight alcohol flavor hits me in the aftertaste which really makes me only want to drink more. Quite a great beer!

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Photo of mariposafan
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours with two fingers of tight, creamy head that lasts nicely. Dark amber red when held up to the light.

The smell is very bright and sweet - almost a candied fruit smell but with graininess from the malt.

Taste isn't very sweet at all. Toffee, malt, some coffee notes and a drying minerality. Not overly rich but very inviting. A little astringency, partly from the mineral notes and partly from some roasted bitterness.

The mouthfeel is just fine. Not thick and chewy but not watery either - sort of striking the middle ground.

As with most dopplebocks it's big enough that I'm only going to do one as a sitting, but that one goes down very easily. Considering how much easier it is for me to get a hold of than Celebrator - easier even than Central's dopplebocks - and how inexpensive it is, this will likely be my go to dobblebock for the near future.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Excellent example of the style... Nose is of chocolate, toffee and caramel. Sweet malty richness with the first sip, and a satisfying mouthfeel. Alcohol is quite warming. Some fruity esters present here. Lots of rich chocolate undertones and a well balanced finish. Excellent brew.

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Photo of taez555
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer poured a very dark brown, yet clear, body with a small off-white head.

The nose was a mixture of maple syrup, pure malt, some smoke, wood, roots and LME. If you’re a home brewer you’ll know what I mean. It smelled like concentrated malt syrup. A very unique and inviting smell.

Taste was thick and very full bodied. Very, very, very rich malt and more malt and malt and earth. Sort of a backwoods kind of flavor as well. Just enough bitterness to give it something to hold onto, and nothing really strong in the way of hops. Again, the hops are mostly use to give just enough balance. This beer is a malt machine.

Really a fantastic beer. MALT!!!. An amazing beer if you want something big and malty without having to have a hop attack.

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Photo of Stunner97
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance- dark brown that is see through still when held to the light, very light carbonation though bubbles can be seen lightly running up the glass, very thin to almost no at all white head

Smell-- Super sweet caramel, tons of malts just shooting into your nose, great molasses and sugar smells instantly fill your nose, slight alcohol can be smelt

Taste- Lots of caramel and malts up front, very sweet at first then you are ridden into with some back end bitterness that help round this beer out, some sweet fruitiness can also be slighty noted, Id best describe the fruits as caramel apple flavor, also a slight alcohol taste in the finish could be slightly noticed

Mouthfeel- thick and very syrupy, full bodied yet light, moderate carbonation, slight alcohol can be notice on the mouth

Drinkability-- I gotta say this is one my first beers i started getting more into after only originally know American macros but I really do think this beer is underrated, I think its a really good example of its style and an amazing beer to drink, its sweet malty and delicious, its alcohol being high is slightly noticeable though still hidden enough to be very enjoyably drinkable, this is one i look forward to visiting ocasianally when i feel the need for a break from the usual lighter beers, hoppy beers, or the wheat beers, a beer i am glad to have in my rotation and worth a try if you haven't, one i think i will always enjoy even compared to the others i have tried of the style i still come back for more optimator

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Photo of JoeyBeerBelly
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz bottle served in a 14oz glass mug.

L - clear dark amber color with a beige head that settles to a foamy ring/thin layer that left a good coating of lace.

S - sweet roasted malt aroma, very nice scent.

T - roasted malt flavor is dominant with a touch of bitterness on the dry finish.

F - medium bodied with a good carbonation feel.

D - goes down nice and easy.

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Photo of kbub6f
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The smaller, 12oz green bottle bought locally (Grapevine refrigerated shelves), a few days in my fridge, reviewed 45F-65F.

A dense tan head coughs up big bubbles. It collapses slowly. Lacing is thin but sticky. Ruby highlights show up in the dark dark beer if you hold it to the light.

What a nice, toffee malty smell. Mere traces of fonk. The front is malty, but also quite fruity. Creamy caramel takes over in the middle leading to a toffee finish with a touch of spice. Aftertaste is sweet toffee caramel and a surprisingly pleasant alcohol flavor.

Man, what a great beer! Deep. Complex. Sweet but not too sweet. Yum!

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Photo of JonB1958
4.42/5  rDev +13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at the Bavarian Lodge.

The dark brown, almost-black pour came with a small head that vanished pretty quickly. The smell is like bread in a glass: Sweet and malty and complex, with some fig or raisin overtones.

Like most of the style I've tried, the carbonation is light and hop profile is in the background, although this seems to have a bit more hops than I expected.

Taste is fantastic, moving all around your mouth with a carmely malt and some dark fruit flavors. Halfway through the glass, I felt the warmth of the ABV come over me like a wave.

A great beer experience.

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Photo of rednrag
4.43/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my second dopplebock(the other being Salvator). I think i'm in love. The taste blows me away on this cold winters day. Cant wait to try the other ones. The Germans are true masters of their craft, wonder what it would be like to try one in Badtolz or Munich?

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.89 out of 5 based on 3,015 ratings.
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