Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

very good
1,331 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: 1,331 | Ratings: 3,036
Photo of GuinnessSmurf
3.16/5  rDev -19%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

This beer pours a warm deep brown color with a very thin head. It sort of has that Belgian Ale look - bubbley and thick. Couldn't get much of a nose off of this beer.

This beer seems to combine dark fruits and sweet malts. First impression: Raisins, plums and related dark fruit flavors meet with gentle matly flavors. I'd like to try this beer again under different circumstances and perhaps paired with the correct food. It is otherwise too sweet and too fruity.

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Photo of Beastdog75
3.92/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

When one thinks of the Spaten brewery in Munich, the first brew that probably pops into their mind is their Optimator doppelbock. This is a very good brew that I can imagine being well accepeted by even beer newbies. It isn't a truly complex beer, but it is a sweet, malty meal in a bottle that isn't offensive in any way and doesn't overload the drinker with a heavy alcohol taste.

Optimator pours a nice darker amber/brown color that is mildly translucent. A one finger off-white foam forms but disappears in under 30 seconds. I thought the smell was quite pleasing despite the green bottle. Aromas of coffee mixed with caramel, roasted grain notes, and light cocoa powder. The mouthfeel is smooth but just a bit thinner than expected and had just a little bit of carbonation. A sweet, malty flavor is the dominant force with notes of caramel, roasted malts, chocolate-covered "dark fruit" (maybe some blackberries, dates, figs?). The latter flavor notes were a bit subtle and certainly do not overwhelm the beer. An alcohol flavor is present, but it too does not see the need to conquer the entire flavor. A mild dryness shows up in the finish. This is a beer where the malts take charge, not the hops. Surprisingly clean aftertaste, with some apple like notes, dark fruits and light dryness in finish, and some more light alcohol flavors. For a higher alcohol brew, there is just some mild alcoholic warmth to round things out.

I have to say this beer was more mild than I expected, but that turned out to be a plus. This is a dark brew that can be very quaffable. Mild, subtle, but thoroughly enjoyable. Certainly beats the Sam Adams Double Bock, which was a bit heavy in alcohol flavor in my opinion. This a good beer for the Spring thaw.

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Photo of rdrummer
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I have had the Optimator in a bottle. It didn't impress me, but this beer on tap has a lot of different characteristics. The beer pours a very, dark brown with reddish tones, with a smallish off-white head. There was considerable lacing during the drinking. It has a strong, roasted malt aroma with a little fruitish undertone. The beer is primarily a maltfest, but there is a grapy, fig or currant taste that adds body to it. There is a quick hit of hops at the end. I love the mouthfeel of this. It is thick and creamy with just the right carbonation. Altogether, a surpisingly nice beer from Spaten. I had come to not expect much from the brewer. I had this at Ludwig's in Philadelphia so it was served that way it should be.

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Photo of filabrazilia
3.88/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown with amber hues. A small tan head sits atop and leaves trails of lace on the glass.

There is a slight toasted malt aroma with a light sting of alcohol. Nothing too remarkable.

The flavor is good with a deep malty nut flavor. A gentle sweetness balances the alcohol bite in the finish. Interesting and enjoyable.

This is a medium bodied and creamy smooth beer in the mouth. A touch of alcohol resonates pleasantly in the taste.

This is a solid dopplebock that is fun to drink. It's a nice spring or fall beer.

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Photo of nomad
3.82/5  rDev -2.1%
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 RedDiamond
3/5  rDev -23.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Light chocolate malt aroma with a few off notes. Soft carbonation forming a scant head with no lace. Clear, tarnished bronze color. No sediment in the bottle. No expiration date.

The taste is thin though pleasing with hints at spice complexities that are never fully revealed. In fact, the flavor really doesn't go far, making ordinariness the most notable feature of this "malt liquor". The bitterness is mildly unpleasant, the finish is abrupt, and the mouthfeel somewhat dull.

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Photo of goindownsouth
3.97/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is really an area of German Biers that I have not gotten into much just yet. But I will be visiting it again soon. This malty and rather herbacious brew was a real winner. The roasted goodness stayed in the nose, and lasted through to the last sip. This is a solid Bier.


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Photo of Billolick
4.07/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

12 oz bottle, no freshness dating.A classic that pours dark and ruby, best described as a cola color. The first thing that struck me that is this is a full flavored brew and that its strong alcoholwise. Malt dominates. Toffee, chocolate, licorish. Not much bittering going on here. In general, rich, strong and smooth stuff. A nice example of a dark German lager.

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Photo of ChrisBowers
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
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 PatandDavid
4.3/5  rDev +10.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Had on tap at Jacob Wirth yesterday. Very dark amber when served, it's nice head dissipated quickly. The aroma was sweet, almost cloying of the traditional malt. The taste was also sweet and malty, with the high alcohol content just able to be detected. It is actually rather easy to drink, thus the high mark for drinkability. Good stuff, nice to see available on tap here in Boston.

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Photo of genaro
4.27/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Spaten Optimator was a transluscent brown/copper color. The head was small and short lived.The aroma was sweet with elements of caramel, chocolate, and alcohol. The taste was composed of toasted chocolate with caramel and molasses. Hops were not major players in the blend. The finish was semi-sweet and slightly dry and bitter. Over all it was thick with an oiliness that was carried over into the finish. A very tasty and enjoyable beer.

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Photo of arizcards
3.85/5  rDev -1.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Dark brown color that poured a nice little head. Smells of sweet malts. Taste was a sweet malt beginning, almost creamy, finishing with a slightly bitter finish. Nice full mouthfeel to this brew. This is a very drinkable brew, very nice compared to most European beers I have had.

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Photo of merlin48
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Another fine Bavarian brew in what has become my favorite style. This one pours a beautiful mahogany brown, with garnet highlights when held to the light. Beige head doesn't last long before fading into some minimal ring lacing and film. Aroma is Munich malts, big, creamy, and sweet. Caramel and toffee dominate the nose, while dates and figs dance in the background. A soft note of bittering noble hops is barely noticed. Mouthfeel is rich and creamy, with ample carbonation. Taste is similar to the nose. Lots of swwet maltiness here. Caramel and toffee run the show. Hops appear just in time to lend a delightful balance. Alcohol is well concealed. These Bavarian Doppelbocks are really worldclass, in my humble opinion. This one ranks right up there with Celebrator and Salvator, in terms of fine German doppelbocks. Highly recommended!

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Photo of rkhaze
4.13/5  rDev +5.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful mahogany color with a thick dense beige head. Sweet roasted malt in the smell with chocolate, caramel and some spice.
Sweet flavors of roasted malt, chocolate, caramel and some red fruit. Finishes spicy with a minimal hop presence.
Light to medium bodied with a rich, sticky mouthfeel and good carbonation. Great drinkability.

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Photo of theozag
3.04/5  rDev -22.1%
look: 3 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

Optimator pours a deep amber brown with a head that takes on a shade of light-colored sand as it forms. It's smell was an interesting twist of bittersweet chocolate and sweetened tea. I suppose that sounds a little ridiculous, but it was quite appetizing. This beer starts gritty with a caramel bent, then turns bitter and nutty (walnut, maybe) as it rests on your tongue. It is a full-bodied brew with a finish that reminded me of cough syrup (not exactly as pleasant as the smell suggested). Luckily, Optimator's aftertaste faded quickly from a strong beginning, and the last hint on your tongue leaves a dry feeling that gives you no choice but to consume your whole bottle.

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Photo of WesWes
3.36/5  rDev -13.8%
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.

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Photo of jlervine
4.23/5  rDev +8.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured a deep dark brown with ruby highlights. Fine carbonation bubbles upwards towards a tremendous tan head that sticks around for quite some time. the malt scents drift upwards, kind of nutty and molasses-thick. Slight herbal hops thrown in as well. The tastes is smooth and rich. Chocolate hints, toasted nuts, miles of residual malt sweetness. This beer beats up your tongue with it's heavyweight malt profile, but is simply heaven to sip. Very tasty.

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Photo of Zorro
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Subdued head pours a very dark clear brown.

Smells good, Heavy molasses and grain smell.

Heavy flavors, chocolate and molasses, malt, raisins.
It is a bit sweet and bitter, but it balances out.

Mouthfeel is good.

It is drinkable, one of my standard beers when I want something heavy.

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Photo of BeefyMee
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I poured this and was surprised to find out that the bottle is actually green. The beer has a wonderful reddish hue when held up to light. The smell was a disappointment, as it was hardly even there. I only got a whiff of a little alcohol, malt, and a faint lager-like aroma. The taste, however, makes up for this. I'm a sucker for malt and this one has it in spades, like I was hoping it would. A little more complexity would have driven this beer into the upper echelon of great tasting brews, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. Some alcohol is present in the flavor, and a butteriness dominates the aftertaste. The hops come through ever so slightly in the aftertaste as well.

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Photo of HappyHourHero
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Thick airy hazelnut colored head leaves a small amount of struggling lace. Dark caramel brown colored beer has a glow to it. The aroma ia hard to put a finger on, a bit of sweet malt and a few alcohol soaked raisins. Malty caramel and burnt nuts dominates the flavor. The aftertaste is a little bitter and I swear there's a little alcohol in the flavor (doesn't make it to the stomach). The body is is just thick enough to carry the flavors. Overall a fairly complex and tasty beer.

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Photo of NearerMyBeerToMe
3.8/5  rDev -2.6%
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 DESTRO
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

this glugs out a deep dark ruby color with minimal head. aroma of big sweet malt, caramels, raisins and just all out sweetness come up swingin. upon first sip you realizes how filling and big this beer is. huge sweet malt is overpowering. raisins, toffees and alcohol kick eachother in the nuts and all fall down letting the huge malt once again be the star. a semi thick slightly sticky yet smooth mouthfeel round everthing out. this is def. a belt buster and is a great beer to warm up with. awesome.

$5.99 a 6 pack.

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Photo of crookedhalo
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Copper and ruby colored with a thick two-toned head. Top layer, fluffy and beige colored. After a bit, the head color merges as one, but I thought it was pretty neat that I thought my mind or the lighting was playing tricks on my eyes. Tart pungent malt aroma with some typical bock funkiness attributed from the yeast. Mild hop aroma in there, as well. Tastes rather sweet and malty, earthy, too. Pretty smooth. Had it before, but it's always good to shuffle up one's doppelbocks. Glad I chose this one tonight, because it hit the spot. Not too aggressive in any way. I'd like to try this one on draught.

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Photo of granger10
4.42/5  rDev +13.3%
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 Dmann
4.6/5  rDev +17.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Now this is some good shit! I have heard a lot about this beer and other Doppelbocks but since I'm such a hop-head, I usualy pass them up when it comes time to go to the store. I will pass them no more. This poured a great brownish color with great head that settled on top till the last drop. The smell was filled with toffee and carmel. The flavor was out of this world with a great carmel taste and just a touch of hops in the end to round it all out. For an import macro, this is about as good as it gets.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,036 ratings.
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