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 Wer34truh
4.14/5  rDev +6.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

Pours a dark brown color with a small head, which dissipates quite quickly.

Smells of sweet bread, caramel, and candy. The smell is definitely nuanced, but the sweetness is key here.

Taste is more bitter than expected from the smell, with quite a large degree of bitter malts, and grains. Also quite a bit of molasses. Mouthfeel is medium-light, with very little carbonation. Just the way I like it.

This is a fascinating beer, and it keeps surprising you after every sip you take. It's not complex the way, say a Russian Imperial Stout is, but whenever you think you've got this beer figured out, you realize something new. That's why this has me coming back to it time and time over again.

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Photo of Beginner2
4.03/5  rDev +3.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I've had this often because it goes with so many foods, particularly good at starting and ending winter meals. The malt works its way into lots of foods to complement, some of them spicy (always a pleasant surprise to me who likes spice.)
Some bottles seemed to be too carbonated... but I confess to inconsistency in mouthfeel and notes.
It is not in the top 5 dopplebocks for me, but is always welcome.

Beer is listed in the "1001".
MJ's 1999 edition gave it only 2 stars of 4 calling "creamy and nutty, but unmemorable."

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Photo of JetFeather22
5/5  rDev +28.2%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best Doppel Bocks i have ever had, I cant believe i payed 9 bucks for a six pack of 12 once bottles.. Considering the price and the quality of the beer i'd say it doesn't get much better than this, I got to say that this beer deserves a higher rating that 87, Maybe it's the green bottle maybe some people have gotten a few skunky beer, Thankfully i haven't

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Photo of Slowjamcdub
3.09/5  rDev -20.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Good doppelbock, and its exactly want you think of when you drink one. One of the best at this style, if your into this style brew. Good beer with a lot of Cherry notes. B- for me. Good beer

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Photo of Bosazga
3.66/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

What I love about this beer (and Germans) is that they never change. THis is as close as I could get to a microbrew before I turned 21 (in 1989) so it has sentimental value...

It looks and pours great, with a dark caramel color that resembles coca-cola with a tighter head

smells malty, alchoholic and german - unforgettable (offensive, but not the same as) a BMW 320i with a leaky sunroof

taste is not much different from any other german beer, which makes you wonder when they bottled it. Still, it satisfies and helps one consider other cultures as they relate to brewing.

I've had this come across way too carbonated - it's almost as if the bubbles are bigger - I don't know if that's a thing, but there's a time and a place for it.

Thankfully, my local corner store owner's wife likes this beer, so I'll always have it close by for the foreseeable future...


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Photo of ckornmannn
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

From a bottle: dark amber color, transparent. Prominent sweet smell typical of a dopplebock. This is one sweet malty beer: lots of caramel, brown sugar. Restrained hop presence. The beer is very viscous. From a bottle, I thought it was a bit flat and didnt retain its head very long. I initially tried this beer on tap and thought it was divine; the carbonation and head retention was excellent and the deep malty flavors perfect for the style. I have tried it in bottles afterwards and I think it is underwhelming by comparison. The first bottle had weird off metallic phenol flavors. The second wasn't obviously spoiled but didn't have the feel of the beer on tap. I think the bottom line is, this beer is pretty average in a bottle. Probably the style just doesn't store well. If you can find it on tap, go for it!

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Photo of JasonDWester
3.94/5  rDev +1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Poured with a nice white head short-lived no lacing. Nice dark amber red, great clarity. Nothing really stirring on the nose. On the palate rich sweet malty.

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Photo of StonedTrippin
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

when you get sick off a beer as a kid (or in fact sometimes as a grown up), it can be hard to go back and fully appreciate. this one though, its not so hard at all. i recall this being one of the first craft beers i ever had, and one of the first strong ones too, way too young. not knowing anything about ABV, this really got the best of me back then. trying it again now, its very impressive, but thank goodness i took ten years in between. the flavor is so distinct and strong, one of the boldest takes on the style that exists, and its awfully memorable. big dark grain build on it, strong and sweet. molasses and cherries and booze and brought together in a huge syrupy consistency. not like other beers, thats for sure. its stick to the guts beer, winter warmer without the spices, and hard to tell its a lager. lots of sweetness on the back end with the heat, and almost a concentrated flavor profile. not much carbonation, but not much is needed. this is one of the craziest german beers out there, reminds me in some ways of the sticke alts of the world, chewy. not for everyone, and certainly about as intense a dopplebock as exists in the world. a couple is enough for me, and when its on tap at one of those beer halls that pours liters, its a lot to get through. have to appreciate it though.

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Photo of Cheesy_McDuck
4.59/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.75

dark dark brown color, almost black. This beer is delicious, but at times overwhelmingly alcoholic. I feel like this is the kind of beer Thor would drink as a night cap. Incredible German flavors and craftsmanship!

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Photo of Jacobob10
4.28/5  rDev +9.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

The pour is ruby-brown with a tall, fluffy, light tan head. Right away you notice the rich malts in the aroma. Light notes of caramel and chocolate, followed by a huge wave of dark fruit. You get some toasted malts in the flavor, then a light caramel and fruity sweetness. My favorite thing about this beer is how smooth it is. Incredibly clean and shows very little sign of its strength. It's medium bodied and the carbonation is perfect. I had this bottle with dinner tonight and it went really well with some grilled burgers and veggies.

If you can't tell, I loved this beer. One of the best doppelbocks I've ever had.

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

Wenn ich nach Munchen bin, drinke ich viel Spaten Optimator. Diese Bier smecht am bestens mit Blut und Zahne Wurst. Die farbe ist dunkel braun. Ich finde das Bier ist sehr gut fur eine dobbelbach. Komm! Drinken Spaten Optimator mit mir!


... and, this is really a very fine Dobbelbach. Brings back memories of Munich... anyway, pours a rich dark brown with a creamy 1/4" head. Rich sweet flavor; very smooth. This is just bond warming on a chilly autumn night. Would share this with friends or guests any day of the week.

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Photo of KonigObHops
4.39/5  rDev +12.6%
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 Troy-Hawaii
3.44/5  rDev -11.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.25 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Bought from Liquor Collection. Very dark brown color, slightly heavy mouth feel, you can taste a feel the alcohol in it so it is a sipping beer but is smooth, strong malt taste.

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Photo of bluntman86
4.11/5  rDev +5.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4.75

stronger than expected while hittin very very clean yumi I first tasted it in 2011 it put me down within 4 12oz beers would rather drink it from a stein I say damn good

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Photo of delcobrewzzz
4.56/5  rDev +16.9%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

poured into seidel mug...

dark amber...actually reminds me of 12 year or older whiskey...nice creamy head that dissipates quickly

nose is not too assertive....bready caramel but a bit thin

flavor is full but mouthfeel less full-bodied (a bit more carbonated than i remember)...getting that lovely dark dried fruit preserves (raisins), bready/malty backbone that lingers a bit then fades fast...sure, the ABV is sensed, but very easy to drink....complex enough for what this excellent example and a go-to for seasoned and newbies....

wait! hold the presses! i just felt something was missing...

i decided to pour the 3/4 that was left into a tall mega-pilsen glass...what a difference...skinnier, undimpled glass allows more light into this still very dark amber doppelbock...head lingers much longer and continues to lace as it slowly settles....nose stays the same...taste alters quite a bit, so am pleased to get more malt backbone, a more mellowed sweet dried-fruit marmalade note (actually a lemon-meringue instance, too) a citrus, oranginess comes through...the mouthfeel 'seems' less thin and the effervescence is not so distracting. interesting. still highly recommended.

choose your glassware wisely...!

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Photo of KYGunner
3.9/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

This drinks with an array of dark fruits like prune, date, crabapple, dark cherries and plums. It has a backdrop of chocolate malt, grain and molasses. The feel has just a bit of alcohol warmth.

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Photo of pat61
4.5/5  rDev +15.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

L: A brilliant dark brown pour crowned by a dense, clingy, cream 2” cream colored foam collar that slowly recedes. S: Fresh dark bread, spice and a hint of banana. T: Bready malt, a hint of cola, spice and a dark bread crust bitter. F: Very smooth medium low carbonation, medium full body. O: A wheel of Rocchetta, a fresh baguette and an Optimator and you have "Le petit Jésus en culotte de velours."

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Photo of Catracho5
4.04/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

12 ounce bottle poured into a tulip glass

A: Dark brown, some light comes through, no head, tan colored before it dissipated.

A: Sweet malts, caramel, roast, toffee, smells complex with some depth.

T: Like the nose, sweet and roasted malts, caramel, toffee, hint of alcohol, very enjoyable.

M: Creamy, average carbonation, finishes dry, medium mouthfeel.

O: This is good, easy drinking beer, I could enjoy this with dinner, it's like an enjoyable middle of the road beer, doesn't really impress but it satisfies. Feels a little lighter than other Dopplebocks.

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Photo of OldManMetal
3.76/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Spaten's Optimator doppelbock looks the part: a brief medium off-white creamy head atop a nice deep brown body. On the nose it is very sweet and malty: lots of nice caramel with lesser amounts of dark toffee and hints of molasses. The palate follows the nose: lightly roasted malt notes, largely caramel and toffee again, mostly balanced by a bit of hoppy bitterness but still a bit sweet; alcohol has a significant presence on the palate as well. The finish is malty and a bit sweet, followed by a slight bitterness; both the malt flavors and the bitterness linger a bit. Mouthfeel matches the medium body; the texture is creamy with a prickly feel from some very assertive carbonation. Pretty smooth-drinking for the ABV. (12 oz bottle, 329 days after pkg.)

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Photo of 360logic
3.86/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

L: Standard dark amber of most doppelbocks. Medium thick head.

S: Dark cherry, toasted pumpernickel bread, sight yeastiness. A distinct metallic odor stands out though. Kind of unpleasant.

T: A somewhat indistinct dark maltiness interplays dark fruitswith . The finish is pretty strange, a weird sour funkiness gives way to a very flat maltiness before it disappears. Again, not an overly pleasant detail.

M: Medium body without too much carbonation. Pretty nice.

O: Pretty good. If I had never had the other major german doppelbocks I'd hold this in higher regard, but as it stands, this lies near the bottom of that list.

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Photo of DoctorZombies
4.22/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Almost black pour with lite tan head; good lace. Sweet prune nose. Pruney malty flavors. Medium lite mouthfeel and crisp. I liked that I could taste a little alcohol in this dopplebock.

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Photo of bwood06
3.81/5  rDev -2.3%
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 ralph-pine
4.02/5  rDev +3.1%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This german Dock iis very honest, very transparent and very tasty. It feels lighter than others of the same category, despite its more than 7 degrees of alcohol. Very refreshing, perfect for anytime.

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Photo of Premo88
3.77/5  rDev -3.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12 oz. bottle poured into pilsener

L: crystal clear amber, almost scarlet red; lots of bubbles flying up middle of column, leaving a good skin and huge collar; head is not big, maybe 1/3 to 1/2-inch tall of beige/tan foam; no stick or lace

S: musty caramel; figs ... quite sweet, candied figs/fruitcake; very fruity ... peach, apricot and plum

T: very fruity and light ... like a toasted English pale ale; some earthy/dirt hops ... in fact, the hops really chew into the sweetness; slight bit of medicinal alcohol flavor; hint of skunk from the green bottle

F: very light, crisp ... full from the carbonation

O: pretty easy-drinking doppelbock, full of lighter dark-malt flavors -- only as it warms does it start to take on a raisin flavor ... until then, it's more fig and even peach.

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Photo of MarkStewart
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.25

Good but not great. Subtle hints of roasted malt on the nose with a smooth flavor and body with a creamy finish. So smooth in fact that you will not notice the slighty elevated ABV, I will definitely have it again.

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