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Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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very good
1,321 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: 1,321 | Ratings: 3,007
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 Troy-Hawaii
3.44/5  rDev -11.6%
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 +5.7%
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 +17.2%
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 is...an 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)...so 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 +0.3%
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 +15.7%
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 +3.9%
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 -3.3%
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 -0.8%
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 +8.5%
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 -2.1%
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 ralph-pine
4.02/5  rDev +3.3%
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 -3.1%
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 +8%
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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Photo of tconboy
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

Pours a dark brown. I like the flat coke analogy. Head dissipates. Light lacing. Tastes of sweet delicious malty goodness with a hint of brown sugar and caramel. Incredibly smooth and very drinkable. Thankful I decided to pick up this as a throw in on a pick your own sixer so that I could celebrate the week's end today. Takes me back to Germany.

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Photo of headbangingteacher
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.25 | overall: 3.75

Looks like flat Coke after the thin but aromatic head dissipates. The malts are pronounced from start to finish. Not as good as the Heffe, but a quality brew nonetheless.

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Photo of 29mikoyan
5/5  rDev +28.5%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

One of the best doppelbocks in the world. Molasses and nice dark bread define this beer. A beautiful fruity finish. One of the best lagers in the world and also the best beers in this world.

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Photo of Marraybay
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

This has been my #2 mainstay of late. Overall, really like the flavor, which has a nice sweetness buried in the background. As a stout/porter fan, it's a nice deviation, without totally straying from the things I enjoy about that style. As others have stated, I find it does hit me a little hard as well, particular when consumed without food. I do very occasionally get a little bit of a metallic note in the mix --that's a little off-putting--but otherwise like the flavor. I also find that I prefer it throughly chilled and don't let it sit before drinking.

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Photo of CraigS119
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 2.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.25

Lots of nostalgia with this brew.. along with Delirium Tremens, this was my go-to beer at the local world-of-beer when I turned 21 back in 2011. Purchased the single bottle at Total Wine just for this review. Pours a cola brown, lots of bubbles, quickly fading head. Not as hoppy as I remember from draft.. notes of brown sugar malts, sweet potato in the nose. Taste: what a malt bomb; not what I remember at all (though, in my defense, I was probably quite inebriated and with this beer's well-masked abv, it's no wonder I loved it), the malts just over-power any inkling of alcohol, roasted caramel at the finish. Smooth, crisp, goes down real smooth. I remember when 7.6% abv was considered one of the manly beers, which is no doubt, the real reason why I drank it. Anywho, even though I love my IIPAs these days, Spaten and their Optimator will always have it's place. 8/10

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Photo of Gerald51
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

One of my favorite Doppelbocks from my time spent in Bavaria. Poured into a glass the first thing noticeable is the strong brown color with hints of Amber followed by a nice fruity aroma and nice brown head with lite lacing. Optimator is a very malty Doppelbock with great caramel and fruity flavors. It drinks easy and goes great with meals or by itself. It drinks so easy that the 7.60% ABV will sneak up on you before you know it.

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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 vette2006c5r
2.97/5  rDev -23.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Optimator pours a dark brown color with a small lacing head. There is a sourish, grainish aroma. The taste has a sharp malt bite to it, grianish. A bit hard to drink. Overall its the worst, its a tad hard to drink, grainy.

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Photo of Mike707
4.6/5  rDev +18.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

Poured into an over sized wine glass Optimator is a delicious malty Doppel Bock with Caramel and toasted malt notes. Definitely a cooler weather brew. Not as good as Paulaner Salvator Double Bock though!
Still can't go wrong with Optimator!
Why don't any American or Californian's brew a Bock or Doppel Bock ? All the so called "Micro Breweries" think the more Hops the better. Adding more Horsepower to a car doesn't necessarily make it better unless you add bigger brakes, suspension etc...
I don't drink those "New Jack" beers that taste like my Dad made it at home. Unless I'm drinking his.

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Photo of majorbase2
3.83/5  rDev -1.5%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 3.75

Poured into New Glarus Pilsener. Pours a dark brown color with a big foamy, very light brown head. Recedes quickly. Leaves a small ring of lacing around the edges.

Aroma is of dark fruits and lightly roasted malts. Molasses. A good deal of sweetness.

Taste is roasted chocolate malts, a bit of molasses, and dark fruits led by fig and dark cherry. Light hops. A small amount of bitterness on the finish. THe chocolate is very smooth a silky, a very pleasant touch on the tongue with results in some excellent drinkability.

Medium bodied. Low carbonation. Goes down very smooth. Drank this one in about 15 minutes, and normally I take 30+.

Overall, and excellent example of a doppelbock. Distinct flavors and easy drinking make this an ideal introductory doppelbock

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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 3,007 ratings.
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