Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

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1,317 Reviews
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator

Brewed by:
Germany | website

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: 1,317 | Ratings: 2,987
Photo of liquidsunshine
4.07/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

I have recently been trying hard to broaden my beer palate, and as such have been buying a different kind of beer every week. Stumbled upon this in my local liquor store and decided to give it a try.

A- I loved the pour, its color is full and robust but lacks any inviting sparkle or luster. Poured with about an inch of head, which stuck around for a while. Had some nice lacing early on.

S- Has the kind of smell that really fills your nostrils, almost as if you can taste it already. The malts are apparent, with a roasted scent. Has a hint of something sweet I can't quite put my finger, or nose for that matter, on.

T- This is a serious beer, really giving you a rich roasted malt taste. Noticed some caramel overtones as well, especially once it got a little warmer after the pour. Not particularly heavy on the carbonation which lets your really taste the flavor unmasked. Overall the taste was very appealing for me, one of my favorite parts of the beer.

M- I would call this a "heavy" beer, almost weighs my mouth down when i take a swig. The beer feels like its proud of itself and hangs out in my mouth for a long time after I drink it.

D- Definitely not the easiest beer to drink, but i say that in a positive way. It really never leaves your mouth once you start drinking, until a little while after you are done with the entire beer. I would not ever have more than three in one sitting.

Overall I would say its a very nice beer, strong in many traditional elements. Drinking a few of these will raise your appreciate of beer, while it puts some hair on your chest.

Cheers, and good drinking!

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Photo of GreatWeisseHope
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Dark brown with red undertones, light brown/tan head with good retention, filtered bright.

S: Prune, plum, raisin-good malty nose. Hint of chocolate. No hop aroma, diacetyl or DMS.

T: Malt dominant-nearly port-like. Dark fruits, light alcohol, chocolate in background. The sweetness in the finish is caramelly with no noticeable bitterness.

M: Good body-not too full. Low astringency, but slightly caprylic. Good carbonation, smooth alcohol.

D: Nice beer, not as complex as some (Celebrator), but hits the style well.

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Photo of alfistheman
4.62/5  rDev +18.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Being a recent fan of the hefe's, the more citrus sweet wheat variations, this has been the beer to change my mind and mix it up.

A- Deep oak red color transparent enough to see shapes through. THe head is carmel thick, and laces beautifuly.

S- Carmel and Brown Sugar Malts, some hops and sweet chocolate in there, very apealing

T- Smooth brown sugar, toffee and carmel flavor to the malt... after I taste grassy, rather earthy hops, very well balance of bitter and sweet.

M- Mid Body, smooth and great carbination, not too much or too little. I don't get the oily after taste I get in many thick dark styles of beer like some porters, very smooth.

D- Even with the high ABV i find myself wanting to chug these. Once the ABV sets in a bit I am able to slow down. Might be best to alternate with a less ABV's if you like to pound beers like myself.

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Photo of navinsula
4.58/5  rDev +17.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

beer came in a small 10oz stien. the color was a nice dark red that was almost not transparent, with a thick white head.

the smell is very nice with some rich chocolaty notes and small amount of roast.

the tast is great with rich chocolat and toffey, but not overtaking.

mouthfeel is very smooth and full body

one of my favorit beers of all time when its on tap, and is still pretty great out of a bottle

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Photo of FSUplumber
4.32/5  rDev +11.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This is my first German Munich and I am very Impressed. almost like a brown ale but smoother and cleaner. Pours a nice deep copper color with a thin tan head that spreads to the sides quikly. Mouth feel is very nice and nice carmal taste with hints of chocolate and fruit.

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Photo of dcx10music
4.18/5  rDev +7.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

A - Super dark brown, almost black. Minimal head that doesn't overstay its welcome and virtually nonexistent lacing.

S - A very warm, embracing scent of dark chocolate initially, but has a bit of a bitter ending that spoils the fun a little.

T - Malty, malty, and did I mention malty? Just like the smell, the bitterness comes in toward the end, but this time it's a nice change of pace.

M - Not bad, but not great. The bitterness in the smell and taste translates to a zippiness on the tongue that turns me off a tad.

D - Basically, a meal in a glass. Goes down pretty easy, but I'm not drinking more than one of these at a time.

Notes - A nice doppelbock that has its ups and downs. If it would chill out a little and not try so hard, it could be even better than it is.

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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 BJ1833
3.65/5  rDev -6.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Appearance: Dark brown, cola-like color with a light brown two-finger head.

Aroma: Very malty with a nut-like aroma.

Taste: Rich roasted barley flavor with slight coffee tones. A faint metallic taste is present in the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-heavy body with good carbonation.

Overall: A good doppelbock. Although I've had limited exposure to this style, this is the best I've tried so far.

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Photo of happybear
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A: Poured a reddish brown with good lacing and thin head.

S: Malt and sugar.

T: A molasses flavor with subtle caramel tastes.

M: Well carbonated and has a sticky after-affect

D: Solid doppelbock, excellent offering and a session beer

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of TheIronHammer
3.7/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Poured from bottle to beer glass.

A: Pours a dark brown. When held up to the light it appears deep red. The head is a very light tan in color. The lacing clings to the glass uniformly and then recedes back to the beer quickly and equally uniformly.

S: It gives off a very malty aroma. There is a scent of roasted grains also. Both are very pleasant, but I wish they were a bit stronger. There is some hops aroma as well.

T: Very malty upfront. There is a light roasted flavor to it that mixes with the malty taste. On the finish there is some hoppy bitterness, also pleasant. After the bitterness is a small sweet note in the back of the throat.

Mf: It has a medium body. The carbonation is comprised of tiny bubbles, and there are a lot of them. It almost begins to seem creamy if rolled on the tongue a bit.

Overall: I like this beer. My only complaint is the lack of intensity in aroma, but the aroma itself is good. I like the taste very much, and the mouthfeel and appearance are pretty good too. I will buy this again. Definitely worth a try.

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Photo of HazelEyedHippie
4.15/5  rDev +6.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

A yummy dark beer! Tasty, looks great, just a great beer all around. Highly recommended if you're into dark beers. It's not TOO dark, it's just right. I picked it up as a single bottle, but if I were in the mood for a dark beer, I wouldn't hesitate to pick up more than just the single. ;)

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Photo of StoutyMcHaggis
3.8/5  rDev -2.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

A-Pretty dark mahogany, almost cant see through it. Not cloudy or anything.

S-I smell tobacco, some kinda dried fruit. Very slight alcohol smell, almost unoticeable. Smells good.

T-Sweet raisens, almost a chewing tobacco after taste(if you've ever had Beechnut, you know what Im talking about). I like it, but I like tobacco.

M-Nice and smooth, kinda dry after taste.

D-Really strong and the tobacco aftertaste gets a little weird if your not smoking. Still, not bad for a 7.2% beer.

I like it and it wasnt too expensive($3 @ Roth's in Salem). Dont know whay I taste tobacco so much in it, but Ive never had this style before either.

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Photo of FACSman
3.36/5  rDev -13.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured into a pint glass from a 12 oz bottle. Nice dark brown color with a thin head that hangs around tonicely lace the sides of the glass. No hop aroma with slight malt aroma. Hint of 'green bottle skunk'. Flavor of sweet malt predominates and that damn green bottle skunk is definately there. Light carbonation and a relatively light mounthfeel belies the beer's actual gravity, providing a pleasantly drinkable beer.

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Photo of TylerBGoode
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

I first tried the Optimator on tap a year or so ago. It was my first run in with this style, and though I've tried other similar brews since, this is still my go to doppelbock. This review is for the bottle that I enjoyed last night.

The dark chocolaty appearance, and the caramel-malty smell is strong and pleasant. When I decide to open up a bottle of Optimator, I don't quite get excited until I see the dense color of the beer waiting for me in a pilsener glass - the aroma drifting all the way from the glass to my nose.

One of the first flavors you'll taste upon first sip is the alcohol, which is almost too pronounced. But, the maltiness and sweetness of this beer are what you'll remember. Overall the smoothness and lack of bitterness makes this beer quite drinkable, though it may be a bit too sweet (and malty) to tackle more than one in a single evening. Needless to say, this is a reasonably priced, tasty doppelbock that I highly recommend.

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Photo of Geegmasta
3.94/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased: 30 Jan 2014
Poured into a tulip glass.

Appearance- Pours dark amber red with a mid-sized head that is stark white in comparison. The head slowly retreats leaving little to no lacing. Carbonation bubbles gather at the bottom of the glass, releasing themselves into the deep crimson abyss.

Smell- Semi-sweet and fruity. Not overbearing. No hints at higher than average ABV.
Taste- Comes on sweet, yet dark. Malts and hops battle for taste bud conquest yet neither achieves victory which makes for a nice mix. There is a crispness about this beer and it finishes smooth and quickly. You’d never know that this beer is 7.6% ABV.

Mouthfeel- Little carbonation and a nice medium coating of the mouth. It retreats down the esophagus leaving a brief tickle on the tongue, memoirs of the low carbonation.

Overall- Spaten really did a great job with this beer. Price point is right on at $15.99 USD for a 12-pack that really hides a high ABV compared to most other beers. This doppelbock is fantastic in the middle of winter thanks to the warming alcohol content but refreshing enough to be drank on the hottest days of summer. When in doubt in my local beer store, I always turn to Spaten’s Optimator.

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Photo of KellyL
3.38/5  rDev -13.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A: Dark brown, light tan head with no retention.

S: Roasted malts along with plum, moderate alcohol smell as well.

T: molasses, roasted malt, caramel, alcohol taste remains for a bit.

M: medium-high body, smooth on the palate.

O: it's a good beer, can't drink very many with the high-ish ABV. It's nice to have and sip with dinner... Or lunch as I did.

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Photo of AndrewMcLemore
3.91/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Spaten's Optimator welcomes beer lovers to the world of Doppelbock, a strong, dark lager that kicks up the malty bitterness of their Bock brethren a couple notches. Far from the pint of Shiner that introduced the world (or at least the U.S.) to this German tradition, doppelbocks have a creamy texture and a thick body that can feel like a meal in itself.

The Optimator bears a dark-brown mahogany nearly black in the center with a quickly diminishing head and a seductive, feral scent like freshly made toffee.

A spicy, caramel nose with a rich, decadent body give this beer major points, but the bittersweet finish asks for a quick follow-up sip to stave off the warm milk aftertaste. The beer's smoothness makes for an easy drink, though the stomach-filling, body-warming beefiness is still felt after the first bottle.

A fine example of the doppelbock style, the Optimator'ss approachable, but complex flavor of burnt grains should be an enjoyable checkmark on the list of any self-respecting beer lover's conquests.

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Photo of JMac311
3.85/5  rDev -1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Oh why oh why would they serve this is a 20oz pint glass!?! This was a fantastically refreshing doppelbock, that your's truly overindulged in. True to the style, it is dark and beautiful. Nothing amazing about the taste or aroma, but both are what you would expect from a doppelbock. The alcohol content is nicely masked by a smooth texture, that can sneak up on you very quickly!

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Photo of ufotofuturo
3.75/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

I was initially unimpressed with this beer, but over the past few days, my opinion has improved somewhat. Pours out with a great head, which dissipates fairly quickly. Emits a subtle, almost apologetic, typically German odor. Color is dark, but not thick. Flavor ranges from tolerable to delicious- can't really decide. I probably wouldn't buy it again, but then again, maybe I would. I can't really decide.

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Photo of carlspeed
3.95/5  rDev +1.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Wow. I forgot I had this in my fridge, and I forgot what it tasted like. Too bad. I just opened this up and it all came back. Delicious, thick, refreshing, and now that I've finished the one bottle at 7.6% ABV, I'm a little buzzed too. Definitely remembering to buy more.

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Photo of cwcolby74
4.03/5  rDev +3.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

I had a 12-oz bottle out of a Bass Ale pint glass. Purchased in a six-pack on Jan. 7 at Payless Liquors on 96th Street in Indianapolis.

Appearance - It just looks like a complex and delicious beer. It's a dark brown/black, pours with moderate head, moderate lacing and a small amount of carbonation.

Smell - Hard to place exactly what I smell. It has the spicy backdrop of a regular bock with the extra layered richness of a dopplebock. It's also much higher in ABV, almost 8%, which is apparant from the smell.

Taste - Just really giid. It has a dryness that exudes through the carmel-ish body and layered, spicy background.

Mouthfeel - Good. It goes down smooth. It leaves a rich aftertaste that lingers.

Drinkability - One of the best of this style. It doesn't have the "wow" factor of my favorite dopplebock, Bell's Consecrator, but this is pretty close to top-shelf stuff.

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Photo of Cheesy_McDuck
4.59/5  rDev +18%
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 Ueberales
4.2/5  rDev +8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Aroma: Pleasant chocolate malty aroma accented with a whiff of alcohol.
Appearance: Crystal-clear. A beautiful maple syrup-like brown. Moderate thick head with limited persistence.
Flavor: A veritable malt-bomb. Wonderful mix of Vienna and Munich malts. Definite alcoholic warming. Little to no hop character.
Mouthfeel: Silky smooth. Moderately low carbonation
Overall Impression: One of my favorite doppelbocks. A fairly big beer at 7% ABV. Perhaps a bit thinner than the excellent Celebrator dopplebock. Very enjoyable beer.

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Photo of 11thFloorBrewing
4.26/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a beautiful amber mahogany color with a quickly fading head. The color reminds me of a traditional dark wood pub and is just as inviting. Lots of sweet malt on the nose with a touch of roasted aroma. Sweet malt flavor is met first quickly followed by bitter roasted malt and subtle hops and finishes slightly dry with nice post-nasal malt aroma. The mouth feel is smooth and silky, just enough thickness to match the malt strength. This is definitely a beer I would recommend to a malt lover.

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

I was pleasantly surprised to find my local supermarket offering "build your own 6-pack" options. They have a small case of decent imports and micros. The selection is small, but it is a start...One of the beers places in my mix-n-match was Optimator.

I've had this before, but it's been quite some time. I enjoy doppelbocks and looked forward to consuming this as my evening pint.

As I poured, I noticed the nice dark caramel color. There was a decent head the fell quickly to a nice lace around the rim of the glass.

The smell was nice. Somewhat fruity...definitely sweet smelling.

The taste was pretty close to what I had guessed it would be. A bit more sweet than I had originally imagined it would be, but not too sweet. At 7.2% one expects to detect the alcohol. On the first sip, it was quite apparent. But, it quickly fell to the background.

It was very smooth. Low carbonation. Full flavor. An excellent beer that I would recommend to friends and fans of dopplebocks.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
87 out of 100 based on 1,317 ratings.
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