Dismiss Notice
We're celebrating 10 years of BeerAdvocate magazine with $10 print subscriptions for US residents.

Subscribe now!

Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

Log in or Sign up to start rating.
BA SCORE
87
very good
1,326 Reviews
Spaten OptimatorSpaten Optimator
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Germany
franziskaner-weissbier.de

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

BEER STATS
Reviews:
1,326
Ratings:
3,015
Avg:
3.89
pDev:
18.51%
 
 
Wants:
93
Gots:
416
For Trade:
0
View: Beers | Events
User Reviews
Sort by:  Recent | High | Low | Top Raters | Alström Bros
Reviews: 1,326 | Ratings: 3,015
Photo of redelephantdane
4/5  rDev +2.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

a- cola colored with a one finger tan head that leaves a little lacing.

s- sweet and malty, some toast and prunes.

t- the taste is somewhat bitter, with coffee, waffles, tobacco, dark flavours

m- coats the mouth with a cough syrup like feel. i like it as it is not very heavy but still fills you alittle.

d- three of these are all i can drink

 354 characters

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.

 172 characters

Photo of ToggleEyes
4.5/5  rDev +15.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

poured a rich cola color and formed a head that faded quickly with a little bit of lacing. The smell was of malt, brown sugar and floral hops. The taste and mouthfeel almost remind me of a pilsner, which make this an easy to drink beer. Its not as syrupy as Paulaner Salvador or as Celebrator, but in the same sence it does not have as much flavor as those doppelbocks do. This is Ok for me because I can easily consume more than one per session. Overall I think this is the most drinkable doppelbock I have tried but not the most flavorful.

 541 characters

Photo of binkman
2.8/5  rDev -28%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 2.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3

Served from a bottle. Freshness is unknown but assumed to be relatively fresh.

A - very dark, almost stout-like but red when held to light. Not much head, disappears fast, but leaves lace on the glass.

S - very little smell at all, but very malty, perhaps a little fruity.

T - initially very malty followed by osme lighter fruity notes, then hoppy and a bitter burnt flavor. It finishes sweet and bitter.

M - Smooth and not very carbonated

D - You could sip this one... its not one to pound. I would only consider drinking one or two in a sitting.

O - Good beer overall but a little too malty and under carbonated for me. Seems like it would go well with rare, red meat. Personally, I don't think I will be trying it again soon.

 734 characters

Photo of traviserickson
3.9/5  rDev +0.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

A- Opaque with ruby undertones. Fairly calm pour. Bubbles with thin lacing that linger for only a moment.

S- Sweet, slightly fruity --very subtle.

T- Bitter dark malt with hints of Ovaltine style sweetness. Heavy on the dark malt.

M- Thick but not chewable. Healthy amount of carbonation.

D- High drinkability. Holds itself as a heavy beer but several can be enjoyed in a single evening.

 392 characters

Photo of stalker5
4.35/5  rDev +11.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured a dark amber brown, tan head with good retention. Smelled roasted malts, dark fruits, a little alcohol. Can definitely taste some the dark fruits, roasted, carmels, brown sugars, very slight alcohol. Mouthfeel is heavy, smooth, and velvety. A good doppelbock; one I recommend for sure. Definitely better if you can get it on tap.

 336 characters

Photo of Bosazga
3.66/5  rDev -5.9%
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...

Peace!

 876 characters

Photo of lordbrad1
4.3/5  rDev +10.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

I picked up the Optimator more for the humor of drinking something that sounds like governor Arnold would name a beer than anything else. However I was pleasantly surprised by it. I bought in a 6 pack of bottles, and poured it into my trusty beer glass.

The appearance was very dark and "chocolately" There was no head to speak of, but I don't expect a 7.2 abv beer to have much head. The smell was hoppy and pleasant with undertones of "burned" maltiness.

The taste was very smooth, and the beer went down the gullet easy with no bad aftertaste. There was nice malt notes, and again the term "chocolatey" comes to mind. I really enjoyed the flavor.

Mouthfeel....I'd have to say it's a little heavy, and coats the tongue a little, which is something I don't care for, but for this beer it's to be expected, and with that in mind it's perfect fine. So over all a good mouthfeel.

For me the drinkability is definately there. I've had 7 or so as of the writing of this review. So I could definately do a session with this beer. I like heavy beers though. So if your preference is a lighter style of beer it might be ok with a dinner or something like that, but may not be your ideal session beer.

In closing I really like this brew, and I recommend highly.

 1,270 characters

Photo of Roguester
2.91/5  rDev -25.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 2.5

I got this beer after having been recommended to me by workmates. This beer pours well, very small head that lingers a bit. Smell is sweet in that almost salty fermented way that I am not so fond of... Taste is much of the same... overly fermented sweetness. Mouthfeel is quite light however despite the heavy taste. This beer might make a good winter warmer, however I'll likely stick with Rogue's Santa's Private Reserve or a nice barleywine when the weather turns cold... Not a bad beer by any means, but I probably won't have it again due to personal preference.

 566 characters

Photo of YesFest
3.97/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

No notes on appearence, as I drank it in the dark... you know, to heighten the other senses.

Smell: mild fruity coffe, with a hint of booze.

Taste: Very light coffee on the front of the tonge. Heavy malts the rest of the way with interesting hints of spearmint and molasses in the finish. Still manages to finish dry.

Mouthfeel: Delightfully prickly for a beer of this weight, although for a Doppelbock, it's not that heavy to begin with. Sticky residue on the toungue, a bit of sweetness on the teeth.

Drinkability: It all comes together to be quite drinkable, a seemingly sneekily perfect finish, classic noble hop ballance. Mischieviously slick for 7.2% abv.

 666 characters

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!

 1,614 characters

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.

 524 characters

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.

 852 characters

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

 408 characters

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.

 272 characters

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.

 777 characters

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.

 404 characters

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

 259 characters

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.

 1,055 characters

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. ;)

 289 characters

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 raisens..er 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.

 650 characters

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.

 420 characters

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.

 957 characters

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.

 1,213 characters

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.

 356 characters

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

    Your go-to website for beer (since 1996), publishers of BeerAdvocate magazine (since 2006) and hosts of world-class beer events (since 2003). Respect Beer.
  • Extreme Beer Fest® Cometh

    February 3-4, 2017. Boston, Mass. Limited tickets available. Prepare for epicness.

    Learn More
  • 10 Years of BeerAdvocate Magazine

    We're celebrating 10 years of BA mag with $10 print subscriptions for US residents!

    Subscribe