Spaten Optimator | Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu

BA SCORE
88
very good
1,332 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:
1,332
Ratings:
3,042
Avg:
3.9
pDev:
12.31%
 
 
Wants:
96
Gots:
431
For Trade:
0
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Reviews: 1,332 | Ratings: 3,042
Photo of mactrail
4/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

The aroma is quite distinctive-- something like stewed prunes and gummi worms, but I mean that as a compliment. Attractive brown-amber in the tulip glass. Very pleasant lacing and creamy mouthfeel. Quite sweet, like a malty pudding. Rich, warm flavors with lots of caramel. I hope it's from malted barley, but it's good. Hint of hops. Aftertaste of candy.

I wasn't expecting to like this as much. It grows on you if you like the sweet malty style. But I would say there are more interesting examples of Doppelbocks, including American-made versions, but for a widely-distributed major beer that actually makes the boat trip, it's a winner.

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Photo of dcmchew
3.53/5  rDev -9.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Pours very dark brown, very poor tan head that goes to a very thin lace in seconds.
Smell is very nutty (peanut, Brazilian nut, faint almond, cashew), with caramel, some faint sugar, roasted grains, low dark fruit and tiny bit of skunk.
Taste starts with sweet dark malts and caramel, a bit fruity with some apricots, plums, raisin, faint sweet cherry. Toffee follows, sweet dark bread, spices with clove, cinnamon, faint licorice and anise, hints of honey. Touch of roast and light coffee in the finish, lots of (somewhat minty) herbs and a mild hoppy bitterness.
Very light bodied for its style, a bit syrupy tho, medium carbonation. Aftertaste is damaged by some cloying syrupy sweetness and a bit of booze, otherwise quite fruity.
A weirder doppelbock, highs and lows, so it falls somewhere in between.

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Photo of ChainGangGuy
3.33/5  rDev -14.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Appearance: Pours a clear, dark reddish-brown body with a small, off-white head.

Smell: Somewhat sweet-smelling aroma of carob, dark fruits, and apples.

Taste: Mild dark caramel flavor mixed with some carob sweetness. Accompanying notes of dark fruits and chewing tobacco. Very minor hint of apple. Only a faint amount of hop spiciness, but no real bitterness. Touch of alcohol on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Medium-bodied. Medium carbonation.

Drinkability: It's a pleasant middle-of-the-road doppelbock.

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Photo of BuckeyeNation
4.35/5  rDev +11.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Ruby-infused dark walnut brown. The jewel tone red looks more orange when there's less beer to peer through, such as at the bottom edge of the glass. The pale cinnamon head is large to start, has a nearly blemish free surface and is a bit sticky where foam meets glass. Not too much lace, a few scattered splotches is all.

The nose is of roasted malt with a wee whiff of alcohol. It's somewhat disappointing since there's little chocolate or other interesting aromas that would give it depth or character. Then again... the nose takes on additional aromas--dark caramel especially--with warming, but still doesn't open up as completely as the flavor.

The flavor and the mouthfeel elevate things considerably. While the beer is nice and malty, apparently the malt wasn't roasted long enough to bring out much chocolatiness. Some cocoa flavor and some nuttiness is evident however. Hops are clearly subservient to malt, but I can still appreciate their flavor contribution, their bitterness and their ability to take the edge off of the malted milk ball sweetness.

I'm beginning to pick up some fruitiness and the beer is developing more layers of flavor, more nuance, as I enter the bottom half of the bottle. It's definitely coming into its own with warming; room temperature is the optimal Optimator temperature one might say. The body is medium-slightly full. More full than Celebrator, less full than Liberator. What was lightly silky initially is now silky and creamy.

Spaten Optimator is a good-very good doppelbock, but doesn't quite rise to the heights of my two latest beers in the style (Hooker Liberator and Sam Adams Double Bock). If you like doppels though, Optimator more than suffices. Just don't make the mistake of drinking it too cold.

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Photo of mdaschaf
3.7/5  rDev -5.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from notes.

A: Pours a ruddy brown color with a small, off-white head on top. Not much retention, and leaves behind some very thin lacing.

S: Some dark fruit, raisins and a little plum, some brown sugar and caramel.

T: Rather sweet. Caramel, brown sugar, and a good bit of dark fruit. More raisins and plums as well as a little bit of fig.

M: Medium bodied with moderate carbonation. Drinks smooth.

O: Pretty good beer, seems to fit the style well, but not my favorite. Wouldn't have a problem drinking it again.

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Photo of russpowell
4.53/5  rDev +16.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

.5L bottle

pours dark caramel with a 1" tan head. Zero head retention & lacing

Smell: Big breadiness and spice (peppery)

Taste: Malt, vanilla, and peppery (like a dick cheney 28 gauge shotgun blast). Dryness, slight nutiness, some hop bitterness and alcohol on the finish

MF: Slick& chewy , good carbonation

Pretty drinkable, but I consider this the low end of the dopplebock spectrum abv-wise. yummy just the same! Just didn't quite come together from the crtical beer drinkers's view point. Enjoy!

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Photo of mikesgroove
3.93/5  rDev +0.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 5

So...after my last not so satisfying review of a Dopplebock, I figured I needed another one to try and make sure it wasnt just the style that I was having some issues with. In scouring(well not really) the shelves of my local store I saw the Spaten Optimator. Now I love me some Spaten, and I figured if someone could do the style right it would be a german brewery. So, with all that being said, I dive into the optimator...

Poured a very clear, dark amber, almost a hazelnut brown in appearence. No head what so ever, which I am starting to realize is more the style then anything. Great carbonation as evident from teh streaming bubbles coming from my glass throughout the session. A bit of lace, but nothing spectacular throughout the glass. Overall the appearence was decent, nothing knocked me over and even though it was crystal clear, it did not look thin in any way. Very nice color overall and clarity is a plus.

The smell was rather light. What was detected was some nice roasted malts and a bit of a sweetness. Did not really knock me over in the aroma, however it wasnt old, or musty smelling. It had a nice crisp, fresh air about it. And the overall sense of a dark or roasted feel was definatly there. Decent on the aroma, and better then a couple others I have tried, I just had wished it had a little more punch to it, just somethign to let me know it was there a bit more. but definatly not bad, I would have to go average here for this one.

So, I have really not like the feel of the Dopplebocks I have tried lately, but let me say right off the bat this was much, much better. A great smooth, albeit light, but not degradingly so, feel was very clearly evident. Great carbonation though made it go down as smooth as water. Great malted profile. It gave me a fullness I had not expierenced with the others I have tried. Lots of roasted barly and earthy tones were clearly evident. A nice spicey, almost fruity note in the back, but ever so faint. This really was a malt bomb. The bread tones were fantastic, and it really felt like a meal. A slight touch of alcohol, but nothing too terribly rough at all. Great feel and flavor, I really did enjoy sipping this during dinner.

Well, well, well this may have single handedly brought me back to the style. I really love my German beers, and grandma would be proud. Spaten did not let me down, as I am now definatly looking forward to try a few more from this style. This went very well with hamburgers of all things tonight, it was just light enough to be sessionable, sort of, more likely drinkable during a hot night, but yet dark enough to peak intrest and really get you into the sipping mode for a while. Overall I am really glad I picked up a six pack pf this, I will be enjoying it very much over the next couple weeks. A fantastic beer from a great brewery.

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Photo of Slatetank
3.74/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 4

I purchased this from Wegmans, enjoyed chilled in a pokal.

The color is deep brown with translucent clarity and thin tan cap with fine bead. The smell is slightly caramel with some nutty malt aromas with mild floral hop ester. The feel is good with moderate sweetness and medium carbonation with slight dry body with mild spice and light alcohol in the finish.

The taste has some malty presence with some moderately toasted munich and caramel malt sweetness with some nutty flavor with creaminess from the yeast. The flavor is more sweet than anything with gentle spice in the background. Overall this is a pretty drinkable bock, not too strong but still might not have multiples since it is on the sweet side. Not a very complex beer but fits the style well enough

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Photo of womencantsail
3.55/5  rDev -9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A: The beer pours a caramel color with a small off-white head. Not terribly impressive.

S: At first the nose is quite harsh. Slightly burnt with a little bit of a funkiness to it. However, as I let it warm up, the beer starts to come around and displays some nice caramel and dark fruit sweetness, as well as some toasted bread.

T: Similar story with the flavor. The first few sips are harshly alcoholic and astringent with a little bit of cough syrup. As it warmed up, some of that went away and some of the more traditional and pleasant flavors of caramel, raisin, and black cherry came through.

M: Medium in body with a medium level of carbonation.

O: Hard to rate this beer as it did have some good flavors, but it also had some bad ones.

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

Appearance- Nice dark cola color, has ruby color when seen in the light. Average head, which pours fairly creamy.

Smell- Nice malty caramel smell.

Taste- Malty with caramel taste. Fairly smooth, but tastes full, and not as filling as I would have thought.

Drinkability- Very good, I really enjoy this style nowadays. Definently a beer I'll be drinking again when the mood hits me.

Overall, there isn't much to say about this beer. Optimator is about what you'd expect from a company like Spaten, no big surprises here. It gets the dopplebock style down really well, but doesn't rise above the level of being very good.

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Photo of TMoney2591
3.83/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Served in a flared flute glass at Bauer's Brauhaus.

Still sittin' at the Brauhaus, watching the Cubs tank another game. Sad, really. Anyway, this brew pours a clear dark sunset burnt sienna-amber topped by a finger of dirty white foam. The nose comprises buttery caramel, very light roasted malts, brown sugar, and Belgian candi sugar. The taste holds notes of buttery caramel, light roasted malts, brown sugar, cinnamon, faint-ish dark greens, and some mild cocoa powder. The body is a rather light medium, with a very light moderate carbonation and a smooth feel. Overall, a solid d-bock, a bit on the thin side, but mighty tasty and enjoyable.

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Photo of WVbeergeek
3.98/5  rDev +2.1%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

The when I was first getting into beers over the summer I picked up a couple different products from Spaten, one of them being the Optimator. Had no clue what I was getting myself into at the time, and I didn't even know what a dopplebock was. I think I thought it was really thick and off flavored at the time, so I saw it on tap at the Sharp Edge Creekhouse had to give it another shot. This beer is definitely toned down in comparison to most dopplebocks that are made today, but this isn't a bad thing because it is still a solid representation of the style. A deep ruby red tone with a thin cream colored head settles quickly. The aroma consists of a light bouquet of malty goodness, and with the first sip I couldn't get over how drinkable this beer is. With a nice trace of figs and plum to the taste, this beer had a very sweet finish very balanced and enjoyable. Like a said a little on the lighter side for a dbock, but the lighter body gives this beer an increased drinkability.

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Photo of tdm168
3.58/5  rDev -8.2%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

A - dark brownish amber with a red hue; half of an inch of thick, soft, brownish head; great retention

S - musty, caramel, yeasty, toffee, faint chocolate, very faint dark fruit

T - chocolate, caramel, dark fruit, faint cherries, faint alcohol, toffee, lingering bitterness in the finish

M - medium bodied, smooth, a crisp carbonated finish, a bit warm

This is a pretty decent beer. The flavor is solid, but the bitter finish doesn't mesh well with the rest of the profile. The nose is also pretty decent, but it has that traditional euro musty note. Overall, it's definitely worth checking out

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Photo of smakawhat
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from the bottle into a pokal glass. Been awhile for this guy and me.

Ah what's that I see? A green bottle. Now I remember why I have never bought this before. However, on the pour she comes out deep dark brown and fills with a thick licorice viscosity. They body color is the same but has lots of deep red along the edges. A simple three finger foamy tan head, evenly made settles the top. A pretty nice looking doppel here, I can't see any rising carbonation cause it's so dark.

Classic notes of toffee and caramel like malts on the bouquet. A crisp sensation sort of herbal slightly and many brown spices of clove, nutmeg and so on. Seems very clean and light on the nose, with a bit of candy licorice to match also. Very nice. The skunk monster has not luckily made an appearance.

Palate is very light and refreshing. Hints of toffee and tea herbality mixed in with licorice in the mid palate. Mineral almost crisp body, but good amount of light toffee, caramel and some of that black licorice coating and taste on the palate. Slightly boozy warm but not too much.

Overall pretty good, glad to have tried it. Fits in with the classic doppelbocks in style nicely, sort of an easier drinking lighter one if I could say that.

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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 jwc215
4.17/5  rDev +6.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

This beer poured a reddish-brown hue. It's foamy, bubbly white head left a nice lacing. There was medium carbonation that quicky settled to a slower carbonation.
I was impressed with the smell. It had a nice aroma of gentle caramel and hints of toffee, chocolate and coffee. An alcoholic odor was slightly evident, but not overwhelming.
It had a pleasant, warming taste - a good example for this type. It was a bit on the thin side, but the slight wateriness did not take away that much from its overall taste.
It left a nice feeling to the mouth, as it was not too thick - though nothing overly exceptional.
The finishing touch was a warming alcohol taste at the end and a reminder of the flavors in the aftertaste.
While I've had better of this style (Celebrator comes to mind), I prefer it over other standard doppelbocks (such as Paulaner Salvator) because of its well-balanced taste and its covering of the alcohol taste.

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Photo of feloniousmonk
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Appearance: dark, chestnut brown, light- reddish at bottom, with a thick, full 1" toffee-toned, slowly settling.
Aroma: mild and dry, nutty, but assuredly unfolding with malt.
Taste: here's where it's happening: enormous malt, good, chewy mouthfeel, warm, delicious, generous with flavor. Swims in the mouth with vigor. Nutty, malty, warm, yet still clean and well-behaved. A nice, if tame, doppelbock.

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Photo of GarthDanielson
3.75/5  rDev -3.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Bought a bottle for "German Night" in the house. Drinking with brats and kraut. Poured into a mug, this is a lovely dark brown/caramel coloring with a large, foamy, light head. The smells are rich in malt. The increased carbonation helps to balance the heavy molasses flavoring. It's sweet and bitter at the same time in mouth, and surprisingly smooth. Very easy to drink, especially with this type of meal. Fantastic to drink, and even better to cook with.

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Photo of Duff27
4.2/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

A- Foamy one-inch off-white head. Optimator is a translucent light brown. Solid head retention and some lacing.

S- Sweet and bready.

T- Dark fruits, more specifically grapes and apples. Leaves the mouth watering. Slight...toffee? hard to put my finger on it.

M- Mid-to-low carbonation. Medium mouthfeel.

D/O- This is the second time I've ever had this (the first being last summer) and its just as pleasing as I remember it. A solid, if not leader or flagship of the style, example. A great way to start off Dopplebockfest 2011 with fdkayti.

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Photo of drabmuh
4.1/5  rDev +5.1%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured from a bottle without a freshness label or a brewing date into a standard pint glass. Beer is dark brown and completely clear. Carbonation moderate and the head is made up of small off white bubbles that form a uniform layer on the top of the beer. Lacing in moderate.

Nice sweet aroma. Some caramel, no hops or roast to speak of. Smells like a good doppelbock.

Full bodied, some tinge of bitter in there, but mostly sweet and a slight darker malt almost schwartz character. Drinkability high and mouthfeel is great. This is a wonderful beer and a great experience. I reviewed this on draft and in the bottle now, both great ways to drink.

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Photo of LiquidAmber
3.95/5  rDev +1.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Review from 4/2010 notes. Poured into a Celebrator pokal. Pours a dark reddish brown, light tan head and lacing. Strong pleasant aroma of sweet malt, caramel. Moderately sweet, malty start and middle. Pleasant malt and caramel finish. Seems muted in flavor, but well balanced and quite nice. A definite buy again.

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Photo of GreesyFizeek
3.73/5  rDev -4.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.75

Bottle purchased and drank at The Magpie Irish Pub in Rochester, NY.

Pours a clear amber color, with a one inch head, and a little bit of lacing.

Smells like caramel malt, dark fruits, and brown sugar.

The taste is the same. Enjoyable, but a little light. Some dark fruits, raisins and prunes namely, a small amount of toasted malt. Slightly smokey and nutty. No hop flavor whatsoever.

A little thin and light bodied for the style, is nonetheless quite drinkable. Medium carbonation.

A good example of a dopplebock, but one that seems like it might have been great in the past but has been neutered now.

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Photo of stevoj
4.09/5  rDev +4.9%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Nice and smooth , mildly bitter and smoky. Dark brown to black with small but substantial beige head. Aroma is roast grains, semi sweet chocolate, peat and dried fruit. Taste is mildly sweet with a touch of bitterness. Almost as good as Salvator.....

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Photo of Gavage
4.08/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

This was my first experience of this on tap. It poured a lovely dark brown / burgandy color with a very thin head. The aroma was nice, but I expected some more sweetness and roasted malt in the nose. I expected a thick malty beer, and that's exactly what I got. The malt lingered long on the tongue and the sweetness was not overpowering. The drinkabilty of this good, as I could have easily had more than one in a session. This would be a great to drink on a cold winter night, as the alcohol definitely warms the insides.

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Photo of Wasatch
4.25/5  rDev +9%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Deleted Review

12 oz. Bottle

Pours a very nice dark brown color, with some pretty nice carbonation, with a nice thick/creamy one-finger off-white head, which leaves some pretty nice sticky lacing behind. The nose is malty, yeasty, slight dark fruits. The taste is malty, yeasty, some dark fruits. Medium body. Overall, a very tasty brew.

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Spaten Optimator from Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
3.9 out of 5 based on 3,042 ratings.
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