Building a solid foundation
A Review of Spaten Optimator by Spaten-Franziskaner-Bräu
Posted on 4/17/2011 by Chops
My wife and I recently stumbled upon a delightful German restaurant. And as all beer fans know, even the most mediocre of German restaurants will at least serve great beer. The atmosphere was cozy, the food was delicious, and the bar boasted a great selection of full-bodied German beers. After a quick scan of the beer menu, I realized that I had already partaken in most of their offerings. Hell, I struggle to think of many German imports that I haven't sampled at this point. So, I opted for a reliable staple: the Spaten Optimator doppelbock.

You might recall a blanket statement I made about bocks in previous reviews: even baseline German bocks are miles ahead of any bocks crafted in the US. You can look at Spaten as the German equivalent of Samuel Adams, i.e. larger well known name that serves up reliable staples. I wouldn't call Spaten Optimator a fantastic doppelbock based on its German competition, but it's pretty damn tasty by American standards. I would definitely opt for this tasty brew over the vast majority of US versions. But, drop me in the heart of Bavaria and I doubt this beer would even be a consideration.

As big a company as Spaten is, they have at managed to retain the core traits of a doppelbock without watering down its personality. Optimator has that signature caramel aroma, although a little softer than usual. It has the deep brown chocolate-like coloration. It has a smooth and creamy mouthfeel. It has the savory flavorings of caramel and toffee. The front end is sweet and smooth, the middle is pleasant and non-abrasive, and the finish is clean.

Overall, the Spaten Optimator is a tasty brew that appropriately captures the essence of a good doppelbock. It's a great representative of the style, but falls short of being a stellar example. That being said, I can certainly recommend as a great intro into the style. Enjoy is as a savory new experience and begin building your bock foundation.

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Spaten Optimator by Spaten-Franziskaner-Bru
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