two7offsuit (314) - Massachusetts, USA - SEP 21, 2014
3.2 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 11/20
Pours brown with a light tan head. Aroma is sweet and strong alcohol. Flavor is alcohol, malt, raisin, and more alcohol.
Chad9976 (1334) - Albany, New York, USA - SEP 8, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Reviewing a doppelbock at the end of summer might not be a completely fair review. However, I have had Spaten Optimator many times in the past and it’s only been slightly better than the bottle I’m reviewing now. This is definitely a German doppelbock personified – plenty of sweet malty notes, slightly nutty, but some bitterness to balance it out. Not bad for an InBev product.
I poured a 12oz bottle into a mug. It was bottled on 2/2/14 and cost $2.50 ($0.21 per ounce).
Appearance: Beautiful chestnut/mahogany hue. Translucent with carbonation visible. Pours to a two-finger, tan, foamy head which laces and retains somewhat well.
Smell: Slight skunkiness from the green bottle; otherwise very malty with an overt lager character.
Taste: The first thing I notice here is the classic macro lager character. While I’m quite sure Spaten Optimator is an all-malt brew, there’s something to it that screams “lager!” as soon as it touches the tongue. It’s actually quite tangy at first, maybe even a little sour (I’m chalking that up to green bottle and lightstrike), but it’s easily overlooked. Once I get invested in the palette I start to notice flavors of roasted peanuts, a touch of caramel, maybe toffee. The doppelbock style is actually not too far off from the brown ale style in terms of flavor characteristics and this beer is a good example of that. There’s still some bitterness here, but actual hop flavor is mild. Slightly dry, maybe even a bit metallic. Again, this is a fairly old bottle, so I’ll bet a fresh serving would be more complex and less flawed, but as it stands it’s still pretty good for a relatively inexpensive import made by a macro brewery.
Drinkability: Spaten Optimator may taste like and ale, but it drinks like the lager it is. The mouthfeel is thin and crisp, but not overly fizzy. There’s a slightly slick or sour aftertaste, but I don’t mind it. At 7.6% ABV there is mild warmth from the alcohol, and it does play a factor in the taste as well. It doesn’t feel as heavy as those numbers would indicate, but one serving is satisfactory to be sure.
arnold931 (753) - Iowa, USA - SEP 7, 2014
4.1 AROMA 9/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
Bottle. Pours clear dark ruby with very small off white head. Nose is brown sugar and raisin. Taste is nice dark fruit. Great mouthfeel.
JMCtime (64) - Washington, USA - SEP 5, 2014
4.5 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 9/10 PALATE 5/5 OVERALL 18/20
Dark and heavily spiced. Lots of aroma and flavor. Lots of savory with a little bit of sweetness.
RobertDale (3994) - Lansing, Kansas, USA - SEP 3, 2014
3.8 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
12 ounce bottle. Pours a dark reddish brown with a nice khaki head. Aroma of malt, fruit, and caramel. Taste is sweet malt, dark fruit, caramel, and a touch of chocolate. Very nice!
edwardbass (613) - Illinois, USA - AUG 31, 2014
3.5 AROMA 6/10 APPEARANCE 4/5 TASTE 6/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 15/20
12oz bottle. Deep brown color with a beige head that goes away quickly. Aroma is prunes, some tropical fruit. Taste is sweet dried fruit, some tropical fruit, some chocolate, roasty malt. I haven’t tried many doppelbocks, but I enjoyed this beer and would have it again.
MaBeer1972 (1399) - Taunton, Massachusetts, USA - AUG 29, 2014
4.1 AROMA 8/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 16/20
Single bottle from W&M Mansfield. Pours out a deep ruby brown color. Light tan head that goes away to nothing. Intense aroma of earthy fruits and malts. Flavor is smooth and earthy. Some toffee, some caramel, some chocolate, some berries and cherries. Well balanced. Gets better with each sip!
Koelschtrinker (11987) - Köln (Cologne), GERMANY - AUG 20, 2014
3.3 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 3/5 OVERALL 13/20
Malziger, leicht oxidierter Antrunk. Wenig schokoladig, süffig, weich würzig. Mit der Zeit vollmundiger, leichte Herbe. Gelungen! 11/11/10/11/9/11
Bork (401) - Rosewood, Georgia, USA - AUG 13, 2014
3.7 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 5/5 TASTE 7/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Very rich and filling and stuffed with fruits and berries. Some carefully hidden mild alcohol. Long finish without bitterness.
LoFi (1637) - Göteborg, SWEDEN - AUG 12, 2014
3.6 AROMA 7/10 APPEARANCE 3/5 TASTE 8/10 PALATE 4/5 OVERALL 14/20
Bottle from backlog.
Dark brown with a beige head.
Aroma: malty, earthy, light floral, toffee.
Taste: candy, licorice, malty, light earthy.