Booze Reviews: Spaten Optimator

For the return of Booze Reviews, I’ve decided to do something different. Spaten is one of the five major Munich breweries (the other four being Paulaner, Augustiner, Löwenbräu, and Hofbräu), and as such they have several hundred years of experience brewing awesome beer. They make several varieties, including a pilsner and an Oktoberfest brew, but my personal favorite is the Optimator.

Spaten Optimator is a thick, dark double bock, a type of beer that came about when German monks needed something heavy to get them through the days of Lent, when they were not allowed to eat until sundown. It’s easy to see this legacy in the Optimator–drinking it feels a bit like eating a loaf of bread, but it has a bit of a molasses taste to it. It’s sold in half-liter bottles, and should be poured into either a glass of that size or (as I prefer) a one-liter stein. It’s meant to be poured with and consumed through a thick head of foam.

Optimator is not a cheap beer, but it’s also not particularly expensive as imported beer goes. It’s also not a beer for the faint of heart. This is a strong, dark beer with an alcohol content of 8% ABV. This isn’t something where you can have a couple and still be “okay to drive.” If you’re a fan of Miller Lite and Corona, you probably won’t care much for the Optimator, but if you have developed a taste for good dark beers you can’t go wrong.

10 Thoughts on “Booze Reviews: Spaten Optimator”

  1. Haha, have you tried Miller Chill? One of my favorites. :)

    Anyways, you have convinced me, Nick. Next time I am in the liquor store, I will look for Spaten Optimator (Is it just me or does anyone else think 300 when they see this name?). Though I generally prefer lighter lagers, I will surely give this a try. I can’t resit those half a liter bottles…

  2. Spaten Optimator is probably one of the best beers I enjoy on a regular basis, but as mentioned above, I prefer it when it is not so hot outside. Another beer that rivals this one is Dinkel Acker Dark. Dinkel Acker is local to Stuttgart, Germany. This beer on tap in Germany is awesome. While on a road trip outside of Lake Tahoe, I happen to find a little restaraunt owned by an Austrian guy, that had this on tap at with a german sausage. It was great. Prost (Cheers)

  3. I wasn’t able to make it to Stuttgart while I was in Germany, but I plan to go sometime. Do you remember the name of the restaurant? I’ve got family in Reno so I’m up at Tahoe every now and again.

  4. This fine drink actually clocks in at 7.2% abv and is in my opinion the second best double bock around. If you enjoyed this go for the Ayinger Celebrator! This surely will become your favorite! Still a great choice but as I mentioned not the best. Try any Ayinger product and you’ll be blown away!

  5. I drank “Spatan” German beer for the first time new years eve (Black Jack) restaurant! I was impressed with the taste and quality! I love the 6% alcohol content!

    Is this beer bottled in the USA?

    Thanks J M

  6. Optimator is a great dark beer. In Florida it comes in a 12 oz. bottle – 7.2% abv, not 8%. Hard to get. Only one beer & ale store I know of has it, and they’re always out of stock. Just one of 4 Publix stores within reasonable driving distance carries it and not in the refrigerated section. I usually take all the 6-packs they have, which is never more than 4. Would love to find it on tap somewhere, sometime. Just dreaming.

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  8. @Dave:

    I ask the store manager at Publix to order me a case at a time which they do with no problem. ABC carries it, but it runs over a dollar mor per 6 pack. Here in Bradenton Fl its on tap at the Lost Kangaroo. definately awesome on tap.

  9. I actually just came from visiting Georgia and found Optimator cases at the Tower Beer, wine and spirits in ATlanta. Bought a few cases and was very happy .Also at the Tacomac in Atlanta they too have optimator “on Tap” DELICIOUS!!! and hundreds of other beers to try on tap and bottled. And No the restaurant/pub named Tacomac does not only sell tacos they sell all types of food that is very delicious in a pub type atmosphere with several televisions that air sports games.

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