Beer Recommendation: Spaten Optimator

Spaten Optimator 12oz Bottle

Spaten Optimator 12oz Bottle

Spaten Optimator is my #2 favorite beer of all time and my #1 favorite beer to drink with German food.

The rule of thumb is that any lager ending in -ator is a Doppelbock, a medium-dark German lager.

I like Bock beers in general (nothing beats a Mai Bock on warm evenings in late spring) and specifically Doppelbock.  They are characteristically sweet and malty with a balanced to very mild hop flavor.

Optimator pours medium-dark brown from the bottle, building a bubbly tan head that dissipates quickly, leaving almost no lacing.  The aroma is a crisp, fresh hop aroma (a sharp freshness unique to Bock beers) and warm, toasty malts.  The first sip is of sweet, well-balanced malt with a medium-heavy mouthfeel.  The mid-taste is of clean, crisp hops and sweet malt.  The rear taste is of sweet malt and almost no hops.  The aftertaste is of roasty, sweet malt (almost no cereal grain taste), with a tiny bit of hop bite.

This beer is just the perfect density – not thin and watery but not thick and syrupy, either.  Think two-percent milk for an approximate density.  It is a very sweet and malty beer that’s lightly accented and balanced with crisp, fresh hops.

I highly recommend this beer to anyone looking to branch out and taste what the people most famous for beer (Germans) have to share with the world.  It pairs best with sour meats and cheeses (sauerbraten, sauerkraut, pork shank, rouladen, etc.), although I find it great to drink alone or with sweet meats like rabbit and lamb.


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  1. #1 by Joshua on June 7, 2010 - 9:15 AM

    This guy found the best description ever for Spaten Optimator: “Like a glass of cold roast beef.” Dead on.

  2. #3 by Joshua on September 18, 2010 - 7:57 AM

    BTW, Chad mentioned that Christa’s been enjoying beer lately. I think that Spaten Optimator might be a good option for her. It has very fruity notes that remind me heavily of red wine.

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