Thursday, September 27, 2012

Spaten Optimator

                Prior to the American Craft brew revolution in the 90’s the only decent German-style beers came out of Germany.  Quite possibly the best dopplebock available in the US was Spaten Optimator.  In the past few years the selection of dopplebock, and other German styles in the US has exploded with a both a wider selection of imports being made available as well as a huge selection of German style beers being produced in the US.

                Spaten –Fransikaner-Bräu is a brewery in Munich that is currently owned by the Spaten-Löwenbräu-Gruppe division of Anheuser-Busch InBev.  Opened in Munich in 1397, Welser Prew was renamed Spaten-Brauerei in 1622.  In 1867, it became the largest brewery in Munich and began to export beer to the US in 1909.  In 1922, Spaten-Brauerei and Franziskaner-Leist-Bräu merged to form Spaten –Fransikaner-Bräu.  In 1992, Spaten-Fransikaner produced 1 million hectoliters (852,168 barrels).  In 1997, Spaten-Franskaner merged with Löwenbräu AG to form the Spaten-Löwenbräu-Gruppe.  The Spaten- Löwenbräu-Gruppe was sold to Interbrew in 2003.  In 2004, Interbrew merged with AmBev, the two companies becoming InBev.

                On to the review, on Beeradvocate, Spaten Optimator has an 88 with an 89 from the Bros.  At ratebeer, it has a 97 overall and a 97 for style.

They say: 

Bottom-fermented Dark Beer “Doppel Bock” with a deep dark color and a rich roasted malt flavor.

Alcohol by volume: 7.5%
Original gravity: 18.2%
Bitterness (IBU’s): 25
Calories: 250
Carbohydrates: 50g

I say:

Spaten Optimator pours deep mahogany with a creamy light tan head that holds moderate retention and provides excellent lacing in the glass.  Sweet, roasted caramel malts with a hint of toffee and very slight hints of plum and cherry primarily define the aromas that bound out of the glass.

The flavor represents everything that a good dopplebock should be.  It is very rich, malty, smooth  and chock full of melonoidans (the wonderful carmalization of sugars that comes from the Maillard reaction during decoction mashing).  The melanoidins lead to sweet, toasty caramel flavors and add additional body.  Spaten Optimator is full bodied with a low to moderate level of carbonation.

Optimator is an excellent German Dopplebock.  If you are looking for a quality German beer to enjoy during the fall and winter months, be sure to pick up a 6-pack of Optimator.

That’s all for tonight, check back soon for my next review!          

Happy Drinking!

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