Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Another Doppelbock: Optimator Spaten Munich

German beers look boring. This is why I have held off on trying many of them. But really, when you compare this (from California) or this (from Belgium) to this (Germany) you may see what I mean. It's not xenophobia, I am German. It's that often I read books, and beers, by their covers. Before ye judge, hear me out.

First, you have a green bottle. Just does not seem quite as classy as brown. Plus it is associated with skunkiness, although that is apparently a myth. Then the label is brown. With words. Not much else. And you've got this picture that kinda looks like "pantaloons" or perhaps "bloomers" from far away, but up close it's paddles. Maybe the kind you play ping pong with, maybe the kind fraternity brothers use for hazing.

Then the words..."Imported" - clear enough. Followed by "Optimator", "Spaten," and "Munich." Okay Munich is a city. Optimator? Sounds like an optimistic friend of the Terminator.
Spaten? No idea. I don't understand what this is called. Is the company Spaten? Or Optimator? If I don't know are they going to paddle me?

Okay, let's get it together and have a beer. It's a doppelbock, a bigger/harder/faster/stronger version of a regular bock. Pours dark brown but with lots of ruby highlights shining through. Not much head to speak of, nor lacing. It smells like grape soda, dark fruits, sweet, and syrupy. I guess that is "malts." It tastes sweet and syrupy, but with a bitter side and a definite taste of the alcohol. It is not overly fruity like I thought it would be after smelling it. It's a little thick and creamy. 7.2%ABV. I like it more than I thought I would. And I suppose that is the lesson learned. Labels are restrictive...You gotta get inside to the good stuff to understand what is really going on. I'll keep giving German beers a chance.



  1. A+, more like. It has as much power and presence as any beer I know, but it isn't as heavy as most others. Another A+ - but lighter weight - would be Gulden Draak, if you can find it. Or Piraat. And both are Dutch with pictures on the labels :)

  2. Ha ha...Yes for pictures. I think I've seen Gulden Draak around. I'll check those out!

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