Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager | Great Northern Brewing Co. / Black Star Draught House

57 Reviews
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Black Star Double Hopped Golden LagerBlack Star Double Hopped Golden Lager

Brewed by:
Great Northern Brewing Co. / Black Star Draught House
Montana, United States

Style: American Pale Lager

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 4.60%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
A "double hopped" (dry hopped) unique American lager based on traditional European Pilsners with a crisp refreshing body and lots of taste. We add hops in the kettle and then again before finishing for aromatic quality.

15 IBU

Added by BeerAdvocate on 05-28-2002

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Reviews: 57 | Ratings: 97
Photo of woodychandler
3.92/5  rDev +24.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Another surprise package from indiapaleale in support of my end of The CANQuest (TM)! He has his own version and we keep going back and forth with beer (although I am currently in arrears). I CAN't wait to try some unencumbered lager.

From the CAN: "A family tradition since 1856 of unique brewing - Great Northern Brewing Co., Whitefish, Montana, USA - Original home of Black Star Beer"; "Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager is hopped the first in the kettle then again before finishing. Result? A refreshing beer with lots of taste. We hope you enjoy drinking it as much as we enjoy making it. ... Most questions answered."

The Crack revealed a beer that was as eager to greet me as a puppy hearing its master come through the door. I had foam coming up and out at me as soon as the CAN was opened, leading to a quick Glug. I ended up with about a finger of rocky, bone-white foam with limited retention. Color was a lightly hazy golden-yellow. Nose had the characteristic honey-like lager sweetness, a slight Noble hoppiness and that was it. No adjuncts to ruin a good thing. Yay! Mouthfeel was medium and the taste was welcomingly clean, very crisp, lightly sweet, very refreshing. This could definitely go in my cooler for an afternoon outside, mowing the lawn, laying in my hammock ...

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Photo of HugePlume
3.61/5  rDev +14.2%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz twistie bottle poured into a pint. Freshness date was 4/22. Drank on 5/5. Doh! Not enough to matter in my book.

A- Deep golden color, nice 1.5 finger head on a conservative pour. OK retention, but gone within 10 minutes. No lacing. Watery looking.

S- Best attribute is the smell. Nice grainy malt with a tinge of hop aroma. As it warms, more of a cereal note. For the style very good.

T- I'm torn on the grading of the taste. Its perfectly decent a nice grainy slightly sweet brew, and some nice bitterness on the finish. But no hop to be detected outside the bitterness.

M- Falls short of expectation here, watery, and a very dry finish that leaves an unpleasant chalkyness in the mouth. Would more carbonation would be nice, but that would only make the finish dryer, and more negative. In a perfect world, carbonation would get it to where it is now.. if you can follow that thought process.

O- I remarked to my wife that if someone offered me one of these, or one of my go-to lawnmower beers; Molson, Rainier or a Miller Lite it would be a shot in the dark.... whatever mood struck me. Now throw a Full Sail session in the mix, and its a gonner. Overall though well executed and unique. A successful attempt at a different lager.

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Photo of indiapaleale
3.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Pour - very clean, very clear light golden or straw color. Almost an inch or stark white foam on top. The head on this looks quite nice and leaves some lacing as it fades away. Nice little bubbles streaming upwards.

Aroma - the aroma is subtle, a bit of mashed grain, some grassy notes, some straw/hay as well as slight citrus.

Taste - very crisp, clean flavors. This lager has a nice malty, almost toasty, taste upfront and a nice bite in the finish. The carbonation levels are spot on and make this beer quite refreshing. No real hop presence, more honey and caramel sweetness and almost no aftertaste.

Overall - No, the double hopping doesn't provide this beer much in the way of hoppiness but this is a nice example of a lager that is well brewed with a nice malt profile and a clean, crisp finish. Well done. I'd like to go to Whitefish, Montana and try some of their other brews some time.

Would I buy more of it? - perhaps I would. I'd imagine this has a nice price point and in the summer a few cold cans of these would be a nice way to start the evening next to a campfire.

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Photo of BucBasil
3.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Poured from the 24oz can into a pint glass

A: The beer is a pure gold clear color with 2 fingers of white head. Very classically "beery" looking beer.

S: Grain all the way through. Crackery at first, then opening up a bit. Kind of rough or raw. This a true western beer. Again, a beery beer aroma.

T: Surprisingly assertive with a slight sweetness and a balancing bitter twang. This has to be what beer in the US used to be like. No nonsense in this brew. A straight up classic beer. I can't say too much else. I think most people know that character I'm talking about.

Overall, this is a good brew that I would definitely pick up again. Excellent kicking back, backyard BBQing beer.

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Photo of Zorro
3.53/5  rDev +11.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

A gold colored beer with a decent white head. They named it correctly.

Fairly strongly hopped for an American lager. Scents of grass and sandalwood. Little bit of lemon and a good yeast aroma with a slight spiciness.

Starts out a little sweet with a mild caramel aftertaste. Decent hop level, no pilsner but the hops are here. Decently herbal the hops add some grass and a slight bitter finish.

Mouthfeel is good.

Not that bad a beer for what it claims to be, an American Lager with improvements. Doesn't hurt that this is only $6.99 for the six-pack, not much more than a six of Budweiser.

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Photo of HalfFull
3.18/5  rDev +0.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 3

12 oz. brown twist off bottle poured into a pint glass. Pours a lightly hazed golden with an inch or so of creamy white foam. Offers good retention and light lacing, fading after some time.

Bready pale malts on the nose with a bit of lemony hops. Rather light across the board and offering some Pils notes with warming. Similar factors on the taste with a bit of sweet lemon initially, drier on the swallow and with a sweet and creamy follow through. Hop bitterness is absent. Offers a typical feel bolstered up by a firm level of carbonation, otherwise the beer is rather full bodied and somewhat sweet with a short finish. This becomes more apparent as the carbonation decreases.

Double hopped all the way up to 15 IBU's baby.

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Photo of DaveHS
2.93/5  rDev -7.3%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.5

A-Pours golden yellow with a thin fizzy head. Leaves moderate stringy lacing.

S-Pale malts, dry, earthy hops. Very nondescript.

T/M-Crisp, grainy, dry. Fizzy. Standard macro-style lager. "Double hopped" doesn't necessarily mean anything, as most beers are at least double hopped. I get no distinct hop character from this aside from light, barely perceptible structural hops, which add almost nothing to the overall flavor.

D-Boring. Not bad, just fails to make any kind of impression.

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Photo of ScreamForMe
2.66/5  rDev -15.8%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 2 | overall: 3

So I was at a local bottle shop last Friday and they were doing a free - yes free - tasting of this beer. I'm used to paying a buck or two so I thought, shit, it's free what the hell ya know? I had zero expectations for this beer.

It's a lager - something I haven't been drinking much of lately. I was on a German kick for awhile but that was a few years back. But I digress.

The beer had a nice white head on it - a good inch or so. No real smell or rather no appealing smell. Typical lager smell if I can say that.

Ya know - this beer is okay... for what it is. Can it stand up next to a Black Raven Trickster? Hell no - but that wouldn't be fair.

It's smooth with minimal taste. On a hot day - yeah, I could drink a few of these - that is if I was out of craft beer.

Next Review!

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Photo of Reidrover
3.3/5  rDev +4.4%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

6 pack from North Salem,Fred Meyer. $6.49 This brings back memorys from the late 1990s when this was considered a craft beer. Typical lager looks golden with a nice thick off white head. Again typical "macro" lager aromas..wet carboard, cereal and a touch of floral hops Taste is somewhat similar to the aromas..a sweeter lager than the usual swill though and no real bad after tastes. Nice enough on the palate. Overall a clean drinkable yet simple lager. Not that bad really.

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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.5/5  rDev +10.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Review from BeerAdvocate Magazine Issue #42 (Jul 2010):

This beer is golden with a decent formation of head and perfect clarity. Its clean lager aroma has some vague graininess and floral hops. It's crisp with a nearly light body. With its grainy maltiness, animal feed grain and dried grass come to mind. The hops leave a sharp bitterness that simply balances, but the flavor is too faint to really pick up on. Its clean, dry finish has a quick note of alcohol. Amping up the hops would have made this lager better; it resembles a retro-lager.

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Photo of olmatty
3.16/5  rDev 0%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

Appearance-A great looking lager. Clean and clear golden straw color with a foamy high white head.

Smell-Absolutely no aroma. Curious for a double hopped beer.

Taste-Light and clean malt flavors, very little bittering hops. A very light but lingering hop aftertaste. Nothing off, just not much happening.

Mouthfeel-Thin and watery. Cracklingly dry and crisp.

Drinkability-This beer is refreshing and light without much flavor to get in the way. What this beer has over macro adjunct lager is there is no corn or rice flavor. If this is the double hopped maybe it's time to tripple hop it.

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Photo of jeffjeff1
3.05/5  rDev -3.5%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

My wife got some of these from her work.

Appearance- yellowish color, thick foamy head

Smell- malt

Taste- light malt flavor

Mouthfeel- light bodied

Drinkability- pretty good but just average I would say, I would probably drink it again but I wouldn't buy it

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Photo of Natural510
3.03/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3 | smell: 2.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

12oz can, no visible dating.

Pours a pale golden straw color with respectable amount of head, which dissipates to a scant lacing in the glass.
Not much scent other than a bit of grain and husk.
A clean grain flavor, lightly sweet, with a clean finish.
Body crisp and refreshing.
No discernible hoppiness, despite the advertising. A clean pale lager, inoffensive, ultimately unmemorable.

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Photo of pnwclimber
2.96/5  rDev -6.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

A - Nice, Clear, Gold

S - Smelled a bit skunky to me.

T - Basic lager taste. A bit more hoppy, but not much. A hint of vanilla in the after taste - that is why I have it an average taste review. If it wasn't for that vanilla aftertaste it would have been lower.

M - a bit more full bodied than I expected.

D - Good drinker. Refreshing.

If this was a lower price I would probably buy it in the summer as a lawnmower beer.

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Photo of slayer3604
3.66/5  rDev +15.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 4 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Well, I had this on a Virgin America Airlines flight back from Florida. I thought it said "Double Hopped IPA" because you see what you want to see!!! After realizing what the can actually says, I wrote down the following:

A-Gold body, with a finger and a half of white head, minimal lacing and nice little plumes of co2 coming up the sides.

S-Not much at all there. Just a little whisp of malt/breadiness and I caught some co2 coming up through it at about 5 inches away.

T-Nice and smooth, creamy body with a little bit of a dry spice at the end. Nothing complex, just refreshing.

M-light bodied, but enough to let you know you're drinking beer.

D-This is a very drinkable beer. If it wasn't EIGHT DOLLARS A CAN (shame on you Virgin!), I'd have gotten another one simply because of how refreshing it was.

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Photo of Offa
3.57/5  rDev +13%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

This is to me actually a really good, standard American pale lager.

Somewhat dark gold, it has a medium off-white head quickly shrinking to a ring.

Aroma is appley grain, grass, hint of herb, pleasant and a bit sweet, a good, fairly full AMerican pale lager aroma.

Taste is a light but good, full grain, faintly bready, faint hint of ripe apples, under a lightly dominant grassy-spicey hop character. It has a good feel and character seems to hold up well. Feel is a bit frothy. It has a firm grain-grass aftertaste and is highly drinkable, with enough character to keep it going, and definitely leans to a firm, gently bitter and almost numbing grassy hop quality. However, the character is light and simple, with relatviely little flavour for the amount of hop presence.

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Photo of flagmantho
3.6/5  rDev +13.9%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

I had a couple of 12oz cans of this beer on a flight to Los Angeles. It was probably the best of their beer offerings.

Appearance: crisp, clear golden hue with a thin layer of fizzy white head. It actually has a depth of color which I very much like, although the weak head was a bit unfortunate.

Smell: light, sweet malt aroma. Not as hoppy as the name of the brew might suggest. There's a sticky sweetness here which might be a bit over the top for some people, but I didn't think it was too bad.

Taste: sweet malt with a good bitterness. Hops are earthy and well-balanced. Again, the sweetness here may not be for everybody, but I think it played well with the other flavors.

Mouthfeel: medium body with an OK level of carbonation. Creaminess is surprisingly good, which I like.

Drinkability: tasty, if sweet, middle-of-the-road kind of beer. When I was drinking this, I thought it was a golden ale or maybe a cream ale, rather than a pale lager. I'd have it again.

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Photo of Beerbuddha
3.42/5  rDev +8.2%
look: 3 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Received from promotion company for review on my blog.

Appearance: Black Star poured a clear, golden straw color with a huge, fluffy white head. Lacing was present throughout.

Smell: Instantly hit with malty sweetness with slight hints of spiciness from the hops.

Taste: This is definitely an all malt brew. Very crisp and clean flavors with hints of malty sweetness and a typical lager graininess.

Mouthfeel: Crisp and clean with a medium light body.

Overall: A solid lager. I was fortunate enough to receive both a sample in the bottle and a sample in the can and I would say the can tastes much better. Perfect for grilling out on those hot summer days. And at 4.6% abv a somewhat sessionable brew.

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Photo of MTHopHeaven
2.26/5  rDev -28.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 2

Over hyped.

This is clearly a marketing push to make a beer name, as opposed to a good beer finding the market. Sadly, they have renamed the side of the brewery after this mediocre brew. This is NOT the beer you should be drinking at the Great Northern....

Anyhow, Typical lager notes. The double dry hopping must be extremely light - there is no more detectable hops than that of PBR. Again, marketing ploy (Hmm, similar to Miller's Triple Hopped beer perhaps?)
Perhaps a touch grassy... likely due to the dry hopping?

However, I tasted a heavy butterscotch (prolly diacetyl ) notes in the beer. I just found it overpowering enough not to finish. Not sure if it was a tap issue, batch issue or what. But left me seriously unimpressed.

This could be a great brewery, but seems like it's marketing dept is driving it's image - not it's beers.

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Photo of chickencoop
3.1/5  rDev -1.9%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

I can just see the guys in marketing, "we gotta go big with the double hopped message, that's the what the kids are drinking now", but what they ended up doing was just confuse everyone. For what it is, a golden lager, this is average, nothing special, but with the packaging, it just seems like some major trying to get in the micro action. The good part, this is cheap and very drinkable.

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Photo of Spikester
3.46/5  rDev +9.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Pours pale amber with a one finger white head. No lacing. Aroma is spicy malts. Taste is rich malts with just a touch of hop bitterness. Mouthfeel is fine for a lager. Has a lot in common with some of the better Canadian macro lagers. Could use another dose of hops to make it stand out from the crowd a bit more. A baby step up from most U.S. macro lagers. It has a slightly dry bitter finish. Freshness date on bottle is 12/2010. About three months from now.

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Photo of BevMoAndrew
2.19/5  rDev -30.7%
look: 3.5 | smell: 2 | taste: 2 | feel: 2 | overall: 2.5

The Black Star pours a classic golden pilsner in the glass with a thick white froth, decent retention, & pretty good lacing. (I poured the beer pretty aggressively thinking that the beer wouldn't hold up, but it's doing pretty good!) There really isn't much on the nose, subtle orange peel, biscuit, cereal grains...yep...that's pretty much it. The beer is smooth & crisp on the palate with a smooth dryness, light body, & average finish. In terms of flavor, there really isn't much here. The beer doesn't taste bad, but it doesn't really taste like much of anything. Overall, I'm left unimpressed with this beer. The beer looks great in a glass, but doesn't deliver. When reaching for this on the shelf....stop what you're doing & reach for something else.

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Photo of JohnGalt1
3.87/5  rDev +22.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

12oz can received as a nice gift tonight from Rick at Brewforia.. Thanks Buddy!! Poured into my Stone Old Guardian goblet.

Pours very clear polished gold... even a tad darker than gold... Thin white head dies really quickly.

Nose is more malty than I was expecting... plenty of pale malts... some background spicy hoppiness, but it is pretty faint.

Again the flavor is all about the malts.. very clean and tastes very fresh. grainy and hints of sweet malt but never "sweet"... hops are there, but only if you think about it. Nice body for the style.. you can tell that this is an all malt beer for sure... pretty crisp and refreshing... I would buy this anytime I wanted something sessionable... actually seriously reminds me of Full Sail's Session lager.

Thanks again Rick.

Edit: I reviewed this per style ... This is a good beer... Just don't think IPA just because it says "double hopped" on the side of the can.


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Photo of biboergosum
3.08/5  rDev -2.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

After visiting the brewery in the afternoon, I came across this on tap, and cheap, in Kalispell. When in Rome...

This beer appears a clear, pale golden hue, with two fingers of foamy white head, which melts away quickly, leaving some sparse wisps of lace around the glass. It smells of cheaper (I knew there was a catch) white grain, and soapy, weedy hops. The taste is under ripe fruity malt, and earthy, weedy hops. The carbonation is pretty decently low for an entry-level lager, the body light, softly spritzy, yet smooth enough, and it finishes on the sweet side, the grain offset only slightly by the increasingly gamy hops.

Not something to seek out, but something to bridge the BMC gap, fo sho.

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Photo of beertunes
3.35/5  rDev +6%
look: 3 | smell: 3 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Thanks to Tyler for grabbing this for me on a recent trip to PDX. Poured into 10oz glass. Poured a nice medium golden yellow with a thin cap of white head that had OK retention and lacing. The was nicely grainy, with a solid, but mellow, dose of hops. The flavor was also grain forward with a bit of a hop tang on the finish.

The body was surprisingly full, not heavy and a bit too sweet to be called crisp, and very enjoyable. Drinkability was pretty good, I could easily have these as my chore beer, or at a cookout if it were local to me. Overall, a solid and enjoyable brew that's worth a shot if you see it.

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Black Star Double Hopped Golden Lager from Great Northern Brewing Co. / Black Star Draught House
3.16 out of 5 based on 97 ratings.
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