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Good Harbor Golden Ale - Leelanau Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Good Harbor Golden AleGood Harbor Golden Ale

Educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

112 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 112
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.12%
Wants: 36
Gots: 15 | FT: 2
Brewed by:
Leelanau Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes & Commercial Description:
Beer added by: ypsifly on 11-20-2006

Michigan Biere de Garde aged in French oak.
View: Beers (4) | Events
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 112 | Reviews: 64
Reviews by joeseppy:
Photo of joeseppy
4.16/5  rDev +0.2%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

2008
Very pale hazy yellow with a stark white head that eventually will dissappear.

Upfront sour and funk. Wet musty wood or maybe the inside of my old ballcap, whichever is worse and/or Outstanding. Trace white vinegar noted as well.

Apprehensive of going in. Very pleasant tartness is more refined. Fresh cut lemons prominent melding well with yeasty presence. Some acidity in the back.

Lighter feel, crisp and refreshing. Would love to get another bottle to enjoy in warmer weather.

Speaking of times, this is good times. A pleasant bottle to share with friends and also inspires a food/cheese pairing. Good times, good times.

More User Reviews:
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.75/5  rDev -33.7%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 2 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

Appears a bright clouded golden hue with a large white head, forms nice even but rather scant clad lacing. This is from the first bottling, same sticker as noted on the website. Green bottles why?

Aromatics offer up tart acidity almost vinegar like notes I think the green bottle created a mild off note but it doesn't overwhelm and it definitely doesn't smell like a skunked Euro pils. Oak barrel effects weigh in with some earthy wood notes. Some pineapple and tropical notes are aroused as it warms.

Flavor is full of sharp acidity and it feels like time did not create complexity in this brew but a one dimensional oaked sour beer. I like the puckering sour nature but I wouldn't mind some other balancing flavors. Oak barrel in the finish among bitter and dry spices. A pretty harsh brew nothing like aged Ora de Calabaza that I've had. I'm thinking this bottle must have been exposed to light to create an unbalanced lactic yogurt or cider acidity.

Mouthfeel is dry to the bone, carbonation of course is dead on effervescent and bubbly for the style. The acidity and dryness from the oak along with the spice additions outweigh the malt and hop bill.

Drinkability is pretty pour a complex sour and wild ale I enjoy, but this one is tasting acrid and overdone with the acidity and oak barrel notes. Creating an experience that I would not like to relive anytime soon, I love all of the beers from Jolly Pumpkin and Ron Jefferies however this one did miss the mark for me. I still blame the green bottles.

Photo of Sammy
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bomber from Champagne Cellars. More of a wild ale than a bierede Garde as the spicyness was muted. The aourness fortunately was udner great control and accompanied food nicely. taste grew on me. Bottled in August of this year, it would be interesting to try after some cellaring. Good amount of head and a lace lines.

Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev -2.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle into a pint glass and shared with some fellow BAs. Big thanks to my trading buddy joe1510 for the hook up with this.

Pours a hazy pale gold with a 1/2 finger of brite-white head. Nice foamy retention that doesn't shrink much, leaving back some rich swathes of lacing that just COATS the sides of the glass. The aroma is strong with the tart scent of woody oaky tannins and sour green apples. Floral, grassy hops, and sweet wheat notes mix in, as well some additional funky character.

The taste is quite similar to the aroma, with acidic tartness (but not overpowering so) coming courtesty of citric fruits and maybe some Brett-like funkiness. An undercurrent of spicy hops and bready malts glide underneath, as does some slippery feeling oaky character. The mouthfeel is lighter bodied with a generally easy feeling lower carbonated feel to it that carries the flavors well. I'd also be remiss, if I didn't mention that this drank very nicely for an almost 8% beer.

This was the first that I had heard of this beer or the brewer and was most surprised. A Golden Ale jazzed up with some yeasties and oak-aging, this kept the funky feel to a tasty but not overdone minimun and stayed relatively quaffable. Thanks again for the chance at this Joe!

Photo of sbrotschul
3.53/5  rDev -14.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Picked this bottle up at House of 1000 Beers (http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/15450) in New Kensington, PA. It was my first time in the store, so I picked up a few guilty pleasures beer -- including three from Leelanau Brewing Company. I had lived in the county and know of the brewers through friends. This was my first time trying their beer.

Appearance. Light in color, towards the orange, it reminded me more of a wine than a beer. Little head, but the colors danced around in the light.

Smell. Oddly enough, it smelled like fruit gum. The smell worried me, as I am not a huge fan of fruity beer.

Taste. Crisp, fruity and complex. Far different than I would have expected.

Mouthfeel. Lots of bubbles and activity when taking a mouthful.

Overall. A fun beer -- to be shared amongst friends after a hot day. Very refreshing, fun. Different taste, which was a nice break from the complex and heavy beers I have recently been discovering. Thank you Leelanau Brewing Company -- keep up the great work!

Photo of SpdKilz
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

New Beer Friday! A huge thanks to erikkoppin for this great beer. Cheers!

Appearance - Pours a hazy golden color into my Bell's tulip. About a finger of brilliant white head is achieved, which dissipates relatively quickly leaving light lacing around the sides of the glass.

Smell - Oh my. An immediate sour/tart aroma is detected which makes me salivate. Barnyard funk, wet hay, floral grassy hops, and actually sweet citrus makes its way through with appearances by lemons, granny smith apples, and is that slight strawberry I smell? A slight oak scent is also present the more this beer warms up.

Taste - Similar to the aroma, with acidic tartness/sourness up front. I disagree with what others have said and feel this is not an overpowering flavor. It is actually more subdued than I expected. The other flavors bring down the acidity of this beer, allowing the citrus from the fruits and the funk from the brett to do their jobs. There is a slight breadiness, spicy hops among other spices, and some oak. Very tasty.

Mouthfeel - Medium to light bodied, nice carbonation, finishes a tad dry.

Drinkability - Extremely so. I know this brewery is somehow related or deals with Jolly Pumpkin, hence my picking up the three beers they offer. This beer, to be honest, is less funky than I was expecting (in comparison to say the Bière De Mars from JP). However, this adds to its drinkability. There is zero showing of alcohol and I am restraining myself from quaffing this fine brew. I can't wait to try the other two offerings from Leelanau Brewing Company.

Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Hazy gold pour, bone white cap of foam. Some visible carbonation works it's way slowly upward. Spots of lace, a droopy ring eventually decorates the glass.

Farmhouse aromas of lactic tartness, wheat, and well water. Reminds me of a Berliner Weiss.

Flavors of tart lemon zest, apple, cheese, mild Brett, and light bready pale malt. Well carbonated and tart, with a rustic aftertaste that lingers. Definitely thirst quenching, it would make a great summertime pairing with cuisine from the grill.

Although at $12.49, it seemed a tad inflated for what it is. If this is really going for $20 at Bierkraft, i've got a bridge to sell you.

Photo of JohnGalt1
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Big ole 750 Ditmier brought over the other night... I am pretty sure this was the first casualty of the evening... Poured into my small La Trappe goblet... Thanks Eric for a "new to me" brewery.

Pour is a pale straw gold .. pretty hazy with a nice foamy head.

Nose is pretty oaky.. a bit vinous.. pale malts with a more than a bit of brett combined with some unexpected fruitiness.. white grapes and some underripe pears.. brett provides an abundant grassy/sorta musty element.

Flavor is again... pretty winey.. more oak than I would normally want lends a drying characteristic with all the brett funk.. a bit of sour grape and some citrus zest that seems out of place for the style... the oak comes back in with a sorta mineral note... light body and fantastic carbonation...

This is a better brew than my feeble review can come across... but this is interesting and I am damn glad I have a good guy across town who lets me try... Thanks Eric.

Photo of Ambiorix
4.42/5  rDev +6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Batch dated 8-12-10. Picked up a bottle at Jolly Pumpkin's Ann Arbor location. Clear golden pour, with a fine white head. The nose is sour, barnyard funkiness. Flavor is very sour, barnyard, wheat, lemongrass, pineapple. I've been looking for a bottle of this since reading the New York Times review of best Belgian-style beers and saw it listed. I really enjoy Jolly Pumpkin's beers, and this one, brewed for Leelanau, is no exception.

Photo of vrazionale
4.89/5  rDev +17.8%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 mL bottle at refrigerator poured into a snifter.

A - Pours a bright golden hazy yellow with a thin layer of head formation that quickly fades to patches across the top of the brew.

S - Wow. Bright citrus meets musky basement funk. A wonderfully complex combination of citrus fruit, wet hay, musk, bitter and floral honey, sweet grass, sweat, and oak aromas.

T - Wow, again. All of the aromas that showed up on the nose here combine to produce a brew that is truly one-of-a-kind. There is an absolutely invigorating combination of bright citrus fruit, old wet basement funk, honey, vanilla, and salty sweat, with a long finish of mouth-puckering citrus and hoppy citrus and pine. So deliciously balanced and enjoyable.

M - Perfect carbonation - this brew is crisp and addictive. The finish is long, complex, and beguiling on the palate.

D - This is about as good as it gets for me. I can't even begin to describe how wonderful of a brew this is.This brew is a boon to the esoteric beer drinker - its complexity is so enchanting and beguiling, and every sip is unique. I love to pair beer with food, but this brew is too good to drink with any food - just put on some good music, sit back, enjoy every sip, and enjoy life.

Photo of WeisGuy
4.45/5  rDev +7.2%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

a - first pour from the 750ml bottle was a very clear bright amber, subsequent pours were very hazy with a good deal of sediment, medium white head with decent retention and lots of lacing, many bubbles continually rising to top

s - very fruity, lots of granny smith apple and pear, nice sour smell, a little woody, reminiscent of a flanders red but not quite as funky, no hint of alcohol

t - very sweet and fruity up front, nice granny smith/pear taste as the aroma suggests, quite sour and tart in the body, somewhat earthy, no hint of alcohol, finish is sweet and quite dry

m - fairly light-bodied, lots of carbonation, very dry finish

d - the super sweetness and dry finish might limit the drinkability slightly, but I could sip this all night

I didn't know what to expect from this brew as it was my first biere de garde and this is only its second review, but I was really impressed. I can't imagine a much better example of the style. Amazing beer, especially for such a small brewery I'd never heard of before. Definitely worth seeking out this Leelanau offering.

Photo of techfed87
4.17/5  rDev +0.5%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a clear, crisp yellow. Smell is a bit more muted than what I expected it would be.

First sip is nice and clean. The sour nature is also a little less than other sour beers that are on the market. Still, combined with the excellent body and drinkability of the ale, I can't find any reason not to fall in love with it.

Photo of aasher
4.34/5  rDev +4.6%
look: 4 | smell: 5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

This beer is courtesy of mystikyle, thanks Kyle!

It pours a light bodied very cloudy, almost Belgian wit gold in color with a soapy one finger head. The nose is phenomenal. It is slightly tart with a white orchard fruit type subtle sweetness. There is just a soft touch of butter. The flavors are both sweet and tart. It has some pear and white apple characteristics and finishes with a good amount of brett. It's just a really well balanced sour. It drinks a about medium in body with adequate carbonation. Overall this is a really nice and easy drinking sour. I love the fruit characteristics with the right amount of tartness. This is a really nice beer.

Photo of zdk9
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.5

I became interested in this beer after seeing a small review in the Metrotimes. Today I went for it because I was in the mood for something fruity instead of my normal dark porters and stouts.

A- Pours a murky yellow orange. Think two-fingered head of white cotton that dissipated very slowly.

S- Yeast is the first thing to arrive at the nose, but soon other flavors come out- lemon in particular.

T- The taste is very much like the smell. Yeast, and then lemon and Chardonnay, and very faint malt levels. The aftertaste is much hoppier and bitter, a contrast from the tart taste initially.

M- The sourness takes away from the smoothness, not the best mouth coater (but perhaps this is my fondness for darker beers coming through)

D- The beer is quite refreshing and would live up to it's purpose according to the bottle of "drinking on the beach". The complexity and the sourness keeps you begging for more. All together a great beer to quench my thirst today.

Photo of twelvsies
4.92/5  rDev +18.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

This is probably my favorite beer that I've stumbled upon over the past few years. Had this several times at the Spuyten Duyvil on a trip to New York last summer, and luckily got another chance thanks to a trade w/ vrazionale. Shared on the stoop with the Lady at the end of a long hot day. Pours a beautiful vibrant golden, almost florescent looking, slightly hazed, healthy two-finger head receding slowly into a creamy covering layer. The nose is full of oak and funky citrus zest. Lemon-lime, sour apple, orange zest and a nice woodsyness. Reminiscent of the finest gueuze Belgium has to offer. First sip is like stepping into the past. Maybe that's because I'm reminded of the good times I had when last drinking this beer, but it also has that old world, rustic farmhouse vibe to it. Initially tart, giving way to loads of complexities. Funky bugs, musty, earthy, dusty, spicy, slightly floral and a subtle herbal hop profile and passive pale malt. And then lots of citrus. Familiar lemon rind but also a deeper juicyness to it. I'm getting notes of fresh squeezed OJ here. Pineapple maybe. As it warms I'm almost reminded of Gatorade. An artificial flavor indeed, which amazes as this beer is of course all natural. Despite a lot of acidity and a wrenching, dry finish, this beer is somehow extremely refreshing. Truly an artisan product. Will search this one out on my travels again and again... Supple and delicious.

Photo of psiweaver
4/5  rDev -3.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750Ml Bottle poured into Reidel Stemless red wine glass.

Beautiful hazy golden yellow with a soft white head.

great complex spiced smell. You can definitely smell the barrel in this one. Almost like a good Chardonnay in terms of barrel impact.

Great rich complex silky buttery taste fantastic complexity with a nice spice impact. A great beer!

Very easy to drink with its satisfying full mouthfeel and complexity, while not overpowering you with its alchohol.

Photo of Thorpe429
4.66/5  rDev +12.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

From the bottle at Meridian Pint. Pours a slightly-hazy light peach color. Nose is light funk, wheat, and heavy stone fruit. Reminiscent of fruity batches of Fantôme Saison. Fruity and tart with a bit of body. Really exceptional and super smooth for 7.5%. An amazing beer that I was absolutely stunned by.

Photo of macher0
4.7/5  rDev +13.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.5

A. Beautiful light straw. Light head that retreats to a fine bubble rime. Very fine carb. Translucent.

S. Your traditional JP yeast. Neutral oak. Light malts. Minor fruit notes such as green apple, lemons, pears, and persimmon. Dusty straw.

T. Moderate tartness. Sour yeast dominates is a very good way. Follows the nose nicely. Strong neutral oak and dusty grain. Similar fruit notes as the nose with a noticeable sour apple presence. A little hop bite.

M. Uber smooth, high carbonation, light body, and crisp finish.

O. Go get this. Worth the price of admission. I think this crushes it's ultimate predecessor - Petrus. It's so smooth and refreshing. Wonderful for a summer day. The abv is a little surprising at 7.5. It comes across as less. I'm not sure the precise relationship between JP and Leelanu but they have a very similar yeast profile. Gots to love the Dexter microbes.

Photo of Rifugium
3.88/5  rDev -6.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

First had: bottle at some bar (I forget and my notes don't specify)

Poured from the bottle into a goblet, a cloudy, golden yellow with a fluffy white head that receded to a wispy layer; minimal lacing. Aroma of earth and barnyard funk, notes of grains and light fruits. Taste follows the aroma, with flavors of grass and funk, woody, grainy, light fruits and distant peppery spice. Light-medium mouthfeel, a little stale in the aftertaste, but nothing offensive. Nice overall.

Photo of crossovert
4.29/5  rDev +3.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750ml green bottle.

It pours a slightly hazy old with a fizzy bright white head that dissipates rather quickly with no lacing.

The smell is really sour, I was surprised. It has a tingly passionfruit nectar scent along with some sour green apple, tangerine, lemon, and pineapple. There are some sweet malts in the background accentuating the tropical nature. There is some flowery/herbal scents going on too. There is a slight funk but not too much, more of just a slightly funkier saison yeast.

The flavor is interesting. It is nicely sour with sour green apple peel, lemon zest, and acid. There is a bit more funkiness going on with a long funky aftertaste. There is a tiny bit of hops and oak. This one is mostly sour.

A great surprise, something I have passed over a lot but glad I got to try.

Photo of BeaBeerWife
4.27/5  rDev +2.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

The first thought that came to mind when drinking was Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales. And Belgium. Real nice stuff. I've been really getting into the Open Fermentation style lately. Those wild yeasts are so lively :) With the whole oak barrel aged thing, I wondered if the barrels previously held white wine, as that is what it reminded me most of, beyond dang good beer!

Photo of robbyc1
3.79/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Served from the bombers at the Goose Isand April tasting.

Not much of a look, like Bud lite.

Nose is interesting, leathery funk, with not much malt backbone.

Taste is sweet, then sour from the oak, then sweet at the end. Very much like a hard lemonade, needs more malt but good as is.

Mouthfeel has the right feel, oak vanilla comes through. Have some more, maybe? Nice.

Photo of GRPunk
4.23/5  rDev +1.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

750 ml bottle marked with a bottled on date of 4-29-2011, poured into a Lion tulip. Would like to have a fresher bottle, but it says it can be stored for a decade, so here it goes.

A- It's a slight gusher, just topping the rim of the bottle upon opening. The resulting pour produced a 2-finger, foamy white head head. The 1st pour was clean, golden body with bits of yeast suspended with moderate carbonation. The head sustains nicely at 1/2-finger and leaves good sticky spots on the glass. It's definitely lighter in color on the Biere de Garde spectrum, though not off the charts. Reminds me of Les Bière Des Sans Culottes. The final pour was nicely cloudy with a yeast swirl and dump.

S- Even in the bottle, I picked up a ton of funk. Lots of apple peel, bubble gum, musty accents, and lemon. After the pour, I got a lot of the must, green apple, and lemon zest. Underlying, cracker-like malts. Some warmth brings out some tropical fruit or melon-like qualities. Hints of white pepper.

T- Very pleasant funk. Apple peels up front, with a dose of black pepper in a spicy middle, and a lemony finish. It's really dry, and really pleasant. The dose of black pepper is nearly perfect. I could drink this all day. The 750ml isn't enough. While most of this review was food-free, the final pour even contrasted nicely with some homemade, spicy, shredded chicken tacos.

M- Light without being watery. Quite dry and refreshing from the citrus qualities. Moderate carbonation.

O- An easy drinker and a great beer. As Biere de Gardes go, it's not as malty as most. It's been a while, but I want to compare it to Les Bière Des Sans Culottes. It's nearing something of a Saison. I had an initial concern with the sticker shock creating disappointment, but all was relieved. At $13.50 for a 750ml, it would be more of a special occasion beer than every day drinker. It was great on an unseasonably warm January afternoon (blue skies and temps somewhere around 40). It could be a nice summer treat on the deck with the grill fired up.

Photo of jrenihan
4.15/5  rDev 0%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

Batch 1of 2013 (Jan 5, 2013)

Beer is hazy golden with a moderately-sized white head. Head fades steadily, leaving some lace.

The strongest scent in the nose for me is herbal or spicy- I can't quite place it. Coriander? Along with that is oak, lots of light fruit scents and some yeast.

Taste is quite tart, moreso than I was expecting, particularly from the nose. Oak, light fruits (apple, lemon) and a herbal flavour. The finish has a bit of a dry, powdery flavour. Some earthy brett flavours. Good.

Medium bodied, moderately carbonated, quite puckery. Refreshing.

Overall, very good. I was expecting a mild sourness, but it is actually quite potent. It works well.

Photo of Deuane
4.1/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Thanks to Kegatron for sharing a bottle of this one.

A-Hazy light golden with a thin white head that reduced to a thin veil and left decent lace.

S-Mild sour notes with dry oak notes and some brett characteristics. Light sour apple and citrus in the finish.

T-Strong sour green apple and tart citrus with dry oak.

M-Light bodied with a puckering tartness and a VERY dry champagne like finish.

D-Tart and dry with a pleasant, not overpowering, sourness. This is a very nicely done brew with champagne qualities. I would gladly seek this out again.

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Good Harbor Golden Ale from Leelanau Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 112 ratings.