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Good Harbor Golden Ale - Leelanau Brewing Company

Not Rated.
Good Harbor Golden AleGood Harbor Golden Ale

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.
BA SCORE
92
outstanding

103 Ratings
THE BROS
-
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 103
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 4.14
pDev: 10.14%
Wants: 37
Gots: 13 | FT: 1
Brewed by:
Leelanau Brewing Company visit their website
Michigan, United States

Style | ABV
Bière de Garde |  7.50% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
Michigan Biere de Garde aged in French oak.

(Beer added by: ypsifly on 11-20-2006)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 103 | Reviews: 64 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by techfed87:
Photo of techfed87
4.2/5  rDev +1.4%
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.

techfed87, Apr 27, 2011
More User Reviews:
Photo of warnerry
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

warnerry, Sep 27, 2012
Photo of mjtiernan
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

mjtiernan, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of xdefeatsy
4.5/5  rDev +8.7%

xdefeatsy, May 19, 2013
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.65/5  rDev -36%
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.

WVbeergeek, May 15, 2009
Photo of joeseppy
4.18/5  rDev +1%
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.

joeseppy, Mar 16, 2014
Photo of Sammy
3.9/5  rDev -5.8%
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.

Sammy, Dec 25, 2010
Photo of Gonzoillini
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%

Gonzoillini, Jul 09, 2014
Photo of Kegatron
4.03/5  rDev -2.7%
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!

Kegatron, Apr 10, 2009
Photo of sbrotschul
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
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!

sbrotschul, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of SpdKilz
4.25/5  rDev +2.7%
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.

SpdKilz, Jul 17, 2010
Photo of emerge077
4.1/5  rDev -1%
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.

emerge077, May 22, 2008
Photo of chrisbokmuller
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

chrisbokmuller, May 10, 2012
Photo of JohnGalt1
4.05/5  rDev -2.2%
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.

JohnGalt1, Sep 14, 2009
Photo of Ambiorix
4.43/5  rDev +7%
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.

Ambiorix, Nov 11, 2010
Photo of DrDoitchbig
5/5  rDev +20.8%

DrDoitchbig, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of vrazionale
4.9/5  rDev +18.4%
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.

vrazionale, Jul 03, 2009
Photo of WeisGuy
4.45/5  rDev +7.5%
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.

WeisGuy, Dec 31, 2006
Photo of pknyc
3.76/5  rDev -9.2%

pknyc, Aug 18, 2014
Photo of Rohkey
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Rohkey, Jun 23, 2013
Photo of KCM
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

KCM, Apr 11, 2012
Photo of soundscience
4.75/5  rDev +14.7%

soundscience, Apr 05, 2013
Photo of cyde
3/5  rDev -27.5%

cyde, Sep 08, 2013
Photo of aasher
4.3/5  rDev +3.9%
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.

aasher, Mar 09, 2012
Photo of zdk9
4.28/5  rDev +3.4%
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.

zdk9, Feb 13, 2007
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Good Harbor Golden Ale from Leelanau Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 103 ratings.