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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.

100 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 100
Reviews: 63
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.12%
Wants: 37
Gots: 14 | 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)
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Ratings: 100 | Reviews: 63 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of WVbeergeek

West Virginia

2.65/5  rDev -36.1%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-15-2009 15:21:03 | More by WVbeergeek
Photo of cyde


3/5  rDev -27.7%

09-08-2013 00:54:57 | More by cyde
Photo of scruffwhor


3.08/5  rDev -25.8%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3

Pours clear, golden, sunshine amber with just a light, three-quarters ring of foam. Some faint lacing and pretty good bubbling. The aroma has a note of malt vinegar with some very tart bananas. The taste is a toasty champagne with some aged orange peel and granny smith apples. Pretty tart palate with some mixed tart fruits. Almost malt vinegary.

Serving type: bottle

06-24-2008 01:33:08 | More by scruffwhor
Photo of rings


3.23/5  rDev -22.2%
look: 2.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3 | feel: 2.5 | overall: 4

It pours a golden straw color, not unlike any macro brewed swill, at least until the yeast arrives. Appearances, however, are the last thing standard about this brew. It opens very fruity with a pronounced tart finish. The malty sweetness blends with hints of vanilla and an estery sweet-tart carbonation as it rolls around the tongue. The tartness can be a bit much alone, but it pairs nicely with many dishes or cheeses and its lighter body belies the supposed 7.5 percent ABV and 1067 original gravity, according to the brewer's notes. While it certainly doesn't seem that strong, it is very complex. I found hints of tannins, citrus lemon, and pineapple over the course of the bottle.

That all said, this ale is probably not for everyone. The tartness can be offsetting and its complexity is pretty standard for most Belgian yeast strains. As a biére de garde ("beer for keeping"), I'm also not sure how the lighter body will hold up if this beer is aged--per the label suggestion--up to a decade ...although, I have a feeling it will do nothing but sour for the worse.

It's a nice brew, very interesting, but nothing extraordinary.

Serving type: bottle

02-11-2011 20:23:28 | More by rings
Photo of Envelopes


3.25/5  rDev -21.7%

03-26-2013 21:50:03 | More by Envelopes
Photo of Rohkey


3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

06-23-2013 23:48:44 | More by Rohkey
Photo of birchstick


3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

03-24-2012 04:41:04 | More by birchstick
Photo of peensteen

Ontario (Canada)

3.5/5  rDev -15.7%

09-14-2013 22:28:22 | More by peensteen
Photo of sbrotschul

New Jersey

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!

Serving type: bottle

12-02-2011 18:58:56 | More by sbrotschul
Photo of kbutler1


3.58/5  rDev -13.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Bottle. Not cheap at about $18/bottle. Pours a slightly hazed light golden color with a slight white head. Some lacing. Nice nose, lemon zest and some caramel. Medium/light mouthfeel. Lemon and pineapple off the bat. Some oaky notes in the back end. lingering Chardonnay like flavor. Decent but not sure if it is worth the cost.

Serving type: bottle

01-08-2012 16:27:59 | More by kbutler1
Photo of LilBeerDoctor

New York

3.68/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Reviewed on 10/25/2009. Bottle. Pours a cloudy golden yellow with a small white head. Aroma of funky barnyard, sour candies. Flavor is tart/sour/funky in the initial sips with sweet sour candies in the finish. Some dry, lemony hops as well. Quite tart and acidic. Biere de Garde? This was a sour ale all the way...

Serving type: bottle

12-19-2009 03:37:48 | More by LilBeerDoctor
Photo of Commando


3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

03-01-2014 05:24:57 | More by Commando
Photo of bsuedekum


3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

03-24-2012 03:59:50 | More by bsuedekum
Photo of beernads


3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

08-23-2013 03:48:13 | More by beernads
Photo of tom10101

Quebec (Canada)

3.75/5  rDev -9.6%

06-27-2013 11:31:17 | More by tom10101
Photo of mattcrill


3.78/5  rDev -8.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

Aroma: funky, Pils malt, oaky, chardonnay notes pop out of the glass and on to the nose. Slight spicy phenolic notes round out the aroma.

Appearance: Well, golden. Truth in advertising. Vibrant carbonation streams up the cloudy body leaving a big fluffy white head that laces in a classic Belgian-style fashion.

Flavor: Sour chardonnay, oak, white grapes, a bit of horse blanket, and some yeasty funk. Peppery spiciness that is well-knitted with the other up front flavors.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied, highly carbonated, spritzy, and clean. Leaves a little bit of yeast funk on the palate. Finishes crisp and dry.

Overall impression: A light, refreshing, funky French-style ale. Not my cup of tea but well done. Drinkability suffers a bit for me due to the sourness. Not overdone but 12 oz would go along way for me let alone 750 mL's.

Serving type: bottle

07-29-2007 18:36:32 | More by mattcrill
Photo of HopHead84


3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5


Another bottle generously opened by Javier(javib458), thanks man. The beer is yellow gold with a one inch white cap that quickly dissipates and leaves a little lacing in its wake.

The nose is of earthy hops, prominent oak, a little wet leather with a light sweetness and a subtle citrus. The taste exhibits a light tartness and a subtle sweetness that dries out with the arrival of oak midpalate. Wet leather Brett is noticeable and lemon makes up the bulk of the fruit attribute. There's a touch of acidity in the end.

Serving type: bottle

01-25-2010 23:19:50 | More by HopHead84
Photo of putnam


3.8/5  rDev -8.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3

The energy and substance of this beer is revealed by a rising column of foam from the neck of a freshly opened bottle. It pours very pale and clear yellow. Aromas of marsh grass and moldy lemon peels. A dry herbal attack of lemon and grapefruit is supported by slick, muscular texture. Very tart. Bitter finish. Bubblegum powder stitches chipped basement rocks to yellow leather flavors. Begs to be served with grassy alpine cheeses, kraut and organ meats.

Serving type: bottle

08-26-2007 20:18:21 | More by putnam
Photo of robbyc1


3.83/5  rDev -7.7%
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.

Serving type: bottle

05-03-2008 00:58:58 | More by robbyc1
Photo of Sammy

Ontario (Canada)

3.9/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

12-25-2010 23:40:35 | More by Sammy
Photo of Rifugium


3.9/5  rDev -6%
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.

Serving type: bottle

04-06-2012 11:39:48 | More by Rifugium
Photo of BieresDesMoines


3.9/5  rDev -6%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

On tap at the MBGSF. Pours blonde with a good head and good lace. The aroma is earthy, fruity, and funky with some distinct lemon peel and some hay. The flavor is nicely dry and earthy and slightly but nicely sour. The beer reminds me a good bit of Champagne.

Serving type: on-tap

12-20-2010 19:46:08 | More by BieresDesMoines
Photo of TurdFurgison


3.98/5  rDev -4.1%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Bottle picked up at Champagnes in Warren a few months ago, <$16. When opened it started a slow but persistent gush. On pouring it has a very pale yellow color, looking a lot like Hoegaarden (the only wit-like attribute thankfully). The nose is slightly funky and bretty, not exactly sour but more early level funk like you get out of some saisons. Plenty of tart fruit character (apples/pears) too.

I get a saison-like flavor more than biere de garde. Funky brett and light spice (not sure if actual spices were used, but it has a light pepper quality), with a nearly medicinal component I could do without. Luckily that last flavor is very minor.

Good carbonation, controllable gushing, nice funkiness, I liked this beer quite a bit. Another great one from Jeffries.

Serving type: bottle

12-18-2011 01:28:42 | More by TurdFurgison
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.

Serving type: bottle

08-14-2010 19:28:49 | More by psiweaver
Photo of MaseFace


4/5  rDev -3.6%

02-22-2013 02:00:29 | More by MaseFace
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Good Harbor Golden Ale from Leelanau Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 100 ratings.