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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.

104 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 104
Reviews: 64
rAvg: 4.15
pDev: 10.12%
Wants: 38
Gots: 12 | 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: 104 | Reviews: 64 | Display Reviews Only:
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.

kbutler1, Jan 08, 2012
Photo of pwoody11
4/5  rDev -3.6%

pwoody11, Dec 30, 2011
Photo of brkstoutfiend
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

brkstoutfiend, Dec 24, 2011
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.

TurdFurgison, Dec 18, 2011
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!

sbrotschul, Dec 02, 2011
Photo of DrDoitchbig
5/5  rDev +20.5%

DrDoitchbig, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.33/5  rDev +4.3%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Poured from a 750 mL bottle into a tulip. Thanks to Dunt for bringing out this bottle and introducing me to another fun Michigan brewery.

Appearance: Out of the bottle this pours a relaxed yellow, cloudy, with a soft off-white cap. Just a few gentle spots of lace remain down the glass.

Smell: Full of fun bugs. Very tart, vinegar, lemon rind, some apricot, and a little funk.

Taste: Nice and sour. The flavor starts and stays sour the whole time, with a lot of lemon, some apricot, and some grassy notes playing in the forefront preventing the Brett from wreaking havoc on my palate. Some spicy notes and a little oak add some depth.

Mouthfeel: The body is definitely on the light side, with medium carbonation. The tartness creates a nice puckering sensation without being over the top. Overall I find the feel works well with the flavors.

Overall: This is an enjoyable brew and I would be interested to try their other offerings. This is big enough to keep me interested, but light enough to be refreshing in the summer.

KickInTheChalice, Jul 05, 2011
Photo of jwinship83
4.13/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

750ml capped bottle from a batch late in 2010. drank from my russian river "tion" glass.

A- this beer comes out of the bottle a hazy bright golden colored body with a finger and a half of bright white head. the head takes its time falling and leaves behind large spots of lacing. were off to a good start.

S- the first thing i can pick out of the nose is the classic jolly pumpkin yeast. decently funky (wet hay/barnyard) with some lactic tartness also. malted wheat. lemon zest comes through at the end.

T- the taste starts out with plenty of the wild yeast that i like so much from jolly pumpkin brand beers. not over the top funky or sour. green apple skin, lemon zest, malted wheat and soft bready notes. light lemon and earthy hops on the finish.

M- the body is on the upper side of light, and the carbonation is pretty high. not overly sour. decently dry.

O- a very enjoyable beer from a very under appreciated brewery. id like to grab some more of these to see how they age.

jwinship83, Jun 10, 2011
Photo of readbaron
4.35/5  rDev +4.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Pours a cloudy golden yellow with white foam, decent retention, and excellent lacing.

Smells like lemons, with a bit of vinegar and barnyard funk.

Tastes very gueuze like. One of the tarter sours I've had. Lots of lemon, very acidic, with just a hint of funk. Crisp and sour.

Mouthfeel is great. Carbonation is good. Light bodied and crisp.

Overall. Very nice beer. Perfect amount of sour - any more and it'd be difficult to drink.

readbaron, Jun 08, 2011
Photo of GrandCruDrew
4.05/5  rDev -2.4%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

750mL poured in my New Belgium goblet 4/27/11. Green low shoulder bottle. I believe 2008-ish

A- Great Golden color, hazy, decent head, about an inch that dissapeared quickly, very little to no head.

S- Familar Lime-ade nose with tartness, and tropical fruits, Brett aroma.

T- Sour, funky Fun Stripes gum that resembles, lime, lemon, orange...all citrus fruit with some tropical fruit lace. The Brett has started to be prominate over the fruit at this age.

M- Good feel but a quick finish. Tart and sour.

Overall- A great Summer beer. I have had this beer many times. I don't believe I caught this one in it's prime, but still showing really good for 3-4 years old.

GrandCruDrew, Apr 28, 2011
Photo of techfed87
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
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
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.

rings, Feb 11, 2011
Photo of craytonic
4.22/5  rDev +1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Appearance Cloudy honey-straw-yellow with a nice white fluffy head and some good lacing.

Nose: Nice fruity funk to it

Taste: Great addition of bugs to this one, brett in perfect proportions and slightly cheesy. Slightly grassy, reminiscent of spring on this cold winter's night. Night fruit flavors of pears and apples with pepper (and perhaps some ginger) and oak in the back.

Mouthfeel: perfect light carbonation, creamy but slightly thin. Alcohol is not noticeable at all.

Drinkability: This is the first Biere de Garde I have enjoyed, and I attribute it to good brewing and microbes. I would definitely drink this again.

craytonic, Jan 25, 2011
Photo of kzoobrew
4.08/5  rDev -1.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

Poured into New Belgium globe. Slightly hazed golden hay colored body capped by a two finger bone white head. The head recedes to a slim cap rather quickly. Impressive lacing left clinging to the glass.

Very pleasing aroma. Soft and approachable. Tart green apple and bright citrus notes are plentiful up front. Rustic aromas are settled in just behind. The Brett is held in check, compliments the fruitier scents well.

Sweet citrus fruit rolls across the tongue before transitioning to a tart Granny Smith bite. The flavor is fairly balanced behind. Soft oak and white pepper flavors are intertwined through out. The farm house flavors are understated in comparison to to other Ron Jeffries concoctions.

Light to medium bodied beer with lively carbonation. Very smooth and slightly creamy texture. The finish is rather dry, very appropriate for the beer.

Excellent beer. Highly drinkable, slightly too easy to enjoy. The alcohol is masterfully disguised, I would not guess that this was 7.5%. The price point is very nice compared to similar beers though a bit higher than I will pay on an average day. I will revisit this one from time to time, too good not to.

kzoobrew, Jan 24, 2011
Photo of Sammy
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.

Sammy, Dec 25, 2010
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.

BieresDesMoines, Dec 20, 2010
Photo of Ambiorix
4.43/5  rDev +6.7%
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 fear025
4.2/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 3.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 4.5

Aroma:Smells like a sour farmhouse ale. Lemon, belgian yeast, sulphur.

Appearance:Hazy golden color, with light head and retention. Good lacing.

Taste:Hugely sour beer. Sour citrus, lemon, lime, orange in the foretaste.

Mouthfeel:Light body, good carbonation.

Drinkability:This is quite an interesting sour beer.

fear025, Oct 25, 2010
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.

psiweaver, Aug 14, 2010
Photo of SpdKilz
4.25/5  rDev +2.4%
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 andymurray
4.47/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3 | overall: 5

Shocking straw golden color. Verging on Sunkist. How's that for a technical term? Great refreshing tartness, but has a sweet citrus side that reminds me of ripe grapefruit. If you are a fan of extreme beers or big, in your face fruit flavors, it's worth tracking this beer down. I would argue it's better than Jolly Pumpkin and I wish it had wider distribution (i.e. Massachusetts, please). Mouthfeel was fine. Like I said it seemed to have some residual sugar which definitely gave it some body. Drinkability? 22 oz. was gone. Rapidly.

andymurray, Jun 22, 2010
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.

HopHead84, Jan 25, 2010
Photo of LilBeerDoctor
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...

LilBeerDoctor, Dec 19, 2009
Photo of wisrarebeer
4.38/5  rDev +5.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Labeled as a biere de garde but sample tasted is very sour -- probably from oak aging. I'm rating it as a sour ale.

A: straw colored
S: decent, with a slight earthy funk from the brett
T: very enjoyable, quenching, refreshing but not overly tart
M: dances on the tongue and well-balanced
D: very, especially on a summer day (if other versions are just as funky)

wisrarebeer, Oct 10, 2009
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.

JohnGalt1, Sep 14, 2009
Good Harbor Golden Ale from Leelanau Brewing Company
92 out of 100 based on 104 ratings.