Good Harbor Golden Ale | Leelanau Brewing Company

Good Harbor Golden AleGood Harbor Golden Ale
126 Ratings
Good Harbor Golden AleGood Harbor Golden Ale

Brewed by:
Leelanau Brewing Company
Michigan, United States

Style: Bière de Garde

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 7.50%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This Golden Ale is Inspired by Franco-Belgain bière de gardes, but not exactly fitting the profile of its European counterparts, this beer is best described as a Michigan Bière de Garde. Hand-crafted by Ron Jeffries at his Jolly Pumpkin Brewery in Dexter, which is consistantly rated as one of one of the best in the world, all of the Leelanau Brewing Company beers are distingushed by their time spent in a large French oak barrique prior to bottling and re-fermentation. The wild yeasts inhabiting the brewery give all the beers made there a common thread, creating a family of beverages with rare harmony, despite their diverse styles.

Decidedly refreshing despite the 7.5% abv, this style of beer was originally brewed in the slow winter season as payment for farmhands in the summer. We certainly don’t mind sitting down after a long day of work and breathing deep the symphony aromas wafting from the lofty, lacey head burgeoning from our tulip glass. Subtle notes of peaches, apricots, canned pineapple, bitters, and a faint herbaceousness belie the smooth and delicate taste. The slightly malty, fruity body quickly transitions effortlessly to a crisp, dry and somewhat tart finish. Signature hints of French oak and the complex yeast character place this all-natural beer among the best saisons, stock ales, and farmhouse styles of Michigan, France & Belgium.

Added by ypsifly on 11-20-2006

Bros Score:
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Ratings: 126 |  Reviews: 67
Photo of DrDoitchbig
5/5  rDev +20.5%

Photo of americanjones
5/5  rDev +20.5%

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.

 1,425 characters

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.

 1,229 characters

Photo of ESchweers
4.77/5  rDev +14.9%
look: 5 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.75

Photo of miguellunarusso
4.76/5  rDev +14.7%

Photo of chrisbokmuller
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of KCM
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of soundscience
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of MacStinson
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of tykechandler
4.75/5  rDev +14.5%

Photo of ypsifly
4.72/5  rDev +13.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

750 purchased at Merchant's in Dearborn and poured into a Duvel glass.

Slightly hazed apple juice with a tall head of white that is sticky and leaves sheets and rings as it goes down.

Wonderful funky aromas of earth, wood, past ripe pears and apples. A bit of spice hangs underneath. Sour, tart, and cellar. Awesome!

The oak barrels are very apparent in the taste. This is followed by a fruity tart like flavor with a tasty funky sourness. Bitter to tart apples. Lingering sourness with hop flavors in the aftertaste.

The mouth is spritzy and tart yet in no way light. A very complex and flavorful beer that makes you want more and the abv allows for indulgence.

 674 characters

Photo of flowerysong
4.71/5  rDev +13.5%
look: 3 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

Appearance: Whoa, this one's a gusher. Cracked it open and a torrent of foam inundated the table. Vigorous carbonation in the pour makes it difficult to serve. Pours an extremely hazy lemon yellow with a towering white head.

Nose: Cellar funk and citric fruit.

Taste: Acidic apple and lemon fruit up front, followed by a gentle earthy funkiness and some mild oak influence. The acid is balanced by a mild caramel malt sweetness. Slight hop influence on the finish.

Mouthfeel: Creamy medium-full body, bubbly carbonation.

Overall: Excellent beer, but I can't help but feel that it's quite a bit overcarbonated.

 613 characters

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.

 889 characters

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

Kinda Pricie beer at 19$ a bottle

Pours a beautiful Golden yellow with a very bubbly white head.

Smells like oak and funky citrus zest, Pears, apples, and Grapefruit.

Taste is extremely tart followed by oak flavors, apple, grapefruit and lemon.

Nice beer very refreshing and I need to have more.

 300 characters

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.

 306 characters

Photo of xdefeatsy
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Gtg642
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of brkstoutfiend
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of BT_Bobandy
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of Googs
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of SaisonRichBiere
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of mjmadsen21
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of yourefragile
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%

Photo of BeerBeak81
4.5/5  rDev +8.4%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

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Good Harbor Golden Ale from Leelanau Brewing Company
Beer rating: 4.15 out of 5 with 126 ratings
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