Good Harbor Golden Ale | Leelanau Brewing Company

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90
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125 Ratings
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Good Harbor Golden AleGood Harbor Golden Ale
BEER INFO

Brewed by:
Leelanau Brewing Company
Michigan, United States
leelanaubeer.com

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

BEER STATS
Ratings:
125
Reviews:
67
Avg:
4.14
pDev:
9.9%
 
 
Wants:
43
Gots:
16
For Trade:
2
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User Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 125 |  Reviews: 67
Photo of WVbeergeek
2.75/5  rDev -33.6%
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.

 1,516 characters

Photo of cyde
3/5  rDev -27.5%

Photo of scruffwhor
3.08/5  rDev -25.6%
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.

 347 characters

Photo of rings
3.24/5  rDev -21.7%
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.

 1,140 characters

Photo of Envelopes
3.25/5  rDev -21.5%

Photo of moshea
3.4/5  rDev -17.9%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3 | feel: 3 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Rohkey
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of birchstick
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

Photo of peensteen
3.5/5  rDev -15.5%

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!

 1,010 characters

Photo of Kerrie
3.53/5  rDev -14.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Photo of Jwale73
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

Bottled 4/29/11. Pours a beautiful golden orange with no head, just a tight band around the shoulders. Nose expresses notes of oak, tangerines and yeast. Taste is due, a little earthy and a bit medicinal. Mouthfeel is light in body with a mild, even carbonation and a light acidity. All and all, not a bad beer for the style but a bit past its prime.

 355 characters

Photo of kbutler1
3.58/5  rDev -13.5%
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.

 328 characters

Photo of LilBeerDoctor
3.68/5  rDev -11.1%
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...

 314 characters

Photo of teamwiggum
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%
look: 3.75 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Photo of Commando
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of bsuedekum
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of beernads
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of tom10101
3.75/5  rDev -9.4%

Photo of pknyc
3.76/5  rDev -9.2%

Photo of HopHead84
3.78/5  rDev -8.7%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.5

1/24/2010

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.

 531 characters

Photo of robbyc1
3.79/5  rDev -8.5%
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.

 374 characters

Photo of Satchboogie
3.79/5  rDev -8.5%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 4 | overall: 3.75

Photo of putnam
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%
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.

 456 characters

Photo of maximum12
3.8/5  rDev -8.2%

Thanks to fiver29 for this extra, a celebratory bottle after a very long work trip (which was also filled with good beer, of course). 750ML bottle from a brewery I’ve never heard of split with my wife.

Pour is an unfiltered yellow with a low-T level of carbonation. Not much coming off the surface, vague light fruits. Uninspiring.

Good Harbor Golden Ale brings just the right amount of toe-tapping funk. There’s a lovely must - as opposed to the usual boggy, marshy, squelching ground mustiness – that greets the palate. Green apple & lemon are folded in after the swamp gas, light vinegar, & the oak is a subtle refinement on the tongue. The barrel gives it a distinct vinous quality & makes me want to stomp some grapes.

Not a style I usually enjoy, & I’m enjoying it even more due to that fact. A very good beer.

 835 characters

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Good Harbor Golden Ale from Leelanau Brewing Company
4.14 out of 5 based on 125 ratings.
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