Lake Chelan – Chelan Gold

Lake Chelan "Chelan Gold" Bottle

Lake Chelan “Chelan Gold” Bottle

Imagine dragons apples. Imagine a whole bushel of apples — Fuji, Gala, Jonathon, Golden Delicious, Rome, Granny Smith, and Red Delicious, according to Lake Chelan’s website — perfectly ripe, all chilling in a bucket of icy water. Now imagine all of that apple-ness in your mouth. Not the pulped and juiced extracts of those apples poured into a glass, but the apples themselves. All of them. In your mouth.

Are you imagining that? Ok, good. You’ve now got a pretty solid idea of what this cider tastes like. It’s sweet, but not excessively so, with just a little bitterness to balance it out, and tart and acidic in moderation as well. Medium bodied, with a finish that doesn’t linger long.

I’m glad I gave this cider a chance. Every time I went to my local liquor store to stock up, I’d see Chelan Gold on the end of one shelf of the cold section, and for some reason I’ve always gotten the impression that their stock of it doesn’t move much — perhaps in part because it seems to be on sale on a regular basis. The uninspiring logo design and pale clear color aren’t doing it any favors, either, but having tried it out, I can definitely see myself returning to it from time to time in the future.

Chelan Gold is one of the stillest ciders I’ve ever had, a nearly colorless clear straw yellow, with a slight aroma of both fresh apples and apple pie. It’s available in 1L bottles and has an ABV of 7.0% but I’d never guess it; if someone told me it was nonalcoholic I would probably believe them.