Tonight’s Cheer—Lake Chelan (WA) Chelan Gold Hard Cider

Where I’m presently staying, in Blaine, Washington, they literally roll up the sidewalks after sundown. So one must rely on one’s own devices to keep awake and alive. Especially after spending most of the day trying to craft a sensible, accurate, take-down of yet another dose of archaeological Neanderthal nuttery. And yours truly can only take so much frustration in the process. So, nothing left to do but satisfy the palate, and the self, with something new to numb the senses. Believe me, this stuff is a completely new sensation for this palate.

I must admit that, at first sip I thought I might be drinking perfume [cheap perfume, at that]. And I’m not sure, yet, if I can get over that first sensation. The 2011 Chelan Gold Hard Cider is an impressive package—1 liter of truly gold- coloured and crystal-clear liquid in what looks like a gilt-edged, clamp-topped bottle.

The makers talk about it as one would a fine wine. You know. Wine-wanker-speak. Here’s a sample…

“The color is pale straw. The aromas and flavors are what one would expect from cool climate orchard sites. Beautiful apple pie, fresh summer apple, and fermented apple notes form a great presentation.”
“This cider matches perfectly with seafood and poultry entrees and would stand up to fruit salads as well. It makes for a great summer beverage as well, as it pairs nicely with cold sandwiches, fresh fruits or slightly warmed with a dash of cinnamon on a cold winter night!”

Cold it isn’t tonight—this part of the Northwest Coast is luxuriating in an anomalously long dry spell with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the 30s [80s, if you’re in the U.S.]. So, I won’t by trying the cinnamon. And this perfect weather is predicted to last at least another 10 days. More global weirding, I’m afraid. On the other hand, maybe this summer is just balancing the scales for the summer of 1971, when it rained steadily from the 1st to the 21st of July. [I kid you not! Those guys that wrote the Bible obviously knew nothing about temperate rain forests. Forty days and forty nights? Peanuts compared to the rainfall record in Vancouver.]

I wish I could place the flavour that I’m getting along with the “apple pie, fresh summer apple, and fermented apple notes.” I suppose it could be oak. Or it could be poison ivy. Whatever it is, it can stand up to a fruit salad! [For what that’s worth.] As I’m NOT an oenophile, nor a ciderophile, I’m ill-equipped to judge this brew authoritatively. And at $10 a liter for apple juice, I’m afraid to say I don’t like it. I’m used to BC Growers cider, or Angry Orchard, or Strongbow, all of which are on the dry side. This Chelan Gold is d-r-y. There’s not an iota of sugar. But then, apple-tree bark is dry, too. But we don’t try to drink it. On the up side, unlike the un-wanky ciders, this puppy is 10+% alcohol by volume! Woo hooooooo!

Well. I think I’ve said enough for tonight.

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