This rescued variety was once lost, and some mysteries remain.
Though appearance varies, these are mostly medium-large to large and moderately ribbed, with a beautiful orange-red blush over dull yellow (or on some, yellow-green).
On one smaller sample the blush is a more-saturated red and a cap of russet seems to spill over the blush side leaving big fat spatters on the blush.
Lenticels for the most part are small. They fade into the blush but are dark and easy to spot against the unblushed peel.
These all have a nice firm feel. There's no appreciable aroma.
Crimson Gold has crisp light yellow flesh, coarse but quite firm and very juicy. The texture is very satisfying, breaking cleanly into gratifyingly crunchy chunks.
Crimson is sweet tempered by considerable tartness. Flavors of cane sugar and orange juice come to the fore, and there are hints of cream soda and spice. A very fine apple when ripe (yellow, not green, beneath the blush).
The flavors in a less-ripe example were not as clear and assertive but seemed to include a whiff of flowers; the texture was still excellent.
Crimson Gold is one of the last rediscovered varieties created by California breeder Albert Etter, who also gave us the delectable Wickson Crabapple. Some authorities say that Etter originally called it "Little Rosybloom."
Beyond that, sources disagree.
Is Crimson Gold usually small due to crabapple bloodlines? (I would say, "Apparently not.") Or is it a Yellow Newton Pippin x Esopus Spitzenberg cross? (One source manages to say both.)
Some call this variety, bred in the 40s and almost lost on Etter's death, an heirloom; others tout its modern disease resistant characteristics.
Greenmantle Nursery, in Ettersburg California (Etter's home), tells how this variety was thought to be lost only to be rediscovered in the wintery ruins of the original orchard. (The story is towards the end of this web page.)
Greenmantle also says that the cutting thought to be Crimson Gold that was preserved at the U.S. Germplasm Repository at Geneva NY turned out to be Wickson. That might explain some of the above confusion, as Wickson is small and may be a crabapple hybrid.
Also according to Greenmantle: C Gold can survive lengthy boiling, one method used to ID this apple when rediscovered.
I recommend skipping that step and just eating them out of hand. They are really good.