Black Oxford – Simple sweet flavor, sugary and crisp with no bitterness. Unidimensional and boring, and very much like a crisper version of red delicious. Supposedly a favorite when the general public tries heirloom apples, but I assume this is because the general public also seems to like red delicious for some reason.
Blue Pearmain – Tastes very similar to a gala apple, and only slightly less mealy and grainy.
Bramley Seedling – Bold, sweet and tart.
Caville Blanc D’hiver – Strong green apple smell with a soft flesh and intense flavor. Sweet and tart, with a taste that is more like a pear than an apple. Boldly flavored, but soft fleshed without any crispness.
Claygate Pearmain – Firm, russeted yellow green flesh. Pleasant, unique, green somewhat bitter flavor. Oddly, tastes a little like play dough smells. Perhaps good cider apple. First slice was good, but was tired of the flavor before finishing the apple.
Cox Orange Pippin – A tart apple, with a lot of zip to it’s taste. Very crisp flesh. Supposedly the parent apple to some of the best tasting firm, crisp and interesting tasting apples available, including holstein. Great for long term storage.
Dolgo Crab – A very small crab apple, about the size of a large cherry. It has a bold unusual flavor with a soft texture. The bright red skin dies the flesh as you bite into it. It’s made into a very tasty single variety cider that takes on a beautiful red color due to the skin pigments. Folklore says this one is snacked on in the field by pickers for extra energy to get through the long days. It has a bit of a zip, like switchel, so I could believe that it might impart some extra energy or minerals to the body beyond just calories and sugar.
Dutchess of Oldenberg -I’m pretty sure the apple we tried had gone off a bit. It was horrible, with strange smell and taste. Going to retry this year.
Espus Spitzenberg – Sweet and a bit dry, lacking juice, but still fairly crisp with a bold flavor.
Franc Rambor – Has a strong fragrance with pleasant floral notes, but on the tongue it’s less flavorful than it smells. A bit soft in texture, without crispness, but not mealy. Only slightly sweet and not particularly flavorful. More delightful to smell than to taste.
Golden Russett – Russeted skin and grainy flesh, with an interesting, asian pear like taste. Supposedly raised for cider, but all of us liked it for eating out of hand.
Gravenstein – Tart and very juicy, but beyond that not notable.
Greenings Rhode Island – The taste is strongly sweet with a hint of citrus. Hard to describe, but if I had to imagine the flavor of a canonical green apple from a fairy tale, this would be it. That said, everyone found it unidimensional and uninteresting.
Holstein – Unique and intense flavor that’s more like biting into a crisp asian pear than an apple. Pleasantly grainy, again making you think it’s a pear. I agree with the descriptions in catalogs say this is a “full flavored apple not for the faint of heart.” Our very favorite thus far.
Honeycrisp – Sweet and crisp with a lot of juice. By far the juciest apple in the tasting, and one of the best all around for taste, crispness and flavor. Nothing too bold, but a crowd pleaser. Reputed to store for up to a year without losing quality, we’ve now planted two in our orchard.
Hubbarts Nonesuch – A balanced mix of sweetness and acidity with a crisp texture, but nothing exciting.
Johnagold – Nice sweet, bold taste with a crisp texture. It has a flavor that I would describe as the canonical flavor of autumn. Others’ described it by saying, “it tastes like going to visit a cider mill.” I have to admit we were all a bit biased against it because it’s a recognizable name and a “grocery store” apple in a taste test of little known apples. We were looking for unique apples that have been lost, and found a wonderful specimen that’s still commonly available. Everyone was pleasantly surprised and it was one of the favorites from the day. Delicious.
Lady – A small but brightly flavored apple with a bit of tartness, like a green apple jolly rancher. Crisp flesh. One of the oldest cultivated apple varieties dating back to the Roman times. It’s named for it’s use in the renaissance where “ladies” would keep one tucked between their breasts in their cleavage as “the apple of your eye.” A bit larger than a golf ball, so sized just right for that job.
Lamb Abby Pearmain – Crisp, juicy, enjoyable acidity. Unique, flavor, very sweet. A fine apple, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
Maiden’s Blush – Thick skinned with notably smooth, creamy flesh. Juicy, sweet with a hint of acid. Somewhat tropical taste, papaya or banana. Kept on homesteads as a traditional drying apple. We home dried a few and though their flavor is unique and interesting fresh, it improves when dried.
Opalescent – Balanced, not overly sweet, bold taste,
Orleans Reinette – Crisp, sweet and tasty, but uninteresting.
Pitmastons Pineapple– Firm, russeted yellow green skin with pleasant creamy texture. Mild, bright acidity without sharpness. Unique tropical taste.
Pound Sweet – A large apple with a nice taste and texture and a subdued sweetness.
Reine Des Reinette – Large red/green apple with some russeting. Juicy, somewhat pear like texture with a soft grain. Intense sweetness, but balanced with high acidity and a mild pear flavor. I could eat this apple every day.
Roxbury Russett – Crisp, somewhat tart apple with a nice flavor. Supposedly “only for cider” but everyone loved it for fresh eating.
Sheepnose – Dense flesh but dry and mealy with low sweetness. A somewhat strange taste, with no juice in its bite. Popular because of it’s unique conical shape, but I cant recommend the flavor.
Snow Faueusse – Strongly sweet and crisp, but boring. It makes me sad because we just planted one of these at random because we ran across a healthy tree at a tree sale. It pays to try the apple before you buy the tree…
Sops of Wine – A firm apple with smooth skin and a somewhat mealy texture. Very low juice absolutely no crunch. Like a more brightly flavored red delicious, but only slightly better, nothing special.
Twenty Ounce – Very large apple with a crisp texture and a lot of sweetness. It has a mildly tart finish, but less tart than you’d expect from the intense fragrance. Famous for it’s size, and named for the 20 ounce fruits the tree tends to produce.
Wolf River – Bland, slightly mealy apple with very little sweetness. This one gets enough acclaim that we’ve tried it a number of times, always with the same conclusion: horrible. It’s supposed to be an old time pie apple that everyone says makes the best pies, but the flesh wont hold up during cooking. It makes a bland slimy applesauce pie every time. Such a waste.